Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Review: Petite-friendly Hooded Parka

JBrandJeans_SydneysFashionDiary

Today, I want to quickly share my thoughts on this jacket. I know most of us are looking forward to warmer weather but I had been on the lookout for a parka for my coming trip to Alaska. I do have quite a few jackets in my closet but they are too dressy for the occasion. I wanted something casual that can keep me warm while hiking and doing outdoor activities. I searched high and low and ended up ordering this one from ASOS. I have never heard of this brand before and did not have high hopes for it. Luckily, this jacket turned out perfect! Outfit details: Only hooded parka | J. Brand leggings | Me Too boots | Quay sunglasses

ASOSParka_SydneysFashionDiary

Monday, March 28, 2016

Blush Pink Scalloped Dress

BlushPinkScallopDress_SydneysFashionDiary

This is what I wore to church on Easter Sunday. The dress is very pretty in person and I love the scalloped detail. It adds a touch of femininity and quirkiness to a rather plain dress. For under $20, I am seriously impress with the quality. The faux suede fabric is soft to the touch and lays nicely against the body. I am wearing a size S in this post (could have gone with the XS). I don't mind as it is meant to be loose. I also took my new shoes out for a spin. They are relatively comfortable and I know I will get a ton of use out of them this Spring and Summer. Hope everyone had a blessed Easter! Outfit details: c/o Make Me Chic dress | Banana Republic fringe sandals | Zero UV sunglasses | Etsy necklace | Chanel boy bag (for sale here) | ColourPop lipstick in Trap

BlushPinkScallopDress_SydneysFashionDiary

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ways to save on new luxury handbags

There is no secret that I love luxury handbags. However, I am definitely a thrifty girl when it comes to shopping. Over the years, I have learned a few tricks on how to save a bit of cash on luxury purchases. Please note that these tips apply to new handbags. Of course, you can always save money on  pre-owned ones (read my tips and tricks here). FYI, I have a stunning Chanel boy bag for sale here if you're interested.

Trick # 1: Open a store credit card and get 10% off your first purchase. That's what I did with my Chanel boy. It was purchased from the Chanel boutique inside Saks. I opened a Saks credit card and the SA took 10% off my purchase. 10% doesn't seem like a whole lot but when you make a large purchase, the savings is significant. I saved $520 on my beloved boy bag.

Trick # 2: Purchase from an out-of-state retailer: There are no high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus or Barneys in Ohio. Therefore, all my out-of-state purchases are tax-exempt. For the purpose of calculation, the sales tax on a $5000 purchase is roughly $350 in Ohio. You can also take advantage of one of the 5 states with no sales tax (Delaware, Montana, Oregon, New Hampshire and Alaska) - same concept!

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Trick # 3: Take advantage of reward points: Technically, this isn't a direct savings but you can use your earned points towards future purchases. Saks is current in pre-sell for triple points (sale starts 03/31). This is the best time to make any large purchases as you get the most money back for your gift card. Again, for the purpose of calculation, you would earn a $300 gift card with $5000 purchase.

Trick # 4 (this one is new to me): As you may be aware, luxury handbag prices vary from different parts of the globe. However, travel to another country to take advantage of lower prices isn't always practical. For those who live in the mainland US, some (not all) luxury handbags are actually cheaper in Hawaii. I bought my Chanel brooch, earrings and my latest bag from the Chanel boutique in Honolulu and prices were indeed cheaper. The state sales tax rate is also low at 4%. It wasn't a huge deal in terms of the price difference (between $50-$100) on my Chanel pieces but I've heard Prada prices are much cheaper in Hawaii. I hope you find this post helpful. Let me know if you have any questions/tips in the comment section below. Happy Easter, everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Banana Republic :: 50% one full-priced item in stores

BananaRepublicFringeSandals_SydneysFashionDiary

Today, I wanted to quickly share a purchase I made yesterday just in case you're interested. If you're a Banana Republic card member, you can get 50% off one full-priced items in stores (or 40% off if you're not a card member). For online shoppers, you can take 40% off your entire purchase with code BRSPRING (the promotion ends tonight). I was on the hunt for a pair of minimal black sandals to replace my Express ones which are no longer wearable. I tried these on in store and fell in love. They run true to size and are very comfortable (I took my usual size 7). They are super cute in person and more affordable than the Aquazzura fringe sandals. Below are a few new arrivals that I am loving:

BananaRepublicSale2016_SydneysFashionDiary

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Getting my feet wet with the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide

Summer is right around the corner so I decided to start documenting and sharing my fitness experience with you. I hope you'll find some inspiration along the way. I consider myself a healthy person. As you may recall, I completed several races in the past. I always try my best to stay healthy and fit. However, I am the perfect example of skinny fat. At 5"2' and 100 pounds, I am on the low end of the ideal weight scale (borderline underweight). However, I have no muscle definition. I had a C-section with my second child and let's just say my lower belly pooch is a very tricky and insecure area for me. After booking our summer vacation, I want to make fitness more of a priority and hope to tone up before the trip. I did some research and decided to give the 12-week Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines a try.

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I chose this program for several reasons: # 1 - going to the gym does not work for me. It takes so much time and I do not have a sitter to watch the kids # 2 - it's getting super boring to run on the treadmill several times a week and running does not target my entire body. I need someone to tell me exactly what to do, how to do it to achieve my goals. I did a ton of research and the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) seems like a good fit for me. You can learn more about the program here but basically, it's a 12-week program that targets your entire body. The fitness guide tells you exact what to do, when to do it, how to do it every single week.

SydneysTrainingPlan

Above is my 12-week training plan. I am on my 4th week and liking it so far. This program is exactly what I was looking for. She put together a series of work out moves that target your entire body. It's not something ground breaking by any means but works well if you don't have a personal trainer. For low intensity workouts, I do 30 minutes on the stationary bike. For high intensity workouts, I run 4 miles at 5 mph (approximately 40 minutes) on the treadmill or outside. I will share the progress pictures in a later post. I've been eating clean and working out 6 days a week for the past 3 weeks. I'm very optimistic and excited to see my end results. Have you tried the BBG program? If so, please share your experience.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hits & Misses # 19 :: Sweatshirt Dress

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My favorite thing to wear this time of the year is a long sleeved dress. I can omit the jacket when it's in the 60's and long-sleeve dresses do a good job at keeping me warm. This medium weight sweatshirt material is very soft and comfy to wear. I love how easy and effortless this dress is. I washed it a few times and the dress has held up pretty well. On the other side of the spectrum, the blouse below is unwearable in person. The fabric is quite see through and I am not pleased with the fit. Outfit details: Shein sweater dress c/o | Nine West boots | ZeroUV sunglasses | Michael Kors watch

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Sales

A few notable sales are happening today if you're interested in checking out. Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Tory Burch: Private sale (up to 70% off)
StPatricksDaySales2016
Smart phone crossbody
Junction riding boots
6-key holder
Robinson tote


Express: $15 off $60 / $25 off $100 / $60 off $200 with code 1261
StPatricksDaySales2016
Brow bar aviator (a dupe for Dior Technologic)
Denim shorts
Floral rompers
Maxi sundress

ASOS: 20% off with code CLOVER4StPatricksDaySales2016
Lace dress (love!)
Floral swimsuit
Parka jacket (purchased for my upcoming trip)
Floral sheath dress (purchased for Easter)

GAP: 40% your entire purchase with code GOGREENStPatricksDaySales2016
Denim jacket (Spring must have)
Real straight jeans (my closet staple)
Classic trench
Embroidered tank (available in 5 colors)
 
Ann Taylor: 50% off full price dressesStPatricksDaySales2016Black jumpsuit
Sleeveless sheath dress
Floral lace dress
Eyelet dress

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Striped Dress :: Suede Moto Jacket

StripedDress_SydneysFashionDiary

If you pay attention to fashion trends then you probably have noticed suede is one of the hottest trends this Spring. I can see it almost everywhere and am glad to have this (faux) suede moto jacket as a new addition to my closet. The material is incredibly soft and flowy. This lightweight jacket won't provide much warmth but will instantly add some chic factor to your everyday look. Outfit details: Make Me Chic jacket c/o | She in dress | Chanel bag | Zara sandals *super similar here* | Quay sunglasses

Monday, March 14, 2016

Triple Denim :: Silver Lasso Necklace

TripleDenim_SydneysFashionDiary

Let me just start by saying that I love this outfit so much. It consists of my most favorite pieces in my closet. The key to get a head-to-toe denim ensemble right is wearing several different shades of denim. This is my go-to look for a casual day while still looking chic. Can we take a moment to acknowledge how fabulous this necklace is? What I love about this necklace is you can adjust the length any way you want. It can be worn high up on the neck as a choker or low as a lariat necklace. If silver is not your metal of choice, it's also available in gunmetal. This necklace adds the perfect final touch to my outfit. Outfit details: Zara jeans *similar here* | Old Navy shirt | H&M denim jacket | Ell and Emm necklace c/o | Zara shoes *similar here* | Chanel bag | Quay sunglasses

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Chanel Boy Bag :: Old Medium vs. New Medium (Jumbo)

THIS GREY CHANEL BOY IN A SIZE OLD MEDIUM FEATURED IN THIS POST IS FOR SALE. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT SYDNEYSFASHIONDIARY@GMAIL.COM IF INTERESTED.

ChanelBoyOldMediumvsNewMedium_SydneysFashionDiary

For this week's handbag chit chat, I wanted to do a quick side-by-side comparison to show you the differences between the Chanel Boy in the old medium vs the new medium size. I did talk a bit about these 2 sizes in this post but did not go into details. I recently found this gorgeous bag in gray caviar leather for someone I know. I took this opportunity to snap a few photos before sending it to the lucky lady. I believe the new medium size is now called the jumbo.

ChanelBoyOldMediumvsNewMedium_SydneysFashionDiary

Measurements: Medium (6” x 10” x 3.5”) vs. Jumbo (7” x 11” x 3.5”)
Current price: Medium ($4700) vs Jumbo ($5200)

It took me the longest time to decide on the size and I ultimately went with the jumbo size. After years of buying and selling handbags, trust me when I tell you bigger isn't always better when it comes to handbags. What important is how it fits and looks proportionate to your frame. If you ask me which size is best for petite ladies, without a doubt, it's the medium. Even though I purchased the jumbo, I honestly think the medium would be the better choice. I purchased this particular bag because I love the color/hardware combination so much. It wasn't available in the medium to purchase at the time. Going down a size is something I might consider doing in the future. However, I love this bag so much that I don't see myself selling it anytime soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sweater Dress :: Thigh High Boots

PetiteSweaterDress_SydneysFashionDiary

Taking my new sweater dress out for the first time and I am in love. The material is incredibly soft and cozy. I am wearing a size XS here and the fit is spot on. An unexpected, pleasant surprise for me is that it has 2 side pockets! This dress was my very first purchase from Obey Clothing but certainly won't be my last. And the best part? It's on major sale here. Outfit details: Obey sweater dress *size XS* | Public Desire boots | Quay sunglasses

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Friday, March 4, 2016

5 best-value-for-money handbags

One of my deciding factors when it comes to luxury handbags is the resell value. As much as I love my bags, there will always be newer and better material things. Before making a purchase, it's important to know if that purchase will retain its value down the road. I did a ton of research and have selected 5 best value for your money handbags ranging from under $500 - under $2000. I own 2 out of the 5 below and can personally tell you their resell values are phenomenal.

5BestValueForMoneyHandbags_SydneysFashionDiary

1. Longchamp (under $500): If you're just starting collecting designer handbags, Longchamp is an excellent brand. Classic pieces with reasonable prices and wonderful craftsmanship. I bought this Longchamp bag 4 years ago to use as a diaper bag and ended up selling it for 35% off the retail (I got this travel tote as a replacement). For a bag that is 4 years old, I say the resell value is pretty great!

2. Mansure Gavriel (under $1000) - For under $1000, I think Mansure Gavriel is a fantastic brand. I don't own a Mansur Gavriel but would love to one day. If you're familiar with the brand then you know their handbags have been known to sell out within hours of being restocked. Overpriced eBay listings mean items in high demand.

3. Louis Vuitton Neverfull (under $1500) - For under $1500, I would go with the classic Louis Vuitton Neverfull. I do not own this because am not into logo designer handbags anymore. This tote is a timeless classic that will stand the test of time and retain its value.

4. Balenciaga (under $2000): For under $2000, the Balenciaga city bag is also a timeless classic piece. I am normally a "structured bag" kind of girl but can see why the city bag is of the most coveted bags. I appreciate the fact that Balenciaga releases some of the most vibrant colors.

5. Chanel WOC (under $2500) - I bought mine for $1850 and the wallet is currently selling for $2100. Most pre-owned versions are close to retail if not more. If I decide to sell mine right now, I would certainly have made the profit (don't think I ever will)

I hope you find this post helpful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Daily Skincare Routine (morning and night)

It's been awhile since I talked about my skincare routine so I though I'd do an updated post. For the most part, my regimen is still pretty simple. I added a few new products and have been loving them. Just for reference, I have combination skin (oily in the T-zone).

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Morning routine:
- Step 1: The first thing I do is cleansing my face with Shiseido extra gentle cleansing foam. I believe this particular product is discontinued (other versions available here). I bought 3 backups a few months ago and am using the last one. I apply on wet face and rinse with warm water. Since I don't have any makeup on in the morning, my face is squeaky clean after cleansing.

- Step 2: I spray my face with Mario Badescu facial spray. I use this spray in lieu of a toner because I don't have time to fuss with cotton pads. The facial spray is refreshing and helps me wake up in the morning. It does have a strong rose scent but does not linger too long. I wait a few minutes before applying moisturizer.

- Step 3: For moisturizer, I use Clique moisture surge intense. This is a heavy moisturizer so a little bit goes a long way.

- Step 4: The last step is applying sunscreen. I use SPF every day all year round and am currently loving the Tatcha pore perfecting sunscreen SPF 35. The scent is amazing and does not have that traditional sunblock smell. It blends easily and does not leave me feeling greasy. The best part?  It doubles as a makeup primer!