Ci sono momenti in cui // There are moments when

Ci sono momenti in cui la bocca vorrebbe anche aprirsi e parlare, ma non esce nessun suono; le parole, come sassi pesanti, colano a picco, invece di risalire alla superficie, che quindi rimane silente. Abbassando lo sguardo, vedi che sono lì, sul fondo; è solo che non vengono a galla. Che silenzio sia allora. Tempo al tempo. Maglia dopo maglia, ritrovare il filo, il bandolo della matassa. Perché c’è tempo, c’è tempo, c’è tempo, come cantava il poeta, giusto?

Dolce sera, cari amici. Grazie di leggere queste righe.

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There are moments when no sound comes out of your open mouth. When words become heavy stones that sink to the bottom instead of reaching the surface, which remains perfectly still. Looking down, you can see that they are down there, they just won’t come up. Let it be silence then. Giving time to time. Stitch by stitch, tracing back the original thread. For what it may mean, that’s where I’m at now. 

Peace out everyone, thank you for reading Mylittledelights

*la sciarpa nelle foto è un regalo che ho preparato per Natale; un modello, Junction, davvero facile eppure di grande effetto dell’unico e inimitabile Jared Flood, lavorato con una meravigliosa lana baby Alpaca // The scarf pictured above is a gift I knitted for Christmas: the Junction pattern, such an easy and yet so cool project, as always, by the one and only, Jared Flood!

Advent Traditions (and a Giveaway)

When I was a child, the rhythm of our family life was punctuated by rituals connected to each changing season. I remember quite clearly how I looked forward to those special recipes and preparations, like a red thread leading me from one month to the other. Now that I am a grown-up (but really, wasn’t it just the day before yesterday?) I strive to keep up with that good old rhythm – as much as I can, that is, because the deadlines of a multitasking mum pile up and I often find myself struggling with time (I know you feel me).

The Advent calendar tradition is one of my favorites, as it leads us into the darkest month of the year, looking out for the Light up ahead. So, on the 1st of December, here we were, ready to kick off our origami rainbow calendar filled with simple homemade gifts and coupons we offer each other, for the 4thtime . Yes, because everyone is (still) happy to play along so that we all get a few presents, which makes my heart so full of joy and gratitude. Never mind that some of the paper boxes need to be spruced up; I love that this calendar is growing with us, loving and imperfect as we are, and that we can play around with it in a different way each year.

But enought ramblings and onto the giveaway! Three years have passed since I’ve started this blog. This space has changed with me, portrayed my happy times and sticked with me through the hard ones. One thing has not changed though: the pleasure of sharing glimpes of the Light and beauty I find around me. Of creating connections and focusing on the things I love. So tonight, after some funky working hours (and the usual zillion doubts), I’m proud to share with you my new Redbubble shop where you can find an array of items which are customized with some pics of mine. I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to your feedback!

And, in order to thank you all for following me along, I’m happy to offer one of you a custom creation of your choice. To enter the giveaway, just give a look at my portfolio then leave me a comment below with your favorite item.  The winner will be announced here next Monday evening. Please note that you can change your country of origin and language at the bottom of the page; therefore anyone may participate, no matter where you live. Do not hesitate so share if you feel so inclined!

Wishing you light and joy for the busy weeks ahead.

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Quando ero bambina, la vita della nostra famiglia era scandita dai rituali legati al passaggio delle stagioni. Ricordo come fossi ieri quanto aspettassi con anticipazione ogni preparativo o specialità tipica di ciascun momento dell’anno. Come un filo teso, un corrimano, che mi accompagnava infallibile da un mese all’altro (che dire: ah le frappe, i bigné di San Giuseppe…!). Ora che son cresciuta (così pare, anche se in realtà sembra l’altro ieri), faccio del mio meglio per portare avanti a mia volta queste tradizioni – nonostante gli impegni di mamma tuttofare che fanno sì che mi trovi a rincorrere il tempo più spesso di quanto non vorrei.

Tra queste tradizioni, quella del calendario dell’Avvento è una delle mie preferite. Perché ci accompagna giorno per giorno nel mese più buio dell’anno, ma con gli occhi rivolti alla Luce che ritornerà. E quindi lo scorso 1° dicembre, eravamo pronti – che dico: prontissimi – ad inaugurare il nostro calendario dell’avvento origami, oramai coraggiosamente arrivato alla sua quarta edizione. Come gli altri anni, lo abbiamo riempito di piccole sorprese e buoni regalo fatti da ciascuno di noi a turno, così ciascuno da e al tempo stesso riceve e non vi dico quanto questo mi renda felice. Alcune scatoline avrebbero bisogno di essere sostituite, ma in fondo noi lo amiamo così, questo nostro calendario sui generis, imperfetto e colorato come noi, e poi ci divertiamo non poco a montarlo ogni anno in un modo diverso.

Ma bando alle ciance e largo al concorso! Sono oramai tre anni da quando ho cominciato a scrivere questo blog. Questo spazio è cambiato con me, raccontando i miei momenti felici e accompagnandomi in quelli difficili. Una cosa, però, non è cambiata ed è il piacere di condividere istantanee della bellezza che ci circonda. Di creare legami e di trovare il tempo per quello che amo. Stasera, quindi, dopo le solite sessioni di lavoro ad orari incongrui (condite con i soliti dubbi), sono fiera di presentarvi la mia pagina Redbubble, dove potrete trovare una serie di creazioni su misura personalizzate con alcune delle mie foto. Spero vi piacciano e sono curiosa di sentire le vostre impressioni!

E, per ringraziarvi di accompagnarmi, ciascuno a modo vostro, sono felice di offrire a uno di voi la possibilità di vincere una creazione a sua scelta. Per partecipare, andate a fare un giro sul sito poi lasciatemi scritto qui sotto qual’è il regalo che più vi piacerebbe. Annuncerò il vincitore o la vincitrice lunedì sera prossimo. Una precisazione: cliccando in basso alla schermata potrete cambiare sia il paese che la lingua quindi la partecipazione è aperta a chiunque, senza limitazione geografica!

Dolce sera, cari amici, augurandovi pace e serenità in queste settimane di preparativi…

Se una rondine // If a swallow

…non fa primavera, un intero abito di rondini forse sì?

Di sicuro sembra rendere felice la sua piccola destinataria e questo è già il migliore dei risultati. Buon fine settimana, cari amici, tra poco prendo il volo per la bella Venezia e non vedo l’ora #sharethelove

*Tessuto « Hirondelle » di Atelier Brunette, comprato da Lil Weasel; modello ispirato al libro « Style Petite fille » di Yoshiko Tsukiori. Fiore di stoffa improvvisato.

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…doesn’t make a summer, maybe a swallow dress will?

Well, it brings a smile upon its little recipient and that’s swell already. Sweet weekending dear friends, I’m catching a flight to Venice in a couple of hours and I look so forward to it. Brace yourself for some picture spamming next week!

*Hirondelle fabric from Atelier Brunette, pattern inspired by « Style Petite fille » by Yoshiko Tsukiori. The fabric flower is self-inspired.

Un regalo speciale / A special present #3

Ci vuole un regalo speciale, per un compleanno speciale. Perché un vestito cucito a mano assomiglia a un vestito comprato, però non è quel che potrebbe sembrare ad un occhio poco attento. E’ il frutto di ore a scegliere il tessuto giusto e il modello giusto. E’ una cotta di maglia, tessuta con ore di lavoro chino sotto un lumicino. Non importa se nessuno lo sa, quel che porti è un condensato d’amore.

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A special, handmade present, for a special birthday. A handmade garment may look like a regular garment (well, if you’re lucky ahem) but it is not what it may seem to a foreign eye. It’s your hours spent looking for the right pattern and fabrics. It’s a coat of armor made out of hours of patient work under a tiny lamp. No matter if no one is aware of it, it’s a unique token of love you’re wearing.

 

 

Ne vale la pena – It’s worth it

La meraviglia dell’infanzia. Vederla trasformarsi in principessa-gatto, un’improbabile manina gratta-schiena come scettro e calzini a righe come scarpette da ballo. La sua gioia squillante, i suoi balli allo specchio. Tutti i sogni racchiusi in qualche ora passata a tagliare e imbastire il rettangolo di stoffa che tanto le piaceva. Per questo, a chi mi dice stupito ma dove lo trovi il tempo o ma chi te lo fa fare, posso solo dire che lo trovo, perché ne vale la pena.

Buon pomeriggio cari amici,

teniamoci stretti questi momenti che passano sin troppo in fretta

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It’s the wonderfullness of childhood. Seeing her become a kitten-princess with the most whimsical back-scratching tool as a scepter and striped socks as dancing shoes. It’s her joy and mirror dancing. All the dreams that are comprised in a few hours of cutting and sewing her favorite fabric of all times. To those who tell me oh my, when do you find the time or why do you bother, I can only answer that I do because it’s (oh so) worth it.

Happy afternoon friends,

let’s always remember to enjoy these fleeting moments!

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Questa bella stoffa viene dalla nostra merceria preferita, Lil Weasel. Il modello è uno di quelli contenuti nel libro « Style Petite Fille » di Yushiko Tsukiori. This beautiful fabric comes from my favorite shop Lil Weasel. The pattern, from this lovely book: »Style Petite Fille » by Yushiko Tsukiori

In between

Il y a bien des années, pour suivre l’amour et m’intégrer dans un nouveau pays où je ne connaissais (presque) personne, je me suis glissée dans la peau d’une française.

C’était dur, au début. Très dur. Pour être francs, on pourrait dire que j’en ai bavé, les amis. Moi, qui venais d’une ville, Rome, où on est très chaleureux, accueillant, où les gens ont éventuellement tendance à être trop invasifs, j’ai dû prendre sur moi pour déchiffrer les codes de ce peuple d’une gentillesse extrême mais toujours sur ses gardes, finalement. Pour passer d’une vie au soleil à une vie sous un ciel très souvent gris. Pour remplir mes journées, alors que je n’avais pas d’amis, pas de famille et pas de travail. J’ai vite compris que c’était à moi de faire l’effort, de m’adapter. Alors, petite souris silencieuse, j’ai écouté et absorbé comme une éponge et, peu à peu, j’ai façonnée une autre Cristinà, en français. Une Cristinà qui, aujourd’hui, se sent parfaitement intégrée et se fond tellement bien dans la foule que parfois on ne remarque plus sa différence.

Ce qui est compliqué, et tout ceux qui vivent dans la même situation le savent bien, est que ce processus vous change à jamais et vous n’êtes plus tout à fait le même qu’avant, de toute façon. Au bout de toutes ces années, cette Cristina-là, c’est moi aussi, mais il y a toujours des parties de moi qui ne s’expriment qu’en italien; je suis devenue française pour beaucoup de mes amis italiens et je me sens italienne quand je suis à Paris. C’est une chance, une ouverture sur le monde extraordinaire, mais ce n’est pas non plus facile tous les jours; à cheval entre deux (ou trois) mondes, parfois on se sent isolé, un peu incompris. D’ailleurs, on a souvent tendance à se retrouver entre amis bilingues ou trilingues, car on se comprend le mieux.

Au début de l’écriture de ce blog, j’ai hésité entre italien et français et j’ai choisi le français, la langue de mon quotidien. J’ai pensé y ajouter l’italien, puis j’ai opté pour l’anglais, qui est plus universel. Après, comme un blog en trois langues n’est plus lisible, j’ai continué ainsi, dans l’attente de pouvoir trouver une solution technique pour tout concilier.

Depuis quelques temps, ça me fait de plus en plus bizarre de ne pas utiliser ma langue maternelle ici, comme si je trahissais une partie profonde de ma personne. J’ai donc décidé, en attendant de trouver une solution miracle qui me permette d’écrire dans toutes les langues du monde (déformation professionnelle!), d’utiliser l’italien et anglais dorénavant. Personne n’y perdra le sommeil, j’en suis sure, mais j’avais quand même envie d’expliquer pourquoi aux francophones qui ont eu la gentillesse de me lire et me laisser des commentaires. J’espère que vous pourrez continuer à me lire et, surtout, qu’on pourra garder ce fil d’échange. De toute façon, je suis sure que vous êtes tous/toutes des flèches en anglais/italien, n’est-ce pas??

En photo, mon premier essai de chemisier, avec un col et tout et tout, la chemise Myrcela de chez République du Chiffon, sur un tissu génial à travailler de chez Atelier Brunette. Et le rapport? Mmmmmh….peut-être, que j’ai cousu quelque chose pour moi, pour une fois, au lieu de faire toujours des choses pour faire plaisir aux autres?? ça se pourrait bien…

Que votre soirée soit belle, chers amis!

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Several years ago I moved to France, where I knew (almost) nobody, in order to follow my heart and I turned myself into a French girl. Truth to be told, it wasn’t exactly a joy ride, friends. Imagine a girl coming from one of the most sunny and welcoming cities, Rome, transferred under a grey sky, struggling to understand the communication codes of this people who is ever so kind but not exactly world famous for its openness to strangers. It was hard, like really hard. I quickly understood I had to make the effort if I wanted to fit in and so I did. Like a little silent mouse I soaked in information in every circumstance and gradually created this French version of myself, Cristinà. After all these years, this Cristinà is me too, but I still feel more strongly myself in Italian in some circumstances.

The thing is, like all people living in the same situation know, that this process changes you and you’re no longer the same, anyhow. My Italien friends say I’ve become French and I feel Italian while I’m in Paris. I’m in between two worlds, which is great, a unique opportunity to broaden my horizons which I totally adhere to. But, it’s hard too sometimes. I sometimes feel lonely, isolated. And, like all bilingual people, I tend to make friends with my peers because it’s easier to understand each other.

When I started writing this blog, I hesitated over Italian and French and I chose French, my everyday communication tool. Then I thought about adding another language and I finally chose English because it’s universally understandable. But I still hoped I could find a magical solution to fit three language on this blog without it becoming unreadable. Time went by and I kept on using French and English. Lately, it has become more and more frustrating not to use my mother tongue here. As if I was missing up on some important part of myself.

So, while still hoping to find the magical solution, I’ve decided to switch to Italian and English in the future. I’m pretty sure that the kind French speakers who read my ramblings will not loose their sleep because of it but I still thought it was nice to explain why. I hope they will continue to read me and, most of all, to come up here to exchange thoughts. Anyhow, I’m sure they’re all proficient in Italian/English, don’t you think??

In the pics above, my first shirt ever with a collar and so on. I’m so proud of this project; the Myrcela shirt by République du Chiffon with a lovely fabric by Atelier Brunette. And the connection is, you might wonder? Errrr….maybe the fact that, for once, I’ve sewn for myself and not to make other people happy?? That might be a good guess…

I wish you all a happy evening friends!

I can’t believe my eyes

Aucune enfant n’a été maltraitée pour réaliser ces photos: j’ai simplement trouvé cette jolie petite fille en pyjama un matin, chaussée du dit bonnet (que sa maman avait oublié sur le canapé), toute affairée à jouer aux princesses. La vie est belle, moi je dis, non?

Belle après-midi les amis

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I swear that no kids have been mistreated for these pics. I just found this little girl in her piyamas one morning, donning my hat (which I had forgotten on the couch) and happily playing with her princessess. Life is good isn’t it? 

I wish you all a good evening friends

Happiness in a nut shell

Un weekend de carnaval, quelques croquis, quelques pans de tissu, de l’élastique, de paillettes. Quelques heures plus tard, le bonheur de voir une petite Cendrillon heureuse, affairée dans une de ses activités préférées. Le bonheur au creux des toutes petites choses, celui qui me touche de plus en plus.

Belle après-midi, chers amis, j’espère que vous profitez des vacances…

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A February week-end at Carnival time. A few sketches, a couple pans of fabric, elastic band, sequins. The following day, I was so happy  to see my lovely Cinderella, all busy in one of her favorite activities. Everyday happiness in a nut shell. The one which moves me the most. And you?

Happy afternoon dear friends!

A special present #3

Tu n’as jamais été très loquace et tu nous communiquais ton amour par des gestes: de bons gâteaux, les pulls que tu nous tricotais, les petites attentions laissées sur mon bureau. Cela m’a pris quelques années pour comprendre et apprécier pleinement ton abnégation silencieuse et ton dévouement de chaque instant pour nous rendre heureux. Tant d’amour sous mes yeux que je ne voyais pas, tellement j’avais grandi dedans. Et puis, avec la distance, j’ai vu.

Pour cet anniversaire, et dans ce moment particulier où la maladie te met à rude épreuve, je voulais t’offrir un cadeau unique, qui puisse te dire mon amour mais surtout toute ma reconnaissance. J’ai voulu alors parler ton langage, trouver le geste qui, sans besoin de mots, avec la pudeur qui t’es propre, saurait parler directement à ton cœur. Alors, comme une évidence, je me suis glissée dans ta peau et je suis devenue celle qui tricoterait pour toi, pendant des heures, égrainant les mailles et les torsades, sans relâche, comme tu le faisais quand il fallait que tu me finisses un nouveau pull à temps pour une fête.

Ce cadeau spécial fut une course contre la montre, menée sans relâche pendant 3 semaines: le matin tôt, pendant les pauses déjeuner, tous les soirs et dans chaque moment libre de mes weekends. Au fur à a mesure que les jours passaient, je prenais conscience de mon erreur d’anticipation quant au temps dont je disposais. Mais je n’ai jamais pensé laisser tomber. J’ai juste foncé tête basse, ne voulant envisager aucune autre option que de le finir à temps. Ce marathon s’est terminé à 2 heures du matin, le 18 décembre, juste à temps pour rentrer les fils et laisser au tricot le temps de sécher avant d’être mis dans ma valise, le 21 au matin.

En ouvrant le paquet, tu es restée un instant suspendue, comme incrédule. Comme si tu ne pouvais pas croire, toi qui sais si bien le temps qu’il faut pour arriver au bout d’un tel ouvrage, que quelqu’un ait pu le faire pour toi. Tu as murmuré il est beau d’une voix timide et tes mains ont caressé longuement la laine. Ces mêmes mains qui ont tenu autant de fois des aiguilles et des laines, pour moi, pour nous. Puis, tu as levé les yeux sur moi, avec un sourire radieux qui disait merci

Merci à toi, ma petite maman chérie.

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You were never much of a talker and you let your gestures show your love: your delicious cakes, the sweaters you would knit for me, the tiny thoughtful presents you would leave on my table. It took me years to fully understand and appreciate your silent devotion, your daily commitment to make us happy. So much love before my eyes, which I couldn’t fully see, as used to it as I was. But then, with the distance, I saw it.

For your birthday, in this special moment where your health plays tricks on you, I wanted to offer you something special. Something that could convey my love and most of all my gratitude. In order to speak your language I had to find the right gesture which would quietly go to your heart.  All of a sudden it was easy to see: I would exchange roles and become the one who would spend hours knitting for you, sticht after stitch, as you used to do when you were finishing a new sweater for a party of mine.

This special present was a race against time: early in the morning, at lunch breaks, every evening and on each spare moment on the weekends, 3 weeks long. As I knitted along I became fully aware of how I had badly misjudged the time needs of the project but I never even envisaged to give it up. I simply worked harder, determined to finish on time. And so this marathon came to an end at 2 am of December 18th, just in time to weave in ends and wet block it before closing my suitcase on the 21st.

As you unpacked your gift you paused an instant, sort of incredulous. As if  – knowing so well how much time it takes to complete such a project – you couldn’t conceive that someone had done so for you. You murmured it’s beautiful and caressed the yarn with your hands. Those very hands that have so often held needles and yarn for somebody elses’s delight. Then you lifted your eyes into mine with the most radious smile and uttered thank you

Thank you, sweet little mama.

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Pour ce pull, j’ai tricoté la taille S du modèle Seneca de chez Brooklyn Tweed avec 5 écheveaux de la Cascade 220, avec des aiguilles 4,5 // The sweater pictured above is size S of Seneca by Brooklyn Tweed knitted with 5 skeins of Cascade 220 on 4,5 needles.

Cette fois-ci c’est différent – This time it’s different

Noël est dans 7 jours et je suis au beau milieu de projets entamés et nouvelles idées qui surgissent. J’ai appris à ne pas paniquer parce que je passe toujours par cette phase puis je m’en sors. Sauf que, cette fois-ci, c’est différent. Je sais que je ne pourrai pas réaliser tous les cadeaux dont j’avais envie; j’ai travaillé jour et nuit jusqu’à hier midi sur un cadeau spécial dont j’avais (très) mal jugé la durée donc je viens tout juste de commencer les autres. Je dois boucler les commandes pour ma petite collection Un pas sur la lune (merci beaucoup au passage pour votre accueil chaleureux, je suis très touchée!) et les valises pour notre départ en Italie dimanche. Donc, à regret je suis obligée de revoir le nombre de cadeaux que je me voyais préparer.

Il y a quelques années, j’aurais été très déçue. Je m’en serais voulue de m’être mal organisée et que quelqu’un se sente peut-être lésé d’avoir un cadeau « moins spécial ». Je me serai peut-être imposée des épuisantes sessions nocturnes jusqu’à être insupportable le lendemain. Autant de doutes et de pensées négatives dans ma tête qui m’auraient rendue malheureuse et qui m’auraient surtout éloignée des autres.

Cette fois-ci, je me découvre avec joie à penser autrement. En moi, quelque chose à lâché prise. Au lieu d’être malheureuse de ce que je ne pourrai pas faire et de ce que je n’ai pas, je suis reconnaissante de ce que j’ai et de ce que je vais faire. Je suis reconnaissante que ma famille m’ait soulagée les plus possible pour que je puisse avancer dans mon tricot-marathon dans chaque moment libre. Je suis reconnaissante d’avoir pu compléter à temps ce cadeau spécial que je tenais absolument à emmener avec moi.  Je suis reconnaissante d’avoir deux enfants magnifiques, qui aiment créer avec leurs mains, chacun à sa manière. Je suis reconnaissante pour tous les cadeaux fait main, avec amour, que j’aurai le temps de faire et je complèterai en achetant avec autant d’amour ce qui manquent.  Au lieu d’être triste de ne pas avoir tout fait, comme l’année dernière, je serai contente de moi quand même et je profiterai des fêtes avec ceux que j’aime. Car c’est ça qui compte le plus, après tout, n’est-ce pas?

Bon fin de semaine chers amis,

vous en êtes où avec vos cadeaux?

N’oubliez-pas de souffler et  profiter…

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In 7 days it’s Christmas and I’m still in the middle of several projects, with new ideas popping up each day. I’ve learned not to panic in such situations beacuse I know that somehow I do land on my feet normally. But, this time it’s different. I know I won’t be able to make all the homemade presents I had planned. I have worked night and day on a special present of which I had completely misjudged the time needs, therefore I have only just begun the others. There are Un pas sur la lune orders to pack and ship  (thank you so much for your warm welcome by the way, this means so much to me!) and suitcases for our Sunday’s flight to get ready. So, regretfully, I have to downsize my homemade-gift expectations.

Not so long ago I would have been very disappointed. I would have felt bad that I had misplanned things and let someone down with a less unique gift. I would have put myself through (even more) exausting night crafting sessions resulting in a very grumpy self. All these negative thoughts and fears in my head would have made my unhappy and less present for the others. 

This time around, I’m discovering with joy that my feelings are different. Something has let go inside of me. Instead of feeling bad about what I don’t have and won’t be able to do, I’m grateful for what I have and what I’ll be able to do. I’m grateful that my family was very supportive of me and allowed me to knit on every spare moment. I’m grateful for having been able to complete this special present in time to bring it with me. I’m grateful for my two beautiful, unique children whom I love watching create, each with his own style. I’m grateful for the love-filled custom presents I’ll get to make and I will, with all my heart, buy the rest. Instead of being sorry for what I have not accomplished this year, I will be happy with myself and relaxed and open to celebrating with my loved ones. ’cause this is what really matters, isn’t it? 

I wish you all a happy weekend friends,

are your gifts all done are ready?

If not, remember to breathe and enjoy…