Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shoe Review: Banana Republic pumps & BP Daphne booties

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Today, I wanted to do a quick review on 3 pairs of shoes that are somewhat new in my closet. You have seen them on the blog but I haven’t had a chance to go into detail. Since the weather is not getting warmer anytime soon, I thought I’d give myself a break from outfit posts and do something a little different.

ShoeReview_SydneysFashionDiary

First up is the Banana Republic leopard pumps. A pair of leopard pumps was on my wish list for a very long time. I haven't found anything that peaked my interest until late last year. They were on major markdown on Black Friday (still available online at a higher price). Banana Republic shoes tend to run big in general. I vary between a 6.5 and sometimes a 7 but had to go a full size down. They are very comfortable. These heels are perfectly polished for work and I can literally run in these =) Made with beautiful real calf hair and look absolutely gorgeous in person (how I wore them here)

BananaRepublicLeopardPumps_SydneysFashionDiary

The next pair is also from Banana Republic. I have one pair of black leather pumps from Ann Taylor that I bought years ago and they were literally falling apart. I am desperately in need of a replacement. I stumped upon these classic pumps around Christmas time for less than $50 in store. I wish the heel height was a tad shorter but I love the sleek profile and the leather is absolutely stunning (wore them a few weeks ago). I bought them in a 7 because a 6.5 wasn't available at the time (also available in nude). If you’re interested, I recommend size down because again, BR shoes run big in general.

BananRepublicKelsey_SydneysFashionDiary

The last one is a pair of booties from BP (Nordstrom's junior line). They were actually a Christmas gift from my family. This was my very first pair from this line and I am impressed. The leather is so soft. I love how effortless they look. I took these in a 6.5 and they fit like a dream. These boots are perfect for everyday wear (with jeans/skirts/dresses). See how I wore them last month. I am looking forward to wearing them in the upcoming Spring. If "chocolate" isn't your color, they're also available in black.

BPDaphneBoots_SydneysFashionDiary

Monday, February 23, 2015

Take an extra 50% sale items at Piperlime

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Piperlime is running an amazing sale (it's hard not to share!). From now until 2:59 AM ET 02/25/15, take an extra 50% off all final sale items. I rounded up some of my top picks and the best part? They are all under $50 (use code SALEONSALE at check out). Shop the entire sale here.


1. BB Dakota coat ($27)
2. Grey moto jacket ($22)
3. Floral dress ($22)
4. Steve Madden sandals ($36)
5. Steve Madden slip-on ($27)
6. Steve Madden dressy sandals ($33)
7. French Connection pumps ($32)
8. Lace skirt ($20)
9. Floral skirt ($12)
10. JOA striped skirt ($27)
11. Printed wrap dress ($27)
12. Blank denim ($22)

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

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SweaterSkirtSet_SydneysFashionDiary
Another massive snow storm hit the Midwest this weekend. As strange as it might sound, I'll take the snow over ice/frigid temperatures any day. The temperature become significantly warmer when it snows. Besides, who could resist a beautiful snowy scene? It painted the perfect backdrop for photos. I love how the color combination of this outfit stands out nicely against the snow covered ground. Wearing: Sweater & skirt set c/o (runs small - wearing a size M), J.Crew coat, D&G sunglasses, Banana Republic rainboot *old* (almost identical here).

JCrewCoat_SydneysFashionDiary

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The kitchen

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Today, I wanted to share my most favorite room in the house - The Kitchen. It's not only the heart of our home, it's also the area where we spend the most time. See the rest of our home here.

Products pictured below:
- Stainless steel combination wall oven
- Stainless steel french-door refrigerator
- 36" range hood
- 24" stainless steel dishwasher
- 36" black electric cook-top
- Adjustable leatherette bar stools
- Decorative spoon and fork
- Nuwave oven (the best thing I bought for my kitchen!)

LargeIslandKitchen_SydneysFashionDiary

Written by the husband:

The design: In general we wanted a large and functional kitchen. We also wanted to ensure that it was designed for entertaining. The kitchen sits between the formal dining room in the front of the house and the kids' play room at the back of the house. There is a large open hallway that connects the three rooms and opens up the kitchen to the great room, as well. To keep an eyes on the kids, we created a pass through between the kitchen and the kids' play room. It truly brings the two rooms together.

ModernLargeKitchen_SydneysFashionDiary

The details:
  • Since the kitchen sits between the dining room and the kids' play room, it does not get much natural light. To increase the amount of sunlight coming into the kitchen, we put in an oversized window over the sink that faces west and lets lots of late afternoon light into the kitchen.
  • We decided not to go with super high-end appliances and ultimately went with Whirlpool Gold for a modern look yet highly reliable pieces. 
  • The focal point of the kitchen is the large island. The cook top is installed on one end of the island with a stainless steel and glass island hood mounted to the ceiling above. The island counter-top is made of dark vintage black granite (with a leathered texture) that softens the look and feel of the stone.
  • Cabinets under the island provide plenty of storage for cookware and a built-in spice rack. The island easily accommodates 6 place settings. We have most of our meals here and often cook, serve and enjoy a meal with the extended family all from the island. 
SpiceRack_SydneysFashionDiary
  • The backslash is natural Travertine with a band of glass accents. All of the cabinets are stained a dark espresso color. We designed the kitchen to have many bottom cabinet drawers and fewer cabinet doors. This maximizes the storage space and makes it easy to get to everything. 
  • The white modern style of the bar stools pop against the soft black counter top. The perimeter counter-tops contrast the center island with speckled white and black granite polished to a high-gloss finish.
  • The sink, oven, microwave, walk in pantry and refrigerator were all purposefully designed to be at arm’s length or a step or two from one another. The walk in pantry has 4 levels of shelves. The shelves to the right and left are deeper to store larger items such as pots and pans. The center shelves are shallow, but nicely store smaller everyday items. It seems that everyone in the family has their own space for items in the pantry.
WalkinPantry_SydneysFashionDiary

As you can tell, we put a lot of efforts into the design and even more so into the details. We absolutely love everything about our kitchen. It's simple yet highly functional. This is where the little one does her homework each night, where we enjoy a meal together, where conversations happen and certainly is our favorite family gathering spot.

ComtemporaryKitchen_SydneysFashionDiary

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Training for a 15K

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This year, I wanted to add more variety to this blog. Even though, fashion is my passion, I do get tired from time to time shooting outfit photos. My husband and I did a few home posts last month and will continue to do so throughout the year. I also wanted to share my fitness routine as well as beauty products and healthy recipes with you guys.

KyodanActivewear_SydneysFashionDiary
{Leggings | Half-zip top | Sweatshirt | Headband provided by Kyodan Clothing | Running shoes}

Remember I said I was hoping to do a race this year? Guess what? I am officially signed up for a 15K. Yay! I am super nervous about it. I for sure cannot run 9 miles right now but have about 7 weeks to train for it. Knowing I have a race coming up helps keep me focused on my fitness goals because a race is a deadline that can't be moved. I will keep you posted on the progress. It's a huge commitment for me but at the same time, I am excited and feel motivated to start my training.

KyodanActivewear_SydneysFashionDiary

This is a 15K training plan that I am going to follow for the next 8 weeks via Log Your Run. It's a fact that cute workout clothes make you more motivated to workout - certainly the case for me. I featured Kyodan clothing previously here and their active wear line continues to impress me. Every single piece feels extremely well made. If you're interested in trying their active wear, check out your local TJMaxx or Marshalls.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Low-maintenance hairstyles & Lionesse Beauty Bar review

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This post is brought to you by Lionesse Beauty Bar. They graciously offer an exclusive code of 20% off to use on their site. Please use SFD20 at check out to receive your discount.

Easyhairstyleswithoutwashing

I used to wash my hair every single day. With little to no time in the morning, I slowly learn how to work with my hair and not washing it so often. Today, I wanted to share a few different hairstyles that I repeat every week. They are not really "hairstyles" per say..just things I do differently everyday to change up the look.

  4EasyHairStyles_SydneysFashionDiary

Day 1: I start off the week with freshly washed hair. I always make sure to spray the TRESemme protective spray before using any heat styling tools. After blow drying, I run the Lionesse straightener through it quickly. This particular straightener has temperature controls which is important because you would want to be able to adjust the temperature to prevent heat damage.

Lionesse_SydneysFashionDiary

Day 2: I love styling my hair on day 2 because it is still clean but has some grip and texture. I begin curling by taking a small section of hair and wrap it around the curling iron. I am a fan of tapered curling irons. It works best for loose and relaxed curls. The curling iron made of tourmaline ceramic which helps create long lasting curls while protecting the hair's natural luster. I hold each strand 5-8 seconds, release then finish off with the TRESemme hairspray to give it a lasting hold

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Outfit Idea: Comfy and Casual

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PinkCoat_SydneysFashionDiary

TGIF! I am ending the workweek with another Valentine’s Day inspired look. If you’re a long time follower of this blog, you probably have noticed I rarely wear pink. I have never thought I’d own a pink coat but the color is surely growing on me. Blush pink is going to be huge this Spring. While the 1st look is girly, the 2nd look is somewhat conservative, the final look is comfy and casual. This is what I will be wearing tomorrow for a fun day with my husband (sans kids). I hope your weekend will be filled with laughter and a whole bunch of love =)

OldNavyLaughLoveRepeat

What I am wearing:
Coat: c/o Romwe pink coat - size S

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Sugar Cookie Recipe

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ValentinesCookies_SydneysFashionDiary

Courtney and I love to bake and we bake quite often. With Valentine's Day around the corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to whip up some delicious cookies. Baking is a great way to connect with kids and the results are delicious. Although the cleanup can be a different story. These cookies are not exactly Pinterest worthy but I promise, they taste really good =)

ValentinesCookies_SydneysFashionDiary

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day Outfit Idea: Office appropriate

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PinkChunkySweater_SydneysFashionDiary

While the first look was all about showing your playful side, the second look is suitable for the office. I know this year the holiday falls on a Saturday but if your office wants to get together for a Valentine's happy hour, this outfit fits the theme just perfectly. If you are like me and attending a Valentine's Day party at your child's school, this outfit would work as well. Pink is not my favorite color but I've been loving pale pink lately. This outfit makes me wish Spring would hurry up and get here =) Linking up with PMT's Style Challenge this week.

HMFloralSkirt_SydneysFashionDiary

What I am wearing:
Skirt: H&M *old* (buy similar here and here)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Valentine's Day Outfit Idea: Simple & Sophisticated

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With Valentine's Day less than a week away, it's time to decide what to wear. I put together some outfit ideas and will post them throughout this week. I've worn this skirt countless time and it still remains one of my absolute favorite items in my closet. I love the elegant details of the lace print. Pairing the skirt with a simple red top and a pair of black pumps and I am all set for a date night. If you want to add some extra romance and sophistication to your look, curl your hair and create a side ponytail. It's a very simple look but for me, less is always more. I hope you find some inspiration. Linking up with PMT's Style Challenge this week.

ValentinesDayOutfitIdeas_SydneysFashionDiary

What I am wearing:
Skirt: WHBM lace printed skirt
Tee: J.Crew perfect fit tee (available in 12 colors)
Shoes: Banana Republic Kelsey pumps
Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana
Earrings: Chanel

WHBMLaceSkirt_SydneysFashionDiary
 
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