Friday Favorites 12/6

Happy Friday, I’m Back!

Life is too short to not celebrate any chance you get and that’s exactly what I capitalized on this year for my birthday. I celebrated my 24th year on this planet not one, not two, but for four straight days. And if I’m being completely honest, I still have one more dinner this weekend. “Extra” would be a word I’d possibly toss around for the constant, busy schedule that was this week.

If you follow along my journey on Instagram (if you don’t, you should and can HERE), then you know that the reason I’ve been absent on my site is because this week I’ve literally been out every.single.night! The week started with a celebratory dinner at Etta with my mom. Etta has been on my list for SO long and it definitely did not disappoint. I will write a more in-depth review soon. On Tuesday, I heard the Jonas Brothers were coming to town, so I dragged my mom to AllState Arena to row 4 on the floor and we danced the entire night away. Wednesday was the monthly Wine Night at one of our favorite local restaurants. The finale, my actual birthday, was yesterday (Thursday 12/5) and I ended my crazy week with PTO from work, a 3-hour spa day and a fabulous dinner at the Princess Café.

This week has been magical and although some people have given me a hard time for celebrating so much, I really don’t mind because I’ve had a blast. Maybe I encouraged you to celebrate some more for your next birthday and for that alone, it was worth it. But, it is time to get back to regularly scheduled programming, which starts with the weekly Friday Favorites. Some of the best articles and videos I found on the internet are below. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Art Basel is happening right now in Miami, I’ve had fun following along with some of my fave celebs on their social accounts!

Loved this Forbes Women article, which is a letter to the fashion industry encouraging them to stop treating plus-sized women like second-class citizens

The most hilariously awkward interview Ellen had with Dakota Johnson, cringe worthy but also can’t stop watching

One of my favorite actresses Emma Stone and SNL writer Dave McCary are engaged, and she looks so happy!!!!

Chicago-based fashion, motherhood and travel blogger Ceta Walters opens up about her breast cancer diagnosis and is so raw, brave and inspiring. Truly a warrior and I am praying for her and her family

Wish List

This Tory Burch Green Gemini Link Tote

Skyline Etched Whiskey Glasses

The famous Amazon Slippers

The famous Amazon coat

Love the color of this green Target sweater

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Friday Favorites 11/22

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Rent the Runway Review

Sincerely,

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales

Hello Shoppers,

Are you shopping this Black Friday/Cyber Monday? My email has been flooded with deal after deal after deal, that I thought it’d be fun and insightful to share some of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with you to make the process easier. Save this post on your bookmarks bar as I’ll be updating it with new deals I find throughout the week and weekend. Happy shopping, I hope you find some great things!

  • J. Crew – 40% off your purchase with code: WHYWAIT
  • Express – They have 50% off everything right now for Members, if you’re not a Member you can get 30% off
  • Macy’s – Extra 10, 15 or 20% off select departments
  • Nordstrom – Up to 50% off, this is the perfect one-stop-shop for all your gifting needs
  • Ulta Beauty – They will have TONS of deals throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday both in store and online. I just saw an ad that said 20% select holiday hair tool kits
  • Delsey – Having a discount sale right now if you’re in the market for luggage: Save $20 on $149.99+, $40 on $199.99+ or $60 on $249.99+ using code BMSM19
  • Ouai – Spend $50, get 20% off using code OUAITHANKFUL
  • Cuts Clothing – For the men in our lives, the best men shirts out there and they’re have a 30% off sale right now
  • Ann Taylor – Half off everything! 50% off everything using code BLACKFRIDAY
  • Loft – Having their “12 Days of Yays” sale right now, today’s deal is $25 fleece and sweatshirts. 40% off your purchase with code BESTWEEK
  • Madewell – Get 30% off using code GIFTWELL
  • Gap – 40% off everything with code FORTY
  • Old Navy – 50% off everything 11/27 – 11/29 and 12/1 – 12/2. They’re also selling $1 cozy socks from 11/28 – 11/28 in partnership with Boys & Girls Club where they’re give $1 per pair sold up to $1MM
  • Elemis – My favorite skincare line is having 30% off site wide with code CYBER19
  • Kohls – Take an extra 15% off your purchase with code GIVETHANKS
  • Amazon – Countless Deals of the Day on Amazon for Black Friday
  • Good American – Jeans!! Free Shipping on $99+ and up to 60% off select styles
  • DSW – $10 off $49, $20 off $99, $60 off $199 with code FALL4DSW
  • Aerie – 40% off and free shipping
  • H&M – 30% off everything, up to 60% off right now for Pre-Black Friday if you can’t wait and want to start shopping now
  • Kate Spade – Enjoy 40% off with code TGIBF
  • Ray-Ban – Up to 50% off site wide and free shipping
  • Tory Burch – 30% off full-price items, up to 60% off sale items $250+ with code THANKS
  • Bare Minerals – 25% off everything with code ITSON
  • Spanx – 20% off everything, I have the faux leather leggings on my radar
  • T.J.Maxx – Free shipping on orders, no code no threshold
  • Sole Society – 30% off shoes and bags
  • Living Proof – 20% off everything and free full sized dry shampoo with orders of $50+ (LOVE their texturizing spray)
  • IT Cosmetics – 20% off everything use code THANKFUL (best foundation I’ve ever used)
  • Michael Kors – Up to 70% off + new markdowns and free shipping on their site
  • Nine West – 50% off site wide! Plus extra 20% with code SHOES20
  • Stuart Weitzman – up to 60% off!!
  • Uncommon James – 50% off with code BLACKFRIDAY
  • Simply Whispers – 40% off earrings (where I buy 99% of my jewelry because it’s hypoallergenic!)
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond – Huge sales site wide, they handed me a 25% off coupon when I walked in store today and free shipping on orders over $19
  • Sephora – So many $15 and under deals
  • Wayfair – Up to 80% off their Black Friday Blowout and everything ships free
  • Target – Huge doorbusters and receive a $20 off coupon via email when you spend $50+
  • Dana Rebecca Designs – Save up to 40% and earn $50 in store credit for every $500 spent
  • Steve Madden – SMPass+ Members get 45% off, SM Pass Members get 35% off and Guests get 25% off with code BF2019
  • Kylie Cosmetics – 40% off all lip products, 30% off all face and eye products
  • At Home – Over 40+ deals up to 60% off
  • Calvin Klein – Up to 70% off site wide and free shipping + a flash sale with an extra 20% of sweaters and cold weather accessories with code COLD
  • Marc Fisher – 25% off site wide with code BF2019
  • American Eagle – 40% off + free shipping
  • Abercrombie – 50% off entire store plus free shipping
  • Bath and Body Works – Buy 3, get 3 free
  • Shoe Carnival – Buy 1, get 1 half off, online only take another 10% off with code THANKS2U
  • Banana Republic – 50% off regular priced items
  • Bloomingdale’s – Take 15% off orders $100-$249, 20% off $250-$399, 25% off $400 and more

Like I said, I’ll keep updating this with deals I find, so save this post!!

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/22

Happy Friday!

It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year! I have to say yesterday, I was meeting my boyfriend at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago where he works and almost teared up when I saw the Christmas tree in the lobby. It was quite literally the first decorated tree I’ve seen this year and it just all set in at once that we are officially in the holiday season. I need to get some shopping done ASAP.

This weekend’s plans definitely reflect my newfound holiday spirit. Tonight, I am going to a Friendsgiving and then tomorrow, I will be at the Stratford Crossing holiday event in Bloomingdale, IL from noon-3PM. This event is one that you are not going to want to miss because Santa is arriving on a helicopter, there are activities for all ages and if you spend $25 or more at any of the Stratford Crossing stores the day of the event, you receive a free photo with Santa. If you are from the Chicagoland area and are available, I hope to see you there. Let me know if you have any questions about the event before then. One last time, it’s tomorrow Saturday, Nov. 23 from noon-3PM at Stratford Crossing in Bloomingdale, IL.

Back to regularly scheduled programming! If you find yourself catching up on this past week’s current events, here is a list of some of my favorite things on the internet this week. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Kylie Jenner’s $600MM dollar deal with COTY, Inc. (the company who also owns CoverGirl, O.P.I and so much more)

Seth Meyers and Rihanna go day drinking and it’s hilarious

See the full list of 2020 Grammy Nominees

Adam Lamber, AKA Gordo, joins the cast of the Disney+ reboot of Lizzie McGuire with others also making a return

Forbes Women: How To Stay Healthy and Sane During The Holiday Season

Wish List

Gift Guide Edition – Some sneak peaks as to what will be on my Gift Guides coming soon.

Amazon Levi’s Men’s Washed Cotton Hooded Military Jacket

Amazon Back and Neck Massager

Urban Map Whiskey Glasses

Dainty Personalized Name Necklaces

Teddy Bear Faux Fur Robe

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Instagram Took Away My Likes

How To Wear a Suit

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 11/15

Sincerely,

Instagram Took Away My Likes

Outfit Details: Jumpsuit // Similar Booties // Other Similar Booties

Dear Instagram User,

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you know that Instagram has now started taking away the ability to see other users like counts. My personal account was put on the list as one of the first groups to get my like count viewability revoked. I have been living with this new Instagram feature for about a week now and I am here to report that the Earth is still spinning, I am still breathing and that when it happens to you, you too will survive. No need to panic.

It’s no secret that social media has the ability to be a toxic place if used in the wrong manner. The comparison game and constant highlight reel is inevitable. With that comes some self-esteem issues and thus even some mental health issues. Instagram is trying to combat that, cue the like change. Instagram started testing this new feature earlier this year in 7 countries around the world: New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Australia. After a period of time, what was the result of this test you may ask? Overall, it generally led to positive sentiment. With that, CEO Adam Mosseri decided it was time to roll out this new update to the U.S.

You now may be asking yourself why this change was even necessary in the first place. Well, according to Mosseri, the idea was to try to depressurize Instagram making it less of a competitive space, encourage users to post, connect and engage more and reduce social comparison and anxiety. He’s also discussed Instagram’s growing interest in being able to shop right on the app allowing Influencers and brands a new revenue stream.

If you aren’t aware, influencers usually get on brands’ radars for potential collaborations and sponsored posts (one way they make an income) by their engagement rate (how many people are liking, commenting, sharing and saving your post), by your content quality, direct conversions, positive return on investment and by their follower counts. Mosseri knows that influencers are a huge part of Instagram’s success as their audiences are the ones that continue to log into the app day after day to check in on their favorites. These content creators are vital to the success of the app and Instagram is aware of the fact that if this new update impacts the success of influencers, it may reconsider the change. In my opinion, that’ll never happen.

So now you may be wondering how I feel after a week of not being able to see anybody’s likes. Well first let me clarify, I can see my own like count. I can see the exact number of likes all of my posts receive. I cannot see the amount of likes another user’s post receives. Under your post where it used to say “liked by __ and 100 others” for example, it now just says “liked by __ and others”. You still have the ability though to like people’s content. You can still tap that little heart and show your love.

Honestly, I think this update is fabulous. I honestly do feel way less pressure posting content. I honestly feel like I can post whatever I want to whenever I want to. Get ready for 3, 4, maybe ever 5 posts a day (kidding of course, who has time for that).

But in all seriousness, I’m not mad about this change whatsoever. I feel like if anything, it’s encouraging me and pushing me to be more creative. I really have to work for that like, earn that like and when a post performs well, I get personal satisfaction knowing that people didn’t have to like it, but they still did anyway. I even love that I can’t see other people’s likes. It did make me feel bad when I saw other people post shitty quality images and get way more likes than a post I put time and effort into. Now, it doesn’t even matter because I can’t see if your post is performing well or not. From an influencer standpoint, I think this is pushing influencers to step up their game and is forcing brands to work with people who can contribute to actual metrics that matter and are attributable to success. Brands will now have to look at things like direct conversions, reach and click-through rates. If you work in marketing, you know that this is wayyyyy more substantial to businesses than vanity metrics.

If this slight change will help with mental health too, then of course I am all about it. In fact, I’m kind of more inspired than ever. I know people don’t want to see my face every single day, so I’m all for bringing back the creative flat lays, beautiful landscapes and food pics. Heck, maybe I’ll even pick up my camera again and just start snapping away. As new platforms start to gain popularity, like TikTok, Instagram needed to always evolve to remain relevant in the ever-changing world we live in. Evolution is key, not our enemy.

 The cons of the update you may ask next? I hate that not everybody has the new update yet. I’m constantly asking people “do you still have likes” “can you see likes on Instagram?” I swear it’s my new form of an icebreaker. I wish they would just roll it out to everyone already so we can all adapt together. It’s coming though, no worries. Some of the influencers I follow are complaining that removing likes will only shift users into playing the comparison game in terms of comments on posts or follower counts. I don’t agree with this at all.

I think if you have a verified, real following (not bots or fake accounts) and if you’ve built a solid following of engaged users (not people who are commenting “love this” or “you go girl”) but rather asking thoughtful questions and conversing in an organic way, then you girl should have nothing to worry about. I absolutely HATE when people say that Instagram is just a highlight reel, like yeah duh!! Bad things happen enough in my life as it is, I don’t want to navigate to my escape space and read about your awful day too. If people are truly making you feel that terrible about yourself, then newsflash you need to start unfollowing and find people who inspire and encourage you to be a better person. Besides that, I really don’t have any other things tearing at my heart. I think I’m pretty good with it.

All in all, there’s truly nothing that any of us can do about this change. If a slight update to an app is making you that pissed off, then in the words of Taylor Swift “you need to calm down.” If you’re worried about the comparison game continuing with other Instagram metrics, well that sounds more like a you problem than an Instagram problem. It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s world and frankly we’re all just living in it. As previously mentioned, the Earth is still spinning, I am still breathing air, my cat still needs to eat food, nothing that earth-shattering is actually happening in our lives. I promise you it will be okay. In fact, I think this a great step in our relationship. Embrace it. Love it. Revel in it and push yourself to create bomb content people want to like because well, you don’t really have a choice either way.

Sincerely,

How To Wear A Suit

Outfit Details: Blazer // Trousers // Shoes

Why hello there,

For the past three years, female empowerment and advocacy for equality has become a highly publicized societal evolution. This has been a fight for centuries, but it’s no secret that in these last few years, women’s voices are louder and more forceful than ever. Although it may seem trivial, when you’re fighting the good fight, you also have to look the part. I feel the same way for when you are wanting to be taken seriously in the workplace. As modern, professional women, we are constantly fighting to deserve a seat at the conference table, not to take notes, but to lead passionate discussions and make big decisions. In order to be taken seriously and in order to present yourself as a professional, you need to dress the part.

In my personal opinion, every modern, professional woman needs to own a suit. If you work at any sort of establishment, you need to own a suit. If you want to be taken seriously at work when big business meetings are taking place, you need to own a suit. Period, end of discussion. The evolution and right to “power dress” go hand in hand with the work that the women before us have done in order for us to have that right. Remember, not that long ago, women weren’t even allowed to wear pants. Women’s suits are the amalgam of a women’s determination, her willingness to show up and the stereotypical masculinity. Suits makes me feel confident, intelligent, powerful and empowered.

Interviews are the perfect time to wear a classic suit. I also think it’ super important to always have a good suit in hand if you have an important business meeting coming up. Quarterly business reviews or annual planning presentations are a few prime examples of these. Always read the room. If your client is younger and more laid back, perhaps wear a suit in a different color or with a cropped pant, but if you’re meeting with someone who tends to fall more on the traditional side, I’d stick to the classic tailored suit in a neutral color like navy or dark charcoal.  

The power suit trend has been with us for so long, nothing in fashion is ever really new but rather born again. This time around, the suit is gaining traction in regard to oversized blazers and bold shoulders. That’s right ladies, the shoulder pad is making a comeback, but I encourage you to embrace it. With the suit standing in the spotlight recently, I thought it’d be fun to share some easy and fun ways to wear a suit this season. Whether it’s for work, holiday parties or events, suits can be professional and trendy.

1. Wear a fun color. I found this amazing Robert Rodriguez suit (above) on Rent the Runway and knew that I had to wear it. The powdery blue was just the perfect feminine touch I needed to take this oversized, should pad adorned blazer from menswear-inspired to totally chic. Find a soft, yet eclectic color for a dreamy monochromatic look.

2. Find a classic plaid. Don’t go crazy, but the way I would wear a head to toe plaid ensemble to work and to happy hour would be to stick with a muted print in a neutral color. The gray plaid is the epitome of this kind of look. A classic gray checked suit can be worn from day to night especially if paired with a pop of color shoe.

3. Inspired by the men. I’m talking oversized blazers. The bigger the better as long as they are tailored properly. Everything should not be skintight, that just isn’t in anymore. Hailey Bieber pulls off this look flawlessly. Go for a more fitted pant and an oversized blazer for that effortlessly cool vibe. Make it look like you just grabbed it out of your boyfriend’s closet.

4. Turtleneck undershirts. I am a sucker for a good turtleneck. If I could have only one piece of clothing in my closet for the rest of my life, it would be a classic black turtleneck. Layer your suits over a traditional neutral turtleneck for the perfect wintery aesthetic.

5. Mix and match. Under the right circumstances, funk up your suit look by mixing and matching the blazer and trouser with contrasting patterns, colors or fabrics. Wear a plaid with a cheetah print, a green with a red or a sequin with a cotton. If you have multiple matching suits in your closet, experiment one day by taking one jacket and pairing it with a different pant. It will totally elevate the whole look.

As long as your look is tasteful, professional and puts you in a confident mindset, it really doesn’t matter how you style different suits. There is no tried and true guidebook, but these are a few ways that I like to rock a suit for work. I hope after reading this, it inspires you to try something a little out of the ordinary. If you are looking for a sign, well honey this is it.

Sincerely,

Favorite Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Happy Sunday Loves,

People often become attached to certain brands. If you’re going to buy paper towels and dish soap, you may choose Target over Walmart because you have had a better experience and find the brand more attractive (that’s a real life example for me). When it comes to coffee, I am a loyal Starbucks consumer. I will always choose them over Starbucks’ competitors because I think their products just taste better and I love the crafty variations.

As the seasons change, so do my drink orders. This past Summer, I was an Iced Caramel Macchiato and Very Berry Hibiscus kind of girl. Fall, I’m married to Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Starbuck’s new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Winter has hit hard and fast in Chicago this year, or at least it feels like it has. While I am on my commute to work every morning, I find it a necessity to have a piping hot Starbucks cup in my hand to keep me warm. If you’re the same way, or if you’re looking for a new drink to try as we transition into the holiday season, here are some of my favorite Winter Starbucks drinks!

Caramel Brulee Latte – Starbucks has this holiday drink every season. It is the perfect mix of espresso, steamed milk, caramel Brulee sauce and caramel pieces. It’s sweet while still having that quintessential coffee taste. Basic but delicious!

Blonde Eggnog Latte – This is a classic holiday favorite made with steamed eggnog and the Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast topped with nutmeg. It feels like Christmas Eve night in a cup.

Vanilla Latte – If you’re not one for fancy concoctions, the Starbucks Vanilla Latte is a staple drink. This is the perfect drink for the coffee lover who prefers a subtle sweet treat.

Hot Caramel Macchiato – In the Summer I drink this cold, in the Winter I get it HOT. I love how frothy this Starbucks year-round favorite is. Steamed milk, vanilla-flavored syrup matched with all of the important espresso notes finished with caramel drizzle. Hands down, probably my favorite overall Starbucks drink!

Cold Chai Tea Latte with Soy Milk and Three Pumps of Cinnamon Dolce – So that was a mouth full…BUT my friend introduced this drink to me a few years back and I always have to get it around this time. It tastes like Christmas in a cup. This is the only drink I’d get cold during the Winter months. It is so good, trust me!

Please leave any of your favorite Winter Starbucks drinks below! I am always looking to mix it up, so all suggestions are welcomed and encouraged. I hope you try at least one from my list and love it as much as I do!

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/15

Happy Friday Friends!

I hope you all had the best week! From dinners to meetings and events, mine was quite the whirlwind. One of the highlights…getting to meet Clay from Bachelor in Paradise last night at the Hubbard Inn grand re-opening party. He was so nice and I even got to snag a picture with him!

This is the time of year that’s the busiest, so it’s hard to make certain things a priority even if it’s something we love. In the midst of all the holiday celebrations ahead, it is still my mission to really get back into posting articles here more often and making them as relevant as possible. I value you so much and value your opinion. Please always stay in touch with me and let me know what you’d like to see more of. For the time being, I have compiled some of the cutest, tear-jerking articles that were on the internet this week. I guess I was just feeling a little more sentimental than usual. If you find yourself looking for entertainment this weekend, start with this list!

This week’s Wish List is also holiday party themed as I know so many people are shopping for the perfect outfits right now. I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Alex Trebek gets emotional when contestant answers with “What is we love you Alex”

John Legend named People’s Sexiest Man Alive

Kelly Clarkson’s kids adorably interview their hero Jason Momoa about Aquaman

How Success Can Come From Learning What You’re Terrible At

Apply to earn $1,000 from watching Christmas Hallmark movies

Wish List

Holiday outfit edition

Michael Kors sequin one shoulder jumpsuit

Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific tulle layered skirt

Kohls Vera Wang sequin top

Macy’s faux-wrap midi dress

Spanx faux leather leggings

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

How Conspicuous Consumption Helps The Economy

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 11/8

Fashionable Matching Sets

Sincerely,