Monday, September 28, 2020

Birthday trip to the Smokies :: Where we stayed

GrizzlyManor_SydneysFashionDiary
Happy Monday, everyone! I finally got around to share the trip we took last month. We spent a week in the Great Smoky mountains with friends and family and it was exactly what we needed. As mentioned in this post, we rented a 5-bedroom cabin to stay with 4 other families for the week. I am so glad that I got a chance to catch up with friends that I haven't seen for year. It was the first time visiting TN for everyone so the trip was even more special. Today, I am sharing where we stayed just in case you're interested. If it's up to me, I would delay our trip until October but with school and work commitments, it wasn't possible. Regardless, the Smokies are still beautiful. It was peaceful and quiet in picturesque surroundings. It was gorgeous back in August and I am sure it's even more beautiful in the Fall. We rented this cabin and it exceeded our expectations. Magnificent views from the balcony. The cabin itself is super spacious. It has more than enough room for 10 of us. It has a fantastic game room, washer & dryer, an outdoor hot tub, a spacious kitchen and more. I couldn't show you all bedrooms due to privacy but you can view the entire cabin here. I also couldn't get some of the shots I wanted because I forgot my zoom lens at home =( Pigeon Forge (the closet town) was 15 minutes away. We went grocery shopping and stocked up the fridge. We had homemade meals every night. It was so wonderful just to sit down, relax and enjoy the beautiful views from our very own balcony. The cabin is placed quite high up in the mountain so a 4WD vehicle is highly recommended. I am very pleased with the location. It's away from crowds yet close to everything. I am definitely open to the idea of going back to watch the Fall foliage one day. I'll share what we did in the next post.
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Thursday, September 24, 2020

A belated birthday gift

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This post is probably not relevant to most of you but I still wanted to share because it makes me happy. If you're from Vietnam, you probably have heard the name "Ho Ngoc Ha" before. She's a very famous singer. One thing you probably don't know about me is that I don't have a strong/crazy interest in celebrities. I admire a few people but it usually stops there. She is one of the very few people I admire. She is the definition of a modern woman. A modern woman for me is something who wants it all and can have it all. She is an amazing singer, a successful business woman and a loving mother. She strives to make every aspect of her life a great one. I firmly believe that women can have it all. Everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it. Long story short, she owns a cosmetics company and just launched a brand-new lipstick collection. Being here in the U.S, it's not easy for me to get my hands on them. So thankful for my childhood friend to purchase and send them from halfway around the world to me. You know I am not makeup junkie. If there is one makeup product that I am willing to spend my money on, it will be for sure a lip product. I am beyond excited to own the whole collection of 12 lipsticks. They are too pretty to use (lol!). The quality of these lipsticks are fantastic. The whole set is about $200 but you can purchase individual lipsticks here.
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Monday, September 21, 2020

Mother Daughter Matching Masks

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Masks have become a part of daily life now and they are here to stay. By wearing a mask, you're stopping the spread and protecting others. Since masks are required in schools, I've been searching for kid-friendly, comfortable masks, in a breathable fabric at the beginning of the school year for Madelyn. After trying out a handful of masks, we decided these are the most comfortable out of the bunch. Comfort is my number one concern when it comes to finding the right mask. They must be comfortable enough for her to wear for at least 7 hours while in school without needing to touch them for take them off too frequently (they do have mask breaks throughout the day). These cute masks are made of 100% tee shirt cotton fabric and they are insanely comfortable. Earloops are made of the same soft fabric (which is key). She won't ear anything with elastic earloops.
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Not only these masks are comfortable and fit well, they are also super cute. Tie-dye is fast becoming one of the biggest lockdown fashion trends. These cute masks are sure to raise a smile even though she couldn't show off her sweet smile while in school. My girl (still) loves to match with Mom so these masks sure put a smile on her face. If these tie-dye masks aren't our thing, there are other cute patterns here.
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Friday, September 18, 2020

Madelyn is 8!

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September is a busy month for our family. I celebrated my birthday the first week of Sept. Madelyn's birthday is the 2nd week of Sept and we will be celebrating our anniversary the 3rd week of Sept =) Last weekend, 3 of Madelyn's best friends came over for a sleepover to celebrate her birthday. Can't believe my little girl is 8 years old! Not so little anymore =( I purchased this DIY balloon arch kit from Amazon and it turned out so nice. Super easy to do as well and she loved it. They played together, made pizzas, cupcakes and slimes (I got this slime kit for them). We ended the night watching the new "Mulan" movie. It was a perfect birthday at home for my sweet girl. She is very into American Girl lately. Thanks to friends and family for chipping in and getting Madelyn Joss (Girl of the Year 2020) and all the accessories. She loves everything and has been playing non-stop. They even have the matching jacket. We also purchased this Hover electric scooter for her (save over $100 now). It's so much fun. Even I enjoy cruising it around the neighborhood. Happy Friday, everyone! The weather cools down quite a bit and I am loving it. Looking forward to all the Fall activities with the kids. Link to the current version of Madelyn's bunk bed. She loves it so much. Every night she gets to decide whether she wants to sleep on the top bunk or the bottom bunk =)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

What I got for my birthday 2020

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Today's post is my annual what I got for my birthday! I always try to save up and get myself one big gift every year. This year is no exception. A week before my birthday, my family and I took a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains (will share soon). I considered that as my birthday trip. I expected nothing else but as always, friends and family have spoiled me. My husband knew I wanted this mixer for a long time. However, the price is kind of hard to swallow (even when it's on sale). I went back and forth for the longest time but at last, he got my dream mixer for my birthday. I can't wait to start my holiday baking. I also got some birthday money and gift cards from my in-laws and a friend. I was joking that I just turned 21 so my friend got me this card =)
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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

My birthday

Hope you all had a fun and relaxing weekend. I had the most amazing weekend with family and friends. I officially turned 42 yesterday. Due to the current situation, I didn't have any big plans to celebrate my birthday but my family and friends have spoiled me rotten and showered me with love. I can't thank them enough for making me feel so special. I celebrated my birthday 4 days in a row =)
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On Friday, my girlfriends and I wanted to grab some drinks. Some of us haven't seen each other for almost 9 months. It was so much fun to catch up at Huli Huli Tiki Lounge. While the food was just okay, the patio setting was perfect to sit around and relax while catching up with your girls. I picked up this dress from Zara a few weeks ago and I love it. Not always a fan of the midi length but I do enjoy wearing something different once in awhile.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

First day of school :: 2020 - 2021

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It's been a crazy 6 months to say the least. I am sure we all mourn the loss of normalcy. If you have kid(s), it's completely normal to feel overwhelmed about making the best decision for your little one when it comes to the new school year. I wanted to share our school plans this year for the girls. Although there have been countless changes happened for the past few weeks, we are confident that we have made the right decisions for our kids regarding opening school.
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Sunday, August 30, 2020

You need this $15 dress + free shipping on any order

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*Update: A new sale just started - This dress is now only $15. All clearance starting at $10 until midnight*. Happy Sunday, everyone! Just wanted to quickly share this amazing dress today. I got the same dress in 2 different colors and I can't be happier. Sadly, I won't be able to wear them anytime soon (the company just announced that we will be working from home until March 2021). I got both in a size XS and the fit and length are perfect for my height. I love the puff sleeves and the sash tie waist belt. The dress is now only $16 (was $70) with free shipping on any order (can't beat that!). My only complaint - I wish the dress has pockets. Not a deal breaker. I still love it. This exact pattern is no longer available but the solid black, white and the terracotta color still are. If this dress isn't your cup of tea, shop other sale styles here. Outfit details: Express dress *size XS regular* | Gucci Marmont bagBanana Republic pumps | Celine dupe sunglasses *the best!*

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

I got tested for Covid-19

I recently took a Covid-19 test so I thought I'd share my experience with you. Thankfully, everyone in the family tested negative.
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Why did I get tested? My family and I are going on a trip with 4 other families. For everyone's peace of mind, we all agreed that the entire group will get tested before leaving for vacation. Since 12 of us will be staying in the same cabin, keeping everyone safe is our # 1 priority.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Shoe Haul :: Under $25

A few weeks ago, I asked on Instagram if you'd be interested in a shoe haul and 85% of you said yes. I added 8 pairs of new shoes to my closet this month (oops!). Today, I am reviewing 6 of them for you. The best part is that they're all under $25. Extra 25% sale ends tonight so take advantage of it now if you're interested.
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1. BCBGeneration suede sandals: These sandals feature 100% real suede upper, memory foam footbed and 2.5" covered block heel. They are definitely made for walking. The design of the ties can be wrapped around the ankle in various ways. They are a great statement shoe yet so easy to style. I love the color, the style and the overall comfort. They run true to size. I ordered my usual size 7. Under $25, they are such a steal.