If I had to pick a favorite handbag designer it would be Prada. The brand’s timeless and clean aesthetic constantly resonates with my style. Last year I brought my first Prada bag and although its color-blocked design does not match with everything, I love it all the same for its uniqueness. For Christmas this past year I decided I would invest in one go-to bag and found another Prada beauty for almost 60% off on a second-hand designer site. I wear it everyday.
I have a hard time paying full price for designer items because I know the mark-up is quite high. Every once in a while I’ll look through second-hand designer sites like Tradesy and Trendlee to see new items they have in stock. That’s how I found this purple suede beauty. It was marked down to 70% off from its original price. At first I thought it was a typo or that the bag had something wrong with it. Carefully, I examined the photos and the description. I also researched the bag on other sites to make sure I would like the “Prugla” color. (The original price of this bag was almost $3000!) When it comes to big purchases, it’s best not to rush and really take your time. Buyers remorse is a real thing and can get in the way of truly enjoying a big ticket purchase. I decided that if the bag was still available the next day I would get it. Either no one likes purple suede or this amazing deal went unnoticed because the bag was still there and it was MINE!!!
Granted it’s suede so it requires particular care: protect with suede spray, avoid getting it wet at all costs…just to name a few. However it’s a beautiful bag for a killer deal and I am the lucky lady who found it. I’ll try my best to not buy any more beautiful bags for a while (but look at THIS ONE!!! Just Kidding! Kind of.) and just enjoy the few I have.
Wish me luck 😉
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Photos by Brittney Christie
A few weeks ago my friend and I booked a last minute trip to Chicago for a stay at the Fairmont Millennium Park. Why go to Chicago in the winter time you ask? Because flights were cheap and we love Chicago. Sure it was a tad cold, but we grew up in Minnesota so we are used to winter weather. Plus, what better time to visit the Fairmont than when they have a shopping package with one of my favorite stores: Saks Fifth Ave! Now through the end of March, for every night you book with the Fairmont, you get a $100 gift card to Saks. Didn’t take much to convince me to go!
We checked in to a gigantic one bedroom suite that looked out over Lake Michigan. The separate bedroom is perfect for anyone away on business. While one of us was on the phone the other could have peace and quiet in the next room. There was a charming welcome package waiting for us in the room. The chocolates lasted about 5 minutes – no joke. Thank you Fairmont for our bubbly treat!
Next, we headed off to dinner at Geja’s Cafe– an amazing fondue restaurant. This was a dining experience unlike any other Tony or I have had before. I can see why this restaurant was voted the most romantic fondue restaurant in Chicago. You enter into a dimly lit atmosphere with couples in private booths all around and a live guitarist playing at the front of the room. There’s also a cozy and seductive bar in the back for people to mingle and wait for their table. The first course started with a cheese fondue which Tony devoured. Second we ordered a meat, seafood and vegetable platter to cook in oil with a variety of 8 different dipping sauces. It was insanely delicious. Our third course (and my favorite) consisted of chocolate fondue with a plate full of every item you would want to dip into warm chocolate. I even got to roast my marshmallows on the fire before dipping them in.
After dinner we took about a 10 minute cab ride to the Royal George Theater to see the Rosenkranz Mysteries– A magic show that left everyone in the room stunned. Dr. Rosenkranz pulled up audience members to help him perform his acts, Tony included. Each time I sat there perplexed at how the heck someone could pull these tricks off. Definitely worth seeing. The next time his show is in town I will definitely go see it.
The next day we met friends for brunch at Longman & Eagle. A restaurant I had the pleasure of visiting my last trip to Chicago. It’s about a 20 minute ride from the downtown area, but well worth it in the hipster part of town. This is a popular spot all the time so be prepared to wait a bit (they don’t take reservations) or just find a spot at the bar. Everything here is super yummy. I would recommend everyone getting different items and sharing.
We had some fun with Tony’s new drone flying it over the lake to get a shot of the city. Cannot wait to show you guys the travel vlog (video-blog= vlog) coming soon! We made our way to the SkyDeck, but unfortunately the wait time was an hour long due to elevator maintenance. Definitely call before you take the time to go there. It has lightly snowed that day so the pathways through the park were covered in a white layer of fresh snowflakes.
The parks in Chicago are so gorgeous. Of course I had to stop by and see the famous mirrored bean sculpture in Millennium park. There were people ice skating around other sculptures in a perfect winter wonderland. I had little hand warmers in my pockets to keep my fingers nice and toasty. Other than that, my jacket and a few layers were enough to keep me warm.
After that we headed to Saks to search the racks for goodies. Well, I shopped, Tony parked himself on a bench somewhere. I ended up picking up a few things…. I couldn’t help myself. It’s Saks for crying out loud! I could have spent a few more hours in there, but then I would have walked out with a particular Gucci handbag I’ve had my eye on.
We found an Italian spot for dinner called Rosebud on Rush. I was CRAVING spaghetti bolognese and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. In fact, I wish I was eating it right now as I am writing this. The night concluded with meeting up with friends over drinks and sharing a ton of laughs.
Our last day we slept in, grabbed brunch at the hotel restaurant called Columbus Tap and headed to the airport. I’ve not been to Chicago in the fall and winter. I’d like to go back to again in the summer to experience hanging out by the lake and trying more of the restaurants. It is honestly such a pretty city with great people and lots of good food!
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Look 3: Dress: Alice & Olivia (old)
Photos by Tony Oberstar
In full disclosure- Chicago has the highest sales tax of any major U.S. city (10.25%) so buying online at Saks.com may be a better option and give you less to pack on your way home.
If you’re like me, you prefer a gift that someone has put thought into over any material items. This is also partially due to the fact that when I want something, I buy it for myself. (I also don’t have the patience to wait for someone else to buy it for me.) I also love gifts that can be shared such as: drinks, lingerie and experiences. So whether you’re shopping for him or her, I’ve rounded up a few thoughtful gifts for Valentine’s Day that are sure to be a hit for the both of you…
Wine & Spirits
Everyone loves receiving fun packages in the mail! Especially when the box is full of high quality curated wine and champagne! Give the gift of a wine club membership to Vinley Market. This way when the box arrives you get to enjoy the variety, too.
Whether you’re purchasing it to show him or give her, both parties benefit. Am I right?! Thought so. Adore Me is my few favorite lingerie brand (if you have not already noticed.) I recently featured a few of my favorite looks from them in my last post here and I’m hosting a giveaway for a shopping spree!
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE loves massages. Especially when they can be done in the comfort of your own home. Soothe is an in-home massage service that sends a certified massage to your house. If you and your honey are planning a night in, surprise them with a massage for two or a gift certificate for them to use when they please! Right now you can enter to win a Couples Massage on my Instagram!!
Another neat gift to give someone is a weekend getaway. It doesn’t have to be some far off place. Even a stay-cation at a local spot like the Marine Del Rey Hotel can be fun and -something for you two to experience together.
Look at that- 4 great gift ideas and you don’t even have to step away from your phone or computer to make any of them happen. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.
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Photos by Brittney Christie