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,

How Conspicuous Consumption Helps The Economy

Hello Conspicuous Consumers,

This is one of my favorite topics of all time!! When I was a Freshmen in college at Indiana University, I took a fashion merchandising class. I was fully prepared to take my passion for fashion to the next level and pursue a degree in it. This class supported that assumption. For an entire week, I remember studying the concept of conspicuous consumption. I became utterly fascinated with the notion of consumer behavior and why we choose to make certain purchase decisions solely on perceived socioeconomic status. It was enough to get me hooked. This one week this one subject was enough to where if I hadn’t transferred to Ball State my Sophomore year, I would have immersed myself in the fashion merchandising degree. I’m still thinking of getting my Master’s Degree in Consumer Behavior, that’s how much I love this stuff!

If you are unaware of the phrase, conspicuous consumption is the consumption of luxuries on a lavish scale in an attempt to enhance one’s prestige. In layman’s terms, it means that you pursue buying things that are at a higher price point because you want people to think you have money. The term was first used by economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in the 19th century as a way of describing families who showed off their great wealth publicly to manifest their social power whether it was real or living beyond their means.

So why is it important? Well, our society is inherently obsessed with social class. The items we buy on a daily basis puts us into buckets in other people’s eyes. If someone is waking around with a Dunkin Donuts cup of coffee, carries an Android phone and wears a label-less purse from Target, our society would put that person in the bucket of people who fall lower on the socioeconomic scale. If they saw another person walking around with a Starbucks cup, carrying their Apple products and toting a Louis Vuitton Neverfull, then that person has money.

We are all guilty of conspicuous consumption. To be completely honest, when I bought my Louis bag back in February, I had to take a step back and ask why. Why this bag, why this price point, is that reasonable? The answer was I wanted to be able to buy something that showed for how hard I had been working but the answer was also no, spending that much money on a handbag probably wasn’t reasonable. Just with the faint monogrammed LV plastered all over the canvas though, I could let passerby’s know that I worked hard enough to afford a bag of that stature. Same goes for the people who jumped at the opportunity to buy the new iPhone 11 as soon as it debuted. Did they really need that new phone? Likely no, but being at the forefront of those snagging the new luxury good allowed those consumers to “show off” their status as trend-starters and as someone who has the means to drop that kind of cash in a New York minute.

Makes sense? Sure, but I’m sure you’re asking well why should I even care, is it good or are these people just pretentious a-holes? Actually, conspicuous consumption is kind of a good thing because it stimulates economic growth. Since people are spending money on more luxurious goods, they are putting money back into the economy and thus back into businesses. The demand increases and the businesses need to hire more people. More people have jobs and ultimately have more money to spend back to the economy. It’s a cyclical infinity symbol of money both coming and going and that’s always a good thing for our economy.

My tip though is to always spend within your means. If you have the discretionary income that you’ve been saving to purchase a luxury good you’ve always wanted, that’s one thing. That’s exactly what I did. Beware though of the fad fashion items. The items that are all the rage and that everyone seems to be buying all at one time. They come into popularity just as fast as they fade into oblivion, becoming irrelevant and a waste of your hard-earned money. These are great items to buy on a dime. If you are purchasing a luxury item, go for something classic and timeless, something that will always be in style no matter what the year may be. That’s money well spent.

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/8

Happy Friday!

I am so happy we are at the weekend! This week, I’ve been inundated with annual planning work and 2020 preparation for my clients. It’s just that time of the year. Thinking about planning for 2020 kind of gives me chills. Where has the time gone?

It is also officially Winter here in Chicago. What was once an enjoyable commute to my office in the Summer has now become my worst nightmare during these cooler, more harsh months. I anticipate a lot fo Lyft receipts coming my way soon. And more Winter coats. Basically, just goodbye to all my money.

Monday night I attended the launch event of the Chicago Blogger Union chapter! I’m sort of a nerd in that I absolutely LOVE going to networking events and meeting new people. I always make the rule for myself to talk to at least three new people each time I attend an event. It sets a realistic objective and gives the event more purpose. My enneagram Type 3 really came out in that sentence lol.

The rest of the week was pretty chill and I even got a night to catch up on my Bravo shows while hanging at home. That never happens. Any RHOC watchers out there, gooooooodbye Tamara!!! This weekend will probably be spent getting my life together and organized because next week we’re back to crazy! What are you up to this weekend? If you find yourself lurking the web, here are some great videos and articles you HAVE to check out!

This adorable Beluga plays catch with a couple of guys cruising by in a boat!

Met Gala theme and costume exhibition announced and I am LIVING for it

Ellen and Nature Valley give thanks to California first responders by surprising them with $250K

New Starbucks holidays cups were released this week, I like the one with the big block letters

If you’re looking for a great and easy Fall recipe, Half Baked Harvest shows off her Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs with butter mashed potatoes YUM

John Legend gets wine tipsy and performs on stage at Universal Studios

Forbes Women article on What Successful Women Learned About Creating A Career You Love

Wish List

Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Velvet PaperBag Waist Pants

Polka Dot Tights

H&M Halterneck Bodysuit

Colorful Faux Fur Coat

Topshop Tie Neck Dobby Blouse

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 11/1

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream Review

24-Hour Seattle Travel Guide

Sincerely,

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

Hi There! Long time, no talk,

If I’m being completely honest, whenever I get a notification from Influenster declaring that I’ve been put on the list to receive a new Vox Box, I’m always a little skeptical. Why these products? Why was I chosen? After being notified that I was receiving their new Fall beauty product round up box, I was skeptical but excited to try some new products I had never heard of.

One of the products in my Vox Box this time around was the RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. Just to the touch, it felt luxurious, a characteristic that I actively seek out. The small triangular-shaped tube of eye cream almost felt like metal and is adorned with gold-colored accents. It’s actually quite pretty.

Retinol. That caught my eye when reading the ingredients. Retinol in its purest form is the same coppery, yellow color as turmeric, so creams that claim to have retinol in them should have tints of yellow depending on the potency. Upon the first squeeze, I could just slightly tell that there was a very faint yellow color, almost invisible to the naked eye, maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me. However it may be, I was happy because my face can be not only sensitive to new products but also sensitive to products with powerful ingredients such as retinol. I knew I could ease my way into this one without causing damage especially to delicate under eye skin. Already, a good sign.

I suffer from severe dark circles under my eyes. Whether it’s genetic or just usual fatigue, I am always looking for products to correct this huge insecurity. Nothing has ever made quite an impact as this one product. The RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream is a MUST for real if you’ve ever felt the same way.

I wanted to be diligent. Use it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, for at least two weeks in order to really give it a fair shot. I had low expectations that were quickly exceeded. Even after a couple days, I could tell a difference. Over the course of the next two weeks with habitual use, I noticed significant difference in my under-eye color. Skin that was once dull, dark, almost lifeless was now hydrated, plump, brighter and more firm. I saw a reduction of fine lines and this specific area of my skin just appeared more awake than its been in a very long time.

During these cooler, more harsh Winter months ahead, I think it is so important to switch out products we use on a daily basis because our bodies are going to be reacting differently to the changing temperatures. Skin is the first thing that will be affected given that it’s our largest organ. Skin will feel drier and hair will feel more brittle, so swapping out products you used in the Summer for products that will actively work to combat those issues is critical. Changing out my old eye cream for the RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my skin.

For best use, I would recommend using this product twice a day. Once in the morning right when you wake up and once again in the evening after washing off the day’s dirt and grime. Giving the retinol time to work overnight is the ultimate holy grail, so apply a little more heavily at night. A tip I picked up after seeing one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Cipoletti, post about this brand as well is to freshen up your eyes for those busy on-the-go days by reapplying lightly under your eyes throughout the day giving your skin the extra moisture and boost it needs during these brutal weather conditions. If you live in the Midwest, you know that the worst is yet to come! If you are interested in trying this AMAZING product, you can find it directly on the RoC website for $23 here, at Amazon for $16 here or at Target for $16 here. Wanted to provide different options as I know people can be loyal to certain brands! I honestly cannot believe how affordable the cost is because I think this cream is so luxurious and works so well that it could go for so much more. Snag it as soon as you can and I can’t wait for you to see the results too!

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/1

Happy November!

I cannot believe we only have two months of this year left…Where did 2019 go?!

This weekend, I am staying in the city watching a co-workers house and kitty while she’s out of town. I barely ever get to stay downtown, so I plan on fully taking advantage of this situation. I have dinner plans tonight with a couple friends at a place I’ve never been to before and then tomorrow I am participating in the Cliquish Faces of Content Tour and may stop by the new Uncommon James location in the West Loop. Who knows where else the weekend might take me, but if you follow me on Instagram, you can follow along on my adventures.

If you’re not up to speed on your current events this week, here are some great articles to read this weekend. My Wish List this week is entirely made up of new jeans because I am in serious need of a Fall jean haul. Hope you have a great weekend!

Chance the Rapper – a fellow Chicagoan – shows support for the Chicago Teachers Union while hosting and performing on SNL

LeBron James sent food trucks to the first responders fighting the fires in LA

Kanye West and James Corden do Carpool Karaoke on a plane

Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren organizes a campaign and contest that is giving someone a chance to have a drink with her after so many people said this is something they’d love to be able to do

Wit and Delight blog post on How To Compliment Someone Without Mentioning Their Looks

Caulipower Founder Gail Becker Shares Advice For Aspiring Food Entrepreneurs

Wish List

Jeans, jeans, jeans – I need some new ones ASAP

Good American Good Legs Blue265 Jeans

DL1961 Farrow Ankle High Rise Skinny Jeans

Frame Le High Skinny Jeans

Express High Waisted Denim Perfect Wide Waistband

Abercrombie Ultra High Rise Ankle Jeans With Raw Hem

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Happy Birthday, Mom

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 10/25

The Only Company I Buy Earrings From

Sincerely,

Happy Birthday, Mom

Dear Mom,

“I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.” No truer words could be said to describe the bond we’ve spent the last 23 years building. Well, maybe “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, but I can’t even hear the tune without shedding a tear. To say that our family was cursed with tumultuous mother-daughter relationships would sort of be an understatement, but as that psychic told you all those years ago, you managed to break through. I could never imagine my life any other way.

Times were rough and the odds were stacked against us. But with hard work, dedication, compassion, lots of love and a hint of sass, as we handle majority of the situations in our life, we persevered. I can now proudly call you my best friend. There’s no one in this world who understands me better than you do. For supporting me and sticking by my side through all my crazy ventures and emotional episodes, I owe you umpteen amounts of thanks.

We are two peas in a pod. Our similarities in interests are uncanny. You are my fellow wine connoisseur, travel enthusiast, city slicking, fancy dinner loving, photography hobbyist. There’s no better feeling than coming back to a home of opulence (lol) after a tough day of work, opening a bottle of red, watch an episode of Supernatural and finding things to make fun of. It’s the best of times.

I will always need you. No matter what stage of my life I journey to next, you are the one person that will remain constant. No amount of time spent together will ever be enough.

The greatest lessons I’ve learned from you are to be strong, to be confident, to be kind, to be the hardest working person in the room, to figure it out when you don’t know the answer and to be unapologetically yourself. I get the honor of learning from you each and every day. Thank you for teaching me to be independent and to fight for the things that I want. It’s the greatest gift you’ve ever given me.

And now we celebrate! You deserve all of the celebrations in the world. I will never be able to truly repay you for the life I’ve been given. I cannot wait for our delicious dinner and drinks tonight. I hope you have the best birthday ever! I love you!

Sincerely,