2016 or bust!

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Is there a better way to welcome in 2016 than with a huge, fun, new announcement on one’s blog??? Okay, so I *could* think of some – like an island vacation, a life’s supply of coffee, finding perfect vintage….but I digress.

If you receive my newsletter (which you really should), then you will already know to head HERE (AKA CHICSTRIPES.COM!!!) for a peek at my brand new website/blog. Now you may be thinking, wait, didn’t I just launch SPStyle not that long ago. Yes I sure did, but it wasn’t really reflective of my style, you guys as my readers, or my goals. Plus I still had the blog, so it was just too much web for one girl. (It’s still active btw, as is this blog until I figure out some behind the scenes fun tech related things that I need to do.)

There are tons of things in store for the new site that include, but are not limited to:


  • Ethical fashion – Is ethical fashion still fashionable? Is it affordable? Who sells it? How do I find out?? So many questions and I’ll be tackling them in the coming months.
  • Sustainable fashion  I’m still thrifting and here’s where it fits, along with lots of other thoughts around living a sustainable life.
  • Form + functionSo I got into rock climbing, hiking, camping this past year. Basically all things no fashion forward person does right? WRONG. I’m here to show you how outdoor wear can work, and work well, while still keeping your fashion cred in check.
  • The occasional post for men. I get more questions from men about fashion than one would think – the hows, whys, whens, and wheres. Keep an eye out for yourself or maybe forward to the guy in your life.
  • Travel guidesholy *** am I excited about this one. This past year I took a freelance job writing outdoor guides for an online magazine and it was a blast! I love explaining the ins and outs of traveling, the hot spots, and all the what not and I’m looking forward to sharing those (and amazzzing photos) with you all. #outdoororbust #optoutside
  • Newsletter only info!heck yea,  you subscribers are great and you will get stuff no one else will get. Not sure what that will be yet, but just stay signed up, k? (see – this is why you should sign up).

As always, I’m still figuring some of this out as I go, but there’s no better time than the present, or launching a site and then HAVING to figure it out. So thanks for coming on this ride here at chicstripes.wordpress.com and I hope to see you at CHICSTRIPES.COM (can you tell I’m excited about the .com? There’s a story there. Head to Facebook to find out…and heck, you might as well like that page while you’re at it. ;) ).






It’s been quiet on the blog front lately and I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s nice to just live life and not worry about hauling a camera around everywhere. I’m sure the #instagramhusbands worldwide will agree. That said, if you follow on Instagram you’ll know I’ve been traveling (New York, West VA), rock climbing (of course!), drinking lots of black coffee, working with my sisters on Genesis Clothing Company (e-commerce website to come soon, ekk!), and hauling LOADS of client clothes off to be resold (that in and of itself is a JOB). This holiday season has flown by and I’m working tirelessly these next few days/weeks to finish up work projects for 2015, make epic goals for 2016 and get ready for one heck of a year. I’m signing off the blog until January 1 (or so…) but please keep up on social!

Till then….

XX- Sydney

Outfits: Coffee Break

2015-11-25 Coffee Break 22015-11-25 Coffee Break 1 2015-11-25 Coffee Break 32015-11-25 Coffee Break 4Outfit: tank – thrifted | sweater – See by Chloe from Clementine Consignment | jeans – H&M | boots – Atrex | bag- Cuyana | scarf – thrifted | necklace – from my grandmother

Images: Andrew

One of my favorite activities is ordering coffee from one of our million local coffee spots in Richmond. I’ll either sit and work, read, or take a walk. Here, I’ve just ordered a dirty chai from Plant Zero Cafe (whose tag line is everything) and took a quick walk around historic Manchester in Richmond. We have an abundance of old factory buildings that are slowly being turned into sleek apartments but, for now, this corner is still just old bricks and glass.

Reads: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up


I am an avid reader – so much so, that the library attendants now recognize me when I come to pick up my books, usually 3-4 books per week. I pick up everything from business, to mentorship, to fiction, to autobiographical and devour them all.  Several months ago I picked up The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it really was magic. I read it in a few short days and over the course of the next few months (it’s still ongoing) I followed the method outlined and was able to rid our home of an astonishing number of items that had just been sitting, clogging up drawers, cabinets and closets. A few of my favorite quotes and reflections are below.

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1. The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.  Marie Kondo talks a lot about imaging the live you want – why do you want this life, what does it look like? It comes down to matching up your possessions with your lifestyle.

2. Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Who knew you could turn organizing into something sentimental? I love this method though because it gives you freedom to keep the things you love, no matter how silly or seemingly useless, and to get rid of the things you don’t love, even if they are functional, perfectly good items.

3. When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. Can we say yikes? When you think about this, who constantly wants to live in the past and therefore block future change just by not letting go of things that we have mindlessly collected over the years?

4. We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to be getting rid of. Another “permission phrase” that focuses on the positive side of organizing and tidying and the Kon Mari method specifically. And isn’t it more exciting to know that everything in your home and closet are the items that YOU want to be there? Not because your grandmother, mother-in-law, or a boyfriend gave them to you, but because you like, need, and want that item.

5. Those storage “solutions” are really just a means within which to bury possessions that spark no joy. The premise here is that storage solutions really just provide the appearance of clean. Rearranging junk and items you don’t love doesn’t help you clean your house or live a more tidy life – it just covers them up.

I have cleaned out my closets numerous times, rarely making a dent in the sheer number of items I owned. When I did the first step in Kon Mari (your clothes) and pulled everything out and dumped it on the floor – I was honestly shocked at how much I owned. Seeing all of the clothes together in one place was eye opening. Going through it from a lens of what sparked joy even more so. My collection of jackets remained intact (I sold one that I always found awkward to wear) – but I still have 10, easily, but I love them all. By the end of the clothes portion, I had two huge IKEA bags full of items that I didn’t love, didn’t fit, would never wear, etc. I eliminated my extra storage bins of “off season”clothing because everything I love and wear now fits in my closet. I also realized that I don’t typically dress for seasons – most of my clothing I wear year round with the exception of shorts for vacations. I extend my dresses and sleeveless tops with jackets, tights, and boots for multi-season wear. But most of all, my closet feels like it can breath and I can actually find the pieces I want to wear.

Over the past several months I have been thinking hard about minimalism. I’m endlessly fascinated with the tiny house movement, this article on living and adapting to a tiny space, and this one on downsizing, just to name a few. With that comes an interest in avoiding fast fashion (because really – all those Target clearance items do is end up on the floor, in the trash or being given away anyway), ethical and sustainable fashion practices, and a focus on investment buying and actually wearing and re-wearing (shocking idea right?) your clothes. Even if you aren’t interested in minimalism, the Kon Mari Method is worth reading – because it’s not about living with nothing, it’s about living with what you love and that will differ dramatically for everyone. For us, at this stage in our life, it is about minimalism – how to live more with less. We have some interesting goals (well, experiments are more like it) for 2016 and I can’t wait to share more of them here. For now though, pick up this book and let me know what you think!

What else I’ve been reading:

Reads Dec 2015


Outfits: Thankful

2015-11-27 Thankful 2 2015-11-27 Thankful 3 2015-11-27 Thankful 1 2015-11-27 Thankful 4

Outfit: sweater – Target from Ashby Consignment | jeans – H&M | tank – H&M, speaking of which – I need new white ones – any suggestions? | flats – Lanvin from Baggio Consignment | jewelry – all estate sales or from my mom | bag – Cuyana

Images: Andrew

Happy week after Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful day/long weekend filled with family, friends, food and adventure. We spent ours with heavy doses of all of the above. Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving we head to my mother’s home in Yorktown and while we had  big plans to #optoutside (a bike ride around Jamestown and the Virginia Capital Trail), a bruised rib kept us from those plans. So instead, we opted to the nearest Christmas tree lot, purchased a fun sized Christmas tree (seriously, it’s shorter than I am), and had fun combing through handmade Christmas tree ornaments. This year I am thankful for so much and am looking forward to a holiday season celebrating all of it!