December 9, 2016

Cutest Holiday Dresses under $25.

Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography

     The holidays are upon us! With this special season also comes the opportunity to dress up for lots of fun events that only happen at this time of year. Along with many traditions that happen such as tree lightings, ice skating, and Christmas markets, it seems like wherever you go there are all sorts of Christmas parties to attend: everything from office parties to house parties to formal events to attend in your community. Even most colleges and schools host their own holiday festivities! And all of these special events call for different festive outfits of course. But with the holidays also being an expensive time of year (hello gift shopping!), finding party outfits on a budget can be very key. 

     This fun polka dot dress that I am wearing here would be perfect for any sort of holiday party, and amazingly it's under $20!! Talk about a bargain! This dress looks great with pops of holiday reds thrown in against it, which I did by pairing it with dressy red pumps, and a bold lipstick. Now all that you would need is a holiday party!

     My dress is from SheIn, which sells some really cute fashion pieces for amazing prices. They're a great shopping destinations if you're looking for an outfit for a certain event but don't want to spend a lot of money. I've rounded up some other SheIn dresses below that I think would be perfect for all types of Christmas and NYE parties (and everything else in between!):


    Have you gotten your holiday party dresses yet, and do you have any fun holiday events to attend soon? I'm headed to a housewarming party tomorrow night, and then my roommate and I are throwing a Christmas party for our friends next weekend- and I'm so excited already!

     xoxo Miss ALK

December 8, 2016

Four Blog Events... and a Tornado!

     Instead of sharing a Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases post like I normally do yesterday, I wanted to share a different sort of update about some fun events that I attended last week on behalf of the blog! I know that I've said this before, but Charlotte is truly one of the best cities to be a blogger in. It isn't as overwhelmingly large as New York City or LA, but there is still a very significant blogging community here. Not only is it a wonderful community within the bloggers themselves, but many local businesses in the area are very open and supportive to working with bloggers, and often plan local events open to the blogging community.

     Last week I was invited to five events! I had to pass on one of them because of my work schedule, but I was able to attend the other four, and they were all a lot of fun. Here's a little recap of what all went down (And please excuse the low-quality iPhone photos!! My DSLR didn't make it out to any of these events unfortunately.):

     Monday: Fall Menu Reveal at Studio Movie Grill 

     I have to say- Charlotte definitely tops Maine as far as the quality of movie theaters go. I have only had positive experiences at all of the movie theaters down here that I've been to! But out of all of them- Studio Movie Grill in Uptown Charlotte takes the movie watching experience to new heights. With leather reclining seats and a full bar and menu (which you can also order from during the menu!), it makes the movie watching experience like no other. 

     Studio Movie Grill hosted local influencers last Monday night to celebrate their new menu. We got to taste the new dishes, and also sample wines and a specialty seasonal cocktail. Each influencer invited got to bring a guest, and you received two complimentary movie tickets. My roommate Ciera and I have been to Studio Movie Grill before for girls' nights, so of course I had to take her as my +1! We saw the romantic comedy Almost Christmas, which was just released in time for the holiday season. It was a lot funnier than we expected- I'd definitely recommend it! The new food and drinks were all fantastic as well, I would recommend the blackened chicken pasta. And as you can see- we almost had the place to ourselves for the showing that we selected of Almost Christmas! Thanks to Studio Movie Grill for making our Monday night a lot more fun that usual.

Tuesday: #ElfieSelfie Party at City Lights

      City Lights Rooftop Bar at Le Meridien Hotel is one of my favorite places in Charlotte!! I have attended a lot of their events this year, and they are always a good time. When I received an invitation to a Christmas party type event, I knew that I definitely couldn't pass it up! For this event, I took along another roommate- my suitemate from senior year of college (how was that only a year ago?!), Caroline! Caroline is a senior herself this year, and I don't get to see her nearly enough anymore. :-)

      This was definitely one of the most special events that I've attended at City Lights! The beautiful Christmas tree that they had set up looked incredible against the skyline- the picture that I have above there doesn't do it justice! Caroline and I got to sample a few things from their holiday menu. We both enjoyed some of the "hard cocoas" and hot toddy beverages, and my personal favorite was the incredible bourbon s'mores platter that we were treated to! It was brought to our table with it's own mini flame, so that you could make s'mores right from where you are sitting. And of course we had to take our #ElfieSelfie with the official party elf! Thanks so much to City Lights for yet another fantastic evening!

Thursday: Holiday Fashion Show at Anthropologie

     One of my Charlotte blogger friends who I met at The Blog Societies Conference this summer, Kristina from Medicine and Manicures, invited me to attend a fun holiday event at one of Charlotte' Anthropologie stories with her and her friend last Thursday evening. It was a holiday fashion show featuring some of the latest looks to hit the store, and there were also delicious cocktails and desserts! Minus a mug and a few small items, Anthro is a store that I tend usually more to browse in rather than buy in. But after seeing this fashion show, I realized how many adorable clothing items they sell as well- especially for the winter season! It was a delightful evening.

Friday: Opening of Claire de Lune Boutique 

     On Friday evening, I had the pleasure of getting to attend the opening of a brand new boutique, located in Charlotte's historic South End neighborhood (which is one of my favorite parts of the city!). One of the things that I think makes Claire de Lune Boutique special is that Anna Kirwan, the owner is a recent alumna of my university! It's really exciting to see other Queens graduates finding so much success here in Charlotte, and pursuing their dreams. The opening was very fun, and I attended with my friend Mary, a friend who was in my graduating class in college, and who I'm now attending broadcasting school with! We both had the chance to catch up with a lot of other alumni from our university, and it was great to see all of Anna's hard work come to life.

...And Wednesday... Tornado?

     You might have noticed that Wednesday was the night last week that I didn't attend an event! I was at broadcasting school for most of that day working on a project, and ended up staying later than I expected into the evening trying to finish it.

     Around 6:30 pm that night, something quite unexpected happened! An actual tornado hit my broadcasting school. It came very quickly- two different iPhone alerts went off, and shortly after the second, the power went out in our school and then the storm had begun. Being from Maine, where tornados are extremely rare, I had never experienced one before! The noises that were surrounded our school's building were the exact "stereotypical" tornado wind sounds. There was a night class in progress at school, and a few other students like myself who were working on projects, and all of us went to hide in an office that didn't have windows. Everything was over within a few minutes, and thankfully all of us were fine. But some parts of our building were not:

     My little life lesson from the tornado experience was that no matter how much you can plan out your schedule and anticipate what's to come, God is always the one that's actually in control! He sometimes likes to "shake things up" - in this case it was literally! Something as big as a tornado can put it into perspective how small we all are very quickly. :-)

     The weirdest thing about this tornado is it was later reported that it hit a radius of less than two miles in Charlotte! So it really only touched down in the neighborhood my school. The area that I live in, the neighborhood where my university was, Uptown... all of those places were fine!


     So that is your random peak into one of my busy weeks! Have any of you attended fun events lately? Or survived any crazy weather?

     xoxo Miss ALK

December 6, 2016

Lilly Pulitzer Holiday Gift Guide.

      Just popping in with a quick gift guide today. This one is perfect for all of the preppy ladies in your life- or perhaps even as a little gift to yourself! Lilly Pulitzer's bright colors and bold prints are usually synonymous with summer weather, but I happen to think that a little bit of Lilly under the Christmas tree could make the winter season seem a whole lot sunnier.

      Three of my favorite Lilly items are featured here: an Elsa top, an iPhone case, and a scarf! I've had a few Lilly iPhone cases in the past and have loved them- not only are the colors gorgeous, but they hold up very well! Lilly scarves are such a fun way to add a pop of color to any outfit. And Elsa tops have become a staple in my wardrobe, especially since entering post-grad life and having now having to wear business casual clothing more days out of the week than not. But I truly think anything shown here- or let's be honest, anything Lilly at all would be a great Christmas gift for a pink and green loving lady.

     Hope that y'all are having a great week! Yesterday I finished a very big project at broadcasting school that I was working on with a classmate throughout the whole month of November- it is such a relief to have that over with! Of course I have another equally big project now that's due this Thursday... despite the fact that broadcasting school doesn't follow the traditional college schedule, you'd think it was Finals Week around here!

     xoxo Miss ALK