Joyful, Joyful ...

I am basically still gone for the next couple of weeks, as I took almost a month holiday to visit family and friends, in addition to attend the last wedding of 2013 in our circle of friends.

I wanted to wish you all a marvellous Christmas holiday and joyous New Year! I shall have a special post coming up for you, but for now, here's a few snapshots of inspiration and personal home decorations created before I was in route to Christmas festivities.

Make sure to hold those dear to you close if they are around. Give them an extra hug, and let them know how much you love them. These are times when personal letters, phone calls, and even little video or Skype type of sessions can mean the most!
 
Christmas music box dome with ballet dancers, Decorating the Christmas tree, Wall wreath on the mantle with miniature ornaments, and copper ribbon.
 
(Above) Snowmen aprons for holiday baking, Handmade porcelain nativity scene made by a family artist friend, Lambertz music box  re-filled with gingerbread cookies for guests, Teal star hanging atop the tree.
 
(Above) Glistening decor for buffet table, Christmas tree full of lights, Holiday boxes.
 
(Above) One of our infamous Advent Calendars, The snowman obsession continues, hand hung ornaments from chandelier, Themed colours: table arrangement pre-dinner party.
Happy Holidays Dear


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Luxury-Hearted: Mary Lai Handbags

Being an on-the-go type of lady means always having a great bag that can hold some of my most vital items, including a favourite lipstick, a must-have scarf, allergy medicine, and even sanitizer. Aside from fitting the obvious essentials like your wallet, a notepad, and smartphone, there are ways to have an alternative carryall handbag, and travel in style!

After packing for any holiday, my airport accessories all comes down to what can fit comfortably in a handbag—the perfect silhouette is a mix of versatility and practical style. The style equation is simple: resilient simplicity plus a bit of luxe flamboyance equals an excellent silhouette. This Marlow satchel by Mary Lai is exactly that!

Mary Lai, a New York based independent designer produces luxury leather handbags that are both functional and modern. Her eponymous label is bursting with smart offerings for any poised fashionista to wear proudly! 


“Every bag is a work of art and is given a heart logo to represent the life and love given to each piece.”
                                                                           -Mary Lai
In her collection you will find styles that cater to the fashion trailblazer, as well as styles that have an understated elegance (see the Mason tote and Essex clutch below). The bags are all made in New York by local artisans, and the high-quality workmanship speaks for itself!

To put it quite simply, it’s a blend of practical style with a high-fashion aesthetic. Most importantly, her designs are city-chic and travel-friendly. The Marlow can hold more items than I thought it could at first glance. So, whether you’re heading downtown for shopping or out running work errands, you've got plenty of options for any occasion! Be sure to keep a close eye on this emerging designer's brand.

What do you think of Mary Lai’s handbags?  
(Above) Mason tote, Jayel crossbody, and Essex clutch. Images courtesy of Mary Lai.
The goods: Marlow Satchel in (blue) bubble lamb with black leather trim-Provided by Mary Lai. Buy it here!

For more information or to view more styles visit www.marylai.com

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Holiday Style Concoctions

I wasn't going to do another gift guide, but with just under a week in counting for Christmas holiday festivities to commence, there’s still a few of my friends who have yet to start their gifting agendas. Whether it be for buying fabric or baking supplies to make something homemade, or wanting help to acquire something special at an online store—behold, just a few last inspiring suggestions.

For Her: Go Glam! 
Dazzled by jewellery and all things that sparkle, yes indeed! Especially during this time of year, well it couldn't mean anything but right! Thanks to wishful wants and tote bags of holiday cheer, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming a little bit too.

Here are a few stylish items for the luxury-driven leading lady and budget-friendly fashion guru. Hopefully, reading between the lines or your hint-dropping isn't such an uncompromising demand because … it is the thought that counts!
1-Brilliant party starter accessories: Martini Cufflinks, 2-Shiny Aqua Candlelight Holder, 3-Leather Whisky Tags, 4-Glitter Pump by Minimarket, 5-Salt Creek Mini Wallet by Mary Jo Matsumoto, 6-Book of (drinks) Caribbean Potions, 7-Stu's Bloody Mary Mixology Kit, 8- Diamond Drop Star Earrings by Mary Jo Matsumoto.

For Him:  A Shot of Style
Puzzled for finding gifts for the boyfriend, husband, or special friend? When excellent clothing and the latest touch-screen gadgets are already in his life, there are other choices! How about going a different route—enter, “bar-inspired” gifts.

Skip the cable knit jumpers! Keep him busy with these one-size fits all gifts, which are hands-on.
The best bits: unwrapping these alternatives will make him feel nice and toasty inside, before you can say, “Jameson!”

I have a couple more posts for 2013, but I am now officially on holiday. Here's wishing you a wonderful ending week!

Happy Holidays!

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Winter: The Special Blend

The season of winter approaches and you can either layer or pretend that the cooler climate doesn't affect you. But, when winter arrives there are many ways to layer and still maintain your sartorial style. For me, as you may know, it all comes down to accessories, aside from the obvious jewellery options.

Let’s face it, without silk undergarments you might just find yourself freezing your little stylish bones off, and why do that to yourself? 

Here’s a prime example—showcasing one of several ways that I layer and stay warm throughout the winter season. 

This was an outfit that I shot some time ago; however I've been saving it to share with you for such a time as this. It’s a blend of the old and new, of course! A mere calming stirred (not shaken) blend of woollen meets silk and colour. I opted for my very own special blend, which needn’t too much of an introduction to most of you, being that I intensely adore scarves!
Gudrun Sjoden Style Ambassadors
Style Interpretations:
The crimson textured tights paired nicely with my knit dress, which I bought years ago. And, adding bits of silk, in addition to my printed scarf seemed like a first-rate counterpart to the entire outfit. So, I digested post-autumn weather very smoothly. The outfit felt like I was wearing espresso, caramel, and cherries with a heavy cream topping (my dress) as a warm focal point.

Is there a special style mixture that you infuse into your pre-winter dressing? Perhaps, you’re like me, and have many blends that suit you.  

What are your favourite fashion elements to layer with?
Swedish Eco-fashion bloggers
Muhu Estonia inspiration Gudrun Sjoden
Check out more holiday gifts, including an exclusive artful 2014 calendar here!

The goods: "Iris" nylon/spandex patterned microknit tights in Aubergine Madder-Red, other options here , "Cirkulär" cotton/silk shawl in Black (sold out), but try solid (here) or the "Solros" organic cotton printed shawl here.Courtesy of Gudrun Sjödén.

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Blog Birthday: A Fruitful Fourth Year


I can hardly believe it myself that it has been four years of blogging. I will be the first to tell you that it is feasible to be a very part-time blogger and still make an impression in the grand blogosphere. This past year has proven to me that quality trumps quantity. There has surely been a few times when I pondered about quitting the blog for many reasons, but I stuck it out because I love it and I knew that I’d miss it much. Believe me, when that day comes, I will definitely let you know!

Thank you dear readers for visiting, tweeting, sharing, commenting, and being inspired by my blog as well as inspiring me. I am so overwhelmed and immensely grateful.

Here's a retrospective style timeline on my top posts, including one of the most read interviews on the blog this year and my personal favourite … posts that you loved the most this year so far.
*Click an image for the memory.
Varsity jackets style lace DIY bloggersStyle blogger street style Oasap
In January, I kicked off 2013 on the blog with a few crafts, including a military-inspired DIY that was appreciated and shared by many others who did not even have a fashion blog! It was such a pleasant surprise. By February, March, and April, I was honoured to be a part of an eco-collaboration sharing a spring and summer lookbook with you, and consequently becoming an official brand ambassador.

It also marked a post about sharing my home and culture, as well as one of my most simplest of outfits for flying style, and one of many airport stories that you loved.

May and June breezed by with my adoration for headwear, and travelling. You also showed me love on this post, letting me know once again how much you appreciate my emerging talent and design features. In July, I shared my birthday with you, giving inspirational quotes that all of us can apply to our lives.
Gudrun Sjoden Spring 2013
August and September was quite a busy month—with fashion weeks and other happenings going on in the industry I shared my runway review, which also made it as one of my top posts for most read articles that month. But, I did manage to have time to fit in a floral sewing session.

For the seasonal change, I crafted a tablescape in November to get you prepared for autumn. And, for December and beyond, the best is yet to come!

I hope you enjoyed my little blogging recap of 2013. I still have many things to learn and goals to accomplish, but I'm looking forward to sharing my journey with you in 2014. For now, I preparing to enjoy a short holiday with family and loved ones in these next few weeks.
What to wear for casual travelling style blogger
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FASHION TALES!

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Vintage and Velvet

You may remember my love for classics, regarding tweed. Season after season with every granted year, I can always depend on my collection of coats and jackets. This vintage blazer is one of my favourites and has been worn many times. 

In my opinion, traditional pieces like these are staple items in my wardrobe. Blazers, for me are the next of kin to my Little Black Dress. They’re much like what a white dress shirt is for a man. They are essentials and everyone needs one.

I wore this for a work presentation and a small jaunt to a holiday theatre play for charity. Then, I changed shoes. To offset my packed agenda, I took a moment to take a style shot. As if being barefaced with bone-chilling breezes weren't enough to begin the day, of course I thought a stroke of rouge lips and a ribbon retro hat was well-suited and a great finishing touch.
It’s a bit amusing—when I recently analysed my wardrobe, I became conscious of the fact that I have very little velvet. Depending on the style of garment, I actually love velvet and thought that I had more of it! However, the true verdict was that aside from a vintage blazer, a flocked scarf and skirt, there weren't too many other velvet items or the likes of it in my closets. But, then I found this brooch … perhaps I spoke too soon!

What’s one of your favourite classic pieces of clothing? Have you ever worn velvet?

The goods: Tweed blazer-Vintage, Contrast collar blouse, Velvet skirt, and Kisslock Handbag in Brown-c/o Oasap, Hosiery-Givenchy, Velvet brooch-DIY,  hat, Earrings-Target, Boots-Vintage.

*I am linking up this post to Sacramento's Share-in-Style Christmas Series! Click here to view other outfits from bloggers.


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Style Drizzles: The Alternative Gift Guide

I have already given you a few inspiring holiday ideas here, for the nimble and hand-making enthused gifter. But, here’s an alternative gifting guide to aid you in your search for holiday presents—ideal stocking-fillers and gifts for the best friend or for those “because you’re special” type of persons. It’s also a lovely gathering of several favourite links at the moment: featuring brands that you should know about.

Shapes, and Fashion Notes:
It is a known fact that as humans we shop visually. When it comes to shopping, our senses tell various tales and are important factors in our shopping decisions. Certain shapes and hues of pieces online and in-store that are merchandised well appeal to us, thus making the buy now bone in our bodies an absolute weak spot. But, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

These unique bags carry an artful aesthetic, one that will trigger both the (stylish) mind and (fashionable) funny bone. Their geometric patterns and shapes are what caught my eye instantly. It’s a perfect remedy for gifting that one lovable person who doesn’t follow trendy rules, and just loves something … a little bit different. 
1-Cosmic Wonder wallet and bag, 2-Taeseok handbag, 3-Jujumade Natural Tote, 4-Cosmic Wonder Lighthouse Tea Ceremony Bag.


If you’re seeking a gift for a fashionable reader, then here are a few suggestions, including: a photographic spread of Dior's works from the fifties and sixties that also focusses on glamour of the period, DSW's compilation of fashion stories, quotes and tips, or a full in-depth behind the scenes and insider look at McQueen's final Fall/Winter collection. "The book was ready for publication when McQueen died, then was put on hold--until now. This substantial overview, with more than 120 photographs, is published just as McQueen edited it."(1)


Beauty Flavours:
I recently came across the Australian brand, The Little Alchemist from a co-worker who was buying a few “thank-you” gifts. Then, I did more research on the brand and fell in love. There’s nothing like natural beauty that make you say, “Mmm…” Wonderful naturally scented items like body butter and facial treatments will make the heart full of appreciation. Gifts like these are entirely glutton-free—and will glide over smoother than icing a birthday cake.  *Items that I want to try next are the scented perfumes. Click here to indulge.

(1)-Ultra C Radiance Serum, (2)-Natural Perfume in Turkish Rose & Cardamom/ Jasmine Loves Mint, (3)-Body Butters (Chocolate Truffle, Passionfruit & Lime, Vanilla& Wild Orange, and White Tea), (4)-Vanilla & Wild Orange Handcream.



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