Fashion Crazed Foodie

The Tasty Travels of the Swanky Budgeteer.


My stay at the historic, Art Deco hotel in Uptown Dallas
Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh

My husband and I visited Dallas for the weekend, and in true spoil-Syretta fashion, my husband searched high and low for the ideal, 4-5 star hotel. He knows my requirements; a posh pool, no sliding doors, an overall swanky aesthetic, lush, spacious rooms, private lobby, and top notch shopping and dining close by. Nothing less for ya girl.

Calvin told me that he'd been eyeing the Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh, a Starwood hotel, that also happens to be a four- diamond property. Looking at the photo galleries online, we were both underwhelmed with the hotel's pool, but we were immediately drawn to the overall vintage-lux look of the hotel. The historic, 1923 Art Deco building boasted timeless elegance, with contemporary modern allure, and the website promised "exemplary customer service"- I was sold. We'll revisit the customer service later in this post.

My stay at the historic, Art Deco hotel, located in uptown Dallas
Grand archways in the hotel lobby

My stay at the historic, Art Deco hotel in Uptown Dallas
The hotel's stunning Art Deco theme is apparent throughout the property

Our Stay

Upon arrival, I instantly fell in love with the location, as the Le Meridian, Stoneleigh is anchored in the center of Dallas' popular Uptown district; an area known for posh dining, high-end shopping, and upscale night offerings. The hotel's interior was no different from the pictures, staying true to it's stunning, retro-chic aesthetic throughout. The smallish lobby housed The Bar at Perle on Maple, while the hotel's restaurant, Perle on Maple is tucked into a hallway, right off the lobby.



Perle on Maple
Perle on Maple, Le Meridien Stoneleigh's dining room

Perle on Maple


Our mid-sized room was bright and alluring, thanks to the copious windows and the vibrant, hexagon-patterned wallpaper. The intricately tiled bathroom fit the bill of the Deco theme, with its bold, geometric craftsmanship. The king-sized bed was inviting, and super comfortable-and thankfully, not overloaded with decorative pillows. The closet was gigantic-literally large enough to be another room, and had plenty of hangers.

We heard what sounded like a party through the windows, and noticed that there was a live band playing at the pool. One look at the pool, and we were thrilled to see that the pictures online do it no justice, whatsoever. The long, rectangular pool was lined with cabanas on one side, and artificial turf on the other. We spent Sunday morning (and afternoon) at the pool, in our very own cabana, first sipping coffee, and as the morning progressed, chugging mimosas from the bar.

Guest room with hexagon-patterned wall paper and a plush king bed
The hexagonal-patterned lends a pop of color to the room


Hospitality 

I must point out the lack of hospitality from the staff, which is extremely important to me, and even more so, to Calvin-a hospitality veteran. Other than our initial exchange during check-in, the staff NEVER acknowledged us. We were never greeted when entering or leaving the lobby, even though there were always multiple attendants at the front desk. Immensely disappointing!

 There were times when it was clear that we were looking for assistance, yet nobody every offered to help. On Sunday morning, I was fixing myself a cup of coffee at the bar, and the bartender never greeted me, nor acknowledged my presence for the entire 2 minutes that I was there, even though we were less than three feet away from one another. Another hotel guest approached the bar for coffee, and warmly greeted me with a "Good Morning," and small talk, which I appreciated. Nobody wants to feel invisible, which is what I was starting to feel like, after being ignored by the staff for our entire stay. My only exchange with the staff was with a very kind, smiling older man working the pool Sunday morning, who went out of his way to answer my question. If it weren't for him, I'd almost believe that the staff was trained to ignore the guests.

All in all, Calvin and I enjoyed our stay at the Le Meridien Stoneleigh, and we would most likely stay again. I give this hotel 4 out of 5 stars, subtracting a star for the non-existent hospitality.

Smizing in the shadow of our cabana. #DestinationUnlocked

Sunday Funday at the pool


Mimosas by the pool
Enjoying Sunday morning mimosas poolside. 


Sunglasses and mimosas poolside for the Starwood Preferred Guest
Sunnies and mimosas on Sunday morning for the Starwood Preferred Guest, Fashion Crazed Foodie


The Bar at Perle on Maple
The Bar at Perle on Maple Lobby 

The Bar at Perle on Maple
The Bar at Perle on Maple: Notice the sleek metallic finishes
The Art-Deco theme is evident throughout the historic, 1920- built hotel. Check out the bathroom tile. 


Going to the chapel as a bride or guest, with Weddington Way, you're sure to be best dressed! 

FashionCrazedFoodie
#WeddingtonWay

Weddington Way is the newest addition to the Gap Inc. family. A fresh, millennial-centric wedding collection with off-the-rack offerings; from bridesmaids dresses to shawls, jewelry, belts and bow ties for the groom's squad. Because Weddington Way designs and produces their own in-house, the often stressful bridesmaid dress hunt is now easier than ever. Here's the best part: no dress in this exclusive line is priced over $225! Where was Weddington Way when I got married 14 years ago?! 

The assortment of dresses range from short to long, and are available in a stylish variance of colorways, necklines, shapes and fabrications (including full sequin dresses)! The process is super easy, as any interested bride-to-be can book appointments at Weddington Way, and mix and match styles and colors on their assortment of RTW designs. I, for one can never have enough wedding guest dresses, and with wedding season upon us, I'd even suggest shopping the Weddington Way collection for dresses! The line even includes dresses that I'd consider perfect for mother of the bride dresses. You don't have to be a bride to shop 

I honestly love every dress in the collection, but the dresses with tulle and pearl detail were my absolute faves. Visit Weddington Way Houston , located inside of the Highland Village Banana Republic at 
3922 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77027
Mon.-Sat: 10am-8pm
Sun: 11am-7pm


Fashion Crazed Foodie

 Noa and I attended the Weddington Way First Look in Houston, at the Banana Republic location in Highland Village. The event was fun-filled; plenty of champs, light bites, and pretty swatches.

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Noa, enjoying the benefits of being my assistant for the night

Fashion Crazed Foodie
A stylish assortment of swatches, sure to please any bride-to-be.


Fashion Crazed Foodie
For the guys...


Fashion Crazed Foodie
Truueeee!

The Great

I started this blog a little over 10 years ago. At the time, it was called Old Skool New, and I used it as a platform to showcase my love of vintage fashion, old school music and all things remininiscent of the good ol' days. While I was attending school to obtain my Fashion Merchandising degree, I decided to shift my focus to fashion and food, which prompted me to change the name to FashionCrazedFoodie.


Through years of fun and hard work, I've converted my words into partnerships with national publications, trips, countless press passes and cash! Make no mistake, I've had my share of rejection, I've heard "no" more times than I can count,  I don't share every single "win" on Instagram these days, and some of you may have never even read my blog, but that doesn't negate my blessings. I am grateful and overjoyed that my hobby is also my hustle! 


The Ugly Truth

My journey has not been all press passes and bottle popping. I don't always receive the support I'd once expected from some of my family and friends. I've been rejected and ignored, and heard the word "no" way more than "yes, and I've made my share of mistakes. I sometimes go months without blogging, depending on what's going on in my life, but I always return, because this is my passion and my purpose.

The Good


I encourage all of you to walk in your purpose; do what brings you joy, no matter how silly it may seem to you, or the doubters in your life. Hard work often goes unrewarded, and but that's okay-the joy it brings is indescribable!
I want to know: What is your purpose? What is your passion? 







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2018 ESSENCE FESTIVAL INITIAL LINE-UP ANNOUNCED
JULY 5-8 IN NEW ORLEANS

NIGHTLY CONCERT SERIES SPOTLIGHTS WOMEN—WITH ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCES BY
JANET JACKSON, MARY J. BLIGE, FANTASIA, XSCAPE, H.E.R.,
THE ROOTS FEATURING ERYKAH BADU, JILL SCOTT AND SNOOP DOGG

PLUS MIGUEL, DANIEL CAESAR, IDRIS ELBA AND MORE

GRAB YOUR SQUAD AND PLAN YOUR TRIP!

January 25, 2018 (New York, NY)—ESSENCE wants you to grab your squad and plan your trip as it announces its exhilarating initial talent line-up for the 2018 ESSENCE Festival, taking place July 5-8 in New Orleans. The nightly concert series keeps the spotlight on womenfeaturing electrifying headline performances from Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; a headline set featuring Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, with special guests Snoop Dogg and many others in a special curation by The Roots; Xscape; Fantasia and Miguel*Additional acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

This year’s Festival will feature chart-topping names and inspiring experiences across four days of music, culture, empowerment and entertainment. The electric nighttime concerts will feature more than 40 acts and will take place across five stages at the Louisiana Superdome—including the Festival’s renowned Mainstage and four intimate Superlounges. For the first-time, the Festival will also feature an ESSENCE Superlounge with a unique DJ-curated experience—with offerings by actor/DJ Idris Elba, MC Lyte and more. Also, for the first-time, the Festival welcomes an interactive music experience with The Read’s Kid Fury and Crissle hosting a Superlounge.

*Artists scheduled to perform at the nightly ESSENCE Festival concerts over Fourth of July weekend at the Louisiana Superdome include: Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, along with Snoop Dogg and more in a special curation by The Roots; 112;Daniel Caesar; D-Nice; Doug E. Fresh’s Legends of Hip-Hop Show featuring Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee and more; DVSN; Fantasia; H.E.R.; Idris Elba; Kelela; Kelly Price’s For The Love of R&B featuring Dave Hollister and Vaughn Willis; Kevin Ross; MAJOR.; Mali Music; Marsha Ambrosius; MC Lyte; Miguel; Mykia Jovan; Ro James; Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Experiencefeaturing Wreckx-n-Effect, Blackstreet and Guy; The Read’s Kid Fury and Crissle; VICTORY, Xscape and many more to be announced soon. Mainstage host: Roy Wood, Jr.

“In 2018, women are at the forefront of a seismic shift reverberating across the cultural landscape, and this movement comes to life for our community at the ESSENCE Festival,” said Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications. “Some of the most iconic female artists and powerhouse performers of this generation—Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia and others—embrace ESSENCE and the Festival as a sacred space to entertain, inspire, revel in culture and be renewed.”

Weekend ticket packages are on sale now with prices starting at $150. For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival® visit EssenceFestival.com.

Join the Festival community: Follow us on Twitter@essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of Festival on Facebook.The 2018 ESSENCE Festival® is presented by Coca-Cola®State Farm is a major sponsor. ESSENCEFestival is executive produced by Essence Communications Inc., and produced by Solomon Group with the ESSENCE® Empowerment Experience executive produced by GeChar.

*Artists subject to change.

FOR PRESS CREDENTIAL INQUIRIES: Please e-mail festivalpress@essence.com.

About Essence Communications Inc.
Essence Communications is the number one media company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 16 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content.  With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in MusicBlack Women in HollywoodStreet Style and the ESSENCE Festival.  Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent African-American owned company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of women of color.

CONTACT:
Sheila Harris, ESSENCE

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Fashion Crazed Foodie


Yay! We're finally in the home stretch of winter. Some of us (Houston) are slowly, but surely easing out of frigid temps, gloomy skies, and #Snowmegeddon2018. Before you call your personal shopper and/or wardrobe stylist (*ahem*contact me for rates) over to purge your closets of your tried and true winter wardrobe, sort through your clothing and accessories for colorfast pieces to brighten up your look. Bright colors are no longer just reserved for spring.


Fashion Crazed Foodie
It's time to liven up muted winter tones..

Ease your wardrobe out of the usual drab cold-weather colors and into warmer temperatures by updating the muted tones; the greys, the blacks  (black is too chic to ever part with) the wines and the beiges with pops of color. The easiest way to do this is by incorporating chromatic accessories into your daily looks.

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Brighten things up!


Hats and Turbans

Lets start at the top with hats and turbans. No longer considered just 'bad hair day savers,' turbans and hats are both easy accessories, and on-trend styling solutions. Moral of the story: Add color to your winter wardrobe by topping off your #ootd with a hat or turban.

FashionCrazedFoodie
Top off your look with a brilliant headpiece.


Sunglasses

FashionCrazedFoodie
OMG-worthy sunnies in splashy colors can instantly upgrade any look. 

I call them #sunnies, and I don't leave home without them! Sunnies are multi-functional accessories-they block the sun, and they have the power to INSTANTLY upgrade any look. Gone are the days when we only had black or tortoise shell sunnies to choose from. Today's sunglasses are prismatic, super stylish and can effortlessly add a pop of color to your winter wardrobe. Shop my favorite splashy sunnies at TheBohemiansCloset.com .


FashionCrazedFoodie
The Venice Sunnies add color and texture! 
Fashion Crazed Foodie


Layering Pieces

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Chromatic coats for layering


Coats, carves, kimonos, tights and even socks are must-have layering pieces, and in my opinion, the easiest pieces to use when adding a pop of color to your look. Pair socks and tights with heels for an on-trend slay!

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Layering essentials: Scarves, socks & kimonos.

Handbags

Who doesn't love a good handbag?! The addition of a vibrant handbag is one of the most simple solutions to adding color to your winter wardrobe. Handbags come in a kaliedescopic variance of hues, shapes and sizes, so the style possibilities are endless. While clutches are ALWAYS in, mini backpacks, hobo bags and crossbody styles are the au courant picks. 

I am anti matchy-matchy, so I love to have fun with my looks by selecting handbags in colors that stylishly contrast the colors in my #ootd. Sometimes, I decide what color handbag to carry by looking at the color wheel and picking a bag in the color that is directly accross from the most prominent color in my outfit. For example, I love pairing purple and yellow! 

FashionCrazedFoodie
Use handbags to add color to your winter wardrobe


Jewelry

Remember when our jewelry selection was mostly basics, like silver and gold hoops, or CZ studs? Thankfully, we are out of the basics and into bold jewelry looks-from vibrant earrings, gaudy statement necklaces, splashy bangles-I have no stopping point when it comes to layering on my jewelry. It's the hippie in me! A word of advice: Do not wear matching jewelry sets, it's so Palais Royal. 

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Use kaleidoscopic baubles to add color to your ensemble. 

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Brilliant earrings. 


Shoes

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Showcase your shoes! 

Again, remember when everyone mostly wore brown and black shoes? Those days are loooong gone, girl, much like microwave ponytails and sock buns. Boots, stilettos, and sneakers alike pack a super charged, prismatic punch-perfect for adding color to your winter wardrobe. Gucci is currently leading the pack with their colorful assortment of shoes, including metallics, rainbows, and ostentatious embellishments. 
Fashion Crazed Foodie









#SagSeasonSoLit
Spa Day + Staycation + Shopping
A sumptuous birthday mix fit for a fashionable foodie!



FashionCrazedFoodie
The Swan


Sagittarians are widely known for having a stellar sense of style; always in-the-know on what’s trending, (quite honestly, Sags create the trends), and are most famously known for being free-spirited individuals-so it’s no surprise that I’m a Sag! My birthday is December 14th, but in true Syretta spirit, I typically celebrate the entire month. My family and I celebrated last Thursday over dinner and drinks, and Calvin and I kept the party going throughout the weekend, with a fanciful staycation, complete with a spa day, dinner, drinks and my favorite sport-shopping! To my surprise (thanks, Calvin) I kicked off my Saturday with 5-diamond treatment with spa time at my favorite place in the entire world-The Four Seasons Hotel.


Feeling happy and refreshed at The Four Seasons Hotel Spa 




FashionCrazedFoodie
Free People's Just Float On Flare Jeans
My family knows that I’m a Free People fiend, so I received multiple FP gift cards, which led me straight to the Houston Galleria for a quick shopping excursion. After perusing the store for the better part of an hour, I found a stunning, yet easy-going look for dinner  (see the reveal below) and a pair of Free People’s now insta-famous ‘Just Float On’ Flare Jeans. Can you guys believe that Free People was my ONLY stop in the Galleria? Neither can I, but I was so pleased with my finds, that there was no need to go anywhere else.


 Le Meridien Hotel
When we were done shopping, we went back downtown to check into Le Méridien Hotel-the latest addition to Houston’s swanky fleet of luxury hotels. Ya’ll know that I am a shameless hotel snob (thanks to Calvin), so it’s always important any hotel Calvin selects for us must meet my four to five star standards. The staff’s attentive service, swanky rooms and the sumptuous, mid-century mod decor, Le Meridien exceeded my expectations! Calvin made reservations at Oxbow7, Le Méridiens in-house restaurant. He was excited to introduce me to the menu, curated by Chef Brian Caswell, as he had been invited to try it out for lunch a month or so ago, and had nothing but great things to say about it. The fare, described as ‘elevated bayou’ cuisine was well-prepared. My favorite dish of the night-Gulf Crab Gratin, a savory conglomeration of blue crab fingers and cheese, topped with pickles and sliced radish. I glanced at the drink menu, already knowing what I wanted, you guessed it-a margarita with a salted rim.



Gulf Crab Gratin at Oxbow7

Le Meridien's Oxbow 7 menu, curated by Chef Brian Caswell


#WIW


My look for the night: Free People’s ‘Adore Me’ Set. A sultry, satiny pairing of a luxuriant kimono-style duster and majestic high rise wide-leg pants for a stunning, yet effortless look. I paired the set with a whimsical, vintage-inspired “camera” evening bag from Charming Charlie.

Birthday Staycation Le Meridien Hotel Houston Texas

FashionCrazedFoodie


All you ever need is an over-the-top statement piece!Get the Look

Saturday nights are kind of a big deal to me-bar hopping with my girls, dancing, drinking, and most importantly-styling myself in Insta worthy looks! Saturday's cool temps had me running to my closet, sorting through my cache of cold-weather style staples for my #OOTN!

My closet search led me to my latest buy-a shaggy, faux fur ombre jacket by Thread and Supply. At $30, I fell head over heels for this jacket the moment I spotted it at Marshalls! The soft, shaggy fringe combined with the cool ombre motif oozes instant vintage 70's vibes. 

Because the jacket is a statement piece, I went simple with the rest of my look. I paired it with a lightweight, long-sleeve Free People tunic and a pair of  my tried and true dark denim high-waist Abercrombie jeans.

Let me tell ya'll: I received SO many compliments on this look! Men and women alike lavished me with an overabundance of applause and adulation all night long! This Thread and Supply Faux Fur Ombre Jacket is now my favorite piece, so you'll see me in it again!

Thread and Supply Jacket Get the Look
H-Town Style: Thread and Supply Ombre Faux Fur Jacket

Fashion Crazed Foodie Styling Tips: 

  • Shop for statement pieces at a fraction of the price at discount stores like Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Nordstrom Rack. 
  • Don't be afraid to rock "over-the-top" looks! Faux fur, sequins, feathers, or whatever makes you happy-do what works for you! Who wants to fit in? NOT ME! 
  • Not sure what to wear? Start with jeans and build your look from there. 

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