Fashion Crazed Foodie

The Tasty Travels of the Swanky Budgeteer.

 I partnered with Sunita to style Sunkardi Fit Appareal to share how to easily elevate fall activewear looks with my fit-for-anywhere approach. Activewear looks are not limited to running shoes, joggers, windbreaker jackets and sweatshirts. I love adding layers, jewelry and more accessories to customize activewear for enhance style. Scroll for my expert guide on how to take activewear from basic gym wardrobe to wear-everywhere ensembles, for peak performance, of course. 

How to Style Activewear for the Fall
Sunita J., Sunkardi Fit, as styled by Syretta A., for Sunkardi Fitness Apparel
All Images: Gerrick Walker 

Quarantine, you know the vibes; leggings, athleisure, and loungewear are taking precedence over the usual denim/sweater combos, the ever-loved block-heel boot/skirt pairings and the extraordinary night-out looks. All of my treasured fall and winter pieces think: sequins, embellished blazers, over-the-knee boots are tucked away for now, as with social distancing, the promise of the always-anticipated holiday soirees and such are elusive. 

Much like everyone else, my quarantine style thus far has been an easy (and heavily-repeated) mix of leggings, sneakers, layering pieces and Tevas. Now that the cooler weather is finally blowing in, I'm planning my fall/winter wardrobe, and *spoiler alert* it's primarily activewear. It's a stylish, yet easy-going mix of my quarantine '20 fall-ish fundamentals: sub-Saharan hues, unapologetic hair, lush layers, and stylish activewear, (heavy on the layering and transitional pieces).  

My quest for luxe activewear started (& stopped) with Sunkardi Fit Apparel, a swoon-worthy activewear line made for the girl on-the-go. Sunkardi Fit is a savvy health and wellness brand, started by Houston-based fitness instructor, Sunita Johnson. In my expert opinion, Sunkardi Fit Appaeral is anything-but-basic activewear, fit for anywhere; from pilates to day dates, to terminal C! Thanks to Sunkardi Fit Apparel, I'm actually excited about wearing bras again, thanks to their sleek assortment of seamless, ultra-stylish coordinating sets, complete with coordinating sports bras and tops. 

Polished Performance

FashionCrazedFoodie Styles Fall Activewar Looks with Sunkardi Fit Apparel
A blazer and lightweight accessories manifest a fashion-foward touch to this activewear look. 

Don't scale it back! 

I styled this pre-pilates-perfect look to exude top-of-her-game vibes, by pairing Sunkardi Fit Apparel's Snake Set, $40 with a pocketed linen blazer, $28, Marshall's and a mix of gilded, lightweight accessories, including $34, JewelryHeir Adira Hoop Earrings and a soft, olive-hued headband. I finished this look with a rustic Marc Jacobs backpack for contrast and convenience. 

Where to Wear: 

Slither into this seamless, blazer-topped ensemble for uptown lunch dates, appointments, drinks with friends, and errands, too. The addition of the lightly-structured linen blazer lends swanky, boss-babe sensibility, while the gold-toned jewelry puts the polishing touch on this elevated activewear look. Make this look your own with a blazer of your choice, preferably, a long-line blazer for a trend-right appeal, hoop earrings and sneakers or boots.

FashionCrazedFoodie Styles Fall Activewear Looks with Sunkardi Fit Apparel

Double the wild factor

FashionCrazedFoodie Styles Sunkardi Fit Apparel
Sunita channels ethereal vibes

I love the undeniable wow-factor that pattern play materializes. I consider pattern play to be bold and daring, so I'm always looking for moments to incorporate this concept into various looks. For this second take on Sunkardi Fit's Snake Set, I opted for a more relaxed feel, adding a long, chunky, leopard-print cardigan The cardigan effortlessly luxuriates this look. Cardigans are the most valuable layer this season. 

Where to Wear: 

This wild get-up is ideal for travel days, trips to the farmer's market, post-yoga link-ups, and anywhere else you can envision yourself sporting this atypical effect. Accessorize with minimal jewelry; think trend-right layering necklaces and a couple of dainty anklets. Maximize this look with comfortable, faux-fur trimmed slides or boots when the weather permits. 

Pro Tip: Don't shy away from pattern play. If you're unsure about your ability to mix & match, start by pairing varying prints with similar colors. 

FashionCrazedFoodie Styles Sunkardi Fit Apparel for the Fall

Stress-less Statement Pieces

FashionCrazedFoodie Styles Sunkardi Fit Apparel

To know me is to understand and accept my obsession with one-and-done looks. Onesies, jumpsuits, playsuits, overalls, or whatever you care to call them, I stan, because they're simultaneously foundation pieces and outfit completers (all my fashionistas feel me). Sunkardi Fit Apparel's overalls are sleek and unquestionably eye-catching, with playful prints and figure-flattering silhouettes that complement the body's contours.

 I styled each onsie differently to exhibit how to dress these statement-making stunners up or down. Sunkardi's Twinkle Overalls and the Bare Wood Overalls are both head-turners; sure to summon likes and congratulatory applause wherever you go. One look at Sunita in the Twinkle Overalls and adoring strangers were literally cheering us on, requesting one-on-one style sessions for themselves. True story. 

FashionCrazedFoodie Styles Fall Activewear

Choose Your Overall Adventure

Prepare for star-gazing, the Twinkle Overalls are srsly, so sexy! I styled this look with fun times in mind, hence the addition of the auroral faux leather moto jacket, by Guess, $128. The addition of the moto jacket delivers a bit of edge to this game-changing piece. You'll notice I kept the accessories to a minimum on this look, and that's because it's a stand-alone statement piece as-is. I selected a druzy hinged cuff bracelet and luxury shield-style sunglasses, $34. 

The Barewood flaunts a barely-there look, but there's no blending in with this get-up. While this formfitting number would work effortlessly for a night out, I elected to take a more laid-back approach for the sake of demonstrating an optimal transseasonal look. I played with patterns again, by going against the grain with an oversized leopard-print cardigan. I topped it off with a soft headband and gleaming stud earrings for stress-less style.

Where to Wear: 

Feel free to sport this look anywhere, from yoga, to lunch, to your favorite tea house and beyond. 

FashionCrazedFoodie Styles Fall Activewear Sunkardi Fit Apparel


 Cheesecake Chimichangas

Calvin's Cheesecake Chimichanga Recipe

When was the last time you enjoyed a cheesecake chimichanga? If it wasn't today, or even yesterday, you are long overdue, friend! There's no better time than now, of course, to indulge your tastebuds in the satisfying, ooey-gooey goodness of cheesecake chimichangas. Each ASMR-activating bite renders bursts of the hot, velvety cream cheese mixture, tasty enough to make anyone dance. Listen, the crunch-to-cream ratio alone is worthy of an IG testimonial. 

My very first time trying a cheesecake chimichanga was in Dallas, at Taco Beuno, a Texas-based fast-food chain after my own heart. While it was 14 years ago, I still remember it as if it were yesterday.  It was literally love at first bite! After years of only enjoying these little crunchy, creamy treats intermittently during our trips to Dallas, Calvin finally decided to try and perfect the recipe for himself, so that we could savor these tasty little treats as often as we please.

 I eat these chimichangas for dessert and sometimes if we have leftovers, I have one with coffee the next day. Calvin's cheesecake chimichanga recipe is fast and super simple. I convinced him to record the recipe so that I could share it with all of you. Watch the video on my Youtube channel or Pin the recipe to try it out for yourself. Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe to let us know how much you love the cheesecake chimichangas when you make them! 

What You'll Need to Make Calvin's Cheesecake Chimichangas

Calvin's Cheesecake Chimichanga Recipe Card
Cheesecake Chimichanga ingredient list 

Pro Tip: Don't sacrifice the crunch factor! Reheat leftover cheesecake chimichangas in the air fryer the next day. 

Treat yourself to this simple shishito pepper recipe for a flavor-rich crunch!

Green shishito peppers topped with garlic and soy sauce fashioncrazedfoodie

I first tried shishito peppers at Uchi Houston's soft opening back in 2012 and it was love at first bite. Once I found these small, sometimes-spicy peppers at the store, I started making them at home. Shishito peppers pack a powerful crunch with a hint of spice, while the soy sauce and garlic blend to contribute a piquant punch. Spice shy? No worries, shishitos aren't all spicy; there's typically only about one spicy pepper out of the bunch. 

Follow my simple, five-ingredient shishito pepper recipe below.

Exaggerated ruffles, sheer tiers, crochet and poppy polka dots abound! In part one of my spring trend report, I'm sharing my insider tips on how to make the season's fresh-off-the-runway looks work for you!


FashionCrazedFoodie Spring Trend Report
Valentino S/S '20 Runway 
Let's start with ruffles-the cherubic embellishment that instantly signifies ostentatious feminine flair. This year's ruffle trends read over-the-top, and that's okay! The etherial ruffle trend is perfect for pairing for everything; from your favorite denim (skirts, shorts and jeans, alike) to high-waisted pants, blouses and tops. Rococo ruffled dresses, a la Arianna Grande's Grammy dress are a total mood this season.

FashionCrazedFoodies Spring Trends
Free People Aries Slip  
Sheer art! Take your spring style to the next level with tiers. I'm not just talking your average tiered gown, I'm talking see-through dresses with abounding tiers. My favorite way to wear sheer, tiered dresses is over a simple top and jeans or shorts. Sheer tiered dresses also pair well over plain, more fitted dresses (back in Oct. '19, I layered 3 different dresses for one look). Keep in mind, my fashionable friends, the tiered trend is not only reserved for sheer looks. While the tried and true tiered trend is not new, the silhouettes on this spring's runways are fashionably flamboyant, and totally fit for the new and now looks of 2020. Tiers and ruffles go hand-in-hand, by the way.


No need to reach for your grandmother's crochet needles, designers, Jonathan Simkhai and Celine have this throwback, textural trend covered. Loop this time-honored trend into your spring wardrobe by opting for crochet midi and maxi dresses, maxi skirts, crochet swimwear, handbags and ornate crochet tops. #FashionCrazedFoodie Pro Tip: Scour thrift stores for vintage crochet pieces, or DIY them! 

Not your grandma's crochet

Polka Dots

Busy, bold and modernized are the terms that come to mind when I think of the newfangled polka dots. I can’t quite pinpoint the reason, but I've always had a love/hate relationship with old school polka dots, however, I’m ready to incorporate the now-trending dots into my spring wardrobe. I’m currently coveting tops and dresses that juxtapose small and large polka dots. I’m also stanning for pattern play and color blocking with polka prints. Get on point with the polka trend with striking one-and-done dresses, like the ones spotted at Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Balmain and Gabriela Hearst. Trendspotting: Make this look yours by pairing a polka-dotted pussy-bow blouse with high-waisted pants. Pretty polka dots are here to stay, PERIOD!
#FashionCrazedFoodie Pro Tip: If you’re unsure about this classic print, ease into it! Try wearing a printed polka-dotted blouse as an anchoring, statement piece underneath a monochromatic suit. 

FashionCrazedFoodie spring trend report
Balmain's Polka Power '20

Let's talk Street Style. I define the Street Style movement as the materialization of an eclectic display of juxtapose styles. Street style savants are lauded for their intuitive, inventive knack for executing this movement by replacing runway, designer-driven trends with a more personalized, atypical aesthetic. I love pairing my casual and edgy pieces (think vintage graphic tees & distressed jeans) with frilly, super-femme accoutrements, like dresses over jeans, sneakers with skirts and other unexpected combos.

My street style staples are tattered rocker tees, graphic tees, dramatic ruffles, feathery clutches, palazzo pants, oversized blazers, pattern play, and EXAGGERATED EVERYTHING. Most of my street style favorites are pieces I've collected over time from thrift stores. J.Crew is a great source for graphic tees and Urban Outfitters is my go-to for rocker tees. Layering is an essential element of the street style trend, so I always top my look off with an oversized, lightly-structured blazer, or a long, flowy kimono. Zara and Nordstrom are always great for the latter.

J.Crew graphic tee
Urban Outfitters Tupac Tee

Have fun accessorizing your street style looks with feathered accents, statement sunnies, hints of fur, and unexpected pops of color. Finish the look with embellished shoes, layered necklaces, thin, stacked bangles, and hats.

Images found on

A new member of the Marriott dynasty, Lido House defines luxe beach house vibes with a timeless, nautical twist.
Lido House Hotel, picture courtesy of Marriott Hotels

Back in September, Calvin and I ventured off to our favorite state for a four-day vacation. Our visits to the Golden State are always memorable; fun-filled and jam-packed with adventure. This particular visit was no different- we enjoyed every single moment of this trip. While we sometimes stay in San Diego or Newport Beach when we visit California, and drive back and forth to Los Angeles, for this particular trip, we split our time between the  W West Beverly Hills, (which I loved, btw) and for the last leg of our stay, we migrated to Newport Beaches' newest hotel, Lido House. Our stay here felt like a dream! Cue the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations!"

FashionCrazedFoodie Marriott Hotels

Lido House is a luxury boutique hotel, recognized as one of the Marriot's exclusive Autograph Collection; selected for its exceptional design and overall beauty of the property. The resort's nautical theme is reminiscent of Martha's Vineyard, with hardwood flooring and an overall coastal, beach house vibe. The property is relatively small, (which I prefer when it comes to hotels) with only 130 guestrooms, eight suites, and five private cottages. The hotel staff was extraordinarily hospitable for the entirety of our stay. Unfortunately, our room was not ready when we arrived, but the hotel manager made up for it by gifting us an allowance for the rooftop bar, Topside.

Fashion Crazed Foodie
Lido House Guest Room, photo courtesy of Marriott Hotels


We kicked off our stay on the Lido House Roof Deck, Top Side. Top Side, a sophisticated space with a breath-taking view of the entire property is Newport Beach's only rooftop bar. Upon exiting the elevator to Top Side, I was immediately smitten by the beauty and the coastal ambiance; from the upbeat music, well-dressed patrons, and exceptionally friendly and accommodating bartenders. It was pretty packed, but we were still able to find seats with a bird's eye view of the saltwater pool. We considered dining at Lido House's signature restaurant,  Mayor's Table Pacific Pub & Kitchen, but we later decided to eat at Nobu. The next morning, we grabbed lattes from Crew Coffee + Creamerie 

There is a resort fee, included in the price of the room, which allows for the use of bikes (so fun), the beach shuttle, surfboard rental, internet/wi-fi and more. 

Fashion Crazed Foodie Visits Newport Beach, California
You had me at liquored-up popsicle + spiced rim

Our Room

 Our guestroom, located on the second floor, boasted a view of the front drive, with large balcony windows, that allowed for direct sunlight. The room, equip with crisp, white built-in shelving had ample space for our luggage and was a continuation the nautical, beach house vibes throughout the rest of the property. The queen-size bed was ultra-cushiony; decorated with striped pillows and a super soft comforter. The restroom was large, with picturesque tile throughout and a sumptuous, glass-framed shower.

Lido House's Nautical Room Decor
Lido House's room decor maintains the nautical theme.

Treat Yourself

If you're planning a visit to Newport Beach, California, you should totally stay at Lido House. The property is stunning; teeming with awe-inspiring views and Instagrammable photo ops.The timeless, nautical concept corresponds with the coastal wave that defines Newport Beach.The staff is inviting, pleasantly conversational and their friendly disposition defines hospitality! I'll return again and again on the hospitality, alone.

Actually, if you aren't planning a visit to Newport Beach, California, I'd recommend that you go, ASAP! Calvin and I LOVE Newport Beach, so much so that we treated our children to a Christmas vacation there, in 2017. Calvin and I visited Newport Beach four times in 2018 and we're returning again in two weeks. It's safe to say that I'm secretly plotting a move to Newport Beach.

Fashion Crazed Foodie Marriott Hotels
Throwback: Our family Christmas Vacay 2017 in Newport Beach, Califronia 

Fashion Crazed Foodie Marriott Hotel

Fashion Crazed Foodie Marriott Hotels
View from the Top Side Bar

Fashion Crazed Foodie Marriott Hotel

Fashion Crazed Foodie Marriott Hotel
#wiw: Free People's Just Float On Flares & The Bohemnian's Closet Custom Camo Jacket

Why the lifestyle trend à la mode may not work for everyone-including me.


Minimalism is in vogue, thanks to societal trends, such as binge-worthy documentaries dedicated to clutter-free living; hodgepodge handling, and indubitably, the widely-celebrated matron of organization, Marie Kondo. Kondo’s fan favorite book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is tantamount to a sacred, self-help doctrine for her cult-ish congregation. According to the Kondo gospel, intentionally existing with less is living more. 

Marie Kondo loves mess almost as much as JoAnne the Scammer. 
Contrary to the now-trending, “look at me, purposely dwindling my shoe collection down to two pairs,  impulsively posting it on social media for likes” gaucheness, I thrive in my own organized chaos. I’m being totally honest here-the idea of minimalism seems boring. Swapping my style stockpile and other prized possessions for clean lines and scanty space means fewer options when it comes to styling my daily looks, and would lead to bare-bones beauty routines for selfie-ready skin and *gasp*  lackluster blogger photo-ops.

Happiness=(+ time x space x experiences)-less stuff 

Much like many other Xennials (let’s hear it for the early 80’s babies living on the cusp) and Millennials, I am attached to my belongings. Contrary to antiquated Baby-Boomer beliefs, I do not feel the need to dedicate my Saturday mornings to ritualistic cleaning, organizing and frantically minimizing. Saturday mornings are reserved for artisanal coffee, avocado toast, Pilates classes and perusing social media for insta-worthy foodie spots.


All of my things have sentimental value. You know-the more the merrier! I’m not a hoarder, nor am I (in my mother’s words) a pack rat. I am a collector. A sentimental individual. A faithful fashionista, who just so happens to love and accumulate apparel and accessories to the point of paying for additional storage space to house my extensive collection. Yes, I’m that girl and so are many others, and that’s okay. Clutter of any kind is chaotic and sparse spaces are good. To me, clutter sparks creativity and sparse spaces are cold, uninviting and give the expectation of perfection-or am I just projecting?

 My children’s drawings? Joy! My expansive denim collection? Damn delightful!
The abundance of bric-a-brac amassed from our travels? Euphoria!
 My abounding collection of stemless wine glasses and novelty mugs plastered with of-the-moment sayings like, '#NamaSLAY,' 'Wife of the party' 'Wine Not' 'Let’s be MER-mazing' all provoke a healthy dose of maximalist-fueled happiness. 

credit: Artem Bali, Pexels

According to statistical data reported by the LA Times, “The average U.S. household has 300,000 things, from paper clips to ironing boards.” *Blinks, guiltily.* But wait, there’s more! In a jaw-dropping article, The Wall Street Journal quotes, “Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods-in other words, items they don’t need. Again, guilty. Do these staggering stats inspire me to adorn my denim jacket (the one I’ve kept since high school) with an enamel pin and join the #TeamMinimalism tribe? Not at all.

Thankfully, there are actual studies that justify minimalism’s often misunderstood step-sister, maximalism; citing successful, non-minimalist creatives, from Mark Twain to Mark Zuckerburg. According to scientific research, messy, disorganized people are more creative, out-of the-box thinkers, and are more productive. Jennifer McCartney, author of the less-perfect paradoxical book, The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place, encourages readers to embrace their messy, disorganized lives by writing, "When you are messy, everything else in your life will fall into place." *Raises hand in agreeance.* While I can admit that for some, the concept of minimalism may be beneficial to a degree, I’m not completely sold on the ideology. Why? This newly-standardized way of life is somewhat problematic in my opinion, as it perpetuates perfectionism, which for many-me included, is impracticable. I don’t think I’ll ever be a card-carrying member of the minimalism tribe. In short, a minimalist existence is not enough me-period. (Literally)

#FreeJT, btw!

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


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. 

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