February 2017 - Sensible Stylista

Find of the Day: The Lace Mini ($46)

Alright everyone, I'm super excited to tell you guys all about my latest find.  This dress is definitely too pricy to be considered a bargain buy, but it was just too cute to pass up!  I found it online at ASOS last week and instantly fell in love with the design.  I've been obsessed with plunge necklines as of late, so naturally I was drawn to this piece.  
Made of a cotton and polyamide blend, this mini is ridiculously comfortable - it has a stretch waist so you have a lot of give aka no sucking in.  However, I do want to point out that the item is on the shorter side.  I honestly didn't mind the length though.  If you find it to be too scandalous, simply throw on black tights and heels.  You'll look chic, while creating the illusion of longer legs.  I paired the dress with OTK boots and wore a bralette underneath to keep things modest-ish, at least for the occasion.  For those of you interested in purchasing this piece, it's available for $46 here.  I bought it in size US 4, and it fits me well!  If you're nervous about sizing, simply order two.  Asos has a great return policy so you don't have to worry about shipping costs and whatnot.  
Also, a HUGE thanks to Joseph D Tran Photography for the pic! I shot a bunch of looks with him in Alexandria on Sunday, and I'm beyond excited to see more.  I hope you guys enjoyed the sneak peek!

Strutting Around in Suede OTK Boots

I don't know what the weather's like where you guys live, but it's been straight up crazy here in the DMV.  It's 77 one day and 40 the next - like, it was FREEZING when I shot this with Sung a while back.  I mean, I'm not going to lie to you, I've been loving the warm weather, but it's all kinds of disconcerting.  Is anyone else worried?
On a more positive note, I have several trips planned in March and April so I'm beyond excited!  I'll be in Phoenix, SF, and the Caribbean for different shenanigans.  I'll, of course, be recapping everything on here, but you can follow along via instagram for BTS shots and other good stuffs.  I'm planning on sharing a ton on instastories so keep an eye out!  I haven't been posting much on snapchat, but I'll try and remember to do so if you all want me to.  And just out of curiosity, what do you guys prefer - snapchat or instastories? Make sure you let me know in the comment section below!

Necklace:  Jwholesale || Top:  c/o Laila Jayde (available in several other colors) || Skirt:  Chicwish (similar) || Jacket:  Shop Sosie (similar) || Bag: Chanel (look for less) || Boots:  Stuart Weitzman (look for less)
Photos shot by the wonderful Sung Shin.

Unboxing my February Glossybox

1.  Estee Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack ($50):  I'm a huge fan of sleeping masks so I was beyond thrilled to find this overnight water pack included in this month's Glossybox.  Enriched with fruit and flower extracts, antioxidants, and other goodies, this mask hydrates & energizes while you get your z's.  I enjoyed using this product, but I honestly wouldn't buy this for $50.  I think AmorePacific's Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Mask is a MUCH better option, and it's only $10 more.  If you're going to splurge, I recommend going with the latter!

2.  Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat ($30):  One of THE most amazing topcoats you'll ever use.  Yes, it's steep at $30, but your mani will last 3x as long with this coating, AND your nails will look shiny as hell - a definite must-try if you're a fan of gel finishes!

3.  Jeanne Arthes Leu De Rose ($26):  Hands down, one of the most amazing fragrances I own!  I adore the scent, but it (very unfortunately) doesn't last long. Made exclusively for GLOSSYBOX, this perfume reflects the sensual, modern women.  It's refreshing and sophisticated by paying homage to girly femininity.  The full size is available for $26!

4.  Schwarzkopf Professional Smoothing Cream ($12.37):  I'm not crazy about this product, but you may have a better experience with it? My hair's not especially thick so this was overkill for me - I prefer lighter sprays - but if you deal with extreme frizz on the daily, this may work well for you.

5.  Eve by Eve's Lip Definer ($19):  I really wanted to like this product, but this was a definite no-go. I straight up hurt my pucker while using this.  Save your money, seriously!  If you feel like splurging, hit up MAC - I've always been a huge fan of their liners.  The new Maybelline Color Sensational liners are great as well, and they're pretty affordable - available at Ulta for $7.99.  They offer BOGO 50% off deals quite often so check back frequently.

CONCLUSION:  This month's glossybox was weak, BUT their box collab with Rituals was on POINT!  I highly recommend purchasing the latter - it contained several luxe shower products that I absolutely loved, and everything smelled heavenly.  A serious must for those of you who indulge in at-home spa nights.  

Strong is the New Skinny

Alright guys, it's time for this month's fitness update!  Things have been especially tough for me as of late - I had my fourth and final doctoral comp a few days ago - but I've been keeping up with my regimen like a good girl.  I'm currently finishing up week 2 of T25 Gamma, and I couldn't be prouder. These workouts are no freakin' joke - there are four new modules this month, and they're all pretty ridiculous: Speed 3.0, Rip't Up, Extreme Circuit, and The Pyramid.  Shaun T definitely knows what he's doing, and he raises the bar with these circuits.  With the exception of Speed 3.0, everything is weighted.  I can feel myself getting stronger day by day, which is all sorts of awesomesauce.

I can't wait to finish up and tackle Insanity Max 30 next.  I was a huge fan of the original program, so I'm excited to give the shorter version a go.  I gotta admit that I'm a little intimidated though because T25's categorized as intermediate on Beachbody, while Insanity Max 30 is considered "advanced."  I mean, I thought T25 was pretty advanced, but I guess not? Ha. I'll have to see what happens.  

Also, I haven't weighed myself in ages, but the last time I checked, I was 110lbs.  I haven't been doing SUPER well with my diet, but I started eating clean again a few days ago (aka after my exam) so I'm not really worried about it. I have really bad anxiety and I deal with it by eating - NOT good, but hey, we all have our issues.  Luckily, I wasn't scarfing down TOO much garbage!

On another note, I'm planning on experimenting with thermogenics this month so I'll let you guys know what happens with all of that.  My BF recommended them to me so I figured why not?  I've never taken weight loss supplements before so it'll be an interesting experience to say the least.  They apparently speed up your metabolism with caffeine and other ingredients!  I've never been big on pills, but the manfriend's taken them before and he's still alive and kicking so I take comfort in that. Anywho, I'll keep y'all posted, and before I leave you, here's this month's playlist.  Enjoy!


My Latest Bargain Find from Zara

Telling you guys all about my latest find from Zara today on SS.  I picked this baby up online a few weeks ago during one of their blowouts - I actually ended up getting a bunch of other stuff as well because everything was super affordable, like under $10 affordable.
I scored this skirt for $9.99 (!!!!), and it's hands down one of my current favorites because the design slays and it flatters my figure like nobody's business.  I paired it with a sexy lace-up crop from amiclubwear and threw on a structured moto jacket to up my style game tenfold.  To finish things off, I carried my YSL tassel crossbody and wore custom-made boots from Two Perfect Souls.
Other BAMF skirts with asymmetrical hems (all under $20):
I've been feeling much more confident in my skin as of late because I've been working out a ton! Exercise seriously does the body good on so many different levels.  I've doubled up on beachbody workouts because my stress levels have been out of control - hopefully things will let up soon though. How do you guys de-stress? Do you have a routine? 

Skirt:  Zara || Boots:  Two Perfect Souls || Bag:  YSL || Jacket:  BCBG || Top:  amiclubwear
Photos shot by the incredible Voulez Boudoir.

SS Eats: Wit & Wisdom

It's time for another food post, everyone!  For today's blast, I'll be telling you all about my nomtastic lunch with Justin Schuble (aka DCFoodPorn) at Wit & Wisdom.  Located in Harbor East, this gorgeous restaurant oozes class - if you're looking for amazing food AND killer ambiance in Baltimore, you need to head on over stat.  

To start, we ordered green tea, coffee, and a Carrot Mule.  I'm not really into getting my drink on in the early afternoon, but I can definitely see myself making exceptions when lunching at W&W.  This cocktail was seriously one of THE best I've ever had, and it contained carrot-infused tito's vodka carrot-cardamom syrup, lemon, and ginger beer.  
Then, we ordered different apps to share:  House-made Charcuterie, Blue Crab Cocktail, and Maine Lobster Corndogs.  All three were delicious and beautifully presented so I honestly can't pick a favorite, but if I absolutely HAD to, I'd recommend the crab & lobster dishes, only because I feel like you can get charcuterie anywhere.  

I was blown away by the flavors of the crab and the creativity of the corndogs.  The former was marinated in flying dog orange ale vinaigrette and garnished with avocado, while the latter was served with whole grain mustard creme fraiche.  You really can't go wrong with either!  The next time I go back, I definitely want to try the Hand-cut Tagliatelle 'Carbonara' and their Acorn Squash & Apple Soup.
Moving onto entrees!  Again, we got 3 dishes and shared because sharing is caring, ha:  Crab Cake Sandwich, Maine Lobster Roll, and a Make Your Own Salad.  Man, I don't even know where to start so I'm just going to go in order.  If you're a fan of crab, you'll probably die a euphoric food death because this crab cake was ginormous in the best way possible.  

It had SO much crab - I hate it when restaurants skimp on the crabmeat, but the chefs at W&W aren't playin' around.  It was like 98% crab (!!!!) and it came with lemon aioli and baltimore french fries (aka lots and lots of old bay = heavenly).  The lobster roll was a winner, too.  Served on a toasted parker house bun, it came with breakfast radish and was garnished with jalapeƱos.  I'm not going to say much about the salad because that's pretty straightforward, but everything was (unsurprisingly) fresh.
Even though we were stuffed, we wanted to try their Baltimore Bar and Bread Pudding so we dug deep and made space.  Thank god we did because holy freaking crap, both of these were to die for.  I enjoyed the bar very much, but the bread pudding was stupid good.  I seriously can't get over it, like I've been dreaming of it ever since.  I'm NOT exaggerating when I say it's straight up magical.  I can't remember all the deets exactly, but I believe it's made with croissants, shortbread cookies, and served warm caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Just look at how gorgeous this dish is!
Conclusion: GO TO WIT & WISDOM.  Yes, you'll be splurging & dropping $$$, but it'll be worth it.  Trust me! Everything from interior to service is solid and as plus, you get a killer view of the harbor.  If you're looking to spoil someone or impress them hardcore, W&W's got your back.  You're welcome in advance!

A HUGE thanks to Wit & Wisdom for hosting us.

Find of the Day: The Plunge Pencil Dress ($20)

I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I LOVE my new dress from ASOS.  This piece is seriously fire!  I dressed it down for today's OOTD, but you can wear it pretty much anywhere as long as you don't feel self-conscious sporting the plunge neckline.  Whether it's a fancy cocktail party or a GNO, you'll be breaking necks left and right. 

Made of a polyester & elastane blend, this item flatters like whoa and is super smooth to the touch. It contains a boned v-shape insert that helps keep everything in place, giving the neckline structure. Also, for those of you wondering, I'm wearing a US 4, and it fits me like a glove!  Care is easy - simply machine wash after wear.  As always, let me know if you have any questions! I'm always happy to hear from you guys.
For my latest, I paired my dress with BAMF custom-made boots from Two Perfect Souls.  I've been wearing them on repeat 'cause I just can't get enough of them - #sorrynotsorry.  Yes, they're on the pricy side, but they're ridiculously cute and comfortable so that'd make it totally worth it in my book. To top things off, I threw on an edgy jacket and carried by Chanel boy.  The bag was definitely a splurge, but you can get it for less!  Several brands offer similar designs for a fraction of the price - I've linked one for you in the widget below so get your scroll on.
 Shop my look:

 Dress:  ASOS ($20) || Boots:  Two Perfect Souls || Jacket:  Spiegel ($54)
Photos shot by the amazing Sung Shin.

International Giveaway: Win a $50 Gift Card to Sincerely Sweet Boutique!

It's time for free swag again, everyone! I've partnered up with Sincerely Sweet Boutique today for a fabulous international giveaway.  One very lucky winner will score a $50 gift card to buy whatever his or her heart desires. For those of you unfamiliar with their brand, they're all about chic, unique and affordable fashion.  They provide apparel + accessories that are super cute, fun, flirty and feminine!  I actually featured one of their pieces recently on SS in honor of Valentine's Day - if you missed it, click to see what I wore.
Anywho,  entering is easy as always - simply follow them on instagram via rafflecopter below.  Also, there are several bonus entries available to up your chances of winning so make sure you take full advantage.  This giveaway is open to residents worldwide and ends on March 20th.  Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Editorial: The Sexy Two-Piece

I'm pumped to share my second collab with Voulez Boudoir with you all today on SS.  I centered my latest around a sexy two-piece I got from amiclubwear a while back - available for $27.  They're known for "scandalous" rave garb, but they actually carry a lot of everyday stuff, too!  I've gotten a bunch of adorable sweater dresses, tops, and skirts here.  Many of their cocktail + maxi dresses are on point, too!  What do you guys think of their collection?
Other fabulous options for your browsing pleasure:

I don't know about you guys, but I will forever love two-piece outfit sets.  This design's perfect for GNO or date night.  It's bodycon so it pulls my body in in all the right places.  This outfit highlights the small of my waist creating the illusion of a fabulous hourglass figure and elongating my stems. I'm all about fashion illusions so this ensemble is a do on several different levels!  My confidence skyrockets every time I wear this out.  Do you have a go-to outfit when you're looking to impress?
Two-piece:  c/o amiclubwear ($27) || Jacket:  Off Saks Fifth || Bag:  YSL
Photos shot by the amazing Veronica Campbell of Voulez Boudoir.

SS Eats: Shake Shack's Limited Edition BBQ

Last week, Natalie (one of my besties) and I hit up the Shake Shack in Baltimore, MD to try their limited edition BBQ menu.  We sampled everything, which was all sorts of awesomesauce.  Here are the items we devoured: BBQ ShackMeister Burger, BBQ Chick'n Shack, BBQ Bacon Cheese Fries, and three different seasonal shakes.  
Crinkle-cut fries with bacon, cheese, and Shack BBQ sauce? Um, I think yes.  This was ridiculously tasty, but I may or may not be biased because fries can do no wrong in my book.  I mean, let's be real though.  How could that combo NOT slay? 
Our three shakes:  Mint Cookies & Cream, Mud Pie, and Salted Vanilla Toffee.  The mint flavor was by far the best in my opinion - it was refreshing and just the right amount of sweet.  Quite possibly the best shake I've had in a while!  It contained mint frozen custard and chocolate wafer cookie crumbles.  Mud Pie, marshmallow custard blended with fudge and coffee, was way too sweet for me, but Salted Vanilla Toffee was pretty good.  All three drinks were topped with whipped cream, but you can definitely get it without!
 A closer look at the Chick'n Shack - contains antibiotic-free chicken breast, BBQ sauce and pickles.
The ShackMeister burger was on point!  Made of 100% all-natural Angus beef, it was topped with cheese, crispy ale-marinated shallots and BBQ sauce.  We also got an extra 'Shroom burger for good measure.  For those of you wondering, it's a fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce.
The food was awesome as per usual! If you haven't tried their new menu out yet, you need to go STAT!  You really can't go wrong with anything, but like I mentioned, if you decide to get a shake, the mint is a must-try.  These noms are available at all US Shacks with the exception of airports, stadiums and ballparks.  

Exploring R. House with DCFoodPorn

I'm SO beyond pumped to tell you guys all about my latest adventure at R. House with DCFoodPorn. Located in Remington, this space is, hands down, one of the COOLEST places I've ever been to. A few years back, Seawall assembled a group of ten BAMF chefs to launch new restaurants while transforming an old auto body shop into a 350-seat food hall.  

The decor was on point, and the food was impeccable.  Justin and I got to try dishes from several different stalls, and we were beyond impressed with it all.  We started with Hilo, a delish joint specializing in poke bowls and sushi.  Everything looked ridiculously yummy, but we decided to go with a sushi burrito with all sorts of nomtastic ingredients inside.  Unfortunately, I don't eat raw fish anymore so I passed on this, but Justin told me he really enjoyed it. 
Then we hit up White Envelope to try one of their famous arepas (crisp cornbread pockets).  I think this one was called the queen!  I don't remember everything in it exactly, but I believe it contained chicken thigh, beet, cilantro, and peas.  It came out piping hot, and each bite was a flavor explosion in my mouth.

Next, we hit up Blk // Sugar to try one of their ube croissants!  This pastry was seriously to DIE for, and the purple filling was such a fun surprise.  They also had cute cookie shots, macarons, and other nom delights!  
 Just look at that gooey goodness oozing out!
You'd think we'd be stuffed at this point, but we were still going strong.  We headed over to Stall 11 to check out their menu and ended up ordering a beautiful smoothie bowl to share!  If you're into clean eating, this is THE place for you.  They have fresh juices, locally-sourced vegetarian dishes, and lots more.
We finally ended our food adventure at Little Baby's Ice Cream where we each got two double-scoop cones.  They specialize in unique flavor combinations + non-dairy & vegan ice creams so there's something for everyone.  I got cucumber dill and chocolate salt malt; both were yum, but I really, REALLY want to go back and try earl grey sriracha, thai iced tea, and balsamic banana.  
Anywho, that's it for today.  If you're looking for a cool new place to work, hang or eat, make sure you check out R. House STAT.  It's like Union Market except homier!  Andddd I can pretty much guarantee you'll have a good time here so grab your lover or frand and head on over. Also, parking's free so that's a huge plus.

Fighting the Cold in Houndstooth

The weather has been SO all over the place - it's 75 degrees one day, and 30 the next.  I mean, I'm all for warm weather and all, but this is giving me serious whiplash.  Luckily, I have a large selection of winter coats to choose from to battle the cold when it's freezing out.  
I got this adorable houndstooth coat from Chicwish a few years ago, and it's still one of my absolute favorites.  I like it because it instantly adds personality to any and every ensemble.  See how it elevates my simple jeans + turtleneck combo?
A shot of my outfit sans coat!
Necklace:  c/o JWholesale || Bag:  Chanel (look for less) || Jeans:  Aeropostale || Top:  Design History (similar) || Coat: Chicwish (similar) || Shoes:  Two Perfect Souls
Photos shot by the wonderful Sung Shin.

My Current Beauty Faves

1.  Make Up Forever Invisible Cover Stick Foundation ($43): Screw liquid foundation, this is my new go-to.  I can't even begin to tell you guys how awesome this stick foundation is.  I own it in Sand, and it matches my complexion perfectly, like I'm talking second skin perfect.  I simply swipe it onto my cheeks, forehead and chin and blend it all in with a sponge.  The coverage is SO good that I don't even need concealer anymore.  Needless to say, I'll definitely be re-purchasing this product.

2.  Hottie By Nature ($19.95):  If you're a fan of essential oils, this baby's a total must-have.  The spray contains rosewood and citrus tones for a scent that soothes your spirit and boosts your confidence.  Spray it into cupped hands and inhale deeply for calming aromatherapy benefits or spritz it on post-shower as a lightweight perfume.  Available at ApolloBox! Use code KIM15 to get an extra 15% off.

3-4. Pixi Beauty Strobe & Bronze Palette by MaryamMaquillage ($20) + Strobe & Sculpt Brush ($14): This is, hands down, my current favorite face palette - andddd that's saying a LOT because I've been all about Anastasia's Contour Kit for a good 2 years now.  The kit comes with 3 highlighters and 3 bronzers that are to die for gorgeous, but I've been using Lex (to highlight) and Statuesque (to contour) together on the daily. I really can't recommend this enough - I can pretty much guarantee that you'll LOVE this item so pick one up STAT!

Now, I listed 3-4 together because they're a pair.  Pixi's Strobe & Sculpt brush is seriously magic! Made out of synthetic fiber, it does an incredible job blending your face to perfection.  The tapered side's ideal for applying highlighters while the other brush is designed for buffing and blending.  It's literally the ONLY brush I use now on my face.  Do yourself a favor and give it a try!

5-6.  Aveda Nourish-mint Lip Definer ($20) + Maybelline Vivid Matte Lip Gloss ($7.99):  Let's be real, there's nothing sexier than a killer red lip, and these products help you achieve just that.  I've always been a big fan of Maybelline's matte lippie line, but they totally hit it out of the park with Red Punch.  Pair it with Aveda's Tarragona liner for a bomb date night look!  

7.  Palmer's FlipBalm ($3.99):  If you're looking for a fun new lip balm, scoop this item up ASAP. Available in three amazing scents, this product will moisturize your pucker like nobody's business.  I have Juicy Watermelon, and it almost smells good enough to eat!  Plus, the packaging's really cute - I love that it flips open - so I'm a fan.


Remixing My Favorite Velvet Heart Top

Alright guys, it's time for another remix!  I'm beyond pumped to restyle my Velvet Heart top for you all today on SS.  I don't know if you remember, but I featured it HERE a while back.  For my latest OOTD, I paired it with skinny jeans and a cropped bomber jacket.  I was in a sporty mood so I threw on my fave sneaker wedges before running out the door!
Other fabulous bombers under $50: 
Sung and I finished shooting mad early andddd we were both hangry so we decided to grab an early dinner at Ted's Bulletin.  I was ITCHING for a splurge meal so I ended up getting fried chicken tenders with coleslaw and french fries - their early bird specials are bomb BTW.  I know I sound like an old lady saying that, but hey, I'm a sucker for all good deals.  Don't judge, ha!  For dessert, I devoured a brown sugar pop tart in less than 30 seconds - they're famous for 'em so you need to get 1 (or 5) when you come to get your nom on.
Top:  Velvet Heart || Jeans:  Aeropostale || Shoes: Rock & Candy || Jacket:  Charlotte Russe (similar) || Bag: Chanel (look for less)
Photos shot by the wonderful Sung Shin.