My Little Jedi Online Magazine {Issue 2}

Page 1

Little My Jedi

Online Magazine

Christmas Issue 2011

Welcome to the

Sparkling Christmas



page 5

editors pick

page 26

make it sparkle

page 12

page 33 page 50 page 89 page 81

glitter crush

sweet & stylish christmas

page 59

love at first bite

jennifer sbranti interview christmas word search

page 133 diy creative projects

page 32

page 51

page 27

page 12

Editor’s Letter Firstly, i would like to say that i have not been able to stop smiling since the launch of our first issue. We have received an amazing response and i wish i could reach right through the computer and give each and every one of you a huge hug. I absolutely love receiving your daily emails about how much you enjoy reading our magazine, i truly appreciate the feedback. It has been lovely to see how much support we have received from our family, friends, facebook fans and blog followers, you have truly embraced our labour of love. Also, i would like to thank my lovely magazine contributors, for your loyalty and hard work. I feel so blessed to be able to work with so many talented and lovely women and MLJ magazine couldn’t exist without the passion and generosity of your gorgeous contributions. If you are in possession of a sweet tooth you are going to love this issue. Not only we have included some of the most exquisite dessert tables but we also have an amazing diy projects and delicious recipes. So sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy reading. I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, may this holiday season bring lots of joy and happiness to you and your loved ones. Best Wishes,


Ediitor in Chief

s ’ r o t i d e pick

t i e k a t l l i’


lovely con


Party Styist, Blogger, Store Owner ..........................................................................



Designer, Stylist, Store Owner ............................................................................

Niki is a mum of two beautiful little boys and a wife of a wonderful husband who has been her greatest support during her journey with Candy Soirees. Every day she appreciates what she has and everything that she has achieved. Niki tries to keep life simple and enjoyable, and she aims to create from the heart so she can give everyone a little piece of her at every little soiree.

Leanne is mum to three girls, blogger, candy and dessert table designer and owner of the online store {Sweet Style}. She has recently discovered a passion for photography so has her camera out at every chance.



Designer, Illustrator ............................................................................



Cake Artist, Blogger ............................................................................ Jacki is a designer, baker, creator and the deliverer of Blissfully Sweet Cakes. She founded this business from the love of everything to do with making cakes as well as taking the extra step to ensure the details were what set them apart. More importantly, she is the extremely proud mother of three outstanding and beautiful boys - Liam, Ben & Noah and the very priviledged wife to her wonderful husband Larry!

Li-Ann is a designer and illustrator. When she is not busy working on custom designs, logos or packaging, she is busy wrangling her twin boys in between finishing drafting renovation plans for her home.




Blogger, Store Owner, Editor ............................................................................ Vicki is a mother to two beautiful teenage daughter's, trying to make it with her own business Junior Epitome. She loves blogging about fashion and style for mother's and children.



Party Stylist, Store Owner ............................................................................ Alex is a mother of two gorgeous girls who inspired her to create magical events for their birthdays. From this passion of all things pretty and together with her business partner the event styling business Avie & Lulu was born.

ntributors S


Party Styist, Blogger, Store Owner ............................................................................


Sharnel Dollar is a Brisbane Mother of two who has carved out a career as a one of Australia’s go to party stylists. Sharnel was the designer and stylist behind the baby shower that Oprah hosted here in Melbourne, Australia. Her attention to detail, love of colour and classic sense of style is what makes her designs so well recognised.



Blogger, Event Planner ............................................................................

Cake Artist ............................................................................ Catherine is a mother to 2 beautiful children. She is in the middle of obtaining her pastry trade but looking to take her cake decorating business to a new level. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her children in their vegetable garden.




Tanya is an idealist, dreamer, planner, blogger, lover of pretty inspiration, mother of a precious princess, pursuer of the important things in life.


Party Stylist, Store Owner ............................................................................ Linda is a mother to a gorgeous 6 month old Grace, creative director and owner of Harper Event Design. Harper Event Design brings you a world of event design and event styling ideas that guarantee your next event will be one to remember.



Make up Artist ............................................................................ Vanessa is a Sydney based freelance makeup artist specialising in the Bridal and Fashion industry. "I believe the use of makeup & its tools is an expression of art, the use of colour & style is limitless�



Blogger, Store Owner ............................................................................ Steph is the author of the popular lifestyle blog for Mums, Bondville featuring Australian design for Mum, Kids and Home. Steph also publishes the Wedding Ideas Australia website capturing all the best images and supplier details of real Australian weddings, categorised by colour, location, style and theme.

lovely contributors

K atie & & anessa V


Stylist, Editor ......................................................................... Katie & Vanessa – together they are ‘The Ivory Social’ Neighbours, mum-preneurs, sisters from another mister and creative geniuses in the making... With Katie’s classy creativity and Vanessa’s media mastery, they have joined forces to create a ‘DIY guide for affordable party styling techniques’ for the party stylist wannabe’s of the world. “It won’t break the bank, but you can bank on the ‘wow’ factor you will create”... Coming soon to a store near you!

lovely interviews






go confidently in the direction of your dreams live the life you’ve

imagined ___________ hanry david thoreau

lovely collaborators

I am a Mum of 3 yrs old boy. Cooking and baking has always been my passion since I was a little girl. What started as a hobby has grown into a small business, Sweet Bloom Cakes. I am passionate about the art of baking, cake design, photography, cake pedestals, and just about anything vintage. Since my first cake related job with Pattisons Pattiserie, I realise I have a fixation with cake; it wasn’t though until I took cake decorating course with Planet Cake then I fell just in love with designing cake and baking.


My love of fashion and interior design had inspired new thoughts and ideas for cakes, sweets, and decorating. Although, I haven’t always been a cake designer, it is simply what I always wanted to do.

I am Nicole a natural light photographer based in Southern Sydney. My joy is capturing life's precious little moments. From the excitement to pregnancy, to a babies first breath, the cheekiness of a toddler, to the love of a beautiful family, each of these are milestones that are to be treasured for eternity! My images are kept natural, bright, clear and simple. I am happy, friendly, easy to talk to person and enjoy keeping my sessions as comfortable and relaxed as possible, making you feel at ease in front of the camera.


I am blessed to have a beautiful husband, and a little boy I adore. I know how special family is to me and how important those memories are. Family photos are forever and should be considered as an investment, memories that will last a lifetime!

all that

glitters is gold

Vesna Vasilevski - Editor My Little Jedi

Glitter Crush The holiday season is upon us and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than sharing this glamorous and sparkly issue of My Little Jedi online magazine. The inspiration behind the front cover shoot came about from my love of glitter and being able to celebrate Christmas during summer. How I picture an Australian Christmas, well just imagine Santa's cap floating in a swimming pool on a sunny day or making a snow man from beach sand with a seagull sitting on his sun hat. Pure loveliness! Shades of blush, peach and gold paired with the sweetest touches of lace, tulle and glitter was the perfect inspiration for a completely festive celebration. Well, all I can say that lately I have been going GAGA over everything that sparkles! I wanted to create something glamorous, whimsical and dreamy and instead of using candy, I filled up the jars with gold, hot pink and pale pink glitter dust which made an enormous statement on the dessert table! From glitter cakes, mini glitter macarons, sweet Christmas tree cookies and pink/gold glitter ruffle macaron tower, the table was bursting with shimmer and sparkle. Dewi usedher magic wand and created the fabulous sequins inspired ombre cake! The table was adorned with a gorgeous confetti system tassel garland in the shades of pink, peach and gold and let’s not forget the heavenly ocean backdrop which complimented the dessert table beautifully. I utterly enjoyed working with Dewi of Sweet Bloom Cakes and Nicole of Centre of Attention Photography; they helped me bring to life the vision that I had of styling the perfect dessert table for the MLJ Christmas issue. Dewi created the most magical cakes and macarons and Nicole captured every tiny detail magnificently. Lastly, I would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas and I hope you have a blissful year ahead!

Stying: {} Cakes and macarons: {} Photography: {} Christmas tree cookies: {}

all that glitters is


Shades of blush, peach and gold

paired with the sweetest touches of lace, tulle and glitter...


A first smile, a laugh, a look, the love between a new family - these are the moments I love to capture! My joy is capturing lifes precious little moments. From the excitment of pregnancy, to a babies first breath, the cheekiness of a toddler, to the love of a beautiful family, each of these are milestones that are to be treasured for eternity!

By Nicole Tanko 0402 278 907

Sharnel Dollar - Party Stylist Sharnel Dollar Designs

Make It Sparkle Sharnel said: The New Year is a time where we come together to reflect on the past

year and look forward and dream of an even better year ahead.

This NYE dessert table was designed with colour, sparkle and fun in mind. All elements needed to enable your dreams to come to fruition. Confetti is a classic party decoration that has never dated. It evokes a sense of celebration and playfulness in all. The centre of our dessert table is a simple two tier double barrel cake covered in fondant adorned with stunning shimmer confetti dots. Fragrant vanilla cupcakes with Baileys infused buttercream sit upon a layer of pink cachous to make the cupcakes sparkle. Little fondant discs with “Celebrate� embossed into them tie the theme together perfectly.. Confetti cookies in three different sizes, some covered with disco glitter add that sparkle that we all associate with New Years Eve.. Strawberry Cheesecake Martinis and pink Champagne tie the entire table together. Concept and styling by Sharnel Dollar Designs - Cake, cupcakes & cookies by The Lemony Cupcake - Mini French Apothecary Jars & Cake Stands - Photography Sharnel Dollar Designs -

r e t lg itcoatedkies coo

Leanne Ambrogio - Party Stylist Sweet Style

A Sweet & Stylish Christmas Leanne said: Christmas for me is all about summer days and a beautiful meal with

my family. My Christmas Dessert table is inspired by the freshness that comes with December in Australia, the kids playing in the pool or running on the beach.

A simple and pretty new Christmas day dress and some beautiful baubles on the tree. Christmas Day is always fun and relaxed for our family but I love to add a touch of elegance which is so simple and easy to do with desserts. A beautiful ruffle cake, marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with sparkling gold. Beautiful blue pearls adorning a tower of donuts and the sophistication of caramel macaroons. To finish the table off a bowl of decedent Lindt Chocolate – the perfect end to a happy Christmas Day meal. Printables by Styling by Photography by Ruffle cake and cookies by



delightful cake pops}

Delightfully sweet touches for every event.

Sweet Style’s gorgeou s dessert and candy tables a dd the perfe ct, personal touc h to every occasion. And with Sweet Style’s beautiful glass jars, cake stands , twine, paper products, candy, styling products – and more! – available through our online store, it’s an unforgettable way to help you style (and sweeten) your next event. For simply delicious inspiration, visit today.


Christmas} Wrapping}

Beautiful Wrapping by Leanne of Sweet Style}

subtle, simple &

oh so lovely

Sweet Style}

Vesna Vasilevski - Editor My Little Jedi

Candy Coated Pastels Vesna said: There are many ways to get creative during the holiday season and

you don’t always have to use the traditional colours when decorating. December is the month in which we start unpacking the boxes labeled ‘Christmas’and unwrap each ornament that has been carefully swaddled in tissue paper. This Christmas I have decided to update the colour palette and go for a feminine and glamorous look. If you are in possession of a sweet tooth you are going to love this table set up. This Christmas I dream of candy coated pastels, in any shape and form.The dreamy palette of mint, peach, lemon and rose pink, it almost reads like an ice-cream parlour menu. The inspiration behind this dessert table came from my latest printable paper collection which I have incorporated in this shoot. I have combined the two of my favourite things of the holiday season, lovely wrapping and delicious sweets. I adore a pretty package anytime of the year, but especially when I package gifts for my little boy. If you’re anything like me, half of the fun of the holiday season revolves around picking up little gifts you know your loved ones will adore and wrapping them up in the prettiest wrapping paper. The dessert table was covered with a pale pink smocked table cloth and I used a vintage shabby chic box to create height to the table. One of the favourite treats on this dessert table is the delicious mix of fruit jelly slices, piled on top of each other on the sweet pink mini cake stand. Don’t forget to add a touch of sparkle to your gift wrapping this Christmas. Article by Vesna - Styling by Vesna - Photography by Vesna -

i dream in


Wrapped with


printable paper by my little jedi

add a touch of

sparkle & glam

every little detail

adding a little 2 bites sweetness to your Christmas table

Catherine Graetz - Cake Artist 2 Bites

Love at first bite Catherine said: There is something about a gingerbread house that screams Christmas.

I’m not sure if I can pinpoint what makes gingerbread so special. Whether it’s that wonderful spice aroma that fills the home, the laughter and creativity that your children display when decorating gingerbread or the anticipation and build up to Christmas Day when everyone can enjoy the flavour and find what treats are hidden beneath the roof. What I especially love about making a gingerbread house is the coming together of family and friends and sharing my love of baking. In saying that I would love to share my love for baking with you and inspire you to bake and create your own creative gingerbread house. Due to gingerbread becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, there are many kits available that include templates and premixes. Aldi, Ikea, Myer and major grocery chains have these kits available but most gingerbread recipes have basic ingredients and most of which are staples in your pantry. You can Google a ‘gingerbread recipe’ and choose one that suits your tastes. I use a recipe with other spices which includes equal cinnamon and ginger – my children love this recipe and it creates a beautiful colour! You can also search ‘gingerbread template’ on Google images and choose your preferred size and shape. Special gingerbread house cutters are also available from specialty cake decorating stores. I would also recommend making your gingerbread house over two days. Day one for baking of the pieces, allowing them to cool and day two for the assembly and final decorations.

Article written by Catherine Graetz {} Gingerbread DIY tutorual by Catherine Graetz Photography by

Gingerbread House Recipe Step 1 {Day 1} Measure out all your ingredients and follow the recipe. After your dough is complete it is really important to rest your cookie dough in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour. This will ensure your pastry is firm to roll and will prevent it from spreading in the oven. Ingredients: Gingerbread House Template Rolling Pin Extra plain flour for rolling Non-stick cookie paper Icing sugar and egg white for the royal icing Food colouring Piping bags / nozzles Treats for inside your house Edible decorations / Sweets for decorating Cake board or cakes stand for the finished product


Step 2 {Day 1} After your pastry has rested, slightly dust your surface with plain flour and gently roll out your dough. After each roll, turn your dough a quarter turn to prevent it from sticking to the bench. This helps to create an even shape and thickness. Add more flour if necessary and keep rolling and turning until your dough is 5mm thick. Trace out or cut your pieces and place them gently on a tray lined with baking paper. You should have 6 pieces in total. If you would like to cut a door and windows ensure you cut them on the tray so the pieces remain in shape. Place your trays back into the fridge for another ½ hour to rest and firm up. Set your oven temperature to 180°. Follow your recipe for cooking times. To indicate whether your cookie is cooked, slightly touch the centre, if it strings back it is cooked. If your finger indention stays it may need a few more minutes. Leave your cookies on the tray until completely cooled. Individually wrap each piece in cling wrap and store in an airtight container over night or until you are ready to assemble.


Step 3 {Day 2} Mix some royal icing (stir tablespoon egg white and enough pure icing sugar until you have a firm paste) and mix in your preferred colour. Place into a piping bag with nozzle and hold your pieces together with one hand and glue each piece by piece with the royal icing (see image). If you find this a bit tricky you could use kitchen string and gently tie all base pieces together to form a rectangle. Leave your house to set completely (at least 1 hour) before adding the roof. Add your treats inside and run a line of sugar glue to the rim of the house and place your 2 roof pieces on top. I use 2 steralized dress pins to secure them as the roof does slip down and again leave for atleast 1 hour before decorating.


Step 4 {Day 2} There are a variety of ways to decorate your house but definitely no rules. Using royal icing allows free hand expression while lollies can create a pattern or order and symmetry. I have used in my ginger bread house some candy cane sand, edible treats and rolled fondant. Inside I have some small non - edible gadgets from a toy shop and minties which are our family favourite. My Gingerbread recipe keeps for 1 month in airtight wrap or you could put this on display underneath a large airtight glass cloche.

It's cupcake hour! Have your party styled by My Little Jedi My Little Jedi is a Sydney based business that offers party styling to help you create the perfect dessert table for your wedding, hens party, birthday party, baby shower and turn your dreams into breathtaking reality. Because when everything else is gone, the wonderful memories will remain. For pricing enquiries please send us an email on

Pavlova Tree

Jacki Fanto -Cake Artist Blissfully Sweet Cakes

Nutty Chocolate Pavlova Tree Jacki said: Find your favorite Pavlova recipe, or use the one below, and made a few

quick and easy changes to the way it is put together and you have a Pavlova Tree or a Pavlova in a jar – great to serve on Christmas day and for party favours for your guests. Ingredients: 6 egg whites (room temperature) 330 gms caster sugar 1 tbs cornflour 1 tsp balsamic vinegar 25gms cocoa powder 6 Ferrero chocolates, crushed 600mls thickened cream 1 vanilla bean, scraped 1/3 cup icing sugar Pistacchio nuts, hulled and crushed Punnet of blueberries 1. Preheat oven to 140°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. 2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the caster sugar. Continue beating until meringue is thick and glossy, about 5-7 minutes. Sift cocoa powder into meringue and fold in the crushed ferrero chocolates. 3. If making the pavlova tree, spoon the meringue mixture into rounds on your baking paper using different sizes circles. This will achieve the Christmas tree cone shape. Make as many rounds as you like and make the tree as high or wide as you like. 4. Put the trays in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 120°C. Depending in the size of your shells the cooking time will take between 1 and 1½ hours. Keep checking. The shells will be ready when the surfaces are hard. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar until the oven is cooled. 5. To make chantilly cream, beat thickened cream together with the scraped vanilla bean and icing sugar until stiff peaks are achieved. 6. To assemble, get your favourite cake stand and place a small blob of cream on the stand and start layering the pavlova shells, with the larger circles on the bottom and work your way up. In between each layer, pipe the chantilly cream with sprinkle with the pistachio nuts and blueberries. Top the tree with a swirl of cream and a luscious blueberry.

Recipe by Jacki of Blissfully Sweet Cakes - Photography by Leanne of Sweet Style -

milk cake stand

lovely pavlova favours

pavlova in jars mini jars-

Tanya Castellino - Blogger Life’s Little Celebrations

Milk & Cookies Tanya said: As a mother - passing on special traditions is something important for me

and especially carrying on all the joy, excitement and meaning of Christmas which my parents gave me.

This milk and cookies treat table is for the little one’s as well as for Santa. My business and blog “Life’s Little Celebrations” focuses on sourcing party items and online party planning services rather than hand’s on dessert table styling– so I took on this project from a mum’s point of view! I wanted to put together something simple and easy that any mum could do without breaking the Christmas budget or taking up too much time amongst wrapping the gifts and getting ready for Christmas Day lunch! I always remember leaving milk and cookies out for Santa as we left to go to Church at midnight on Christmas eve. On our return we would open our presents and have a little snack at 1am in the morning and it was truly a night like no other! This is what inspired this Christmas Eve scene. Using the Chimney as the main backdrop I decided on ornament decorations to showcase an easy decorating idea using items you already own. I decided on a red, aqua and cream colour palette and incorporated printables from Ham & Pea Design and Paperie which included labels in the shape of a bitten cookie & a special sign for Santa! Cookies in popular flavours were set on the table along with plain milk, strawberry and chocolate milk. You could either have milk already made in these different flavours or have the plain milk in bottles or cups with the flavoured powder (which I displayed in mini red pails) available for the little one’s to decide at the time what they would like. I added a few extra treats – milk bottles, mini oreos and maltesers and displayed them on top of cute cupcake stands from Occasion By Design which are an extra special touch. Best of all they were easy to assemble, inexpensive and reusable.

On the top mantel piece I set up an area for Santa’s Milk and Cookies. This is an area you can involve your children in preparing beforehand by having them make a sign for Santa and helping you bake some special cookies. The adorable red tin mailbox (from The Little Big Company) could be used to house special letters for Santa from your children. Spoon & Fork Cookies and Cake created the stunningly detailed Christmas cookies along with the cute takeaway bag. The letters to Santa cookies which matched the mailbox theme were arranged to give the effect of them spilling out of the mail box. Sitting atop of some gift boxes I went for a simple glass of Milk for Santa and 2 glass tubes with flavoured powder topped off with twine for Santa to choose his flavour. Again I kept the decorations simple and used lovely cream tin pails from Occasion by Design filled with red and aqua baubles. I chose this as a child friendly option (as opposed to glass jars) and you could have your children involved in setting up this area for Santa and choosing the decorations to use in the tin pails. The lovely neutral colour of the pail is perfect for reusing all year around for a great storage item! From one mum to another – I hope I have inspired you with some cute ideas to create your own Christmas eve treat table (or perhaps Christmas morning) for the little one’s to enjoy as they unwrap their gifts. Wishing you all a memorable, joyful and blessed Christmas! Tanya Life’s Little Celebrations Table styling by Photography by Christmas cookies by Printables by

Linda Harper - Event Stylist Harper Event Design

Let it Snow Linda said: I wanted to create a table that had the look of snow. First I thought that

I could use bean bag balls but wondered how I would keep them from falling off the table, so I did some research and found a product that dramatically expanded with water. Something simple that everyone could do. Being Grace's first Christmas, I thought that I wanted to stick to the traditional colour of red but didn't feel the need to incorporate green, instead opting for a more fresh look of white. I asked Helen from Kiss My Cakes to create fun looking cupcakes that had all the usual suspects. With the cake pops, I left it in her hands to come up with something pretty. Vesna from My Little Jedi was kind enough to custom design some Christmas paper printables which I incorporated into the garland and gift boxes. For the garland I drew up a star and replicated them. I initially wanted to thread some natural twine though the stars but changed my mind after cutting everything out. I thought that having them stuck to one another created a more interesting look and they hung more flat against the two poles. All in all, my motivation to create this table was simple - make something traditional but clean and modern. Something that all ages could relate to. Article written by Linda Harper Stying by Photography by Sweets by Paper printables by

let it snow

whimsical and pretty

Christmas Eve







t frosting... fec r pe

Gui d



Marshmallow Frosting

Tips and tricks

3 Eggwhites

165g caster sugar ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract Place the egg whites, suga r, cream of tartar ni the top of a double boiler . Whisk for three minutes over medium heat or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture s i warm. Add the vanilla extract once removed from the heat. Use an electric mix er to beat for six to seve n minutes or until stiff peaks form. Immediately transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes or spread evenly with a spatul a to ice the cake.


S ta pl e. ..

! sy


Can you believe our ‘Hint of Christmas’ table only cost $75 to produce and it all came together within a day, surrounded by seven children, whilst our husbands were playing a round of golf? Some of the helpful hints to stay within our budget and deadline were: • Cakes from Coles, stacked and cut to size, • Bake and assemble macarons the day before, storing in an air-tight container, • Candlesticks were converted into cake stands to achieve the effect we were after, • Styrofoam cake dummies were covered in paper and decorative ribbon to add height throughout the table, • Pick some fresh from the garden to add a touch of elegance to the table.



ose your pa pe ho C r. ..



Who is The Ivory Social? Katie Hourmouzis and Vanessa Mill

In the past, both Katie and Vanessa would spend endless hours scouring the internet for the best tips and tricks for their little one’s parties. The phrase we often get asked is ‘Where do you which is why ‘The Ivory Social’ was created.

the time?’,

It is a resource ‘from one mother to another’ of party styling tips, tricks, materials, timelines and everything in between to inspire everyone to create a beautiful party without it costing a fortune or their marriage! Stay tuned for our up and coming book, which will include all the things we have learnt along our journey to creating the perfect party.

Contact details

Email: Web: FaceBook:

Introducing our photographer...

Click Click Boom Photography - Jenae Sorgiavanni Perth born and bred, after much deliberation my husband and I decided to move to Melbourne to follow our dreams - a new adventure for our family. Enter Click Click Boom Photography. A few things you should know about me... I am a mother, a wife, a LOVER of Vintage and a VERY Passionate Children’s photographer. When it comes to photography (and life), I love kids, their feet & hands and all of the small details... their infectious laughter and amazing passion for life. Every child is a portrait waiting to be taken. My photography is unscripted, with a few vintage props thoughtfully scattered close by. I love to add some style to my photographs, to help tell a story that you want told… I want to make sure that you have memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. I am very excited to be involved in the upcoming book for the Ivory Social – can’t wait for you to see what these girls have in store for you!

Want to know more? Please visit me! Facebook: Web:

Li-Ann Scott - Designer Ham & Pea Design and Paperie

Christmas Word Search A fun activity for the entire family... Li- Ann said: Angels, carols, sugarplums, eggnog...and all the lovely words that this

joyous season brings! Why not get into the Christmas spirit in search for words that best sums up Christmas for you. Turn it into a fun family activity for everyone and maybe even pair up in teams to see which team gets to find all 44 festive words first! You can do this whilst waiting for the Christmas feast to be prepared, or perhaps when taking a break from opening presents. Print as many as you wish, have them ready for your gatherings and let the searching fun begin! Remember to search horizontally, vertically, diagonally, upwards, downwards - and have a jolly time at it! Just clink on the round button below and download your free Christmas Word Search.

Click here to download your Word Search

Let the fun begin

Article written by Li-Ann Scott Photography by Li-Ann Scott

print, search and have a

jolly time

it feels a lot like}


at Candy Soirees}

Niki Lazos - Stylist & Designer Candy Soirees

Christmas in a fancy lil’ box Niki said: Christmas at Candy Soirees is all about gift giving and sweet favours..... We all know that the little black dress is a staple in our wardrobe, well we are here to tell you that for Christmas all you need is our ‘little red box’.

New to Candy Soirees this year is our fancy festive red candy box.... this box is part of the {Peek-a-boo} candyware range and is the perfect little box for Christmas gift giving and party favours. You can use these little darlings for filling with candy, stocking fillers, cupcake boxes, Christmas cookies or delectable chocolates. Perfect for teachers gifts and school friends and of course ideal for dressing the Christmas table and festive dessert table.

Here are our top 10 suggestions for the perfect little red box......

tote boxes by Candy Soirees}




Sweet Bloom Cakes is a Sydney based business that offers mouth-watering and luscious cakes, amazing cupcakes and delicious macarons. Bring your dream cake to life with Sweet Bloom Cakes. {}

I truly love all things creative, spend way too many hours parked in front of a computer, am constantly wrestling with trying to squeeze more hours into the day...

Jennifer Sbranti Editor & Blogger - San Diego, California Jennifer Sbranti is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hostess with the MostessŽ (HWTM), a hip and modern party planning resource for everyone from the first time hostess to seasoned industry professionals. HWTM brings creative entertaining ideas to light through an inspirational online party planning community –, and a popular daily blog authored by Sbranti. Having hosted countless celebrations herself, ranging from special occasion showers and everyday get-togethers to large corporate events, Sbranti now shares her contemporary style and creative approach to entertaining with others. Her ideas have been featured in media outlets such as The Today Show, People magazine, InStyle Weddings, Life&Style, and Pregnancy, and she has contributed to several well-respected online publications, including,, and Enjoy the interview.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, the woman behind “Hostess with the Mostess”? I’m a wife to my husband/best friend/business partner: Sonny Sbranti, and mom to 2 daughters: Macy (20 months) and Rylie (due any day!), and also to our first “kids” – 2 yellow Labrador retrievers: Jazz and Max. I truly love all things creative, spend way too many hours parked in front of a computer, am constantly wrestling with trying to squeeze more hours into the day, and am unashamed about my addiction to Diet Coke, because I figure as far as “vices” go, it’s pretty tame!

2. What has been the most exciting moment for your career? One of the most exciting moments in my career was when I was on the TODAY Show earlier this year, since I’ve been watching that show since I was a little girl. I was asked to do segment on Kentucky Derby Party Ideas for the hour with Kathy Lee and Hoda, and they were a blast, of course! I had never done a segment on that big of network before, so it was definitely a career highlight! Another stand out moment has to be the Wonderlandia Launch Party HWTM hosted this past August to celebrate the launch of our brand new social community website ( – where anyone from the first time hostess to the industry professional can come to find and share party inspiration, plan events, and connect with other creatives. It was great to see this project that we’d been working for over 2 years finally come to life and to be able to celebrate that milestone, in person with many of our blog readers and fellow “party girls” that we’d previously only met “virtually” throughout the years!

3. What inspires your design style? I am always most inspired by patterns and color palettes, and usually find myself gravitating towards modern and contemporary designs. I also love taking everyday objects and coming up with unexpected, creative ways to use them. For example, using geometric wall shelves as dessert table “risers” or repurposing those striped paper straws we see so often in parties today as creative “slip covers” for white cake pop sticks that could use some added color & pattern!

4. If you could style a party for a celebrity, who would you choose and why? If I could choose one celebrity to design a party for it would be Gwen Stefani, hands down! I adore her Harajuku Lovers line and her distinctly “Gwen” style that somehow manages to feels both outrageous and totally chic at the same time. It would be a blast to channel that same vibe into a super funky, over-the-top, crazy celebration!

Let It Snow Turn your ordinary light fixture or dining room chandelier into festive holiday decor by decorating it with “snowy� garlands made from white silk rose petals strung onto fishing line. Tie several garlands to the light fixture or secure them with scotch tape, then suspend glittery snowf lake ornaments (also hung from fishing line) amidst these snowy strands to complete the winter wonderland look.

Garnish your Glass

Make wine glasses extra-festive by covering the entire stem with colored yarn and securing with a knot or glue dot. Pull 3 artificial berries from a wired berry pick and twist the wires or hot glue the berries together to form a traditional 3-part holly berry shape. Secure the berry cluster to the base of the wine glass with a glue dot.

5. What would be your best 3 tips for someone thinking of styling their own dessert table? 1. Make sure to include different levels of height on the table for visual interest. Things like pedestal servers, wrapped boxes, and free standing shelves are all great tools for elevating dishes. You can also quickly turn any standard plate or tray into an “footed server” by turning a smaller bowl upside down to act as a pedestal for the dish and securing it temporarily with glue dots. 2. Embellish the jars and serving dishes on your dessert table with coordinating patterned papers and ribbons to dress them up and create unity throughout the table. It’s all about the details! 3. Filling an entire dessert table with lots of different candy and desserts can get expensive, so I suggest supplementing the treats with non-edible décor like framed pictures of the guest of honor, inexpensive toys, simple floral arrangements, or coordinating vases and accessories from around your house.

6. What is your day-to-day like? On a typical day I spend a great deal of time “blogging”, which really means everything from writing and editing text to retouching photos, designing post layouts, and embellishing images with decorative text & graphics. I also spend a decent amount of time emailing, which could easily be a full time job in itself! There’s a ton of correspondence to juggle between reader questions, party submitters, clients that we’re working on custom design projects for, and the programmers and web developers I work with for both the blog and our new social site. is still very new and a work in progress, so we’re actively working on new functionalities right now – which requires both design time from me and collaboration/project management time with all of our team. Of course I also try to spend quality time every day with Sonny and our daughter Macy, who is getting close to 2 now and extremely active, so the hours around here can get a little crazy. Once we put her down for bed it’s usually back to the computer for me for a while, and then up again by 5am to sneak in a couple more hours in before she wakes up!

7. List your 3 favorite Christmas traditions. 1. My husband’s side of the family always serves a traditional gourmet Italian seafood feast on Christmas Eve, complete with Alaskan King Crab, different kinds of fish and pasta dishes, and fresh-baked, homemade Italian bread. YUM! 2. Making my grandmother’s fudge recipe and the same super-soft, frosted sugar cookies that my family – and “Santa” – have been enjoying for years! At Christmas time we always cut the cookies into holiday shapes and decorate them LOTS of colored frosting and sprinkles. 3. Decorating the tree with family while listening to festive Christmas music and sipping hot holiday drinks like marshmallow &cinnamon topped cocoa or hot spiked apple cider.

Oreo Truffle Pretzel Sandwiches

Oreo Truffle Sandwiches

These bite-sized desserts are always a huge hit at holiday gatherings with their perfect combo of salty and sweet! Better yet, they’re a breeze to make. Just combine crushed Oreos with cream cheese, roll the mixture into small truffle-sized balls, and squish between 2 round or square pretzels to make a “sandwich”. Drizzle the top pretzel with white chocolate and sprinkle with nonpareils. You can easily switch up the chocolate and sprinkle colors to match your own party palette! Ingredients:


1 package Oreo Cookies 8oz. package of Cream Cheese 1 bag of round grid pretzels 11 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips Red non pareils

1. Crush the Oreos in a food processor and then mix in the cream cheese. 2. Mold the mixture into flat circles and place between 2 of the circular pretzels. In a microwave safe bowl heat the chocolate chips in 30 second intervals stirring in between until all the chips have melted. 3. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the Oreo sandwiches and immediately sprinkle on the non pareils. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Desserts with a Twist Treat guests to festive holiday-themed treats served up in creative ways, such as White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse served in mini martini glasses and garnished with crushed candy canes and a candy cane stick. For an extra-festive touch, add a homemade puff pastry star made from store-bought pastry dough, a star-shaped cookie cutter, and a sprinkle of sanding sugar.

White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

Ingredients: 11 oz. bag of white chocolate baking chips 1 cup heavy cream 1 egg white 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract Crushed Peppermint Hard Candy


Pour the white chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds then stir and continue to heat in 30 second intervals until all the chips have melted. Let stand. Whip the cream, egg white and extract together using an electric mixer. You want a soft mixture rather than a stiff mixture. Put a big dollop of cream onto the slightly cooled chocolate and mix, and then gently fold the chocolate mixture into the cream. Fill mini martini glasses with about 1/4" crushed peppermint hard candy. Spoon the mixture into miniature martini glasses and chill in the fridge. Before serving top each glass with a star pastry puff. * Raw Eggs *RAW EGG WARNING Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. Puff Pastry Stars by Carrie of Half Baked

( Ingredients: Frozen Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farm), thawed overnight in refrigerator Sugar Sanding Sugar Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.Roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a board dusted with sugar until it is 10 by 12 inches. Sprinkle entire sheet with sanding sugar. Using a star shaped cookie cutter, cut stars and gently move onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If puff pastry is warm from handling it, refrigerate entire tray for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Bake 9 to 11 minutes until puffed and sugar is slightly browned and caramelized. Cool for a few minutes and then remove from tray and cool completely. Keep sealed in an airtight container until ready to use.

Pinecone &

Paper Garland

DIY pinecone & paper garlands are a great way to dress up everything from the dining room hutch or buffet table to the fireplace mantle! Punch out circles of decorative paper that matches your holiday décor using a 2” circle craft punch. Glue the paper circles to sturdy ribbon or twine, spreading them out evenly in increments of at least 7”. Hot glue baby pinecones in between the circles. For an extra punch of color, try spray painting your pinecones first or covering them with glitter.

Articles by Jennifer Sbranti Hostess with the Mostess}

A little sweet Red & Ice Blue Loveliness Invite Me It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Invite Me with their latest range of party printables in the palette of red and ice blue which was the main inspiration behind this gorgeous Christmas dessert table. The highlights of this amazing Christmas creation are the divine wreath made out of paper hydrangeas and sugar cookies arranged to look like a tree. Printables, partyware & styling by Photography by

I Dream of a White Christmas Lou Lou Events Louisa said: "Organically Elegant” was the theme for this wedding. Originally created

for a very intimate Sydney wedding we had so much fun collaborating with our bride and groom! Layers of white create this stunning dessert table. The bride and groom wanted a table that was white, chic with a touch of nature. We created bespoke light fixtures that were adorned with orchard roots, they were then interwoven with the bride’s favorite flower – ‘blushing bride’. We then added the orchard root to the wedding cake to tie it all together. As a surprise to the bride, the groom asked us to include his bride’s favorite sweet, Tim Tams!

Vesna said: I love how versatile this gorgeous table is, it can be styled for a Christening, baby shower, bridal shower or a beautiful white Christmas party for friends and family.

Alexandra Vardakis - Event Stylist Avie & Lulu

Amelia Rose Alexandra said: Having always had a passion for creating magical parties,

I couldn't wait to start planning our little girl Amelia Rose's Christening. Inspired by her middle name a traditional rose and bows theme was created for the event. Setting the mood for a formal evening shared with 150 of our closest friends and family was a gorgeous handmade letter pressed rose invitation. It was important to me to have elements of the theme resonating throughout the day, so months of meticulous planning saw beautiful rose floral arrangements fill the reception, rose place cards adorn the drinking glasses of guests and scrumptious rose cookies handed to the children as favours. The cake table featured a handmade petal tablecloth which was definitely the show stopper. Over 800 silk petals were stitched by our very patient seamstress to create a magical platform to showcase the most delicate rose adorned cake created by Sweet Tiers. Vintage Hobnail Milk Glass vases collected over many years formed an elegant table display and luxurious Voluspa candles were given as favours. I remember walking into the room and everything just glowed, it was just as I had imagined; so breathtakingly beautiful, and at that moment all the hard work was well worth it for our special little Amelia Rose. Petal tablecloth by Cake by Flowers by Rose place cards by Invitation by Biscuits for the kids by Candy jar labels Photography by:





“I believe the secrets to success are passion and hard work. When you do what you love it doesn't feel like work. It takes hard work, long hours and dedication to create a successful business”

Kim Stoegbauer Editor & Designer - Chandler, Arizona Kim Stoegbauer is a designer/editor/founder of one of our favourite sites, The TomKat Studio. In December 2008, Kim decided to leave her career in real estate to stay home with her young kids, Tommy & Kate. Always crafty and creative, she started a blog to share her craft projects, decorating and party ideas. Her designs have fuelled the printable party trend. Her talents have expanded into photo and party styling, which she enjoys immensely. She frequently styles photo shoots for HGTV and other brands. Kim’s work has been featured on, Martha’s Dreamers in to Doers site,, Sonoran Living Live, ABC15 Arizona Morning and featured in publications such as Celebrate Magazine, Parenting Magazine, InStyle Magazine, 202 Magazine, The Arizona Republic and Go Gilbert Magazine. She is a weekly contributor for the HGTV Blog, Design Happens. She also writes for Project Nursery and HomeGoods. Enjoy the interview.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, the woman behind “The TomKat Studio�? My name is Kim Stoegbauer. I am a wife and mommy to two little ones, Tommy(6) and Kate(4). Nearly 3 years ago, I left my real estate career to stay home with my children. I decided to start a blog as my creative outlet to share any decorating, baking and party projects I was working on. I quickly found that I loved blogging and after a few months gained a loyal following. In March of 2009, I styled my daughter's 2nd birthday party, which was a lollipop theme. The party was featured on several fabulous party blogs, like Hostess with the Mostess ( and readers started asking if they could purchase the items I had made for Kate's party. I decided to open up an Etsy shop to sell party invitations, cupcake toppers, banners and all of the items I had created for her party. The demand was overwhelming for these types of products. I was working until 3am every morning trying to keep up. A few months later, I decided to go in a different direction to be able to provide more customers with the designs. I closed the shop for a couple of weeks and reopened as a digital design shop. I found that many of my customers were willing to do the crafty part of making parties, but needed the inspiration and designs to work from. The rest is history! We are constantly adding new printable party themes to shop and thrive on keeping our customers inspired and happy. Many amazing opportunities have come my way over the last year, including many styling projects and blogging for HGTV and being featured in magazines like Celebrate Parenting and Where Women Create. I feel very lucky to be able to work from home and be there for my children when they get home from school. I couldn't be happier doing what I love!

2. What has been the most exciting moment for your career? There have been many exciting moments during this crazy ride! When Amy Atlas featured my lollipop invitations back in 2009. it was a huge moment for me. To be recognized by one of my biggest inspirations was such an amazing feeling. The following year, I met Amy in person along with Martha Stewart at an event at Martha's headquarters. With Martha also topping my list of inspiring women, it was quite an experience! Another incredible moment of my career was the day that I was contacted by an HGTV editor and ask if I was interested in doing freelance styling work for them. My work for HGTV has grown and grown, including an amazing trip to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival to represent them last month, I never imagined starting my little blog would turn into this!

Vintage Rudolph Printable Collection

3. What inspires your design style? I find inspiration everywhere from magazines to party blogs and bookmarking sites like Pinterest. I always find amazing inspiration for new party themes and color palettes on Pinterest. ( My children often inspire my new themes, as I try to come up with ideas for parties that they would enjoy. For example, our Halloween Cupcake Decorating Party was much like a real playdate for my daughter and her friends. They had such a great time during the shoot!

4. If you could style a party for a celebrity, who would you choose and why? If I could style a party for a celebrity, I would have to choose Martha Stewart. I think she is truly the celebrity who would appreciate the party details and presentation the most! As we all know, she is the queen of entertaining. How nervous would I be with that kind of pressure, though! Can you imagine? If Martha wasn't available, I would love to style a party for the Twilight cast. {Yes, I'm obsessed!}

What would be your best 3 tips for someone thinking of styling their own dessert table? How about 4 tips? :)

1. Decide on a theme or color scheme 2. Coordinate your dessert selections with the color scheme 3. Use beautiful cake stands and platters to display your desserts 4. Add the finishing touches with beautiful paper products like labels, tags and toppers {of course!}

5. What is your day-to-day like? When my children are in school, I work from home from the moment they leave until the moment it is time to pick them up. I absolutely LOVE working from home in my home office, which is light, bright and beautiful to work in. I turn the music up and do my thing! I bounce from designing to writing, to networking via social media to checking email and the shop. I have an amazing team of women who keep everything running smoothly and who try to keep me on track!

6. What are the secrets of running a successful business? What are your long term goals? I believe the secrets to success are passion and hard work. When you do what you love, it doesn't feel like work. It takes hard work, long hours and dedication to create a successful business. I believe that you get back what you put in and you have to make things happen! As far as long term goals, I have so many ideas and so little time. I'm truly finding the pieces of my business that I enjoy the most and focusing on them right now. I recently had the opportunity to style for one of my favorite brands, which was truly a dream come true! Who knows what the future could hold?

7. What is your favourite place in the world? My favorite place in the world is home. My birthday is in July, which makes me a cancer. Most people born under this sign have a passion for home and family. I love creating a comfortable, beautiful environment for my family to live, work and play in! I would like to thank Kim for the insights of her wonderful business and wish her all the best in the future.

Laura Winslow Photography

Little Rebekah is 1

Tanya Castellino - Blogger Life’s Little Celebrations Tanya said: It was a delight celebrating Rebekah’s first ever birthday party based around a

baby elephant theme. It was the first dessert table I had put together and I enjoyed sourcing all the various items using suppliers and vendors I had found since the start of my party inspiration blog and business Life’s Little Celebrations ( I used the sweet Style Me Gorgeous ( printables and the amazing elephant figurine and cake from Cake Avenue ( matched perfectly with these! Pink, grey and light aqua blue was the colour scheme and paper chains from Linkits and a matching bunting from Giggleberry creations helped set the look and colour scheme for the dessert table. On the table I had cute elephant cookies from Spoon and Fork cookies and cake, pink and blue macarons from Ma Cake, Persian fairy floss (Shoppe with Lily) and pink sugared peanuts amongst other items. I made the pink oreo pops and the strawberry mousse, which I topped off with spoons with Rebekah’s name stamped onto them (name stamp from Sweet Style I had all the buffet labels mentioning milestones of my daughter’s first year such as “Crawling cookies” and displayed these in sweet cupcake wrappers. One of my favourite touches was a custom elephant print using the colours of the party. I bought a set of 3 different prints to use around the party area that I can then display in my daughters bedroom. I also love the wooden name sign made by ChikkieMoo Designs ( The kids spent the most time in the ball pit I hired from Tiny Tots Toy Hire (along with other toy items)! Another item I hired was the ferris wheel cupcake holder which I used pink buckets in to hold dipping items such as celery and carrot sticks – it looked so cute on the table! For the drinks I set up an “Elephant watering hole” area with an elephant garland and a felt elephant family (made by Sweet Tashie) to give the feel of elephants wandering to the waterhole. Milk bottles wrapped with cupcake wrappers (from Cupcake House) were placed in a gorgeous grey tray from Sweet Little Birdy ( The highlight of the day was the cutting of the cake and watching Rebekah’s face as everyone sang Happy Birthday to her. It was lovely having all our family and friend’s there to celebrate her first year of life and our first year of parenthood. Photography: Sha Photography!/ShaPhotography Printables: Style Me Gorgeous Cake: Cake Avenue Cookies: Spoon and Fork Cookies and Cake: Macarons: Ma Cake: Lollipops and swizzle sticks: The Little Big Company: Fairy floss: Shoppe with Lily: Toy and prop hire: Tiny Tots Toy Hire Paper chains: Linkits Bunting: Giggleberry Creations

love affair with {spoon and fork c

Denin is a pastry chef, mother and owner of Spoon and For the serene, yet whimsical stories that exist in simple everyda her cookies and cakes.


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we heart gourmet candy


ribbon candy

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mad about confetti

Tassel Garlands

lovely pinatas

Creative} DIY


Click here to download the Advent Calendar PDF

diy advent calendar {supplies}

{instructions} 1. Begin by downloading and printing the Advent Calendar PDF. With an x-acto knife, trim out along black lines. Once circles are trimmed, cut inwards making small slits along outer rim. Be sure to cut only to the edge of the colour. This will aid in fitting the rounds inside the lids. 2. With the inside of the lid facing up, place number on top, face down and press into place. Secure by rubbing the pointy end along the inside edge of the tin top. 3. To make them magnetic, cut circular shape slightly smaller than the tin from magnetic sheeting. This can be done with either a craft punch or x-acto knife. Glue to bottom of tin, making sure not to glue magnetic side (the dark side). 4. Fill tins with small candies, toys, cute paper clips, whatever will fit and your family will enjoy! 5. Arrange magnets on fridge or any other magnetic surface. Place in rectangular numerical order, in the shape of a tree, or arrange them randomly for added hunting fun. The possibilities are endless so have fun!

DIY article by Kathleen of Twig and Thistle






diy tassel garland {supplies} - various colors of tissue paper (including metallic mylar paper if you like) - scissors - glue gun - cord

{instructions} 1. First, fold one sheet of tissue paper in half width-wise, then fold it over twice lengthwise. With your scissors, cut strips of fringe about 1/4″ wide along the unfolded short edge of your folded tissue, leaving about 2″ of uncut tissue at the folded edge. 2. Unfold your two length-wise folds and cut the tissue in the centre, creating two folded halves. Set one aside. 3. Open your remaining half and lay it out. You should have a sheet of tissue with fringe on both side and a solid section down the centre. Using the solid centre section, begin to roll the tissue paper up, being careful to keep the fringe untangled. 4. After the entire section is rolled, twist the centre tightly. Then curl it in on itself to create a loop, and secure with a small dot of hot glue if needed. 5. Trim your ends if desired, and string your tassel onto your cord. Repeat the process until you have as many tassels as you like! String your fancy new garland anywhere you like – on a wall, in a doorway, on the bannister, in a tree!

DIY tassel garland by Cyd of & Chelsea of

diy felt holly wreath


2 4 3 5

DIY article by Maddy of Somewhere Splendid


{instructions} 1. Beginning from the back of the wreath base, wrap your ribbon around the styrofoam ring, ensuring the ribbon is tight and lays as flat as possible. Secure the open end of the ribbon temporarily with a pearl head pin as you continue wrapping around the wreath base. 2. When the wreath is completely wrapped cut the ribbon directly over where the original pearl head pin was. Remove the pin and secure both open ends with two pins. Flip the wrapped wreath base so the pins are concealed on the back. 3. Cut floral berries off their branch with about ½” of wire underneath it remaining. Set aside. Cut holly leaves out of felt according to the provided template. Iron the leaves in half up to (but not including) the stem so that the leaves form a wide “V”. Ideally you want the leaves to have a little bit of dimension as shown. 4. Arrange leaves in groups of two or three as shown. Secure leaves in place with a little dot of hot glue near the stem area. Take a few berries and press the wire part through the surface of the ribbon into the wreath base near the center of the cluster so that all the wire is hidden. 5. The berries will help secure the holly leaves in place in addition to hiding the area where the holly meets. Work your way around the wreath, changing up the number of holly leaves, the number of berries, and, if you’ve opted to use more than one berry color as we did, the colors of the berries, until you’ve covered about as much as the wreath as you’d like – we covered a little under one half of the wreath. Hang and enjoy!

hang me up -











Whimsical Christmas



“The inspiration behind my blog is my mother. I grew up watching her write for entertaining magazines, host lavish cocktail parties and luncheons, as well as crafting super-cute DIY ideas”

Courtney Dial Event Stylist, Editor & Blogger - Nashville, N T Courtney Dial is a editor, event stylist, blogger and founder of the amazing website Her wonderful work has been featured on, Pawsh Magazine, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, AOL’s DIY Life, Get Married Magazine, and she has been named Martha Stewart’s “Doer of the Week”. In addition to designing everything from children’s birthday celebrations to chic dinner parties, she is also a writer for several online food and lifestyle publications including The Huffington Post, SHE KNOWS, Hostess With the Mostess, and Tablespoon. When she's not partnering with brands across the country on lifestyle and hospitality campaigns, she's finishing her first book, scheduled to hit shelves in spring of 2012. Enjoy the interview.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, the woman behind “Pizzazzerie”? I absolutely love what I do, and never take a day for granted! When I graduated from graduate school, I didn't know what I wanted to do and took a job as a career counselor at my alma mater, Vanderbilt University. I met wonderful friends and enjoyed what I learned, but wasn't feeling fulfilled creatively. I knew that would love to work for myself some day but had no idea I would find the guts to leave my full-time job and launch Pizzazzerie at 25. But I jumped right in, and wouldn't change a thing!

2. What was your inspiration behind your business/blog? The inspiration behind my blog is my mother. I grew up watching her write for entertaining magazines, host lavish cocktail parties and luncheons, as well as crafting super-cute DIY ideas. When I left college and had a place big enough to throw parties, I started following in her footsteps. I wanted to find a way to share my ideas for decorating tables with others and a blog seemed like the easiest medium so Pizzazzerie was born!

3. Tell us 3 things that your fans/blog readers don’t know about you? This is a tough one. I am a neat freak and can't get any work done if the house is a mess. Almost everything I wear is black, and I struggle to add color to my wardrobe. I work 7 days a week.

4. Name your three favourite party themes and tell us what do you love about them? There are thousands of party themes but one of my favorites is Shabby Chic! I don't take clients anymore but my very first client wanted a shabby chic/vintage 1st birthday, and I loved designing this fun party! I love it because you don't have to worry about matching every little detail. Part of the beauty of a shabby chic/vintage party is the uniqueness of each decorative element. My next would be any Christmas Party as I love the season and all it's celebration! I love incorporating glitter and silver into my holiday parties. My third favorite theme would be baby showers because they are so sweet + precious!

5. If you could style a party for a “well known/A list” celebrity, who would you choose? I would say Oprah because I think she gives the most expressive reactions, and I love people who have exciting personalities like she does!

6. What is your day-to-day like? My day-to-day is absolutely wild. Last week I was finishing my book shoot, speaking in Knoxville, and hosting 2 showers. This week I'm locking myself in my office all week to write articles for SheKnows + Disney. Each week is different and each day is like a crazy zoo :)

Vintage Chic Birthday Party

Pink Princess Birthday Party

What does the future hold for {Pizzazzerie}? The future is exciting! We are bringing on more contributors, announcing the release date for my first book and working with more companies like Sterling Vineyards on SUPER exciting projects.

What is your favourite place in the world? Charleston, SC is my favorite place. I grew up there as a little girl, and it holds so many special memories. It's also absolutely gorgeous, the weather is beautiful, and the architecture is breathtaking. I would like to thank Courtney for the insights of her wonderful business and wish her all the best in the future..

lovely paper goodness


lollie bags

sticky notes

Stylish, educational gifts & nurs ery interior s for babies & children

Shop online info@sweetcreation ~ es/Sweet-Creations/13269194989 8

Gifts for Mum Wild Cat Sunglasses Leather Stations Necklace

Ambassador Candy Dish

Crystal Dome Studs

Spring Cups And Saucers

Hardware Sandals

Summer Satchel

Night before Christmas Candle

ipad case

ikat tea set

ikat rose curtain

ikat pillow

ikat pillow

okat mini bowl

ikat drum shade

tinalak clutch

Editors} G

Gift Guide}



It’s Party Time Outfit by Seed

It’s Party Time Outfit by Country Road

+ Article by Vicki of Junior Epitome

Gift Guide


Make a Splash Outfit by Buckets & Spades

Make a Splash Outfit by Kido Store


Festive Christmas Fashion for Little Ones

Steph said:

Every year when I was growing up, my Mum would make my sister and I a glorious Christmas dress to wear on Christmas day. It was always spectacular, made lovingly by hand using red, green and white Christmas fabric, edged with shiny ribbon, a full skirt, trimmings, and a big bow. If you're crafty, you could make your own Christmas dress, or look to some amazing Australian designers who have created pretty, festive concoctions that would be perfect for present-opening, a turkey/seafood lunch, mass or church if you're so inclined, and visiting friends and relatives too. Whether it's for ripping open presents or running amok with family and friends, there's plenty of gorgeous kids' fashion designed right here in Australia to choose from. Happy holidays!

Article written by Steph Bond-Hutkin Bondville – Modern Printables –

Tutu du Monde

Andrea Rembeck from Tutu du Monde has a long history in fashion design which is evident in her glorious urchin-starlet style for little girls. These are fun pieces that aren't too formal perfect for twirling around the Christmas tree. You can find Tutu du Monde dresses and two-piece outfits in the online store and at stockists across Australia, NZ, US, Hong Kong and the UK.


Oobi is one of Australia's favourite kids' fashion labels and the classic Oobi style of the little Peggy dress and Lily twopiece outfit are definitely Christmas-worthy. You can buy Oobi from stockists including retailers and online stores in Australia.

Jilli and James

Melissa from Jilli and James has a are perfect for the festive season Peaches and Cream ruffle top a designs on the Facebook fan pa

Wild Bear

I can tell you from experience, that you will be thrilled with the quality of Wild Bear dresses for little girls. All five of our Wild Bear dresses have stood up through countless wear and washing (on the delicate cycle, of course). Wild Bear designs are sold at the Eumundi Markets, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, but will be available in the online store very soon.

Joyess Threads & Designs

Jess from Joyess Threads & Desig summer set in different colour-w beyond. And don't forget about braces top for little boys is killer. Y Joyess Threads & Designs Faceb

Eeni Meeni Miini Moh

a number of gorgeous frilly numbers that n including the Angelica Dress and the and shorts set. You can find Jilli and James age.

gns has created a gorgeous 2-piece ways that work beautifully for Christmas and t the little man in your life – the bow tie and You can purchase these designs through & book fan page.

Eeni Meeni Miini Moh

Another award-winning Australian children's lifestyle brand, Eeni Meeni Miini Moh has a great selection of lovely party dresses, including the on-trend tiered ruffle “Combo 5 Tier” and the spotty circus-inspired “Frill” dress. Eeni Meeni Miini Moh is stocked in the online store as well as retail stores across Australia and the Asia Pacific.

Bonds AW12 Look Book

model: Aniken

native shoes I am utterly obsessed with these Native shoes. The perfect summer holiday shoe, in my opinion they are so versatile, they look similar to the ‘croc’ shoes but with so much more style! This summer all you need to do is, visit the beach, indulge on ice cream and wear a pair of native shoes which will make your little feet happy, groovy and street-smart. You can buy yourself a pair at Little Pinwheels store:

{Follow} your instincts

Follow is a new design concept store nestled away in a beautiful heritage listed shop in Surry Hills, Sydney. The store proprietors are the duo behind the Finders Keepers Markets, and have been advocates of supporting emerging design since their first beginnings in 2007. This lovely new store features a curated selection of over 40 independent designers from around Australia, For those not in Sydney, they sell and ship worldwide just visit their online shoppe!

To: Santa

From: Aniken

To: Aniken

From: Santa

Merry Christmas from

My Little Jedi




christmas card

christmas gift tags christmas banner



Watch your child's eyes light up and create a memorable keepsake this Christmas with this free printable letter to Santa designed by My Little Jedi. Simply click on the link below and save the file to your desktop. Have a wonderful Christmas, love My Little Jedi x

click here to


My Little Jedi has created a range of trendy party printables which arrive in your inbox in PDF format. All you need to do is print them off in the comfort of your own home and voila, you have all you need to decorate your party! What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your special event and announce it in style. With these pre-designed party packs, planning a party has never been easier and so much fun! Each party pack is customized and comes with the following: - invitation - happy birthday banner - food labels/candy jar labels - cupcake toppers

- party favour box - water bottle label - cupcake wrapper - party hat

Advertise with My Little Jedi If you are interested in advertising in our Autumn Issue of My Little Jedi Magazine, please send us an email ( to get a copy of our media kit.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Have a

Sparkling Christmas

Love, Vesna x