Jan 29, 2018

5 Reasons to Plan a Monthly Hike

On the first of January last year, my best friend, Nicole, and I went on a brisk, refreshing winter hike. It was the perfect way to start the new year.  We inhaled the cool, fresh air and talked about what we wanted for the coming year.  We decided that one of these things we wanted was to make our hike together a monthly ritual.

Some of my Blended Bloggers and I are talking about Fashion, Food, Friendship and Fitness Goals today, so I've decided to share five reasons why you should make the friendship goal to hike together monthly.

Reason #1: The most rewarding part of hiking every month with Nicole was the peaceful, quality time we got to spend together.  In spite of our hectic schedules, we made sure to carve-out time for each other once a month.  While hiking, we had great conversation without the distractions of everyday life.

Reason #2: Hiking is free!  So many social gatherings require you to spend your hard-earned cash.  It was so refreshing to have a regular friend get-together where I knew I wouldn't have to spend any money.

Reason #3: Hiking doesn't involve consuming food or drinks.  To go along with the inexpensive nature of, well, nature, hiking also doesn't involve eating big restaurant meals or guzzling lots of wine.  While I do love eating and drinking, so much of what's on my calendar involves going to restaurants with friends.  My stomach and my wallet thanked me for getting out of the house and not consuming a gigantic plate of pasta.

Reason #4: Since we hiked once a month, Nicole and I experienced our local nature during all kinds of weather.  We found that, even when hiking in the rain, there was something beautiful to be appreciated during every season.

Reason #5: Hiking is a fun and stress-free way to move your body.  Our monthly hikes didn't feel like a work-out but it did feel good to stretch my legs and raise my step-count for the day.

Nicole and I are proud that we completed our goal of hiking once per month during 2017!  We got so much out of the experience and are planning hiking dates into our friendship again this year.

So what do you say? Would you make a hiking goal this year?  You have a few more days to squeeze in your January hike!

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Jan 26, 2018

Let's Hear it from the Girls

Do you have an anecdote you want to share?

An experience to relate?

A funny tale?

A life's obstacle you want to unload?

Something on your heart?

None of the above but something still burning to be in print?

Yes please.


With my Blended Blog besties, we're launching a fun new series and I'd love for you to be part of the conversation. Each week we will have a different post topic for you to write about and submit to one of our blogs as a guest poster. If you’re feeling extra wordy, feel free to submit posts for more than one theme.

FEBRUARY & MARCH 2018- Fostering Strength

Today until February 9: Call for submissions on blog and by email.
February 12-16: A Portrait of Love: Talk about what love looks like to you.  Be creative. Here are 3 examples of very different versions of the post- you can really go anywhere with this.
February 19-24: Watch Embrace (rentable on iTunes- Documentary, Gravitas Ventures, $4.99) and create a post using one or some of the questions in the discussion guide (here)- tell us what you took from this film.


February 26- March 2: Affirmations and self-talk: share your tips, what do you do to build up your confidance? Life hack survival tips: What do you do well that helps you get through life? See an example of a post here.

March 5-10: I’m *insert your age here* and I tried it : any fun trends you want to share that you’ve tried? Or that you’ve been dying to try and just need that little push ? Have you accomplished something that you are really proud of? Here’s an example of what Abbie tried at 35.
March 12-16: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 somethings.  Talk about this period in your life and what you’re going through.   Here are a few examples: JodiRenee
March 18-23: A woman you admire : tell us about the strong women in your life.
March 26: Last week: closure and introduction to the April and May topics on our blogs.

*DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION is at least a week before the post is to be published.*

Our goal is to reach out to our reader community because we know there are some great voices out there with stories to be told.  Please pick a couple of topics that interest you, let me know that you are interested and prepare a guest post.  

In your guest post, I will include a bio of your awesomeness and your words. I'm sorry to say that I'm not paid so you won't be either, but I would love to promote your links and send you free hugs.

You don't have to be a blogger to participate!

You in?

Email whitneyalamode@gmail.com if you've got a great idea or an already formulated post!

P.S. Thank you, Deena, for putting this introduction together for us!
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Jan 24, 2018

What is Wubby?

So I've noticed a new trend recently.  A trend that I'm very much on board with, considering all I want to wear these days are cozy, comfy clothes.  I'm in love with all things wubby!

What is wubby, you say?  Wubby is wearing a cloud instead of a top.  Wubby is feeling like you are wrapped in a hug all.day.long.  Wubby is the softest, plushiest material I think I've ever felt and it's popping-up everywhere!  I've found jackets, vests and even an MSU wubby pullover that I can wear to cheer-on my Spartans!

In case you want some wubby in your life (and believe me, you do), here are a few of my favorite finds!  I recently ordered this vest and I never want to take it off!

maternity cardigan     /     blush jacket
drapey vest     /     pullover
plaid vest     /     blush vest

Have you tried wubby yet?

And don't forget to link-up with The Blended Blog Style this week!

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Jan 17, 2018

How to Wear a Fur Vest After the Holidays

Well hello, lovelies!  As I'm getting back into the groove with outfit photos and blogging, I've been looking to The Blended Blog for some inspiration.  We're starting to add themes to our Wednesday style posts and this week we're talking about vests.

After years of wanting the perfect (faux) fur vest, I finally found one this December.  It isn't too over-the-top, came in the color I wanted and has a sweater-back instead of fur all over.  I'm telling you, this is the fur vest of my dreams.  Not to mention it was a total steal at $35 instead of the usual $70+ that I see for fur vests.  And good news!  It is still on sale and comes in multiple, fun colors (I think I need to add the red one to my closet now).  If you've been looking for the perfect fur vest, definitely check this one out!

Faux fur (because I would never wear real), to me, seems so perfect for the holidays!  The material exudes warmth and a little bit of glam.  I had fun wearing this vest to Christmas get-togethers but when December ended, I wasn't quite ready to hang it up until next year.

Now, I'm normally not one to prescribe to style "rules."  I generally think that you should wear what makes you happy, but that doesn't mean that I don't feel a little self-conscious sometimes when I think I'm wearing something out of the ordinary.

So, I've come-up with three ideas to help you transition your fur pieces to the new year:

1.  Wear fur with neutrals.  I think bold colors add to the festive feel of the holidays so I stuck with shades of brown and blue to calm the fur down in the new year.

2.  Dress-down the fur.  I also think that wearing fur with a dress makes for a pretty fancy ensemble.  Wearing it with jeans and a tee feels more "everyday" to me.

3.  Own it.  Sometimes you just gotta step outside your comfort zone and wear what you want to wear!

What I'm Wearing:
Striped Tee: Boden (exact)
Vest: Macy's (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Ankle Boots: Nordstrom (exact)

Don't forget to link-up your favorite looks with The Blended Blog below!

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Jan 15, 2018

Resolutions: Intuitive Eating and Running Races

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?  It seems like there has been a lot of buzz in the blogging world this year about making goals instead of resolutions.  In a way, it seems like we're just giving resolutions a new label but I do see one rather nuanced difference.  I think that goals are more definable, they are actionable whereas resolutions might be a bit vague.  Although you can set actionable goals to your resolutions and voilà, we have the same thing!

When creating resolutions or goals for myself this year I definitely went at it from the perspective of setting-up things I could actually do as opposed to an undefined wish.  Every year it seems that my resolution is to lose weight, but this year I'm focusing on my health in more specific ways.  I'm also calling these things resolutions because it's January, but really these are goals and concepts that I've been thinking about for a few months now.

Resolution #1: Intuitive Eating

I tend to have two modes when it comes to eating:

Mode #1: Be on a strict diet, follow rules very closely and lose weight.
Mode #2: Eat all the things and gain weight.

I so very badly want to fall somewhere in the middle.  I don't want to constantly be thinking about weight loss, diets and calories.  But I also don't want to be binging unhealthily and gaining weight.  That's where a concept called Intuitive Eating comes into play.  At it's core, Intuitive Eating is about eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're full and eating what your body feels it needs.

I am at the very beginning of this Intuitive Eating journey.  And it is a journey!  There is so much to learn and you really have to reset your way of thinking about food.  I've found some really helpful resources to help me along this path and am thinking about chronicling my journey here at Whitney à la mode.  What do you think?  Are you interested in learning along with me?

Resolution #2: Running Races

This past year (with the help of my boyfriend) I went from being a non-runner to having finished eight 5k races.  I'm so proud of the progress that I've made but I have so many more running goals that I want to accomplish!

This year my running resolutions are two-fold.  First of all, I want to run at least twelve races this year.  I've already signed-up for my first two!  A Frostbite 5k in a couple of weeks and an Irish Jig 5k in March.

My second running goal this year is to finish my first (and hopefully not last) 10k.  I've already signed-up for one in May and have started my training schedule.  This is also something I'm thinking about blogging in hopes that I can help other non-runners to see that yes, you can do this!  Let me know if you are interested!

Make sure you stop by and visit the other Blended Bloggers today to learn about their goals and resolutions.  Also, link-up your own with us today so we can form a nice, big support group for one another!

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Jan 10, 2018

Pantone Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

Well Happy Wednesday, friends!  It seems like so long since I've done a style post.  There's just something about stuffing my face full of holidays foods that makes me not feel like putting on actual clothes to pose for pictures.  You know what I mean?

But today I'm posting over at The Blended Blog about Pantone's color of 2018, Ultra Violet!  I happen to own exactly one piece of clothing in this pretty bluish-purple but I've found a few items to add to my wish list, and you can find them over at TBB.

But while you're here, voilà, my one piece featuring Ultra Violet!  A blazer!

I like blazers but find that I don't wear them that frequently because they feel too dressy.  Instead of giving up on this piece, though, I challenged myself to create a more casual look around the blazer.  I purposely wore my distressed denim and Adidas sneakers to dress the look down as much as possible.

I don't entirely feel like me in this outfit but I'm happy that I made an effort to remix this blazer.  I mean, I definitely need to wear it more this year because it is Ultra Violet!

What do you think of Pantone's color of the year?  Is it a hue you wear a lot of?  Something you want to incorporate more into your wardrobe?  A color that you are going to choose to ignore this year?  Let me know in the comments!  And link-up your Ultra Violet looks with TBB below!

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Jan 4, 2018

Currently: January

starting: a training program for a 10k!  I signed-up for my first race longer than a 5k and it's happening in May.  That gives me plenty of time to train and I'm ready to get to it!  I'm thinking of using this program.  It starts a bit easy but I think this will help me ease back into things after a small foot injury.  Do you have any programs or tips for training?

hoping: to be rid of my apartment soon!  I left my apartment lease early to move in with my boyfriend this fall.  Unfortunately, the penalty for breaking my lease is to continue to pay rent until someone else rents the apartment (or the lease is up).  I'm so ready to be done with paying for a place I no longer live.  Keep your fingers crossed that someone wants it soon!  (Or if you somehow happen to know anyone who lives in East Lansing, Michigan and needs a cute apartment, let me know!)

scheduling: more time with friends.  I was very intentional about making time for myself during the crazy holiday season and, as a result, had a really enjoyable December!  Now that the festivities have died down.  I'm excited to have more time to spend with friends.  I already have a date on the calendar for drinks with a new friend and to attend a party of a friend I haven't seen in ages.

reading: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz.  Murder mysteries are my favorite and this one has rave reviews.  I'm only about 100 pages in but the beginning of the story was definitely unique!  I'm hoping to finish the book before I head back to school on Monday.

playing: Qwirkle!  My boyfriend and I want to build our collection of board games for easy (and free) date nights.  My sister and brother-in-law purchased this one for us for Christmas.  It's kind of like Scrabble but with shapes and colors and is good for two or more players!

As usual, I'm linking-up with Anne!
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