Tuesday, January 3, 2023

First post of 2023!

{Outfit details: Jumpsuit *run small* | Chanel 19 bag
Hello 2023! Can't believe another year has come and passed. I hope you achieved your goals in 2022. The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to reset and refocus. Hubby and I went out for an early NYE dinner last night. We wanted to check out a new spot in town and let me tell you, it was amazing. If you're in Columbus, I'd highly suggest Mandrake Rooftop. The food was amazing. We had a 5-course NYE meal. Super cool atmosphere. Not to mention, the views of the Columbus skyline at night is just simply amazing. I plan to go back to try their regular menu. Then we went home to cheer on the Buckeyes. We fought to the very end but unfortunately, we lost right at the ball drop.

2022 was altogether an amazing year. My family and I have a lot to be thankful for. A couple of highlights from 2022 that I'd like to share:

  1. Courtney is 9 for 9 with college acceptances so far. We're still waiting on Boston University and Case Western Reserve University.  Last year was all about the college application process. A lot of time was spent on researching, filling out CSS and FAFSA, college touring. We finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. To say I'm proud is an understatement!!! She has a lot of options to choose from. I'll share more details in a separate post. 
  2. Building a wonderful friendship. I met this amazing human at the end of 2021 in such an unconventional way and we just clicked. We share the same values, same family dynamics, our kids are roughly the same age, same hobbies and interests. We are just simply enjoying each other's company. We are slowing building our friendship and had so many fun get-togethers in 2022. I definitely see more trips in the future. I love how easy going and drama free our friendship is. It's exactly what I wanted. We never try to one-up one another. I am so grateful for how positive and fun she is. Not to mention she has a killer handbag collection. I don't have too many friends but the ones I do have are amazing people.

{Las Vegas - March 2022}
{Grand Canyon - March 2022}
{Seven Springs Mountain - December 2022}

What I set out for 2022:

  • Home improvements: We planned to get new flooring for the entire house and we did. I am so in love with the new carpet (you can see it here). Yes, I prefer carpet over hardwood floors. Carpet gives a sense of peace and cozy to any home. We decided to go with Shaw premium Berber carpet and I couldn't be happier. It feels like heaven under the feet. We also replaced the old fireplace door with a custom made one. The new door now fit the fireplace perfectly. With that, our family room is finished.
  • Financial goals: Thankfully, we were able to hit our financial goals despite the fact that the stock market definitely struggled in 2022. The first six months of 2022 were the worst the stock market has had in more than 40 years. 2023 still might not be a good year for the stock market. We are meeting with our personal financial advisor in the next couple of weeks to go over some realistic numbers for 2023.
  • Travel: We were able to make 3 trips last year. First trip out West to explore some of the iconic National Parks. We were able to see  Zion National Park, made it to the top (and down) of Angels Landing alive =), witnessed the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Pictures cannot do this National Parks justice. Unbelievably beautiful. Next is our summer vacation friends and family (part 1 and part 2). It was so much fun. We are already talking about taking another cruise this year. A couple of days before Christmas, we took the girls to Sevens Spring ski resort for our annual ski trip. Courtney and Madelyn can ski pretty well at this point. They had the best time hitting the slopes by themselves. Even though we had to cancel the trip to London, we didn't feel like we were missing out on anything. There is always next time! We also took a bunch of weekend trips to visit colleges. More on that in a later post.
  • The big goal that we set for last year was owning a vacation/second home. It did not happen for obvious reasons. Housing market remains unstable. We had a few considerations but decided to hold off just a little while longer.

Plans for 2023:

  • We're going to Japan for Spring break!!! This trip has been on my bucket list for years and it's finally happening. You don't even know how excited I am. We're all set! Flights, accommodations, activities are all booked. I just simple cannot wait!
  • There won't be any home improvements this year. We decided to save $$ and will finish our basement in 2024. It's going to be a big project.
  • College decision is going to impact our financial numbers
  • My husband is getting his dream car for his 50th milestone birthday! It's something that we've been planning for a couple of years now. I promised that I won't influence his decisions lol Believe it or not, I am the realist and he's the dreamer when it comes to our marriage. I see everything for what it is. Luxury cars lose value. That's a fact. I always try to talk him out of paying a massive price for a car. Luxury cars depreciate faster than other cars. For his 50th birthday, I told him he can pick whatever he likes within a certain price range. That's going to be our big purchase for 2023.

I say this all the time but I truly am grateful for everything (my loving family, my amazing friends, our career, our health). Excited for everything 2023 will be. Wishing you a year filled with love, happiness and success.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas Eve!

After weeks of hustle and bustle, we're finally ready for Christmas. The house is cleaned, presents are wrapped and under the tree, Christmas dinner is in the fridge. The girls are in their holiday pjs. Hubby built us a fire and we are going to watch another Christmas movie tonight. So grateful for this family of mine ❤ Like half the country, we are experiencing severe weather. I hope you're staying safe and warm in this frigid weather. Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the festive season fill your life with happiness, love and cheers.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

What I Wore Lately

Taking outfit photos seems like a chore these days for me =). Between working from home and driving Madelyn from and to basketball practices, I am in comfy clothes most days. My husband and I went to a couple of holiday parties last week and I really liked my outfits. I thought I'd share them here just in case you're interested. 

1. The first dress is from Zhivago. It's sold out on Revolve but you can find other styles here. I love this dress so much. It fits amazing and I received a lot of compliments at my company Christmas party.

2. For my husband's work holiday party, I went with something a bit more casual since they had it at a bar. If you can't tell, long sleeve mini dress is my favorite silhouette to wear.

3. I picked up this dress to wear for our annual holiday photos. I really wanted this Self  Portrait dress but couldn't justify the price. This alternative is just as beautiful and also wallet-friendly.

4. Last but not least is this classic knit dress from Urban Revivo. This was my first time ordering from this company. I love the dress. It is giving total Chanel vibes but shipping took forever. I wore this dress to work last week. It was my last day in the office for 2022. Yay!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving and a few sales!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. I certainly did. We are as busy as ever but at the end of the day, there are too many things to be grateful for and we are so thankful for the life we get to live. Will have to catch up with you in a later post. This is what I wore on Thanksgiving Day to be with my family. It's currently on major sale! I am late to the Black Friday sales but honestly, I didn't even have anything on my list to buy. We took the kids shopping on Black Friday but that was about it. Below are a few great sales happening now just in case you're interested:

Barefoot dreams sale: I own this cardigan in 2 colors. It's the softest cardigan you'll ever put on. 

Longchamp bags sale: If you've been with me for awhile, you know I am a fan of the brand. Their bags are great for everyday wear as well as for traveling.

Gucci jewelry sale: It's a very rare sale. If you're into designer jewelry, it's worth checking out.

Hydro Flask sale: My kids have several of these Hydro Flask bottles and they love them. They make great gifts for older kids.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all had a fun Halloween! I know the timing isn't great but I still want to share my costume this year. The kids want nothing to do with family costume anymore but I still enjoy making my own (see my past costume here). This year I decided to be a red pepper! Took me 2 weekends but I love how it turned out. I won the costume contest at work =) I won 2 years ago being a burrito. I was in serious rush so I didn't take step-by-step photos but if you want to make it next year, below are rough instructions:


Material:
Instructions:
  • Draw the shape of the pepper on construction paper
  • Cut the lining, the batting and the leather to the same shape
  • Lay on it to determine where the arm/leg holes should go
  • Cut out the arm/leg holes. Arm holes are on the front and leg holes are on the back
  • Sew 8 layers together (as pictured below). I had to hand stitch everything since the layers are too thick to go through the sewing machine. This is the most time-consuming part of the project
  • For the green leaves, cut 2 pieces of green felt as pictured, sew them together and stuff with batting
  • For the stem, I wrapped the pool noodle with green felt, put it through the pony tail hole, then sewed them together
  • For the very top part of the stem, I filled it with batting, bent the top part and sewed it to the stem to keep it in place. I then wrapped the beanie with green felt
  • Honestly, I was just figuring things out as I go. Since I hand stitched everything, it was easy to fix errors.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

What I got for my birthday/anniversary

Untitled {Outfit details: Dress | Chanel 19 bag}
I finally have a moment to sit down and share what I got for my birthday/anniversary this year. We've been extremely busy with Courtney's college application process, Madelyn's sports, work and everything else in between. I had so much fun celebrating my birthday last month. For our anniversary, my husband took me to one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus and we had an amazing time. I wanted to share what I got for the occasions because I love them so much. I went to a local Louis Vuitton with my girlfriends and spotted these beautiful sandals in my size!! I tried them on and couldn't believe how comfortable they are. I decided to treat myself =) They run true to size. I typically wear size 7 in women's shoes and got these in a 38. They fit perfectly. The canvas is very soft. No rubbing/digging.
 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Summer Vacay Part II

After visiting Disney World, we went on a cruise with one of my close friends and her family. The kids are roughly the same age so they had an absolute blast playing with each other everyday. I've been cruising many times and honestly, it is way more fun going on a cruise with a group of friends and family. 7 days of disconnection. No work, no internet, just lots of fun with our dear friends and family. Below are some precious moments we captured from the cruise. Outfit details: White crochet swimsuit | Purple floral swimsuit | Mint green cut-out dress | Matching swimsuits (kids version)



Saturday, August 27, 2022

Summer Vacay Part I

The girls are back to school and summer is sadly coming to an end. Today, I am sharing a recap of our very eventful vacation =). If you follow me on social media, you already know what happened. I won't bore you with the details but ultimately, we were able to turn things about and had a wonderful vacation with our friends and family. We spent the first part of our trip in Florida. St. Pete beach was on my list to explore. It is one of the prettiest and cleanest I've been to. We enjoyed walking on the beach, soft sand, shells, water is not deep, very light waves, just nice to relax and enjoy the sunshine and the ocean. I definitely prefer beaches on the Gulf coast (warmer, calmer and family-friendly) than beaches on the Atlantic coast (colder and best for water sports). Outfit details: Swimsuit *available in so many beautiful colors* | Straw visor 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Journey To College :: Finalizing The College List

MDCamp_SydneysFashionDiary
The Common App is officially open so I thought I'd update you guys on how the college admissions process is going for Courtney. If you're not familiar with the Common App, it's one single application accepted by close to 1000 colleges. It simplifies the process of applying. 

{Her speech at the ceremony}

Before going into detail, I'd like to share a proud Mom moment with you. For Courtney, being a anesthesiologist was something she had her heart set on for years now. Back in March, she applied for MD Camp at the Ohio State University. She had an interview in April and got the acceptance letter in May. Courtney was one out of 35 campers to earn a spot, with more than 300 applications received for MD Camp. I couldn’t be prouder of her. MD Camp is an intensive, three-week summer day camp providing participants an experience in the rigors of medical school. MD Camp students will have the opportunity to shadow clinicians and researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. By the end of MD Camp, students will have a greater grasp of what a career in medicine is like and how to go about becoming a successful physician. She got to work on cadavers, visited the emergency medical helicopter that helps transport people in emergency situations, learned how to suture a wound on a banana. Completing this program will increase her value tremendously in admissions officers' eyes. She had the opportunities to work with different types of physicians and it further confirmed that anesthesia as her first choice of career.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The best short suit set for petites

ShortSuitSet_SydneysFashionDiary
I've been looking for a short suit set for what seems like forever. Most of them don't fit me properly. I saw someone on IG posted this set and decided to give it a try. OMG! I am so in love. This set is exactly what I was looking for. This suit is sold as a set but you can purchase the top and bottom in different sizes. I got both pieces in a size XS and they fit me amazingly. These shorts have an all-around elastic waistband to move with you without digging in. They give off a casual yet sophisticated look. Generous side pockets are an added bonus. I love this blazer. I didn't have high hopes for it but I was pleasantly surprised. I'm 5'2", 105lbs and the XS fits me extremely well. The biggest challenge for me when it comes to finding the right blazer is the length. They are often too long for my height. The length of this blazer was well-tailored for petites and accomplishes the oversized look without overwhelm my petite frame. The thing that I love the most about this set is the fabric. It has enough structure to achieve a more tailored cut yet lightweight for those hot summer days. The fabric has a smooth, silky surface, feels soft and cool next to the skin. There is no wrinkling in the fabric. The biggest advantage of two-piece sets is its versatility. The set can be worn together or mix and match with other pieces in your closet. I am not a fan of pink but this blush pink is perfection. It's been a long time since I've been this excited about a clothing purchase. If you can't tell I am obsessed with this set. I am so glad I finally own a short suit set. Outfit details: Short suit set *size XS* | Chanel WOC | Rolex watch *my exact one | pre-owned watches*