Upping the Gifting Ante {Bindle}

Bindle Gifts Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.51.37 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.52.09 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.53.11 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.54.23 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.55.14 PM

Gift sets/gift boxes are generally scary to me. They’re usually poorly curated & cheesy, don’t you agree? Well, those days are over – thanks to a genius new Australian (go figure!) company named Bindle.  I accidentally stumbled upon their site during a late-night browsing session and was so impressed that I had to share it with all of you!!

Bindle’s gifts are so incredibly well-curated, I love everything they put together. The sets – or Bindles – are composed by occasion/recipient. There’s a perfect Hostess Bindle, New Baby Bindle, even a Bindle just for the Men out there. The most inspiring thing about this company is that they keep things local. Bindle engages local artisans to produce Australian, hand-made, tailored gift packages. The products within the Bindles, the boxes that contain them, the hand that wrapped them, everything is local. It’s these special inter-relationships that make each Bindle unique.

How awesome is that!? Now, we just need a Bindle service in every city in the U.S.!


{All images via Bindle.com}

Bohemian {To the Max}

Isabel Marant Maxi.

Isabel Marant Maxi.

Isabel Marant Maxi.

Rebecca Minkoff

Isabel Marant Maxi.

Chicago MCA

Isabel Marant Maxi Dress.

{Maxi Dress – Isabel Marant. Heels – Rebecca Minkoff (on sale now!)  Hat – Rag & Bone (old.)}

Hello, Lovelies!! Meet my new favorite Maxi! I got this dress while traveling in Germany back in mid-February, and the weather here in Chicago is finally warming up enough to wear it. It’s a comfortable & 100% bohemian piece and I can already imagine wearing it all kinds of ways – with flats during the day, dressed up with heels and a little black jacket at night, with a leather jacket to add an edge….and I’m especially in love with the little slit underneath the neckline – it’s such an unexpected touch of sexy, right?

Shooting this outfit at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art was so fun. Martin Creed’s current “Mothers” exhibit provided a perfect architectural backdrop. Read more about the exhibit & the story behind it here.


Weekly Color Inspiration {As good as Nude}

Manicure by Miss Renaissance

{On all fingers – Essie in Maximilianstrasse Her. Glitter tips on all fingers – Julep in Jane.}

Nude nail colors are super hot for Spring/Summer….and while I like the idea, until I have at least a hint of a tan on my ghostly white skin, I’m sticking with a little color. So, I declare this Slate Blue/Nude Glitter combo my current “Nude.” Cool?!

Have a beautiful weekend, Lovelies!


Sydney Fringe

Fringe by Flannel. Miss Renaissance. 2Closer-2 Back-3 IMG_1202-1 IMG_1672-5

Fringe by Flannel. Miss Renaissance.

Ohhh yes, my seemingly endless (and shameless) plug for my favorite Australian fashion labels hereby continues. This insane fringe jacket by Flannel is one of my favorite pieces ever (it’s sadly sold out now)! I love the intricate floral embroidery, the soft double-layered silk, and the fringe is so playful and bohemian. It’s definitely a statement piece on its own, so I paired it with simple black denim, a basic tank and my current favorite pair of flat boots (they’re insanely comfy!)

Alison shot this look on me right before we went to see Flannel’s Runway Show during Fashion Week in Sydney…it was fun to support the designer by wearing one of Flannel’s pieces to the show!


Take 5 for Beauty {Alison’s Picks}

Take 5 for Beauty - Alison Fraker's Picks

The Take 5 are back! Yay! This week, Alison – fellow blogger & great friend, shares her favorites with us:

“1. Jouer Highlighter in champagne. I use it instead of blush when I don’t want to look like I have anything on at all. Perfect color for
adding just a little something-something, but not too much.

2. Aesop B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel. This is pure skin happiness. Try it once, it will change your life. Never travel without it.

3. Sugar Lychee by Fresh. It’s my favorite scent. Light and sweet, perfect combination. I wear it all year!

4. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in always red. Shhh…let’s keep this one a secret, it’s that good!

5. Nars Skin Nourishing Eye Cream. This eye cream is the best. It makes me look like I got my full 8 hours, even when it was really more like 5!”

Thanks so much for your secret beauty weapons, Alison!!


So hot right now {Manning Cartell}

Manning Cartell Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.48.40 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.49.39 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.50.18 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.51.04 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.51.18 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.53.20 PM

If you love great fabric mixes, edgy separates with special details, lovely dresses & fresh colors then Aussie label Manning Cartell is for you! I love basically all of their current pieces, and after visiting their showroom in Sydney during Australia Fashion Week, I can say that their quality is top notch. These are some of their current pieces…I’m swooning over the metallic/jersey combo skirt & top!!

They now ship to the U.S. – so if you want a cool piece of Aussie fashion, get shopping! (Just sayin’…I’m not paid by the company. I just really, really love their stuff.)


Currently Brunching {Zinque}

Zinque, Venice

Zinque, Venice

Zinque, Venice

Zinque, Venice

Zinque, Venice

Zinque, Venice

Zinque, Venice

Happy Monday, Lovelies! For some reason I’ve been waking up extra hungry the past few days…ya know, when you crave a hearty, full-blown breakfast instead of the usual coffee & granola/yoghurt combo?! I have several go-to places here in Chicago when my big breakfast/brunch mood strikes, and I recently found the same type of gem while visiting LA.

Zinque in Venice is now one of my favorite places for delicious coffee (they use La Colombe beans) & hearty sandwiches/pastries. Their prosciutto-mozzarella-tomato panini is amazing, and so are their seasonal fruit pies (I had their pear pie last time, and as you can see in the picture – it’s a little piece of art.) The vibe & decor is decidedly simple & cool with an industrial edge. A few whimsical pieces, such as the vintage  piano, keep the interior from feeling too cold though. If I lived in the Venice area, Zinque would definitely be my go-to spot for casual meetings, laptop-time away from home, or even for an evening glass of wine. They have a nice selection of regional and international wine & beer, and I hear their light dinner menu is yummy & fresh as well.

If you’re ever in Venice, check it out and tell me what you think!


{All images by Miss Renaissance.}

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