5 years ago today, I wrote my first blog post on Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Cookies. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and how my life would have changed ever since that first post. That post has 37 comments and they were all my friends that I begged to leave some love for me. 😉 Funny thing about blogging is that my “real life” friends never comment on my blog but it’s my “blog friends” that do the commenting, ones that I’ve never actually met before in real life but have become my community, my family, my friends through the blog. Blogging is really funny that way, that you can hide behind a computer for hours at a time, yet cultivate some of the best friendships from it.
The meaning of “Sandy a la Mode” 5 years ago was a play on the word “a la mode” to explain the fact that I love ice cream on the side (hence writing recipes), but also with the meaning that I would be sharing all the things in my life that I do “on the side” besides work and family life. Fast forward 5 years and “a la mode” also means trendy and fashionable which this blog has evolved into a fashion blog most the time, yet I still do post things little tidbits about my life, kids, home, etc. There’s been many ups and downs through the years of blogging. Many times I would find myself so busy with life that I just wanted to give up blogging all together, but somehow, I would always pull it together and sit down and curate content for and write the next post. I’ve held myself to the standard of posting at least 4 times a week pretty consistently but this is my passion, my side job, my happy place. Blogging in and of itself has changed, where more recently I am blaming Instagram for decreasing my pageviews and comments as I feel like most people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and just a picture or two to describe a post would be just fine. And I have to admit that, I, myself, read blogs less just because time is precious and reading an Instagram post and liking a picture is just so much faster. Yet, I still don’t want to give up blogging because it’s a place where I can write more, express my thoughts and document our lives to look back on in the future.
But all that aside, I think the best part of blogging for me is all of the friendships and relationships I have made with other bloggers and amazing brands. I’ve worked with a TON of brands throughout the years, and for those who are just starting out and wanting to work with brands, I’d say focus on your content first, and then either brands will come or you can start reaching out to brands yourself. And don’t get discouraged or beat yourself up if you don’t hear back or get some “no’s”, just keep at it and good things will come if you work hard and are consistent.
Cardigan c/o Riffraff
Jacket c/o Riffraff
Pants c/o Lee Jeans
Boots: Hunters via Shopbop
Bag: Mansur Gavriel
Earrings: Nickel & Suede
Photos by Rachel Laukat Photography
One of my absolute favorite brands to work with is Riffraff. I can’t even begin to count how many things I own from that shop and how many times a week I look at their site. They have daily arrivals all the time and every time I look, I fall in love with another piece. Their items are always in style and so affordable!! The girls that work there are the absolute sweetest and they deserve the award for best customer service, foreals! They have been so good to me throughout the past few years and we have partnered together to give back to one of Sandy a la Mode’s readers, in a BIG way!!
One lucky winner will win $500 shop credit to Riffraff!!
Yes you read that right, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO THIS AMAZING STORE! You could pretty much buy many month’s worth of clothes with that money!!
This giveaway ends on 1/19/15 at 12:00AM MST. Good luck, friends!!
This is the first of FIVE AMAZING GIVEAWAYS I will be hosting on my blog this week to celebrate my 5 year blogiversary! So make sure to come back tomorrow… and the next few days!!
Such a pretty look Sandy. I love your bag so much! PS-do you have any share buttons? xo
I love the dark for days quilted dress!
LOL! I laughed at your question because you said to state 1 item. Okay, if I must, I would have to say the scarves because I am looking to grow my collection! Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway and Happy Blogversary!!
Congrats on 5 years! So amazing and excited to be part of it 🙂 Also, all the wildfox sweaters from riffraff-crushing on so hard haha!
I like the “After Party Invite Lace Dress”.
I love the dark for days quiltequilted dress!! So cute!!
I can’t pick just one thing. I love just about every sweater, every necklace, and every pair of boots! 🙂
Love the dresses.
I love the After Party Invite Dress. 🙂
I am a wedges girl and these brown wedges have caught my eye – MIDNIGHT SNACK SHOE
Love your style and your disposition! Congrats on five years! Here’s to five more!!
So much to love! Love the casual class braided sweater
The new Gwen folktale fringe cardigan caught my eye, totally something I would wear over everything!
Love the “Putting on the Glitz” top!
Love the Reinvented boot!
Are you kidding me?! This is a DREAM! I’ve only become a recent follower throughout the middle/end of your pregnancy and adore seeing your precious family and how you all interact together! My most favorite recent post was the mommy and me sparkle outfits. I can totally relate, my 21mo old LOVES to shine (and so do I if I may say so myself
I love the much love braided sweater in wine!
Happy Blogiversary! Don’t know if you remember meeting me (I’m married to Jon [your parents are family friends]), but when we met I didn’t know you were a blogger. I stumbled upon your blog through other blogs I follow 🙂 Congrats on the new baby (She’s adorable!) and thanks for the giveaway. Loving the braided sweaters.
Congratulations on 5 years! I am so excited for you .
congratulations. Happy 5 years!
awesome giveaway sandy and happy 5 years!!! 🙂 so happy for you!
my husband grew up in fayetteville, arkansas so it’s fun to see a shop from there with tons of great stuff! i love the stripe it down top. xo jillian
Happy Anniversary!!! Cheers to 5 more!! This is such an awesome giveaway!
Oh and I love the longsleeve state tees on the Riffraff website!
I love the teachers pet cardigan
I love the Shades of Autumn Coat
btw so jealous of your Mansur Gavriel bag. I think that’s going to be my next bag once I track down the color I want.
Love the braided sweater!
I just love the Comforts of the south cardigan!
A huge congratulations! I love so much but the Stars and Stripes sweater caught my eye first, and I love the City Search leather jacket in chestnut! I’ve never heard of them before, what a great store.
Congrats!!! I am in love with their Long Ways away cardigan!!!
I really like this : http://shopriffraff.com/collections/sweaters/products/race-to-finish-aztec-sweater
The 1st thing that has caught my eye at RiffRaff is the DEER TO ME SWEATER – love it!!
Congrats!! I love the never a dull moment heels 🙂
Many congrats on five years! So exciting!
I really love the Let’s Snuggle Knit Sweater! It looks so cozy.
Happy Blogiversary! What a fun week and great ShopRiffRaff giveaway. I LOVE the ‘a bit of chill blanket scarf’ in red. So cute.
Finding Beautiful Truth
This is so exciting, Sandy! Congratulations!! 🙂 Big 5 is great!
I really like the SHADES OF PAISLEY KIMONO DRESS♥
Happy Blogiversary and thank you for the amazing giveaway.
love the haku bootie! 😀
Love the rainey mini dress – rajah. It’s GORGEOUS!
I love the starlet crystal necklace on their website.
Love this tank!
I love any of the beanies! I’ve been wanting one lately
I love http://shopriffraff.com/collections/boots/products/outlaw-boot
Caiden boots are cute
I love the “race to finish aztec sweater”
Thanks for the chance and congrats on 5 years!!
I love the “CHECK IN TO THE HOTEL DRESS”
Congrats on 5 years, Sandy! We are so thankful for our relationship with you! Thank you for spreading the #riffrafflove and being such a joy to work with!! We couldn’t be happier for you, and we’re proud to have you as a member of our Riffraff family! 🙂
Happy Anniversary! Great blog!! -xx
i love the lets cuddle knit sweater!
All of those dresses are gorgeous! Happy 5 years!
Congrats on 5 years!! Wow. I love the aztec cardigan. Sure could use it here in this cold Texas chilly weather!!
Love the Haku bootie!
Love the starry eyed gem necklace – copper
I NEED a pair of cool slip on sneakers. Love their selection!
Oh my gosh..how did you get that bag? I am hoping to snag one in March when its in stock.
Congrats on 5 years! That’s amazing 🙂 I love the North Pole Tie Cardigan
I love this vest – http://shopriffraff.com/collections/back-in-stock/products/trooper-vest
I love the Deer to Me Sweater as well as the Much Love Braided Sweater! Thank you for hosting this great giveaway!
I like the LET’S SNUGGLE KNIT SWEATER – BEIGE
Love the black comfort zone knit beanie!
i’m a hat girl. love the fedora!
Another item that really catches my eye is the Professional Leopard Blazer. This could be worn with so much.
Love the Trevor slit boots!!
What a lovely outfit! You look great!
Oops! Forgot to say that I like the Bells Ring Crochet Dress.
What a great giveaway! Hopefully I win so I can get those super cute street chic buckle booties!
I’m really into vests right now so I would love that buffy flannel check vest!
Sandy! You are so right, it definitely can be tough keeping up with the weekly posts. But your encouragement is right on. It’s all about building your voice and brand so they can trust you and know what they will get from you:) And I love being your blog friend! You are definitely a breathe of fresh air in the blogging world! Happy 5 years love! xo Cait
Love the back to basic tee – grey.
I liked the polka dot pearl peplum tunic.
i like CHECK IN TO THE HOTEL DRESS
I love the classic braided sweater!
The Haku boots are too cute!
Congrats on your 5 year Blogiversary!! I like the properly poised wool wrap coat and the let me be fancy shift dress.
I love everything with deer prints so I would probably pick the DEER TO ME SWEATER!
Such cute outfits from that store!
I love the jacket you’re wearing!
I love the royal blue crochet romance dress!
So fun! I’m loving the “Prestiged and Polished Vest” among many other pieces. Thanks for introducing me to them!
I love the “all I want is plaid dress”
I love the Girl Boss tee…casual but perfect for me!
I love the out of the woods vest in olive!
Girl boss t-shirt, crystal starlite necklace and gem necklace please.
I love the Haku Bootie.
Eek happy blogiversary!
I love the HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE SWEATER!
Congrats on your 5 year blog anniversary!
I love the BACK TO COOL VEST – HERRINGBONE!
I am new to your blog but I am loving it. I’ve didn’t the morning going back through dine of your older posts 🙂 I had the same question that was already asked, do you have any share buttons?
Just kidding I found it 🙂
I am really eyeing the Contour to Belief Top!
The Carly bootie is so cute
I love the Big Cedar hooded cardigan!
I love cardigans!!
Happy blogiversary! And I love the mink pink don’t cross me dress in black.
The Haku boots are too cute!!
I like the Starstruck necklace
Love the bags! love the cardigans! love it all!
Love the “BEACH BOUND CROCHET TOP” would be first thing in my shopping bag 😉
I would get the urban moto faux jacket
I like a lot of the things I saw but across the pond plaid top was definitely one of my favs.
loving this dress: http://shopriffraff.com/products/hazy-shade-crochet-dress
I love the ALL I WANT IS PLAID DRESS.It’s very cute for the upcoming spring. http://shopriffraff.com/products/all-i-want-is-plaid-dress
I love the Haku booties!
The double crossed knit sweater is very pretty.
love the baby its cold out cardigan!
This is awesome!
I love the SPECIAL OCCASION NECKLACE.
So Cute. It would be fabulous to win this!
Love the after party dress!
I love Walk the line sweater-red, thank you for the chance and congrats
Oh my gosh, TONS of great stuff on this site. I love their dresses, especially the Set Fire to Rain Maxi & the Maggie May Floral Dress. Oh, the things I could do with a $500 gift card!
Happy five-year blogging anniversary, Sandy. You’ve come a long way. xoxo
You go!!! Congrats on 5 years and love all the giveaways! I love the Pleasant evening lace jumpsuit from Riffraff.
Professional piped top in ivory
loving the harvest festival hat!
ANTIGUA SUNSET MAXI DRESS is definitely my favorite from the shop!
love this dress – http://shopriffraff.com/products/antigua-sunset-maxi-dress
the hazy shade crotchet dress and the all i want is plaid dress. Congrats on 5 years!
The AVENUE CROSS-STRAP BOOTIE are so adorable! I love that color tone! Congrats on your 5 years! May you have many more! On a side note, on the IG entry, my IG name is winney04 and I accidently typed winney4! Hope that does not void my entry! Thanks!
I love WORLD OF WARMTH CARDIGAN! Adorable and something I have been looking out for
I LOVE the RAINEY MINI DRESS – HOLIDAY REP CRISP
One item that catches my eye from Riffraff is the total package plaid tunic.
World of warmth cardigan and sparrow peep toe bootie
I really love the COWL BE THERE FOR YOU SWEATER – PLUM! so gorg!
I love the hood and cowl neck on the Mountain Ridge Puff Jacket.
I love the After Party Invite Lace Dress.
Is get some shoes! So hard to choose!
Ok, this is my new favourite site (thanks for introducing me to it!)- I had so many tabs opened! Hmm, if I had to pick one thing, it would be the new world aztec jacket! xx
I love the Others Follow Belted Stripe Dress.
I like the Vintage Goldmine lace dress. It would be cute for a date night.
My fave item is the favorite hoodie and I love charcoal. You can never have too many of those types of shirts. Love the loose fit!
I love their statement necklaces!
I am in love with their In Between the Lines Sweater – purple. They have everything I love though this is too hard to choose hah!
I really like the SPARROW PEEP TOE BOOTIE.
http://shopriffraff.com/products/arizona-drawstring-hoodie-charcoal I love the Arizona drawstring hoodie!!!
I’d like to invite you to follow my new Nail page on Facebook.
Classy Claws Nail Blog!!
I love the classic state love tee for louisiana!