8 Decorations for a Non-Traditional Tree

If you are decorating the tree this weekend take a look at our 8 favourite non-traditional Christmas decorations perfect for a modern and stylish tree...

Copper Handpainted Christmas Baubles, £14.50 for 5, Owl & Otter
These beautiful beech wood decorations have been hand painted in stylish white and copper perfect for adding warmth to your tree.

Brass geometric shape decoration, £4.50 Each, House Doctor at Tate Online Shop
Gold geometric shapes are a great way to add a modern touch to your tree and these decorations by the Danish company House Doctor are available on the Tate online shop.

Hand Drawn Wooden Bauble, £20, Maria Allen Boutique
This personalised bauble allows you to use your child's own drawing on the etched wooden decoration. A wonderful way to store a sentimental memory, it is sure to be one to cherish for years to come.

Bristle Animal Christmas Decoration, From £4.50 each, SMUG
Sweet, fun, handmade bristle woodland animal Christmas decorations, whats not to love!?

Personalised Christmas Wishes Hanging Decorations, £19.95 for 8, Bread & Jam
A beautifully sleek way to personalise your Christmas tree, these glass vials have your own personal Christmas wishes neatly tucked inside.

Pastel colours are a great way to give your tree a modern appearance, these diamond decorations available in store at IKEA are beautiful and a great price.

Wooden Cross Stitch Tree Decorations, £12.95 each, Maria Allen Boutique Exclusively at HarrodsThese laser etched wooden Christmas decorations are just some of the decorations we made exclusively for Harrods this Christmas. Visit the full collection in the Knightsbridge store now!

Personalised Opening Glass Proposal Bauble, £25, Maria Allen Boutique
Got a special question to ask this Christmas? Why not do it with a beautiful personalised opening glass bauble. Unusual decoration + unusual proposal? That's got to get you a 'Yes'!

Christmas Gift Guide: For Him

For the second of our Christmas gift guides we turn our attention to the special man in your life. Husband, boyfriend, brother, dad or friend, our gift guide has something for everyone:

From top left: Personalised Wooden Watch, £110, Maria Allen Boutique // Moustache Print, £16 Old English Company // Mono Stripe & Spot Beanie Hat, £13, HYPE // Personalised Wooden Mix Tape Key Ring, £25, Maria Allen Boutique

From top left: Chocolate Cheese Board, £30, Chocolate on Chocolate // London Skyline Chess Set, £80, Skyline Chess // Friday Night Curry Subscription, From £19.95, The Spicery // Personalised Child's Drawing Travel Mug, £35, Maria Allen Boutique

From top left: Millook Crew Merino Wool Jumper, £95, Finisterre // Personalised Leather Wallet, £38.50, NV London Calcutta //  Cube Walnut Wood Clock, £27.99, Gingko // Personalised Wooden Christmas Jumper Cufflinks, £55, Maria Allen Boutique

For more gift ideas visit www.mariaallenboutique.com

Christmas recipes: Baileys Fudge

For this week's Christmas recipe Katie shares her very popular Baileys Fudge recipe:

'I definitely associate Baileys with Christmas and have made this recipe lots of times for friends, family and the team at Maria Allen Boutique. It's so easy and quick to make and people are always really impressed by it!'

500g white chocolate
200ml condensed milk
Baileys 50ml

1. Grease and line your baking tray. Melt the white chocolate over a Bain-marie and add to a sauce pan.

2. Add the Baileys and condensed milk and heat slowly until the mixture has combined.

3. Pour the mixture into the tin and leave to cool. Once the fudge has set cut and enjoy!

7 Ideas For Your Perfect Christmas Table

Decorating the table for Christmas dinner has always been an exciting occasion in my family, the anticipation for the grandest meal of the year never fails to make me feel like a small child again. I'm quite sure that Christmas dinner tastes even better when you are eating it at a beautifully decorated and thoughtful table. Here is my guide to the best table decorations on the market this Christmas:

It's not Christmas without a certain amount of glitz, this chevron table runner adds just the right amount of glam to your Christmas table. It looks great over a white table cloth or straight onto a wooden table for a more rustic look.

Chevron sequin table runner, The Sweet Hostess,  £18.00

Your guests will be so impressed by the personal touches you have added to the table that they will barely notice that the turkey unintentionally had an extra 30 minutes in the over. These calligraphy place name are laser cut from a choice of three suitably christmassy pearlescent shades of gold, silver and copper. 

Set of 10 Laser Cut Calligraphy Place Names, Maria Allen Boutique, £35

The trend of Scandinavian minimalism continues to grow and can be easily brought to your Christmas table with evergreen sprigs and light, untreated woods. These wine bottle holders are made from birch plywood and are a beautiful and unusual way to display your table wine!

Penguin & Reindeer Wine Racks, £23 each, Array Collection

Christmas Crackers
Surprise your guests with personalised crackers. These beautifully illustrated crackers are bought empty allowing you to add your own contents to each. You could add your own jokes or turn it in to a fun trivia quiz, whatever you decide to do your guests are sure to be delighted not to receive a plastic whistle or tiny padlock this year!

Fill your own cracker, The Cracker Boutique, £2.95 each

Keep it natural
Some of the best table decorations can be found in the garden. Rosemary, holly, fur sprigs, pine cones and ivy can all be found growing at this time of year and are great to use as table decorations, adding both colour and rusticity to your table.

Another great material to add to your Christmas table is wood, both natural and warm in colour small wooden decorations will add to the natural appearance of your table. These personalised drinks charms will also help your guests to hang on to their drink, perfect for larger dinner parties or for new years eve.

Set of 10 Personalised Wooden Wine Glass Charms, Maria Allen Boutique, £30

A great modern twist on your Christmas table, beautiful coloured crockery can be combined with subtle festive touches, such as white pillar candles, snowflake table confetti and sprigs of holly to create a modern and stylish Christmas table.

Hand decorated Grid Tableware, Lollipop Designs, from £45

For more Christmas table and home decoration inspiration follow us on pinterest now.

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

With Christmas less than 3 weeks away it's time to get thinking about the special lady in your life. Whether it's your wife, girlfriend, sister, mum or friend, our gift guide has something for everyone:

From top left: Winter Garden Watch, Olivia Burton, £80 // Personalised Wooden Adventure Luggage Tag, Maria Allen Boutique, £20 // Personalised Sterling Silver Love Letter, Maria Allen Boutique, £75 // Brighton Gin, Harvey Nichols, £44

Personalised Zodiac Constellation Necklace, Maria Allen Boutique, £40 // Daisy Gravel Clutch Bag, Matt&Nat, £60 // Pineapple Iphone 6/6S Case, Thornback & Peel, £19.95 // Personalised Mini Glass Jewellery Box, Maria Allen Boutique, £25

Monthly Planner, Lollipop Designs, £12.50 // Gold Antler Brooch, Maria Allen Boutique, £18 // You Look Lovely Today Natural Wash Bag, Alphabet Bags, £24 // Women's Thick Flecked Socks, Hopscotch London, £12

For more great personalised and non-personalised gift ideas visit www.mariaallenboutique.com

Meet our Stockists: Mooch Etc

This month we talk to our stockists Ruth & David about their shop Mooch Etc in the beautiful Welsh town of Carmarthen:

How long has Mooch etc been open and how did the business come about?
After spending well over 20 years as a specialist nurse in oral surgery Ruth wanted a change from dressing up in scrubs everyday, plus she also wanted to do something which involved the artistic side of her personality.

Did you have a particular aim when opening your own boutique?
Our aim is to retail products where design and quality are all important. We also try to make sure that the products we sell are not found on the shelves of multiple retailers or any other shops in our area. This means that we're giving our customers genuine choice which many of them clearly appreciate as we're fortunate that many of them return time and time again.

You are based in Carmarthen, tell us about life in the oldest town in Wales.
The shop is on, what the historians tell us, the line of an old Roman road where shops have existed for over 1000 years. We're also told that King Street is the oldest continually used shopping street in Europe. It would not have had that history if retailers had not continually evolved and brought products that looked to the future. We see ourselves as the current generation responsible for continuing that role.

There are so many amazing designers out there, how do you choose who to stock in your shop?
Choosing stock is by far the most interesting aspect of our business. Fortunately there are a great number of exceptional designers in the UK as well as elsewhere in Europe.
We take a great deal of time to find designs that are both innovative and of a quality that stands out from the usual. Often, young designers, such as Maria Allen, are the ones who produce something with an edge and we are of course also lucky that many of them have trained here in the University in Carmarthen.

You must stock so many beautiful things that you want to keep for yourself, what's on the top of your Christmas list this year?

That's a hard one. Our problem is stopping ourselves filling the house with stock from the shop! For Christmas this year our dog Brenin will be even more handsome (not that that's possible!) in his new hand made collar from Ark in Cambridge. David's got his eye on the bespoke Welsh dragon cufflinks by Maria Allen. For Ruth it has to be a super soft stripy scarf from one of our local designer/ makers Sian O'Doherty. Most of all we're looking forward to a few days off, with plenty of walks on the beach & relaxing.

Mooch Etc is located at 13 King St, Carmarthen SA31 1BH and can be contacted on 01267 237359 or by email to info@moochetc.co.uk