August 26, 2016

Essential Fall Sweater.

     Growing up, fall was always my least favorite season. Summer is such a short, fleeting time in Maine, and almost as soon as it arrives, it's gone! Fall always came way too quickly to take away sweet summer, so I never used to look forward to it.

     Now that I have spent a full summer in the South, my views have changed. I can definitely say that I'm excited for fall this year. I have enjoyed my summer, and I've also tolerated the humidity and high heat down here better than I thought I would. But I'm also definitely starting to get ready for some cooler temperatures and fall activities! 

     Stocking up on certain fall essential pieces before the season starts can be great for your wardrobe. I love buying some solid colored sweaters every year that I know I'll be able to mix and match with different bottoms and accessories, and overall get lots of wear out of. I'm absolutely in love with this Banana Republic cashmere sweater. It is definitely more of an investment piece, but it is so soft and light, while still being warm! What a win-win. I also love any fall or winter style pieces that still incorporate bright color for the cooler months. While some darker toned fall fashion can be chic, wearing dark colors for months on end can start to depress me. This sweater comes in many colors, and I loved this cheery coral color! 

      This is my last weekend in Charlotte before I will be traveling for the next two weekends! I don't have anything too exciting going on... mostly just things that I need to take care of before I'll be out of town. :-) Do any of you have fun weekend plans?



      xoxo Miss ALK

    Banana Republic provided gifted product in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!

August 25, 2016

Back-to-School Binder Covers Tutorial with HP.

     This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSwithHP #CollectiveBias

     The back-to-school season means that it's time for most students to begin lots of shopping. While basic school supplies like pens and binders usually top high on the list, sometimes items that are a bit more investment-worthy are needed for the school year as well, such as a new laptop computer! These days, it is almost impossible for a middle, high school, or college student to be able to complete their homework without having a computer of their own, as so many assignments are either online or require online research to complete nowadays. In college, I even had to take several online classes throughout my four years, meaning that these classes never even met in a physical classroom!

     Since a laptop can be such a big purchase, I know that a lot of students who might be shopping for one will be looking for one that combines convenience and affordability. Luckily- HP has come to the rescue. Walmart stores are carrying a wide array of HP laptops, all at different price points, which are perfect for different students' needs. 

     I recently had the chance to test out one of the new HP laptops (sold at Walmart). The one that I received was an HP Notebook. It came equipped with the latest Intel processor, a crisp HD screen, and high performance backed by over 200 tests! In getting familiar with my new computer, I decided to use it to help with a small project that I'd been wanting to work on for school! As some of you know, I began attending broadcasting school just over a month ago, which is essentially "graduate school" for people in my chosen career path. The start of school came upon me a little earlier this summer than I was expecting, so I am still in the process of figuring out which school supplies to bring with me each week, and what is best helping me studying and homework needs. One thing that I do need is a big binder to help organize all of my class notes. I was using a plain one, but I wanted to try and make a decorated and personalized binder cover to add a little bit of color and pizzaz to my school supplies!

     There are a lot of tutorials online for how to make your own customized monogrammed binder covers, but I already have either my monogram or the letter A on a lot of things, so I wanted to do something a little bit different and add an encouraging bible verse to my binder cover. 

     The first thing that I did was use Microsoft Edge, the all-new web browser that came pre-installed in my HP laptop, to search with and find a pretty background for my binder cover. (Is anyone really that surprised that I went with a Lilly Pulitzer background?!) 

     Next I launched Microsoft Word, which is the program that I used to make the binder covers. You don't have to have Adobe programs or anything fancy to do something like this!

     I then copied and pasted the Lilly Pulitzer background image into the Word document, and resized it to fit the whole page. Then I went under "Insert" and found a shape that I wanted, and placed that over the picture. Lastly, I added a text box over the shape. The text box had a default white color around it, but I was easily able to deselect having any color around the box, so that the text was transparent over the shape. Lastly, I selected a font and typed what I wanted it to say, which was "Broadcasting School," and an encouraging bible verse! 


    I have previously owned an HP printer (which I absolutely LOVE), and it was very easy to link my new laptop to the printer using HP's ePrint service. 

     I am just loving how this binder cover came out! It is so much cuter than the plain binder that I was taking with me to school before. 

     You can find my HP Notebook and a wide selection of other laptop models at your local Walmart! 

    Are you currently in the market for a new computer for back-to-school (or for work if you're beyond your school years)? 

     xoxo Miss ALK

August 24, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.

{Follow me on Instagram + Snapchat @miss_alk!}

  • Surviving my new schedule: I mentioned this briefly in an Instagram post last week, but my schedule has undergone some changes recently! Something that I haven't announced on the blog is that I ended up having a change in my employment for this summer, and didn't end up becoming a full-time nanny as I originally intended to after college. I currently have two part-time jobs (one actual one, and blogging is most definitely the other!), and I just began a paid internship a few weeks ago. Plus I am in broadcasting school, and I go back to babysitting one day a week after Labor Day! Whew! If y'all are interested, I can write a new Life Updates post soon to share more about what exactly I'm up to in my day-to-day life.
  • Birthday trip 2k16: In more exciting news, I will be headed out of town during Labor Day weekend for a very exciting birthday getaway! I decided to splurge and use a bunch of my graduation money on the weekend trip of a lifetime. I've been very on the DL about where I am going, but I will share that my travel companions will be my current roommate, Ciera, and her best friend from high school, Priyanka. The only hint I'll give is that it's a favorite destination of mine that I have visited before. ;-) f you'd like to read about my 21st birthday trip from last year, check out this post
  • New Netflix Recommendations: My favorite show this summer to watch on Netflix was Parks and Rec. I was a bit late in the game to get into it, but I really enjoyed it once I finally watched it! I finished it a couple of weeks ago, and have been searching for a new comedy to get into since. My favorite Netflix shows are 20 minute comedies that I can watch quickly in between busy periods in my day and enjoy for a quick laugh. Any recommendations?

  • As many of you know, the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale happened earlier this week! I'm on a fairly tight budget this year as I am in school again, and I also have some travels coming up in September! I told myself I would only buy something if it was a staple piece that I could also wear in the winter months. (Sadly this ruled out most shift dresses...) Luckily- I was able to find something that fit exactly what I was looking for! I can't wait for this pretty pink thing to arrive. 
  • Those of you who follow me on Snapchat know that I spent all of last week pet-sitting for one of my favorite dogs! A family that I babysat for a lot in college was on vacation, and they invited me to stay at their house and take care of their dog (my answer was a definite YES!). The pup that I took care of is a Boston Terrier, so when I saw these PJ pants while I was in Charleston a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist them.
  • After I moved into my apartment and was organizing my clothing in my new bureau, I decided that I didn't want to keep socks in a bureau drawer, so that I would have more space for other clothing. I wanted to try and find a cute storage box to keep my socks in. I found this one over the weekend and I'm obsessed with it! Not a bad price point either.

     My question for y'all this week: did you shop the After Party Sale? What goodies did you pick up if so?

     Stay tuned for a really fun collaboration post tomorrow! 

     xoxo Miss ALK