Friday Favorites 1/24

Happy Friday Night,

Here is your reminder that, if you haven’t already, you can enter my JORD watch GIVEAWAY! I am giving at $100 towards a JORD watch of your choice. That could cover an entire JORD watch or I also want you to know that they have amazing Apple Watch bands as well! You can enter via think link: www.jordwatches.com/g/sincerelysydblog It’s as easy as one, two, three! Enter now!

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, happy Friday to you. You know, I though that, after the craziness that was the end of last year, things would start to slow down a little work wise. The exact opposite is my life right now. Check back at the end of February, I should be back to breathing normally by then. In all reality, being busy is good and I’m not complaining! It just means that when weekend time comes, I’m taking full advantage of the two-day mental break.

Speaking of, I cannot wait to get my hair done tomorrow. I usually go about every 6-8 weeks since my hair is naturally dark and I like being blonde, but with holidays and time of the year, I haven’t been since mid-October…yikes. Glad to get that fixed and then spend the rest of the weekend getting my life back in order. What are your plans? If you find some time to take for yourself, here are some great links around the web to keep you entertained! Happy Weekend!

Seth Meyers and the Jonas Brothers Go Day Drinking – HILARIOUS!

The #DollyPartonChallenge is sweeping the internet right now – I even made one of my own. See it HERE

How Jasmine Star Went From Law School Student To Becoming An Entrepreneur’s Go-To Guide For Social Media Presence

Fashion Blogger Krystal Bick’s “A Night at the Plaza” – Amazing article and stunning photos

One of my Favorite Bloggers Mary Lawless Lee of Happily Grey Opens Her First Store In Nashville – Need to book a trip ASAP!

Wish List

Everything I need to stock up on at Ulta this weekend…

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation

Bare Velvet Lip Kit Kylie Cosmetics

Full Dry Volume Blast Living Proof

Perversion Urban Decay Mascara

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

JORD Watch Giveaway

Band of Bohemia Restaurant Review

Last Week’s Friday Favorites

Sincerely,

Restaurant Review: Band of Bohemia

Hello My Fellow Foodie,

If you’ve been around here for a while, whether you follow me on my Social channels or subscribe to my blog, you know that I have an obvious love for fashion. My other true love though comes in the form of food. As happy as I would be to dive into a freshly steamed pile of Christian Siriano dresses, I’d be equally as happy stuffing my face with medium rare lamb chops and truffle mac n cheese. My mouth is just salivating thinking about it.

That’s why when I was asked by a coworker to cofound a lady’s supper club, it was a true no brainer. And then I thought, well this would be a perfect opportunity to document my (hopefully) delicious endeavors and report back to you as to whether these hot spots are worth your hard-earned dollars. So here I am, reporting out on my first supper club experience. Read on to gorge yourself with my Band of Bohemia review.

Band of Bohemia was the first restaurant we all wanted to explore. A hop skip and a jump away from the Loop, it is strategically located in Ravenswood right off the Metra train stop. You can’t miss it as soon as you step out on the platform. Location was convenient and there’s even some parking if you wish to drive. At this point, it was so far so good.

Walking into the joint was surprising. It is ginormous in there. It was dimly lit but decorated to the nines. Think warehouse shabby chic with a variety of seating options, an inviting bar area and open kitchen. There was candlelight, soft, jewel-toned couches, drapery and an expansive bar top area. While waiting for our table, our group situated ourselves at the bar to grab a drink. I would say the inside itself is a great selling point. Okay, still so far so good.

To be completely honest, I think the drinks were, in my opinion, the best part of the entire experience. Band of Bohemia is actually a brewery as well as a restaurant. Not only do they have a fully stocked bar, but the menu offers up a wide array of specialty cocktails and craft brews. Inventive, innovative and imaginative is how I would describe these colorful concoctions. Out of the box ingredients complemented the more usual cocktail combinations. I had the Lazy Daisy, Magic Wand and I indulged in one of their locally-crafted Pale Ales. All were spectacular. Another really high selling point for this place.

Food wise. This is where the place missed the mark for me. It was what I was gearing up for the entire planning period. It fell flat. I guess going into it, given the name, I expected the cuisine to be either Middle Eastern or Asian. In reality, it was kind of a mix of a lot of things. A more gastropub of global eclectic food, which I really appreciated. Regardless of what you want to call it, what we had was fine, some of it amazing, but it didn’t completely blow my socks off. Some of the items we got off the menu included: Walleye Crudo, the Octopus starter, I ordered the Halibut with Pineapple three ways as an entree and Garam Masala Ice Cream dessert , but I would say the best taste any of us took that night was the Dill dessert. It was refreshing and something that I’ve never tasted before. That’s coming from me, someone who doesn’t even like sweets and my favorite thing on the menu was their dessert.

Portions were also pretty insubstantial. I think I actually left there and went home to eat some leftovers because I was still hungry and maybe that’s where I left not fully satisfied. Perhaps if I left feeling sufficiently full, the food would have been better perceived. Like I said, the food was not terrible, it was good, but just okay. If someone planned a night and picked this place as their dinner spot, sure I’d join (mainly for drinks and dessert) but would I voluntarily go there again myself…probably not.

Overall, I would give Band of Bohemia a 5 out of 10. It was fine, there’s really no other words I can think of to describe it. If you are choosing between a few options and this Ravenswood spot is one of them, I’d advise maybe considering elsewhere first. This joint does have a Michelin Star and a very high-rated Brunch menu though and that means something to me, so maybe I need to give it another shot.

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 1/17

Hi Friends, Happy Friday!

I just had an amazing dinner and I am itching to catch up on this week’s Project Runway so I am going to make this super short and sweet. Below, I’ve posted some of my favorite links around the web this week. I hope you enjoy!

Matthew McConaughey’s mom (88) and Hugh Grant’s father (91) link up for a date night – OMG how cute and Matt’s mom is HOT!

President Barack Obama posts the cutest pictures ever for Michelle’s birthday – LOVE them!

Asking yourself this one powerful question will help you better manage self doubt

Where tp travel this year based on your zodiac sign from The Everygirl

Karlie Kloss is a class act as she responds to being a part of the Kushner family on Watch What Happens Live

Wish List

I’ve been eyeing a Gucci Crossbody

This A&F Military Parka

This mock neck fit and flare dress

I want to try this Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This Asos workwear appropriate blouse

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

JORD Watch Giveaway

Friday Favorites 1/10

Some of my favorite lipsticks

Sincerely,

JORD Watch Giveaway

Hi Friends,

I often think as the day as a deposit of time. Each day, each person is allocated seconds, minutes and hours and what we do with those precious moments are up to us. Will we spend them wisely or withdrawal without caution? Especially around the New Year, time is all anybody can think about. I’ve decided to be more intentional about mine. I want to keep a close eye on each interval, and what better way to do so than with a stylish timepiece that accentuates every ensemble.

I am a serial minimalist. I don’t wear a lot of accessories or extra, unnecessary articles of clothing. When I do, they have to be worth it. I discovered JORD (pronounced Yode, like Yoda but without the -a) in the one place I discover a lot of new brands, on Instagram. I was immediately attracted to their sophisticated mix of natural and largely re-claimed materials while still holding stylish design in high regards. Compared to others I have seen, the JORD wood watches stand out in terms of impeccable craftsmanship, classic style and top-tier quality.

I personally have the Cora Polaris Walnut and Midnight Blue JORD timepiece. This watch sets your eyes to the stars quite literally as the face is adorned with Swarovski crystals that align in a way to depict the Little Dipper. The earthy walnut accents are complemented with the rose gold tones to emulate the evolution in feminine design. It is strong, mysterious, subtle and illuminating, all the qualities you want hugging your wrist every day. It is a constant reminder that the universe has a lot to offer, something I think more of us need to hear at this time.

For me personally, I would style my Cora Polaris one of two ways:

1) I would pair this piece with an outfit that includes pink accents to enhance the rose gold tones of the metal.

2) Because of the subtle complexity, I would pair my watch with a monochromatic neutral outfit meaning head to toe black, white or camel pieces.

If I haven’t convinced you yet to invest in these beautifully-crafted watches, maybe this will aid in your decision. I have partnered with JORD and am gifting one lucky winner $100 off any JORD watch of your choice. All you have to do to enter is click this link www.jordwatches.com/g/sincerelysydblog and fill out the short form. It will take you literally less than 30 seconds. If your uber excited about what JORD has to offer and can’t wait until the giveaway ends, just by entering the giveaway you will receive 10% off gift code for your future wrist piece.

While you are perusing the exquisite JORD options, keep in mind that most watches have additional options for customization by mixing and matching faces and woods. Most watch backplates can also be engraved for personalization. All of the Cedar humidor presentation boxes have the ability to be engraved, as well! Every watch comes with a one-year warranty and options for return and exchange, can be sized for the recipient and JORD offers free worldwide standard shipping. They really are in the business of making you look and feel fabulous!

I am honestly so pleased with my JORD piece. It has exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait to style it in the new year. Enter my giveaway via the above link so we can tell time together!

Thank you JORD for partnering with me on this post!

Sincerely,

Wooden Wrist Watch //www.jordwatches.com/widget-article/sincerelysydblog|

Friday Favorites 1/10

First Friday Favorites of 2020!

That’s cause for celebration in and of itself! It was my first full week back at work since December 20th and let me tell you, it was NOT easy. I feel more tired than I have in a while, stressed again with business and I think there’s a direct correlation with working and my skin looking 10 years older than I actually am. But, I’m hopeful that after some much needed extra rest this weekend, I will be back better than ever next week.

Since I haven’t posted one of these in a while, I’ve included some additional amazing articles and videos that have surfaced the interweb over the past couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy celebrity baby news, tear-jerking proposals and videos of people falling as much as I do. Enjoy!

One of my favorite actresses of all time Cameron Diaz announced in Instagram that she and husband Benji Madden welcomed a baby girl named Raddix

So many people have banded together to aid in the tragic and horrifying fires happening in Australia right now, here is an article Krystal Bick on some relief efforts and organizations you can donate to if you are able to help. I donated $100 to the Australian Red Cross.

Ryan Seacrest falls off his chair while filming Live with Kelly and Ryan, it’s hilarious but thank god he’s okay

Leonardo DiCaprio helps save a man who fell overboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean – They’re saying it was a one in a million occurrence

This man planned the most perfect surprise EVER by hacking this screening of Sleeping Beauty with an on-screen/off-screen marriage proposal where characters in the film were altered to look like the couple – it is so cute I was crying at work watching it 5 times

How to Craft a 2020 Social Media Strategy That Cuts Through the Noise via Forbes Women

Wish List

This Camel Coatigan

These oversized Tortoise Shell Square Sunglasses

The Beachwaver Pro 1.25″ Curling Iron

This Babydoll Mini Dress

This (sort-of) Gucci Dupe Scarf

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

My 2020 Goals and 3 Tips For Setting Yours

Reflecting on 2019

Friday Favorites 12/20

Sincerely,

2020 Goals

Happy New Year Party People,

At the turn of a New Year, I usually never feel any different. It’s not like when the clock strikes midnight that some new wave of revelation and hopefulness swoops over my body. For some reason though 2020 felt different. I did feel hopeful. I had this gut instinct literally at the stroke of midnight that this might just be my year to shine. It was the weirdest thing ever.

So, just in case that is the truth of the matter, I am being very intentional this year. I have come up with three categories: Career-Driven, Personal and Financial. Within those three categories, I’ve established five goals that I want to achieve in 2020. Each goal is specific and quantifiable in an effort to really put all of my focus into checking every single item off my list by December 31, 2020 11:59PM.

I operate off of checklists, so this is the holy grail of checklists for myself this year and I am holding myself accountable. I hope if you have the same feeling I do about 2020 and you too want to be intentional about goal setting this year but don’t know where to start that this post acts as a thought starter for you. Let’s do the damn thing and crush our goals this year!

Career-Driven (This encompasses both my full-time job and my secondary “job” as a blogger):

  • Participate in 3 learning opportunities related to my full-time job
  • Take on at least 3 new clients at work
  • Attend one blogging conference
  • Post 3-4 times a week on my blog
  • Get to 10K followers on my Instagram account

Personal (This category encompasses personal goals and relationships):

  • Read one new book each quarter
  • Volunteer at least 2 times this year for different organizations
  • Participate in the “one in, one out” rule (Buy one new thing, one thing I already own has to go)
  • Start a podcast with my mom by June
  • Grow my relationship to its next chapter

Financial (This one is self-explanatory):

  • Save enough money to put a down payment on a house by 2021
  • Put 10% of my paycheck in my savings account
  • Save money by only eating out 2-3 times a week (I usually eat out way more so this will probably be my hardest one lol)
  • Be mindful of spending in order to take at least 5 trips this year
  • Apply for and start using a credit card (For the credit part but also points for travel)

3 Tips For Setting Your Own Goals:

  • Categorize your goals to help compartmentalize your mind
  • Create S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based)
  • Find your “Why” in each goal you set

Sincerely,

Reflecting on 2019

Hi There and Happy New Year’s Eve,

I often ponder about timing. Are the events that occur in our life due to the romanticized idea of fate or are we strategically placed in acts of randomness. If I weren’t perpetually 10 minutes late, would my life be totally different? This thought especially crosses my mind when I experience a year like 2019. Cause and effect; if I didn’t or did do this, would that of happened? It was filled with a lot of high highs and an abundance of low lows. But in the twisted plot of it all, I learned many valuable lessons.

As 2019’s last chapter comes to an end, I’ve realized that from the things I’ve gone through, I’ve learned:

To revel in the uncontrollable. I lost two grandparents this year, I stayed at a job longer than anticipated because I loved it more than expected, I traveled all over North America all of which was not really pre-planned and so much more happened that I didn’t expect. Instead of wondering why things are happening to us, I have realized that they are actually happening for us. The uncontrollable is inevitable and uncomfortable, but it is necessary in order to become stronger and more adaptable.

To follow your passion. This year I started this blog with no idea what in the hell I was doing. I was nervous and fearful of what others might think. As a result, I’ve found a purpose to help young-professional women, my confidence has doubled, my connections have nearly tripled and I reconnected with something that comes pretty natural to me: writing.

That over communication is key. This year, if I want something, I have learned to ask for it. Although we fantasize about superheroes, no one in the real world can actually read minds. I tend to hold my thoughts in, sweep them under the rug, but by simply stating a feeling or asking for something I want/need, it stops the countdown clock before it reaches ka-boom. I mean the worst thing they can say is no.

I was never one to pick a word for the year, not because I thought it was silly but just because I’m too indecisive to narrow one down. But looking back on 2019, I’ve decided to retroactively choose my word based on the year’s events. I chose discoverability. I discovered a new sense of self; someone I am learning to truly be really proud of. I’ve discovered a new passion and creative outlet. I discovered parts of the world I had never seen before. I discovered connections I never knew I needed. I discovered this confident, strong, opinionated professional woman who speaks up in important meetings. I’ve discovered the ability to ask for what I want. I’ve discovered how important the core relationships in my life really are and how much those select few people really mean to me. I discovered happiness in an extensive closet collection with my Rent the Runway membership, happiness in the sound of a champagne cork pop and having beautiful dinner experiences (hey, you even have to celebrate the small things every now and then).  

So, for 2020, I am choosing my word now! I have chosen growth. I want to grow my relationship into the next chapter. I want to grow as a professional by reaching the next milestone. I want to grow my online presence both in numbers and in other verticals. I want to grow my travel bucket list because I just keep scratching off my top destinations. I want to grow my savings account. I want to continue to grow in my relationships with family both close and distant. I want to grow in my wellness journey. I want to be intentional about my growth.

I hope you are entering 2020 with a positive mindset and with intention. It’s not only the start of a new year, it’s the start of a new decade. If that isn’t a clean slate, then I don’t know what is.       

Sincerely,