September 26, 2016

Pink + Florals.















     I share quite often that my favorite outfits to put together are restyled looks where I take various fashion pieces that I've worn before on the blog and mix and match them into new looks. But out of all the restyled looks that I've shared before- this might just be my favorite!! It combines two of my very favorite things to wear: florals and bold color. 


     I first styled this pretty blouse last winter in this spring fashion preview post. It is still in stock and still selling for an incredibly low price- you can snatch up this pretty little top for under $20! My skirt is from a local Charlotte store that I bought especially for my birthday/blogiversary photos. As soon as I saw this skirt in the store, I knew that I had to have it! Few things to me seem quite as feminine and darling to wear as a hot pink midi skirt. There are literally endless ways to style this, which is why I styled it three different ways on the day that I did the blogiversary photos! Another look will be posted in a few weeks. Even though I found the midi skirt I'm wearing at a local store, I was able to find another pretty pink skirt that's almost identical and available online! 



     These photos were taken at City Lights Rooftop bar in Uptown Charlotte during the same day as my special birthday and blogiversary photoshoot a few weeks ago. A big thank-you again to City Lights for allowing Deeana and I to shoot there. And thank-you to all of you again who have been keeping the city of Charlotte in your thoughts and prayers through last week and this weekend- there has been much tension due to the riots and protests that have occurred! 










     xoxo Miss ALK

September 23, 2016

Fun and Affordable Business Casual Look.















Dress c/o {under $20!} // Blazer {old, similar here under $25} // Shoes {old, similar here} // Purse {newer style linked} // Pom Pom (on purse) // Watch // Nails // Lipstick //





     I've been attending broadcasting school since mid-July, and choosing to enroll in this program has been one of the best decisions that I've ever made. I'm having so many incredible experiences, and furthering my education so much in my chosen career field. In addition to being a student, I also began an internship working for my broadcasting school in August, so I spend a good deal of time there each week! The school enforces a business casual dress code amongst students and staff. I always enjoyed dressing up for class in college, but that was always at my leisure, and there were definitely some days when I would sometimes roll out of bed and head to class with bedhead and in a wrinkled sweatshirt. But in post-grad life, I don't have that luxury anymore! I've really had to build my business casual wardrobe in the last few months.


      While some investment pieces are necessary (such as some well-fitting dress pants, good pairs of heels, and a good work tote- like one that I'm carrying here!), I'm finding that you can also snatch up some more "fun" business casual pieces that both add flair to your workwear a little bit, and also don't break the bank.  


    This eye-catching floral dress is such a great way to mix up your business casual attire! The higher neckline and short sleeves give it a stylish modesty factor that make it office appropriate. And the stretchy fabric makes it comfortable and breathable for long days. And the best part of all is that it's UNDER $20


     This floral dress is another great buy from SheIn. While SheIn might typically be thought of as a shopping destination for trendy pieces or the perfect spot for weekend-wear, I've realized that there are actually some great picks to be found that could be great for work-wear also! Some people have asked me before on my thoughts about buying from SheIn- since their prices are insanely low, it can sometimes be hard to judge the quality of the items online and you can be left wondering if things will look the same when they arrive to you! So far, my experiences with SheIn have been only positive. My #1 tip is to order items from them that have been already purchased by other shoppers, and have pictures posted in the style gallery for the item (where real purchasers share how they wore the item, so you don't just see it on the models!). This is a great way to get a feel for if you would like an item or not. 



     My outfit details are below, and after that I'm also sharing some other great SheIn picks that I think would be perfect business casual attire for the upcoming fall months! 










 



     I hope that y'all have a great start to your weekends! Thank-you to everyone who has been keeping the city of Charlotte in your prayers this week in regards to the tensions and violent riots that have erupted throughout the city during this week. I feel very thankful that the area of the city that I live in is not near where any of these events have occurred, but it is still a very sad week to live in Charlotte. Praying that everything will be resolved soon and peace and love will cover the city!



  xoxo Miss ALK

September 20, 2016

Eating For Cheap on the Las Vegas Strip.

     I spent Labor Day Weekend of this year in one of my favorite cities on earth, Las Vegas! I have been there once before, three years ago for a girls' week with my mom. (Trip recaps from 2013 here, here and here.) Traveling with friends in Vegas is a very different experience then traveling there with parents. It's also different to be there at 21 versus underage. So it was definitely a lot of fun to be back!


     Although Vegas is famous for some of the best restaurants in the country, it is also an expensive destination in terms of food and beverage. Prices for dinners at some of the hotels' better restaurants can quickly get up in the hundreds of dollars (!!), and it's not uncommon for lunch prices to be ranging between $20-$40. Despite the fact that just about all food in Vegas is out of this world, the average price points can be very hard for anyone on a budget to fathom for a multi-day vacation. I'm currently on a fairly strict budget as I'm in broadcasting school this year, and I'm also working to pay for school loan-free! Anyone who is also on a student budget, or anyone who might be on a budget in general could have a hard time paying that much for food on vacation.


    But luckily, Vegas does have lots and lots of affordable restaurant options as well! They just take a little digging to find. I am rounding up all of the places that I enjoyed eating at during my Labor Day Weekend in Vegas that didn't break the bank- I would definitely recommend each one of these spots to anyone who might be traveling to Vegas in the future!





*Sambalatte at Monte Carlo: I have to give credit to one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Emily Gemma from The Sweetest Thing, for how I found out about this darling spot! Emily and her husband visited Vegas earlier this summer, and after she instagrammed a picture of a latte from this coffee shop I knew that this was a must-visit for me. Sambalatte has the menu of a typical coffee shop: they serve the typical iced and hot coffee and tea beverages, and since it's Vegas they also have some adult beverages on the menu too. But what sets this coffee shop apart is the incredible colored latte art that they're able to do on some of the foam beverages! I have never seen anything like this, and getting to see the beverages in person was even more amazing. I ordered my standard hot beverage, a chai latte, and not only was it incredibly delicious,  but was also the prettiest drink that I've ever had! My chai latte was $6 and I think most of the Sambalatte latte art beverages range from $5-8. Definitely worth it in my opinion though!







*The Buffet at Aria: This was the one "splurge" meal of the trip. My roommate really wanted to visit a classic Las Vegas buffet while on our trip- which let's be real, if you're going to Vegas then you have to do at least one buffet on the Strip! I spent literally weeks researching all of the buffets at the various Strip hotels, and comparing Trip Advisor reviews, sample menus and prices. I ended up deciding that Buffet at Aria was the one that I wanted us to visit.
      It did not disappoint! We decided to go for lunch instead of dinner to save money (Lunch is $25.99 and dinner is closer to $40), but the lunch buffet is still full of amazing options. They had a huge section of different Asian cuisines which made me very happy, since those are my favorite type of foods! The build-your-own pho bar and fresh naan bread were definitely hits. And the dessert bar... don't even get me started on that! I am sad that I was already quite full from lunch so I didn't get to try a lot of the desserts that I wanted to, but the few that I did sample were incredible.
     The next time that I'm in Vegas for a longer period of time, I might buy the "Buffet of Buffets" pass from Caesar's. It gives you unlimited access to buffets at five or more Strip hotels for as many days as you would like on your trip. This package was a bit expensive for what were were looking for during this trip, but definitely something to think about during future travels since buffets are a hit!




Build your own Pho station, and sampling the different hummus varieties. 



More yummy Asian delicacies from the Buffet.




Just a few of the great desserts!


*In-N-Out: There are plenty of affordable chain restaurants with convenient locations on the Vegas Strip. Everything from fast food such as Burger King and McDonald's, to popular sit-down chains like Outback and PF Chang's. We wanted to eat at places that we might not have access to back here on the East Coast, so although eating at these chains would have definitely been affordable, we chose not to visit any while in Vegas. But one chain restaurant broke our rule: In-N-Out! (Although we don't have this on the East Coast... so technically it didn't break any rules about chains that we have access to at home. ;-) )
     If you're not familiar with In-N-Out, it's a West Coast burger chain with a sort of similar restaurant structure to Five Guys, and it definitely has a large following. My first time eating at In-N-Out was when my mom and I went to Vegas three years ago, and I couldn't wait to eat there again! Their burgers are definitely worth the hype. And best of all, just about everything is under $10, if not under $5!
    There currently isn't an In-N-Out on the Strip, so we ate at the one closest to. It was about a 10 minute drive from our hotel. I read online though that there should be an In-N-Out built right on the Strip before the end of 2016, which is exciting!






*The Food Court at the Grand Canal Shops at The Venetian: Amazingly, every strip hotel in Vegas is large enough to have its own food court. The variety in the types of restaurants that are found in the food courts vary from hotel to hotel though. The best food court experience that we found was at the Venetian/Palazzo, in their Grand Canal Shops mall area. The Food Court had some chain favorites like Johnny Rockets and Chipotle, and also some really creative eateries such as a quick-serve Indian restaurant, and a European-style cafe which served crepes! I enjoyed a dessert crepe for lunch and can honestly say that it compared to the crepes that I ate when I studied abroad last summer. The Grand Canal Shops Food Court is a very affordable option for eating compared to the sit-down restaurants in the shopping area, but it still provides a lot of variety in terms of food choices!





*Hexx Chocolate and Confexxions at Paris (for dessert): Each day when we would walk past the Paris hotel on the strip, I would notice large signs in the windows for Hexx candy store that advertised their gourmet ice cream sandwiches. They take homemade cookies in a variety of flavors and pair them with your choice of any of their homemade ice creams! The pictures on the signs looked incredibly amazing, and I knew I had to experience this treat at least once before leaving Vegas. We finally made it over here on our very last morning in Vegas before heading to the airport and waited for Hexx to open- I was actually the first customer of the day! I had my ice cream sandwich made on two sugar cookies, and with half cinnamon ice cream and half banana chocolate. It was divine. Possibly one of the best desserts I've ever had! So rich though that I could not finish it.... I guess that just means I'll have to go back for another someday!
   



   


      I already can't wait to be back in Vegas again in the future! One of my favorite cities ever... I could definitely write a very long blog post on all of the reasons that I love Vegas as a vacation destination. I'm already planning to write a recap of the Britney Spears concert that I saw while there for the blog soon!



     Have you ever been to Vegas? If so- where were your favorite places to eat for cheap?



     xoxo Miss ALK