My week as a mother of three

I grew up in a large, noisy family. 3 children, a close relationship with my cousins and that's what I always imagined I would have when I started my own family.

My sister is my best friend and confidante and I miss my brother since he emigrated to America a few years ago. We still have an incredibly close relationship despite the thousands of miles of ocean between us and Face Time has been a god send. 

Of course we bickered and argued as children, but I have extremely fond memories of my childhood. Mass games of 40/40 in the garden, birthday parties unlike any other, magical holidays in Southbourne with our cousins. And I love watching my boys follow almost the same path. 

They love traditional games, playing in the garden, having the freedom to roam on the beach in front of the beach hut. It's literally like a snap shot of my childhood and Sammy is so much like me in personality, I do sometimes worry how the house will be when he's a teenager. I predict some clashes!

We joke about having another baby all the time. Joke being the operative word. It sounds quite ridiculous to say we haven't had time to really think about it and make that definite decision, but we haven't. In a year we've launched a tea business, my photography work has grown beyond all my expectations and this blog has become a firm part of my working life. Not to mention the fact that we have lived in 3 houses in one year!

Then last week we had the pleasure of our little niece for a week. My sister's in laws kindly share her childcare with my mum and as they are away in The Philippines for 5 weeks over Christmas, I am helping mum cover off the time before and after Christmas. 

Suddenly parents to 3!

Yasmin is a delight. Now I know I am biased but it's true. She has the most beautiful colouring thanks to her Filipino grandmother and she has a tone of voice like a little excited mouse. People stopped me in the street, stroked her cheeks in the garden centre and she distracts all the check out staff in the supermarket. 

She has impeccable manners and knows how to use her girlish charm, "Oh peeeeeeassssse Auntie, more snack, more snack!" and I had to be really firm not to give in to her chocolate button, puppy dog eyes every time. 

And it was strange because although toddlers are undoubtedly demanding and tiring, she slipped into our life with ease. I mastered the art of carrying my little shadow on my hip and dressing boys, putting on washing, making dinner. Serving one more at breakfast didn't seem any trickier and watching them all laughing in the car on the way home from school was precious.

She sat with me each morning on the window seat next to me whilst I dried my hair and called to the horseys and the birdies out of the window. 


And it made me realise something. Soft play centres aren't that horrible. They are actually quite fun if you don't spend the whole time reading your phone like I normally do. Ollie adored shooing me onto a quite terrifying slide, Yasmin thought it was hilarious to bury her head in a ball pit and play hide and seek (Even though the rest of her was completely out of the balls!) and they were giddy at me chasing them kicking the footballs. 

A week with 3 made me play more, because work had to stop. When I put her down for an afternoon nap I would race around like a mad woman, setting up little shots to share on my Instagram feed, shooting a few photos for patient clients and replying to work emails. I am in awe of how many with young children at home during the day manage everything! I had grand plans of a little woodland photo shoot for a Christmas surprise for Natalie and Andrew but I literally took one photo on my big camera. ONE! Can you believe it?! 

Being an Auntie means you have the luxury of putting things on hold for a week. I get to do the fun stuff, spoil her, take her out 3 times in a week, just because. And I loved it. I loved that she was totally content at our house. The little bedroom is now set up with all of Sammy's old nursery furniture and pink bunting, which I guess will stay up for the next time she comes to stay and we eventually redecorate that room. 

I had lots of kisses, cuddles, sleepy snuggles at bedtime whilst she drank her milk and the best compliment of all, was when she saw my sister and my brother in law, she wanted them to come in and play, with no worry when my sister left again, after a few hours on her day off in the week. It was like she lived here.

It's an incredibly special thing to know you are trusted with someone else's most precious person.

A week was a long time for her to be away from home (Although Sammy protested that 6 nights wasn't enough!) We have left our boys for a few days and this weekend they are off to their grandparents in Poole for 2 nights, whilst we have Christmas parties with friends. But could you imagine yours being away for a week?

I know my sister and brother in law missed her terribly but I feel very lucky to have developed my little bond with my niece. Feel fortunate to have had had that intimate time with her, kissing her goodnight, hearing her say "I, looove, youuuuuu!"

And it's helped with that definite decision. 3 is lovely. Sammy, Ollie and Yasmin are lovely, and that's the 3 for us. A temporary 3 when we get to borrow a little pink one. But I don't have that broody feeling, instead I feel excited for what will come next. What adventures we can have with the boys now they are out of toddler routines and have an almost unquenchable thirst for life.

It was a treat to slide a clip into her whispy baby hair, and the tutu skirts are incredibly cute, but those are not reasons to have another baby! I was born to be surrounded by boys. Our boys suit us, suit our family dynamic and we are very grateful for them. Now I must go as I need to pop out and buy some slime, sticky slugs that will clime down the wall and something called a putrid pizza. 

But do you know what, I couldn't be happier! Because I know the little faces I will see on Christmas morning are going to be magic.


My only one from our week (bar the few iPhone snaps), a calm, contented, beautiful little girl. Beautiful Yasmin lu.

Linking up with Mummy Daddy Me and The Ordinary Moments

A first family holiday • Mark Warner Holidays

I started this blog to document the milestones and everyday moments in our busy family life. And almost 3 years down the line, I've realised there's something I have never blogged.

A first family holiday. Just the four of us.

We've have been lucky enough to have travelled on planes, packed "activity bags" and listened to endless children's songs, en route to new adventures, but we've always been 4 plus some.

Never have we been on our own. Ever.

We love our friends and family, and some of our most happiest memories of these last 5 years being blessed with our boys, is of playing a game on the beach, or lighting a BBQ down at the beach hut in Southbourne. 

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But it would be quite nice to make some memories on our own. 

I've always documented our holidays. The passports all lined up ready to go, the queue to board the aeroplane down the chilly tunnel, whatever the time of year, the magic photo of your tiny one with earphones on for the first time.

You know you are not alone. That at least 10 other parents on that plane are doing exactly the same thing. Trying to snap those moments in time that are too easily forgotten, amongst the endless colouring pages, games of snap and snacks on demand. It's quite a skill to have a Mary Poppins travel bag of snacks, I can tell you! I love sharing where we've been, the beautiful skies and treats that are totally allowed on holiday.

And we all know first times are precious. They are the memories that stay with you forever. Before the days of social media on our mobiles in our beach bags, I vividly remember my Mum taking a mental picture. Holding out her fingers in the shape of a camera and pressing a pretend shutter button. 

But now we are lucky, we have the magic of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so the first time we travel together, just the four of us, the first time we check into a hotel who understands what families need, we will be able to capture those moments and share them. And we would be in trusted hands whilst we make some new memories.

A week of being looked after. All of us. A holiday that caters for everyone, from Ollie who would adore the wave jumping with the Mini Club and whose wish list includes face painting and races on the beach, to Sammy who wishes he could sail an actual boat, "Not a toy boat!" and who would relish the chance to perform in the Junior Club dance show. From Rich who wants to indulge his love of adventure sports, to me who wants to eat well, sleep well, enjoy my family and capture happy family times. 

But these are our precious times, right now. The times when Dada (as our boys still call Rich at 5 and 3) is the strongest man in the world, able to throw them up higher in the sea than any magical figure, with biceps bigger than Popeye and when cuddling your Mama under a beach towel on a lounger, in the afternoon sunshine, is the cosiest thing to do. The years before my small boys will grow up and favour holidays with their friends. A frightening prospect for anyone with boys who has watch the Inbetweeners movie. 

Magical things happen on holidays. Babies go to boys. Boys learn to swim. 

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Little boys want to be like their Daddies, and this Daddy, or rather Dada, went on a Mark Warner holiday to Sardinia as a little boy. His love of sailing has stayed with him and we always talk of one day, buying a little laser for the boys to learn on. 

Being an Ambassador is about sharing the values of the company you are proud to promote. having the ability to captivate your readers and transport them to that exact moment where the sea is gently lapping at your toes, with the sand slowly wrapping itself around your feet like a grainy blanket. Or the moment when you are sitting on the side of the swimming pool, with the edge of the pool leaving little marks on your legs, because you sat just a little longer to watch your little one receive their certificate from the swimming coach. Seeing the droplets of water dripping down their hair which has parted into triangular dreadlocks and onto their big smile beaming back at you.

It's something quite special to share your intimate times. The moments that happen with no planning at all, because you have jumped off the daily treadmill of a hectic family life. The moments that become traditional family stories to tell to new girlfriends and recall year on year.

Being an Ambassador is just that. A special honour. Being one of the faces, one of the families, who have been lucky enough to enjoy what they have to offer, and retell what they have discovered. Share the times that are precious.

Times we think we would be very happy to share with just one, with Mark Warner. 

That would be our perfect family holiday. A real family holiday. 

Psst and you could come too via the magic of social media ;) 

This post is my entry to the Mark Warner Holidays #markwarnermum competition to be an Ambassador for 2015. 

Decorating our home for Christmas • Featuring The Natural Curtain Company

The renovations continue here, with dust sheets, paint brushes and the smell of plaster filling the air!

We are desperately trying to get our living room finished for Christmas, we have new sofas arriving on the 20th, a new stove has been fitted, we just need fresh walls and the floor sanded to get the room ready for Father Christmas to pop down the chimney.

I love seeing the house coming together, finding new homes for our old furniture and pictures, and buying some new bits. All the windows need new curtains and as we live in the middle of the countryside, I have been mostly been buying online. So when The Natural Curtain Company got in touch, I was thrilled to collaborate with them.


They have an extensive ready made range as well as a comprehensive selection of fabrics for their made to measure range. We have been searching and searching for a grey fabric colour way that wouldn't seem flat. We have been trying to find a print or pattern that was subtle enough to provide the neutral backdrop for the pink, turquoise and grey theme we are creating for the room, but with a texture to add interest.

The Baltic range stood out straight away and I was so pleased when they arrived, having not seen them in the flesh. Beautifully lined, with a canvas type cotton fabric, which hang with weight for a more expensive look and feel.

We've been waiting to put up our decorations until the room was finished, but the boys have begged us to have a tree! Everyone seems to have made their homes beautifully festive much earlier this year and yesterday we decided that a dusty tree was better than no tree at all! Our woofers find real trees far too inviting, so we have 2 lovely artificial trees that we have loved for years. 

We are spending most of our time in the family/dining room at the moment, whilst the work is done, so we decided to search in the garage and the loft for all our lovely baubles and decorations, that have been stored away since we moved. 

I made a time-lapse video using the Instagram Hyperlapse app to show you a little of how we are decorating our house for Christmas. The first of 2 trees.. 

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Of course I adore all the decorations the boys have made over the years, but I also can't help but love a coordinated tree. So I think our solution is perfect! A tree for daytime and a tree for night time, to enjoy when they are in bed! (You'll have to watch the video to get what I mean!)

I am most definitely feeling festive now. And I have a whole box of giant gold bows to find homes for! I am so tempted to wrap the windows like big presents...

Now don't forget, if you are searching for new curtains, you need to order by the 20th December for guaranteed Christmas delivery. Happy shopping!

In collaboration with The Natural Curtain Company

Christmas Pudding Cocktail • Caketail

I love Christmas. I love our family traditions, no presents from under the tree until after the Queen's speech, standing to sing the National Anthem, taking it in turns to perform a party piece and eating Vienetta for dessert. Mint of course.

I just don't enjoy Christmas Pudding! So instead I have made these cake tails as an alternative!

Now you could add a splash of mulled wine, for a deeper, richer flavour, but I wanted to keep this a little lighter.


  • I shot of brandy
  • Half a glass of cider
  • Top up with ginger beer
  • Handful of festive spices from a mulled wine sachet
  • Skewered fresh cranberries and a vanilla pod to stir

Add all your ingredients and mix with a cinnamon stick!

My sister and brother in law are coming to stay on Christmas Eve and we will definitely be trying out a new tradition, Christmas Cocktails!

I am so excited to host our first Christmas in our new house. I have started unpacking our decorations and finding new homes for them. Now we just need the lounge decorated and find a new home for our tree!

#CraftTheParcel with InPost

With life being so manic and hectic since we moved in September, I feel like my creative side has been a little stifled.

Faffing and fiddling with crafty bits and pieces has had to come second to work and getting the boys to school and pre school on time. For those with rising 4's, it's tough. You still haven't cracked it by Year 1. It's every day!

So I jumped at the chance to be part of this creative project with InPost and some of my favourite bloggers.

A chance to have complete freedom to craft a square of a quilt (Cue frantic searching of the garage for my sewing machine and then frantic searches for a replacement, amongst our new neighbours, on account of my pedal being in another box somewhere!) and to be part of a collective project.

Now, those of you who follow this blog will know my crafting skills do not extend to knitting or crocheting or really anything that involves a sewing machine. So staying true to me and my blog, I found photo fabric paper!!!

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This paper is amazing! You can print anything you like onto washable fabric paper and just peel and stick! So I chose my most favourite photo, the one that I use for my blog business cards from a floristry shoot I was lucky enough to snap last year, and off I went.

To make a square take two pieces of material, cut to size, I used the previous squares as my guide, and sewed them together with a basic running stitch. I cut out my fabric photo print and stuck it to the fabric.

Simple! But I may have roped my mother in. A blogger's assistant extraordinaire! 

I felt a photo fabric print was perfectly fitting for my square and I was in awe of the other efforts. A sweet embroidered letter in it's own fabric envelope, a hand stitched nursery rhyme. So much talent in a little square.

I sent my leg of the #crafttheparcel onto Emma who blogs at My Little Three and Me. I used the InPost service, have you spotted their vans and lockers?

You know when you are pregnant and all you see are pregnant women? Well since I started this project all I spot are InPost vans! 

I am forever frustrated at the local Post Office being closed after midday and parcels end up being sent back, on account of my inability to manage full time working and parcel collections.

But InPost is different. You can have your parcel collected (Great news for those of us in the sticks!) and dropped off to a locker near your recipient. The collection process takes seconds. A touch screen takes you through the collection procedure and hey presto! A magic door opens to reveal your prize!

Ok, I may have got a little carried away and felt like Christmas had come early, oohing and awing over the locker door that magically opened! It took 68 seconds to collect my parcel on account of all the wonder!

So now I know, I can either send a parcel whilst browsing through the wonderful streets of Frome at the local Texaco, or I can send it from home to a locker. Brilliant! Snail mail just got a whole lot slicker!

This post was in collaboration with a creative project with InPost

Roberts Radio Competition

Have I got a treat for you today!

Roberts Radio are offering 3 lucky snappers the chance to win a Mini Revival, the latest edition to the Roberts family! 

There is something about a Roberts Radio that just feels special, right from the box it arrives in, to the sleek and classic design and the powerful technology inside. 

With accents of gold around our home the black and gold version fits into every room and it's currently tuned to a Christmas songs station! Oh yes, tis the season to sing along!

All you have to do, to win one of these lovely radios is:

  • Follow @RobertsRadio on Instagram
  • Post an image of the space in your home where you think the Revival Mini would look fabulous and which of the 5 colours you would choose.
  • Tag @RobertsRadio and use the hashtag #PerfectSpaceForMyRoberts

It's so easy!

There are 5 colours to choose from, Red, Orange, Black, Duck Egg or Pastel Cream, so a colour for everyone. 

I loved the black and have been listening to All I Want For Christmas on loop!

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roberts radio
roberts radio
Roberts Radio
Roberts Radio

The competition closes at Midnight on 5th January 2015.

So show us where your perfect space is for your Roberts, which corners of your home would it be perfect for?

I am one of the 3 judges so I can't wait to see all your lovely spaces. The three lucky winners will be announced on our Instagram Accounts on the 6th January.

Good luck!

For full terms and conditions click here.

Pink and Grey Living Room Inspiration

Is it just me or does grey seem to be the new cream? I have completely fallen in love with having grey sofas in our new grown up living room and completely fallen out of love with our old, tired, beige sofas, that have recently become so unloved, they are extravagant dog beds. They have served us well for many years, but now that the days of baby sick are behind us, it would be nice to have some nice things!

The trouble is, the room is freezing! I took down the curtains when we moved in and lifted the carpets to reveal an original herringbone oak floor and after the recent AGA fire, (Down to the chimneys needing to be swept.) we have decided to fit a stove in this room. The stove is an investment but one that will make a huge difference, not only to the room, but to the whole house!

So here are a few before snaps I took the other afternoon, before the sun went down. No filters or fancy editing, just as it is! Nothing is plugged in, odd bits of furniture with the dogs sleeping on the top of the sofa cushions. A room that doesn't get much use on account of our lovely family/dining room. A work in progress!

living room before
living room before
living room before

We have the option to put vents in the floor to our bedroom above, to benefit from the heat the stove generates and it will be so much more efficient than the open fire, which fills the room with smoke!

So the room has become a bit of a dumping ground/my office space. When the decorator moves in here next week, I need to sort out my office in the barn above the garage, which is currently full of props! The new door to the family room/dining room is waiting to be stained and fitted, the walls need decorating and the floor needs sanding and polishing. We are still debating the curtain fabric but have definitely decided to have wooden shutters on the front windows, which our lovely decorator is going to make for us. 

It's an almost square room, with traditional proportions. So we actually have lots more room than at our last house! I love the idea of having a central ottoman with piles of books and trays for drinks and nibbles, and then 3 sets of seats surrounding the fireplace. It's a room to sit and read, entertain friends, play games on Christmas Day in, and a space for Rich and I in the evening to really relax in, away from laptops!

I love this colour scheme and the work by Jessica Zoob and it's inspired me to collate all sorts of bits and cuttings to help bring our vision to life.

living room inspiration
Jessica Zoob

I adore the mix of soft and bright tones. A neutral backdrop with pops of colour and beautiful prints. I may have not been able to resist this cushion. It comes in a box and is our prized possession. I literally adore it. 

So here is my current mood board of inspiration. Pinks and greys and brass fittings for a hint of gold. 

Pink and Grey Inspiration

I love the sofas with a fixed back, to help the woofers keep off the tops, combined with new rules when the room is complete! We ordered the Angel range from Sofas and Stuff just in time for a Christmas delivery and I am currently lusting over these chairs from Alison at Home to complete the seating around the ottoman. Also on my lust list is the prints by bluebellgray. There is nothing I don't love.

rochelle chairs

Of course I haven't found the perfect coffee table or fabric ottoman yet, it's driving me mad! So if you know anyone who makes large square ones let me know!

Living room inspiration

Someone asked me on Instagram the other day, how do I have all these vases and bits all around the house with small boys. But the honest truth is, whilst they are definitely boisterous, they are not destructive. I have little vases on the coffee table and they never touch them. Planes whizz by, feet jump around, but all my lovely things stay just where they are. In fact both the boys often say "Mama, that looks lovely." Good boys!

Living room inspiration

I love the idea of big lamps on the sideboard behind the sofas, but Rich quite fancies an old piano! And when you look on eBay they go for about £50! So that's on the New Year wish list. 

This is a room that will take a while to come together. We can't have everything on our wish list all at once but all the evenings spent working will be worth it. When we have a beautiful room.

Now the funny thing is the estate agent called it the drawing room, but with our modern family living it seems to formal to call it the drawing room. So I guess it will be our sitting room, to sit and relax. Read and relax. Now hurry up lovely decorator and make it look wonderful for Christmas! 

What are your top sites for interiors inspiration? Let me know, I love searching through lovely sites!

Bloggers Guide to Christmas

There are times when you just know you are a blogger. Times when my husband rolls his eyes, more times in a day than I care to remember and times when there are just too many photo opportunities.

That time is now!

Happy December, happy festive season. Bring it on.

So how do you know you are a blogger at Christmas? Have a read...

  1. You've taken a selfie (In fact you actually took 10 and chose the best to filter on your favourite app) in a novelty Christmas jumper/Christmas print pjs. 
  2. You want to wrap your gifts in an extravagant-but-I-haven't-really-tried kind of way. Think brown paper, ink stamps, a few sprigs of holly or a random piece of fir tree.
  3. You've suddenly got masses of Christmas craft ideas to blog. Think of the Pinterest traffic. 
  4. You suddenly have masses of brussels sprout recipe ideas. Food blogging here you come!
  5. You want to decorate your house with tissue paper pom poms.
  6. You've made your children sit in front of a DIY photo backdrop of Christmas lights for much longer than they wanted to, but just think of that perfect bokeh shot!
  7. You "sign off" for a Christmas break, to spend lots of quality time with your family but secretly take your phone to the toilet to catch up on what you've missed!
  8. You send your partner and loved ones your Pinterest wish list board for present suggestions.
  9. There are festive "vignettes" all over your house and your partner now knows what the word vignette means. 
  10. The first thing you do on Christmas morning is reach for your phone and tweet/Instagram/Facebook a Happy Christmas Day message. You may not have time once the festivities start!
  11. You've rewrapped "review" toys for your children's Christmas presents. They probably won't remember, after all, they barely played with it, you just bribed them for a photo with said toy for the review post!
  12. You eat a cold Christmas dinner because you took your Christmas dinner into the garden to get a perfect naturally light shot of your magnificent feast. You can't not share a photo, even though we are all eating exactly the same thing. 
  13. You make everyone wait to eat so you can take an overhead shot of the Christmas table.
  14. You can't wait to see what your favourite blogger was given for Christmas.
  15. The most thoughtful gift could be a photo book of your Instagram gallery.
  16. You are praying for snow for that all important #fromwhereIstand, foot photo. I mean come one, in the snow - that's just magical!
  17. You schedule a post for Christmas Day. A blogger never really has a day off ;)

It can't just be me surely?!!!

Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project November

I cannot believe we are in the penultimate month of this year's family portrait project. Next month will be 2 years!

Just look at these babes. Almost 2 years ago I wrote this post.

And whatever may happen next year to this wonderful photo community, I am so glad I have these photos.

Weeks race by and I snap hundreds, if not thousands of work photos, driving Rich to despair with our back up system, but without these Me and Mine photos we may not have any of the 4 of us.

Sometimes I feel like I am always behind the camera, shepherding my brood into position for a family snap and sometimes it's hard to pass the camera over. 

So if you had been a fly on the wall in the field today you would have cried with laughter. A controlling photographer, a frustrated husband, one Mama who cried when she fell, hands first onto a patch of stinging nettles, one Dada who vowed this would be the last time he was forced into one of these photos, one boy who suddenly needed to relieve himself (And not in the number 1 easy way.) and one boy who just wanted to climb a tree in peace.

But when I look at the few photos we actually managed to take, in between all the drama in the field, (We think we heard the peacock who has gone missing in the village - yes, you read that right!) it was all worth it. My beautiful boys. Our beautiful boys.

Now join us all, Lucy, Katie, Lauren, Becky and I, in showing us you and yours. Me and Mine is a special project. Be part of it. 

Minted Stationery

For a while I have been thinking about finding some beautiful blog stationery. At first I thought it sounded ridiculous, creating my own stationery for Capture by Lucy, but as time goes on, there are more and more occasions where I need to drop someone a line, put a card in with a parcel, or share some details that business cards don't have room for.

And then I found Minted. Oh my, just the most gorgeous selection of personalised stationery and party decor.

I started by creating a holiday card. Christmas cards are great to act as your calling card and a way of sending good cheer to those who have supported you that year. I loved this design with the embossed gold, that has a real shine on printing. I only wish the screen would show my blog text and logo in shimmer!

Personalised christmas cards

Since I announced at Christmas in 2008 that we were pregnant with Sammy, we have always sent photo cards. I absolutely love it. And love receiving them!

Our first was the dogs with the little scan picture in amongst some tinsel and last year was a lovely family photo we had taken, walking down a country hill near where we lived. I am still trying to decide what to do this year. I really want to incorporate our new house in some way, so here's hoping for a little snow flurry to capture a perfect wintry scene!

family christmas card

I have kept a spare from every year and one day when I am an old lady, I am sure looking over them will bring me lots of joy. 

And then I browsed through the party decor. Get ready...

Spoilt for choice I suddenly thought about creating a garland to hang above the fireplace in our family room. I had this vision of coral and mint tones but it is proving tricky to find any home accessories that fit that colour bill! Until now. Just look at this gorgeous banner, which I can also use just as "Love" bunting. 

minted stationery

We have decided that the grown up living room will have a neutral grey backdrop with similar colours but with bright pinks, and yellows. A real Spring feeling, whatever the season. And this party set got me thinking. Is bunting in every room too much? Absolutely not ;)


The best thing is if you don't live in the US you can still order Minted's gorgeous products with UK shipping just $9.95.

Have a peek at their blog too, there's inspiration bursting from every post.

Don't forget if you order today there's a special discount code for Black Friday! Check out the website for more details. 

Now are you printing photo Christmas cards this year? Have you taken that magic shot yet, or are you still battling with a DIY fairy light backdrop like me?! 

This post is in collaboration with Minted.