Maple Alps


Capsule Wardrobe for Every Season // Guest Post

Guest PostsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps24 Comments

I recently spoke with a male colleague about women’s shopping habits and how expensive we can be for our partners. I personally can’t relate I have never spent more than fifty dollars for any item, in my wardrobe and usually I aim for twenty dollars and under. Whether budgeting or splurging, we all deserve to have a wardrobe that we love at our fingertips. In today’s retail climate, the style, availability and price range of clothing are vast and diverse.

So today, I thought we could have a conversation around creating a 10-piece wardrobe that suits all your needs.  

ten piece capsule wardrobe

What is it?

If you frequent Pinterest or YouTube you have likely heard the recent buzz word Capsule Wardrobe. If you’re anything like me, you looked at the photos and videos and still didn’t quite understand what it all meant. The featured articles lead me to believe a capsule wardrobe consisted of monochromatic clothing (since it was a recurring theme). According to Wikipedia, it’s a collection of a few essentials items of clothing, that don’t go out of fashion. Some people recommend having 12 to 33 items.


What are the benefits?


You have a limited number of items to mix and match.


You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create an amazing timeless wardrobe.


If you are always on the go or just like to travel light. A complete capsule wardrobe of 10 items can be conveniently stored in a carry-on bag.


What’s the budget?

Ultimately, the items you choose to purchase and the price point is up to you. I am going to share with you a capsule wardrobe for under $200.


Should my capsule wardrobe consist of high end items to ensure it lasts longer?

Your capsule wardrobe will last quite a long time, as long as you care for it properly. Here are 4 simple rules of thumb.

1.     Read the care-for instructions on your clothing label to ensure proper care.

2.     Wash any delicate items by hand to prevent fabric-stress and damage.

3.     Hang dry all your items to prevent shrinkage, fading, and discoloration.

4.     If for any reason you stain an item, make sure you use stain remover (as soon as possible) to prevent permanent damage.


10 Piece Capsule Wardrobe




Create a First Class Wardrobe on an Economy Class Budget

I did a little bit of research for the best place to purchase classic items for your budget. Without a doubt, Forever21 was the least expensive option. Also, they offer a wide variety of options for every style, shape, and budget. I know a lot people think I am way over 21 and have no business in this store, but if you are looking to get the biggest bang for your buck, this is the store for your capsule wardrobe. If you don’t live near a Forever21 store, they have a ridiculous online store selection but if you have never shopped there (proceed with caution).

If you decide to go with Forever21 for your capsule wardrobe, take it from me and…

·      Set aside a few hours to browse the store

·      Create a massive wardrobe (load up on several items for each section)

·      Hit the dressing room for a full session of fittings and photos

·      Because once you walk out of that door it’s a wrap.

o   No refunds, store credit only

o   Sale items and jewelry are final sale

Old Navy came in as a close second, they are reasonably priced and offer various sizes for all body styles. But this preppy favourite is best known for their classic style. So if you are a Trendy Tina, then you probably will not love their selection. The best thing about Old Navy is their Super Cash (discounts for a future date based on how much you spend) and Super Deals. There is almost always a sale, so definitely opt in to their email, you will not be disappointed. I love their return policy too. You have 90 days to exchange or return items for a full refund (this applies to both online and in store purchases).

Target came in a loose third. It was a complete flop! They don’t offer a wide variety of anything. Surprisingly, they were also the most expensive of the three; and their selection is definitely hit or miss at best.

What about you? Any recommendations for our readers out there on where to shop for the first class capsule wardrobe on an economy class budget? 

Chell Bee is a writer with a passion for encourage others to embrace their beautiful imperfections.
Connect with Chell Bee:
Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

This was a guest post by Chell Bee, who blogs at her lifestyle blog, Chell Bee

If you are interested in guest posting, check out the guest posting guidelines for Maple Alps, here. 

One Year of Marriage.

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps24 Comments

Guys! I can absolutely not believe that just a year ago today I married my best friend! The year went by so fast that I was scared to blink at times.  Time is a strange thing.

Almost everyone told me the first year of marriage is the hardest. While I am not sure if I've found that to be true (the transition was strangely smooth and natural for us), there were definitely some adjustments that needed to be made when joining my life with J's. If you were around six months ago for my recap on six months of marriage, you'll know that I had already done a lot of thinking about these things. Today, I invite you to see what's changed - or stayed the same - after another six.

One Year of Marriage |

In marriage, you share everything but your toothbrush

And even that may not be true. Mix-ups, confusion, and emergencies do happen...Oh, and when your spouse makes the most disgusted face ever when he realizes he's grabbed your toothbrush instead of his, try not to take it tooooooo personally ;)

The first year of marriage doesn't have to be hard.

Yes, there are adjustments that could be difficult, but approaching marriage intentionally and with open communication and a humble attitude will make these much more manageable. Make good habits that will stick for life now.

Marriage won't fix your personal problems.

Need I say more? You're not going to be suddenly selfless or never spend another wasted cent after you say, "I do." You may even still struggle with other things. Marriage is not a fix-all for personal issues. Continue growing in grace. 


Everyone has an opinion on your marriage and advice for it.

All you have to do is smile, nod and say, "Thank you for sharing." Then, really think about it. Don't be too proud to listen if it is really sound advice - even if it hurts. If it's completely ridiculous and uncalled for, still smile, nod, and say, "Thank you for sharing." THEN RUN AWAY!

Don't Assume...

...I'll let you finish that one ;-)

Appreciate Eachother

Taking each other for granted is not a good thing. Appreciate one another - and let the other know how much you appreciate them - and why! Thoughtfulness goes a long way.

Live-in accountability is usually a good thing

Until that morning you literally get dragged you out of bed to work out ... But no one regrets a good work out, right? But seriously, having someone right there to keep you accountable in different areas of your life is amazing. Plus, being and having a personal cheerleader is a fantastic.

Everything I learned in the first six months still applies today.

You can head over here to read what I learned in six months as a refresher if you read it already, or for something new if you haven't. It turns out love is still a decision, prayer is still necessary, and cuddling is still a challenge. Go figure.

Marriage is grand, but as with every aspect of life, it needs to be approached intentionally for the greatest success. I'm still learning that myself. 

What about you? Any marriage tips for a newlywed?

PS: We'll be celebrating today, so be sure to follow along on SnapChat and Instagram (@MapleAlps)


Women of Intention Week Thirteen: Cross-Generational Relationships/Mentorship

Women of Intention, RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Welcome to week thirteen of the series, Women of Intention! We are almost finished the series and I'm so glad you've come along as we interview Women of Intention! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

Cross Generational Relationships and Mentorship. Women of Intention #WomenOfIntention16 #MapleAlps


Today, we are going to meet Nina of Journey to Adulting.

Today, she will be talking to us about cross-generational relationships and mentorship. This type of relationship, we don't usually talk of often, but it can play a huge role in our lives once intentionally pursued. 

After reading this post, be sure to check out Nina's blog and share this post :)

Find Nina on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

I'm Nina. If there’s one thing that I’m consistently drawn to, it’s the study of people. I love learning about what makes us tick as humans, how culture shapes us and how we interact with others; maybe that’s partly why I’m pursuing an MA in counselling. So here I am, I just really love talking, reading and blogging about everything related to these topics.                                         


You have interest in cross-generational relationships. Could you briefly talk about this and tell us why you think it important?

I cherish cross-generational relationships because I am always learning so much from those who are older than me. They have so much wisdom to share just by virtue of experience. Some time ago, I remember attending a meeting where I had to give a yearly report. Afterwards, some members of the committee and myself went out for dinner. I distinctly remember sitting at the restaurant and realizing that everyone at our table was at least 15-30 years older than me. Far from being uncomfortable, I had this strong impression that there is so much wisdom and experience at this table. It was in that moment that I decided to be very intentional about learning from them. As I listened carefully and observed them, I found myself learning valuable lessons through basic things like conversation, how they treated the servers and mingled with their colleagues. They weren’t even aware that they were teaching me anything, but I picked up on precious lessons from the 2 days we spent together. In those 2 short days, I learned things that a lifetime in the classroom won’t really teach you.

How could one intentionally begin this type of relationship?

First, you need to be intentional about who you choose. Seek out someone who you respect and want to emulate. Look for someone who has characteristics that you value. Is there an older person in your life who exudes courage and strength? Unswerving integrity? Leadership?

Then, find a way to spend time with them. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, if you were them, what would you need? And then offer to help in that area. Maybe that means coming over to rake their leaves, help plan an event or just grabbing lunch together.

I believe that the best and most valuable learning doesn’t happen in the classroom, but in those little, unplanned moments when a simple question is asked, an object lesson is drawn or a situation is handled. So don’t think you’re wasting time by doing seemingly ordinary or mundane things together. You never know what you’ll learn or what stories you’ll hear.


What about mentorship? What benefits does mentorship have? Would you say it’s as important to search out someone to mentor as it is to find a mentor for oneself?

Yes, I would definitely say that mentoring someone is just as important as being mentored!. So far, I’ve been talking about cross-generational relationships with those that are older, but relationships with those that are younger are just as important!

I can’t speak enough about mentorship, it is has been one of the biggest blessings in my life (both as a recipient and a giver). I first discovered mentorship when I mentored a young man to become a leader for our campus ministries club. Watching him grow, sitting with him through difficulties, praying for him and sharing what I’ve learned has blessed me in so many ways. Not only has it made me intentional about everything I do (because I am being observed), but it also gives me a greater purpose than just living for myself. You grow from the experience and it is hard to put to words exactly what happens when you engage in these kinds of relationships, but it truly changes you.

These days, I’m always intentional about having a mentor in an area that I want to grow in. Having a mentor is so valuable because you are able to go to them with your questions, have no shame over your doubts and learn things that you can’t find in textbooks or online. In the same way, I’m always looking for someone to invest time and effort into. You won’t reap the full blessings of mentorship until you’ve both been a mentor and a mentee.

What would you say to encourage someone who is struggling in this area of their life; whether wanting to begin cross-generational relationships, mentorship or even becoming a mentor?

To those who are looking for a mentor, do not be afraid to be vulnerable enough to ask for help. Maybe, there is no one in your life that you can ask to mentor you, perhaps this means sending out an email to someone you’ve never met or asking for friends to tell you of people they know. In either case, it takes courage to ask for help, but the rewards are so worth it!

There are people who want to be a mentor, but feel like they have nothing to share. A good thing to try is to begin journaling and being intentional about noticing the lessons you’ve learned in life or the growth/progress you’ve made. Your story is an incredible resource of wisdom that you can share with others.

Look at the people in your circle and see if God is putting someone as a burden on your heart to spend time with. Investing in people is one of the most incredible things you will ever do.

What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Have you had, or have you been a mentor? Why don't you tell me about it in the comments, and connect with me on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)


Women of Intention Week Eleven: Mental Health

Women of IntentionAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

Welcome to week eleven of the series, Women of Intention! We are now over halfway through and Maple Alps will continue to feature a woman every week who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life for the next 8 weeks. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

Intentionality in Mental Health #WomenOfIntention16 #MapleAlps Women of Intention.


Today, we are going to meet Melinda who blogs at Fruit of Brokenness, a very real, helpful and inspiring blog about mental health and faith.

Today she will be talking to us about intentionality when it comes to mental health. Her answers may surprise you and will inspire you, so be sure to stick around till the end!

After reading this post, be sure to check out Melinda's blog and share this post :)

Find Melinda on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

I’m a homeschool mom, and freelance writer and editor, stepping back from freelance work to focus on building my blog. 

Sometimes I feel like major depressive disorder sucked all the passion out of me. There were times I didn’t have enough energy to do the most important jobs God gave me: wife to Jeff and mom to Jonathan, Joel, and Nora. There isn’t much energy for anything but the basics when your brain kicks you into survival mode.

But the darkest times don’t last. What I love to do now is use my struggle to help others find hope.

There are still many bumps in the road, but it’s good to once again be able to enjoy things more consistently. Like visiting Lake Ontario beaches and reading.


Often times, people say that Christians having mental illnesses is due to a lack of faith. What is your stance on this?

I wholeheartedly disagree, and it’s one of the foundations of my blog. If we consider the symptoms of depression when we read accounts of various people in the Bible, we see that some of God’s most faithful servants struggled with depression. In the Psalms in particular we also see what we should do with our overwhelming feelings: be honest with God about them and choose to trust Him in the midst of them.

In God’s example in Scripture, we don’t see the dismissal or harshness with which some in the church treat those who are depressed. For example, when Elijah felt that all he had done for the Lord was in vain, and that he was all alone in the world, all he wanted was to die, to be done with life. God didn’t just tell him to be stronger and snap out of it, and he didn’t send him off to consider what unconfessed sin he was harbouring.

Elijah had plenty of faith, but he was still overwhelmed by the storm in his mind. After he called down fire from heaven, prayed away a drought he prophesied several years before, and outran a chariot, all he wanted to do was die.

Before putting him back on the job, God ministered to Elijah by taking care of his basic needs and letting him rest. He built up his energy to travel to a place he could hear Him in a new way.

While we need to understand that faith does not ensure perfect mental health, we must not swing too far in the opposite direction. Refusal to take God at His Word and trust Him makes us more susceptible to the negative thought patterns that spin out of control in bouts of depression.

Made in God’s image, we’re not merely physical beings. In these bodies we have minds and emotions. If we are unhealthy in any of these areas, the others suffer. We can’t compartmentalize health. Mental and emotional health impact, and are impacted by, our physical and spiritual health. 


What does intentionality in mental health practically look like? Are there any other factors that play into it?

We’re not one-dimensional. Being intentional in mental health is being intentional in each dimension: physically, mentally and spiritually.

  • Eat right. Drink plenty of water. Take medication as prescribed if you need it. Exercise.
  • Be careful what you feed your mind. Think about what you’re thinking about. Don’t accept lies.
  • To recognize lies, you need to know Truth. Read, meditate on, and memorize God’s Word.

What practical advice would you give someone who is struggling in this area of their life?

Start with admitting you’re struggling. Let go of any shame you may feel that you’re not a “good” Christian if you struggle with depression or anxiety. Take responsibility for making healthy choices, and do not be ashamed to seek professional help.  

What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Are you intentional when it comes to your mental health? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)


Women of Intention Week Nine: Friendships

Women of Intention, RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

Welcome to week nine of the series, Women of Intention! We are just over halfway through and Maple Alps will continue to feature a woman every week who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

Intentionality in Friendships. #WomenofIntention16 #MapleAlps


Today, we are going to meet Andrea of Empty Plate, Full Heart, a blog full of inspiring stories and the like!

Friendship may not always be something we think about intentionally, and that is exactly where Andrea comes in today! She has some great thoughts and experiences in having intentional friendships and has a lot to share!

After reading this post, be sure to check out her blog and share this post :)

Find Andrea on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

My name is Andrea Stunz. I am the wife of one, mom of three, mother in law of two and grandmother of one (hoping for more!). I am originally from South Texas but have lived and traveled to the tune of a very fat passport. I love good food and good coffee and I find so much hope in every sunrise.

I feel like in all of the callings God has placed on my life, He has serendipitously worked many of them out through my role as a mom. Motherhood comes naturally. Marriage is a bit more challenging. That being said, my husband and I, through a lot of hard work and God’s amazing grace, have been married for over 27 years now.

As I approach the bi-centennial age bracket, I’m learning that a shared page in my story can encourage someone else to turn the page in theirs. This plays into my calling as a writer. As I am entering my empty nest years, I have asked myself the question more than once what I want to be when I grow up. God has clearly confirmed to me that I have words to be shared and that quite possibly, someone out there may need to read them.

I love capturing moments in time through the camera lens. My adventurous spirit comes from a deep desire to see, taste, hear, smell and touch everything that God has created. I simply can’t get enough of His creation story.


Would you say that being intentional in friendships is important? What are the benefits?

This is an interesting question for me. I’ve moved often throughout my life so cultivating friendships (finding them, keeping them and losing them) has always been a major part of who I am. Add to the mix that I am an introvert by any and all definitions so this is where relationships get tricky. Being intentional in making friends has always been important but keeping them is what becomes the challenge.

 The benefits of being intentional in our friendships are immeasurable. The bottom line is that if you don’t want to be lonely, you simply must be intentional about making and keep friends. It might take a quick “I’m thinking about you!” text or an email or a long lunch together but putting the first foot forward is crucial. Always remember that we must be the kind of friend we want to have.

Were you always intentional in your friendships? If so, why? If not, what made that change?

I have not always been intentional in my friendships or most of my relationships, if I’m honest with you. As I mentioned before, I am an introvert. I like being alone. I am recharged by being alone. I guess the first time I remember being very purposeful about making friends was when we moved overseas. I knew that my bent would be to stay at home and live with my family in my known and safe environment. I also knew that this wouldn’t work for me. I wanted to have a life more than I wanted to be alone. I joined an American women’s organization with the sole purpose of exploring and learning new things. It would also prove to force me to be around other people. I didn’t necessarily make any great new friends through that but it was a good way for me to be intentional. It got me out of my cocoon.

Another time of change for me in being intentional in friendship was during a season of personal brokenness. I lost a few friends during that season because quite honestly, I wasn’t able to be a very good friend. I was in survival mode and there was very little margin for fluff relationships. It turned out to be a good weeding in my life and the friendships that stuck, those who were intentional in keeping me, taught me so much about how to be a better friend. The friends who stuck with me during that time and helped and encouraged and stayed, they mean the world to me. I long to mean the world to someone else in that same way, to be that kind of friend. 

What would you say to encourage someone who is struggling with intentionality in this area of their life?

 If you’re struggling to find friends or keep friends, take a look at the kind of friend you are. Be the kind of friend you want to have. Grasping this in my life was such a turning point. Take a look at the kind of people you are hanging around with. Someone once told me that we become like the 5 people we hang around with the most. Who do you want to become? Narrow your focus to finding those 5 people or those 5 types of people. If we are constantly looking for others to come to us, to fill us rather than the focus being on us filling others then we will likely live unfulfilled and disappointed. We should make the effort to become someone we would like if we expect others to like us too. Simply profound.

Be the friend you want to have. History has proven to me that in doing so, friends will find you!

What about you? What helps you be intentional in your friendships? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)