Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016 :: Hello 2017

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NYEOutfitIdeas_SydneysFashionDiary

As 2016 is coming to an end, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for still following me. I know I haven't put a lot of effort into this blog. I started this blog in 2009 while going though a difficult time in my life. Never thought I'd still be running it 7 years later. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly of blogging. I am still here because I still love fashion and photography but the passion just isn't there anymore. Earlier this year, I started writing handbag reviews and got many positive feedback from you. Some of you said you enjoy my handbag chit chat posts because they're informative and helpful. I put a lot of effort into those posts and the number of views definitely reflect that. With that being said, I won't be blogging regularly anymore. I have a couple of personal goals that I want to put my time and energy towards. I have so many ideas for this blog but they require a tremendous amount of time. Between working full time, taking care of my 2 girls and family, I just don't have that kind of time. To keep up with the schedule (3 times per week), I put out posts that require little to no effort and I wasn't happy doing so. By slowing down, I am hoping to find joy in blogging again. I haven't figured out what I want to do yet but hopefully I will soon.

BebeBodyconDress_SydneysFashionDiary
{Outfit details: Bebe dress *very flattering, runs big, wearing a XXS* | Banana Republic shoes *no longer available, similar here* | Michele watch | Anatasia lipstick in pure Hollywood}

Friday, December 30, 2016

40% off Valentino Rockstud Shoes

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All Valentino Rockstud shoes below are 40% off! If you're been eyeing a pair, this is the perfect opportunity to snatch them up. Most sizes are still available. Shop the entire sale here

ValentinoRockstudPumps40%Off_SydneysFashionDiary

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

NYE Outfit Ideas :: Sequin Skirt

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Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. It was nice taking a few days off from work to relax and enjoy time at home. I am back today to share a NYE outfit option. This outfit would be perfect for a casual NYE get together. I got this sequin skirt probably 5 years ago and it's still one of my to-go pieces for a quick and easy holiday look. Outfit details: Very old Banana Republic skirt *similar here* | Target sweater | Nine West boots | Tom Ford sunglasses | Chanel bag | Michele watch

BananaRepublicSequinSkirt_SydneysFashionDiary

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve

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VelvetHighneckDress_SydneysFashionDiary  

Today is the last day of my blogmas posts. It's been fun blogging everyday for the past 24 days. We're back in town from visiting relatives and I can't wait to celebrate Christmas with my own family. The hustle and bustle of the holidays coming to an end. I am forever graceful for my family and everything I have in my life. May your holidays be filled with lots of happiness and love. I will be taking a short break from blogging to spend time with my loved ones. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Outfit details: Make me chic dress c/o | Michele watch | Colourpop lipstick in trap

  MicheleDecoWatch_SydneysFashionDiary

Friday, December 23, 2016

Design your own custom jacket

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WinterWorkOutfitIdeas_SydneysFashionDiary

I received this coat last week and am so excited to share it with you. You might or might not remember, I did a review for Sumissura last year. Since then, they have improved their logistics process as well as their tailoring facilities. Sumissura reached out to see if I am interested in trying out another coat and of course, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I won't go into too much details because they are the same as what I mentioned in last year's review. However, I will go over details of my order.

CustomWoolCoat_SydneysFashionDiary

This time I wanted a menswear-inspired coat. I had the vision in my head and when I put the coat on for the first time, it is exactly how I envision. Before placing my order, I took inspiration from Pinterest and noted down all the details. I basically design my own coat. I wanted a single-breasted coat with wide lapel, flap pockets and no belt in navy (surprisingly I don't own any navy coats)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My husband's favorite gifts :: What I got him for Christmas

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3 more days until Christmas! Today, I'd like to share a few of my husband's favorites just in case you're still looking for very last-minute gift ideas. If you upgrade to overnight shipping, your order will arrive by 12/24. We don't typically get each other a bunch of presents for Christmas. We do one big ticket item (and maybe a small one?) but that's it. Last year, I knew he really wanted a Mac Book Pro but was hesitant to pull the trigger. It came as a complete surprise to him on Christmas morning and that made it even more special. I am sharing a few items I have in mind for him this year I won't ruin the surprise by saying what I bought. Let's just say I got 2 things out of this list. People often say men are so hard to shop for but that hasn't been the case for me. I know my husband well enough to know what he likes. He's obsessed with outerwear (preferably single-breasted coats), loves shoes, a good watch and appreciates quality leather goods.

GiftGuideForHim2016_SydneysFashionDiary

1. Movado sport watch
2. Burberry trench coat
3. Brooks Brothers trench
4. Prada Derby shoes
5. Prada reversible belt
6. J.Crew quilted jacket

A festive work outfit

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ChristmasWorkOutfit_SydneysFashionDiary

I bought this plaid shirt last week on a whim and can't seem to get enough of it. I wear it every chance I get. The best part? It's under $20. Outfit details: Plaid shirt *size XS* | LOFT trousers *super old* | Tom Ford sunglasses | Banana Republic pumps

WinterWorkOutfitIdeas_SydneysFashionDiary

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Houndstooth Coat :: OTK Boots

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Outfit details: Zaful houndstooth coat c/o | Public Desire OTK boots | Tom Ford sunglasses | GAP vintage tee

PlaidCoat_SydneysFashionDiary

Monday, December 19, 2016

9 stores offer free shipping on any orders and get it by 12/24

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I've compiled a list of 9 retailers offer free shipping on all orders (with no minimum purchase and delivery guaranteed to arrive by 12/24)
FreeShippingOnAnyOrders_SydneysFashionDiary

1. Saks: Free shipping + free returns with code HOLIDAY. My picks:
- Bobbi brown eye palette (under $40)
- Tory Burch riding boots (on sale)
- Burberry quilted jacket (so pretty!)

2. Nordstrom: Free standard shipping on all orders. My picks:
- Stuart Weitzman highland boots (40% off!)
- Blank NYC suede jacket (on me)
- Jo Malone peony and blush suede (my favorite scent!)

3. Bloomingdale's: Free shipping and free returns. My picks:
- Aqua lace dress (similar to this Self Portraits dress for a fraction of the cost)
- Longchamp backpack (my review)
- David Yurman bracelet (have and love)

4. Shopbop: Free shipping and free returns. My picks:
- Sperry boots (have and love)
- Levi's distressed jeans
- Hunter boots (on me)

5. Revolve clothing: Free 2-day shipping on all US orders. My picks:
- Ruffle sleeve sweater
- Black lace dress (on sale)
- Studded boots

6. Target: Free shipping + free returns. My picks:
- Who what wear blouse (have and love)
- Lego friends (bought this for my little one last year and she loves it)
- Unicorn onesie (bought this for my older girl this year)

7. Neiman Marcus: Free shipping with code NMRUSH. My picks:
- Saint Laurent bag (have and love)
- Valentino rockstud pumps (on sale!)
- Stuart Weitzman lowland boots (on sale plus an extra 20% off)

8. J.Crew: Free shipping on all orders. My picks:
- Lady day coat (almost $200 off! - my review)
- Camera bag (on me)
- Sperry snow boots (my review)

9. Abercrombie & Fitch: free shipping & free returns plus 50% off entire store. My picks:
- Cable sweater
- Faux fur jacket
- Sherpa car coat






Sunday, December 18, 2016

Suede Sheath Dress

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SuedeSheathDress_SydneysFashionDiary  

Can't believe Christmas is only one week away. Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I have! Today's blogmas features this very flattering faux suede sheath dress. The material is incredibly soft and stretchy. I wanted to show you how it looks without tights but this dress would look amazing with black tights and booties for work. Outfit details: Make me chic dress c/o | similar suede sandals | Michael Kors watch | Cartier ring

MichaelKors5128Watch_SydneysFashionDiary

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Little blue lace dress

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If red is too loud for you and black is too boring, blue is a great alternative. This dress is very classy and perfect for any type of party. I own the same dress in blush and purple. It is fully lined and I can't get over how pretty those little bows on the sleeves. The dress came with a matching belt but I decided to use a different belt. If you're interested in the dress, use code SYDNEY406 to get $5.00 off your order. Please excuse visible tape on the presents. The little one was in charge of wrapping some of them # nonstaged #thisisreallife. Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Outfit details: Blue lace dress c/o | David Yurman bracelet | Cartier ring | similar nude sandals

BlueLaceDress_SydneysFashionDiary

Friday, December 16, 2016

5 designer bags I will not buy

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A reader recently asked what would be my next handbag purchase. To be honest, I haven't decided on which handbag I am going to purchase next. I am content with what I have and trying to enjoy them. However, I do know which designer handbags I will not buy. I  hope you won't be offended by this post. These bags are extremely popular and they're popular for a reason - people love them. They just do not work for my lifestyle and my personal style. Before dropping my $$ on a handbag, I do extensive research and as pretty as these bags are, I have no plans to add them to my collection.

PopularDesignerBags_SydneysFashionDiary

1. Mansur Gavirel bucket bag: If you're a Mansur Gavirel fan then you know how hard it can be to obtain one. Every time they relaunched, their bags almost immediately sell out. However, most of their bags are made of smooth calfskin leather which I am not really a fan of. I recently had a chance to see some of their bucket bags in person and I have to say, I am not impressed. The leather was so stiff and for almost  $600, it's just not for me. They recently came out with their saffiano collection but I haven't had a chance to see it in person yet.
2. Celine luggage tote: Another bag takes over the fashion world. When it comes to Celine designs, you either love it or hate it, Unfortunately, the "robot face" design is not for me. Although I have to say, their bullcalf leather is to die for. It's thick, durable and the smell is divine.
3. Gucci Soho Disco bag: Another bag is selling like hot cakes. I do like camera style bags but this bag has missed the mark. #1: The huge tassel (not a fan of anything to do with tassels) and # 2: The strap is long on me even at the highest hole. I had a chance to score this bag for 40% off a few weeks ago but decided to pass.
4. Chloe Drew bag: If you follow fashion blogs then you know the Chloe Drew quickly reached it bag status. I can't put my finger on exactly why I am not a fan. Maybe because it's a trendy bag, the thin shoulder strap, the overall design or maybe a combination of all?
5. Givenchy Antigona duffel bag: Another uber popular bag among fashion bloggers. I do like the design. However, since the bag is very structured, it does not sit nicely against the body. Unless you get the mini size, the strap on the small/medium size is very short (it hits at an odd spot when worn as a shoulder bag)

To me, a handbag can be such a personal thing. Even though these bags are undoubtedly gorgeous and extremely popular, seeing them everywhere really kills my interest.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Winter Wonderland

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PlaidOverCoat_SydneysFashionDiary
Winter has finally arrived. There is nothing prettier than fresh snow and I am loving it. Even though I live in a cold climate, I don't always love wearing heavy outerwear. I much prefer the 3-layer clothing system. Wearing a long sleeve tee as a base, my trusty faux fur vest as a middle layer and my overcoat for added warmth. Layering is a great way to add visual interest to any outfits. Outfit details: Plaid hooded coat c/o | Lysse leggings | Similar riding boots | Tom Ford sunglasses | Banana Repulic faux fur vest

BananaRepublicFurVest_SydneysFashionDiary

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

5 luxury gifts under $500

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I scouted my closet last night to find 5 luxury items that are under $500 to recommend to you ladies. I do realize they're expensive but they put a smile on my face every time I have them on. As a luxury lover, I would squeal with excitement if any of the items show up under my Christmas tree

LuxuryGiftsUnder500_SydneysFashionDiary

Chanel earrings and Chanel brooch: I received these earrings and this brooch as my Christmas gifts last year from my dear husband. I believe both pieces were under $500. My Mom just picked up these earrings a few weeks ago and they were $350. Chanel costume jewelry are very well made (at least the pieces I have) and prices are somewhat "reasonable"
Movado watch: The brand is known for its contemporary, sleek and minimalist designs. As a watch enthusiast, I would be thrilled to receive one as a gift
Designer sunglasses: Personally, I don't think it's worth buying designer sunglasses. However, if you find a pair that you love and wear everyday then cost per wear can be used to justify an expensive pair of sunglasses. If you're a regular reader of my blog then you know I wear this pair to death. They fit extremely wear and I have a typical Asian nose and low bridge
David Yurman jewelries: My husband got this bracelet for me probably 5 years ago and it's still one of the most treasured pieces in my closet. This particular one is slightly over $500 but there are many of his designs that are under $500. They're just so beautifully made and would make a wonderful gift for a special someone in your life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What I got for my kids this year

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Each year, we ask the girls to write down what they really want for Christmas. We started doing this 5 years ago when Courtney was 6 and it has been working really well. This is Madelyn's first year making her list =). We also split the list with family members to make it easier on them. Below are what we ended up getting for the girls. For your reference, Courtney is 11 years old (6th grade) and Madelyn is 4 (pre-K). If you're still looking for some gift ideas for those age groups, I hope you find this post helpful

GirlsChristmasWishlist2016_SydneysFashionDiary

For Courtney: She really wanted a phone this year. I honestly think 11 years old is still a bit young to own a smart phone. However, she is a very responsible child and have passed my trust test. We decided to grant her wish and keep a close eye on her. What do you think is the right age for kids to get a phone? Besides the phone, we got her a few more things below:
- Gymnastics mat: Since both of my girls are in gymnastics, this is a no brainier. This commerical grade mat is thick and heavy. We bought two (one for each) and are planning to turn the basement into a home gym
- Adidas superstar sneakers - They run big. I suggest going down a size
- Ugg Bailey bow - They run true to size
- Leotard
- Art supplies (she loves to draw)
- Unicorn onesies (she obsessed with all things unicorn)

TeenagersGiftIdeas_SydneysFashionDiary

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Ready With White House Black Market

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WHBMMidiSkirt_SydneysFashionDiary  

We had our Christmas cards done over the weekend and this is what I wore. Let's address the obvious first! I was feeling fancy that day so I decided to put in my hair extensions. Even though I love medium length hair, I do miss all the fun hair styles I could make with longer hair. Clip in hair extensions is the easiest way to change up a look. Outfit details: WHBM skirt *size 00P* c/o | WHBM lace top *size 00R* | Michele watch | Bellami hair | Carolee New York earrings

MicheleDecoWatch_SydneysFashionDiary

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What I really want to see under my Christmas tree

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I'll be the first one to admit I am hard to shop for. My obsession with luxury handbags is strong but I won't ask for one as a Christmas present. # 1: It's not right to do so # 2. I rather save for a large purchase to make it more special & satisfying at the end. Below are a few things on my Christmas wishlist this year. Even though all items are between $50 and $100, they definitely bring a little luxury to the holiday season.

MyChristmasWishlist2016_SydneysFashionDiary

Jo Malone holiday set: I am a huge fan of Jo Malone's products and thought this set would be the perfect way to try out other scents without breaking the bank
Christian Louboutin nail polish in rouge: This is one of those items that I won't buy for myself but would love to receive as a gift. $50 for a bottle of nail polish is definitely a splurge.
Diptyque candles: I love candles but I know I would have a hard time spending that much money on a candle. Again, this is one of those items that I would love to receive as a gift
Longchamp makeup pouch: As you probably know, I love all things Longchamp. I thought this pouch would go perfectly with my other travel bags. Not to mention it's incredibly cute
Starbucks gift card: When all else failed, get a Starbucks gift card =) As a hardcore Starbucks addict, I am happy to take one any day.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Lace-up sweater

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gift Idea :: Subcription Boxes

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BeautyConFallBox_SydneysFashionDiary

Have you ever thought of giving subscription boxes as a Christmas gift? I love the idea of receiving the gift every month or season. They're quite fun and affordable. I wanted to quickly show what's in the Beautycon Fall box. A Beautycon box is a year long subscription that includes 4 boxes. You have a choice between a payment plan of $29 per box or $99 annual subscription. Each box contains top beauty and lifestyle products delivered to your door each season. This particular box is no longer available but you can purchase their Winter box here.

BeautyConFallBox_SydneysFashionDiary

Items in the Fall box:

DUO - Lash Adhesive - $6
Flutter Lashes - iSlay Lashes - $10.95
Jouer - Essential Lip Enhancer - $10
Laser Kitten - Sweetheart Lipstick Pin - $12
Luxie Beauty - Luxie Large Angled 504 Brush - $16
Milani Cosmetics - Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow - $5 *I love this eyeshadow*
Mystic Tan - Mocha-Kyssed Bronzer Lotion - $7
OFRA Cosmetics - Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick - $20 *love this for Fall*
Simple - Cleansing Facial Wipes - $6
Sugarfina - Sugar Lips - $2.50

Total value = $95.45

BeautyConFallBox_SydneysFashionDiary

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sales :: Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Chloe, Valentino

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Sorry for posting sales two days in a row but I promise, this is a good one. SSense is offering amazing discount on designer pieces. If you've been contemplating, don't wait. I would die to see any of these items under my Christmas tree =) They offer free express shipping on orders over $200. Taxes and duties are included in the product price (shop the entire sale here)

SSenseDesignerSale_SydneysFashionDiary

1. Saint Laurent envelope chain bag
2. Saint Laurent chain bag
3. Valentino shoes (the flat version is also on sale)
4. Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily
5. Saint Laurent clutch in red *so perfect for the holidays*
6. Saint Laurent clutch in brown
7. Chloe Drew
8. Valentino lock bag
9. Givenchy Antigona

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

BlankNYC suede moto jacket :: Longchamp bags

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BlankNYCSuedeJacket_SydneysFashionDiary
  
Through 12/11, Bloomingdale's is running their Friends and Family Sale event where you can enjoy an additional 25% discount on almost every item. I wanted to share a couple of my closet favorites that are on sale right now. I purchased this jacket in October and it has quickly become my favorite jacket this season. It's currently on sale for $158 plus an additional 25% off with code "FRIENDS" (which brings the total savings to about 40% off). I was happy to pay full price for it.

LongchampBagsOnSale_SydneysFashionDiary

Next up are my Longchamp bags. I can't tell you enough how much I love them. They are not applicable for the promo code but you can score them now for 30% off. The backpack is under $90 (my full review here) and the travel duffel is under $180 (my full review here)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Soma Intimates :: Christmas Pajamas

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SomaChristmasPJs_SydneysFashionDiary

One thing we love is to give our girls matching Christmas pjs to wear on Christmas Eve. Pajamas are always my favorite gift to get and to give over the holidays. You might remember I've featured Soma sleepwear a couple of times in the past. I am delighted to work with them again to show you some of the most adorable pajama sets this holiday season. These jersey knit pajama separates are from their luxurious soft collection. As the name suggests, they feel incredibly soft, cozy and keep me warm without overheating. These sophisticated pajamas also make the perfect gift for all the ladies on your list. Sleepwear is one of those things you wear everyday but would not necessarily buy for yourself. For all short ladies out there, these pajama bottoms are available in multiple lengths (short, regular and tall). I am wearing a size XS short in this post and the length is just right at 28.5". Last but not least, can we just take a moment to acknowledge how adorable these prints are? If you're interested, these pajama separates are currently buy one get one 50% off (plus 15% your entire purchase with code 89647). They definitely add some holiday cheer to your Christmas morning.

GiftsUnder50_SydneysFashionDiary

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Berkshire :: Petite-friendly hosiery

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PetiteFriendlyTights_SydneysFashionDiary  

The dreaded winter is coming! If you live in a chilly climate, tights are a necessity. I couldn't survive without them. If you're a petite, finding the length that works isn't an easy task. I used to buy kids hosiery but the quality just isn't the same. Thanks to Berkshire for introducing me to the brand. These tights are not only perfect for my short legs but also provide amazing support. Today I am showing you 3 different styles that take you from desk to dinner with ease. First up is this fun sheer diamonds pair. They're perfect for holiday parties. These tights add a little fun and festive to your outfit yet still classy and put together. If you're tired of black tights and wanted something a little different, this dark grey pair is a great option. I am wearing a petite size here and the length is absolutely perfect. You know if you're short, sometimes tights literally come up to your bra? The petite length is just right for my 5'2" frame. Last but not least is this amazing pair for everyday wear. This particular pair features built-in butt booster and control top. They help firm, lift and shape your rear end while flattering your tummy and slimming hips and thighs. That sounds like heaven to me! All Berkshire tights are made in the USA.

PetiteFriendlyTights_SydneysFashionDiary

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Winterizing a summer dress

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GrayBlanketScarf_SydneysFashionDiary  

I'll be the first one to admit that pink is my least favorite color. I have 2 girls and I don't even dress them in pink. However, once in a while I like to step outside my comfort zone and try something new. This salmon colored dress is definitely not me but I love the shape of it. It's one of those easy dresses you can just throw on and be ready in 5 minutes. To make the dress winter appropriate, I paired it with my blanket scarf. I then layered a chunky cardigan over top of it and finished off the look with a pair of tall boots. Outfit details: Make me chic dress c/o | Grey scarf | Nine West boots | Quay sunglasses | GAP cardigan

Friday, December 2, 2016

Diorever Bag :: First Impression

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DioreverBag2016_SydneysFashionDiary

I first laid eyes on the Christian Dior Diorever bag about 6 months ago. Since then, I've been doing a bit of research but couldn't find much info about it online. I've mentioned a few times on here that as much as I love all my Chanel bags, it's nice to own something unique to my closet. I feel incredibly special every time I wear my Saint Laurent bag because I know I will not run into someone who wears the same bag. That's exactly how I feel about the Diorever. It's classic, elegant and very understated. Initially, I wanted to stop by a Dior boutique in Chicago to see the bag in person but sadly, it wasn't opened yet. During my short trip to SF, I was beyond thrilled to find out there is a Dior boutique one block from where I stayed. This bag was everything I could have hoped for and more. Before seeing it in person, I though the mini size would be the right size for me. Sometimes, it's hard to visualize the dimensions. However, after seeing all sizes, I knew the medium would be the perfect size for me. There are so many things I love about this bag: the pebble leather feels amazing, the shape of the bag, the unique design, not to mention it's available in many gorgeous colors and the price is not too outrage (for a full leather bag). Since I am not going to get a Birkin (I am a Kelly girl through and through), this is the closest design to the Birkin. Below are a few pictures I took while I was there. My first impression of this bag was nothing but love =)

DioreverBag2016_SydneysFashionDiary DioreverBag2016_SydneysFashionDiary

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blogmas 2016 :: Red sweater

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RedOversizedSweater_SydneysFashionDiary  

Happy December, everyone! This year, I will be doing Blogmas again (I've done one 2 years ago). What better way to ring in the month of December with this festive red sweater. I wish you could feel how soft it is. This was my travel outfit for a quick trip to San Francisco last month. This sweater kept me warm and cozy on the plane. If you're doing Blogmas, please leave me a link to your blog below so I can check it out =) Outfit details: Dezzal sweater c/o *on sale*| Express leggings | Banana Republic loafers *my go-to travel shoes* | Tom Ford sunglasses | Longchamp backpack

PuffSleeveSweater_SydneysFashionDiary
 
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