Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

April 30, 2013

I did it!

     I found out yesterday afternoon that I got into the school that I have been wanting to transfer to! I was also awarded a merit scholarship so everything should come together financially. I've made it through over a month of waiting time since I applied, and that was the longest month ever! I am so excited now for sophomore year- instead of going to school in a small college town I'll be living in a Southern city. My new school also has Greek life and I can't wait to hopefully be able to join a sorority! And of course most importantly I hope to become involved with the Christian clubs at my new school and to be able to see my faith grow even more in the next 3 years.

     Of course I was so happy about this that yesterday evening after I parked my car outside of my suite building at school I locked not only my car keys but also my room keys, cell phone, laptop, and spare car key in my car! Whoops. Thank goodness university police was able to help me out in time for Dancing With the Stars. :-)

      In honor of all of this excitement, here is a brilliant video that I stumbled upon this past weekend. *NSYNC performing "It's Gonna Be Me" at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards. This is a boy band gem right here. Just look at their outfits! Enjoy.

     "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving , present your requests to God." -Philippians 4:6

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 29, 2013

The quintessential "What's in my bag?" post.

     I've seen a number of bloggers do this by now. The ones that stick out most in my mind are Annelise and Emily's posts, but I'm sure there are many more! I figured it's finally time that I hope on the bandwagon and show all of you what I tote around on a daily basis. :-)

     I have way too many a few purses, but my main bag is my newest Vera Bradley purse. It was a Christmas gift from my parents this past year. It is the Glenna style in the Ribbons print! I love multicolored bags because there is bound to be at least one color in the design that matches what you're wearing. :-)

  1. A pocket sized copy of the NIV New Testament. This was in my 2007 Easter basket, and it is the perfect size to tote around! You never know when you're going to need God's word, so why not carry it around always?!
  2. My Vera Bradley Gallery wallet in Va Va Bloom. This wallet was an 18th birthday present so I got it before getting my purse. Luckily since they're both mulitcolored I think they both coordinate fairly well together! I love this wallet because it was a ton of card slots which is perfect for my license, debit and credit cards, gift card and the tons of rewards cards I have (If there's a store with a rewards program I'll sign up for it!).
  3. My car keys for Lucy! The ironic thing about my keys is that I collect key chains and have been doing so since I was four years old, but the only ones that I actually use for my keys are a tiny keychain of Times Square in NYC and this Vera Bradley zip ID case in Safari Sunset. It's pretty worn down now so I should probably get a new zip ID soon!
  4. Cheap-o sunglasses from Kohl's, bought last summer. Fact: I will never spend money on expensive sunglasses. I break and/or lose sunglasses so easily, and I don't really wear them as a fashion accessory ever. I honestly only wear them when I'm driving in bright light or reading at the beach, haha! Anyways, these are a pretty deep brown color and they do their job well.
  5. My favorite lipstick! The best part is it's a drugstore brand and pretty cheap. It is from the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter line in shade Sugar Frosting. My mom stuck it as a little surprise in the toilietry bag she packed for me for college last summer. It is so soft and feels like chapstick when you put it on. And just like chapstick it keeps your lips moist instead of drying them out! This is a perfect light color for everyday wear, and I also wear it when I am wearing a lot of eye make-up so I don't look overdone. I keep it in my purse instead of my make-up supplies because it is my go-to product!
  6. I'm not really a big fan of minty tasting mints, but when I'm craving something sweet I enjoy Ice Breakers Duo Fruit + Cool in Strawberry. Delish! And my favorite gum of all time is Orbit Bubblemint. I'm addicted to this stuff y'all. In high school my mom used to buy me cartons of it from Sam's Club and I'd go through all 12 packs in a couple weeks. At least it's sugar free! 
  7. My cute little Coach wristlet from their Hamptons line. This was given to me a few years ago by one of my older cousins. She had gotten it as a gift and never used it. Free Coach? Yes please! Below is what I keep in my wristlet:

  1. Victoria's Secret PINK sparkly body mist in Sweet n' Flirty. This was a Christmas present from my sweet high school friend H. H and I had a running joke all of senior year about the color purple, and she knows that I can't resist anything with sparkles, so I was thrilled when this cute and sweet smelling mist was part of my Christmas present from her! It's the perfect size to tote around, and fits so well in one of the pockets in the Glenna purse.
  2. A little bit of freebie make-up that I got in a Clinique bonus gift a couple months ago! The masacra is Clinique High Lengths mascara in 01 Black and the lip stick is in a shade called Flirty Honey. Perfect for make-up touch-ups!
  3. A couple healthy necessities! Hand sanitizer is one of the only things I'll buy at Bath and Body Works. I love their large selection of scents and I try a new one everytime. Right now I have Pink Diamond, because the sparkles in it caught my eye when I was in the store. And it's always good to keep a little dental floss on you!
  4. Pens! The ones that I keep in my purse are random ones that are given to me at events or that I find around my house since purse pens are likely to be lost and then replaced. 
  5. Hair stuff! I keep two different looking clips in case I need to pull my hair back, and at least one hair tie. My mom had a wooden comb that broke, so I took one of the smaller pieces for my purse. It fits perfectly!
  6. And my favorite item: my adorable pill case from Charming Charlie! Isn't this just darling? You pop it open and there are three mini pill compartments and a little mirror. I chose this pretty color because it reminded me of sapphire, my birth stone. 

     And I can't forget about my trusty iPhone! Right now the case on it is a Lilly Pulitzer in Dirty Shirley. The design is currently starting to peel a little bit, perhaps I should replace it soon. :-(

     Hope you enjoyed the little peak inside my purse! Now my question for you: what's in your bag?

     Happy Monday! Today I begin my last week of classes for freshman year. Next week is finals and then I'll be homeward bound to Maine for the summer.

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 28, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer Summer 2013!

     I have a confession to make: I really only discovered how wonderful Lilly Pulitzer is last semester. Lilly just wasn't exceptionally popular at my high school, or if it was, I didn't know anyone that liked it! But since I started this blog and have started following many bloggers with preppy fashion taste, I've realized how much I love Lilly! I bought my very first Lilly dress with my Christmas money last December, and now I'm hooked. :-)  

     Anyways, I decided to do a little online browsing as a study break this past Saturday, and boy did I pick a good day to visit the Lilly Pulitzer website! The summer 2013 collection has just come out, filled with adorable summer styles and super cute new prints! My favorite color is aquamarine and I love almost any shade of blue. Blue is the definitely the most dominating color in my closet. So I was thrilled to see so many pretty shades of blue in the new Lilly collection! Here are some of my favorite finds:

1. Delia Dress in Turquoise Lets Cha Cha

2. Marigold Skort in Turquoise Mini Party Favors

3. Zo Dress in Sand Bar Blue Splish Splash

4. Starboard Skinny Bangles

5. Danita Dress in Turquoise Lets Cha Cha

6. Callahan Short in Sand Bar Blue Splish Splash This is my favorite item!!

     I am right now trying to convince my dad to let us have a "rest stop" at the King of Prussia mall in Pennsylvania on our drive back to Maine from NC in a couple weeks. It is supposedly one of the biggest malls in the country, and they have a Lilly store! Seriously, I like can't resist these shorts. The only thing keeping me from not buying them now is that I still haven't found a summer job, but hopefully that will change soon! I have filled out over 20 job applications by now. ;-)

     What are your favorite items from the 2013 Lilly Summer collection?

     Happy Sunday!

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 27, 2013

New England love.

     I apologize for not posting very much last week. My school has been having severe problems with the wireless internet. My computer was unable to connect to any wifi for most of Thursday and Friday... very frustrating when you have lots of online homework to do!

     Anyways, just wanted to leave y'all with this great article that I came across this morning on the spirit of New England. As much as I adore and love the South, New England (and Maine) will always be my home, and I'm proud of that. Give it a read if you don't know much about this little region of the country. You can find the article here.

     Hope that everyone has a great Saturday! I'm off to work on doing some filming for my final project in my communications class, woot woot!

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 25, 2013

A little awkward and awesome and #tbt.

     Awkward and Awesome Thursday posts used to be one of my favorite things to do on my old blog, but sadly I haven't kept up with them since I switched to blogging here. I don't see them pop up too much on my dashboard anymore either, so perhaps they are a thing of the past? Anyways, my brain can't even function right now to analyze all of the moments from my week, but here's one really awesome thing that happened and something totally awkward related to it.

     Awesome: I got invited to my first bridal shower!!! (Well, technically not my first. My older cousin was married in the summer of 2008 and my mom and I went to a family shower for her that spring. But that was a family function, and I really had no choice but to go haha.) I have always thought that it would be so super fun when I got to the age of friends getting married- two of the items in my bucket list have to do with being in wedding parties. I think that weddings are just awesome for so many reasons, and I always thought to myself that when I'd start getting invites to weddings and bachelorette parties and showers that weren't family related I'd know that I was finally grown up. Well sheesh, that time has come! I'm really entering the "big girl" world. The beautiful future bride is one of my suitemates here at college. She's a senior and has been dating her fiance since her senior year of high school. I'm so happy for her!

     Awkward: I didn't mention in the first paragraph that this is a lingerie shower. I blogged last week about my thoughts on Victoria's Secret. In the post I talked about the matter of sexy vs. cute undergarments. I'm all for buying myself cute bras and undewear... but I've never had to buy "sexy lingerie" before. As a part of the shower there's also going to be some sort of game with panties, and we're supposed to bring a pair of funny looking underwear. So as I approached the cash register at the store I was in holding a very, uh, revealing nightgown and the most hideous and skimpy lime green and hot pink thong that you've ever seen the cashier gives me a really odd look. I was so embarressed that I must have told her five times that I was buying these things "for a bridal shower." I think that made her doubt my intentions even more. Definitely not my best shopping moment.

     And lastly, here's a picture for my most favorite Instagram link-up- Throwback Thursday! I'm not sure if I've ever blogged about this before but I was a figure skater for most of my childhood. I took lessons from age 4-15 and competed during my 5th and 6th grade years. Here's a picture of me a competition in 2005 as I'm landing a jump. I won a silver medal for this routine! #tbt

     How has your week been awesome and awkward?

     xoxo Miss ALK



April 23, 2013

Web Wish List {3}

     It's been a little while since I last did a Web Wish List post. With the end of school so near and the start of warm weather, I've been dreaming non-stop about beach days and all of the cute accessories that go with them!

Untitled #3

1. Towel: Beach Towel in Plum Crazy by Vera Bradley I'm a self-professed Vera Bradley fanatic, and I'm so excited that as part of their 2013 summer collection Vera Bradley debuted some beach items! This beautiful towel is one of my favorites. It comes in eight of their beautiful spring and summer prints! I would like it best in Plum Crazy because since beach towels are bound to get a little dirty its dark color would probably hide most spots. It is priced at a reasonable $35.00, depending on when I get a summer job I may be purchasing this!
2. Bikinis: Ruched Side Bikini Bottoms and Ruched Bikini Bottoms by Victoria's Secret PINK Bathing suits are one of my favorite things about summer. I love shopping for cute bikinis, and I liked both of these so much that I had to include them both! I'm never a fan of bathing suits with "string" bottoms, and I like how these have a little more coverage. Bandeau tops are very comfortable and removable straps are perfect for no tan lines! And aren't these prints too cute? The tops are both priced at $30.50 and the bottoms are between $18.50-$22.50.
3. Earrings: Lacquered Anchor Circle Studs by Forever 21 I adore earrings even more than Vera Bradley (now that's a LOT!). I love wearing cute little studs at the beach; they add a bit of bling to basic beach attire without getting in the way of hair or hats. But the key is to wear cheap studs so should you lose them at the beach you can easily replace them! These adorable Forever 21 earrings are priced at $1.50... yup, you read that right! I love their pretty pink color and the cute anchor design. Perfect for the beach!

     What type of beach fashion do you like?

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 22, 2013

Short hair, don't care!

     I officially have a new 'do! 

April 20, 2013

All things prom {part 3}

     I apologize that this post is a day late. Yesterday afternoon was a long day of classes, grocery shopping and... a haircut! Pictures to come on Monday. :-)

     Anyways, here is part 3 of my "All things prom" series! Today I've made a little playlist of my favorite prom songs. I think that having a good prom playlist is especially important because the music that the DJ played about both of the proms I went to was horrible for the most part. Junior year there was a ton of country music played, and a live performance from some band made of up a few members of that year's senior class. Their music had an indie rock feel... definitely not cool for prom! Last year the DJ played rap music for most of the night. Don't get me wrong, I like a little rap. But these weren't even rap songs that were popular on the radio, and many had bad language. Since I have a fondness for 90s music, you might see a few older songs mixed in here. :-)

Lou Bega-Mambo #5

The Wanted-Glad You Came 

Carly Rae Jespen-Call Me Maybe

Britney Spears-...Baby One More Time

Rihanna-Don't Stop the Music

Chris Brown-Forever

Pitbull-Don't Stop the Party

*NSYNC-Bye Bye Bye

Havana Brown ft. Pitbull-We Run the Night (edited version)

Neil Diamond-Sweet Caroline (This is a real oldie but it played it at my junior prom and everyone loved it!)

LMFAO-Sexy and I Know It (You'd be surprised at the terribly bad dance moves that come out when this one starts playing. Hilarious!)

     I'm not a huge fan of an overabundance of slow songs at a prom, but below is my vote for the best prom slow song ever. It was actually featured in one of my older cousin's old prom magazines from 2002 or 2003. :-) I love it because the message of the song isn't neccessarily just about missing romantic love, but also could be about missing friends or family. Perfect for a senior prom as everyone prepares to leave for college!

Vanessa Carlton-1000 Miles

     What songs were played at your prom?? 

     Happy weekend everyone!

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 18, 2013

Unfortunate freshman year flashbacks.

     Nope, not this freshman year of college that I'm currently almost finished with. I'm taking everyone wayyyyy back to the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009- aka my freshman year of high school. I've mentioned a few times now that I'd like to do some posts featuring (really embarressing) e-mails between me and my high school crush. But I think they're funnier if I really set the stage and paint a picture for all of you of who I was at 14, and what the major focuses of my life were then.

I couldn't find any pictures from 2008 on this computer, but here's a couple pictures of me from my family's trip to San Diego, CA in February of 2009, right in the middle of freshman year:

     ^ I thought I was super cool for posing with the palm trees here. 

     Our California trip was shortly before I cut my hair. Here's some pictures from the spring of 2009 and the end of freshman year:

      ^ Thinking I was even cooler than in the palm tree picture. Selfies on the front porch, Hollister sweatshirt, new haircut and no make-up (because I wasn't allowed to wear it to school then). #swag

My sweet Lily! We used to take her for "walks" on a rabbit leash around the backyard. She passed away in April 2011.

Above is one of my favorite pictures ever of me and my baby girl, Shakeena. About a year after this was taken I developed bad cat allergies, and she past away the year after that. So this is one of the last good pictures that I have of us together, minus the fact that I look somewhat scary here. 

     Now that you've all seen what an awkward person I was back in the day, here's some of the songs that were the soundtrack of my life that year.

Britney Spears-Circus

I was obsessed with this song my freshman year. The lyrics used to give me a huge self confidence boost, plus I've always been a Britney Spears fan and this was one of her most successful come-back songs.

The Black Eyed Peas-Boom Boom Pow (edited)

Everyone in my youth group loved this song, and since my youth group was such a big part of my life that year I had to share it. This song will be mentioned again in a later post once I start getting into detail of my friendship with my crush. 

Jason Mraz-I'm Yours

Another song that was very popular with my youth group, and also just popular in general. Sheesh, all I can remember about that year is trying to turn on the radio and this song would be on like four stations at once! I have a distinct memory of a weekend field trip with my youth group (bowling perhaps) where my dad drove and the backseat was piled with kids. On the way back to everyone's houses we all belted this song out, even my dad. Good times!

Human-The Killers

I'm not a fan of rock music at all, but this song has more of a europop feel to it, which I later learned would be one of my favorite music genres. The Killers were a popular band with some of the hipster kids at my high school, and I felt cool for liking this song, plus it has a great beat. I still don't understand the lyrics though.

    One of my not so favorite freshman memories is that I spent most of the year complaining to my parents about how my cell phone wasn't good enough. Although to my credit- below is a picture of a similar cell phone to mine:

     I hated this phone. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it better if I had internet or texting, but I wasn't allowed to have either. All I got were about 400 monthly minutes that I had to share with my mom... woot woot.  2008 and 2009 were the times when the brighter and more buttons your phone had, the cooler it was. Why have an iPhone when you could just have an iPod and a cell phone? Below are the two options for phones that I really wanted: the LG Lotus and the Samsung Propel. Near the end of freshman year I tried making my dad a fancy powerpoint presentation on my laptop to convince him to get me a new cell phone. It didn't work.

     Back then my favorite stores were Hollister and Abercrombie. I'm quite ashamed to admit that now but those were really the only two places that I wanted to shop. I thought that "style" was wearing a Hollister t-shirt with a matching Hollister sweatshirt... eek. 

     To sum things up... looking back it appears that I was a very shallow and materialistic person my freshman year. I'm not saying that I was a mean or cruel person, but since I wasn't well accepted by my peers in high school I blamed it on the fact that I didn't have enough "cool stuff." The truth is, people were probably just intimidated by me because I was (and still am) a "good girl." Luckily I was blessed to meet a few friends that shared my goody-goody views later on, but for that first year I may have been identified as a Christian and very involved in my youth group but "stuff" was my God. I am proud to say that while I still love shopping and dressing up and being girly, my first priority now is definitely my faith and relationships.

     The only thing that I've left out of this post is my freshman year crush... but he's a whole other story. Stay tuned next week for the first part of that saga!

     How did the years 2008 and 2009 treat you?

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 17, 2013

On a bit of a personal note.

     I'm sorry that I don't have time for a longer post today. I always want to be honest with all of you- so I wanted to let you know that along with my usual school responsibilities I'm currently going through the beginning stages of a situation regarding forgiveness. It is much over-do on my part and has been a long time coming. Since I want to transfer to a different school next year now is the time for me to do it. This is one of the hardest things that I've ever had to do- I'm not very good at owning up when I make mistakes so this is a new thing for me. Hopefully it will be resolved by next week and I can let you all know how it worked out.

     In the mean time, this song has been encouraging me and getting me through. This process has been many months coming, and God's amazing love is the reason that this is happening. I know that He will give me the courage to have the closure that I need. I would greatly appreciate any prayers for stregnth.

     Part three of my "All Things Prom" post series should be out this Friday, and hopefully I'll soon have a post for y'all with the promised screenshots of 100% real  and 100% really embarressing e-mails sent between me and my freshman year of high school crush. I'm telling you guys- they're hilarious! I think we can all learn a few tips from 14 year old Miss ALK on how not to act around your crush. ;-)

     Happy Wednesday!

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 16, 2013

Victoria's Secret: more than just a fashion statement?

     Recently Victoria's Secret seems to have been getting a lot of bad press. Some of my Facebook friends have shared this letter from a father to Victoria's Secret that went viral in the past month. For those of you that haven't read this, basically a father of a three year old girl wrote a letter to the company telling them how displeased he is in their upcoming lingerie line, "Bright Young Things," that is geared towards middle school aged girls. He told them how when his daughter is in her middle school years he doesn't want her to think of herself as a sex object, but instead be able to keep her innocence.

     For the past couple years I've bought quite a bit of stuff at Victoria's Secret and have enjoyed shopping there. After reading this article I did a bit of thinking on the issue that this father has presented, as well as my own reasons for shopping there. Here are my conclusions:

     First off, I think that Victoria's Secret is already marketing to middle school aged girls and has been since before I was even in middle school! I remember a time when I was in 8th grade and I was in the mall by a VS store. They had this really cute pair of pajama pants on display in the window from their PINK line. I begged and begged my mom to let me get them, but she wouldn't let me because a.) they were extremely overpriced and b.) like the father who wrote this article, she didn't want me at the time supporting a company that would allow me to have distorted views of my self-image. Now that I'm older I think that she made the right decision at the time, but in the moment I was furious. Things from Victoria's Secret became like a forbidden fruit that I wasn't allowed to have.

     On times when I was at the mall with friends during this time , I would go into VS and browse around. Even though I was a fairly small girl when I was 13-14, they had tons of items from bras and panties to loungewear that would have fit me perfectly. Victoria's Secret will tell you that their PINK line is marketed to college girls only, but I can say for a fact that most college girls aren't even able to fit into their smallest sizes, so clearly they are targetting a younger demographic whether they will admit it or not.

     I remember how when I entered high school almost every girl in my grade was obsessed with the PINK yoga pants from there. In my freshman year gym class all of the other girls would wear PINK sweatpants and t-shirts as their gym clothes. I begged and begged my mom to let me get something from there, and she finally let me get a pair of PINK sweatpants. I remember how cool I felt wearing my new pants in gym, and I can proudly say that they were very well made and still feel just as comfy today as they did then. They're one of my favorite pairs of pants to sleep in during the colder months!

     Even after getting my special pants, my mom still used to talk to me a lot about why she disagreed with supporting Victoria's Secret. She talked to me about how important modesty is and about how the company uses sex to sell their products. I listened to her on these issues, but as I got older (and started driving myself to the mall) I began shopping at VS regularly. Below are some reasons for why I do:

  • They have well made undergarments: The underwear and bras that Victoria's Secret sells are wicked comfortable and last awhile. They tend to be expensive, but the key is to shop during the good sales, where you can find amazing deals.
  • Not everything that they sell is "sexy": What I've come to find is that VS sells a lot of "normal" looking undergarments. They have plenty of bras without a lot of padding (including a great selection of nude colored bras that don't show through shirts!), and underwear that isn't overly skimpy or embellished. I've found that many of the bikinis that VS sells actually cover more than bikinis from other stores, and their PINK loungewear is just plain comfy (and modest!). 
  • They have a history of great customer loyalty: Last year VS unveiled a short lived rewards program in select states (Maine happened to be one of them). The more things that you bought while the program ran, the more rewards you were eligble to claim. This promotion was happening at the same time as their semi-annual sale, so while I stocked up on some much needed undergarments I ended up getting certificates! I was able to get two free pairs of PINK yoga pants (each valued at $40) and also an adorable hot pink weekend bag that I use as a carry-on when I fly (valued at $70). 
  • They reward you for shopping: VS sends coupons all of time or vouchers for free underwear. I can't tell you how many cute pairs of panties I've gotten for free! They also have a popular "secret rewards" program a few times a year, where if you make a purchase you get a gift card to use the next month with a surprise amount on it. One of my suitemates at college got a secret reward worth $100 last year! Their semi annual sales in January or June are also great times to stock up and get amazing discounts. 
  • They have the best smelling perfumes: VS has so many reasonably priced and sweet smelling body mists and perfumes. I think they smell like a million times better than the ones that Bath and Body Works sells, and many of them have sparkles in them. :-)
    But at the same time, I don't think that the company is without fault either. I do think that they go over the top on their advertisements. I'm not a fan of their TV commercials, I think they're way too sexy for primetime television. I agree now that my mom made the right choice by not letting me shop there when I was younger (before I was more confident in my self-worth and beliefs on purity). I think that Victoria's Secret should stay away from their "Bright Young Things" line and focus on marketing women instead of younger girls.

     So in conclusion, I think that it's fine to shop at Victoria's Secret if you're a young adult or grown woman, and if you buy appropriate things. If you're married, then go ahead and buy all the lingerie you want, haha! But if you're a single girl, I think that it's ok to buy cute undergarments, but you shouldn't be buying anything sexy. There is definitely a difference between the two. Remember, if you're single then you're the only one who should be seeing the things you'd buy there...(but really though). If by shopping at VS you feel that your beliefs on purity are challenged, it might be best to avoid purchasing things there. But if you feel that you can make proper shopping decisions and not let the brand compromise your morals, then shop on!

     I'd love to know what your thoughts are on Victoria's Secret! Do you support them, hate them, or fall somewhere in between? If you do shop there then what are your favorite things to buy?

     xoxo Miss ALK

     P.S. I've decided to join many of my fellow bloggers in now responding to your comments via e-mail. If you'd like a response from me make sure that you have an updated e-mail address linked to your blogger account! :-) 


April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston.

     Boston is one of my favorite cities, so hearing about the tragedy at the Boston Marathon this afternoon has broken my heart. New England has already experienced so much sadness with December's Sandy Hook shooting, and the fact that the last mile of the race today was dedicated to those victims makes me even more sad.

     I saw on Facebook this evening that someone that I went to high school with was attending the marathon with her mom, and they were about 100 feet away from a bomb that went off and had to run for their lives into the streets. My dad texted me saying that he and my mom were planning an outing to Boston tomorrow, and were actually intending to visit the JFK library.

     Everytime I hear about a great tragedy such as this, all I can think about is how the world truly needs to experience God's love, and I realize how many people need Jesus. I pray that instead of more violent acts following this one, the people of Boston and our nation will come together in love and peace. Take the time to remember how a little bit of kindness can go a long way.

     xoxo Miss ALK

I had Georgia on my mind.

     The Georgia state line sign that I drove past on Saturday said "We're glad you had Georgia on your mind." After a lovely Saturday- I'm sure glad that I did too!:-)

     Last week was really long and stressful, and as the weekend grew closer and closer all I could think about was how much I wanted to spend Saturday lying on a sandy beach somewhere. Unfortunately my college is located in the interior part of North Carolina, and going to the ocean would require a full weekend instead of just a day trip. Luckily for me though I enjoy lake beaches just as much as ocean beaches. Thanks to Google I was able to look up some state parks on lakes that were close enough for me to drive to for the day.

     I was looking at a couple state parks in South Carolina, but then I found Tugaloo State Park. It is located on part of Lake Hartwell, a huge lake that divides the upper parts of Georgia and South Carolina. Tugaloo was located on the Georgia side, and that made me very excited because I'd never been to Georgia before and I love visiting new states. I convinced my sweet friend/French teaching assistant Liane  to join me. She will go back to her home in Paris this summer and I'll miss her dearly, so it was great to spend a day with her at the beautiful lake!


Putting my new sun hat to good use! :-)

     I have long ago come to the conclusion that I'm a beach bum. Going to school in an area that doesn't really have any sort of beaches (salt or fresh water) close by makes me really appreciate the times that I do get to enjoy water, sand and sun. I found myself marvelling over the beauty of God's creation as I lounged on my towel. Between the budding trees, the sunshine sparkling on the water and the bright blue sky, He really is the most amazing artist ever! I think exactly what I needed to do was to take an afternoon to attempt to get tan and enjoy my new bathing suit, chill out, and reflect on the wonders that He has done. All while enjoying a new state! I may have only spent about three or four hours in Georgia, but I can't wait to go back! ;-)

     "They speak on the glorious splendor of your majesty-- and I will meditate on your wonderful works." -Psalm 145:5 (NIV)

     What did all of you do this weekend? Do share! Hope that you're feeling as ready as I am to conquer this new week. Cheers to a happy Monday!

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 12, 2013

Fun Fact Friday {9}

     I guess Fridays are turning into my link-up/ post series days. This morning I posted part 2 of my "All Things Prom" series, and now I'm linking up with my friend Em's FFF posts!

April 12th, 2013

  1. This week I learned how to say "I'm Sexy and I Know It" in French. It's Je suis sexie et je le sais! Might be useful you know, if I'm ever in a French speaking country and need to request my favorite song. ;-) Alright alright, Sexy and I Know it isn't my favorite song... but definitely comes very close to being it! You just can't hear that song with a straight face.
  2. I'm an extremely light sleeper. I sleep with two white noise machines in my dorm room and I still get woken up from noises in my building. I get this from my mom. She's an even lighter sleep than I am.
  3. I discovered this beautiful song a few months ago while volunteering at my school's radio station. I'm not really an indie/soft rock/adult contemporary music fan, but this song is amazing. Click here to listen to "A Sorta Fairytale" by Tori Amos.
  4. Spring is my favorite season. If the weather could be like this (high 70s) and the trees like this (just budding with beautiful flowers and fresh green leaves) all year I'd be the happiest camper on the planet.
  5. I love spicy food. Spice is the variety of life, no?

      If you would like to participate in Fun Fact Friday please give credit to Emily in your post and follow her blog! Her blog is private, so shoot her a friendly e-mail at to have her approve you as a follower!

     xoxo Miss ALK

All things prom {part 2}

      Last Friday I gave y'all a peak into my own junior and senior proms. and today I want to continue my little prom posting series by showcasing some of my favorite dresses that I've found online for this season! Browsing at pretty dresses just makes me wish that I had some sort of excuse to wear one of these to. My college does have a spring formal, but I've heard that most girls just wear simple, short dresses. As many of you probably know, I like sparkly things. The more sparkles the better. So if you're into the simple look these might not be the dresses for you, hehe. ;-)

Dress #1: Paparazzi by Mori Lee style 93007

     I think that this beautiful lavender color is perfect for springtime! The flowy fabric looks like it would be magical to dance in. And I'm loving all of the beautiful sparkles on this dress! Having worn a Paparazzi dress to my own prom I can tell you that all of the bling would probably look 100% better in person and shine way brighter than it does in this picture!

Dress #2: Jodi Kristopher Beaded Flyaway Dress (from Dillard's)

     Aquamarine is my favorite color, so I was automatically destined to love this dress! I like how it has thin spagetti straps- when buying dresses for myself I'm not usually a big fan of strapless, but I don't like huge chunky straps either. This dress provides just enough sparkle without being over the top. Below is a really low quality iPhone picture of me trying it on in a Dillard's about a month ago (Because everyone spends an afternoon at a mall by themselves trying on prom dresses... right?).

Dress #3: Night Moves Prom style 6600

     Sometimes a girl just needs a dress that's extremely over the top and glitzy, just because. This is that dress! I love the vivid hot pink color of the skirt, and the amazing beading on the bodice. This dress would be perfect for a very formal prom, and would be guarenteed to make you feel like a princess. Definitely a dress for the lady who wants to be noticed!

Dress #4: Blush Homecoming Collection style 9670

     Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of black as a color for prom, or short dress usually. But if you're going to do either of these trends, make it look like this! Typically I think that black is too severe at mature looking for a fun springtime formal like prom, this is the time to wear pastels and neons! I don't think that short dresses are bad if you're going to prom as an underclassmen or your junior year, but there's only so many times in a girl's life when she can wear a long dress, so why not use prom as one of those times? Anyways, back to this cute litter number. The flirty cut and gorgeous sparkles make the black color less deep. It's a little bit longer than most short dresses, so it would be more practical for dancing without fear of flashing someone. ;-)

      If you went to a prom in the past, what did your dress look like? Or if you're going this year, where is your dress from? Do share. :-)

     Happy Friday my loves! Springtime is in full swing here in the South now, and I plan to soak it up this weekend. Next up in this prom series I might do a playlist of my favorite prom songs, how does that sound?

     xoxo Miss ALK

     P.S. My mom made it through her shoulder surgery today just fine!! I'm very relieved and hope that she's on the road to a quick recovery.

April 11, 2013

Putting stress in perspective.

     I would love to be sharing another warm weather fashion post with all of you today, but I've been feeling quite frazzled and burdened lately and thought that I should share what's on my heart, and the message that I got to hear the other night that changed my perspective. Warning: this is an extremely wordy Miss ALK post. :-)

     In short: I've been stressed. I thought that once I finished all of my make-up work (for the two weeks of classes that I missed for being sick) my worries would be over, but this isn't the case. I finally got around to checking my semester grades and as of right now I only have on A... eek. Last semester I made all A's and I've always been a fairly strong student so this scared me a bit. What added to my worries is that I received an e-mail from some general academic affairs department at my school yesterday saying that I'm bordering on exceeding the college's attendance policy because I have missed six of my Mon/Weds/Fri classes this semester. My initial reaction was Ummmm I was really sick! And all of my teachers know that I missed and they also all know that I made up my work! How dare I be questioned by the school about it?!? After a phone call with my mom involving me yelling venting about this whole thing I calmed down a little bit, but I was still irritated. I had to schedule a meeting for next week with someone from the department that had e-mailed me. What makes this whole darn thing more complicated is that I'm currently in the process of transferring to a different school here in NC, so I can't have something like "missed too many classes for college's policy" on my final transcript.

     The whole transferring situation is another thing that's been stressing me out. While my (hopefully) new school has received my grades from last semester and my high school transcripts, they're still waiting on a couple things before they can officially "re-accept" me. I have no doubts that I'll get in (It's actually the school that I almost went to originally, haha.), but I hate being patient and waiting for the real answer. I want to know now that I'm re-accepted and move along with signing up for classes there for next semester and figuring out how their housing system works. And then there's the whole matter of Is transferring the right decision for me? I've re-visited this other school and it was more wonderful than when I visited in high school. It has many of the qualities of my current school as well as more great opportunities (like GREEK LIFE!), but I always over-analyze my decisions. I want to be in the place that God wants me to be, not where I want to be for selfish reasons. I have my parents' blessing to transfer if I want to, but I'm having a hard time hearing God's voice in all of this.

     Lastly, my issue of summer employment. If you were a reader of my old blog than you might remember that in the summertime I would occasionally post about my job at the bakery. I spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 working there. I had started baby-sitting when I was 12 but I didn't get a "real" job until I was 16, and this was it. It was the perfect first job. My boss was the sweetest lady ever. I originally knew her because during my freshman and sophomore years she was the seceratary at my high school. She was a joy to work for, and I also enjoyed my coworkers. None of us were really friends outside of work, but they were pleasant and all very hard-working. The bakery was about a five minute drive/10 minute bike ride from my house, so I had the best work commute ever. I had planned on going back to the bakery this summer and also trying to find a second job, but I found out last month that my boss has chosen to close the business this summer. She's doing so for honorable reasons, but my source of income went out the door. The bakery catered mostly to tourists, and luckily there are a lot of other tourist businesses in my area. Over Easter break I applied to stores, restaurants and hotels galore, but so far I have yet to hear back from even one place that I applied to and I'm feeling very stressed. I like working, but I'm terrified of having to work at like McDonald's or something because I can't find anything else. (And trust me: you DON'T want to work at McDonald's in my town. There have been drug busts in the parking lot there. True story.) I'd really like to work at the mall, but the nearest one is about 40 minutes from my house and with the amount of gas that my Lucy guzzles up I don't think that would be very realistic.

     ^ so basically, these three things have been weighing me down. A lot. I was telling myself over and over again not to freak out, but this just kept making my thoughts more and more stressful. My college holds a weekly non-denominational worship service on Tuesday nights. I haven't gotten the past few weeks because I've said I'm "too stressed out" (aka Dancing With the Stars results show is on at the same time). But all through Tuesday I just felt something tugging at my heart telling me to go to the service that evening.

     There was a guest speaker and he was awesome. He had a very simple message: DON'T GIVE UP. He was referring to how this is the time in the school year when the weather turns nice and students' desires to do lots of homework and keep up their grades goes down, but his message spoke to my heart in a way that said "Don't let these stessors of your life bring you down." He had a great quote during his sermon which I'd like to share. It was "Jesus has already won the game in the big picture, but each and every person still has to play that game to the best of their ability and until the end." The speaker also said something interesting, he made some sort of comment near the end that went something like "And if you feel that (name of my university) isn't the place that God wants you, don't be afraid to transfer!" Woah. My school has a high transfer rate and had it been the normal pastor last night there's nooooo way that he would have encouraged students to leave if that's what they're feeling is the best decision for them. But I came on the right night! That was the affirmation that I needed to know that transferring is seeming more and more like the right decision for me.

     But my night didn't end there! Visiting our school last night was a pastor from the African country of Zambia. An upperclassman made an announcement that after the service the African pastor wanted to answer students' questions about his ministry in Africa. A group of about 30ish students met on our school's quad in the dark under the stars. It was very special, and God's presence was felt. The African pastor had such an inspiring story. He and the other pastors that he works with in his country seem to have so many fewer resources then we do here in America, but without all of the extra distractions they are able to really focus on preaching the Gospel. He told us how much of a problem HIV/Aids and orphans are in Zambia, and suddenly my own stresses were put into perspective. Even if I am not able to find a job this summer I will not go hungry or without anything that I need because I'm blessed with two amazing parents who provide for me.Whether I transfer or not, I am blessed with the opportunity to further my education. How can I complain about my school checking up on my attendance- they want me to do my best and succeed, shouldn't I be grateful for that?

     After such a wonderful evening my goal for the rest of this week and next is to just have a generally more positive attitude, and to remember that these little things that have been causing me so much grief are really just brief moments in the scheme of my life. My God can do amazing things! Surely everything will work out for His plan for my life, how could I possibly doubt that?

     If any of y'all are interested I'd like to encourage you to join me in praying for the people of Zambia. Pray that more and more people there will be reached with the message of the Gospel, and that in coming years there will be less HIV/Aids and fewer orphans. Also, speaking of stressful situations, my mom is having shoulder surgery tomorrow.  I wish that I could be home with her and my dad tomorrow, but if you can join me in prayer that everything will go just fine and she'll have a quick recovery.

      Here's to a great Thursday! I hope that the weather has been as beautiful where you live as it has where my school is. This week has been truly amazing weather-wise.

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 10, 2013

My bucket list.

      As I'm entering that stage in my life where "I'm not a girl... not yet a woman" (Sorry- 2002 Britney Spears reference there. Seriously, I should have been 18 then and not now!) I often find myself reflecting on what I'd like to accomplish in my life, and the cool things that I've already been blessed to do. Since the list keeps growing, what better way to keep track of things then to blog about it? I've decided that sometime soon I'll also be making a page on this blog with a copy of this post, and I'll add to it whenever I realize there's something else that I want to do! Here are 45 things to start with:

Miss ALK's official bucket list:

  1. If this is God's will for me (which I really hope it is, haha), get married to an amazing, Godly, loyal, kindhearted and good lookin' man! Along with this would go the wedding of my dreams.
  2. Get a job at a commerical radio station in a large media market. 
  3. Travel to India, and hopefully get to watch a Bollywood movie a theatre there.
  4. Join a sorority. I've always wanted to be in one.
  5. Finish watching every episode of the TV show 7th Heaven. (Currently in season 8)
  6. Meet at least one cast member from 7th Heaven, preferably Beverley Mitchell!
  7. Travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Not really sure why I want to go here, I've just always wanted to.)
  8. Stand in three or more states at once.
  9. Go on a missions trip.
  10. Meet author Karen Kingsbury (Check!! Happened on November 3rd, 2012 Read about it here!)
  11. Finally be able to truly forgive an ex-best friend that hurt me deeply in my high school years.
  12. Own an SUV and a convertible.
  13. Get a second piercing (Check! I got my belly pierced shortly after my 18th birthday. My second and final piercing. Whoever said it "didn't hurt at all" was lying, haha. So much for me trying to be a little rebellious!)
  14. Travel to Thailand.
  15. Be on TV (Technically this happened- when I was 9 I was filmed for the old PBS kids show Zoom! for their popular "good deeds" segement. For my 9th birthday on my own I decided that I didn't want birthday presents and instead asked my friends to bring donations for our local animal shelter. A couple months later my mom and I submitted what I did to the show and they later sent a crew to film me at the animal shelter! But I'd like to be on a commerical or more popular television program for the bucket list.)
  16. Live to see a much awaited *NSYNC reunion. (This is like my fourth reference to early 2000s pop culture. Can you see that I should have been born a decade before?)
  17. Travel to Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.
  18. Go to Las Vegas at least once in my life.
  19. Go on a romantic date involving (mild) hiking and a waterfall. 
  20. Shop at a Vera Bradley outlet warehouse sale.
  21. Develop a good understanding of a second language. I don't say "fluent" because that implies perfection.
  22. Have a summer house in Maine.
  23. Get my drivers' license on the first try! (There's a funny story behind this one though, I'll have to save that for a future post!)
  24. Go on a road trip with friends.
  25. Meet 4 of my most favorite bloggers in person- they always encourage me and especially did so during my rough junior year of high school when I first got into blogging! They are Elle, JulianneMckenzie and Emily (who I might get to meet in May 2013!). I would so love to call these ladies "real life friends" as well. 
  26. Meet some of my newer favorite bloggers in person! These include RachelNicoleJamie and as many fellow members of the Southern Blog Society and The Charlotte Social as I can! 
  27. Make a best friend that I met through blogging. Can you tell already that I think blogging friendships are super cool?!
  28. Fly in first class.
  29. Be a maid of honor.
  30. Be a bridesmaid.
  31. Have front row tickets at a concert. (Got to check this off on August 16th, 2011! Due to our awesome seats I actually got to shake Selena Gomez's hand at her show, read about that on my old blog in this post!)
  32. Have meet and greet passes at a concert. 
  33. Own/live in a house with two staircases. (Weird I know- but I've always loved houses that have a front and a back staircase.)
  34. Overcome my allergies to cats.
  35. Own a dog.
  36. Stop nail biting and picking once and for all.
  37. Perfrom a stand-up comedy routine in front of an audience.
  38. Have a boyfriend/fiance/husband buy me some sort of jewelry item from Tiffany and Co. 
  39. Be an active volunteer with a youth group.
  40. Be in the audience of an episode of Dancing With the Stars or The Price is Right or both!
  41. Attend the Grammy's.
  42. Go to the Carolina Cup.
  43. Go to the Kentucky Derby. 
  44. Become a morning person, at least for one small season in my life.
  45. Go to Japan to visit my friend AK. AK and I became good friends my junior year of high school when she was an exchange student from Japan at my high school. The 9 months that she was in the states went by way too quickly!

     What are some things on your bucket list? Do you also want to meet other bloggers in person? :-)

     xoxo Miss ALK
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