April 2016 - Sensible Stylista

New York City Shenanigans

A few days ago, I trained up to NYC to give a social media workshop for The Fashion Potential.  I was super excited to do so but I was dead tired for most of my trip because I had to catch a 5:30 train aka I woke up at 4 AM to get ready.  Now, I usually wake up pretty early, but let's be real, 4's straight up painful.  I think I would've been ok if I had a chance to catch up on zzz's, but I had a shoot, a bunch of business meetings, and hangs with friends so that was out of the question.

Luckily, the little rest I got was solid thanks to Yotel.  Located on 42nd and 10th Ave., they're a futuristic hotel with amazing customer service.  Now, when I say futuristic, I mean futuristic. Their hotel's designed like a freakin' spaceship!  Each room is called a "cabin," and "mission control" is yotel talk for reception.  You check in and out by using a self-service kiosk in the Ground Control area, and they even have a baggage storing robot (!!!!) Check in time's at 3 PM so if you get there early, you store your luggage in Yobot for $2 and get your exploration on.
Yotel's check-in kiosk || Yobot
My cabin had an absolutely amazing view - the lights were hypnotizing!  If you want to see it for yourself, click here - I shared it on IG a while back.  Oh, and on that note, if you're not already following me on instagram, you should because I'm all sorts of loveable...I hope!  Anywho, my cabin was so cute.  I took a bunch of pictures for you guys, but unfortunately, the photos didn't come out well because lighting wasn't ideal.  No worries though, I'll describe it in great detail for y'all so you can use your imagination to picture everything.  It had a convertible queen bed with a technowall and flat screen.  The monsoon shower was luxurious.  I felt like I was getting a massage while bathing because of the high water pressure.  The workstation had free wifi that was ridiculously fast so working here was cake!  On top of it all, Yotel offered complimentary coffee and tea 24/7 + free muffins at breakfast time.  

Now, enough about digs, let's talk adventures.  The main purpose of my trip was to give a workshop, but being me, I totally over-scheduled myself so I was running around non-stop.  Let me break it all down for y'all and share some highlights (the workshop's a given so I won't go into that):
Dinner at Bea:  After having an especially crappy meal in k-town - Shanghai Mong was a disaster - I was extra pleased with my meal here. Located in the Theater District, Bea was a do on so many levels.  Everything from service to interior was on point!  I ordered house ricotta with rosemary honey and sea salt to start - it was freshly made and served with grilled bread.  Initially, I thought the combo was a bit strange, but it grew on me FAST.  Each and every bite was creamy goodness, and I just couldn't get enough!  For my entree, I got their famous green pasta, and it was ridiculously tasty. If you love pasta (or even if you don't), you'll adore this spinach tagliatelle.  It was tossed in a rich alfredo sauce and came with perfectly cooked marinated shrimp.  

Drinks with Lipton PR:  After working with the lovely ladies of Lipton PR for years now, I finally had a chance to meet up with them in person.  They were just as wonderful as I imagined - all of them were gorgeous, kind, and fun to be around!  We went to Le Pain Quotidien and chatted over refreshing glasses of Chardonney.  

Connecting with Plum Society: I don't know if you guys remember, but a while back, I partnered up with Stephanie, the beautiful owner of PS, for a blog feature + a giveaway - click here if you need to refresh your memory!  I had wanted to meet her in person for so long - she was amazingly sweet over the phone so I knew that she was a wonderful person right from the getgo.  We met up at the Paris Baguette in Times Square and talked over tea.  Getting to know her was so lovely!  I know this may sound cheesy, but meeting readers, bloggers, sponsors, and the like have been by far the most rewarding parts of my blogging journey.  I mean, I would've never crossed paths with her otherwise, and she's a brilliant person who's kind to the bone.  Both her and her boyfriend (the owner of Snakku) are extremely successful, and I'm beyond excited to see what else they accomplish.
Visiting JWholesale's NY storefront:  Yet another brand I've worked with for years now.  Previously known as Sparkles & Pop, JWholesale is everything.  I was totally blown away by their setup in Manhattan.  Prices are mad low, and they literally carry all things fabulous - from clutches to hair clips to statement necklaces.  My contact, Thomas, was there to show me around, and I was really happy to meet him!  After corresponding via email for so long, it was nice to finally put a face to his name.  Now, for your sake, if you live in NYC, make sure you check them out STAT.  I guarantee you'll find something you love!  It's like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory...for jewelry.  For those of you interested, and you should be interested, their address is 882 Avenue of the Americas between 31st and 32nd street.  You're welcome in advance!
Inhaling Chicken n' Rice at Halal Guys: Oh god, you guys have no idea how much I've missed CNR. I used to get it all the time back when I lived in the city.  I mean, $7 for a huge plate of magical goodness? Uh, I think yes.  I met up with one of my oldest friends, Cory Lee (aka kickass violinist , BAMF recording engineer, all in all visionary), and we sat next to the stand and devoured our food before hitting up Maru at k-town.  We got a huge bottle of yogurt soju, which was ridiculously nomtastic.  I'm not quite sure how much alcohol was in there, but it was tasty so no complaints from my end.  
Shooting with Dennis Christians: Where to start? Dennis Christians is a helluva photographer.  I've been following him on IG for months now (perhaps years), and his work never ceases to impress.  I had a blast working with him, even if my feet are most likely permanently damaged, ha - totally not his fault though, we were scouting locations, and I very stupidly forgot to bring comfortable walking shoes. If you live in the big apple and need a photographer, hit him up STAT.

I hope y'all enjoyed today's post!  If you want me to write more about my life, let me know by reaching out!  Your feedback means everything to me.

The Silver Body Chain

Re-featuring my Chaser top for the umpteenth time today on SS!  No shame on my part though - I'm all about remixing pieces.  I am the Sensible Stylista after all - I have to live up to my name! Anywho, for my latest, I styled a casual look for you guys.  I paired my tank with high-waisted shorts, distressed boots, and a fierce bodychain.  To finish off my look, I threw on a sleeveless vest for extra coverage.  I don't typically like baring my backside when wearing these babies because they're on the shorter side.
A closer look at my bodychain! I can't get over how cute it is.  What do you guys think of the design - yah or nah?
Top:  Chaser || Shorts:  Aero || Vest:  Banana Republic || Boots:  Nine West || Chain:  c/o Amiclubwear


Sensible Stylista x Hair Cuttery

Yesterday, Hair Cuttery generously invited me to get my hair did at their Hanover, MD location!  I was super excited because my mane needed a touch-up badly - it's been far too long since I've gotten a cut!  For those of you unfamiliar with HC, they're the largest family owned chain of hair salons in the country, with nearly 900 locations on the East Coast & Midwest.  They offer a full complement of cuts and styling, coloring, waxing and texturizing services with no appointment necessary, as well as a full line of professional hair care products.
If you ever decide to get your hair cut in my area, make sure you visit this HC!  Just make sure you call ahead to get an appointment with Staci, the head stylist.  She's absolutely amazing - super friendly and skilled.  She has years of experience under her belt, and it definitely shows!  I went in thinking I'd just get a trim, but decided to get layers after talking to her!  

She cut off about 2 inches and worked her magic.  My hair has honestly never looked better.  I know you guys may be skeptical, but I'm dead serious.  My shampoo, cut, and styling only came out to be $30.  Needless to say, I'm beyond pleased!  To see my new 'do, add me on snapchat - my handle's @sensiblestylist!  I'm also going to share a snap of it tomorrow on my instagram, so stay tuned.  If you're not already following me on IG, make sure y'all come find me and say hello!
 To find a Hair Cuttery near you, use their salon locater - you can access it here!

Jumping for Joy

I absolutely LOVE old Ellicott City.  It's super charming and cute! I'm ashamed of myself for not coming here earlier.  Mel, aka my good friend, photographer, and blogger extraordinaire, suggested that we shoot here, and I'm so glad we did.  I'm definitely going to come back here soon because I want to explore and try the different restaurants here.
I may or may not be a bucket bag fanatic!  Ora Delphine sells an adorable version HERE, but just in case you want to get your browse on here are some other cute versions for your shopping pleasure:
Sneakers:  Vans || Shorts:  Aero || Bag:  Ora Delphine || Shirt:  c/o Lily White Clothing || Cardigan:  Madewell

April Workout Playlist

I haven't shared a fitness post in forever, but I promise to be much more on top of it from here on out... or maybe after June because things are kind of insane until then, ha.  I'll share my fave tunes with y'all every month though - I'm confident my picks will keep you motivated during your sweat sesh.  Here's what's been playing on my pod-pod as of late!

The Striped Pullover

I'm all about neutrals today on Sensible Stylista.  I paired one of my all time favorite minis with my latest find from Last Call Neiman Marcus:  a Joie striped pullover.  I purchased it online a few weeks ago while it was on sale.  I thought it'd sell out, but lucky for you guys, it's still available here for $75.50 - I know it's still quite pricey, but keep in mind that it was originally $278 (!!!)  The piece has a relaxed fit with long sleeves and dropped shoulders. I'm wearing a size XS, and it fits me perfectly - no need to size up or down.  If you have any questions regarding the top, shoot me a message or leave a comment below! I'll always get back to y'all in a timely fashion.
Top:  Joie via Last Call || Skirt:  Shop June July || Shoes:  Aldo || Bag:  YSL

My Signature Moments: Kimberly's Korean-style Tacos + Giveaway

Thank you Safeway for sponsoring this post. Check out the new Signature family of brands from Safeway, with more than 4,000 Signature products available and a 100% money-back guarantee.

I'm super excited to partner up with Safeway for today's food post.  They asked me to share one of my signature recipes, and I happily obliged.  As you all know, I'm a proud Korean-american girl so naturally, I love bulgogi. However, I stopped eating red meat a few months ago so I subbed out beef for chicken.  I used several Safeway products for my dish - their new signature line includes more than 4,000 items - from coffee to juice, soup to cereal, fresh product to friend chicken, and delicious prepared foods to trusted home staples - all with a 100% money back guarantee.  Their brand includes items across six product sectors:  Signature Select, Signature Kitchens, Signature Farms, Signature Cafe, Signature Home, and Signature Care.
To start, the chicken + marinade call for:

1/2 tablespoon korean red hot chili flakes aka gochugaru
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/4 of a vidalia onion
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of gochujang
2 chicken breasts

Directions:  Start by slicing the chicken thinly - I trim the fat off to keep things extra healthy but that's your call. Slice the vidalia onion and add it to the chicken.  Mix all of the aforementioned ingredients together and let it marinade together in the fridge for 30 minutes.  If you want to crank up the heat, add more gochujang or gochugaru.  I threw in fresh jalapeños for extra spice and color, but it may be too much for some.
Cook the chicken on high heat, and in the meantime, pop open a can of Safeway corn and green chiles (diced) for an easy "salsa" - simply mix the two together after draining them with a strainer! I suggest a tablespoon of chiles for every 1/2 cup of corn. Then, bake the corn taco shells at 450 for 3-5 minutes to get 'em nice and crispy before filling them up with chicken!  Add salsa, lettuce, or beans as desired.
For dessert, I made coffee and enjoyed it with Safeway signature brand cookies.  
Before I leave you all, I have one last thing to tell you guys.  Safeway has generously offered to give away one $25 gift card.  It ends on May 13th, and participants must be 18+!  Open to US residents only.  The winner will be contacted individually for shipping information by May 20th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

April Beauty Must-haves

1.  Hask Bamboo Oil Strengthening Shampoo ($5.99) - Love, love, LOVE this shampoo.  Bamboo oil strengthens hair and delivers essential nutrients to weakened and lifeless strands providing a strong foundation and improving flexibility.   It works with all hair types and smells amazing.  If you're a fan of lemongrass, this is a must-have. Note: A little goes a long way because this shampoo lathers really well!  It'll leave your mane soft and tangle-free. Also, as a plus, this product's free of sulfates, parabens, drying alcohol, and artificial colors.

2.  Hask Bamboo Oil Strengthening Conditioner ($5.99) - Complements the aforementioned Hask shampoo beautifully.  Make sure y'all try the set for an affordable yet effective experience!  Contains ProDefense Complex (aka biotin + collagen) to fortify, providing stronger and healthier looking hair. TIP: leave the product on for a few minutes for best results.  

3.  Epic Blend Premium Lip Balms ($3.49) - Their petroleum-free balms are superior in every sense. Made from all natural ingredients, they're gluten-free and non-GMO with natural flavors!  They started with three flagship products (hemp vanilla, hemp coconut, hemp mint) and expanded to include more flavors, vegan products, tinted balms, and extra-hydrating lippies.  They only use top-shelf ingredients like organic beeswax, organic coconut oil, and organic sunflower!  Their hemp banana's my favorite.  Get free shipping on orders $20+.

4.  When Sheet Masks ($7) - When masks are everything and more!  They're all-natural sheets made from coconuts that hold essence up to 100 times their weight.  For those of you interested, there are 5 different kinds available: Travelmate, 10PM, Snow Magic, Glamour Base, and The Last Choice.  My personal favorites are 10PM and The Last Choice, but they all work well.  Try one out STAT for a luxe at-home spa experience.  Korean skincare at its best!

5.  Pur Glow Strobing Palette ($34) - I had literally JUST mastered contouring when strobing became a "thing."  I still prefer the former, but I like the overall effect of the latter as well.  For those of you looking to experiment, this palette will give you instant luminescence with its trio of silky cream shades. They glide on and give you streak-free coverage that quickly transforms into a powdery, transfer-resistant finish that you can layer.  Use a contour brush to apply it! I personally like using it on my cheek bones in addition to the center of the forehead + bridge of the nose.  I own both Moonlight Glow and Sun-Kissed Glow - both are gorgeous!  I recommend the first for fairer skinned individuals, and the second for darker.

6.  Hask Bamboo Deep Conditioning Packette ($2.99) - I know this is packaged individually, but I honestly get 2-3 uses out of it.  My point? Don't slather it all on at once.  This product's super strengthening and moisturizing so if you have issues with dry hair, this is a must-try!  It'll make a world of a difference without breaking the bank.

7.  PCA Skin Revitalizing Eye Gel ($84) - an amazing eye gel that strengthens, firms and lifts skin! You'll see results within a week or so.  It treats dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles and more.  I use it twice a day (morning + night) and refrigerate it to soothe and further reduce puffiness.  Also available in a cream formulation here for those of you who prefer richer textures.  Use code Welcome to get free shipping on your first order - valid until June 30th.

8.  Hask Bamboo Oil Vial ($2.99) - At $2.99, this product's a freakin' steal.  I've been using this on my hair post-shower every day! I like to put it on my ends to keep strands hydrated.  Warning:  avoid applying it on your roots and don't use too much.  You want moisturized, not oily!

Hask, PCA Skin, and When products provided by BrandBacker.

The Striped Boyfriend Blazer

I'm all about stripes today on Sensible Stylista!  I centered my latest post around my new blazer courtesy of Spiegel.  Originally $139, this jacket, made of stretch ponte,  is currently on sale HERE for $49.  The silhouette's on the looser side so you'll absolutely love this if you're a fan of boyfriend cuts.  Today's ensemble is casual yet polished - I styled a fairly simple look for y'all but dressed it up with an edgy statement necklace and crossbody. White tees are always a do in my book because they're timeless and ooze style with ease!  I own several different versions, but this (available at Chaser here) is by far my favorite.
Shoes:  Wild Diva || Bag:  YSL || Jeans:  Levi's || Blazer:  c/o Spiegel || Tee:  Chaser || Necklace:  JWholesale

Georgetown: Greenheart Juice Shop

Alright guys, as you all know, I've been working to turn Sensible Stylista into a full-on lifestyle blog. In addition to fashion & beauty, I now blog about food, adventures, and other stuffs. Lately, I've been featuring exceptional restaurants & stores in the DMV (DC/MD/VA) for funsies.  I've lived here for 5+ years, but I still don't feel like I know the area well enough so hopefully this will help me get my exploration on.  

Anywho, for today's post, I'll be telling you guys all about Greenheart Juice Shop. A few weeks ago, I stopped by the GJS pop-up in Georgetown to say hello to Alicia + Diana, the lovely owners - I met Diana previously at a blogger event and connected with Alicia on instagram.  I planned to attend their grand opening, but I had to miss it because I was (very unfortunately) out of town. I had heard amazing things though so naturally, being the foodie that I am, I was dying to try their juice.
Thank god I took the time to visit their pop-up because holy crap, they know juice!  I can pretty much guarantee you'll find something you love - clicky here to browse their menu.  I bought two concoctions (Liquid Gold and Forever Young) and a handmade nut milk (Matcha Milk), and they were freakin' magical! Seriously.  I can honestly say that they make THE best juice I've ever tasted, and that's saying a lot because I have extremely high standards for food + drink.  Sigh, I just wish I lived closer because I've been craving GJS for days now. 

If you're lucky enough to live near GJS, go ASAP.  Their drinks are on the pricier side ($6-$11), but they're worth every penny.  Each bottle contains anywhere from two to five pounds of organic fruits & vegetables, and they're jam-packed with nutrients because they use a hydraulic cold-press to produce their juices.  Just take my word for it and go!  Trust me, you'll be thanking me after your first sip.
Located at the corner of 34th and Prospect in Georgetown inside Down Dog Yoga from Wednesday through Sunday - to see their hours of operation, clicky here.  They also set up shop at different farmers markets!  Juices are available for pre-order, and you can buy a cleanse as well if you're into that.

Stitch Fix: A Personalized Shopping Experience

I'm really excited to tell you guys all about Stitch Fix today on Sensible Stylista.  If you're looking to have a personalized shopping experience, I recommend checking them out.  Here's how SF works: personal stylists handpick a selection of five items (clothing + accessories) just for you after you fill out a detailed style profile.  The survey helps them understand your size, style, shape, budget and lifestyle and takes 10 minutes tops.  
You decide when you'd like to receive your shipment.  At the time your stylist selects your items, you'll be charged a $20 styling fee, but not to worry, it'll be applied as credit toward anything you decide to purchase.  You're then free to try everything on in the comfort of your home.  The cool part? They include a cute brochure with outfit ideas to help you brainstorm looks.

You have three days to decide want you want to keep and what you want to send back!  Simply return the items you don't want in a pre-paid mailing bag - Stitch Fix clients get free shipping both ways as a courtesy.  You check out by logging into your account and paying there.  Oh, and if you decide to keep everything, they give you 25% off your entire purchase.
Afterwards, you give them specific feedback online regarding your package so their stylists can send you better selections in the future (if you choose to continue shopping with them).  You can choose to receive regularly scheduled shipments or opt out - there's no membership fee and a monthly subscription's not required.
Although I loved the items they sent me, I ended up only keeping one dress (pictured above). I styled it with a sleeveless vest (from Banana Republic Factory Outlet) for a chic work-friendly ensemble and accessorized with neutral pieces to match.  For those of you wondering, my shoes are from Jessica Simpson and my bag's Burberry.

Photography:  La Belle Mel || Melanie Yu

A Photo Diary: Renwick Gallery's Wonder Exhibit

I'm super excited to share today's post with you guys because it's a real goodie.  A few days ago, I visited DC to check out Renwick Gallery's Wonder exhibit.  I had already "seen" photos of the installations on instagram so I knew what to expect, but I wanted to see them all in person.  I took as many photos as I could, but it was quite a challenge because lighting was a little "eh."  I did my best though so hopefully you guys will enjoy looking through my first photo diary!

Here's 411 for y'all to start: nine contemporary artists created site-specific installations, each taking over a different gallery. Together these installations turn the building into a larger-than-life work of art.  The nine artists are connected by their interest in creating large-scale installations from unexpected materials like thread, tires, marbles, and blocks of wood - commonplace objects that are assembled, massed, and juxtaposed to transform the spaces and engage visitors in surprising ways.  
Patrick Dougherty's Shindig: uses willow osiers & saplings to weave enormous pods that offer discovery and sanctuary.
Janet Echelman's 1.8: explores volume without mass in a suspended net that surges in waves evoking a tsunami.
Gabriel Dawe's Plexus: develops dazzling waves of colored light using miles of embroidery thread spanning floor to ceiling.
John Grade's Middle Fork: is a tribute to the 160-year-old Renwick building.  He found a 160-year-old hemlock in the Cascade Mountains, made a plaster cast of it, and then invited hundreds of volunteers to re-create the tree in recycled cedar strips.
Chakaia Booker's ANONYMOUS DONOR: transforms hundreds of recycled rubber tires, splicing and weaving them into a mysterious labyrinth.  
Tara Donovan's Untitled: glues thousands of styrene index cards to create ten towers - looming spires that seem like natural accretions.
Jennifer Angus' In the Midnight Garden: creates spiraling designs across the gallery walls from shimmering, brilliantly colored insects, a novel "wallpaper" that displays nature's spectacular range of colors and shapes in small life-forms. 
Descriptions courtesy of the Renwick Gallery's Wonder brochure.

The Perfect Summer Frock

I'm beyond excited to tell you guys about my new dress from Sil Boutique!  Sil, the lovely owner, is a busy mom who's goal is to bring every woman the latest styles at affordable prices.  I'm pumped to partner up with her for today's post because I'm all about sensible style, hardy har har.  I centered my latest OOTD around the fabulous tangerine dress she sent me!  
If you're looking for a cute summer frock, search no more.  This wonderful dress is a do on so many levels.  If you're a fan of feminine clothing, you will fall head over heels in love.  I personally adore lace so I was sold within seconds.  If you're interested in purchasing this dress, click here.  As always, if you have any questions regarding the item don't hesitate to reach out.  I absolutely love hearing from you guys so it'd be a treat!  Oh, and in addition to the dress I'm wearing below, I'm currently lusting for these other fab dresses.  Which one's your fave?
Left || Middle || Right
Dress:  c/o Sil Boutique || Heels + Bag:  c/o AMICLUBWEAR || Necklace:  TJ Maxx

The Mosaic District: Arielle Shoshana

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Arielle Weinberg of arielle shoshana at her niche fragrance store in the Mosaic District.  I have a huge collection of perfumes at home, but most of them are mainstream. Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course, but I've been looking for a unique scent for god knows how long. Lucky for me, Arielle helped me finally find one!
It was definitely tough - I mean, everything smelled so amazing.  Fragrances were divided into seven different categories for browsing ease: fresh, sweet, citrus, floral, green, fruity, and woods.  My personal favorites were fresh, floral, and citrus.  It was a hard decision, but I ended up getting Atelier Cologne's Pomélo Paradis - the third collab between Atelier Cologne and perfumer Ralf Schwieger. It smelled like a vibrant explosion of juicy pink grapefruit.

In addition to their amazing collection of scents, arielle shoshana offered soaps, shower gels, lotions, creams, candles, diffusers, and teas - I sampled their oolong and earl grey lavender, and both were first rate.  If you're a tea aficionado, I have no doubt you'll fall in love.  
You guys need to check Arielle Shoshana out for yourselves.  If you live in the DMV, do yourself a favor and take a day trip to the Mosaic District to get your browse on STAT.  The store itself is absolutely beautiful, and I promise you'll have a fun time sniffing around!