Fashion Week Fave {Sass & Bide}

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.52.37 AM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.52.25 AM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.52.11 AM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.51.49 AM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.51.13 AM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.50.47 AM Sass & Bide AW13

“Fashion Month” is in its final throws in Paris as we speak. When I wasn’t traveling into the depths of Africa, I was quietly watching this Season’s shows from the comfort of my computer screen – and I can confidently say that Australian label Sass & Bide’s show during London Fashion Week is my absolute favorite!!

It’s no secret that I’m generally obsessed with Australian fashion…but come on – how amazing are these looks??! The clean lines, amazing fabrics, metallic weaving & embroidery and the unexpected pops of a fresh yellow are just so modern and luxe. The silhuettes are mostly relaxed yet feminine, and above all, they convey a feeling of freedom and ease – which is such a quintessential and beautiful thing about Australian Fashion. Founders & designers Sarah- Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton have created another incredible collection that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

Watch the Runway Video Here:

XO

{Images via Marieclaire.co.uk, Video via Youtube.}

Weekly Color Inspiration {Emerald Glitz}

Emerald Glitz Manicure by Astrowifey

{Bottom layer on all fingers – Ginger & Liz New Money. Top layer on all fingers – China Glaze Watermelon Rind. Silver metallic nail tape on all fingers here.}

Emerald – deep, dark, full of mystery. It’s not only Pantone’s official color of 2013, it’s also a sexy shade of green that I have used way too little of in my life. After several weeks of traveling, I finally reunited with nail artist extraordinaire Astrowifey the other day. I told her about the lack of Emerald in my life & within half an hour she had created this beautiful manicure. Her use of metallic nail tape makes the look a little more special & edgy. I’m already scheming my next Astrowifey visit…are there any cool nail/mani designs you’ve been dying to see or try out?

XO

Currently Simmering {Kale & White Bean Soup}

Kale & White Bean Soup by Miss Renaissance

Kale & White Bean Soup by Miss Renaissance

Kale & White Bean Soup by Miss Renaissance

Do you ever feel like nothing will satisfy you like a big bowl of steaming hot soup on a particularly cold day? I’m sure we all know the feeling….I definitely do (when is Spring finally coming, Chicago!?)

On those days, I usually gravitate toward meat & noodle laden soups such as Ramen. To keep things a little lighter & healthier this weekend, I decided to make a meat-less (you can make this recipe 100% vegetarian if you use vegetable broth) but still surprisingly satisfying soup including Kale – one of the amazing superfoods out there.

It’s really easy to make & will keep for a whole week in the fridge! Find the recipe here (I cut the recipe in half for a smaller pot of soup.)

XO

{All images by Miss Renaissance.}

Oh, Oscar {My top 5}

Oscars 2013 Halle Berry

{Halle Berry’s amazing Versace gown was my absolute favorite of the night! Her hair on the other hand…questionable.}

Oscars 2013 Jennifer Aniston

{Jennifer Aniston often chooses Valentino Haute Couture, and she totally nailed it with this beautiful red gown!}

Oscars 2013 Stacy Keibler

{Stacy Keibler looks like a perfect statue in her intricate Naeem Khan stunner! Look at those arms!!}

Oscars 2013 Charlize Theron

{Charlize Theron, one of my favorite actresses, looks feminine & clean in her Dior Peplum Haute Couture. Simple does it!!}Jane Fonda Oscars 2013

{Are you with me or not? I think this gorgeously yellow Atelier Versace dress is super flattering, fun & age-appropriate on Jane Fonda.}

Happy Monday, Lovelies! How was your weekend? And most importantly, did you catch part (or all) of the Oscar’s last night??

I know, I know, the actual awards show can sometimes seem to drag a bit (as we wait in anticipation for the truly important Best Picture award to be announced), but the Red Carpet Fashion is always fun to watch! Above are my 5 favorite looks of the night. I would gladly wear any of these stunning dresses…but Halle Berry’s incredible Versace number took my breath away! It was structured (which I love in a gown) without being stuffy, and the use of metallics made the look so sleek and Art Deco while still being “now” and a little sexy.

Who wore your favorite looks of the night?

XO

{All images via Style.com}

Getting Crafty {For a Cause}

Crafting for a Cause

{Crafting in full effect – painting tote bags.}

Crafting for a Cause

{My personal idea of DIY heaven – sparkly rhinestones galore – all graciously donated by Jo-Ann Fabrics.}

Crafting for a Cause

Crafting for a Cause

{Champagne was flowing all night – thanks to Moet.}

Crafting for a Cause

{Being silly with my lovely co-host Graham of Glossed & Found.}

Crafting for a Cause

{Baked provided delicious sweets snacks – I couldn’t keep my hands off the Strawberry-St. Germain Macarons!}

Crafting for a Cause

Crafting for a Cause

{The evening’s Host Committee (from left): Emma, Dana, Azeeza, Lindsay, Yours Truly & Graham.}

Wednesday night was truly special – in that awesome “I’m back in the country, ready to party & DIY my ass off” kind of way. I co-hosted a great event with Glossed & Found at the beautiful Luxury Garage Sale space with some of my favorite people. “Crafting for a Cause” was a full-blown DIY-A-Pallooza!! So many of Chicago’s most creative & crafty came by to sip champagne, chat & have a blast creating one-of-a-kind bedazzled tote bags, T-shirts & tanks.

Through donations from our party-goers, we raised a nice amount of money for Prescription Wellbeing – a local charity that provides Beauty & Spa Services to women living with cancer. How amazing is that?!

Thank you to everyone that joined us – we’ll do it again soon.

Have a great weekend!

XO

Currently Baking {Olive Clafoutis}

Renaissance Olive Clafoutis

Renaissance Olive Clafoutis

Renaissance Olive Clafoutis

Renaissance Olive Clafoutis

Renaissance Olive Clafoutis

When my good friends over at Said She Said He challenged me to make something delicious using Olives a few weeks back, I was immediately excited! Olives aren’t usually on my list of ingredients to bake with, but the idea of using them in a sweet recipe was intriguing.

During my research, I came across this unusual recipe and knew I had to give it a shot. What comes to mind when you think of Clafoutis? Cherries, perhaps? Or maybe stone fruit, like peaches or apricots? Traditionally, Clafoutis is a French dessert baked with whole black cherries – pits and all. Using a traditionally savory ingredient, such as Olives, in a normally sweet pastry sounded slightly absurd, but I thought it had the potential to be delicious.

Turns out it’s just that – delish! The poaching process takes a lot of the briney/salty elements from the Olives and replaces it with a slight sweetness that’s really interesting. Seriously, try it for yourself, your mind might just get blown a little!

P.S.: I decided to bake individual mini Clafoutis, but this recipe can also be baked in a bigger dish & served family style – what a perfect option for a weekend brunch, dontcha think?! 

XO

{All Photos by Miss Renaissance.}

Weekly Color Inspiration {It’s never too late!}

Valentine's Manicure by Miss Renaissance

{Lightest Pink – Essie Need a Vacation. Bright Pink – Essie Bachelorette Bash. Red – Essie Jelly Apple.}

Guess what….I’m BAAAACK!!!

My trip to Africa was amazing! I can’t wait to show you some pictures (after I go through all 1200+ of them!) It was truly refreshing to get away from it all and just enjoy nature & its incredible wildlife. Being in the African bush, away from technology & the craziness of city life really helped me recharge and be thankful for everything that I have. I’m ready to take 2013 by storm!!

Since I missed Valentine’s Day – I was somewhere deep in the Okavango Delta of Botswana at the time – I couldn’t resist getting a belated Valentine’s manicure once I got back to Chicago. Ombre shades of pink & red seemed just perfect for the occasion, right?

XO

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