Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Black Friday 2020 :: Beauty Brands

Dedicated this post to share some amazing deals from my favorite beauty brands. Black Friday deals are so good this year. Take advantage and stock up now if you're interested. I sure will do the same. All Black Friday posts I've done so far this year are here.
Biossance: 30% off sitewide. They are a clean skincare brand which I am a fan. I've been using the Squalane & Probiotic Gel Mosturizer for years and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It is lightweight but provides enough moisture for my skin. Biossance sources their Squalane from sugar cane. Squalane oil has powerful anti-aging properties and will help the skin age gracefully. If you're looking into trying out their products, I would suggest one of their starter sets. With the promotion, prices are incredible for high quality products that are safe and healthy for your skin.
Charlotte Tilbury: Up to 45% off. I am not a makeup junkie so I don't normally spend $$ on expensive makeup products. However, Charlotte Tilbury products are an exception. I repurchased their iconic lipliner and lipstick twice if that tells you anything. They products are pricey so I haven't tried anything else other than their lip products. With the sale, it gives me a good excuse to try other products. I am thinking about getting one of makeup kits.
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IT Cosmetics: 30% off sitewide. Another brand that I love. I have gone through many tubes of their CC+ cream. Repurchased their hydrating moisturizer a couple of times. This anti-aging skincare set is now only $27.50 ($91.50 value). If you're looking for a beauty brand that carries all things beauty and skincare, I highly recommend IT Cosmetics. I am going to stock up on their iconic CC cream.
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Lancome: 50% off a large selection of beauty and skin care products. My holy grail mascara is 50% and their iconic Advance Genifique is also on major sale (my Mom swears by this product). Also, I get this holiday beauty box for my mother in law every single year. It's on $72 (a $555 value). It's a great value for your money.
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Beauty Bio: 30% off sitewide. This is a new brand to me. The reason I know about their annual sale because I've been eyeing their popular at home microneedling tool for Christmas. I've gone to a couple of professional microneedling appointments and the cost is $200 per appointment. Since this at-home tool costs a fraction of the price it costs to visit the doctor's office, I thought I would give it a try (especially after reading lots of positive experiences from real people). 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gucci shoes are half off today

Sharing a great deal today on Gucci shoes! With the additional 20% off, all Gucci shoes here are half off here. That's abfantastic deal if you are been thinking about getting a pair of designer shoes. I can't speak for the other styles but the Gucci sneakers run a half size larger. I normally wear a size 7 in women's shoes and the 36.5 fits me perfectly. Sizes are selling out fast so take advantage now if you're interested. I will be posting Black Friday deals throughout this week.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

An affordable outfit for Thanksgiving

ExpressLeatherPants_SydneysFashionDiary SaintLaurentNanoBag_SydneysFashionDiary
Happy weekend, everyone! It's been a hectic work week trying to get things done and getting the house ready for Thanksgiving. Hope you guys are doing well. Sharing a cute and affordable outfit for Thanksgiving if you're looking for inspiration. Since I don't really wear a lot of color, I love mixing different textures to create visual interest to an outfit. Lace and leather is one of my favorite combos to wear. These pants are from Express. The entire site is 50% off plus free shipping on all orders. These pants fit amazing. My lace bodysuit is only $14. It looks and feels way more expensive than it actually is. This bodysuit runs a tad small. I got a size XS but a small would be a better fit. If you're in between sizes, I suggest sizing up for a comfortable fit. Outfit details: Express faux leather pants | White lace bodysuit | Rolex watch | Saint Laurent Sac De Jour bag |Celine dupe sunglasses.
LaceTop_SydneysFashionDiary LaceTop_SydneysFashionDiary
Sharing a few items I tried on in person from my recent shopping trip to Express.
1. Ribbed sleeve sweater - Super cute in person, run true to size. I tried on a size XS.
2. Ribbed cowl neck sweater - Incredibly soft. Run true to size
3. Polka dot jumpsuit - See it on me
4. Knit skirt
5. Matching sweater: The quality of this set is amazing. Unfortunately, both pieces are a tad long for me (I am only 5'2"). Wish they came in petite sizes. If you're 5'5" or taller, this set would look amazing on you.
6. Faux leather pants: If you're looking for a pair of basic faux leather pants, give these a try. I got them in a size 00 regular. They fit everywhere except the length. I am going to reorder them in a size 00 petite.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

100 self-care gift ideas to give during the pandemic

Today, I am sharing one big Christmas gift guide for 2020. This year is undoubtedly taking a real toll on everyone's mental health. We are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated and we desperately want our lives back to normal. With everything going on around the globe, to say it is overwhelming is an understatement. I spent hours picking and curating items that are focusing on self-care and help boosting your physical health as well as your mental health. I greatly appreciate if you shop through my links. They are ranging from $5 - $200+. There are no luxury handbags in this gift guide. You know I am all for luxury goods but now is not the time. Some gift ideas are practical, some are unique but most importantly, they will make your life easier during these challenging times. I believe anyone would be thrilled to receive any of these 100 thoughtful gifts. I will share what I got for my kids next week so stay tuned if you're interested.
$5 - $10
1. Press on nails *2600+ positive reviews*
2. Nourishing face mask
3. 2021 planner
4. No touch door opener *set of 4*
5. Coffee mug
6. A journal for creating a happy life *self-improvement book*
7. Instant Pot cookbook - 1000 recipes
8. USB lighter
9. AirPods case
10. Fruit infuser bottle water

$11 - $25
11. Luxury scented soy candle *1500+ positive reviews*
12. Barefoot Dreams socks
13. Pure silk hair ties *set of 4*
14. Plush slippers *15000+ positive reviews*
15. Dry shampoo set
16. Olaplex hair care system
17. Aromatherapy diffuser
18. Lip sleeping mask
19. Manicure kit
20. Board & cheese knife set
21. Cocktail shaker set
25. Blue light glasses

$26 - $50
27. Honeydew plush robe
28. Incredibly soft pajamas *this is a great dupe for the Nordstrom version*
29. 6-in-1 ab roller kit
30. 90 degree workout leggings *I own multiple pairs and they are amazing*
31. Back & neck massager *This is on my Christmas wishlist this year*
32. Echo wall clock *this is so helpful if you have to keep an eye on your kid's homework while working from home*
33. Bed sheet set *162000+ reviews - That's insane!*
34. Extra large bath towels
35. Amazon subscription *$39 for 3 months*
36. Smart sleep alarm clock
37. Spa gift basket

$51 - $75
45. YETI rambler *52000+ reviews for a reason - I own multiples and love*
46. A wine subscription
47. Brushed pajamas
48. Wide mouth juicer
49. Laptop tray
65. Temperature control smart mug

$101 - $125
66. Barefoot Dreams cardigan *own & love*
67. Slip silk pillow & sleep mask set
68. Weighted blanket *I got this for my oldest daughter last year*
69. Wine rack
80. Watch storage *I got this for my husband a few years ago and he loves it*
81. Sound machine and smart light

$151 - $175
83. SMEG kettle *I own this and love it to death*
84. Skincare refrigerator
85. Cashmere sweater
86. Ergonomic office chair

$176 - $200
88. BeautyBio microneedling facial generation tool *on my wishlist this year*
89. YETI portable cooler *I own this and have been using it for years*
90. Calming & stress relief device
91. Mini percussive therapy device

$201 and up
92. iRobot WIFI vacuum *another item on my wishlist this year*
93. Apple watch
94. Dyson cordless vacuum *read my review*
95. Dyson air purifier  *read my review*
96. Patio heater *I just got this for our backyard*
97. Stationary bike

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Holiday bar cart

I can't believe Thanksgiving is only 10 days away. I am very grateful that we are adapting well to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I am looking forward to some holiday downtime with the family. I busted out my Christmas decorations last week because there are no rules in 2020 =) Even though I limit all social interactions, I do plan to celebrate the holidays with my immediate family. In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I wanted to share with you a really cool online wine club. Winc is a California-based winery. I am a creature of habit when it comes to food. I generally know what I like and what I don't like. When I find something I like I stick with it. Winc uses a Palate Profile quiz to help deliver expertly tailored wine recommendations. I took the Palate Profile quiz and Winc paired me with primarily red wines. This is pretty in line with my preferences anyway. My first box includes 2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 bottles of Merlot and a bottle of red wine. I am no wine expert so I can't go much into precise details of the wine but I do enjoy a glass of wine when I have company over. Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures. I haven't tried any of them yet (saving them a special occasion). Can't wait to crack these bottles on Thanksgiving. Bar cart details: Garland | Flocked Christmas trees | Bar tool set | Cocktail Codex book | Ice bucket | Christmas wreath | Cocktail shaker | Wines c/o Winc
A few things to note: 

  • Membership: On the 16th of every month, you'll be charged $59.95 and receive credits to buy four bottles of wine
  • Shipping: $9 for orders of 3 bottles and free for any order larger than that 
  • Any unused credits can be rolled over. You can always skip a month 
  • You don't have to go with their recommendations. Winc provides the details of each bottle (tasting notes, ratings and sweetness levels) so you can make your own decisions
I hope you find this post helpful. If you have a favorite red wine, please leave me a recommendation below.
HolidayBarCart_SydneysFashionDiary {Those puppy eyes!!!} HolidayBarCart_SydneysFashionDiary

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Fall trip to West Virginia

Happy Veterans Day! To all those who have bravely served our country - THANK YOU! Today, I am sharing a few pictures from the trip we took last month to West Virginia. My husband was born and raised in WV so the state always has a special place in his heart. We couldn't take any big trips this year so a weekend getaway is the next best thing. These short trips help us relax, unwind and get away from it all. A few weeks ago, the kids had an extra day off from school so we decided to make it a long weekend and took a road trip to see the dazzling colors of the Mountain State's Fall foliage. I did a little bit of research and decided to checkout these points of interest:
1. New River Gorge Bridge: This was our first stop. From the parking lot, you take a walk down to the overlook to get the best view of the bridge (about 150 steps). The bridge is impressive and of course, the view is breathtaking. Did you know every year on the 3rd Saturday in October, jumpers from around the world gather at the bridge to fling themselves from the top and parachute an impressive 876 feet to the bottom of the gorge? The event was cancelled this year due to the pandemic but we might come back one day to experience the event.
2. Babcock State Park: From there, we drove to Babcock State Park. The park is about 20 miles North of the bridge. This is a beautiful state park with secluded cabins to stay in and amazing scenery. Cabins are fully booked for that weekend but it would be really cool to stay there. The park is picturesque, quiet and very tranquil. The Glade Creek Grist Mill during the Fall foliage looks like something straight out of a painting.
3. Potomac Eagle Scenic Train Ride: The next day, we headed to the Potomac Eagle train station for a scenic ride. The train follows along the Potomac River where American Bald Eagles nest and cows and deer graze. The ride was narrated live and it stopped a few places for the passengers to catch wildlife or take pictures of particularly beautiful views of the river. Food can be purchased on the train. This is a great family excursion if you have young kids. We all enjoyed the ride.
4. Coopers Rock State Forest: On the last day, we decided to check out Cooper's Rock State Forest located about 13 miles from Morgantown, WV. This is a place of outstanding beauty and natural wonder. The lookout is a short walk from the parking lot but the park has several different trails to suit how much time you have. The view is a spectacular panoramic view of the mountains, river, and city from afar. For a scenic and quick view of some of West Virginia's truly charming landscapes, Coopers Rock has a perfect viewpoint which is worth stopping at. 

Over the years, I learn to appreciate the great outdoors. Being outdoors can do wonders for your mental health and can fill your body and mind with a feeling of well-being (especially during the pandemic). Even though it was a quick trip, it was exactly what our family needed. I truly enjoyed spending quality time with my people.

Black Friday 2020 :: The best tech deals

Black Friday deals are in full swing and they're really really good this year. I am sharing some incredible deals today on tech items if you've been eyeing them. There are significant savings to be had. Want more Black Friday deals? Check them out here.

Dyson Vacuum: I own the Dyson V11 animal version and I can't imagine my life without this vacuum. We are home 7 days a week now so it's very important to have a clean house and this one does an amazing job. You can read my full review here. You can save $150 on all V10 model vacuums. That's huge!

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer: Another Dyson product that I reviewed in this post was this hair dryer. I said it's worth it if you can find it on sale. Well, you can save $80 on this high-tech hair dryer right now. The Dyson Airwrap is also on sale (for $100 less). I personally do not own this but I've heard great things about it. I know it's crazy expensive but if you've been eyeing this set, this is the time to pull the trigger.

Arlo Security Camera System: We have this wireless security system installed around our house (inside and outside) for almost 3 years now. It's been great. No issues so far. These cameras are easy to install. The picture quality is fantastic. The product has over 1K reviews for a reason. If you're in the market for a security camera system, I highly recommend you take a look at this one. It's on sale for $300 less than retail price!!

Electric Hoverboard: Hoverboard has been one of the hottest gifts for kids ever Christmas. Madelyn has been asking for one since she was 6. We kept saying no because I personally don't think it's very safe for a 6-year old. However, I think this is the year that we are going to pull the trigger. She's older and has good balance. This iridescent version is almost $90 less than the retail price. What a steal! 

Apple Airpods: They have become a part of my daily life. I wear them while walking my dog in the morning. I wear them throughout the day during meetings. I wear them while running. My day-to-day life would not be the same without this little device =) All Apple AirPods are on sale now so take advantage of the sale if you're interested. This is another popular gift during the holiday season.

8-Quart 7-in-1 Instant Pot: Last but not least is this amazing instant pot. You know how I feel about the Instant Pot =) It's a life saver. I have never been cooking this much in my entire life as we are home 7 days a week. This instant pot saves me so much time and just makes my life easier. Currently 42% off. Anyone would be thrilled to receive an Instant Pot for Christmas.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The dress that got away

Happy Sunday, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. I certainly did. The weather was glorious (in the 80s which is so rare for the Midwest in November). We went to the zoo, took down Halloween decorations and spent lots of time outside. Let's address the obvious - I cut my hair again. I even changed my hair color and I love it. Holiday season is upon us so why not try something different? Every season, there are certain H&M or Zara pieces that become popular on social media (thanks to fashion bloggers). This dress was definitely one of them. If you follow mid-size fashion influencers, you probably have seen this dress. It sold out almost instantly on the H&M website. I stalked the site frequently but it never got restocked. I stopped by my local H&M store last month and surprisingly,  found this dress in a size small. Even though I wanted it so badly, the dress was just way too big on me. The cut is very generous. I went home but kept thinking about it. I decided to go back to the store the next day to get the dress but of course, it was gone. I eventually forgot about it. Last week, I stopped by the mall to pick up a couple of things for my kids. I stopped by H&M on the way out and what did I see? This dress in my size!!! It was the only one available at my local store. I could not believe it. It must be fate. I love the texture of the fabric. It adds interesting elements to an otherwise basic dress. I am going to wear this for our annual holiday card photoshoot. I might pair the dress with a pair of combat boots =) This is dress completely sold out online but they are available here if you don't mind paying more. Outfit details: H&M dress *size XS* | Celine dupe sunglasses | Hermes belt | Similar sandals.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Life lately & my recent purchases

Hope you are all doing well. As we wait to hear the results of the election, I know emotions are running high. No matter the outcome of the 2020 Election, we are all in this together. We must put things in perspective and move forward together with love and understanding. Today, I am sharing some snaps via my iPhone and some of my new purchases for the upcoming Fall/Winter season.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Are Dyson products worth the money?

Dyson V11 Animal cordless vacuum: There is no secret that I am a huge fan of Dyson. My husband and I bought a Dyson vacuum when we first got married. $280 for a vacuum was steep 11 years ago. However, I've heard great things about the brand so I thought I'd give it a shot. Plus, all Dyson products have a great manufacturer's warranty that comes standard with your purchase. Fast forward 11 years later, the vacuum is still going strong. We did have to send it out for repair once but that was the only time. Even though the vacuum still works, it's a hassle to carry up and down the stairs since it's very heavy. We got Finn last September so I asked for a cordless vacuum for Christmas and Santa indeed fulfilled my wish =) I don't know what I would do without this vacuum now. My Samoyed sheds a lot and I do mean a lot. This vacuum picks up so much. I use it every single day for the past 10 months and let me tell you, it's worth every single penny. I know $600 is a insane price for a vacuum but I can tell you from my own experience, it's worth every penny. This workhorse handles all the usual vacuuming tasks on multiple flooring surfaces including carpets, area rugs, and hard floors. It comes with a bunch of attachments to fit your needs. You can easily switch between Eco, Auto and Boost. Can you tell I am slightly obsessed with this vacuum? This exact one is available at Target, Dyson and Best Buy