Monday, November 30, 2015

Why I Won't Be Marrying My "Best Friend"

We've all heard it before. Some of you have probably even said it. Some of you probably believe it. "I'm marrying my best friend!" I see it on Facebook, hear it on TV shows, everywhere. I'm happy for you all. I truly am. However, I will never utter those words and here's why.

My best friend and I went through college together, we've grown up together, and have supported each other through tough times in our lives. I've seen her through dating her first few boyfriends and moving to Seattle with her current boyfriend. She's seen me date a handful of losers and has been there when I've called her crying at 1 a.m. in the mornings. I understand that I haven't found "the one" yet, but he will never replace her. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Subscription Boxes Faves and Fails

Who out there has never tried a subscription box? I'll wait....oh right, pretty much no one. They're so prevalent now. I swear there's always a new one that I hear about each week. I've definitely tried a few of them and there have been some great ones, and some not so good ones.

Here's what I thought of the ones I've tried.


I love Barkbox, it's awesome. I actually don't subscribe to this anymore because I get a lot of my treats from Chewy, but they were a great subscription. I signed up when I first adopted Starla and had no toys or treats for her. They always sent cute, durable toys and healthy snacks for Starla to try. She fell in love with banana chips her first box. You can customize your box based on the size of your dog. The price depends on how many months you sign up for. It's $21/month for six months. 


It's an addiction. I've had three fixes so far and need to go back for another one because I still have $25 in credit. It costs you $20 for a styling fee and then you get sent five pieces of clothing (or 4 pieces and one piece of jewelry). You can keep everything and get a discount, or you can pay per piece. For most of my fixes, I end up keeping about half of the box. They're really good at listening to your concerns about sizing, styles, etc. So just make sure to be very descriptive when you sign up and I'm sure you'll get some good fixes too

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Humpday Confessions | One Year Blogiversary

I almost let this day fly by unannounced. It's been officially one year since I started this blog, Alanna & Company. There have been many changes and switches and I'm really glad to see how my writing and posts have improved.

Thank you for sticking with me, reading my blog, and commenting! Anyways, I will start off with sharing some of my posts that you may have missed that I really enjoy.

Why Chick Flicks Are The Best

Wine Tricks That Make You Seem like an Expert

Why I Switched from to Blogger

Girly Things I'm No Good With

Why I'm a Bad Blogger
(a lot of these aren't true anymore which makes it even funnier!)

So sorry, no confessions from me today, however it's still open for you to link-up! Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)

Now onto the link-up!

Here are the ground rules for the link-up:
  • Each Wednesday create a post about what’s going on in your life and confess!
  • Grab the button and include it in your post or include a text link back to the link-up. 
  • Link up so we can see what you're confessing this week.
  • Comment on at least one other blogger’s post from the link up.
  • Feel free to share on social media with the hashtag #HumpdayConfessions and I'll retweet.
  • Enjoy!
Alanna & Company

Say hello to this month's sponsor:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Keeping Motivated to Exercise

I've mentioned a couple times how I want to lose weight and my activity goals. Cue eye roll. I've been so bad, and going into this holiday season, I'm kind of concerned for myself. I even signed up for a "Maintain, Don't Gain" challenge at work, so hopefully that $50 spa gift card incentive will help me through the holidays. 

I'm actually great at maintaining my weight. Between dog walks and fitness classes, I keep myself pretty active. However, my motivation has been at an all time low this fall/winter time. My commute is longer and a bit more draining, I don't have telework days anymore, and I'm studying every night for the stupid GRE. I try to keep up exercising at least three times a week, but sometimes it's tough to maintain.

Here are the ways I keep motivated to go to the gym and exercise. 

Prep my accessories and clothes ahead of time

We have workout classes offered during work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When I bring my clothes into the office, I can't ignore going to the workout class. Even when I'm at home and want to work out immediately after walking Starla, I change into my workout clothes before walking her. That way when I get home, I feel silly (and guilty) if I change out of my workout clothes into my yoga pants and t-shirt.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Blog Layout!

Phew! I think everything is now up and running. I started transitioning yesterday and finished up today. Yeah, I'm impulsive and wild about designs. Regardless, I'm super excited about the new layout change. Georgia Lou studios has some really good templates and great customer service, even though I didn't need any help installing this time!

Just a couple updates. There is a featured posts slider. I'm going to be updating it with new posts that have larger images so that picture isn't awkward and blown out of proportion. But in the meantime, I apologize if the featured images look a bit wonky. They're not the right size, but I'm not going to go back and change all my photos. I'll still keep a "pinnable" vertical image in each post but I've moved it down to the bottom of the page, so you can look for the most "pinterest-optimized" image at the bottom of each post now.

Lastly, please shoot me an email or comment on this post if you notice anything broken or not viewing properly in your browser. I've checked it out in Firefox and Chrome, but if you're a mac user and it looks weird on safari, let me know!

On another note, thank you to everyone who has been linking up with Sarah and I for humpday confessions. It was our second week together and we had 18 people link-up! How awesome is that? I'm super thankful to all of you and I really mean each single one of you who takes the time to participate, comment on my posts, and visit my blog. If you are a silent reader who doesn't comment, take some time to introduce yourself. I really try to reach out to everyone as much as I possibly can.

Say hello to this month's sponsor:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Perfect Gifts for the Dog Lover

Man's best friend is truly the most accurate description when it comes to dogs. I have had Starla a little over a year now and she has completely changed my life for the better. She keeps me happy, entertained, and she keeps me healthy.

As a complete pet lover, I get super excited when Starla gets gifts. All pet owners love getting gifts for their pets just as much as they like getting gifts themselves. So here's some ideas of gifts to get for the dog lover/owner in your life for the holidays. 

Framed Pictures

I can never have enough pictures of Starla. I have them in my office, in my room, throughout my apartment.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Humpday Confessions | Let's take a step back

Phew it's been a tough week since last Wednesday. Let's get right to the confessions.

I confess that

I didn't even hear about the Paris situation until about 5 p.m. on Friday. I almost had to pull over my car so that I could listen on the radio to what was happening. Super shocking and appalling. I can't believe that I didn't even hear about Beirut the day before. I usually try to keep apprised of news daily but I've been out of the loop lately.

I'd be lying to say if I wasn't afraid for DC, too. I know that ISIS is pretty notorious of threats and unsubstantiated claims but after this Friday and now seeing a threat to hit the nation's capital does have me a bit worried. In addition, having a shooter situation this Monday that caused me to work from home has me a bit flustered.

I'm also really frustrated with everyone being offended about this and that on social media. I feel like everyone is offended by something nowadays and we all just need to take a step back and relax. The whole #RedCup situation, completely stupid. Since when has Starbucks had "Christmas" themed cups? Never. They had snowmen and snowflakes. To those offended Christians, sorry but I didn't realize you laid claim to that. Secondly, that people are mad that Paris is "getting all the attention" and that Mizzou isn't. WHAT?! Both issues are important. Let's all just agree to be humans here and take a step back before getting all up-in-arms.

on a happier note, I can't wait for Thanksgiving and I'm so excited that it's next week. This year we're staying at my parent's house and my aunt and uncle are coming up to visit. Which is good because I only get off Thursday and Friday this year. Still no time off since I'm still on my first ninety-days of my new job. What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

I'm struggling with my creativity recently. I'm not sure if my creativity is draining because I'm brain dead from studying for the GRE and prepping grad school applications or it's just that foggy time of the year when I'm preoccupied by other things. Send me some creativity.

I just got my first box of Hello Fresh (Thanks, Cat!) and can't wait to start cooking it up. I've heard some issues about delivery but it actually came right on time for me. Right at 8 p.m. and luckily my front desk called me to pick it up because it's perishable, obviously. Finally good customer service at my apartment! If you want to see me struggle to cook Hello Fresh, definitely come follow me on snapchat @alannaandco. It'll be funny.

I ran for 45 minutes the other day (with a few stops here and there for Starla) and actually felt great. My shin splints only hurt at the beginning and I wasn't dying the next day. Maybe the cool weather helps? I don't know what it is but I haven't tried running since the summer and maybe I'll give it a try again before it gets too chilly outside. How have you been keeping fit in the colder weather?

Now onto the link-up!

Here are the ground rules for the link-up:
  • Each Wednesday create a post about what’s going on in your life and confess!
  • Grab the button and include it in your post or include a text link back to the link-up. 
  • Link up so we can see what you're confessing this week.
  • Comment on at least one other blogger’s post from the link up.
  • Feel free to share on social media with the hashtag #HumpdayConfessions and I'll retweet.
  • Enjoy!
Alanna & Company

Say hello to this month's sponsor:

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Best Places to Shop for Petite

Short girls rejoice! I am so glad that there are now so many more options for petite clothing. Not only am I short-waisted but I also have pretty short legs, and that makes shopping a bit more tricky for me. Before I ran across these amazing brands, my poor mom and her sewing machine were working overtime trying to hem everything for me. Yes, I know, I should probably know how to hem myself at this point, but sometimes your mom likes to do things for you, so take advantage!

Here are my favorite places to shop for clothing that doesn't need to have an extra hem work done.


Loft is amazing because almost all of their styles come in petite size including shirts, dresses, and pants! A lot of places only carry petite size pants! This way, you can find a nice "over-the-knee" dress that doesn't fall below your knees!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I watch a movie before I read the book. Most often, the book is a lot better. Sometimes, like the Martian, you get to see two different points of view from the movie versus the book. Either way, if you go to see a movie with me, most likely I'll have read the book before hand (if there is one). 

Every year I do the same thing, I peruse which books will be made into movies the coming year and put them all on my library queue. So here's what's on my list for this year.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Genre: Horror/Fantasy/Comedy?
I haven't read this yet and I wasn't a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice, but I think the mix of comedy with classic characters is going to be quite entertaining. Basically Elizabeth has turned into a zombie-killer since her entire town has fallen prey to a disease that is turning everyone into zombies. Have you all read this yet? 

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Genre: Children's, Classic, Fiction
I know this is already a Disney movie that you probably saw when you were a child but this adaptation will star Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba and Bill Murray! A must-see. Honestly, I've never read the book, have you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Humpday Confessions | When Subscription Boxes Aren't Worth It

First of all, I have some excited news to announce. Some of you may know Sarah from Plucky in Love. I just met her about a month ago, surprisingly enough, and both of us were hosting separate humpday confessions link-ups. So today, we've come together and will join forces for a group Humpday Confessions going forward that way you won't have to link-up on both of our sites. You can just link-up once and will be listed on both of our sites. Yay!

I confess that

I had a minor panic attack last week. If you follow me on Snapchat, you would have seen the entire thing. What happened was that I signed up for Julep and they send me a nice dark blue and purple color. Great for the fall, right? So I painted it on and it came on really thick and not very smooth. So I wanted to take it off and re-do the paint job. Here's when it all went wrong. The color barely came off my nails even though I had used a base coat, and then stained my all my fingertips too. It took a good 45 minutes to soak off about half of the color from my fingertips and nails. Such a disaster. Needless to say, I cancelled the subscription. I've had dark colors from Essie and OPI and this has never happened to me. I really did like their lipstick and lip gloss that they sent...

This weekend was literally the best! I met up with a friend this Friday for dinner to catch up. I had some downtime on Saturday to do some laundry and cleaning and then went hiking with friends and Starla on Sunday. The weather was perfectly cool and I'm glad I got to enjoy it before it dropped down into the 40s and 50s this week. 

the above hunky dude is the boyfriend. I don't know yet how frequently he'll be featured or if I want to share his name or whatever else. I promise that if I do chose to use a nickname for above hunky man, it will be something funny and creative. So if you see him pop up here, that's who he is. 

with that said, we're trying to plan an all-inclusive vacation of some sort. Send me your favorite places that you've been. My absolute favorite vacation was an all-inclusive in Cabo at RIU. I love their resorts. I definitely want to do Carribean because it will be quick and easy to get to and from, but I'm over Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Where should we go?

Starla is now a fashion model. Do you think she'll be willing to help me model my Stitchfix reviews?

Now onto the link-up!

Here are the ground rules for the link-up:
  • Each Wednesday create a post about what’s going on in your life and confess!
  • Grab the button and include it in your post or include a text link back to the link-up. 
  • Link up so we can see what you're confessing this week.
  • Comment on at least one other blogger’s post from the link up.
  • Feel free to share on social media with the hashtag #HumpdayConfessions and I'll retweet.
  • Enjoy!
Alanna & Company

Say hello to this month's sponsor:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Average Daily Struggles

I started writing this post after reading Nina's amazing post about the only way she can keep blogging. If you haven't seen it yet, read it.

To summarize, she feels that some blogs/posts are inauthentic or recycled from so many other posts. And instead of writing a post of "Why I Won't Read Your Blog," (because how many of those posts have we seen?), she encourages us as bloggers to infuse our personality into our posts and really write quality posts. 

I definitely continue to struggle with this on this blog as I focus on growing my following, keeping my readers (YOU!) interested, and letting my creativity shine through. I've been writing a lot of "how-to" posts or blogging posts, and you guys love them! I'm happy that you do. However, if you searched google on the same tips I provided, you can find that exact information elsewhere. My blog's name is Alanna & Company, which is essential my brand. My brand is me, so I am going to try to infuse a bit more "me" into everything you see here on this little space. Or a lot bit more. 

To branch into a different thought is all about Essena O'Neill and her rant. I'm not going to get into the details of the rant and how we all feel about it. But what I am going to talk about is ME! and not blogosphere/instagram me, the real me!

1. Math

I'm not even talking about my GRE prep math. I'm talking about like tips at restaurants, when you "fall back" an hour for daylights savings time does that mean you gain an hour or lose one, and when my GPS tells me to turn in 400 yards, how far is that really? We gained an hour right? Why is it so dark outside?

2. Fashion in General.
I'm totally not fashionable at all. Luckily, I haven't tried to fake a fashion post on here but believe-you-me I've thought about it! I'm just not stylish. My typical garb is jeans, my really cool walking shoes, and some sort of blouse from Loft that will match anything. Don't even try and think of giving me a pair of colored jeans and asking me to match it with something other than white.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dog Park Etiquette

One of my favorite activities to do with Starla is going to dog parks. Not only can does she get to socialize and play, but I also get to enjoy some nice outside time! I totally think that all dog owners need to find a good dog park and have some regular dog park outings with your pup. However, dog parks can also be a nightmare if someone is there with an aggressive dog or is disrespectful. 

For example,


I teamed up with my blogging bud, Laura, to discuss Dog Park Etiquette. Let's start with the basics.

Always keep your dog in eyesight

I would hope that you would know this when you have a dog, but I've been shocked about how many owners just sit down, peek at their phones, and lose track of their dog. 

Watch your dog and other dog's body language

Definitely give your dog space to grow some independence and play with other dogs, but always be vigilant. Here's a great chart to reference if you aren't familiar with dog body language, are a new dog owner, or just need a refresher.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Humpday Confessions | Fried Foods are not Friends

I confess that...

I love trying out new places for dinner, brunch, and happy hours. However it get's expensive?! When can Bitches Who Brunch just hire me already? (cough...) Or can restaurants just pay me to come there and eat? How do I achieve this?

Speaking of new restaurants, I tried out Golden Brown Delicious (GBD) on Connecticut this weekend for brunch and Oz in Clarendon for dinner. I've been to GBD before for happy hour, which is awesome! They have $3 wines and punches until 7 p.m. which is basically the cheapest happy hour I've found around Dupont so far. However, if you want to go to GBD for brunch, prepare yourself for deep fried everything. I thought it was what I wanted that morning but I literally had friend chicken in a maple bacon glazed donut with a pound of french fries. My stomach was so not happy with me after that. 

Golden Brown Delicious Maple Bacon Glazed Donut | Alanna & Co

I knew there was a time change this week but I totally forgot that it meant earlier nights and brighter mornings. I used to walk Starla in the dark, with no one to see my crazy hair, huge coke bottle glasses, and flip flops. Now I actually need to make sure that my hair isn't sticking straight up because people can actually see me in the mornings. Dangit. Also, I used to take most of my blog photos after work with the natural lighting. NOPE. I'm going to have to figure out a lighting situation. How/When do you all take your photos?

Monday, November 2, 2015

How to Ace Your First Week of a New Job

Starting a new job is exciting, but also stressful. There's always a learning curve in any new office, no matter how much experience you are bringing with you. However, if you start off on a good foot, you set yourself up for success in your new job. Some of these might seem obvious, but maybe not for everyone. Here are my tips to help you ace your first week. 

Get there early

Or at least be on time. What would be worse than being late to your first day of your new job, and on top of that you're now flustered (maybe sweaty) and rushed. Why not plan an extra half hour and if you have the extra time, stop by a Starbucks and pick up a latte on your way into the office. 

Bring some supplies with you

We would all love to expect a fully-set up office space the day that you start, but many times that's just not the case. Make sure you bring a couple pens, a notebook, and even some sticky notes. My must-have items also include a water bottle, iPhone charger, hand sanitizer, and a change of shoes. But at the bare minimum, pens and notebook for sure! 

Ask Questions

For the most part, no one will expect you to know exactly what you're doing the first day of the job. Don't feel afraid to ask questions from your boss, your coworkers, or even your subordinates. When you ask questions, take that handy notepad and write down your answers so you don't need to ask again. Nothing is more frustrating than a new coworkers who keeps asking the same question over and over.