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,

Friday Favorites 12/20

Happy Friday and Happy *almost* Holidays!

We are officially on the 5 day countdown to Christmas! Even better? I officially will not be back in the office until January 6th!!! Some work from home days and lots of PTO has me the happiest I’ve been in a while because this week was brutally busy. I’m looking forward to some major downtown, food, family and maybe a massage (or two) mixed in. Shhhhh.

What am I going to do with all this extra free time? Well if you find yourself any sort of bored over the next few days, here are some great articles I found on the internet this week. I hope you enjoy and have very happy holidays with loved ones!

Chicago Bears’ Player Kahlil Mack Pays Off 300 Layaway Accounts at Walmart in His Hometown

Old article but Jennifer Lawrence is interview by Oprah and reveals the best piece of advice she ever received was from Oprah herself

Chrissy Teigen posts the most relatable rant on Twitter about John Legend…hilarious!!

Giuliana and Bill Rancic announce the opening date for their next RPM restaurant in Chicago. I am obsessed with her!

Forbes Women article: The 2010s The Decade Women Fought Back

Wish List

This LV Dupe Makeup Case

This Mini Puffer Jacket

This Camel Coat

This Pajama Set

These Sneakers

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Gift Guide For Him

Gift Guide For Her

Gifts Under $50

Sincerely,

Gifts Under $50

Me Again,

Now three times in one week?! Must be the holidays or something. Or it’s just me freaking out about buying presents *typical* I just HAD to post one more time for my last minute Christmas shoppers. If you’re stressed, take a deep breath because it is going to be alright!

The holidays are a rough time for our wallets. From normal monthly bills, to events, gifts, traveling, the list seems endless and money seems to spontaneously grow wings.

But just because it’s the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t mean that every gift you buy has to be $100+. There are plenty of fantastic gift ideas out there that you can purchase for $50 or less. Stocking stuffers, small wrapped presents or handouts to colleagues, I have scoured the internet to bring you the best of the best. Here are my top picks for gifts $50 and under.

*None of the above images are my own. They are from the retailer’s site or are stock images.

Sincerely,

Gift Guide for HER

Hi Again,

Second post of the week and it’s only Tuesday…who am I?!?! Well let me tell you, I’m still a true procrastinator. In everything I do, I usually wait until the last possible minute before completing the task.

It’s the way I’ve always been, from 3rd grade papers to waiting until 11PM to pack a suitcase before a 5AM flight. Not much has changed, so why would Christmas shopping be any different. I tend to stay on brand.

If you are also a bonafide procrastinator, you will surely appreciate this less-than-two-weeks-before-Christmas Gift Guide for Her. If you are either late with letting others know what you want for the holidays or late in buying for the women in your life, I tried to make it easy on all of us!

Below you will see my top picks for holiday gifts this year, many of which I am even asking for myself or already own. Everything is linked for easy access or you could even send this blog post link to your family members so they can easily access the items. If you have any questions on any of the options, just let me know!

*None of the above images are my own. They are from the retailer’s site or are stock images.

Sincerely,

Gift Guide for HIM

Hello Fellow Procrastinator,

To be completely honest, I hate buying gifts. Around this time of the year, I always see so many people online gush about their love of buying presents for loved ones. They go on and on about how great it makes them feel when they see the look on a friend or family member’s face after opening something they knew they would love. I call bullshit on this.

Maybe you are this type of person maybe it’s a front, I don’t really know or care, but I know from personal experience buying gifts sucks. It stresses me out and thus I put it off until the last minute, which in turn stresses me out even more. The worst of the worst…buying gifts for the men in my life.

For someone who finds pride in being a semi-creative person, when it comes to buying a gift for a man in my life I totally freeze up and draw a blank. So like the last 6 years, I have of course waited until the last possible moment to buy my boyfriend any holiday gifts. If you’ve done the same, I am attempting to ease our pain by compiling a gift guide for him. Here are my top picks for holiday gifts for the men in your life. Get shopping ASAP, Christmas is literally in less than two weeks *starts sweating*

*None of the above images are my own. They are from the retailer’s site or are stock images.

I hope you found some good stuff from the above list, or at least, I hope these ideas sparked some of your own! Let me know what you think below.

Sincerely,

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,