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Blue Green Nursery

I am loving the new rugs we have got in from Happy as Larry Designs.  These gorgeous rugs are made with love and make any kids room feel fun, cosy and stylish.  We have put together a little mood board to inspire and delight you.

OB-blue green nursery

Products:

  • Rug: Happy as Larry Rug, now available through us
  • Cot: Oeuf Cot try urbanbaby.com.au
  • Cot Quilts: my little hands
  • Shelving: Land of the Nod, try shopstyle.com.au
  • Rocker: Land of the Nod rocker, try shopstyle.com.au

So there you have it?  What do you think?

 

 

Home maker

Thought I might share what I got up to the other weekend, very house mumma of me, making jam!  I hate food going to waste and not only that since we are saving our buts of to go to Italy and France I am trying to do everything I can to save a few dollars.  As much as I love my business and we are busy and grateful for it, its definitely not a gold mine, not just yet anyway;)

So back to jam, we had some plums, peaches and a few strawberries that had escaped the punnet and were floating around in the crisper.  So I thought I would make some sunshine jam (pretty much any fruit you have you through in and voila its sunshine jam!)

jam 1jam 5You will need the following to make your own jam:

  • Sterile jars – you can use maison jars bought at kitchen supply places or keep all your glass jars and sterilise them in boiling water
  • about 1kg of mixed fruit
  • chopping board
  • sharp knife
  • large saucepan
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • a little water
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • kettle
  • bowl

Method:

  1. First of all boil your kettle and pop your peaches in and cover with boiling water for about 1 minute.  Then remove from the bowl, cool a little and then peel the skin off.
  2. Cut all your fruit up into small cubes and remove all the pips.
  3. Pop all the fruit into the saucepan, cover with a small amount of water, maybe about 1/4 cup  and the sugar.  Bring to the boil and stir to dissolve sugar.  Then reduce to simmer for about 40 minutes adding a little more water if you think it is getting too thick.  It will thicken up as the jam cools and sets so keep this in mind.
  4. Whilst still hot squeeze in the juice from the lemon and pour into jars, filling up to about 1/2 cm from the top.  Screw the lid on and place the jar upside down on the bench for about 1/2 hour to create suction and then turn right way up.

jam 6 jam 7

 

Then all that’s left to do is wrap a little ribbon or off cut of fabric to pretty it up.  They then make for great gifts for your kids teachers at the end of the year, or to put into a special hamper as a house warming gift or of course to enjoy yourself!  So go pop that kettle back on, make your self a nice cuppa, cook some toast and taste your very own home made jam!  The only challenge will be keeping your kids little hands off your food while you try to enjoy 5 minutes peace,  They smell food a  mile away you know!

Thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Ciao xx

Competition Time!!

Just for a bit of fun we are running a little competition and its easy to enter!!  All you need to do is send us a selfie of you and you bub with a little caption!!  We will publish it here and then get your friends and family to help out by leaving a comment with the photo they like best!!

How to enter

  • email a photo to emma@mylittlehands.com.au with a caption to your photo and make sure to leave your name and bub/s if you like as well so I can put a name to your photo.
  • tell your friends and family to  pop by our blog and leave a comment

Prize:

  • a 2 in 1 swaddle bag by ergopouch

Terms and Conditions:

  • open Australia wide
  • winner will be notified by email

Check out our entries below and leave a comment on your favourite pic, the picture with the most comments for on the 28th February will win!

Winner to be picked at 7pm WA time 28th Feb, entries open until feb 28th 9am WA time.

 

How do you do it all?

I get asked a lot by my regular customers “how do you do it all?”  working from home mum is not an easy job and I think sometimes from the outside looking in at the MLH business that it appears as though I am super woman, juggling a family and coming up with new designs, sewing, managing orders and all the rest that goes with running  a small business.    And this sometimes can be a little alienating, I thought I would write this little post, to give you a little insight into my world.

 

I am by no means super woman, I am not perfect and  I will tell you why….imagesFEIUHXLE

I am a mum and there are times when my laundry floor is covered in dirty washing and I am sure sometimes clean washing that has fallen of the bench top cause I haven’t had time to put it away!!  There are times when baked beans on toast is all I can manage for dinner, the kids rooms look like a mini hurricane blew through, the kids watch more TV than they should have because  I am stuffed!!

There are times when I am finishing off custom orders late into the night because I always make my deadline and I can’t stand the thought of letting my gorgeous customers down.

I sometimes question why I am doing this, and always come back to I love the feeling when my customers receive their orders and send my lovely feedback and share photos of the new rooms made up, I love that feeling, nothing beats it.  I am also the type of person that just can’t sit still and I can’t say no, for those of you that know me and reading this, I know you are laughing and nodding your head!  I think that is how I am able to do all of this, I am an energiser battery (running on low at the moment but nothing a bit of coffee and a quick catch up with a good friend can’t fix, like I had today with one of my very dearest friends, love you, you know who you are xx) and I am VERY, VERY determined, my family would say STUBBORN but I think the prior sounds more sophisticated.  I have been told on a few occasions that I wont be able to do this from some people and I think that has made me even more determined, maybe that is what keeps me going, I don’t know.

I have an amazing seamstress/Gorgeous Aunty that backs me 100% and sews her big heart out, my Mum who is always helping and has spent many hours doing last minute preparations for markets and always comes along to set up my stall and help with customers ( she is a kick ass sales lady I must say!!)  And my hubby who builds me whatever new idea I come up and helps put it all together at markets, and he even helps out on the stall to serve to give me a break.  It makes him a bit uncomfortable but he does it anyway.

My point being, everything always seems so glamorous looking in from the outside, and as much as I love what I do, it is hard, sometimes very hard to get it all done.  There are many hours of blood, sweet and tears gone into making my little hands and sometimes this little mumma feels like chucking it in.  But I don’t, it’s a never ending drive I get from somewhere and the thought that I am building something that I can be proud of and I hope one day that my kids will be proud of too.

I once had a gorgeous mumma that I keep in touch with say, “I don’t know how you do it, I am just a stay at home mumma” and I sais you are not ‘just’ a SAHM, it is such a huge job, she is an amazing mumma by the way and that is my message for you all, no matter what you do, if you work part time, casual,  not at all, full time or from home you are a Mum and that is amazing. YOU ARE AMAZING!!

Thank you for taking the time to read and feel free to eave me a little message with your thoughts or if you have any questions feel free to ask away!

Em xx

 

Moving to France, So the preparation begins!!

france

Bonjour, ciao !!

 

Some of you may have seen in my posts while you have been following us on face book that we are planning to do a year stint in France or possibly Italy in a few years time.

So I thought I would start writing about our progress so that any of you thinking of doing the same might find something useful amongst all my dribble!

My hubby has dual citizenship which means our kiddies all automatically get it we just have to go through the process’.  For me I can also claim through spouse but it it a much longer process (about 3 years)  We also had to be married for over 4 years which has come and gone a few years ago.

The process for the kids involves sending of an original birth certificate that has been certified with an Apostille  and then been translated to Italian by what they call a NAATI translator, basically means someone that has been deemed an official translator by the Department of Foreign Affairs.  If you are needing to anything similar you might find these website helpful:

The Department of Foreign Affairs is where you need to go to get documents certified with the Apostille, follow this link for more info.:

http://smartraveller.gov.au/services/legalising-documents.html#authentication

 

For translators:

http://www.consperth.esteri.it/Consolato_Perth/Menu/In_linea_con_utente/Banche_dati/

 

For Italian citizenship information:

http://www.consperth.esteri.it/Consolato_Perth/Menu/I_Servizi/Per_i_cittadini/Cittadinanza/

 

For the kids that is it, they are then granted citizenship once these documents have been received by the office in Sondrio, Italia where my hubby’s family is from.  For me there is more paper work, I have to then go get a police clearance and send that of, and then I think I have to do the same again within 3 months of us leaving to go to Italy.

Of course I will need to apply for all out passports first!  Hubby has his and the kids I can do as soon as their births have been registered.  But it is well worth the effort, it will make life a lot easier when we do eventually get there.  Simple things like finding somewhere to live and having power and phone connected etc will be a lot easier, and the easier I can make it the happier I will be, after all it is going to be a HUGE learning experience and I hope one that is also rewarding, fun and exciting too!

That’s it for now I will keep you posted after I have had my trip to Perth for my interview at the Italian Consulate.  My hubby keeps joking saying I better do lots of the cooking and the cleaning like the Italian Mumma’s are renowned for, otherwise I wont be approved!!  Ha ha I say, I already do all that plus make my own pasta sauce and home made pizza from scratch, I think that will pass just fine.

Here is a simple recipe for you to try in the spirit of Mediterranean Cuisine:

Home made pizza (cheat version)

Ingredients:

1  Pack of Pitta Bread for the bases

1 Can of crushed tomatoes

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Toppings:

Pumpkin

Baby Spinach

Artichoke Hearts

Bocconcini

Salami

Ham

Capsicum

Grated Cheese

Kalamata Olives

Persian Fetta

Basil

A Tablespoon or two of fresh oregano, leaves removed from stem

Method:

  1. Preheat Oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line some oven trays with greaseproof paper
  2. Peel and cut pumpkin up into small pieces I make mine about 1/2cm thick and about 5cm x 2cm wedges, drizzle with some oil and salt and roast in oven until cooked.
  3. Put can of crushed tomatoes, oregano and 1 tsp of salt and 1 Tablespoon of  olive oil into a blender, blend up a little to mix all together, just don’t over work it so you keep some of the texture, this is your tomato base.
  4. Meanwhile make other pizzas up to how you like, I make a meat one – tomato base with salami, ham, bocconcini, capsicum and fetta, but I put the fetta on after cooking it. and sprinkle with a little grated cheese.  A veggie one with roast pumpkin, artichokes, olives, capsicum, bocconcini and fetta and baby spinach, the last two I put on after cooking  in the oven.
  5. Put pizzas in oven until  the base is crispy, about 10-15 mins depending on your oven.

The idea is not to overload the pizza with ingredients and once they are cooked remove from the oven sprinkle with baby spinach and tear some fresh basil leaves over the top and serve

Until next time,  enjoy trying the recipe out, then let me know how you go!!

ciao! Au revoir!

Em x

 

Blue for boys?

I get asked a lot what colour schemes I would recommend for a unisex nursery.  People are often surprised when I mention blue.  Now there are lots of colour combos I love for a gender neutral nursery and they include the following in case your wondering:)

  • yellow and grey
  • mint and white
  • aqua and beige
  • white on white
  • shades of grey (pardon the pun)

SO this quilt is a little more aqua than the classic baby blue, but it has the same principal, you can start and then add to it once your little prince or princess has arrived!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These floral cushions are very girly, so can be added after, here is a different view to give you a better idea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can team pretty greens and white with it and add lace, soft flowy curtains, fine prints and girly wall art.

 

 For boy I would team soft blue with red and white and add in dark timber accents.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You could start with a very neutral nursery, soft white walls which you can add splashes of red to with photo frames in your wall art, gorgeous vintage red cars or airplanes that hang from the ceiling like these.

planes

Red_baron_vintage_tin_toy_main_0000251247

 

It is such a beautiful colour to work with and the ideas are endless, great sources for ideas are the websites  pinterest, and houzz to give you some ideas on design.  Have fun and feel free to share your blue nursery ideas!!

Until next time, happy designing!

Emx

Your a good mumma…

With four weeks to go until the arrival of baby three, it seems somehow our world has been turned upside down.  We have gone from having two kiddies that are happy to go to bed, to screaming, crying children that don’t want to be left alone in their rooms.  For those of you that know me I tend to take the hard line with the kids and do what I think is ‘best’, rarely if ever actually taking the easy option for a change.  This got me thinking, scary I know, do we as mums and dads  allow public pressure and expectations to control our parenting decisions?

ts3

I know I have a little voice in my head that sounds very much like a disapproving old matron mid wife saying ‘tsk tsk tsk’ every time I even consider taking an easy option, like bribing the kids to be quiet at the shops, or just sitting in with my kids until they go to sleep, then I have another voice screaming and smashing its head against a wall saying ‘what is wrong with you,  stop being so hard all the time, just do it already!!”  It seems to me I get so caught up in what I should or shouldn’t be doing instead of just trusting and accepting my own instincts that the problem becomes way bigger than it really should?

I mean I am not saying I should just give in to everything, after all I am the parent and set the boundaries, kids need these, but I do have to ask myself maybe sometimes I should pick my battles more carefully!  After all I am not trying to win a war I am simply trying to raise my kids the best I can.  And that I think Is the point, the best I can, everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you.

Perhaps instead of judging each other for breast feeding versus bottle feeding or co-sleeping versus independent sleeping or whatever the topic is, we could accept everyone has a different method.  Granted I know we can all have strong opinions on specific topics but  by definition and opinion is “a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.”

One of the other things I think we do is look at other and see what ‘well behaved’ children they have, and think what  am I doing wrong, why aren’t I good enough?  I was out the other day with my little girl, I will add she loves shopping and being out and about so I am very fortunate, we were walking around and a lady with her little girl was doing the same, her little girls was restless and the mum seemed at the end of her rope.  She looked over at me and she said ‘ why cant my little girl do that.”  I smiled at her and said something like “they all have their moments, the other day at the shopping centre my little girl had a meltdown cause she was hungry and tired, your little girl is gorgeous and obviously adores you, you are doing a wonderful job.” The lady’s eyes softened and went a little glassy and she thanked me and went on her way.  It made me feel really good to.  My point is it is all relative, kids are not bad, they are human, little humans, they make mistakes, they are learning, but heh so are we!!  We are not born with a built in fail safe parenting manual 101, despite the thousands of books that claim to be such an edition!  Give yourself a break, do the best you can, love them with all your mite, be one the same level as your partner, talk to each other, support each other and if you have a crappy day, wipe it off and start again tomorrow. The past is the past, don’t dwell on it, look forward to the future and keep your head held high.

I would say we could all do with our own personal cheer leader from time to time, so I challenge you, next time you see a mumma with her kids maybe out shopping or trying to enjoy a quick cuppa, give her a compliment, something simple and see what a joy it can bring to the receiver and the giver.

The point I am trying to make is like a favourite poem of mine:

we are all in the same boat

on a terrible sea and

we owe each other the deepest loyalty

Don’t look too analytically into that poem!! I am not saying by any stretch that parenting is terrible!!  It is an honour, rewarding and very special, but it is also at times challenging.  It is something I don’t think anyone can prepare you for, all I know is that I am crazy enough to be doing it again and I hope that I might be able to read back over this from time to time and tell myself “I am doing a good job!” and believe it!!

Dedicated to all you gorgeous mummy and daddy’s out there, give yourself a pat on the back and tell each other as often as you can, ‘babe you are doing a wonderful job’

Thought I would share a couple of pics of my family:)  Photos by Carter and Rose Photography

COLOMBERA-10 (2)

Photos by Carter&Rose Photography

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Photos by Carter & Rose Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLOMBERA-106 (2)

Photos by Carter & Rose Photography

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Photos BY Carter & Rose Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLOMBERA-247

Photos courtesy of Carter & Rose Photography

Much Love,

Emx

 

DIY Christmas Cards

I wanted to make something special for my lovely regular customers that have supported throughout the year, so I decided to make them a little Christmas card and I will send them out with a little gift.  I had fun making them, so I thought it might be a nice DIY for all of you crafty ladies out there!!  Here is a picture of the finished product and instructions are below.

cc12

 

You will need:

  • Glue stick – acid free so it doesn’t dissolve the paper
  • Rubber stamps and ink pad – I got mine from spotlight, you can also find them online at Etsy or EBay and by doing a google search for rubber stamps.
  • Scissors – regular and the decorative pinking scissors to create decorative edge
  • Craft Paper – depending on the  size of your card, I could get 3 fronts from one piece of french script look paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • A pack of blank white cards – craft stores and Big W usually have them

This what the stamps and ink pad look like:

cc2 cc3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the cards, these had a gloss front, hence I decided to put a decorative front of craft paper with stamp onto it, so that the ink didn’t smudge.

cc1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions:

1.  Figure out how big you would  like the front decorative piece of paper to be, my cards are approx. 10.5cm x 15cm, I made the decorative front piece(the stamped xmas tree) to be about 13cm x 8cm.

2. Cut all your decorative fronts up first measuring your size and marking with your pencil and ruler.  Using your pinking scissors cut them up to get the zig zag edge, I then turned them all over so any pencil marks where on the back.   They are then ready to stamp.  Press your stamp into the ink pad and make sure you get ink on all parts of the stamp.  I would highly recommend doing a few test runs first on scrap paper!!  Trust me its worth it!!  Then when your happy line your stamp up and get stamping onto each front piece like this:

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Do all of the fronts until you get  a little pile like this:

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4.  Stamp all the insides of your cards with your chosen greeting like this:

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5. Glue your decorative fronts on ensuring you have the card up the right way so your inside message is not upside down! (I may or may not have done this)

cc8

6. Voila you are done and have a cute pile of home made Christmas cards, you could do the say with a family photo, print them out at kmart, target, Harvey norman or online on sites like snapfish, glue them to the front and stamp your little message still on the inside of the card.

Have fun creating and I would love to see some of your creations if you would like to pop back and share!!

Em xx

 

 

The Perfect Tree and toddlers, do they work?

I know we want that magazine perfect Christmas tree.  The kind that when people walk into your home, they stop and stare in silence at the glorious tree you have decorated and designed yourself and it looks something like this, and that you are very, very proud of.    Your family compliment you on what a wonderful job you have done and you stand tall and smile with a hint of pride.

xmastree

 

Then you wake up and realise it was just a dream!!  

So is such a tree possible with toddlers in the home?  Well it really depends on each kiddie as they are all so different, some are content after having an initial touch and look at the tree and then leave it alone, others will pull every last ball of it until you pull your hair out putting them back up only to have them to return when you turn your back for two seconds!!

If you think you may have the later of the two residing in your house then my tip would be this:  Create a family friendly main tree that all your prezzies go under and get the kids involved.  Let them pick out a special ornament to decorate with.  We do this every year and are slowly building up a collection of carefully selected decorations that are quite special and a lovely tradition.  Then create a smaller tree that you can use as a table setting or set up in an entry hall that is just for you and out of reach of little hands!

Here are some of my ideas for decorating a family tree:

  • avoid glass ornaments at the bottom of the tree, put them up the top
  • The strings of little beads are very cute and can be made of plastic and create a lovely effect no matter how messy they get!  Because they are a continuous string they are also harder to pull of the tree

beads

  • create some of your own decorations , I will do some DIY ideas for you over the next few months but you could get some little paper pom poms of ebay  or felt balls and string them together with twine or cut out shapes from felt and decoratively stitch with names or simple patterns.

felt balls

  • the shredded tinsel that you literally just throw over your tree although t I know it could get strewn from one end of the house to the other if they do play with it and move it around on the tree it still looks pretty.
  • Just know that this stage only last such a brief time as the grow so fast, so try your best to just be patient and enjoy their excitement and this age.

Now I bet your thinking what about ideas for this glorious tree that I can decorate all by myself?

A few pointers before I show you some lovely pics:

  • I would make it a small tree that can be easily moved around.  You will need an entry hall or somewhere you can have it as pride of place or make a piece for your dining table.
  • Choose your colour theme
  • Keep is simple, limit your ornaments to two or three different kinds or sometimes even just one look amazing, as in simple round balls in a single colour or two or three different colours
  • Choose ornaments that you like and suit your taste, after all it is really about you!
  • Have fun and play around with it, practice makes perfect they say and remember we aren’t all born as amazing merchandisers, let your self learn and make mistakes, its all part of the fun!

Some colour themes for you to think about:

Silver, white and  blue or turquoise

This is quite a modern theme and would suit a gorgeous modern Christmas table setting with big splashes of colour and clean crisp white napery, large white lillies in beautiful oversized vases, white tea lights in frosted motif glass holders.  Just an idea;)

xmas tree5

Traditional red, white and green

Classic and gorgeous in any house, would look great with lots of DIY decorations and a christmas table with French inspired napery, with natural linen or  jute tbale runner, off white napkins and splashes of red, natural twine and twigs of rosemary to tie the napkins up, I could even see using branches of Olive Trees  in some vintage jam jars of vases as arrangements with a twist.

xmas tree 3

Silver and Gold

Another classic combination, with a simple palette like this its great to experiment with texture in your table setting, so add table runners in textured fabrics or layer a white table cloth with a goldy/yellow table runner, I have so many ideas of table runners you could make, I will have to do a blog on that with pictures to explain, but in short you could cut out a stencil of shape you like or use a paper doily as a stencil and paint a pattern using gold paint onto a white runner.  Fill glass vases with glittery silver baubels or gold or both!  Include satin ribbons and organza fabric in your decorating, tie a sheer gold organza fabric around your chairs and tie with some ribbon or attach some Christmas baubels to the back of the chair.

xmas tree 7

Some other colour themes for you could be:

  • Purple, white and silver
  • Red, Gold and White
  • White, pink and silver

And so many many more,!!

Here are a few inspirational pictures for you to finish off as I think I have waffled on long enough!!

xmas treev6 xmas tree 2 xmastree

xmas tree4

xmas tree 4

 

 

 

Christmas at my place

I have always loved having special events at our place, I love decorating, especially Christmas decorating.  I love  coming up with a design, planning the food and making it a special event.  This year with bub number three arriving late November I am getting organised now so I can still enjoy the planning stage of our Christmas dinner.

With that in mind I have put together a little blog with the style of our family Christmas dinner including where I will be sourcing all the goodies from.

So what is my style you ask?

I love lots of different themes and styles, but this year and one of my fav’s is classic French farmhouse inspired.  I do play around a little bit with this theme and it ends up being a bit eclectic, but that matches my personality so that is fine with me:)

My star of the show will be our outdoor dining table.  I am currently trying to source a second hand one, we have nearly finished a very beautiful alfresco area (of which I will bring photos as soon as it is finished completely) and we need an entertaining table for the masses.   We are so fortunate to have a large family and very special friends to share dinners and lunches with and I want one that we can all crowd around and enjoy good food, good company and fabulous wine together!

These pictures are what an idea of what I am on the hunt for: Photos courtesy from pinterest you can follow me on pinterest here

farmhouse table 2 farmhouse table 3 farmhouse table 4 farmhouse table

My colours will be white, natural linen and red, I am going to start with a simple table runner inspired by the old grain sacks we had on the farm, natural hemp or linen they were made of and usually have two red stripes down the middle,  I have found some online but its $60 p/m, but I think I will have a go at a DIY grain sack inspired runner by painting strips of red onto it, I will keep you posted on how it turns it, if it works I will pop a how to up for you all:)  If you would just prefer to purchase if you live IN Bunbury or near by, try Rustic French Living in Boyanup or online try various ships on etsy like this one or ebay like here.  If you prefer to find some napery ready made start at www.hardtofind.com.au or your local adairs or aquire store.   And I found this blog via pinterest with a shop called dreamy whites, click here to take a peep.

Table decorations will include cute glass milk bottles and other vintage style vasses that I have collected from searching ebay, second hand stores, I saw some gorgeous milk bottles in at aquire today filled with baby’s breath.   Something a little like this I imagine:

babys breath

 

You can find mini milk bottles on ebay too like these here, You can order baby’s breath from your local florist or your Nana may have it in her garden!!

milk bottles

Top of the setting with clean white plates and silver (or in my case stainless steel) cutlery.  You can wrap the cutlery in the napkins of tie little pieces of red ribbon around the bundle with a sprig of rosemary or something similar for special effect.  Something a little like this:

french table

 

 

napkin

And of course some of our very own xmas stockings will be hanging around too, you can find those here

xmas 1 xmas 2 xmas 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that just about sums it up for now. let me know if I have left anything out!! Until next time, have fun creating:)

Em x