Blogger Recognition Award and Six Month Blogaversary!

 

This week is all about celebration!  First, I received a nomination for the Blogging Recognition Award.  Next, it has been six months since my site has been live!  Boy did that go fast, but I’ve been loving every minute of this journey.  If you’ve been reading from the start, Thank you!  If you’ve just started reading, Thank you!  I hope you will all keep reading for the next six months and beyond!  I am running a giveaway to celebrate all this excitement.  Please take a minute and enter for your chance to win a $100 Sephora gift card.  The giveaway will run until August 22, 2017.  Good luck!

Thanks to Cassie from cassiesBIGAdventure.com for the nomination.  I feel so grateful to be noticed.  This process has been great, not only because of the recognition but because I’ve had an opportunity to explore so many other blogs in different niches that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and experiencing.

 Why did I start blogging?
So I recently celebrated six months of blogging – it’s been a fun adventure so far.  It has been much more complex than I expected with a pretty steep learning curve, but I am loving it!  I left my corporate job last year and decided to take a couple of years off to take care of some family business.  I have always loved writing and decided to use this time to launch my blog and invest some time into making it successful.  There is still a lot to learn, but I am embracing the process of learning and challenging myself to keep at it!
What have I learned in the past 6 months?
1.  Don’t go into this venture expecting to make big money – my motto has definitely been slow and steady wins the race!  There are a lot of blogs out there promising big profits but that is not the reality.  However, I do think there are some good tips to take from other blogs out there as you are learning to grow your blog.  All the advice can be overwhelming – start with small, manageable goals and focus on them first!
2.  Stay true to yourself and why you are blogging!  You need to blog with a purpose and have a topic that you are passionate about.  Stay true to that as you embark on your blogging journey!
 Here are my nominations for the Blogging Recognition Award! 
These blogs each have something very special that I enjoyed – from interesting topics to breathtaking photographs and everything in between.  I hope you’ll check them out!
 Directions for the nominees:
 Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
Write a post to show your award
Give a brief story of how your blog started
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
Celebrate!
I hope you all enjoy the rest of the summer and thanks for sharing this milestone with me!  Don’t forget to get in on that giveaway!

The Athleisure Trend: Don’t Buy Anything Until You Read This!

Read on to learn how to navigate shopping for “Athleisure.”

Athleisure…

What is it?  Well, according to Wikipedia, “Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as during work, casual or social occasions.”  There are different theories as to how this became such a popular trend, but I think in our society, the style trend has become increasingly relaxed and casual overall.

There is no denying that this trend has been growing in popularity – Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and countless other celebrities are photographed with this look all the time.  Recently, Beyonce launched her Blue Ivy line at Nordstrom.  This past summer, Miss Teen USA eliminated the swimsuit competition and has replaced it with Athleisure.

Functionally, I think it is great to hit the gym and then be dressed to go out and run errands or appointments without having to change or vice versa.  But Athleisure is a lot more than just throwing on a pair of sweatpants.  In fact, I’ve spent more money on some Athleisure pieces than I have on office attire!  The look strikes a delicate balance between “casual” and “put together.”

In my quest to stay motivated to hit the gym, I’ve shopped around at a few of the various popular Athleisure brands and can share with you some of my thoughts on quality and price so that you can be armed with this information before you go shopping!

The Align Pant II by Lululemon. The promise of full freedom to move, sweat wicking fabric and “Naked Sensation” were all on point!

Lululemon – this brand definitely has a cult following, but I was hard pressed to find one pair of leggings that was under $100 – I mean, they are LEGGINGS.  I’ve spent less on dress pants for work.  But I have heard so much about it I figured I’d take the plunge and see what all the hype was about.  I settled on the Align Pant II, which totaled $98.  They claim to have a lightweight feel like you are naked (they call it, “Naked Sensation”).  They felt comfortable when I tried them on in the store and the waist band stays in place and does not require adjustment while working out.  I have to say, these were pretty life changing for me!

Athleta – this sport line of GAP is also pricey. I have a couple of pull overs from them and the quality is solid.  However, if I’m going to splurge I probably would go with a different brand first.

Old Navy Sweatshirt – Super Comfy and Great Price!

Old Navy – this is my favorite and most impressive brand.  For the price you are still getting quality and can stay right on trend with the latest cuts, patterns, and styles.  I have leggings, t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts (link above)  and sports bras from Old Navy and I really love them all!

Kate Hudson has created an affordable line of Athleisure fashion.

Fabletics – This is the brand by Kate Hudson.  Who wouldn’t want to look like Kate Hudson when working out?  Or just look like her, period!? The plus is that this is a very affordable brand.  However, to get the discount prices you need to become a VIP.  So, if you aren’t careful about logging in every month to “opt out” if you don’t want to make a purchase, you will have $50 put on your card.  Again you can spend it in a different month but you do need to be diligent about keeping track of what you are buying and when.  I have enjoyed some pieces from this line, but have found the sizing to be a bit inconsistent for me on a few different styles.

Check out my cute (but pricey) Lorna Jane sweatshirt!

Lorna Jane – This is another higher end line of Athleisure, comparable to Lululemon.  I have not tried their leggings but did recently fork over $129 for a sweatshirt, yes a SWEATSHIRT, but it is really cute.  Would I spend that much on a sweatshirt again?  Probably not, as I don’t think it is a phenomenal shirt or anything – it was more of an impulse purchase for me.  However, I haven’t tried their leggings, sport bras or other shirts so the other pieces may be worth the price.  For what it’s worth, I think the styles are cuter than Lululemon’s.

Calia by Carrie Underwood – cute styles sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Calia (Carrie Underwood’s designs) – I bought some pieces from Calia, which are Athleisure pieces designed by Carrie Underwood.  They can be found at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Prices vary depending on what you are looking for but it is more affordable compared to Lululemon or Lorna Jane.  And if you catch some items on sale, even better!  Overall, I think they styles are cute and the quality is nice for what you pay for.

SUMMING IT ALL UP

Bottom line, what you spend and where you spend it really depends on what you are looking to achieve.  If you are an athlete and/or spend a lot of time at the gym, I think you may want to spend a little more on some of the pieces for their materials which allow breathability and flexibility.  If you are really just wanting to look on point with the trend, then Old Navy would definitely be a solid way to go on a budget.  Note that here I’ve only scraped the surface of the many brands of Athleisure but hope that my mini reviews are helpful.  Let me know what your experience has been with Athleisure and where you buy your clothes!