Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blogmas 2014!

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Blogmas 2014 SydneysFashionDiary

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas season has officially begun. I am excited to announce that I will be doing Blogmas this year! For those of you who are not familiar with Blogmas, the concept is simple. I will be blogging every.single.day till Christmas. It's fun but can be challenged at the same time. My husband and I will be taking quite a bit of time off from work in December so I think Blogmas is doable this year. I'd love for you to join in the fun. All you need to do is linking your daily posts using the tool below. Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for the 1st Blogmas post =)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

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SydneysFashionDiary_Home

This was the 1st Thanksgiving in our new home and I am blessed to have so many great things in my life - my loving family, my supportive husband and my 2 girls. Life is not always rainbows and roses but no matter what happens, I know my family will always be there for me. Our Thanksgiving has always been lunch. We love to mix traditional Thanksgiving dishes and Asian dishes. After gobbling down that massive lunch, we relaxed by the fireplace to let the food digest before heading out the door for some shopping. We got to the mall around 7:00 pm and didn't get home until midnight. A huge thanks to my parents for taking care of the kids. I did score some great gifts at incredible prices. This was the first time we went shopping on Thanksgiving and let me tell you, it was nuts. We then woke up early this morning and were out for round two of Black Friday shopping =) One of the purchases today was this 10ft Christmas tree. It's going up as we speak. The kids are so excited. I am all shopped out and will have use the next 3 days to recoup. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Did you brave the crowds for Black Friday shopping?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014 deals

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The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here! I don't know about you guys but I love Black Friday shopping. Whether we have something in mind or not, my husband and I fully enjoy the experience and even the crowds. It's one of our Thanksgiving traditions. If you rather stay at home in your PJ's and shop online, I complied a list of some amazing deals below. Please be aware that prices may vary depending on the time you shop. I hope you all have an enjoyable Thanksgiving with your loved ones. I'll be back on Friday to share my Thanksgiving.




Monday, November 24, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips Recipe

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We went apple picking a few weeks ago and got so many apples. After a few days, everyone was kinda tired of them eating them. I decided to turn those apples into apple chips. These apple chips totally satisfy a craving for the munchies. I basically cut those apples into thin slices, sprinkle a little bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top and bake them for 2 hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. These apple chips are tasty, crunchy and not to mention, they'll make your home smell delicious. Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Unisa Gilles - A dupe for the Stuart Weitzman OTK quilted boots

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Stuart Weitzman boots dup


I had to do a double take when I stumbled upon these Unisa Gilles boots at DSW. They’re almost a perfect dupe of the Stuart Weitzman quiltboot. See them on me here. Just like the ones I reviewed last week, these boots are a wonderful budget option. The fit on me is as expected. There is a little bunching in the ankle area but I have the same problem with the Stuart Weitzman as well. I prefer leather when it comes to footwear. However, I don’t dislike faux leather as long as it doesn't look like plastic. The material is quite nice for the price and the quilted pattern sure adds interest to the boots. I don’t expect them to look and feel luxurious as the designer version. You’re talking about a major difference in cost here. I still have a couple options that I’d like to try on in person but this pair is definitely high on my purchase list.

Unisa quilted boots

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fall Fashion Series Recap: Leopard Print & Leather

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The 1st wintry storm has arrived to slam the Midwest. Schools were closed and temperatures are expected to drop into the teens this weekend. In my mind, Fall is officially over. Today, I am doing a Fall fashion recap as I am saying goodbye to my favorite season. It's time to start bundling up and embracing the chilly weather!

Leopard Coat
{Outfit details: leopard parka | AT sweater (this year's version) | denim | lipstick | sunglasses}

Old Navy leopard blouse
{Outfit details: skirt | similar blouse | purse  *sold out* | sunglasses}

Leopard skirt and chambray shirt
{Outfit details: similar skirt | similar shirt | sunglasses | purse *sold out*}

Ways to wear leopard print

Leopard pieces: 
2. Similar leopard cardigan here and here
5. Similar leopard skirt here and here
6. Similar leopard blouse here and here

Ways to wear leather

Leather pieces:
3. Similar leather dress here and here
4. Similar leather skirt here and here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Stuart Weitzman quilted OTK boots

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Stuart Weitzman quilted OTK boots
I wanted to do a quick review on these Stuart Weitzman quilted OTK boots just in case anyone is interested. While I am not 100% impressed with the 5050, I am head over heels in love with the quilted version. They look stunning in person and feel amazing on. They run very true to size. I am trying on a size 7 here and they fit really well (I am between a 6.5 and 7). The leather is so soft, luxurious yet durable at the same time.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kyodan clothing and a new fitness routine

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Winter can be a challenging time of the year to stay in shape. As a full-time working parent, wife and mother to two children, exercise was the last thing on my mind at the end of the day. I *try* to work out 6 days a week. Sounds like a lot but once I have established a fitness routine that fits my schedule, it's not so tough. My fitness routine consists of core strengthening and running.

Kyodan active wear
{Wearing: c/o all Kyodan clothing - size XS and Nike Flex running shoes}

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night, I do ab exercises. I follow this 10-minute intense lower ab workout. I know 10 minutes doesn't sound like a lot but believe me, your abdominal will hurt the next day. The reason I chose M, W, F because Monday night is usually the busiest night for us (the little one's homework assignments due every Tuesday). On Friday night, I want to take it easy since it’s the end of the week. 10 minutes is all it takes to complete my workout routine. This schedule just works for me.


Kyodan yoga pants

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall Trend: Black and White Plaid Coat

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Over the years of blogging, I have featured many clothing items from Asia-based retailers. My expectations for those items are relatively low. It's really hit or miss from these companies. If I receive an item that looks awful straight out of the package, I won’t be posting on my blog . However, if the item surpasses my expectations, in all fairness, I am going to give it props. This jacket is definitely a hit for me.

Plaid coat

What I am wearing: 
Coat: OASAP plaid coat c/o (size M)
Sweater: J.Crew honeycomb cable sweater *sold out*
Leggings: Lysse - I took the sequin stripes out
Plaid coat

Plaid is always on trend for Fall and this year is no exception. I’ve always wanted a plaid coat but didn’t want to spend a lot on a trendy item. This coat fits the bill. Honestly, I am impressed. The jacket has a substantial weight and feels great on. OASAP’s sizes are all over the place. You just have to check the size chart and compare it to your own measurements. The smallest size available was a medium but measurements sound like a great fit for me. I did notice the plaid stripes do not line up nicely. It doesn’t bother me but I thought I would point it out.

  Plaid coat

The coat is 100% lined and measures 15” (shoulder-to-shoulder), 23” (sleeve length) and 31” (body length). Having a pretty basic wardrobe, sometimes, I enjoy incorporating trendy pieces to change it up even though it’s not something that going to last me for years. Today only, OASAP offers free shipping on any order. Don’t forget to use code OASAP1st for an additional 12% discount.

  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Trend: The plaid scarf (under $50)

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Plaid scarves are a huge hit this Fall. Every fashion blogger I follow owns a variation of a plaid scarf. While I haven't jumped on the bandwagon (yet), I found a few options below if you're looking for one. Everything pictured below is less than $50. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall Fashion Series: LOFT Snow Leopard coat

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LOFT snow leopard coat

Since some of my pre-owned items have found their new homes, I allowed myself one more purchase for the month of October. Read about my 1st purchase here. Of course, the 2nd purchase was another coat =)  I've been eyeing this little number forever. Petite sizes are gone months ago online. I kept checking back for weeks but no luck. I caved in and ordered an XS regular to try. As expected, it was too big all around. Out of the blue, I was able to locate a size XXSP by using the "find in store" feature. The store which had the jacket located 20 minutes away from where I live. At first I thought the inventory wasn't updated correctly but when I called, the jacket was indeed available.

LOFT snow leopard coat

What I am wearing:
Jacket: LOFT snow leopard coat - size XXSP
Leggings: Express scuba leggings
Pumps: Ann Taylor *old* (this year's version)
Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nordstrom Clearance Sale (last day)

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Today is the last day to take advantage of the Nordstrom clearance sale (everything is up to 40% off including brands like Tory Burch, Burberry and Kate Spade New York. See the Burberry puffer coat on me here and the lace dress on me here. Below are some of my picks (including these Stuart Weitzman boots are now 50% off). You can shop the entire sale here:


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Equitance Skin Care Review

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While I am happy with my current skin care regimen, I am always open to try new products/options. 2 weeks ago, I am excited to receive the trial kit in the mail c/o Equitance! I wanted to quickly share my thoughts after using the products for 2 weeks straight.

Equitance Review

I have always been a fan of Asian skin care products. They seem to work well for me. The trial kit contains: brightening foaming cleanser, brightening toning lotion, brightening serum & spot corrector, hydrating brightening cream, sunscreen broad spectrum and skin radiance dietary supplement. In the mornings, after washing my face, I rub the brightening toning lotion all over my face. I then follow up with the spot corrector. Next, I apply the brightening cream and finish off with the sunscreen. In the evenings, I follow the same steps but use the brightening foaming cleanser with my Clarisonic as the first step and skip the sunscreen.

Equitance Review
{Pictured: Clarisonic Mia (20% off with code GIFTVIB - ends tomorrow), Waffle cotton robe, Equitance skin care kit}

In general, skin care products tend to take some time to be effective so I can't give a concrete review just yet. However, first impressions - I am impressed! They are lightweight, absorb quickly and do not leave a greasy feeling behind for my skin. I love the clean fresh smell and most importantly, they do not break me out. Even though I only use these products for a short period of time, I definitely notice the difference - my skin looks brighter and healthier. If you're on the hunt for new skin care products (especially for the upcoming winter), I highly recommend the trial kit. It's a cost effective way to experience new products. Linking up with Manic Monday and Style to Inspire today!

Disclaimer: I received the trial kit c/o Equitance. As always, my reviews are my own personal opinions.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Unisa Gillean Over The Knee Boot (under $50)

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Over the knee boots for under $50

A pair of over-the-knee boots is on my purchase list this Winter. Of course, I had to check out the infamous Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots in person. Honestly, for something that costs over $600, I wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong. They're still beautiful but I personally don't think they live up to the hype. There are so many versions out there that reminiscent of the 5050. I will review each option as I come across. First up is the Unisa OTK boot (sold at DSW). I am blown away by how similar they are compared to the 5050. *Update* These boots are now sold out but I found several identical dupes here for less: under $60, under $125, under $200 and under $250

Over the knee bootsOver the knee boots for under $50

As far as overall quality goes, they're not bad. Please keep in mind that they're 1/13 the cost of the 5050. The (faux) leather version did look kind of cheap in person but the suede version was beautiful. These boots run true to size. Not only do they fit my calf but they're also very comfortable (see photos). Available in 8 different colors from the basic back to the wild leopard print, there is certainly something for everyone. I didn't purchase them because there are a few other options that I'd like to try before making my decision. If you're on a budget or would rather spend your hard-earned money on something else other than designer footwear, I highly recommend these boots.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Kewl Shop: Petite-friendly holiday bandage dresses

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Now that Halloween is over, this weekend marks the official start of the holiday season. With one of the biggest celebrations is just around the corner, it's never too early to start looking for that perfect holiday dress. Finding the perfect dress can take quite a bit of time especially for petite ladies. The Kewl Shop recently reached out to me to introduce their bandage dress collection so I thought I'd share a few things just in case you're interested. While most of their dresses are too revealing for me, I did find something that caught my attention. This plaid dress is absolutely stunning in person.

J Crew Lady day coat in red

The unique pattern of this dress is what drawn me to it. Plaid returns this Fall in a big way. This dress is made from a spandex-like material. It's very thick, sturdy and stretchy at the same time. After having 2 kids, I am very self-conscious about wearing a tight fitting dress. This dress makes me feel sexy and classy at the same time. I am a huge fan of cap sleeves. They add the perfect amount of coverage and look very feminine.

Chanel WOC in navy

What I am wearing:
Dress: c/o The Kewl Shop (use code SYDNEY15 for 15% off)
Jacket: J.Crew lady day coat - size 00 regular
Cuff: Express bar cuff (under $15)
Faux fur scarf: The Limited (buy similar)

 
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