March 2017 - Sensible Stylista

Latest Buy: The Suede Jacket from BCBG

Excited to show you guys my new jacket from BCBG!  I picked this baby up a few weeks ago at their factory outlet in Grove City, PA for $80.  It was definitely NOT a bargain buy, but I fell in love with the design and knew it'd go with my entire closet so I decided to splurge.  For my latest, I styled it with a pretty printed top from Stitch Fix and threw on my Zara skirt + YSL faux-snakeskin bag to top things off.
Anywho, make sure you guys keep your eyes peeled because I'm going to be remixing this jacket left and right! For those of you interested in purchasing a bamf jacket, here are fab alternatives from BCBG for your browsing pleasure:

Shoes:  Aldo || Skirt:  Zara || Bag:  YSL || Jacket:  BCBG || Top:  Stitch Fix

March Fitness Updates + Playlist

Oh man, this month has been all sorts of crazy.  I've been kind of bad with the whole clean eating thing with the bf visiting + the cruise, but my workouts have been on point.  I finished T25 early this month and started Insanity Max: 30 (another Shaun T regimen), and I can't even begin to tell you guys how crazy it is.  I'm on week 3, and I STILL can't make it through 10 minutes without taking a break. I thought I was on top of it all, but I'm still weaksauce, at least with this program.

Insanity Max: 30 month 1 has six different modules total:  Cardio Challenge, Tabata Power, Sweat Intervals, Friday Fight Round 1, Pulse, and Tabata Strength.  I haven't tried Tabata Strength yet, but I'm guessing it's hard as hell. My fave so far is Tabata power because it goes by quickly.  You basically do one exercise two times for 20 seconds each with a 10 second break in between.  All of the other workouts (with the exception of Friday Fight Round 1 and pulse) give you a 30 second break after 5 minutes of hardcore exercising.  It's HIIT (high intensity interval training) to the max - you go as HARD as you can for 5 minutes, then catch your breath during a short break. I definitely would've been ok with a longer break in between, but it's only 30 minutes long so I won't complain. Shaun T makes you write down the time at which you max out, and your goal is to beat it the next time around.

I'm all about HIIT because it's the most efficient way to get in shape!  You burn a crazy amount of calories while working out, and your metabolism stays up extra long so you're burning tons afterwards as well.  Anywho, I'm excited to try Tabata Strength later this week.  The bf's gone, and I have a bunch of trips coming up in mid-April (to Phoenix & SF) so I need to get my sh*t together - gotta get in shape so I look good for all my upcoming shoots!  I have a good 1.5 weeks so I'll be super good, haha.

Anywho, here's this month's workout playlist for you guys!  I hope you all enjoy these tunes.  What have you all been doing to stay in shape? Any cool new songs you recommend? I'm always looking for new music to sweat to.

Wearing Brights to Work: Featuring My New BCBG Dress

Happy humpday, everyone!  For today's featured OOTD, I centered everything around my fab new drape dress from BCBG.  I picked this baby up a few weeks ago at their factory outlet in Arundel Mills for $20 or so (!!!!) I'm sure as hell going to miss shopping their sales - I think they're closing within the next few days, if they haven't already [insert super sad face].  Apparently, BCBG was losing money with their factory outlets so they're moving everything online? I'd typically be ok with this, but their sales stuff is usually always final sale so I (very unfortunately) won't be able to shop their discounted merchandise online.  Hopefully they'll change their policy since stores like ASOS and Zara have such kickass shipping + return policies.
Anywho, for my latest, I styled my dress with neutral pieces for balance: a fab blazer from Banana Republic Factory, cute mary janes, and killer statement earrings.  I bought my heels years ago at Kohl's while they were on clearance, and I still can't get over how adorable they are!  I don't know if they're still "in," but I don't care - I think they're cute so I'll wear them whenever I please.  Remember guys, trends are great and all, but at the end of the day, sport whatever YOU like best.  Confidence is the secret ingredient to amazing style.  If you feel like a million bucks, you'll look it!
 A close-up shot of my earrings from JWholesale.
Other colorful dresses that are beyond adorbs:

 Dress:  BCBG Factory || Blazer:  Banana Republic Factory || Shoes:  Kohl's || Earrings:  JWholesale
Shot by the fabulous Sung Shin.


Chilling in Georgetown: The Living Room at the Ritz-Carlton

Hey guys! I hope you are all having an awesome week thus far.  I know it's only Tuesday, but I'm already looking forward to the weekend.  I had such a great time hanging out in DC with the bf Saturday.  After teaching piano at Peabody, we decided to grab drinks and food at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown to relax.  The Living Room was beyond gorgeous - it was a beautiful space with fab ambiance featuring exposed brick, a 130 foot wood fireplace, and luxe seating.  
While we were there, we tried two of their fabulous cocktails: The Peruvian Hemingway and The English Elixir. The former was a pineapple infused pisco with lime juice, simple syrup, and a luxardo cherry, while the latter had angel's envy bourbon, maple syrup, earl grey tea, clove, angostura bitters, and an orange + lemon slice.  Both of these drinks were on point, but my fave was def. the Hemingway.  At $17, these don't come cheap, BUT keep in mind, they come with complimentary fireside bites and you get free valet parking.
We were pretty hungry so we ended up ordering two "small" dishes: Charcuterie and TJ's Crab Mac-N-Cheese.  The platter featured a bunch of local noms and the mac had copious amounts of Chesapeake crab and featured fresh black truffle.
A closer look at The Peruvian Hemingway - easily one of the best drinks I've had in the DC area.
A shot of the accompanying fireside bites - both were DELISH!  The cracker assortment was super flavorful and complemented the drinks beautifully - the white platter pictured below came with pickled veggies, marinated olives, and whipped feta with crackers.  
If you're looking for a cool place to chill in DC after getting your work on, make sure you check out The Living Room!  It's an AWESOME place for date night if you're looking to impress.  Come for pre-weekend activities - it's a great place to grab a drink before hitting up the town!  They also have a badass happy hour from 5-7 on Mondays-Fridays so come check it out for yourself because it sure as hell beats sitting in traffic.

A huge thanks to The Living Room & TAA PR for hosting us!

The Best Sneaker Brand You've Never Heard Of

I've never been big into sneakers...until now.  If you follow me on instagram, you already know I'm straight up obsessed with my new kicks from GREATS.  I'm wearing a style called "The Royale" in blanco, and damn, it oozes steeze.  At $159, the pair doesn't come cheap, but you're investing in serious quality that'll last for years to come. For those of you interested, it's available in 5 other textures/colors:  blush, perforated nero, perforated blanco, perforated blush, and nero.
Anywho, for today's OOTD, I styled a casual look for you guys.  I remixed my faux-suede H&M mini (previously featured here) and paired it with a plain white tee and threw on a fashionable bomber on top for style & warmth.  I didn't wear jewelry because I thought it'd be overkill with the embellished neckline and all.
Other fabulous bombers for your browsing pleasure:
 Anddd other cute faux-suede skirts:
Jacket:  Shop June July || Tee:  Polo Factory Outlet (similar bargain buy) || Skirt:  H&M (similar) || Shoes:  c/o GREATS || Bag:  Chanel (look for less)
Photos shot by the amazing Sung Shin.

My New Fave Restaurant in the DMV: Iron Gate FTW

A few days back, I met up with my beautiful friend, Rose Collins, at Iron Gate DC for serious noms. Prior to our lunch date, I'd never dined there, but it's def. my new fave restaurant in the DMV.  If you live in the area and haven't tried their food yet, go - like, drop what you're doing right now and drive over STAT.  Their grub is straight up magical, and I'm not messing around when I say they got EVERYTHING going on - presentation, ambiance, decor, taste = all 10s.
Soooo, let's get to it!  I'm just gonna jump right into the food because I'm mad excited to tell you guys all about my meal.  We started with a smoked cod bruschetta, and it came with horseradish mascarpone, dill, and winter radish.  I don't eat fish so I didn't get to try this, but my bf told me it was incredible.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that we sampled a BUNCH of fabulous drinks as well.  The two-mini cocktails pictured below are called the Athens to La Paz, Nonstop.  Super cute, right? One has Zitsa Debina Tsipouro, maraschino, creme de violette, and lemon, while the other has Rujero Singani in addition to the other ingredients.
Next came the Good God, Lemon! drank made with housemade limoncello (!!!!), crushed ice, and toasted marshmallow foam.  The foam looked pretty when I first got it, BUT it took me forever to get a good shot of it soooo it melted - still tasted hella good though!
Now, onto more food.  The magical dish below? A whole wheat flatbread with pea tendril pesto, sundried tomato, and almond.
Anddddd their Pikilia platter, which was, hands down, the best platter I've ever gotten at a restaurant! It came with SO many yumz:  marinated olives, house made mortadella, pecorino foglie de noce, fennel seed crackers, parsley-marcona almond salad, lamb keftedes with yogurt sauce, dill turnip pickles, almond crusted kefalograviera cheese, and spicy carrot pickles.   EVERYTHING was seriously on point.  I remember trying all the different stuffs and thinking, "how is everything so damn good?"
Then came the crispy wild oysters with celery-apple salad and hackleback caviar.  They came on a bed of beautiful stones, and the celery-apple salad provided a wonderful crunch, which I loved.
Almost too pretty to eat...almost...
Rose, the bf, and I munched on chili roasted pistachios while we waited for more goodies.  Tossed in lemon, local honey, and sea salt, these nuts were jam-packed with flavor.  I seriously had no idea they could taste so good?  If you're looking for a light snack to enjoy while having cocktails for happy hour, I highly recommend these.
Now, onto my FAVE dish of the day: the savory gyro bombolono with shaved pork + killer yogurt sauce.  These were just straight up ridiculous!  I remember seeing them and thinking, "hm, I'm pretty stuffed at this point, I wonder if I'll be able to eat them?" Andddd I downed them BOTH in 2 minutes flat because they were THAT amazing.
The bread was soft and chewy, the filling was to-die-for delicious, and the yogurt sauce elevated errthang.  The photos seriously don't do them justice!  Take my word for it, and get this dish (or 3) - I promise that you'll love 'em.  
No meal would be complete without dessert.  After our phenom lunch, Iron Gate's pastry chef sent out two dishes for us to try:  a lemon tart with meringue 2 ways (above), candied almonds, and cardamom gelato + orange blossom loukoumades (below).  I'm usually not a huge fan of lemony desserts, but this tart was on POINT!  The bf finished it, while I cleaned up the magic honey balls. For those of you wondering, they're dough puffs that are deep-fried and drizzled with sauce.  
Conclusion?  I've dined at some pretty bamf places in my lifetime, and Iron Gate is (without a doubt) the best of the best.  Make sure you guys check out their new midday menu!  Prices are SURPRISINGLY low for both food + drink so take full advantage of it.  I'm DEFINITELY going back soon - I promised my mom I'd take her so maybe you guys will see me there.  Happy eating, everyone!  

A huge thanks to Iron Gate for hosting us!

Runway to Real Life: How I Wear Statement Sleeves on the Daily

Beyond pumped to share shots from my fourth and final collab with the fabulous Joe Tran today on SS.  For my latest OOTD, I've featured two of my current favorite bargain buys:  my $9.99 Zara asymmetrical skirt and my $10 Charlotte Russe crop.  I purchased the former during a blowout sale online and the latter at a factory outlet in Hanover, MD.  
I'm not usually a big fan of trends, but I'm all about crazy sleeves.  They dominated runways during fashion week, and I just can't get enough of them.  For those of you looking to jump on the statement top train, check these fab styles out (varying price points):
Anddd here are other cute skirt options for you guys (all under $50):
Skirt:  Zara || Shoes:  Rachel Zoe || Top:  Charlotte Russe || Bag:  Ferragamo
Shot by the amazing Joseph D Tran.

Vacationing on the Harmony of the Seas: The Largest Cruise Ship in the World

Alright everyone, today's post is all about my latest trip to the Caribbean.  For 7 days, I was straight chillin' on the Harmony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world.  At 66 metres, it's the widest cruise ship ever built, while the length's 362 metres - 50 metres longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower (!!!!) The ship houses up to 8,500 passengers and crew with ridonkulous features all throughout.
Let's start with the vessel itself.  It has 16 decks with onboard attractions like a 10-story slide (otherwise known as "The Ultimate Abyss"), a rock climbing wall, a freaking PARK (with over 12k+ plants), a rope slide, mini-golf, merry-go-round, surf simulator, casino, 1,200-seat hall, and bionic bar (with two robot bartenders)...and that's only the tip of the iceberg.  
The entertainment there was legit all day every day.  I reserved seats wayyyy in advance for their night-time performances because I wanted to make sure I was able to get in.  Thankfully, I got to see everything!  I attended a kickass comedy show, a production of Grease, Columbus (their own musical), a figure skating show, a cool aqua show (think Cirque de Soleil on water) and a headliner concert featuring Savannah Jack.  

On top of all that, they had singers and musical groups of all genres playing at different times all throughout the ship.  So much talent - seriously.  I had not-so-high expectations going in because, well, it was a cruise ship, but Royal Caribbean wasn't effing around.  I was completely and utterly blown away in the best way possible.
Now onto the food.  Oh. My. God.  Everything was so ridiculously nomtastic.  You could pay extra $$$ to dine at specialty joints, but why do that when complimentary options are bomb AF? Their main dining room had different dishes, apps, and desserts available each night, and Windjammer (their international buffet) always had amazingly yum options, like hundreds of options.  

I swear to god, I had some of the best Indian food I've EVER had on that ship - oh how I miss their lamb biryani. Anywho, in addition to the aforementioned restaurants, they had a free pizza joint, a hot dog joint (with gourmet sausages), room service 24/7, a SECOND buffet called Solarium featuring Meditteranian noms and a classy sandwich + dessert cafe.
Sorrento's aka free pizza joint where you could get a bajillion slices with toppings of your choice.
A nom Italian sausage with sautéed peppers on a fresh asiago bun.
Fresh pappardelle with peas and truffles for dinner at the Main Dining Room.
 One of my fave desserts from the week - a hazelnut cake with hot fudge, nuts, and vanilla ice cream.
 My dinner from the Solarium one night!  Steak with pesto and fries.
 Another dinner from Silk (the main dining room):  BBQ ribs with a baked potato and creamed corn.
Service was impeccable everywhere.  I had a suite with a private balcony (which was all sorts of awesomesauce) and an incredible attendant who cleaned my space twice a day and made sure I was comfortable.  AND (this is going to sound super nerdy but whatever) HE MADE ME TOWEL ANIMALS EVERY NIGHT!  I, of course, asked him how many he could make and was floored when he told me 20+.
During my trip, we visited 3 ports in Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico.  I got to lounge around on gorgeous beaches and hit up cool artisanal shops.  I actually didn't end up buying much, but I left Cozumel with a bottle of delish kiwi tequila and two handcrafted wooden turtle magnets that are super cute.  
Handcrafted jewelry - so many vibrant pieces available for sale in Jamaica.
A Jamaican local working on another wood piece for his shop.
All the different tequilas available for sale in the store I hit up in Cozumel, Mexico.
An adorable friend I made while hiking in Haiti.
Soooo, there you go guys!  I hope you enjoyed reading all about my trip.  I'm traveling a bunch in April so make sure you guys follow along via instastories.  I always recap my adventures on Sensible Stylista, but I share a bunch of BTS shots + vids on instagram so stay tuned.