Oct 17, 2017

Bridging the Gap Campaign: Lana

Over the course of the past four years, blogging has brought so many fun opportunities to my doorstep. From amazing blogging friendships to fun sponsorships, I never expected this little hobby to bring so much to my life. And today, today marks another amazing collaboration here at Whitney à la mode! I'm taking part in an unprecedented blogging campaign featuring 200 phenomenal bloggers: The Bridging the Gap Campaign!

Today is an exciting day with the launch of an unprecedented campaign, “Bridging the Gap,” where 100 Millennial and 100 Midlife Influencers are coming together to blur the boundaries as we believe we are stronger together. We are putting an end to the labels and divisions that no longer serve us as age is simply a number, while it’s your attitude and way of looking at life that truly matters. We are women supporting women, along with a few brave men joining in the celebration. We are coming together to send a powerful message that we choose to be seen for who we are rather than be defined by our ages. We believe in a world without separation. We believe that we are far stronger together. Please join us in this revolutionary campaign as it’s the hearts and souls of the women that truly matter in the end.

My wonderful friend, Lana, from My New Happy so graciously invited me to be a part of this campaign. She chose me as her millennial as we've paired-up for this event. I "met" Lana online when I joined The Blended Blog and then met her in real life when a bunch of TBB'ers joined-up in Toronto in May! What I love about Lana is her calming, positive presence. Spending time with her makes you feel good about life!

Our task for the Bridging the Gap Campaign is to introduce each other on our blogs and we chose to do so in an interview format. So here you go, Lana in her own words:

Short bio: I was born in 1967 in California, but spent most of my growing up years in North Carolina and now Washington. I met my husband of 27 years in 9th grade and we married 8 years later, after I finally talked him into it. I always loved fashion, and have a degree in fashion merchandising/business. I spent many years in the retail industry, first as a sales manager and then a buyer. When my first son was born I was able to stay home and did so for 22 years. In 2003 my husband and I started a business, selling and installing door, bath, and cabinet hardware. It’s fun to work together, but challenging. In my free time I like to write, read, travel, and spend time outdoors hiking and skiing.

What is your blog about? Hmm…good question! It started out as a place to write about teenagers, parenting, and preparing for the empty stage of life. I wrote about that for about a year, and then realized that my boys weren’t going to be in this stage for long. That’s when I changed my name and my focus. Ideally, I’d like to write about life after the kids have flown – about how it’s not over. Even though it’s sad in many ways, this stage of life really is a new beginning. So, Midlife Lifestyle, I guess. But FUN midlife, with travel and fashion and good times!

Why did you start blogging? I’ve always loved to write, going back all the way to elementary school. Someday I hope to write a book. In my everyday life, I work with my husband in our hardware business, doing accounting. SOOOOO not exciting, but important and worthwhile, and it pays the bills. I really prefer to do something creative, and wanted to get back to writing. Blogging seemed like good first step.

What is the title of your blog and why? I switched to My New Happy because that’s where I am right now. I spent 22 years giving my all to being a mom, and it made me so happy. I was worried that after Thomas left for college I would be lost. But it’s a whole new stage, and it’s time to work on myself and the new things that make me happy in my day to day life.

What is the most rewarding part of blogging? The connections. I’ve become friends with so many people that I would have never known existed if it hadn’t been for blogging. Meeting Deena and Carrie, and working on the idea for The Blended Blog brought new life to my own blogging. I love that we have this eclectic group of ladies, from all ages and stages of life, working together and becoming friends in the process. TBB is the true definition of Bridging The Gap. Where else can you find a group of ladies from three different decades, hanging out together, shopping, sightseeing - like we did in Toronto? It’s kind of magical.

What makes you the happiest about being your current age? Having time for myself. Which sounds strange, because honestly, at my age, time is kind of running low. But I feel really happy in my marriage, I’ve raised two great boys. For the first time in 30 years I have extra time for me, and I feel like the possibilities are endless. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all that time

What have you learned from the millennials in TBB? First of all, how to figure out social media! Seriously, I’m so technologically challenged, and you guys know instinctively what to do. I love your energy and exuberance for life – sometimes we forget that as we get older. I’ve learned to look at things differently, to take chances and try something new.

Do you have a millennial blogger that has inspired you? I can’t pick just one, but I love all the millennial fashion bloggers. Your ability to style an outfit and take such beautiful pictures is impressive, and continues to elude me. You guys do it like pros!

How can we “bridge the gap” in our non-blogging life? Keeping our eyes open for opportunities to include each other as equals. I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time around my boys’ friends, and they help keep me young in mind and heart. Being receptive to new opportunities and situations, even if we feel uncomfortable. Not judging others for their age, but welcoming their perspective on life.

Now that you know a little more about Lana, here are a few of my favorite posts from her blog:

Be Brave and Skydive
Paris is Always A Good Idea: Day One
Their Mama: Mother's Day Wishes

And thank you, lovely friend, for inviting me to be your millennial in the Bridging the Gap Campaign!
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Oct 14, 2017

Blogging Besties :: Plaid

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015, the series expanded to include yours truly @ My Closet Catalogue and Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Selah looked ready to transition into fall, Daylight Savings time notwithstanding:

This week is brought to you by: “a current favorite accessory, feathers, and plaid”. And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: plaid (of course).


I'm cheating a bit because, if you've been following my other posts, you'll notice something familiar about this outfit. Yes, you're not experiencing déja vu; this ensemble is actually part of my Common Threads challenge, the one I used for my Euro Chic/Posh Eclectic classic white button up look. I really appreciate how this screams professional yet accessible at the same time. The top is crisp and sharp, but is softened by my go-to slouchy cardi. The skirt - potentially severe and school-marm because of the plaid - is mitigated by its being a wraparound, making it reminiscent of British gentry and heathered fields instead. That said, I did give a nod to my academic inclinations by completing the look with pearls and sensible shoes, making the overall vibe lean heavily into teacher territory, but I figure I'm in education stepped in so far that should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er. Might as well work it, eh? For Alex’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: something white, something oversized, or something sensible. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Shirt – Old Navy Cardi – Target Skirt – eBay Sensible shoes – Hotter
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Champion by Fall Out Boy
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Oct 12, 2017

Thursday Moda: Mustard Cardigans

Oh hey, friends!  I have a special treat for you today!  I just so happen to be hosting the Thursday Moda link-up with the always-charming Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood!

Ada and I have been blogging pals for years (we even met in real life once) but we've reconnected recently since we are both participating in the Common Threads Challenge.  We even realized that we'd chosen some really similar pieces to work with throughout the challenge.  We will be featuring a few of these items over the course of the next to Thursday Moda link-ups!

Today we're featuring our mustard cardigans.  I don't know about you, but this is a staple in my wardrobe!

Stay tuned to both of our blogs to find-out how we're remixing these cardigans this month.  And stop by next week to see how we're wearing v-neck tops and ankle boots!

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Oct 11, 2017

Common Threads Challenge: Week 1

We are already one week into the Common Threads Challenge!  You know, the style challenge where you choose five pieces to incorporate into each and every outfit you wear during the month of October?

I'm having so much fun with this series!  It's getting my creative juices flowing without being too much to handle for this tired teacher brain.  Granted, it is only the beginning, there is a chance that I will begin to struggle towards the end of the month.

But I'm trying to plan in advance so that won't happen.  I have a list of outfits I've already created in my head that I can pull from as the month progresses.  As I'm making this list, I'm making sure that each of my five pieces are represented equally.  I've also started a Pinterest board where I'm pinning looks that are easily replicated with my five items and other pieces from my closet.

The only thing I'm struggling with are my days off when I wouldn't necessarily get dressed.  Admittedly, on day one (October 1st), I ran a 5k and then spend the rest of the day moving in a sweaty t-shirt and shorts.  And today?  Today (as in the day I'm writing this) has been the first day I've spent resting at home since July (I'm not exaggerating) so I'm shamelessly still wearing my pajamas.  I do have outfits planned for these days so I plan to feature my unworn outfits at the end of the month and vow to wear them in November so that I can say that I fully participated in this challenge!

How are you doing?  Are you finding this to be easy or a bit tricky?  Are you having fun being creative with your wardrobe or wish you wouldn't have committed to this challenge?  Please share your ups and downs with us on our Facebook support page.  We're also having fun sharing some of our daily outfits over there!

Now that I've gotten the words out of the way, here are my looks from the first week of the challenge:

October 2nd featuring my Olive Skirt: It's still pretty warm in my neck of the woods but I love that I was able to channel some fall with some autumn hues in this outfit.  And it was fun to put this skirt back into rotation since it's been so long since I've worn it.  Why did it get shoved into the back of my closet again??

October 3rd featuring my Ankle Boots: The jury is out on this look.  While I liked the idea of a pretty dress with these ankle boots, I don't think the combination is quite right.  But a really stylish girl I met in the bathroom of a restaurant told me she loved my outfit.  So maybe it works?  In any case, experimenting is a part of this challenge so I'm glad I tried the outfit!

October 4th featuring my Tunic: I'm finding this challenge is helping me to use lots of pieces I haven't worn lately beyond my chosen five.  This vest and pair of ankle boots used to be fall staples so I'm excited to be using them again this fall.

October 5th featuring my Mustard Cardigan: This is my favorite outfit of the challenge so far and it was so simple to put together!  Comfy dress + favorite cardigan + scarf = how can you go wrong?

 October 6th featuring my Skinny Jeans: I'm a teacher so most Fridays you'll find me wearing jeans and a school shirt.  Although this particular Friday, I attended a football game at my high school!  Yep, this sweatshirt is over a decade old!

October 7th featuring my Mustard Cardigan: My whole family convened in my hometown this weekend for a number of events including family photos.  It's a good thing the decided-upon color combination for the shoot was mustard, burgundy and grey!  Mustard cardigan for the win!

October 8th featuring my Mustard Cardigan: And to round out the weekend of festivities, my nephew was baptized on Sunday morning.  This cardigan is the only one of my pieces that works for really dressy occasions so I wore it two days in a row.  Luckily, cardigans are such a basic staple piece that no one seemed to notice!

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you'll join us as we continue this really fun challenge!  If you're already playing along, make sure to link-up below!

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Oct 6, 2017

Blogging Besties: Transition

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Whitney was radiant in her floral date night look:

The prompts she gave me were "summer-to-fall transition, velvet, or floral for fall".
For these transitional days, I love this lightweight plaid button down. The thin fabric is perfect for the still Summery afternoon temps, but the pattern is decidedly Fall. I'm wearing it over a simple base outfit of white tee, jeans, and nude ballet flats, and I've added my current favorite necklace for interest.




Next week, Maricel can choose from her current favorite accessory, feathers, and plaid.
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties
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Oct 4, 2017

Common Threads Challenge: The Pieces

It's an exciting day around here, friends!  Today is the first link-up of the Common Threads Challenge!  Missed the introduction?  I am hosting this style challenge with five other fabulous bloggers and we want to inspire you to choose five pieces from your closet to remix every single day during the month of October!  You only have to wear one piece per day and you have the rest of your wardrobe to help you in creating unique outfits around your five "common threads."  If you need a little bit more in the way of an explanation, check out this post!

Today we are linking-up with the five pieces that we've chosen to wear throughout the month of October.  I tried to use a good mix of old and new pieces as well as basics mixed with bolder items.  Here are my chosen common threads:

Olive Skirt (similar): After texting back and forth with my friend, Sarah (who is also participating in this challenge), I decided that a skirt would be an easily remixable piece that was different from the other items I had chosen.  I picked this olive skirt because I've been digging the color for fall and the skirt hasn't seen much love lately.  It's going to see lots of love this month!

Mustard Cardigan: Obviously basics are necessary during this series because they are the easiest pieces to remix.  But I wanted to give myself a bit of a challenge by throwing in some interesting items.  This cardigan is a bit of both, a staple piece in my wardrobe in a bold color.  I'm looking forward to spicing up my outfits with this completer piece.

Skinny Jeans: Alright, I really needed the absolute most basic of pieces to help me through this challenge.  I also know that I will be attending several Michigan State football games throughout the month of October so I needed bottoms to go with all of my Spartan tops!

Oatmeal Tunic (similar): I really tried to think ahead to my plans for October when choosing these pieces.  I know that there will be weekend days where I'm just bumming around and I wanted a top that would be super comfy with leggings but also easily dressed-up for work.  This tunic fit the bill!

Ankle Boots: I excitedly purchased these boots during the Nordstrom sale this summer and have been saving them for fall!  Since they are new, I want to get a lot of wear out of them but I'm also finding the color (oliveish grey) to be a bit challenging to work with.  I thought that the Common Threads Challenge would be the perfect reason to find lots of ways to style my new boots!

You guys, I haven't been this excited about a style challenge in awhile and I really hope that you will join us!  It's not too late to start!  If you want to play along, please link-up your chosen pieces below and start documenting your outfits.  You can find moral support on Facebook and inspiration from some stylish women on Instagram with the hashtag #commonthreadschallenge.

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Sep 29, 2017

Blogging Besties: Kimono

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week Alex looked so boho-chic in her embroidered kimono and hat!  She gave me the following elements to pass-on in my own look this week: a kimono, maroon, a hat or something with a fun trim.

I thought about featuring a football Saturday look with a Michigan State hat but ultimately decided to pass-on a kimono.

The few instances that I've tried a boho look, I didn't feel like it was "me" so I paired my kimono with more classic pieces: straight-legged, cropped trousers and a pair of loafers.

I was super pleased with the way that this ensemble turned-out as a summer to fall transitional outfit.  It has been unseasonably warm around here but I was able to incorporate layers without the weight of a cardigan or jacket.  Plus, velvet is also going to be a big trend again this fall and I got to break in my new, velvet loafers!

So Selah, for next week you can choose from a summer-to-fall transition, velvet, or floral for fall!
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Sep 27, 2017

Travel Capsule: Summertime in Europe- Outfits Thirteen, Fourteen and Fifteen

Wow, friends!  We've made it to the last post in my Travel Capsule: Summertime in Europe series!  Even though I took most of these pictures on my trip and had them ready to post, I've definitely struggled a bit to stay on top of this series.  Life can be so crazy sometimes!  Mine has been crazy in a good way lately but blogging has been hard to squeeze in.

Before we get to the last three, err two outfits (more on that later), let's recap what's happened so far:

Introduction and Outfits 1-3
Outfits 4-6
Outfits 7-9
Outfits 10-12

Outfit Thirteen

I think these pictures win the "best backdrop" award of the trip, don't you?  They were taken at the Magic Gardens in Philadelphia.  If you've never been, I highly recommend a visit!  And while we're on the topic of bests, I think this skirt is the best new purchase I made for this capsule.  I used mostly pieces that were already in my closet with a few new additions during my trip.  This skirt was so comfortable, feminine and easy to pair with my various tops!

Outfit Fourteen

You may notice that this background is decidedly less exciting.  Yep, this is real life!  My friend took this picture in her classroom yesterday morning.  I did wear this outfit when my boyfriend and I visited Niagara Falls.  But between the waterfalls and the rain, I was absolutely soaked before I had the chance to take pictures.  So here we are!

Outfit Fifteen or Lack There Of

Which brings me to my last outfit of the capsule...that I do not have pictures of.  I was so good at taking pictures throughout my two and a half week trip but it was a tad exhausting.  And once I ruined my streak in Niagara, I just couldn't bring myself to take pictures of the last outfit I wore while riding home to Michigan.  Plus I didn't even put make-up on or do my hair for the five hours spent in the car.  But there was an outfit fifteen!  It consisted of black leggings, the patterned shirt from outfit four and my Adidas!

And there you have it!  Fifteen outfits made of fifteen pieces for a summertime trip to Europe and the East Coast of the United States!  I'm planning to write a final post with tips and tricks for creating your own travel capsule but, truth be told, I don't yet have a date picked out for this post.  So please continue to let me know if you have any questions or requests for that post!
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Sep 22, 2017

Blogging Besties: Black Jeans

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

We took a brief intermission from Blogging Besties last week, but the elements Maricel gave me to choose from were "an oversized grey top, black velvet boyfriend blazer, black jeans and knee-high boots."

This is another older one from last fall, but I loved the outfit so much I just had to save it! I pulled out the maroon of the tank and the blue of the necklace from the print on the trim of the kimono. I finished it off with a black hat, black skinnies, and booties!

Tank: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Kimono: Forever XXI, thrifted (similarsimilarsimilar)
Jeans: LOFT (similarsimilarsimilar)
Booties: Forever XXI (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Hat: Leith (similar, similarsimilar)

Next week, Whitney can choose from the following elements: a kimono, maroon, a hat, or something with a fun trim! 

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Sep 21, 2017

Fall Bucket List (And My Summer Bucket List Update)

My how summer seems to fly-by every year!  While today is technically the first day of fall, I've felt like the summer season has been over for exactly a month since I went back to school on August 21st.  While it was short, I squeezed every last bit of fun and accomplished nine out of ten of my bucket list items!

Let's take a look at my Summer Bucket List before we head into fall!

1.  Run a 5k.  Check, check and check!  I ran not one, but three 5ks!  And I won't stop here.  I'm running another race on Saturday and plan to do one once a month from here on out!

4th of July 5k with my handsome guy!

2.  Go camping.  So this is the bucket list task that I didn't get to at all!  We ended-up filling most of our summer weekends with traveling and activities.  Ultimately we decided we needed a little breather and spent a much needed weekend at home instead of camping.  I don't regret this decision one bit!

3.  Take a boat ride.  This one almost got me.  On several occasions I planned to take boats out with friends only to experience broken pontoons and other dilemmas.  Luckily, while in Bruges, Belgium, my friend and I took a lovely canal tour by boat!

Bruges, Belgium

4.  Try a new grill recipe.  There was lots of grilling to be had this summer!  While we usually kept the meats pretty simple, I had fun experimenting with side dishes.  This grilled zucchini recipe was particularly delicious!

5.  Spend a day at the beach.  After a couple attempts, my boyfriend and I got a pretty solid afternoon at the beach (although it was pretty chilly, darned Michigan weather)!

Beach babes!

6.  Get a pedicure.  Done!  And I even found a cute little nail place near my new home!

7.  Try a new hiking trail.  I think my best friend and I tried a few on our monthly hiking adventures!

The Ledges

8.  Buy fresh fruit at a farmer's market.  I just accomplished this one over the weekend at an amazing farmer's market in Madison, Wisconsin.

 The juiciest grapes!

9.  Watch a sunset.  I actually really struggled to get this one in considering it was always cloudy when I had the opportunity to see a sunset.  I think this one counts though!  Bonus points for being in my favorite town from which to watch a sunset: my hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan.

Those rays of sun though.

10.  Explore a new-to-me city.  I did lots of this over the summer!  From Belgium to the New York and Wisconsin, I explored so many cool cities!  This picture was taken in Bruges, Belgium!

And with that, we are on to one of my favorite seasons!  I'm so excited for my bucket list because it will help me make the most of what I love about fall!

Here we go!

1.  Decorate the front porch for fall.
2.  Tailgate before a Michigan State football game.
3.  Wander through a corn maze.
4.  Run four miles without stopping to walk.
5.  Try a new crock pot recipe.
6.  Attend a high school football game.
7.  Try another round of Stitch Fix.
8.  Wrap up in a sweater and read outside.
9.  Go for a hayride.
10.  Visit a new hiking trail.  (A repeat from spring and summer!)

As usual, thank you Leslie for organizing these posts for us!  And make sure to link-up your fall bucket list below!
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Sep 20, 2017

Travel Capsule: Summertime in Europe- Outfits Ten, Eleven and Twelve

Welcome back to the fourth installment of my Summertime in Europe Capsule!  I've you've missed a few posts, you can find them below:

Introduction and Outfits One-Three
Outfits Four-Six
Outfits Seven-Nine

Outfit Ten

Ahh, we've made it to the flying home outfit!  When you spend nine hours on an airplane, comfort and layers are key!  Truth be told, it was absolutely roasting for our entire flight home so I immediately ditched the jacket and scarf.

Outfit Eleven

You may be wondering why I have more outfits to show you if I already flew home from Belgium!  That is because I flew back into Washington D.C. and then proceeded to road trip up the East Coast as I headed back to Michigan.  Instead of packing for two separate vacations (European and road trip), it made more sense in my brain to continue the capsule!  Here I'm dressed for a hot day touring the streets of D.C.

Outfit Twelve

From D.C., we headed to Philadelphia.  When rompers feel like pajamas, they make for comfortable car-wear and a chic outfit for touring the city!

Make sure to stop by next week for the last three outfits in the capsule!  And I'm still planning a "how-to" capsule post afterwards so let me know if you have any questions or topics you want discussed.
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Sep 18, 2017

Common Threads Challenge

Happy Monday, lovelies!  I hope the first day of your work week is going quickly and smoothly!  I'm having a bit of a crazy day.  On my way to school this morning, I found myself on the side of the road with a flat tire.  Three hours, one tow truck ride and a visit to Belle Tire later, I find myself with an unexpected "day off" to catch-up on life!

So, it's the perfect day to blog and tell you about a brand-new style challenge I'm participating in this fall: The Common Threads Challenge!

I have teamed up with five other bloggers to create a brand-new wardrobe remix concept called the Common Threads Challenge. During the month of October, we will be taking on this new challenge together and we would LOVE for you to join us!


  • Choose five specific pieces from your closet –for example, one pair of shoes, one blazer, one skirt, one dress, and one blouse. Try not to choose multiple items in the same category (e.g. two pairs of shoes, two shirts, etc.)
  • For the duration of the challenge, at least one of those pieces must be used in every single outfit. The rest of your closet is fair game!
  • Instead of limiting your options to a small segment of your closet like you would for a normal remix, the goal is to really stretch your creativity in how those five pieces. Document your daily outfits to keep track of the different ways you wear each of your pieces!

How to Participate:

This challenge is open to EVERYONE, not just bloggers! Our vision is to create a community where we can support each other in our goal to make the most out of the closet we already have! Here are some ways you can participate:
  •  For the bloggers out there, we will have a weekly linkup that goes live on each of our blogs every Wednesday during the challenge.  You can post a weekly recap on your blogs each week, and link up those recaps!
  • We have opened a private Facebook group for challenge participants to provide support and encouragement to each other! We want to see your daily outfits, ideas for remixing your pieces, or any questions or trouble you’re having! Join the group here.
  • Share your looks with us on Instagram using the hashtag #commonthreadschallenge! 

The challenge will formally begin on Sunday, October 1. Our first linkup will be held on Wednesday, October 4 where we will be sharing the pieces we chose for the challenge. We will continue with weekly outfit recaps each Wednesday and wrap up with our final linkup on Wednesday, November 1!

These challenges are the most fun when lots of us participate so please consider joining us in stretching your wardrobe and imagination this fall!
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