Monday, February 27, 2017

Fringe Pullover

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I dress super basic so I appreciate the little details that help elevate the outfit. Love this fringe sweater by Rebecca Taylor but there is no way I would be able to afford it. I picked up this affordable alternative and am happy with it. I washed and dried it a couple of times already and the fringes came out just fine. Outfit details: Gamiss pullover | Tom Ford sunglasses | ASOS jeans | Guess booties

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My first impressions of Orange Theory Fitness

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We booked our summer vacation 2 weeks ago so I need to get busy and tone myself up lol As a full-time working mother of two, it's really hard for me to stick to a workout plan. I love cardio but cardio alone does not build muscle. I know I need strength training but have always been intimidated in the weight room at the gym. When I first heard about Orange Theory Fitness, I thought to myself, it's exactly what I am looking for. Orange Theory Fitness might be old news to some of you but it's relatively new where I live. It's basically a 60-minute class led by an instructor who calls out cures throughout the class. The class splits up into interval cardio on the treadmill, indoor rowing and weigh room floor exercises. The hubs and I had a few hours to ourselves so we decided to take a trial class together. Outfit details: Zaful set - size M *love the top, it's fully lined. However, the bottom is unlined. Wouldn't be an issue with nude undergarment* | Tom Ford sunglasses | Nike Pegasus 32 sneakers | Fitbit Charge

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As requested, we arrived 30 minutes before our scheduled class. We spoke to a personal trainer about our current fitness levels and what we want to accomplish along with our fitness goals. We put on one of their heart rate monitors (the goal is to stay in the orange zone - hence, the name). He then took us inside the studio and went over the routine. We spent the first 30 minutes doing interval training on the treadmill and the rest of the time split between the rower and the weight area. After the class is done, the instructor went over our numbers and how we did. The hubs burned almost 1000 calories and I burned almost 600 calories.

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I like the variety: As mentioned, I love doing cardio. I felt like I was in my element for the first half of the class. However, for the second half of the class, I had no choice but to leave my comfort zone doing weight training. The hubs is the opposite. He isn't a fan of the treadmill but loves weight training. We both enjoyed the indoor rower. Also, I love that every class is completely different and the intensity depends on the instructor.
I enjoy commercial gym equipment: My treadmill at home is much older so running can be tough on my knees. The ones at Orange Theory Fitness are so nice and I can definitely feel the difference while running.
I have some guidance: Even though it's a group workout, I do have some guidance if I need to. The instructor helped me quite a bit to correct my form (which is greatly appreciated)
My progress clearly displays throughout the workout: It's nice to see your progress throughout the class on a big screen. I found it seriously motivating. I've never burned more than 400 calories working out at home. I am not kidding, I was in pain for 2 days because I worked those muscles that I haven't used before.

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I'd love to join Orange Theory Fitness but the only thing that's keeping me from doing so is the cost. It's very expensive. Below is the breakdown:

- $25 for a drop in class
- $69 for 4 classes a month
- $99 for 8 classes a month
- $159 for unlimited classes each month

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It's not going to do anything for me if I attend one or two classes per week. In order to reach my fitness goal, I would need to work out 4,5 times a week. The membership would be $159 plus an additional $69 for the heart rate monitor. Between the two of us, $300 per month just for gym memberships is a bit much. Plus, they do not offer childcare so we would have to figure out our schedules. As much as I love to join Orange Theory Fitness, there are some hesitation. Have you tried OTF? If so, what are your thoughts?

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Splurge vs. Steal :: Shoe Edition

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If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might know that I don't spend a lot of money on shoes. However, you don't have to sacrifice style for price. There are many good dupes out there. I am a huge fan of Target shoes. I own 5,6 pairs and they've lasted me for years. Target's shoe game is killing it right now. I've rounded up 5 best designer shoe dupes for you. And the best part? Get 25% off clothes, shoes and accessories during this President's Day Sale.

Splurge vs Steal (shoes edition)

1. Backless loafers :: $17.25 vs. $595 - My most favorite dupe! I've seen these popular Princetown loafers everywhere. I love the look but there is no way I am paying $600 for a pair of loafers. This affordable pair does the trick. I saw them in person and they are amazing!
2. Studded sandals :: $24.75 vs. $945 - Get the studded look for less than $25
3. Cut out booties :: $28.50 vs. $180 - This pair is almost identical to the popular Jeffrey Campbell one but for a fraction of the cost
4. Denim sandals :: $22.50 vs. $90 - So perfect for the upcoming Spring
5. Pom pom sandals :: $22.50 vs. $225 - Love pom pom sandals but do not want to pay over $200 for a trendy pair? This affordable pair is just as cute

Friday, February 17, 2017

What I got for Valentine's Day

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LouisVuittonZippyWallet_SydneysFashionDiary

I just want to start off by saying the hubs and I do not buy Valentine's Day gifts for each other. We usually just stick to a dinner the weekend prior. If you follow me on IG, you may have seen I purchased a new vehicle a few weeks ago (another reason not to spend more $$ on V-day). I am super excited about my new ride. Changing the topic up a bit - you probably don't know but my husband has mild OCD =) He does all the cleaning at home, takes care of the yard, cleans both vehicles and keeps the house organized. He really does a good job of taking care of things.

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Since we got a brand new car, the key fob does not have a single scratch and is super shiny. My previous vehicle was a used one so I didn't care too much about keeping the key fob scratch-free. It was at the bottom of my purse 90% of the time. After we got home from the dealership, the hubs told me I should look into getting something to protect the new key fob. I agree. I do take care of my stuff to some extent. I mentioned last year that at some point, I'd like to purchase the Louis Vuitton 6-key holder for my bags but it wasn't high on my list.

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Now I have a good reason to get one. We went to the only Louis Vuitton store in Ohio to check it out. Unfortunately, the hubs wasn't the fan of the 6-key holder. He said there is nothing keeping the keys from scratching up across each other. See what I mean? =) We looked at a few other Louis Vuitton small leather goods and finally decided on this zippy coin purse for "Valentine's Day" =)  - Pre-owned options here. I wasn't planning on spending that much $$ on a canvas wallet but I couldn't find anything else that has the same layout. Between 3 Louis Vuitton's classic prints (the Monogram, the Damier Ebene and the Damier Azur), the last one is definitely my favorite print. I will do a separate post to show you how I use it. Stay tuned =)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sale Alert :: BlankNYC suede moto

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My beloved BlankNYC suede moto jacket is back in stock and on sale (wearing a size small here). This is a Bloomingdale's exclusive color so you won't find it elsewhere. On the same note, another version of the same jacket (with detachable faux fur collar) is currently 40% off here.
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Right | Left 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Little Black Jumpsuit

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I don't know why but I always gravitate towards jumpsuits. I purchased this jumpsuit last month in anticipation of wearing it on Valentine's Day. However, the hubs took an unexpected business trip and wasn't home for the occasion. It's been years since I purchase anything from Lulu's. They have so many cute pieces for Spring right now. While browsing, I stumped upon this jumpsuit and decided to pull the trigger after reading all of the glowing reviews. True to their words, the jumpsuit is very flattering and has a sleek look. The upper part is fully lined but the bottom part is unlined. Since I am rather short (5'2"), the pants ended up being several inches too long. I took it to my seamstress to shorten the hem. I was lazy and didn't spend enough time to figure out the correct length. I think the length is just a smidgen too short but that was my fault :( I am looking forward to wear it with my flat sandals in the summer. Outfit details: Lulu's jumpsuit *size XS* | Banana Republic *sold out* - similar | Tom Ford sunglasses | Chanel bag | Michele watch

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Polka-dot sweater :: Shades of blue

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Sharing one of my favorite outfits I've worn a few weeks ago. Navy is an extremely versatile color and works well with almost any shade. In this outfit, I paired several different shades of blue with a brown sweater to create a warm palette. I rarely raved about anything from Shein but this sweater deserves some attention. What attracts me to this sweater is the cute polka pot print. As always, I don't expect a high quality item from Shein but am pleasantly surprised at how well made this sweater is. The material is so warm and thick but soft to the touch at the same time. When I first opened the package, it had a little bit of a dye odor. However, the smell is gone after one wash (it came out perfect). For under $20, this sweater is definitely a gem. Outfit details: Shein sweater c/o | J.Crew chambray shirt | Sumissura coat | Michele Deco watchExpress jeans | Guess booties | Tom Ford sunglasses | Chanel bag

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Friday, February 10, 2017

6 ways to wear a Chanel wallet on chain

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I talked about my love for the Chanel wallet on chain (WOC) several times on here. This little beauty is so versatile and can take you from day to night with ease. Today, I am showing you 6 ways to wear it. The best part? You can adjust the strap length according to your height. My favorite ways to wear it is # 1 (as a cross body for days) and # 2 (as a clutch for nights). Click here to see what fits inside. Have a wonderful weekend, ladies!

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Random Thoughts :: How To Be Happy & Content In Life

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With the goal of not following any formal structure or guidelines in mind, today's topic is a little different. Inspired by the fact that I spent $0.00 for the entire month of January on clothes/beauty products/shoes, I wanted to share my thoughts on how to be happy and content with life. I wasn't forcing myself not to shop. I just didn't feel like I need anything. Please note that I am not trying to be a preacher. This blog is just simply a platform for me to share my thoughts with you whether it's a new purchase, a handbag review or just something on my mind in general. I am at the point in my life that I can honestly say I am happy and content. Trust me, it's not easy and I've come a long way. We live in a material world and social media plays a major role in creating a consumerist society. If you feel compelled to keep up with the Joneses, you're not alone. During my early days of blogging, I definitely felt the need to do so and let me tell you, it was exhausting. I learned a few things over the years and I am here to share them with you. Once in a while, we all need a little reminder =) Outfit details: Express jeans | Shein duster coat | GAP tee | Hermes belt | Tom Ford sunglass | Public Desire OTK boots

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1. Learn to appreciate what you have instead of focus on what you don't haveSeems logical right? Instead of thinking about the next handbag that you can't afford, let's concentrate on what you DO have in your closet. My husband and I are extremely grateful to be able to build the home of our dreams, have beautiful children and stable careers. I had the same conversation with one of my co-workers and she said it's easy for you to say so because you already have those things. I completely understand. However, everyone has something different to be thankful for whether it's a home, a car, a family, a job, their heath. Focus on what you have, not on what you don't. I will never forget what my husband told me years ago - He said "you can have everything but you can't have everything at once". It's so true. Work hard and you will eventually have everything you want in life.

2. Setting goals, expectations and priorities: I can't stretch enough the importance of setting goals and priorities. I mentioned a few times on here, at the beginning of each year, my husband and I sit down and set new goals/priorities for the year ahead. With the mortgage, kids and everything else in between, there isn't much room for luxury purchases. However, I put aside a small amount each month towards a special purchase. It does take quite a bit of time to fulfill that purchase. However, the feeling of owning something that you've been saving up for is incredibly rewarding. I promise you, you'll feel content to have something that you've worked so hard to get. Because you've worked so hard for it, you don't feel the need to replace it with something else so quickly. You'll appreciate the item you waited for so much more than an impulse purchase.

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3. Enjoy what you've accomplished so far: Will luxury purchases make me happy? Absolutely! However, those excitements are short-lived. When the feelings of excitement fade, you will be looking into buying something new. It becomes a never ending cycle and is exhausting (physically and financially). So you dreamed of owning a Chanel bag for years. The bag is finally in your possession, do you carry it frequently or is it sitting pretty in your closet collecting dust? I am definitely guilty of this too. Instead of thinking about the next purchase, enjoy what you've accomplished so far. You worked so hard to acquire your dream bag, enjoy it!

4. Surround yourself with people who make you happy: Cutting negative people out of your life is not always easy but is vital to your happiness. I know I mention my husband quite a bit in this post but he truly is my best friend. I love that we can talk about anything from the most important things to non-sense stuff. He may not be interested in everything I have to say but he will for sure listen and be present. Because of him, I don't feel a need to have a big group of friends. I just need a few who make me happy. Of course my family is and always will be a big part of my life.

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5. It's important to love yourself first: Nobody can make you happy until you're happy with yourself first. I am a huge believer in rewarding myself (it doesn't always have to be extravagant). Splurge on small things that make you happy. One thing I don't mind splurging on is my morning coffee. For some people, spending $5 every single day on coffee is excessive but I am willing to cut back on other things (i.e. pack my lunch everyday, not eating out as much on the weekend). Having a cup of coffee in the morning certainly affects my whole workday. If spending $5 on coffee makes me happy then so be it.

To wrap up this post, I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes "Contentment does not mean that I desire nothing but rather, it's the simple decision to be happy with what I have .” — Paula Rotto

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pre-Owned vs. Brand-New

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I've been thinking about today's topic for quite some time but never found the time to finish my thoughts. I often get asked if it's worth buying a pre-owned handbag? I am here today to share my thoughts. First of all, I want to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with buying pre-loved handbags. My handbag collection is a mix of both (my Hermes Kelly is pre-owned and my Chanel boy bag is brand-new). Collecting luxury handbags is a very expensive hobby so I am all for saving when possible. However, not all handbags are worth buying used. Before deciding on a bag, I always ask myself 5 questions below if I want to purchase the bag brand new or go the pre-loved route.

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Question # 1: The brand - Does the brand ever go on sale? Generally speaking, brands like Prada, Givenchy, Chloe, Valentino or even Fendi will occasionally go on sale. I caught a few sales here and here (the discounts were pretty decent). They may not have exactly what you're looking for but they do go on sale. If the brand participates in a sale, I'd rather wait and buy the bag brand new. Chances are, you probably will pay less for a brand new discounted bag (i.e. Chloe Nano Drew bag :: brand new :: on sale for $446 vs. pre-owed for $925)

Question # 2: Popularity -  How popular is the bag? Take the Gucci Soho Disco bag as an example. Gucci bags never go on sale. Does that mean getting a used bag is a wise choice? Not necessarily. Since it's one of the most popular bags at the moment, the amount you save isn't significant (i.e: Gucci Soho Disco :: in used condition for $895 vs. brand-new condition for $995). I would rather spend another $100 and purchase a brand new bag. That takes me to the next question...

Question # 3: The savings amount - How much will I save? As a general rule of thumb, the asking price has to be at least 25% less than the retail price in order for me to consider getting a used bag (i.e: I would have to save at least $500 on a $2000 bag). The savings amount of course depends on other criteria such as condition, popularity and availability

Question #4: AvailabilityIs the bag I am looking for widely available? My Hermes Kelly is the perfect example. To obtain a Birkin or a Kelly, I've heard you have to spend over $10K per year to establish/maintain a relationship with a SA. I am sorry but I don't have that kind of money to spend on random things BEFORE spending more money on a bag. To me, going to pre-owned route is the perfect solution. There are enough pre-owned Birkin and Kelly bags out there that you can pick and choose what really makes your heart sing. Please keep in mind, you could be paying more for a used Hermes Kelly or Birkin than what they cost from a boutique (that's a whole different topic)

Question #5: Do your research - A pre-owned bag does not always come with a cheaper price tag. It's not unusual for consignment stores to jack up their prices. Take this brooch as an example. I purchased mine brand new from a Chanel boutique for $350. This brooch now listed for $695 in used condition. Why? because it's no longer available and they know it. Once you've done your research, it's now up to you if it's worth the hefty price tag.

There you have it. I hope you find this post helpful. If you have a handbag-related topic in mind and would like me to talk about, let me know in the comment section below. Have a wonderful weekend!


 
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