May 2017 - Sensible Stylista

Find of the Day: The Velvet Crop Top ($18)

Excited to feature one of the CUTEST tops I own today on SS - if you're a fan of fab crops, you'll love my latest find. This adorable number's currently on sale at amiclubwear for $18 (originally $39.99).  It's a bit more on the scandalous side due to the sheer nature of the piece, but you can definitely "class it up" no problem.
The back's totally sheer, but the front features velvet + floral detailing!  For those of you wondering, I'm wearing a size small, and it fits me beautifully - to purchase, clicky here.  Anywho,  let's talk a bit about today's OOTD.  For my latest, I paired my new top with a fun animal print skirt from BCBG for a dolled up vibe - I'll probably style it casually later on so make sure you guys keep an eye out.
I finished my look off with velvet heels and ginormous statement earrings from JWholesale.  How do you guys feel about loud jewelry - are they a do or a don't in your book? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Other crops that won't break the bank (under $50):

Photos shot by the beautiful Veronica Campbell from Voulez Boudoir.

Gainesville, FL Recap + A Goddess-Like Maxi On Sale

Alright guys, if you've been following me on IG, you know by now that I spent the last week or so in Gainesville, FL for concerts with my buddy Stephen Fine - we were both faculty members at a summer music festival a while back.  We hadn't seen each other for the last 3 years so I was beyond stoked when he invited me to come perform!  We had 3 performances lined up, featuring tough repertoire so we spent pretty much every minute of our time together rehearsing.  We tackled Brahms' f minor sonata for piano and viola, Britten's Lachrymae, and a virtuosic number by Zimbalist called "Tango" from Sarasateana.

I'd never been to Gainesville prior to this trip so I didn't really know what to expect, BUT I was pleasantly surprised.  They actually had better asian food than Baltimore - I know that sounds cray, but I'm being 100% real with you all!  Anywho, I didn't get to take pictures of my noms, but I'm still gonna recap everything for you guys, just in case you visit in the future.
Yummy House:  I was craving Chinese so Stephen and I came here twice, haha.  I got to try their Braised Tofu (comes with perfectly cooked bok choy + mushrooms), Garlic Chicken, Salt n' Pepper Tofu (no veggies here), pork buns (this was the most "eh" of the bunch), and pork + mushroom dumplings. Everything was good, but the Salt n' Pepper Tofu stands out so DEF. try this if you come here - apparently, it's a chain in FL so you could come across one in a different city?  If you hit up the location in Gainesville, save room because there's a Kung Fu Tea right next door, and boba's always a do in my book.  FYI, they charge for rice which pisses me off - IMO, no asian restaurant should charge for rice.  It's only a dollar per bowl, but I still wanted to mention it, ha.

Crane Ramen:  A hip joint with delish housemade noodles!  I ordered the Agedashi Tofu Steamed Buns (soy-marinated tofu, wrapped in nori and flash-fried with sweet potato sauce) and the Tonkotsu ramen ($12.95).  The tofu was a little bland, but hot chili oil took care of that fast!  The ramen was yum - came with pork belly, woodear mushrooms, house hot sauce, soy-marinated egg, black garlic oil and scallions - but the broth was a bit too salty for me personally!  However, I enjoyed the noodles and the house hot sauce immensely.  

The Hyppo:  Soooo gourmet popsicles are a thing in FL! I haven't had one in AGES, and I didn't even know they could be "gourmet," so I was skeptical when Stephen suggested it, but I've learned to trust his judgement.  They had at least 30 different flavors, and they all looked AMAZING.  It took me a good 5 minutes to decide, but I ultimately went with blueberry cheesecake (!!!!!) I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I loved that ice-pop. Their noms are all natural, featuring ingredients that are non-GMO and are made fresh daily so they get an A+++ from me.  

Civilization:  Hands down, one of the coolest places I've ever been to.  Their menu's super eclectic, and they source their produce from local growers, which is all kinds of awesomesauce.  I ordered Shrimp 'n Grits and a Ginger Beer and loved everything!  If I had 3 more stomachs, I would've also tried the Sweet Potato Enchiladas, Gnocchi della Casa, and Falafel Burger.  I guess that just means I need to go back... and eat? Ha.

Public & General:  Julie, Stephen's sister, generously took us out to eat after our first concert at University of Florida.  Their name's a reference to their bar in the back + their convenience store up front.  They're kind of like Cracker Barrel except way, WAY better, like there's no comparison.  I ordered the BBQ Mushroom Sandwich (topped with coleslaw, which upped the texture tenfold), dill fries with roasted tomato mayo, and a yummy cider! Service was kind of slow, but the food was worth the wait.  Plus, I was in good company - I had fun chatting with Julie and her boyfriend Tyler - so I didn't mind. She's a lawyer and he's a golf teacher by day, but they manage a super successful instagram account called Best of Gainesville at night!  You can check them out here.
Gainesville was nothing like I imagined, and I mean that in the best way possible.  A huge thanks to the Fine family for being such wonderful hosts - I hope to see you all again soon!  Now, onto today's featured OOTD!  I recently purchased this goddess-like maxi dress online at Las Call for $75, and I seriously can't get enough of it.  It's perfect for summer because it's sexy yet elegant.  I love showing bits of skin tastefully, and this number allows me to do so.  I ordered it in size small, but it was too big so I had to return + re-purchase in xs.  Click HERE to purchase!
It has an a-line silhouette so you can comfortably nurse a food baby while looking effortlessly stylish. I highly recommend this dress because it works for any and every occasion.  Dress it up with a clutch and heels for date night or wear it with summery sandals and an everyday tote to run errands in style. 
 A huge thanks to blogger bestie La Belle Mel for shooting these pics.

My Latest Bargain Find from ASOS: The $24 Maxi (Originally $122)

I seriously don't know what I'd do without ASOS.  I buy 90% of my stuff from their site because they have kickass customer service and a ginormous online collection.  Every time I get my browse on, I end up purchasing something...which is great for my wardrobe but not so great for my wallet, ha.  I stumbled upon this adorable orange maxi by chance and instantly fell in love with the lace + wrap bodice.  As you guys know, I'm a sucker for all things girly and feminine so when I saw the $24 markdown (originally $122), I knew I had to have it!
Unfortunately, I believe they're almost out of these babies - there might be a couple of 2's left though? Click HERE to double check.  For those of you interested, here are other cute + affordable options (all under $50):
The solid peeps at Asos marketed this number as a "wedding" dress, perhaps for guests or even bridesmaids, but I think it works beautifully as an everyday dress as well.  It IS on the fancier side, but hey, there's nothing wrong with getting your glam on the regular.  For today's post, I styled it with a beautiful headpiece from Headbands of Hope, but I'd probably just throw my hair up in a bun if in a rush.  BTW, I don't know if you guys remember, but I featured HOH on here a long while back.  My blogger bestie La Belle Mel shot pics of me wearing a fab floral crown - click here if you missed it! Anywho, that's it for today!  Make sure you guys check back early tomorrow for more. 
A huge thanks to the wonderful Hana Gonzalez Photography for shooting these gorg photos!

Find of the Day: The Perfect Everyday T-Shirt Dress

It's time for another find, everyone!  For those of you looking for comfy dresses to wear on the daily, this number's an absolute must-have.  Personally, I don't believe in pants even though I wear them from time to time. I've always been a huge dress + skirt girl because they're cute and ridiculously comfortable.  This t-shirt dress oozes steeze!  Made of soft-touch jersey, it has dropped shoulders and a corset that'll conveniently highlight the small of your waist aka create the illusion of an hourglass figure without the gym, ha.  Wear it with wedges or simple sneakers for an effortlessly stylish ensemble.  Available for purchase HERE!
A closer look at my dress!  Isn't the lace up detailing adorable?
I know I've featured these shoes a billion times on here already, but I don't care.  They're uber fashionable and go with pretty much everything I own.  I also really love that they're velcro, ha.  I don't know about you guys, but I HATE lacing heels up.  I'll obviously do it if I have to, but I'll complain while doing so.  Purchase these babies HERE online at Guilty Soles!
Anddd the mini-backpack that won't quit!  Violet Ray can do no wrong.  Their designs are always on point, and I can't wait to see what they release next.  Unfortunately, I don't have a shoppable link for you guys, but I believe this bag's available at Ross.  Hopefully you'll have one close to you?  If not, here's another VR design that I can't get enough of - I featured it here a while back in case you're interested.  
Backpack:  Violet Ray || Dress: Asos ($30) || Shoes:  Guilty Soles || Sunnies:  Coach Factory
Photos shot by the amazing La Belle Mel.

The Most Kickass Top I Own

Yet another fabulous find from ASOS - albeit pricier than my normal buys, this top was SO worth the $$$.  I don't know about you guys, but I'm a HUGE fan of the whole statement sleeve trend.  I'm not one to jump on "what's hot," but I can't seem to resist this bamf silhouette.
Everything about this top is a do in my book.  Some kickass features include extreme flared cuffs, a square neckline, a cold-shoulder design and a zip-back closure.  Made of a polyester, viscose, and elastane blend, this piece will seriously break necks left and right!  I paired it with comfy track pants for a more laid-back vibe, but you can totally dress this baby up.  What do you guys think of this top - is it a yah or a nah?  If you're a fan, how would you style this?
 Top:  ASOS ($57) || Pants:  Kohl's (similar) || Shoes:  Guilty Soles || Bag:  YSL
Photographed by the amazing Sung Shin.

Find of the Day: The Best $19 You'll Spend on an LBD

I am SO beyond pumped to tell you guys about my latest find!  I purchased this dress online at ASOS a few weeks back, and it was such a good buy.  I've worn it out several times already, and I've gotten complimented every time.  It's one of the more fashion-y pieces I own, but it's nothing too cray - don't worry, you won't be lady gaga-ing it up.  It's not figure-flattering (because it's boxy), but the mini dress underneath is form-fitting so you won't look completely amorphous, ha.  
With that said, it's definitely one of the coolest dresses I own, and for $19, it's a serious must-have. Like, don't even think about it - just order one for yourself here.  Made of a viscose and elastane blend, this piece has the cutest ruffle trim ever, and it masks bodily "imperfections" so if you're feeling extra bloated or self-conscious about muffin top, wear this out.  I promise you'll impress!  
Before I leave you guys, I need to share an obligatory shoefie featuring my current fave kicks from Nine West.  I got these babies for $19.99, and they're a freakin' dream come true.  They give me hella height, are comfortable as hell, and look wayyyy more expensive than they actually are.  Actually, my entire outfit costs less than $40...excluding my Chanel boy bag, which you could easily replace with a more affordable option.  You can get a similar pair HERE!
 Shot by the wonderful RMCapture.

Family Traditions with Gran Reserva

When I was a little kid, I spent most of my time practicing piano with my mom - she was my first teacher and cracked the whip pretty intensely when it came to my musical studies.  I was putting in a good 4-6 hours a day in addition to school, so suffice it to say, my life revolved around tickling the ivories.
I didn't have much free time, but I still took tae-kwon-do with my father, a bajillionth-time world champion.  He's a 9th degree black belt in TKD and has several schools around the US.  He was the first ITF middleweight champion and was proclaimed the "fastest kicker alive."

....sooo yeah, I definitely listened to him when I was being disciplined as a child, ha.  Anywho, I earned a 2nd degree black belt, but father-daughter time didn't stop there!  He was and still is an avid golfer so he'd take me out to his country club to teach me everything he knew about the game.  To be completely honest, I wasn't a huge fan of it growing up - I thought golf was boring and it was always so dang hot outside - but I grew to love our hangs, and now that I'm older, I cherish every moment we spend together even more.
I'm all about hustling and working hard to achieve my dreams, but family will always come first in my book.  End of story.  I feel like it's easy to take your family for granted because they love you unconditionally, but like all relationships, you must treat them with the utmost care, and that means making sacrifices on the daily.

Now, do I think golf's the best thing since sliced bread? No, but I love our age-old tradition, and I honestly look forward to it every time I come home.  I'm not the best golfer in the world, but I can definitely hold my own.  We also enjoy watching championship games together while sipping Gran Reserva!  Mom doesn't usually go out with us, but she'll often join us for a glass of red when we're hanging out in the basement watching tournaments on the big screen.
Before I leave you today, I have a surprise for you guys.  Enjoy a $25 credit on a round of golf at major golf courses nationwide courtesy of Concha y Toro Bran Reserva.  Find a specially marked bottle necker where you buy wine. And you can also enter a great sweepstakes to win one year of free golf - click here to enter!

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

The Perfect Spring Romper + Giveaway: Wearing My Latest FOTD on SS

Beyond pumped to finally style this romper for you guys on SS - ICYMI, I blogged about it here as a "find of the day" a while back.  It's currently available on the amiclubwear website for $18 (originally $39.99), which is a pretty good deal for what you're getting IMO.  I own it in small (which still works), but XS would've been perfect; unfortunately, that size is unavailable [insert sad face].  

If you're well-endowed up top (think c cup +), this number will flatter your bod especially well. Also, I love that it comes with a waist + neck tie.  I personally don't use the neckpiece, but you have the option of doing so which is cool!  For those of you interested, it's also available in medium and large.
As I'm sure you all know, I'm all about chic, feminine everyday looks.  So, for today's featured outfit of the day, I kept things clean and simple because I wanted my florals to take centerstage - I paired the romper with neutral accessories and called it a day!  I absolutely love wearing nude sandals because they (very conveniently) elongate my stems.  I had the option of carrying a more colorful bag, but I wanted to stick with something classic for my latest.
Other fabulous rompers under $50:
Romper:  amiclubwear ($18) || Shoes:  Steve Madden (similar) || Bag:  Chloe (similar)
Photos shot by the amazing Sung Shin.  One last thing before I go, Amiclubwear's generously offered to give one lucky SS reader a $50 gift card (open internationally).  All you have to do to enter is follow them on instagram! As always, there are several bonus entries to help up your chances of winning so make sure you take advantage - giveaway ends on June 14th!  Good luck, everyone.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a $100 Gift Card to Ankit: Open Internationally

I haven't hosted a giveaway in forever, and I wanted to treat you guys, so here goes!  I've partnered up with Ankit today on SS to raffle away a $100 gift card.  They carry all things adorable like cute mugs, work out gear, killer home decor, and more so there's LOTS to choose from.  Entering's super simple, all you have to do is follow them on instagram, and there are a ton of bonus entries to choose from so make sure you take advantage.  This giveaway ends on June 19th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find of the Day: For Lovers of Gingham

Um, styling the cutest summer dress ever today on SS!  I discovered this adorable number online at ASOS and just had to have it - I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty much love at first sight.  I'm a fan of all things girly so this find was a total must-have. It also didn't hurt that it was on sale for $34 (originally $53).  Made of 100% polyester, this piece features a cold-shoulder neckline, a keyhole front, and to-die-for-cute bow detailing on the sleeves.  As a plus, the silhouette's super relaxed so you won't overheat during the summer.  Click here to purchase!
For my latest OOTD, I wore my new mini with embellished Badgley Mischka sandals and an ivory crossbody bag to match - there's a lot going on with my dress so I didn't want to risk over-accessorizing so I skipped jewelry altogether today. For those of you wondering, I got these shoes WAY back in the day so unfortunately, I can't link you to these, but I'll make sure to post other lustworthy styles below.
As promised, all under $75:
A closer look at my Drew!  If you want to see my designer bag collection in its entirety, click here.  I blogged about it all a while back, BUT I actually need to update the post since I bought a few pieces since then, haha.  Who here's a bag fiend as well? If you are, comment below with your fave designer. Mine's probably Chanel and YSL!
Dress:  ASOS ($34) || Bag:  Chloe || Shoes:  Badgley Mischka 
Photos shot by blogger bestie, La Belle Mel.

How I got a $100 Maxi for $14, ha!

You guys have no idea how much I miss Phoenix - read my travel recap here if you missed it.  I had an incredible time exploring with my girlfriends so I definitely want to go back - maybe next time I'll take my family?  I really want to visit the Grand Canyon again - it was a life-changing experience for me, like I actually teared up when I saw it.  The view was so unbelievably breathtaking, and it helped me realize how "small" everything was - it's easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but in the grand scheme of things, it's all trivial.  

In fact, I actually reached an important epiphany there:  the quality of your life depends on your attitude.  I know that's kind of cheesy, but I truly believe in the aforementioned statement.  I always try to take obstacles and view them as challenges instead of obstructions.  And if I ever feel depressed - and let's be real, all of us do at some point - I let myself wallow for a bit before getting right back up.  How do you guys deal with failure? Are there inspiring quotes that help motivate YOU in your daily life?  If yes, def. let me know by commenting below!
Anywho, let's get back to today's OOTD! Diana, Mel and I visited the Desert Botanical Gardens on our last day in PHX, and we were determined to find the biggest cactus there.  There ended up being a ton of giant cacti so we just picked one and shot our looks there, ha.  I'm wearing a fab dress from Saks Off 5th!  It was $100+, but I actually got it for $14.  It was on sale + the dress was damaged - the overlay had a tear - so they gave me an additional discount.  I accessorized with a fabulous cuff + earrings from Jwholesale and threw on comfortable walking shoes (from Cat Footwear) to finish off my look.  I brought a cardi with me just in case - AZ mornings can get chilly so keep light outerwear on hand!
 Other summery maxi dresses (all under $50):

 Dress:  Saks Off 5th ($14) || Shoes:  Cat Footwear || Cardigan:  Kohl's || Jewelry:  J Wholesale
Photos shot by the amazing La Belle Mel.

Captain of Harbor Style Competition

Alright guys, I'm super excited to partner up with National Harbor for my latest on SS.  I've curated two looks - one daytime + one date night ensemble - featuring pieces from participating stores in the hopes of winning their Captain of Harbor Style competition.  The contest will go live on their facebook page next week so make sure y'all go and vote for me!  

Look #1
I'm basically a professional dress collector so when I spotted this adorable LWD at Pinktini, I knew I had to have it. You can't see the back detailing here, but it's ridonkulously cute!  It's open with ruffles, which is all sorts of awesome - I took a shot of it below so make sure you scroll down.  I paired the piece with an embellished denim jacket from South Moon Under to elevate my look and threw on neutral wedges to elongate my legs!  To finish things off, I accessorized with a dainty drop necklace and grabbed tortoise sunnies before running out the door.
Most everything I'm wearing in look #1's from Pinktini, a fabulous boutique in the National Harbor. If you haven't been there yet, you seriously need to go STAT!  They have an amazing collection, and Danna, the gorgeous owner, couldn't be sweeter.  On a random note, we got to talking and found out that we went to the SAME high school in Pittsburgh (!!!!) Isn't that crazy? SUCH a small world. Anywho, I can't wait to go back and browse more - I'm going to be a regular for sure!
I TOLD you the back was cute!
Dress: Pinktini || Jacket:  South Moon Under || Shoes:  Pinktini || Necklace:  Pinktini || Sunnies:  Pinktini

Look #2
Andddd my date night look's pretty much all from Pinktini as well, ha.  I'm completely and utterly obsessed with bow everything so when I spotted this tunic, it was a done deal.  FYI, the piece is actually a top, but I'm wearing it as a mini-dress because it works!  However, if this is too much skin for you, just throw on black tights or leggings and you'll be good to go.  Also, remember to keep a stylish light jacket handy for chilly nights.  Pinktini has a ton of fabulous outerwear so you'll have plenty of options to choose from.
Both my shoes & earrings are from Charming Charlie!  It was my first time shopping there in person, but I have a feeling I'll be back soon.  I was super impressed with their store layout - everything was organized down to a tee, and I loved that it was all color-coded.  Definitely hit them up if you're looking for cute but affordable accessories - they have a huge collection so I can pretty much guarantee you'll find something you adore!
 Shoes:  Charming Charlie || Dress:  Pinktini || Jacket:  Pinktini || Earrings:  Charming Charlie
A huge thanks to Sung Shin for shooting these photos and National Harbor for sponsoring this post!