Midnight Gloss and Post-Holiday Cheer

I have several style shots that I had forgotten about, and one of them were worn on a very cold night before the enchanting celebrations for Christmas. It was one of those after-work evenings when I just wanted to capture an “as is” shot—no prepping at all, so many apologies for the slight mobile blur and deer in headlights shot.

I was going to toss them aside, but after a good laugh myself, I thought I would throw these images into the mix of what I captured swiftly for my night diary photos, and a few behind the scenes holiday photos as well. I liked this sheer black and white blouse and put a fuchsia tank underneath for additional colour. My jewellery was surprisingly minimal, with just small earrings and a bracelet. 

                I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday. Fortunately, we have just under a couple more weeks before heading back to work mode.

We're having a nice and quiet New Year's Eve, which I am much looking forward to. I shall be getting back to the blog soon. But, just in case I don’t get to visit your space beforehand, here’s wishing you a safe New Year’s Eve, and a marvellous and prosperous 2015!

What are you looking forward to most in the New Year?

 Outfit Details: fuzzy knit and sequins, abstract print, and bracelet. 

 Last gift wrapping moments, Holiday accessories, Eve breakfast preparations, and Holiday decor.  

The goods: Coat-Vintage, Black and white blouse, Antique-inspired cutout bracelet
Mohair crop sweater-c/o Oasap, Denim-Express, Shoes-Anthropologie, Tank-H&M. 

*Comments disabled for this post, you can catch me on my social networks!*

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L.L. Bean: Rugged Comfort

LL bean Blogger collaboration
For winter season, particularly when there’s snow surrounding you, it’s often difficult to look incredibly stylish when the temperatures are extremely frigid.

I grew up with snow, and one should always be prepared for cold weather, especially if you have to travel to various locations during the winter. Even if snow is not coming down in your neck of the woods, it can be frustrating to find durable boots that are practical, fashionable, and appropriate for the wintry climate.

L.L. Bean has been in existence for a little over a century, and focusses in outdoor fashion gear and accessories for men, women, and children. From hunting to hiking, they have you covered in every capacity for the outdoors! And, for everything else in-between, there’s still loads of other styles to choose from in their collection, including their infamous Bean Boots®.

In collaboration with L.L. Bean, I've styled these distressed leather boots for a weekend-chic look using the Bean Boots® in bison leather. I also paired it with a faux fur vest and jumper for warmth, which was a great outfit for holiday shopping on the town.

Fortunately, snow and icy streets haven’t crossed my path yet this season, but when it does, I will surely be ready in style with boots like these. Perhaps, if you need extra warmth, I would suggest the Bean Boots®, 10”Shearling-lined style.

To celebrate the winter season, here’s my top picks in L.L. Bean boot styles that are both fashionable and resilient for the season. Fashion Tales top boots for winter
rugged styles trends outdoor fashion
 (Above) 1-Bean Boots with Shearling, 2-Bean Boots® Bison 8", 3-Bean Boots in Tan/Navy, 4-Deerfield Rustic Harness Boots, 5-Deerfield Rustic Harness Mid Boots 

What do you think of L.L. Bean’s Boots? What is your favourite boot style for cold weather?

The goods: Women’s Bean Boots®, in Dk. Brown/Brick Red Style in Bison 8”-Courtesy of L.L. Bean. Shop other styles here. Gloves-Target, Denim Skirt-Theory, Tank-Dankskin, Jumper-Anthropologie, Faux fur vest-F21, Handbag-Urban Outfitters, Silk slip and Scarf-Vintage, Rabbit Fur trim,Tee-H&M.


December: Little Moments

Sometimes when the holidays approach it’s easy to forget to cherish little moments that can make your day. Whether it’s wearing your favourite lipstick or enjoying trimming the tree, making time for memories is always a good thing. 

I was fortunate to be off quite early this month for an extended holiday, and as many of you know, I love to decorate. So, this year, I was able to decorate for our home before preparing to leave, and help friends set up décor for a holiday party as well.

With Christmas essentially right around the corner, I thought I would share a few of my favourite December moments so far. There has already been a great amount—some moments to keep sacred, and some to save until the new year. But, here's a few that I captured.

One of several family traditions that we have is finding different nutcrackers from diverse places, this year is my turn, but the one that I found is not shown until Christmas day. Here’s a couple snapshots of other ones that I used. In addition, there's style favourites: a new travelling tote, a glimpse of holiday trimmings for entertaining, and more. 
Style shot of new wooden watch and the day's accessories, Current favourite colourful scarf, Leather tote/travelling bag, Boxes, boxes, and more holiday boxes filled with gifts to ship, Tree trimming begins, and Favourite December look.  

Fun decorating dinner party table with poinsettias and filled vases with bulbs and marbles, Ornaments, The little soldiers, Christmas tree, More nutcrackers holding down the mantle, Fun holiday snowman, Finishing touches with trimming the tree.

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Detox Days

This is a tad overdue, but I finally finished my detoxing session using Skinny Teatox. I had heard so much about this and wanted to give it a go to see what the fuss was about. Skinny Teatox is a Canadian owned business that offers natural detoxing tea packages in 7-day, 14-day, and 28-day programmes. There are no chemicals or preservatives in their teas.

I recently tried the 14-day detox from Skinny Teatox, which includes a daytime tea and an evening tea. The two-step cleansing process is very easy to use and the results vary. Everyone’s body reacts differently in general, regarding cleansing, and the effects of how we eat. I did not have the same results as the average user, during my first week. But, I decided to continue the programme anyway to see if anything changed. 

To be honest, my diet did not change as I used this tea, since I eat quite healthy for the most part. But, I did change my workout routine a bit.

By the seventh day, even though not much changed physically, within a few days, I did feel like I had more energy, and it felt like a normal cleanse. Days afterward, others around me started to see a difference in me, so perhaps I was just too close to see any immediate difference in the beginning. 

By day 14 (well, I had a little extra loose tea left for another day), I weighed in, and had loss a bit under 5 cm total, and about 1.5 kg. or just over 3 Ibs. Including waist, hip, thighs. So, although I did not lose much weight-wise, I got more slender instead. I would say that this works at a practical pace, especially if you just want to do it for cleansing purposes only. 

I think that it all depends on what you do currently, or what you don’t do rather, regarding working out and eating healthy and clean. It’s all circumstantial. Not sure if I would do it again, but I am quite happy with the results of the tea, since my exercises are focussed mostly for strength training vs. losing weight.

Things to note: The morning tea/daytime tea is a good tasting herbal tea that is taking daily, and the evening tea is taken every other day. The immediate change was the feeling, in particular the entirely "purifying" evening tea made with Senna leaf (this essentially is a colon cleanse) works as a natural laxative to clean your body from toxins and other rubbish, especially if you've been eating naughty. 

Have you tried a detox before? Have you had Skinny Teatox?
Skinny Teatox ships worldwide, for more information or to shop other teas in the shop click here.

The goods: 14-day Skinny Teatox-Courtesy of Skinny Teatox to review. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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Colour Me In: Five Minutes with Royal Caballito

Diana Saldaña thinks in colour—heaps of colour and she’s not afraid to use it! The former art historian/photo curator has proven that if you work hard and hold on to your dreams, that combined with passion is enough to lead you into a bright future.

A few weeks ago, I caught up with the designer to discuss her latest collection, the women who have inspired her, and some of the most important things that she’s learnt along the way since starting her own label.  

Just two years ago, Saldaña created Royal Caballito, an emerging clothing brand focussed on producing comfortable garments with values of sustainability. The collections are designed with imagination and prudence. She uses family-owned manufacturers to help with production, but does all of the designing herself. There's knitwear throughout the collections with cardigans, skirts, and roomy dresses or tops that can all be blended with other separates. But, there's also accessories, including scarves and printed notebooks.

So, what does Royal Caballito mean? With inspiration from Saldaña’s English and Spanish multicultural background, she came up with the name for her brand by using the imperial quality of the word Royal, and Caballito, which means “little horse” to capture the playful and childlike spirit of the brand.
Comfort and culture is certainly at the forefront of what Saldaña’s niche is, and there's an artful ease about the line that just makes sense. The result is a practical and unique collection full of character and sprightly attitude. Some pieces even have an abstract aesthetic. “I like natural fibers the best. Cotton, silk and wool are my favourites. They provoke an emotional response in me,” Saldaña said.

For those who don’t typically run toward donning patterns or busy graphics they may be surprised and delighted, because the design graphics are wearable and flattering. The soft colour palettes and overall aesthetic works marvellously with the simple silhouettes, whilst navy and black break up the collection as a smart accent amongst the prints!

There’s much to appreciate from Royal Caballito, especially the fresh perspective that the brand exudes as a whole. And, there’s no surprise that many garments have already sold out! Here's a view of some of her garments.  

What do you think of Royal Caballito's pieces? 

Getting To Know Diana Saldaña:
On her inspiration for the Autumn/Winter line …
“Ice” was inspired by my determination to create pieces that could help drive away the winter doldrums … When days get short and temperatures drop I really cherish spirited and colourful warm clothing.

The coming SS15 collection, called Harvest, could be well understood as an extension of that dialogue.”

On her dream collaboration …
“I would absolutely love to do any project with either Miranda July, Susie Bubble, or Tavi Gevinson. I’m such a fan of these women!”

Words of wisdom and most important learning experience …
"I really love the feeling of being my own boss. The downside to it is that you are on your own, and sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming. It is so significant to make sure that this is really where your heart is. Create a good network of like-minded people, of designer friends who are going through the same process. Supporting each other is amongst the most valuable things you will get."

On upcoming projects and events.
“For SS15 we will be launching our first unisex pieces, the idea being to progressively continue expanding the men’s line for future collections. I am also very pleased that our pieces will be sold in the USA, Japan, France, and Spain.”
For more information or to shop the collection visit www.royalcaballito.com.


Five Years, A Thousand Moments

This year started with a bang for me, and although there were moments when I did not feel like keeping up with my blog (because of other projects or happenings in my life), I managed to find that good balance between it all.

After reflecting a bit on what made this blogging year different from my previous year, there were a couple of things that stood out, amongst others. Firstly, growth … I am actually talking about personal growth. This year I found myself even busier than the last with events, work, and just living life. As you may have noticed, sometimes I needed to regroup, get rejuvenated, or take a holiday! So, I did! I was able to dig deep within myself to get the motivation that I needed, and other times even from unconventional places.

Secondly, I also travelled more, despite it being predominantly for business. I still made it a point to take little moments out of the day to have gratitude for even the smallest blessings, I visited more art exhibits, and blogged when I could. Guilt-free.

With daily affirmations, and writing out a list of attainable monthly objectives, I was able to meet and work with amazing people this year through my blog. There are loads of things that I wish I knew when I started my blog, but in each day, week, and year, you learn more about yourself and your blog -- I know that I certainly have.

You learn to progress and keep reaching for your goals, whatever they might be. This can also apply to life, not just blogging. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay! One thing that I try to remember is that our words are powerful, so staying encouraged, keeping positive people around, and voicing positive words will always have an effect in your life.

As many fellow bloggers may be aware of, having a blog takes an incredible responsibility, and maintaining one even for a couple of years is a feat in itself. This week marks my fifth year of blogging. I am so proud to say that I have still preserved my passion and sole reason that I started a blog—to express my style, inspire others, and showcase global noteworthy talent.

So, whether you have followed my blog for five years or you are a new reader, I just want to extend a massive thank-you for reading, commenting, sharing, e-mailing, and supporting me and my blog. It’s greatly appreciated! Here are several style highlights and a few special visual memories from this year.

What was one your favourite Fashion Tales outfits, memories, or posts this year?


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Style Watch // JORD

It’s fair to say that my watch collection is a proper collection now, and well in the same caliber as my prescription eyeglasses collection. Of course, for a fashionista, having quality options is always a good thing!

Jord, a US based company with a slight Swedish sensibility, produces quality timepieces that are all made from wood. The brand’s intent is to provide sustainable, stylish, and contemporary watch designs that tell a story with each wearer. These watches are made to be worn, and just as our clothing, over time our accessories can have special memories and stories specific to us.

In each timepiece, there's quality craftsmanship, as well as small details, like the smoothness of the wood used, the edging design display on the watch face, or even the colour blocking contrasts chosen. These little details make me appreciate the overall thought taken during the design process.

To be honest, there are times when the range of men’s watches in general, to me look so much more complex and better in design—because I don’t always want a little dainty jewelled watch. I already have several of those, so I really like that Jord offers small, medium, and wider band unisex options.

I recently received the Fieldcrest watch from Jord, which I chose because I am already a fan of watches, and this style is one that I don’t have. I think the darker wood colour will be a lovely addition to my accessories, as it’s different, and very easy to integrate into my wardrobe.

I have selected a few personal favourites below from the brand, which would also make great gifts for someone special in your life. I’ll be taking this with me during the holidays for mixing and matching options with my other wrist accessories. 

1-Sidney in Cherry & Mother Pearl, 2-Fieldcrest in Maple, 3-94A in Natural Green & Maple, 4-746 in Black & Maple, 5-Cora in Zebrawood & Turquoise.

What do you think of Jord's wood watches? 

Shop and view more watch styles here.

The goods: Timepiece style: Fieldcrest series in black-c/o Jord. *All opinions expressed are my own.

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Style Files // Navy Blue and Earl Grey

Grey and blue is a colour combination that I used to wear growing up, somewhere between my need to wear all black phase. Even now, I still love to wear variations of grey, and shades of blue together. I think it’s a quite soothing blend of hues, especially when combining light to dark shades of both colours. But, it’s also a cool colour palette that can be worn as casual or as elegant as you want it to be.

I decided to play with volume and pattern with this look, adding a heart printed scarf that I recently bought and have been wearing a lot the past month or so. The day was cold, and a much bundled up way to dress was necessary, so I dug out my leather boots and tights to wear with this outfit heading to a work conference.

This is just a quick hello to wish you a happy weekend, and thanks so much for your wonderful comments! I am off to work a bit over the weekend, and then try to officially start my holiday shopping. I actually started a little bit ago, but it was a browsing session, or rather a time to mentally take note of what I liked. I was essentially too tired to carry anything, and decided to peruse options for later purchases.

Have you started holiday baking, travel arrangements, or decorating yet?
The goods: Silver mesh and metal band necklace, Tartan flannel skirt, and Stud geo-bracelet- c/o Oasap. Grey v-neck-La Redoute, Printed scarf-H&M, Earrings-c/o Oasap, Leather boots-Sardini Italy, Tights- Newsboy Cap-Goorin Bros.

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Rustic Elegance

Christmas tends to inspire us in a multitude of ways, especially regarding home design décor. And, with autumn, we only have ephemeral cuddles of bearable winds and bright spiraling leaves to enjoy. So, we either can savour the memory joyfully, or tuck it away until the following year, all before it dissipates to welcome winter.

In our home, we usually savour it as long as we can—the crackling of wood in the fireplace and with the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and hot cocoa in the air is enough to pacify any thought of extreme coldness. A cosy dwelling and setting is always a favourite of mine, and I wanted to share this one with you.
It’s a pleasure to partner with Viva Terra, a fair-trade company that is committed to providing sustainable home décor, and preserving the earth’s natural beauty in the process. They produce everything from seasonal home furnishings to bed and bath accessories.

Viva Terra offers products that are recycled, and chemical-free, in addition to having everything being made by hand from artisans globally. Here’s a highlight of some of their items that I used in a recent lifestyle photo shoot.

One might often think that when it comes to holiday tables or seasonal décor in general, over embellishment is the only way to have a strong interior perspective, which we are generally very keen on in my home. But, you can actually achieve opulence, even in a minimally modern and rustic way in your home. It’s really all about placement, and the mood or nature of your presentation.

Elaborate tablescapes and interiors are always a special treat, and for me a lot of fun to create as well. But, this time I styled an autumn-winter table on a much simpler scale—the use of rich earth tones and art pieces that were both dated and contemporary helped to balance the feeling of the season. This is a rustic evening style table. The inspiration came from capturing the transition of seasons: from the warmth in hues from summer to autumn, to the freshness that autumn to winter brings. 

This interior centrepiece exhibit was a side addition to a tablescape that I styled recently for an upcoming art display. I also used influence from the comfort and joyful parts of what makes this time of year so special to capture a warm and intimate feeling.

What do you think of these warm and rustic decorations?
 Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
The goods: Cinnamon Bark Tealights, Mint Green Owl Mugs, Gilded Fig Vases-Provided by Viva Terra. Shop the holiday collection here. African art and Shakere-Family art piece from Ghana, Candles, Place mats-Home Goods, Baskets-Art and Pottery Market, Other items by Fashion Tales, Lake Champlain Spicy hot cocoa, Printed tablecloth-Marshalls.
To shop eco-friendly pieces from Viva Terra visit www.vivaterra.com.

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