Sensible Stylista

My Naples Travel Diary: Part Deux

Alright guys, it's time for part 2 of my Naples, FL travel diary!  I know this is kind of belated, but I wanted to post other content first soooo that's why I'm sharing this late. Anywho, if you missed part 1, no worries - simply click here.  Now, without further ado, let's tackle days 3 & 4.

Day 3

I spent the entire morning + afternoon at the Waterside Shops with my mom.  This place is like the Rodeo Drive of Naples, FL.  It's an outdoor mall with designer stores that'll tickle every fashionista's fancy.  I spent the majority of my time at Saks Fifth sifting through their sales racks.  The Saks in PGH closed a few years back so I was indulging hardcore.  They had ALL of my favorite brands, and I ended up purchasing two fabulous pieces from Alexis:  a stunning B&W dress and a fancy lace top.  I can't wait to feature them both on here!

After our shopathon, we went to the fitness center to got our sweat on before heading to dinner at HobNob. Man, I can't even begin to tell you guys how awesome their food was.  Naples equals foodie heaven for sure!  We started with the most amazing seafood app.  OH, and I almost forgot to talk about the bread.  The waiter brought out a basket of house made cornbread, and I'm convinced it was blessed by Dumbledore's wand or something.  Oh my GOD, it was seriously magical.  I'd go back just to eat that!  And the honey butter that came with it? Um, yes x 100000.  What an amazing flavor combo!

Ok, I'm done.  I've gushed about the bread enough so it's time to move on to the appetizer.  We decided to split the octopus + white beans dish because our fabulous waiter recommended it.  We also got a cup of the crab & roasted corn chowder.  Both starters were absolutely phenomenal.  I was worried that the octopus would be tough, but it was the most tender octopus I've ever had.  The soup's flavor profile was also spot on.  It was just the right amount of rich and creamy.
For my entree, I went with the two way duck - it came with corn bread stuffing, watercress, and peaches.  The leg melted in my mouth, but the breast was a bit tough for my taste.  I really enjoyed all the different flavors though! It was definitely an enjoyable meal from start to finish.  My dad ordered the sea bass pictured above.  It was drizzled with coconut pesto, garnished with butternut squash, and came with a side of jasmine rice.  I didn't get to sample his dish, but he said it was quite tasty!  I think he preferred the USS Nemo preparation of it overall though. My mom got the crispy grouper, and it came with fries and coleslaw.  I didn't get to try hers either, but she said it was cooked to perfection.   
My parents and I were totally stuffed, but we wanted to try their dessert menu so we ordered a slice of carrot cake. It came with walnut brittle and house made vanilla ice cream.  I don't know what it was, but the ice cream tasted really unique, in a good way, of course!  I kind of wanted to order another bowl of it, but I refrained since I inhaled WAY too much food already.  Anwyho, I really can't recommend this place enough!  If you're in the area, make sure you check HobNob out.  Your tastebuds will seriously thank you.
Day 4

Since it was my last day in Naples, I decided to spend the day frolicking on the beach!  I ate breakfast & lunch at Baleen and then hit up Bistro 821 for dinner with my parents.  The evening started off well - we ordered two delicious appetizers:  Mussels (sautéed with root veggies and spinach in a lemon sake sauce) and a Chile Relleño (stuffed with garlic shrimp, spiced beef, and mozzarella cheese in a roasted tomato-chipotle sauce).  I absolutely loved the mussel's broth, and the chile was super flavorful.  The bread here was delish, too.  It was warm because it came straight out of the oven, and the accompanying oil dip was nomtastic.  
Entrees, however, were just ok.  I ordered duck, and it came with a roasted breast and a braised leg in a honey mustard glaze.  Sides were included as well:  mashed taters & grilled asparagus.  The duck here was actually way more tender than the meat I had at HobNob, but the flavor there was superior (for my taste at least).  
My dad got the snapper, and he thought it was way too sweet.  His fish was encrusted with coconut, lemongrass and ginger and came with jasmine rice and stir-fry veggies topped with a sweet and spicy thai chili sauce + crushed peanuts (pictured below).  I think he would've enjoyed it much more if the sauce came on the side!  My mom decided to try their sea bass because it was their no. 1 best seller.  It came glazed in a miso-sake marinade and was topped off with a lemon beurre blanc sauce.  Like my dish, it came with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. She actually really enjoyed the dish so I recommend trying it out if you decide to come here!
We finished our meal with a cup of creme brulee.  This was probably the weakest part of the meal because it tasted kind of burnt!  I do have to give this joint props for its service though - our waiter was a total boss!  He was very attentive and helpful.  

So that's it, guys!  That pretty much wraps up my Naples trip - lots of shopping, food adventures, and beach time. Have you traveled anywhere recently? If yes, let me know where in the comment section below.  I'm always looking to check out cool new places so I'd appreciate the recommendation.

All About Vintage Celine

Beyond pumped to partner up with Katelyn Mariko Photography for my latest!  We connected on IG and decided to collaborate by shooting a couple of outfits together at Tysons Galleria.  One of the BEST things about blogging is meeting new people.  I've had the opportunity to hang out + work with some truly amazing creatives!  We did three looks together so make sure to keep an eye out.
For today's work-friendly OOTD, I re-featured a bunch of old favorites:  my chunky cardi from Off Saks Fifth, my retro high-waisted BCBG dress pants, and my vintage Celine bag.  Sidebar:  I blogged about my designer bag collection a while back.  If you'd like to take a peek into my closet, clicky!
I'm a huge fan of neutrals, but I wanted to incorporate a pop of color so I paired my bottoms with a mustard tee.  I picked this baby up at Madewell during after-Christmas sales for $10 or so.  They were giving customers an extra 30% of sale merchandise & on top of that, they let me use my student discount (!!!!) 
Other fabulous chunky cardis:
Tee:  Madewell || Pants:  BCBG (old) || Cardi:  Saks Off Fifth (old) || Shoes:  c/o AMICLUBWEAR || Bag:  vintage Celine
Shot by the fabulous Katelyn Mariko.

4 Mantras Girl Bosses Live and Breathe

For those of y'all who know me well, you know firsthand that my work means the world to me. I'm passionate about all the different hats I wear, and I'm proud to say that I give everything in my life 200% all day, every day. However, that wasn't always the case.  It was definitely difficult getting here mentally and emotionally, but I wouldn't trade it for anything because it's shaped me into the woman I am today.  So, I'm extra excited for my latest because I'll be tackling topics I'm SUPER passionate about.  We'll be addressing 4 quotes that every BAMF girl boss lives by today on SS.

1.  "Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."

When I was growing up, I had a lot of big opportunities come my way, but I would often self-sabotage.  I'd try, but I wouldn't try my hardest so if I had failed, it'd be because I didn't give it my all. It was a way for me to protect myself and my pride - I mean, looking back at it now, I honestly can't think of anything stupider, but it made sense to me back then.

We're human so it's natural to fear failure.  No one wants to eff up or be rejected, but you won't move forward unless you put yourself out there.  Take advantage of whatever opportunity comes your way, but don't sit back and wait for them to come knocking at your door because you'll be asking for failure. I hear so many people bitch and moan about others and their successes.  "That guy totally didn't deserve that position" or "how did SHE book that concert" or "how is that blogger working with that company, she's not even that pretty."  Girl bosses don't think that way.

If you don't like where your career's at, do something about it.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Go meet people and make genuine connections.  Ask for help!  Pitch collaborative ideas to brands, artists, or whoever/whatever's applicable.  The worst you'll ever hear is "no," and trust me, it won't kill you.  You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

2.  "We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough."

Grit is everything.  We all know the story about the tortoise and the hare, and although I didn't know it back then, that shit was deep.  Slow and steady really does win the race.  When I was in college, I used to work in spurts.  I'd feel super motivated one day and pull an all-nighter working on a project, only to wake up late the next, feeling too groggy to function.  It's better to do small amounts daily rather than binge-work, especially if you're working towards a long term goal.  For example, if you want to run a mile in 8 minutes or less, you'll need to schedule jogs several times a week for an extended period of time to build your endurance. Consistency. Is. Key.

Now, on top of that, expect to hit a wall at some point.  Actually, scratch that! Expect to slam into SEVERAL walls that seem unbreakable - the key word being "seem."  If you give up when the going gets tough, you're never going to succeed.  Regardless of how talented or how smart you are, you're going to plateau or straight up fail at some point.  I've hit rock bottom MANY times in my life, and I'm not afraid to admit it.  I've played concerts where I've forgotten lines of music, or worse, competed and totally bombed after months and months of excruciating preparation.

There's nothing more disappointing than investing your blood, sweat, and tears into something only to have it explode in your face, BUT it's all a learning experience and you need to embrace it as such. When things get hard, girl bosses push themselves harder.  They fall seven times and get up eight because behind that wall is a revelation that'll help them get THAT much better.  Always think long term, and stick with whatever it is you're doing because things will get easier at some point.

3.  "A lion doesn't concern himself (or herself in this matter) with the opinions of sheep."

When I first started Sensible Stylista, people talked so much shit!  Fashion blogging wasn't as common back then, and I had just started my doctorate at school so I felt pretty self-conscious about it all.  Friends would come up and tell me that so and so was saying this and that about my style or my writing, and it sucked.  It hurt my feelings to hear bitchy things, BUT it helped me develop a much thicker skin so at the end of the day, I'm grateful for it all.

If you're putting yourself out there, people are going to talk.  Be prepared for it and stay strong.  Keep your eye on the prize and focus on your goals because at the end of the day, negative words mean absolutely nothing.  Like Eleanor Roosevelt eloquently said, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."  Fast forward 5 years, with 500k+ followers and 100k+ monthly views, I'm so beyond glad that I ignored all the haters and powered through.  Don't let anyone discourage you from pursuing your dreams!  You're a girl boss, therefore you shouldn't give a damn what anyone thinks. 

4.  "Comparison is the thief of joy."

Social media's great on so many different levels, but it can be discouraging and even depressing at times. Everyone's putting their best foot forward without acknowledging their hardships out in the open so the grass almost always seems greener on the other side.  Girl bosses don't deal with that bullshit though! They stay focused and only concern themselves with their own progress.  They also respect other people and their successes and realize that their accomplishments (however impressive they might be) don't detract from their own.  

Alright everyone, that's it for today!  Do any of these mantras resonate with you?  If yes, which one /s and why? I hope you enjoyed this post.  It took me a while to write up so hopefully it was helpful.  If you enjoyed it, please take a second to share it with friends!