FT Kitchen: Beets, and Biscuits

Last month, I made homemade biscotti for the first time, which was quite easy. It also reminded me of growing up, as my mum used to make homemade biscuits especially for my sister and I. These were so satisfying with coffee, milk, or tea. Since my first attempt, I've made different flavours and loved these with almond and orange the most. 

I have been experimenting more with the maqui berry powder, and I made almond-beet berry ice cream, using maqui berry powder, and red beets. It's a healthier alternative if you like ice cream (which I could never eat before when I was young because of the sugar content), so I served this to our friends after dinner a few weeks ago, and never told them that it didn't have any refined sugar in it. 

The result was an amazingly refreshing berry flavoured ice cream with coconut milk. Stay tuned for more original recipes and summer favourites!

*Don't forget, you can still save 25% off anything you order at Sunfood.com until 31 July, including the maqui berry powder. Use code: FASHIONTALES25 

Do you like biscotti or have any favourite ice cream flavours?


Absolute Sheer Luxe

As a fashion, beauty, and all things "stylish and luxe" enthusiast, it's often a bit tricky to decide on what favourites to share, and particularly when to share them. There are heaps of diverse sites that I fancy throughout each month. But, I have been revisiting a few online destinations that I've loved in the past.

Sheer Luxe and Mint Velvet are just two of those favourite sites that I have been revisiting.
They are not exactly new, but between the both of them they will satiate your luxury cravings for food, fashion, and lifestyle. Sometimes reverting to sites that you've coveted in the past, but have somewhat forgotten about can give you just the bolt of inspiration needed.

I often come across new boutiques, and even revisit old ones on a weekly basis. More currently, the latter. It's been a good lengthy time of personal browsing, shopping, and creating repetitive wish lists with these two sites, so here's a shoppable guide that I've created below.

Most items are from Sheer Luxe. And, since I will be taking a weekend getaway very soon next month, this style board specifically reflects weekend city strolls, and casual holiday selections that I am loving at the moment.

From window shopping to gorgeous park walks, something semi-basic and casual for day, and then a dash of colour for night is perfectly fine with me for the weekend.

Do you have any weekend getaways planned?

Above: (1)Kendra Scott Carole Necklace (2)-French Connection Siena lace dress, (3)Frame Denim Le Slouchy Tencel Tank (4)Stella McCartney cat eye sunglasses (5)Dune London nude travel set (6)Jorgobe Skin Care peel off mask, (7)Ciara Leather Mid-heel Sandals, (8)Selected Femme Aliva Striped Shorts, (9)Rag & Bone Straw Panama Hat, (10)French Connection Cilly Boots, (11)Mint Velvet-Chalk Abia cross body bag.

Have you shopped Sheer Luxe?

Shop the Inspiration


Weekend Links and Netflixation

A bit of a short post today, and yes, for the bloggers who skim, I can almost hear your pondering this. But, read on (in entirely under two minutes) ...

Thank you very much for your lovely comments on my post last week. It was chosen in IFB's Links à la Mode round-up. Do check out other selected bloggers in the list below.

What are your plans for the weekend? After a recent business trip, I finally have time to unwind, so I am off to a friend's housewarming. Afterward, I am spending time with my sister on the weekend for some much needed relaxation / spa pampering. A manicure and a Swedish massage is on the agenda. I will be back on the blog on Tuesday.

Sunday will be a laid-back day, and a Netflix evening. What is on your radar? Do you have any theatre suggestions, or must-see films? I might be a tad behind, since we typically watch more foreign cinema as of late, and helpful film recommendations, new series, or your current indie favourites are certainly welcomed.


Tales of Spritz

Aside from this being in my top summer foodie book buys for 2016, along with these, Spritz, a book by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau offers a perfect guide to the infamous Italian aperitivo cocktail. I wanted this book primarily because of the focus (Spritz!), as I don't have many cocktail books at all in my archives. Since we entertain quite a bit, this sounded like a favourable book option to have on the shelf.

Like many, I've delved into the occasional cocktail/bar bible, followed directions, and read a couple of books on creating your own bar drinks. For some reason, I never really got into it. My often dauntless ways in the kitchen didn't quite make it to expert cocktail making, and baking merely outranked it all. But, there's something incredibly enticing about cocktails, perhaps it's all aesthetic for the most part before taste. That's what I thought before getting nose deep into this book ... it turns out, it's all the above! And, the taste bit? Yes, that's definitely essential!

The Spritz Sessions:
I tried out several concoctions myself, and infused varied bitters along with sugar-free syrup options. We loved them! It's a slightly more elegant way of weekend quaffing with fizzles and all, and the absolute summer cocktail to love.

The real treat though wasn't solely the diverse cocktails that the book promised ... indeed, there was so much more! Not only is this book surprisingly detailed, but it also comes with recipes. There are great small plated bites to accompany your spritz. Some of the hors d'œuvres and snacks include Baccalà Mantecato, essentially a canapé with Norwegian stockfish (a Venetian favourite), oven-roasted olives (because regular olives are overrated), Spiedini di Mare (Venetian-style shrimp calamari skewers), and Mondechili (Nothern Italian meatballs), amongst others.
Books on Spritz cocktails

The Who, Why,  & Where:
Who: Even if you don't partake in any beverage concoction that involves alcohol, you can make virgin-style cocktails from this book. There are plenty of options for inspiration, lessons in Italian spritz, and intricate tales all compiled into this vibrant treasure.

Why you need it: 
  • If you get this book just for the retro graphics and images alone, I'll say it's worth it. 
  • With minimal ingredients, it's also one of the easiest cocktails to create, therefore extremely simple to surmount nearly any spritz recipe, even the somewhat "complex" versions. 
  • This would make a marvellous coffee table book, although the book would gleam nicely on a small counter all on its own (with proper back lighting, of course).
  • Other offerings include, an in-depth knowledge booster on spritzes: from classic origins to some history with "Prosecco 101."

Where: Looking for a spritz hot spot? No worries, you're covered. In the back of the book, from Milan to Venice you will find cafés and other establishments serving spritz, as well as other cities. It's an added bonus and road map to treat yourself whilst travelling on your Italian holiday. Now, go forth and get your spritz on!
Above: Images are my own, and other images are taken from the book, Spritz. *I received this book from the publisher, all opinions are honest and solely my own. This post may contain some affiliate links.

Tell me, how do you take your spritz? What's your favourite cocktail?
Shop the essentials

Organika Cases

Organika, an emerging tech accessories brand is bringing the outdoors directly to you (and your mobile devices). It wasn't too long ago (in fact, just this year) that the initial idea and development of these new style of cases came into fruition.

The conceptual design behind Organika's new line of decorative cases is quite unique—producing a diverse range of mobile case—inspiring the customer to regress to pleasant flashbacks and fond moments ignited by familiar scents.

These styles are indicative of nostalgic scents and made with dried plants, and leaves. Some of the styles include, Coffee Beans (energy), Alpine Hay (memory), Rose Petals (love), and Jasmine (calm).

Tech cases that carry a subtle scent intensity? It's an innovative concept, indeed. This special concentration on the sense of smell is something that I've not actually seen before in mobile cases, and I can honestly say that I've never had a tech case that had any scent other than that of new leather. Even then, the "new leather" smell is a distinct aroma, one that most people either love or loathe.

Based in Slovenia, the brand uses organic materials embedded in the design of every case produced.
The Organika team kindly sent me this rose petal style iPhone case, and upon opening the box the first thing that I did was obviously smell the case (it's not something one does ... ever. But, this time you'd actually want to)! Sure enough, the case radiated of rose, yet it wasn't overpowering.

The Details:
Early Bird Price: 29 USD
Materials: Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), in addition to organic materials and FSC certified. The outer shell material makes it versatile and semi-pliable, yet still sturdy. The case has grip texture on each side for slip-free handling.
Packaging: Came in a branded box with natural raffia shavings.

Protection: This case protects the outer realm of the phone, not the face of the phone. I have a screen shield on my phone, so this was not a problem.
Made in EU. Organika mobile cases support Apple, Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, and Huawei products. 

 (Above) Image Credit: Organika

Verdict: Rated: 8.5/10  
Overall, I really loved the case, and the idea behind it. If I could tweak one thing, it would be to offer other colours for the frame of the cases, but that's minor. The case is made very well, and of good quality. You can really view the embellished details with the rose petals; a smooth and somewhat textured surface that also give off the rose fragrance.

Who is this for: If you're looking for something different with the splendid element of nature attached to the design, then this is for you. People who want an everyday case, or tend to lean toward a more natural aesthetic in selecting mobile cases will probably like these cases. At the very least, this would be a good addition to your collection of tech cases if you already own lavish leather, or other gilded styles.

*View more details about Organika , and other styles on their Kickstarter page

The goods: Mobile case style: Rose Petals-c/o Organika (MMore Cases). PR sample: I received this mobile case for an honest review. All other images: Fashion Tales.

What do you think of Organika Cases? What scent gives you a fond memory?

Iphone cases Scented Organika MMore Cases

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