Monday, December 10, 2018

How I Spent 48 Hours In Vegas

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Since I am taking a break from work, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity for a quick getaway. I talked to one of my close friends (who lives in the Bay Area) and we decided to meet up in Vegas. Even though the trip was short, we had a blast. Thank you to my husband for taking care of the kids so that I could getaway for a couple of days. I thought I'd put together my itinerary just in case you're looking for ideas. I landed late on Thursday, checked in and went straight to bed =) Outfit details: Express sweater dress | Stuart Weitzman boots | Le Specs sunglasses | Leopard sweater *the quality is amazing* | Gucci bag 
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Day 1:
7:00 a.m: Start day 1 - Woke up and grabbed a Starbucks (I was still on east coast time). We stayed at Bally's and there is a 24-hour Starbucks connected to the hotel!
8:00 a.m: Sightseeing - We took  an Uber ride to the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. I suggest you go early to avoid the crowds
9:30: Brunch - Headed to Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace for brunch. To be honest, I didn't care about their buffet. If you're visiting Vegas for the first time then give it a try. It's a fun experience. Otherwise, I think Vegas buffets are overpriced for what you get.
11:00 a.m: Shopping - After brunch, we took an Uber ride to Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. This outlet is huge. They have a wide variety of upscale brands. Give yourself at least 2 hours if you really want to shop
3:00 p.m: Massage - We booked a massage session at 3:45 p.m. After a few hours of walking, it was much needed. Let me tell you, I walked out feeling like a new woman (lol!)
5:00 p.m: Dinner time - There are so many restaurants are on the strip or just a mile or so off the strip. Depends on what you're in the mood for, there's certainly something for everyone
9:00 p.m: Catch a show - There are a lot of show to choose from in Vegas. If you like Cirque du Soleil, I highly recommend O by Cirque du Soleil. Make sure you purchase tickets in advance.
11:00 p.m: Grab a drink or head to bed - I chose the latter =) It was a fun filled day
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Day 2:
7:00 a.m: Start day 2 - Grabbed my usual Starbucks in the morning.
8:00 a.m: Hotel hopping - Hotel hopping is one of the best free things to do in Vegas. Especially this time of year when every single hotel is decked out in elegant holiday decor. The Bellagio conservatory takes the cake. The display is absolutely stunning. Holiday themed decorations at Caesar's Palace, the Wynn and the Venetian are equally beautiful.
10:00 a.m: Visit a museum - We decided to check out the Madame Tussauds (wax figures of celebrities). It was fun but somewhat creepy (just because they look so real). You can save $10 per person if you purchase the ticket online.
12:00 p.m: Lunch time - We went to District One to check out their lobster pho. It was neat to try but I still prefer the traditional version.
2:00 p.m: Visit China town
5:00 p.m: High-end shopping - The Forum shops at Caesar's Palace has every single luxury brand that you could ever imagined. Talk about Chanel, Gucci, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Cartier. A few things definitely caught my eyes =)
8:00 p.m: Watch the Bellagio water show (see above) - It's a free show every 30 minutes from 3:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m and every 15 minutes from 8:00 p.m - midnight. It's pretty amazing!
9:00 p.m: Catch a ride to the airport
DictrictOneLasVegas_SydneysFashionDiary {Lobster pho | Oxtail fries}
A few tips to help you save (they're not necessarily ground breaking but can be helpful if you're visiting Vegas for the first time)
- Airfare: Flights are usually cheaper if you can travel mid-week. I was able to purchase a round-trip direct flight from Columbus, OH to Las Vegas for $103 (yep, that's right!)
- Accommodation: Same type of deal - Hotels generally have better deals in the middle of the week.
- Food: We found several great deals on Groupon - Bacchanal buffet at Caesar's Palace, Giada's at the Cromwell, 3-course menu for two at Koi. There are also deals for massage packages - 50-minute massage session at Rio, Spa at the LINQ
- Shows: Check out the discount booths along the strip for discounted show tickets on the same day. They're not always half off but are slightly lower than face value.
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It was a quick trip but my friend and I had a great time. She's been through tough times. With our hectic schedules, I am glad I was able to catch up and have fun with her for a couple of days. Take advantage of the season by making plans with your friends. Doing things together can make a world of difference to friends who might go through a difficult time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

I Changed Job Again :: Pros and Cons Of Changing Jobs

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Some of you might still remember, I accepted a new job offer this past July. It was a huge change for me as I was with the previous company for 9 years. I had every intention of staying with the company long-term. However, after a month, I knew this job wasn't for me. I put in my 2 weeks notice, said goodbye to my coworkers last Friday and will be starting a new position very soon. I am taking a break between jobs to enjoy the holidays. I won't go into details as why because it's not important. I always strive to create happiness in every aspect of life. Being a full time working parent, my career plays an important part of my life. You don't have to love what you do but you have to at least enjoy going to work everyday. We typically spend 8-10 hours a day in the office and if you're not happy, you're doing something wrong. Today I am sharing a few pros and cons of switching jobs (solely based on my experience). On a different note, these photos have nothing to do with this post (lol). I have no new photos so these will have to do. If you like the dress, it's on major sale here

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Pros:
1. You can move up in salary a lot quicker - This was my number one reason for switching jobs. I mentioned briefly here that I try my best to maintain a good work-life balance. I know high paying jobs come with a huge amount of responsibility and long work hours (my husband is a prime example of that). I chose to have an easy job when my kids were still young. Now that they're older, I am ready to take on new challenges. If you have a traditional corporate job, you know you can't really do a lot with the annual salary increase (between 3-5%). The fastest way to make a salary bump is switching jobs. Between 2 switches, I made a $40K salary increase. I am not bragging. I just want you to know it's totally doable. Don't be afraid to negotiate. The worst thing they can say is no. If you live in a high cost of living city, a $40K increase may not seem like a lot. However, I can live comfortably earning a six-figure income where I live. Even though money is important, you shouldn't switch jobs just because you want more money.
2. You can broaden your knowledge and expertise tremendously - This is the second reason why I switched jobs in the first place. There wasn't room for me to advance my career. I had so much free time on my hands. Working for a new company opens up a new set of knowledge and skills. My days went by so fast and definitely, no time for blogging at work =)
3. You get to decide what to do with your 401(K) - You have the option to roll over your 401(K) account to an IRA when switching jobs. You don't have to but that's what I did. Traditional 401(K) plans are employer sponsored. Because of that, the investment choices are very limited. A traditional IRA has way more investment options and if you invest wisely, your 401(K) can grow a lot quicker. However, it's only available when you're switching jobs.
4. You get to know a whole new group of coworkers - Having friends at work is important. I met some of the most amazing people through work. Even though we're no longer co-workers, we're still great friends.

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Proud Mom Moment

If you're been following my blog for awhile, you know I rarely talk about my children on social media. Simply because I value their privacy more than likes and clicks. As we head into the last few weeks of the year, it's important to reflect on all that we're thankful for and I wanted to share a proud mom moment with you. People always say the teenager years are tough. While it's a true statement, it's been an easy ride for us. My first daughter is 13 and she's the most well-rounded teenager if I have to say so myself. She's a straight-A student as long as I can remember, incredibility mature for her age and has a good head on her shoulders. Raising this kid has been a dream. A month ago, she wanted to submit an essay to a writing contest for a chance to win the full scholarship for her upcoming trip to Washington DC. First, can we take a moment to acknowledge how amazing her hand writing is? Out of 100 essays, hers was selected as the winner of the writing contest! When she called and told me the news, I teared up a little. It was one of those moments that you realized you must do something right to raise such a remarkable young lady. I know this is just a beginning. This girl has so much potential and I know she'll do amazing things in life.

Friday, November 30, 2018

The most flattering leggings ever

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If you're looking for a pair of faux leather leggings that will fit and flatter your body, look no further. These Spanx leggings are the answer. I've heard so many great things about these leggings and I am glad I gave them a try. I was hesitant because of the price tag but they are well worth the splurge. These faux leather leggings are incredibly comfortable. Because they're Spanx, they just smooth out everything and hug in all the right places. Even though they're faux leather, the material does not look cheap at all. They run a bit small. I got a size small and it was perfect. If you're in between sizes, I recommend you size up. These leggings come in a variety of shades but best of all, they're also available in short/petite sizes. How amazing, right? Outfit details: Spanx leggings | similar camo sweater | Treasure & Bond hat | Louis Vuitton Speedy 25B | Sumissura custom coat | Le Specs sunglasses

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Designer Bags On Sale :: New Styles Added

You're probably tired of hearing about sales this week but this one is just too good to pass up. New styles are added to the sales and they're worth mentioning. Some of them are low in stock so act quickly if you're interested (get free shipping on all orders). As always, I appreciate your support if you choose to use my affiliate links.
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- Valentino bag (love the color, only one left - 40% off)
- Chloe backpack (40% off)
- Saint Laurent burgundy clutch (30% off)
- Saint Laurent Kate clutch (30% off)
- Saint Laurent Kate tassel bag (beautiful color, 30% off)
- Chloe Nile burgundy bag (40% off)
- Saint Laurent velvet bag (I love this, 30% off)
- Saint Laurent embossed navy bag (30% off)
- Saint Laurent college bag (30% off)
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- Saint Laurent Loulou bag (40% off)
Givenchy Antigona small (30% off)
- Prada shoulder bag (30% off)
- Chloe Day bag (such a classic, 40% off)
- Givenchy Antigona mini bag (30% off)
- Valentino rockstud bag (30% off)
- Fendi Kan I bag (40% off)
- Valentino nude pumps (most sizes are still available, 30% off)
- Valentino red pumps (most sizes are still available, 30% off)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Personalized Jewelry For Her

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Can you believe Christmas is less than 4 weeks away? Another year is almost over and I know I have so much to be thankful for. What I am thankful for the most is the people my life especially these special women. I truly believe in the value and importance of friendship. Even though I have a very small circle of friends, I know I can always trust them and count on them. They're more like my sisters and they mean the world to me. For that reason, I wanted to get us matching necklaces to celebrate another year of being together. Every time we see each other, we laugh until our jaws hurt. I feel myself being around them. There is no judgment, no competition and definitely no jealousy. You might not know this about me but I love spending time figuring out meaningful gifts for friends and family. It's a joy to see their faces light up when they open their presents. It's not hard to come up with a unique and thoughtful gift. I tend to pay full attention to what the other person is saying, then I make a mental note. When a special occasion comes around, I already got the idea. Meaningful gifts do not have to be expensive. It's the thought that counts. Personalized jewelry is the perfect gift to give that special someone this holiday season. The quality of these necklaces is amazing. Each piece comes in a drawstring leather pouch, ready for gifting. They have so many styles available on the site that I am sure there's certainly something for everyone.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Cyber Monday Sales 2018

Cyber Monday sales are rolling in and they're incredible! If you're been eyeing some of the items below, this is the time to pull the trigger. Prices are so great this year.
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Designer handbags: The selection is getting slimmer but the ones above are still available. If you're shopping the sales, make sure you change the country to United States. Otherwise, prices may be not accurate. Act quickly if you're interested in these beauties =)
Chloe Nile bag (50% off)
Chloe Day bag (50% off)
Prada bag (50% off)
Valentino black bag (so edgy - 50% off)
Saint Laurent hunter green bag (50% off)
Saint Laurent velvet bag (gorgeous - 40% off)
Givenchy Antigona bag (size small)
Valentino red bag (stunning - 50% off)
Burberry banner tote (60% off!!!)

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J.Crew: 50% off your entire purchase. I love their coats and own multiples. They're seriously amazing!
- Leopard coat: This coat is amazing. I tried it on in store a few weeks ago and I love it. I already have a leopard coat. Otherwise, I would totally get this. Runs true to size. I wore a size 00R
- Lady day coat: Read my review - I own 3 colors and they last for years
- Double breasted topcoat
- Fleece half zip pulloverI purchased this last year and it's seriously so warm
- Signet bag: Their bestseller
- Nordic boots: Love them - under $100

Friday, November 23, 2018

Take 10% off every single bag in my collection

Today only, FashionPhile offers a rare promotion. You can take an additional 10% off all sale items (use code 10BF at check out). Generally speaking, you can save a bit (or a lot) buying pre-owned items. Who doesn't want to save money right? FashionPhile is one of my favorite places to shop for pre-onwed luxury pieces. I always have a great experience buying/selling with them. This is one of those rare promotions that only happens twice a year. Act now if you're looking to add a luxury piece to your wardrobe. You can get every single bag in my collection for a discount (today only). So many amazing discounted items here HandbagCollection2018_SydneysFashionDiary

- Louis Vuitton mini Palm Spings backpack *this bag is always sold out online*
- Chanel classic medium double flap
- Chanel boy new medium bag
Louis Vuitton Neverfull in Damier Azur
Chanel chevron wallet on chain
- Louis Vuitton Speedy 25B
- Hermes Kelly 32cm
- Christian Dior Diorever bag
- Saint Laurent Sunset bag

Monday, November 19, 2018

Best of Black Friday Sales 2018

The most anticipated shopping weekend is almost here but you don't have to wait until Friday to shop the sales. As the matter of fact, you should not wait until Friday =) A few sales just went live this morning and they're amazing! Things are selling fast so act quickly if you're interested in some of the items below. I complied a list of the best sales going on right now. I will continue to update this post as they become available.

Lulu's: They have a great selection of jumpsuits. It's not too early to think about what to wear on NYE. Everything on their site is currently 25-90% off plus free shipping
- Lace halter jumpsuit (available in white as well)
- Emerald green jumpsuit (I own this in 2 colors)
- Lace backless jumpsuit in burgundy
- Green satin jumpsuit
- Sequin jumpsuit (perfect for NYE)
- Purple halter jumpsuit
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Express: 50% off everything + free shipping on any order
Wrapped dress: one of my favorite dresses. I own the same dress in 2 different colors
Lace jumpsuit (perfect for the holidays)
Petite high-waisted jeans
Plaid coat
Puffer jacket (I own this jacket and it's incredibly warm)
Faux leather leggings

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Matches Fashion: Amazing discounts on designer handbags and shoes.
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- Chloe Nile bag (40% off)
- Fendi Kan I bag (40% off)
- Fendi Kan I small bag (40% off - gorgeous color!)
- Givenchy Antigona (mini)
- Givenchy Antigona (small - 40% off)
- Chloe Drew bag (30% off)
- Chloe Tess bag (30% off - the it bag of the season)

Ssense: They always have an amazing selection of Saint Laurent bags
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- Saint Laurent blue velvet bag
- Saint Laurent burgundy Sunset bag (new style!)
- Saint Laurent velvet Kate bag (so gorgeous!)
- Saint Laurent burgundy Kate bag
- Saint Laurent pink Kate bag
- Saint Laurent Loulou velvet bag

Farfetch: One of my favorite online retailers. A huge selection of designer shoes just went on sale
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- Valentino flats (40% off)
- Valentino black velvet pumps (40% off)
- Valentino nude pumps (40% off)
- Chloe mini Faye day bag (40% off)
- Chloe backpack (40% off)
- Fendi logo bag (I can't believe this bag is included in the sale!)

Nordstrom: Up to 60% off these items below
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- Hunter original tall boots (35% off)
- Leith ruched dress (very flattering on the body)
- Barefoot Dreams cardigan (the softest cardigan ever - 50% off)
- Pinstripe jumpsuit (regular & petite)
- Vince Camuto booties (love!)
- Topshop jeans (my absolute favorite pair of jeans)
- Movado Bold (gorgeous watch - 40% off)
- BlankNYC suede jacket (I own and love)
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Old Navy: This is my go-to place to shop for Christmas PJs for the entire family. They have so many cute styles and prices are so affordable. I had a hard time deciding but finally nailed it down to the ones above (same bottom, different tops). I also purchased this matching PJ set for 2 little ones in the family
- Thermal-knit sleep leggings (available in 12 patterns)
- Holiday graphic tee (available in 10 prints - I have tried this in store and the quality is very nice)
- Cozy snowman PJ set (so many cute sets for the little ones here)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Are Rails shirts worth it?

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A while back, someone asked on IG if Rails shirts worth the price tag? I told her that I've heard amazing things about the brand but I do not own one myself. Months later, this particular colorway went on sale so I decided to give it a shot. Let me tell you, I understand the hype now. These shirts have been worn by many celebrities (Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, Beyonce to name a few) and there is a good reason for it. All Rails shirts can be dressed up or down easily. In this post, I paired it with my trusted black skinny jeans and a pair of booties for a dressy look. In the summer, I can totally see myself wearing this shirt with cut off shorts and sneakers. The fabric is incredible. It's a double-sided plaid (2 different prints on the inside and outside). It's ultra soft yet substantial. What I love most about the fabric is that it's breathable and drapes incredibly well. I purchased my usual XS and it fits perfectly. It is not a loose cut like most plaid shirts. It's tapered and narrow in the shoulders and arms. Last but not least, they need minimal ironing. If I hang it on a hanger immediately after pulling it out of the dryer then no ironing needed at all. This is not something I see myself purchase regularly because it's fairly expensive. However, I am very happy with the purchase and would highly recommend it to anyone who looking to purchase a quality piece of clothing. I might pull the trigger on this black and white version since it's currently on sale. Outfit details: Rails shirt *so many colorways here* | Topshop jeans | Le Specs sunglasses | Gucci belt | Louis Vuitton Speedy 25BSumissura custom coat
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