December: In A Glance

Hi there, lovelies! How was your Christmas? I hope that you had a marvellous holiday and looking forward to ringing in the new year. We had friends and family over, some stayed long past the weekend whilst others came to spend the Christmastide with us as we end 2016 and celebrate the new year. This was one of the best Christmas holidays that I have had in a long time, so I am very thankful. 

Above: Looking forward to testing out new skin care from *L'Oreal, Centrepiece decor, December family brunch with gravlax and black truffle bits, I made delicious madeleines for our holiday party and wrapped some for guests, Miniature Xmas tree number 2, Winter Cleaning: preparing to organise my cosmetic corner and purge unnecessary products, Baking with rose petals (more to come soon), Our Christmas tree decorations.*Press samples. Below: Christmas lunch table setting, Travelling accessories, Outfit details with sparkled boots. 

Life, Balance, & Changes: 
2016 has been a different year for me with the blog, and with personal and professional transitions occurring this year, even in the most positive ways, I have often felt so behind in the blogging world. However, it's always a comforting feeling to know when people appreciate the hard work that you put into posts and from the bottom of my heart, all of you FASHION TALES readers mean so much to me.  

Blog Anniversary: Year Seven 
As I am away travelling and enjoying time off for the next two weeks, I have been reflecting on 2016. Life has been so eventful that I had almost forgotten about my blog anniversary this month as well. Happy Birthday, FASHION TALES!  

It has been quite a long journey, and even though this year was a much slower pace for the blog, that wasn't the case in some of the opportunities that I've been given due to having this platform. I am looking forward to 2017, and I am grateful for all of my readers that continuously come back and support my blog by reading, commenting, e-mailing, and sharing my posts.  

Here's wishing you a festive season and a prosperous new year! 


Warm Gifts To Wear This Season

When it's cold outside, there's nothing better than being wrapped up in a warm and cosy blanket indoors. Now, you can transition that style of warmth right into your wardrobe with some of these House of Fraser options that I've selected for you. 

Winter is upon us, and now that the weather is at iceberg temperatures (for some of us), I can finally break out my furry coats that I have long awaited to wear. This year, some of my style choices have changed, for example, the belted long puffer jacket seen below would be ideal for an upcoming ski trip, and many years ago I'd have never chosen that particular style. 

I am always a fan of a nice fur collar so of course, I had to insert classic styles with furry collars into this inspiration board. I hope that if you are not completely finished with your holiday shopping that you are closer to selecting those special tokens of love. 

In case you are looking for cosy styles to last beyond the Christmas season perhaps a quality coat will strike your fancy. I have already worn my plush pink coat and will likely don it again come this weekend. Which style is your favourite here?

Above: Phase Eight-Paula Puffer Coat * Dorothy Perkins-Checked Boyfriend Coat * Dorothy Perkins-Fur Dolly Coat * Yumi-Fluffy Fur Jacket * InWear-Faux Fur Leopard Print Coat.

Above: Izabel London-Faux Fur Collar Biker Jacket * Ruby + Ed-Faux Fur Collar Coat * Izabel London-Faux Sheepskin Buckle Biker Jacket * Gray & Willow-Jonna Waterfall Coat. *This post is brought to you by House of Fraser, a Fashion Tales sponsor, as always, all opinions are my own and honestly expressed. Happy Holidays!

What coat are you wearing this winter? 

To view more coat options or shop the women's range click here.


Holiday Décor: The Moments

I teamed up with Oriental Trading again, and this time with holiday inspiration to show you how to put together a fun DIY-infused gathering. This time, with a little preparation I was able to host an evening of games for a handful of friends filled with fantastic conversations and nostalgic memories 


The holiday theme that I chose was small and intimate for this occasion because I wanted to show you several projects that you can create—these decorating tips will help you with future gatherings as well.   
Firstly, when preparing for a gathering try to start early, especially if it's on a Saturday. I like to have a relaxed Sunday and can always use extra sleep so timing is important. 

Now, let's talk coasters! As you many of you've seen here, this fun adjustable coaster project I created is a great conversational piece, especially when you personalise them, and my version is versatile (just in case you're looking to use the wooden blocks for other crafts afterwards).   
FASHION TALES - Oriental Trading Christmas
Here, I have created a modernised rustic holiday tablescape with a simple colour palette but with intricate details. Don't be fooled; some people believe that complex patterns or traditional motifs cannot be broken up or blended in themes for contemporary styling. This is not the case at all! These motley pattern selections are balanced by my single choice of bold colouring, red. Since my muted colour palette of brass and brushed silver are both soothing and sophisticated hues, I chose to go with red for a bolt of vibrancy.   

If you do want red and green, then you can simply add them as accents, or choose one colour as the primary focus. I wanted red because for this décor it goes well with both metal hues as well as my outdoorsy aesthetic with casual elegance.    

Adding nature to your table: I decided to bring a dose of the outdoors to our table indoors to bring my vision to life with modern Nordic elements and  rustic and dated pieces such as wood and vintage lace. We sort of met in the middle! I used a wooden bark centrepiece as the focus and styled around it with a faux garland (it's easy clean-up), with pinecones, and wood embellishments. 
FASHION TALES _ CHRISTMAS DIY DECORConversational Table: This budget-friendly tablescape is not only affordable but had a simple sophistication. Believe it or not, from the silver and gold cutlery to the dinner plates (both are paper and plasticware) I used affordable elements in every addition. The guests at the gathering were dear friends, so I wanted a colourful, cosy and familial setting.  

Décor Tips:  
If you don't want to use fresh fruit, just go to a craft store and buy a bundle of faux fruit pieces. They make great décor embellishments. Another tip that I use is adding both silk florals with fresh flowers. It's a trick that I've been doing for many years, and in a lot of my bouquets, you can hardly tell. Once, a friend had to touch a floral arrangement because she thought it was real. I did not use a floral arrangement for this theme. However, I wanted to share more tips since many of you have asked in the past.   

Takeaways & Finishing Details: 
To make your gathering personal, think about each person attending. I used Nordic washi tape on basic red notecards. Each card style varies, and there's a special gift customised to suit the person. Since this was our early Christmas gathering, I just put in custom gifts on their seats. From homemade soaps to foodie gift cards, there are so many things that you can make yourself or purchase.   
I added these adorable gift tins as extra surprised and trimmed them with gold wrapping, then used more washi tape to decorate the red tree boxes, which were very easy to assemble. Each box has a unique holiday treat. Since we only had hors d'oeuvres I wanted to have special touches within the table details. I started with printed paper dinnerware. I cut the faux garland in half to use as two pieces with the centrepiece, then added golden bells and metallic sprayed holly berries with wintry trimmings.   

I also had extra cards and used wax stamps for sending out more holiday cards. These no-fuss stickers look authentically sealed with wax and even better in gold. These labels are beautiful and worked well for my theme. Another fun personal touch was the napkins; I cut small pieces from the garland to put on my brass napkin rings then attached "Christmas Cheer" charms with twine.  

Christmas Decorating DIY from FASHION TALES BLOG
The goodsRed & White Vintage Washi Tape Set *Red A7 Notecards & Envelopes*Nordic Washi Tape *Christmas Tree Favour Boxes*Boxwood Garland*Wood Centrepiece*Christmas Cheer Charms*Alphabet Tiles*Enchanted Christmas Decor Plates*Gold Wax Thank-you Stickers*Enchanted Christmas Luncheon Napkins*Enchanted Christmas Tinplate Gift Bag Pails Shop–Courtesy of Oriental Trading
Other items used: Nicole Miller silver charger plates*Vintage lace tablecloth*brass napkin rings-Interior marker (Buy similar), *All opinions are my own and honestly expressed. Shop Christmas pieces here.   
FASHION TALES BLOG - Christmas Entertaining

What do you think of this holiday-themed and intimate setting? 


Shop the Inspiration


Saucy X-Mas With Fuego Box

'Tis the season for a little sweetness, and even some spicy holiday fun! I've teamed up with Fuego Box again to bring you more global flavours for pretty much every style of culinary palette. Just in case you haven't been in the loop from my "haute" intro here, or our fiery summer gathering (Yes, I do suggest you go read them, now), I wanted to give you a glimpse of six more hot sauces that are entirely different from all the rest. 

This would also make a great holiday subscription. These particular boxes included bottles from mild to moderate heat, and certainly was the favourite for some of our not-so-spicy enthusiasts. Don't fret, there was still plenty of heat in other flavours with a good kick in both quality in flavour and uniqueness to make you want more by the spoonful if you love epicurean heat.  

Details:  Box #1 
Butterly Bakery: Cilantro Onion - Vermont-grown peppers are used for this cilantro based hot sauce, which tastes a cross between your favourite tamales and a punchy salsa. It's also not as hot as one would think. I loved the taste and could see using this in a variety of dishes. 
Delicious Pairing: We loved this on Tacos, enchiladas, mainly use this on all of your favourite Mexican dishes and it would be fine. I also liked it in fish, namely Tilapia with mango salsa. I baked it on top of the fish, and it was glorious. 

Volcanic Peppers: Aleppo Pepper Sauce - This was the only one of the six hot sauces that weren't my favourite. However, others liked it on hamburger options, and I used it on sautéed mushrooms which were okay. Suggested use is also on gyros, steak or salmon. 
Delicious Pairing: I may take the suggestion to mix it with mayo or use on salmon if I make something. It is bold in flavour but probably best suited for meat (hamburgers). It was just far too peppery for me, full of peppered flavour, so the name is spot on, obviously. 

Bravado Spice: Crimson Hot Sauce - This award-winning hot sauce is a daring blend of red jalapeno peppers, garlic, and Chile de árbolDelicious Pairing: I liked it on spaghetti, soba noodles, scrambled eggs, and homemade cocktails. It is suggested to be used on pho, and fried chicken as well. For cooking: think about spicing up your one pot chilli, late night curry, Bloody Mary, breakfast sandwich or Shakshouka.  
Details: Box #2 
Horsetooth: "Smokestack Lightning" - Crafted and bottled from a family-owned company in Fort Collins, Colorado. The taste has a good kick with deep rich flavours. 
Delicious Pairing: Likely best on grilled or meat options, steak, pork, bbq, etc. I will use it in a pot of chilli for both vegetarians and meat lovers. This full-bodied fiery sauce made from garlic, chipotle peppers and cayenne has a soft kick of heat with a smoky pungency that sneaks up on you with a warmth of flavour.  

Red Robot: "Corn to be Wild" - It's all in the name! This was one of our favourites—I had no idea that a hot sauce made from corn would be so delicious! This was great on any Mexican dish as many of these in this batch were. The guys loved them on wings, so I imagine a game night with spicy wings, pizza, and roasted veggies would be the perfect pairing for this hot sauce. This specific sauce was mild enough for someone that just wants a hint of spice, yet it's very flavourful with the creaminess of whole kernel corn. It's both unique and brilliantly blended. 

Seafire Gourmet (SG): "La Diosa Verde" - SG's brand of hot sauce was founded by Seattle-based father-stepson duo with a fervent love for great tasting fiery foods. La Diosa Verde is made from fresh lime juice, serrano and poblano chiles, cilantro, and shallots, and tastes like a green salsa kicked up a notch, and more robust in taste than your typical restaurants.  Delicious Pairing: SG tastes great scrambled eggs, avocado toast, nachos, and baked fish.   

Who would you gift this box to for the holidays?

What is your favourite food or dish that you add spice/heat to?  

The goods: Fuego Box Hot Sauces-c/o Fuego Box. All opinions are my own and honestly expressed.

© FASHION TALES. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig