Southern Belle in Training

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

May 30, 2013

Giveaway & Product Review // Lilla Rose Flexi Clip

     I think it's about time that I host a giveaway! My first giveaway on this blog was held last December, and since then my followers have tripled and I've also been posting a lot more. I am so excited to be featuring a great business and being able to reward y'all at the same time!

     Lilla Rose is a wonderul company that makes the most elegant and beautiful hair accessories. 

May 29, 2013

Midweek pick-me-ups.

     I can't believe that it's only Wednesday, and that I've only been working at my new job for just two days! There is a lot to learn in any sort of retail position, so my mind feels like it's about to explode with all that I've taken in during the past 48 hours! Although starting work has been tiring, I really do enjoy my new job. My coworkers are all very sweet, and I get to dress up for work! I'm also looking forward to using all of this newfound retail knowledge when I actually start making sales with customers.

     I'm not sure what your week has been like, but if it's been as busy then by Wednesday you might be looking for something to raise your spirits. So I'm about to share with you what I think are two of the funniest Youtube videos that I've ever come across...

     I'm guessing that most of you have seen American Idol (or are at least familiar with it). You know how at the start of each season during the auditions they show some really bad auditions for a few laughs? Well, I've found a couple of the most hilarious and terrible auditions ever, but they aren't from American Idol! They're from idol type shows around the world. One is from Australian Idol and one is from some type of Indian Idol show (Punjab Idol?). I've seen these probably close to a hundred times now, and I still laugh everytime.

     What are some things that lighten your mood after a long day?

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 28, 2013

Web Wish List {4}

     I love all types of jewelry, but I'm especially crazy about statement necklaces! They are such a simple and fun way to jazz up an outfit. They can turn a boring dress into a beautiful evening ensemble, and a t-shirt and jeans into a chic day outfit! Here are some of my favorite statement necklaces that are in stores now!

Web Wish List {3}

1. Color Collage Statement Necklace by J.Crew I pretty much adore all of J. Crew's statement necklaces. They're all so beautiful and detailed! But I especially liked this necklace because of the color combintation of the white and black against the bright colors. It makes this necklace versatile to match everything from an elegant black dress to a simple cardigan! This necklace is a bit on the pricy side though, it's currently listed at $165.00.
2. Newport Beach Beaded Necklace by Francesca's I just love the bold blue colors of this fun statement necklace! They're the perfect blues for summer, and I also like how this necklace is a bit chunky. It's priced at just $24.00, so what's not to love?!
3. Anna & Ava Beaded Starfish Statement Necklace from Dillard's Any type of necklace that has some sort of sea creature on it is a perfect summer staple, especially anything with a starfish! I already own at least a few starfish necklaces, and they're great to wear for nights out with friends in my beautiful coastal hometown. I like how the starfish on this necklace is positioned off to the side a bit, it gives this necklace a bit of uniqueness. It's priced at $50.00.
4. Shell Multi Strand Necklace - Multicolor from Target I have a few multistrand necklaces similar to this one and they're such a fun and easy way to add some color and shine to an outfit! Multicolor is a wonderful option because one of the colors in your necklace is bound to match or coordinate with at least one color of your outfit! This necklace is only $15.00 which makes it hard to pass up!

     Are you into the statement necklace trend? What are some of your favorite stores to find statement necklaces at? In addition to these stores, I have found some of my favorites at Belk, Kohl's, and of course my favorite jewelry store, Charming Charlie!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 27, 2013

HEALTHY chocolate chip cookie cake.

     Oh yes, you read that right. Today I am sharing one of the most genius recipes that I've ever come across. Below are two pictures of my results! (Sorry that the picture quality is a little low. My camera decided to go missing so I had to use my iPhone).

     Looks amazing right?! But if I had seen this pictures without knowing the recipe, I'd think that it was a big gooey mess of saturated fat, and a heart attack waiting to happen. The good news is that couldn't be further from the truth! This chocolate chip cookie cake has no eggs, butter, or white flour! Come to think of it, there's no flour of any type! 

     The recipe comes from an awesome healthy dessert blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. Click here for the amazing recipe! I was thrilled by how my cookie cake turned out (very moist and extremely delicious) and I hope to try more recipes from Katie's blog in the future!

     Hope this makes your Monday a little bit sweeter! I'll be enjoying my last piece of this cookie cake after I come home from my first day for the season at one of my summer jobs. I'm so excited to be working again!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 24, 2013

Yesterday was AWESOME.

     So many wonderful things happened to me yesterday that I just had to do a blog post to share. I'm starting to realize more and more how important it is to be thankful for the "little things" in life. I'm the type of person who gets bored easily and sometimes I worry that I'm hard to please, so trying to be grateful for all of life's smaller blessings is something new for me, but I think it's going well!

     To start off, some wonderful news and a praise report: I GOT A SECOND SUMMER JOB!!! I blogged back in March or April about how nervous I was for finding a job this summer, since the bakery that had worked at for the past two summers was closing. All in all I probably applied to 30+ businesses... restaurants, stores, hotels and more! I did as many in person applications as I could when I came home for Easter break, and then many more online ones after I went back to school. Honestly I'm glad that I filled that many out because so far I've only heard back from about five businesses. Anyways, I was so nervous about finding employment that not only gave me enough hours but was also something that I enjoyed! But God always provides. :-) My first summer job (that I was hired for last week) involves working with children, which I'm really excited about! I used to baby-sit quite a bit during my middle school and early high school years, so it'll be fun to get some hands-on experience with kids again. My second summer job, which I got hired for yesterday, will be working at an upscale little home goods and accessories shop in a neighboring town! I am super excited about this job because I get to dress up for work everyday! So far everything seems to be working out between balancing hours for both jobs... the first job will be mostly weekdays in the daytime and my second job will be weeknights and weekends. I was thrilled enough when I got my first job, but the hours weren't quite enough for me to make the amount of money needed to take care of my expenses at school for the year (like food, shopping, school supplies, etc). But with this second job I will be just fine in the money department, and I'll even be able to start adding to my savings account again! God is seriously so, so good!

     Now for some other blessings: I posted a couple days ago about the upcoming vacation that my mom and I are taking to Las Vegas. Well, we got the detailed paperwork about our trip today and as my mom was reading the fine print she caught something about "free show tickets." She called up the travel agent and as it turns out included with our vacation package was two tickets to a choice of several fun Las Vegas shows! We ended up deciding on a magic show and we will be seeing it on our fourth night of the trip. Many shows in Las Vegas are very expensive to attend so the fact that we get to see an extra one without any additional cost is wonderful! This is definitely a lesson to me in the future to always read the fine print in travel documents. ;-)

     I love the color mint so much and I'm thrilled at how "in" it's been lately! I've been really interested in buying some mint nail polish. While I was out doing errands today I found an old TJ Maxx gift card in my wallet. I stopped by the nearest store to see how much was on the gift card, and the clerk told me that it only had $2.85 left. I know you can get good deals at TJ Maxx- but something for under three dollars?! I really didn't want to spend my own money on buying a more expensive item (I was there before I found out about getting my second job) so I started browsing the little items that they sell by the register. Well, our TJ Maxx had just gotten in a shipment of some good quality nail polishes, and had them discounted! I found a gorgeous mint colored polish that only cost a little bit more than my gift card! I think I've blogged before about how I don't ever really buy the salon brands of nail polish (The 99 cent ones at Walmart are fine for me!) so this was a lovely little treat and surprise. It also will match the new beach cover-up that I got for the Vegas trip! The brand is Orly and I can't wait to try it out! Isn't it a pretty color?!

     I received my first Netflix DVD in a long while today- 7th Heaven Season 8 disk 5! 7th Heaven will always be my #1 favorite TV show, and I've missed watching it regularly! It isn't on Netflix instant watch which is why I haven't watched it as often this year. Hopefully I can get back on schedule with it this summer though, it's such a great show with wonderful Christian values, and I have seriously learned to much from watching it! It's always a good day when I get a Netflix DVD in the mail.

And lastly, encouragement in my day (and past weeks!) has come from all of you! The amazing bloggers behind all of my favorite blogs never cease to amaze and inspire me. Sometimes I'm just in awe of how wonderful the blogging community is. I love reading your comments, and I love getting e-mails from my favorite bloggers responding to my comments on their posts!

     What are some little or big blessings in your life this week? Do share!

     Have a beautiful weekend friends! I'll be relaxing and enjoying my last weekend of free time before my work schedule kicks in. I start my second job on Monday- eeek so excited!

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 23, 2013

Ramblings on purity in the high school years.

     Around this time last year, I was preparing for high school graduation and my graduation party. Late one night (I'm talking like 2-3 am... before college I was never up that late!) I lay awake in my bed, unable to sleep. I suddenly had this urge to write a speech to give at my upcoming graduation party. My  head told me that logically it was too late for me to be doing anything except sleeping, but I somehow got out of bed and pulled out my laptop anyways. I wrote and wrote and wrote... and although I finished it the next day I ended up with a 12 page speech that personally addressed every single person that would be attending my graduation party- and the guest list had 80+ people! I wanted each person that was coming to know how they individually had touched my life. A few weeks later when I read my speech at the party, my parents and many other guests had tears in their eyes and were very grateful for my words. I smiled to myself and realized that my instinct to write late that one night had gone to good use.

     That was a really long intro, but I'm writing this at 12:30 am so I expect my writings not to flow as normally as they would during a post written in the daytime. Anyways, all night I kept feeling like something was tugging at my heart to write a blog post about purity tonight. I wasn't really sure where it came from, but this is something that I've been thinking about all day. When this happens to me I trust that these urges in me to pour out my heart come from none only then God himself, and I know that I best listen to Him!

     I know that not everyone who reads my blog is a Christian, and not everyone who reads shares the Christian view on purity. If you differ from me in these areas, please don't take the words that I'm about to write as a put-down. I hope that if anything you're encouraged by what I have to say, and might be able to see a different perspective in a new light. I just never want any of my readers to feel that I'm a judgemental girl who looks down on people that might have different faiths or different views on sex and purity. Whatever you believe, I'm glad that you've found your way to my blog, and I'm glad that you're reading this post!

     Anyways, to all of you, God has made it so clear to me lately that I need to wait. Not just wait to have sex until I'm married, but wait to get into a relationship in the first place. I know I've said this before on here, but I'll say it again. I never dated in high school. I suppose in the blogging community this isn't too unusual, but it sure was unusual at my high school. I went to a public high school with a very low Christian community. I was blessed to make a few good friends in the "goody-goody group" of my graduating class (people like me that had no desire to party or act rebellious), but even most of them dated at least one person in high school. I kept telling myself all through high school that God loved me so much, and that I didn't need to attention of an immature boy to feel complete, but I still couldn't make myself believe this. Looking back now I realize how truly crazy I got over the fact that I wasn't dating. So, so many tears were shed and I think that many of my bad moods used to come from moping about being single. Bless my mom's heart for putting up with me for years of that! I know that she would get frustrated with me at times, and now I honestly don't blame her!

     While a permanent case of being single in the high school years wasn't the only reason that I was depressed for part of my junior year of high school, I think that it was definitely a contributing factor. People's reactions to my situation didn't help much either. I remember that I met often with my school guidance counselor during my junior year, and once he made a comment that since I was such a nice young lady I must get lots of attention from the guys at school. I told him that the truth was quite the opposite, and that guys didn't ask me out and besides for a couple guy friends most boys at school didn't even glance in my direction. My guidance counselor was shocked, and kept saying "I just don't understand why they don't notice you." I think he meant that in a kind way, but his words hurt me even more. I kept crying out silently to God "Can't you see how jealous I am of all of my girlfriends that have special guys in their life? When is my turn going to come? Don't You know how much I would love a boyfriend, and how well I'd treat him?" I poked fun in these posts of my 9th grade self for doing this, but when I look back I wasted a lot of my high school years angry at God and angry at my situation.

     A lot of things lately have been pushing me towards my newfound joy and appreciation of purity (Including a great new post series by my blogging friend Jessica!), but perhaps what touched me the most was this article called "4 Benefits of Not Dating in High School" written by blogger Erin of Sweetness Itself. Erin actually wrote this for a Christian magazine called QUITE, but tonight she shared the link to it on her blog. I read it because the title intrigued me, and after reading it I was literally like "Wow. Just WOW. Where was this when I was in high school?!" Erin makes so many great points about how not dating in high school just benefits a life of purity, and reminded readers how much heartache you're protecting yourself from if you don't date. Erin also wrote about focussing on just developing good friendships with guys and girls during these years, instead of worrying about dating. Reading this reminded me of some fun times that I did share with my friends, times when I just was having fun and enjoying myself, and not stressing about being single. Oh- how I wish I had treasured those times more when they were happening! Oftentimes after hanging out with high school friends I would go home and mope about not having a boyfriend, instead of thanking God for the lovely times that I just shared.

     I just want to say that if you are in high school and you are dating someone, or did date someone seriously in high school, I'm not saying that it's all bad! People mature at different times, and some girls and guys are ready for serious, committed relationships when they are in their early teen years. I know many bloggers that started dating their spouses when they were in high school, including a few of my favorite bloggers like Elle and McKenzie. God just clearly intends for some people to meet the right person a little earlier, and that's totally fine! 

     But what I am saying is that if you're a single high school girl and reading this post, know the things that I wish my high school self had known:

  1. A relationship with Jesus and the Heavenly Father will bring much more joy into your life then a guy ever could.
  2. It says in the Psalms that when we put our trust and joy into our relationship with the Lord, he will bless us with more than we could ever imagine, and for many girls that means a Godly guy when the time is right! Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalms 37:4 NIV
  3. God's timing is always perfect. Whether you're 15 and dating the love of your life or 35 and still single, God has a specific reason for why you're in the state you are, and His ways are always good.
  4. I think this one is especially important: The first Christian guy that comes into your life is not necessarily "the one." I blogged in this post about how during my first semester of college I unintentionally "lead on" one of the first Christian guys that I met at school, and how much conflict and pain was caused when both of us rushed and tried too hard to envision a relationship. Girls- it is so important to take your time in getting to know guys that you are interested in! I learned the hard way that you can't get too close to a person in such a short amount of time. Good things come to those who wait- and that means taking your time in getting to know someone, and not rushing certain things before they're supposed to happen! 

       Love between a man and woman is designed for lifetime companionship, not for teenagers to play around with and not take seriously. High school friends- know that your beauty is not found in admiration from the opposite sex, but instead from the One who knew you before you were even born. I'm sharing my heart and experiences with you because I hope to influence someone not to do what I did and make your high school years a time of moping and complaining and pity parties. Rise above this culture's "norms" for high school dating, and wait on God's timing!

     Feedback on this post is much appreciated! I'd love to read what you ladies (or any guys reading this) think.

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 22, 2013

Continue to be dazzled by ShoeDazzle!

     Remember my post last week that was sponsored by ShoeDazzle? Well, I found out yesterday some more great news regarding them! If you make a purchase within the first two days of joining ShoeDazzle, then you get 25% off your first item as well as free shipping! So be sure to check out ShoeDazzle to find the perfect pair of shoes for you, and to get a great discount!

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 20, 2013

Fashion post {5/20/13}

Shirt: Christmas 2012 gift
Skinny Jeans: American Eagle (Fall 2011)
Boots: DSW (December 2012)
Belt: L.L. Bean (Summer 2012)
Necklace: Kohl's (January 2013)
Hairclip: Stolen from my mom :-)

     It's been forever since I've done a fashion post! Now that I'm home I get to take advantage of the fact that my mom is a photographer. It was her idea to have me pose with the tulips in our yard!
     Anyways, since I've come home it's been pretty chilly in Maine. Most days the temperature is in the 50s or 60s, so it's not the summer weather that I was getting spoiled with at school. I've had to pull out some of my fall and winter clothes again. While unpacking I found this beautiful necklace! I had bought it a few months ago on a clearance rack at Kohl's. I was originally going to wear a different dress for my college spring formal that would have matched it, but when I ended up wearing something else I forgot about the necklace. I think that it was the perfect addition to this simple jeans and boots outfit! Added a little bit of bling and sparkle without being over the top.
     My shirt was a Christmas gift from my aunt and uncle last year. It fits me like a glove and I love the ruched shoulders! This year I've gotten more into tucking my shirts into my pants, and since my belt and boots were the same color I figured this was the perfect time to do so. I wore this outfit to a job interview that I had. While the job didn't turn out to be the right one for me, I felt "business-casual" all the way!

     What are some things that you like to wear in the changing of the seasons?

     Hope y'all have a great Monday! I'll be spending mine doing more unpacking of my college stuff... over a week home and I'm just now about half-way done!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 17, 2013

Liebster Award.

     Sweet blogger Jessica from Forever Convinced just awarded me with the Liebster Award! I have copied and pasted the description from Jessica's blog on what the Liebster award is ((Because I am too lazy to paraphrase and write it all in my own words ;-))

      "The word "Liebster" is German for the word "sweetheart" or "dearest. This originated from a German blogger and I can't remember now when exactly the first one was posted, but it was for up-and-coming bloggers with less than 3,000 followers. Basically it is NOT an award that is given by judges and a panel of experts on the subject of blogging, rather it is an award from blogging peers who consider you worth giving an award to for your blogger personality. It is now for bloggers with less than 200 followers who have potential. The main point and why I am so excited about it, is that it is an award to share love and build community with other bloggers."

     I feel like I may have been awarded this or a similar award once on my old blog, but this is my first award with this blog, so thank-you Jessica! :-) The way that the Liebster award works is that I am supposed to answer the 11 questions that Jessica created for us, and then I list 11 fun facts about myself (So this post will take the place of my usual Fun Fact Friday post). Lastly, I create 11 questions for the 5-11 bloggers that I tag! 

Jessica's questions:

1) When did you first start blogging and why did you decide to become a blogger? I started blogging in January 2011 on my old blog, Confessions of a Maine Teenager. I decided to start a blog after reading my real-life friend Katie's blog. Katie and I met when we were both homeschooled, I was seven and she was eight, and she's one of my oldest friends! Anyways, I loved reading her posts and it seemed like a great creative outlet. I started my blog was right in the middle of my junior year of high school, which was one of my worst years. I had mild depression during the first semester, and had lost my best friend due to a bad falling out. My other friends weren't too great that year either. Blogging was a safe outlet for me to express my feelings about high school. It also became a wonderful way for me to grow in my faith as I "met" so many bloggers who were passionate Christians! There wasn't really a Christian population at all in my high school so my faith was lacking my junior year. Blogger Emily from Practically Pink was truly an inspiration to me and one of the first friends I made through blogging! Sorry about the super long response. :-)
2) What is something awesome Jesus has done in your life lately? Well, my prayers were answered about getting into the school that I'm transferring to, and with a bigger scholarship than I was hoping for! But I think the biggest thing is that the Lord has been really placing on my heart lately the importance of purity and waiting for the right guy. My dating views are changing and becoming more conservative then what they used to be. Patience is the word that He keeps stressing in my life. Hopefully I can write more posts on this soon!
3) How would you describe yourself in 6 words or less? Oh gosh I hate doing stuff like this! Make me feel like I'm tooting my own horn too much haha. But here goes! Funny (or attempts to be funny), Cute, Thoughtful, Loyal, Peppy and Preppy. 
4) What is something you have never done that you have always wanted to do? I would love to stand in two, three or even four states at once. I should add that to my bucket list!
5) If you could go to any concert you wanted for free, which one would you go to and why? I would love to see Britney Spears in concert, but only if she did a show of her older music from the early 2000s. I'm not as crazy about her newer music.
6) Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully working in mainstream radio somewhere in the South! I would also loooovvveeee to have a wonderful man in my life at that point, but if not then I hope to be even more in love with Jesus- may sound corny but it's true!
7) What is your favorite place to shop at and why? Gahhh why Jessica must you ask me this?! :-P This is so hard to answer! I have a whole page on this blog where I list my favorite stores and the places where I buy most of the outfits featured in my fashion posts. But if I had to pick one store then probably  Dillard's. My favorite department store hands down! I am obsessed with their shoe department, and they sell most of my favorite make-up brands. I also love so many of the clothes and jewelry at Dillard's. And they have a large Vera Bradley selection in every store! It's a good thing that we don't have them in Maine or I'd spend all of the earnings from my summer job there.
8) If you could only eat one specific type of food (Mexican, Chinese, American, etc) for the rest of your life, what would you eat? INDIAN FOOD. I love it so much that capital letters are required. If you have never eaten Indian food before then drop what you're doing and go to the nearest Indian restaurant now! I love anything with coconut and anything spicy, and these are two things that are used a lot in Indian cuisine. Fun fact: this is one of the only types of cuisine where I like the vegetarian dishes as much as the meat ones!
9)If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be? I'm honestly not sure! I've had some wonderful moments in my life so far, but I feel like the best is still yet to come. I am only 18. I feel like if I get married in the future then my wedding day would be a great memory!
10) Which TV show's world would you want to live? 7th Heaven- hands down! Best show ever. How I would love to call the quinessential 90s TV show town of Glenoak, California my home. *sigh*
11) What are three things you look for in a future spouse? 

   1.  I would definitely prefer to marry someone with the same religious views. I might differ from some other Christian girls in this, but I would not object to being in a serious relationship someday with someone who wasn't a Christian, as long as they had morals and were respectful of my beliefs. Don't mistunderstand me though and think that I'm seeking out just anybody and everybody, because that's not the case. As of now I'm waiting to meet a Christian guy before getting into a dating relationship, but what I'm trying to say in vague terms is that I'm not sure I will always say that they have to be a Christian depending on the person and the circumstance. However, my deal breaker in any relationship would be if they didn't respect my convictions. I am committed to purity before marriage and any guys I date will have to respect that, or they're out!
   2. Humor! My future husband will have to make me laugh, and also hopefully laugh at my attempts at jokes! I think that humor is such a wonderful thing, and I couldn't see myself in a long term relationship where that didn't exist.
   3. Looks aren't the most important thing... but I don't really want to marry someone that I'm not attracted to either! I don't really have a "type" because I believe that it's what's on the inside that counts, but hopefully my guy won't be too bad on the eyes. ;-) 

11 Fun Facts about me:

1) I love taking baths and hate showers. One of my least favorite things about college is that I don't have access to a bathtub. 
2) Speaking of showers, I never sing in the shower. Or the bath. 
3) But I do sing in the car! I actually hate driving in silence. I always have to have some sort of music on. Even hearing a commerical is better than silence.
4) I've been on only two dates in my life. Neither was with the right person. The first date was near the end of high school and I realized within the first five minutes that I could never think of the guy as more than a friend. The second date took place during my first semester of college. A guy I liked took me to Waffle House. Fellow Southerners should know right away from that why things never worked out. ;-) For those of you from the North that don't know what Waffle House is, think a very ghetto and sketchy version of Denny's... you get the picture? Haha. Where we went on our one date actually isn't why things worked out, it turned out to be a distance thing (I think). But I'll just keep things short and blame it on the Waffle House!
5) I've never been kissed. The Waffle House guy from fun fact #4 really wanted to kiss me, but I wouldn't let him. I want my first kiss to be with my first boyfriend, not just some guy who shows me a little bit of attention before leaving my life. 
6) I've come to learn that if I'm in a bad mood, a never fail method of cheering myself up is by watching That 70s Show. Not the most "clean" show, but the characters remind me of people from my high school and many of the episodes have made me laugh until I've cried!
7) I don't have an exact moment of when I became a Christian or came to know Christ, but a defining moment was a youth retreat that I went on in 7th grade with my old church. We spent the weekend at a camp in New Hampshire. The subject of the retreat was the persecuted church around the world. For the first time I remember considering how lucky I was to be able to attend church when so many people around the world didn't have that luxury. 
8) The timing of that youth retreat I went on was also was important because a lot of stuff was happening in my family at the time and my parents were separated. I don't like to talk about this time very often, and the only person that ever trusted with it was my former high school best friend who I had a bad falling out with during junior year of high school. That's all I'll say about this on my blog. 
9) Since this is number 9, I think this would be a fitting time to address the fact that I'm literally obsessed with 90s pop music. Old Britney Spears, boybands, one hit wonders... all of it! I know that I've blogged about it before but it's really one of the defining things that makes me who I am. My dream would be to someday work at a radio station that played 90s and early 2000s hits 24/7. If there's a song that you like from this time that no one else remembers, chances are it's in my iTunes library!
10) I want to honeymoon someday in Asia, preferably Thailand. I've fallen in love with the beautiful country after seeing it on The Bachelor and Bachelorette!
11) I'm a very messy person, but I try and keep my Lucy (my name for my car) as clean as possible. I joke that my car and my closet are the only organized areas of my life. I hope to become a neater person in the future!

Now my questions for the ladies that I'm tagging!

1) Why did you start blogging, and who are a few of the bloggers that influence you?
2) What is your faith?
3) What is your most memorable birthday?
4) Do you enjoy cooking or baking, and if so, what are your favorited dishes or treats to make?
5) What are your favorite TV shows?
6) What's one of your funniest memories?
7) What piercings do you have?
8) Are you a morning person or night person?
9) What do you hope to do for a career someday?
10) Do you want to meet any bloggers in person someday?
11) What are your thoughts on love (as well as dating, marriage, etc)?

And I choose to tag:

*mQs from The Shore Life According to M
*Katelyn from Southern Samplings
*Taylor from The Pre-Vet Prep
*Ali from Yours Truly, Ali
*Stephanie from Steph Said What?

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 16, 2013

Next week...

     Except some better posts! I apologize for being a little absent this week. Life jumped right into full swing after I came home from school last Sunday. It's been a good first week back, but a very busy one! I'm not even half-way unpacked yet, hopefully I can work on that this weekend! I had three job interviews this week, spent a day out of state with my mom visiting some family, had an afternoon with my grandma, and caught up with my best high school friend J at the beach. I've also eaten out almost everyday... not a usual occurence but I guess that's just how it's worked out! Haha. And for a brief praise report, I found out that I got one of the jobs that I interviewed for! It's something that I think I'll really enjoy doing and I get to work very close to my house and the beach! I also have 3 friends from high school that work there so it'll be nice to know some coworkers right away. The only thing is that the job is mostly in the daytime and it's very part-time (15ish hours a week) so I'm still looking for an evening job, probably something restaurant related.

     But anyways, I have a little giveaway/product review coming up! I'm just waiting to receive what the company mailed me so I can review it, and then that post will be up. I also have at least one fashion post planned, and if y'all are interested I can share a yummy recipe that I made for dinner tonight? :-)

     In addition to unpacking I hope to really devote some time to reading some Christian literature and spending time in God's word. With the stress of school ending and then coming home I have put quiet time on the "back burner" a little bit. But a sweet post from my new (and super awesome) blogging friend Jessica made me realize I need to regroup my priorities. Faith is and should always be #1!

     Have a most beautiful weekend friends! Talk to you next week,

     xoxo Miss ALK


     P.S. What do you guys think about my new font for post and gadget headings? I thought it was a fun little change and this font reflects my personality better than the standard blogger text. :-)


May 15, 2013

Be dazzled by ShoeDazzle!

     *This post is sponsored by Shoe Dazzle*

     If you're familiar with any of my fashion posts then you'll know that I love a cute pair of shoes! However, I tend to wear the same beloved pairs over and over again. I'm always looking for new ways to expand my shoe collection, and I was thrilled to find out about the website ShoeDazzle! Here's a description of the company straight from ShoeDazzle themselves:

     "ShoeDazzle is the original online personal-styling innovator treating millions of women to a monthly showroom filled with on-trend, personalized shoe and accessory recommendations. By building an intimate, customized experience through creative innovation, social engagement and world-class service, ShoeDazzle aspires to make women feel pampered and beautiful. Fashion icon, designer, and world-renowned stylist Rachel Zoe serves as the company’s Chief Stylist. "

     How awesome is that?! Personalized shoe reccomendations- uh yes please! The "customized experience" that ShoeDazzle speaks of is a really fun and easy quiz to get to know your fashion and shoe preferences. It's the first thing that you do when you register on the website! Below are some screenshots of what my quiz looked like: 

     I loved how the quiz asked questions about your favorite stores and make-up brands as well as just shoes. ShoeDazzle realizes that a great pair of shoes are just one part of a fabulous outfit, and they want to get a sense of your whole style in order to pick the best shoes for you! After I finished my quiz and registered for the site, I decided to take a look at ShoeDazzle's personalized picks for me. Here's a sampling of what a few of them were!

     Love all of these pretty white heels that would be perfect for summer! ShoeDazzle also offers some beautiful purses and other accesories. I really like these bright leather bags that they put in my personalized picks! 

     You can see under the silver shoes in the top left there's a little box letting you know that it's one of Rachel Zoe's picks. Rachel Zoe is the chief shoe stylist for ShoeDazzle. She has her own boutique on the site where she picks out her favorite items. As of today the theme for her boutique is "Summer Saturday," how fun!

     Since I recently did a post series called All Things Prom, I thought that I'd lastly share some of my favorite ShoeDazzle finds that would be perfect for a prom or other springtime formal event!

     You'll see that a couple of the shoes that I selected are currently sold out... once a shoe is featured on ShoeDazzle they tend to go fast. So be sure to visit ShoeDazzle today and check out all of the fabulous May picks! 

     For those of you that fall in love with ShoeDazzle, feel free to join their VIP Membership program! Benefits include members only pricing, free shipping and and special surprises.


     Here's to shoe shopping!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 14, 2013

Watch this.

     Watch this TED talk and you will not regret it! The speaker is Christian author Dannah Gresh. She's written several books on important subjects like modesty and purity. My mom bought me her best selling modesty book Secret Keeper when I was in middle school, and I learned so much from it. This past year at school I read one of her books on purity called And the Bride Wore White. That book along with Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James encouraged me to make a commitment to abstinence until marriage.

     Dannah Gresh's TED talk just affirms everything that I believe it. She makes so many wonderful arguments counteracting today's "modern" views on sex and purity, and makes a case for biblical truths using modern research. Even if you don't share the Christian view on purity, watch this. Dannah explains how there's scientific evidence to why waiting is better. Watching this might be the best 10 minutes of your day!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 13, 2013

Life as of late.

     After a long four days on the road and many rest-stops, my dad and I finally arrived home late yesterday afternoon! We drove all the way from school in NC to our home in Maine. My car was absolutely packed. Seriously, I really don't know how we were able to shut the doors and trunk, there was that much stuff. And that wasn't even everything- I had to leave some furniture items like a lamp and a nightstand at school because we just didn't have the room (luckily whatever we left behind will be donated to a charity yardsale)! The whole packing process was a reality check for me of how much "stuff" I own. One of my first goals for sophomore year is to spend this summer giving away a lot of the things that I really don't use/need, and to bring a lot less to school next year. It would be nice to see out of the backseat windows on the drive down in August... :-)

     For a bit of super awesome news, I found out last night that I ended my second semester of college with all A's again! That means that I made the Dean's List a second time, and I don't have to worry about losing any scholarship money at my new school (since I had such high grades first semester they gave me a little extra money). I am still in awe that I was able to do this since I missed two full weeks of school (and all of spring break) for being sick. I guess all the time that I spent on make-up work was worth it!

     The whole being sick experience taught me some things though. The first was that I realized that I needed to be taking better care of myself. First semester I had this belief that since I didn't drink alcohol or do drugs, I was perfectly healthy and had nothing to worry about. After getting sick I saw that while choosing not to party was a good decision, the fact that I was going to bed super-duper late at night was still not very good for my body! The make-up work process also taught me that while it's important to have a few hours of distraction-free schoolwork time, it's also important not to be too hard on yourself and take some time to do the things that you enjoy doing. I also started picking one time a week where I wouldn't do any homework or think about school. I chose Fridays after I got out of classes. For the past couple months Friday afternoons and evenings had been my time to nap, run errands, watch Netflix or go out to dinner with friends. Having this time set aside for myself helped me to feel much more refreshed and alert that weekend and in the coming week. And lastly, I learned that Netflix is the best study break ever. In a little over a month I've made it through season 1-6 of That 70s Show. I'm actually kinda sad that I only have two seasons left! Each episode was about 21-22 minutes long, perfect for a study break! I was able to balance getting some homework done and then taking a few minutes to myself to watch an episode, and it worked well for me!

     I also have a brief prayer request. Today was my first job interview. I think that the interview went fairly well but I don't see myself enjoying work at that business after finding out more information. Tomorrow I have another interview and I think that job would be a much better fit. I have some friends from high school that work there and it's much closer to my house. If y'all could pray that everything would go well with that job interview tomorrow I would be so appreciative!

     Finally, I want to know what's been up with all of you lately. Are you still in school or are you done for the summer? Do you have any fun things coming up? Or prayer requests? Do share in the comments! :-)

     I promise to have some better posts up this week! I'm currently in the works of setting up a fun little giveaway.

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 10, 2013

Fun Fact Friday {11}

     I'm currently writing this post from a hotel room somewhere in the western part of Virginia. I took my last final today, and my dad and I packed up my dorm room and then hit the road! I still can't believe that I'm done with my first year of college. It went by so quickly!

     Anyways, time for this week's FFF post!

     Friday, May 10th 2013

  1. One of my biggest pet peeves is having unshaved legs/underarms. I shave a few times a week (at least) and all year round, even in the winter! The feeling of those awkward prickly hairs growing back in just creeps me out.
  2. I've never been to a tanning bed and never plan to. Way too dangerous! 
  3. Tomorrow my dad and I are making a pit stop on the road to the King of Prussia Mall in PA. Apparently it now has more stores then the Mall of America! I'm pretty pumped. This past week has been quite stressful and a little retail therapy is much needed!
  4. In a little over a month I've watched seasons 1-5 of That 70s Show, and I'm almost done season six. Never have I gone through a TV show so quickly before! I'm quite sad that I only have two seasons left. This is why college students shouldn't be allowed to have Netflix accounts... it's like a procrastinator's dream come true!
  5. I'm making good progress in my 2013 goal to read through the New Testament! Right now I'm in the book of Romans. 

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!

     I should be getting home to Maine on Sunday night, and expect posts next week on finds from tomorrow's shopping trip and the last post in my 9th grade crush post series! 

     Happy Weekend! 

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 9, 2013

First year of college = DONE!

     I'm taking a brief break in the post series that I'm doing featuring the goofy e-mails between my and my 9th grade crush, because today is very exciting! This morning I'll be taking my very last final which means that after noon I'll be done with my freshman year of college! The first few weeks seemed the go by slowly but then time started to fly. I thought that I'd show my favorite picture for each month of freshman year, as well as sharing some memories of the best and most interesting things that happened to me this year.


One of the first pictures taken of me after arriving at college! The little purple fella is Mr. Purples, who was a graduation gift to me from my senior prom date. I'll have to write a seperate blog post about his adventures sometime.

Another highlight of the beginning of school was a Bojangles trip with some new friends! Bojangles is one of my most favorite things about the South... people make fun of my obsession with it!


I celebrated my 18th birthday on September 6th, 2012, also the day that I started this blog! This was my first birthday spent without family and friends from home, so it was bittersweet. A highlight of the day was spending it at the school radio station though! Volunteering there has been one of my favorite parts of freshman year.

...September was also the month that I decided it was time to change up my look. I got my belly pierced a couple weeks after my birthday...

...and I got a perm!


October brought my first college homecoming experience!

It also brought my first trip back home to Maine since leaving for college! 


One of the best days of my life happened- I met my favorite Christian author Karen Kingsbury as apart of her fall book tour! This was seriously a dream come true and you can read my post about it here!

Since I had just gone to Maine for October break, I spent Thanksgiving with my friend K's family in her hometown in NC. It was a wonderful time and I got to see many new parts of the state!


The weekend before finals I hosted a small Christmas party in the common room of the suite that I lived in. Sadly I cannot take credit for any of the cute decorations though- my suitemates did most of those! 

I went home after finals for a three week winter break! At my mom's side of the family's annual Christmas party, I learned that it was the year of the scarves when it came to gifts! Luckily I really like scarves. :-) I also got to catch up with some high school friends in December, and "enjoy" the frigid Maine weather.


I spent January 1-4 with my dad in his homestate of New York! NYC is one of my favorite places and it had been a few years since we'd been there. I also went back to school for second semester in January, but that's not nearly as exciting. ;-)

Almost forgot! Shortly after second semester started I saw Florida Georgia Line in concert. They were AWESOME!


I spent my Valentine's Day evening eating dinner with some fellow single girls in my bible study at the "classiest" restaurant on earth... Waffle House! We don't have Waffle Houses in Maine and although they kind of scare me I've always had very funny experience everytime that I've been there. Another Valentine's as a single girl was also a great excuse to finally wear my Sexy and I Know It t-shirt! (Yes, I love the song so much that I have a t-shirt bearing the lyrics.)

February was also my first trip to the beautiful state of Tennessee! The French club at my school took a winter retreat there. This was my first time seeing snow south of the Mason-Dixon line- pretty exciting! I wrote this post about the trip.

February 24th was the day that I came down with one of the worst illnesses that I've ever had. The doctors I saw still aren't quite sure what I had. I had every symptom of mono but both of my mono tests came back negative, so they think it was a weird virus that acted like mono. I also got a sinus infection on top of that. Being sick and away at college was one of the hardest things that I've ever had to go through. This is when I first started considering transferring to a different school.


After I had been sick for a week and a half and showed few signs of getting better, my parents put me on a last minute flight and flew me home to rest. Unfortunately my illness lasted three weeks and conflicted with spring break. My mom and I were supposed to go to Italy for SB with a tour group from my university, but we were unable to because I was still very sick. In total I missed two full weeks of classes and my whole spring break. I finally started feeling better the day before that I went back to school.

Here's me on the one day I was feeling well at the end of spring break! My mom took me for a brief walk on the beach before I left. After I got back to school the rest of my March consisted of making up two weeks of missed work... not fun.


 April was a good and bad month. I was still working on getting back into a schedule after out sick for so long, and I still had a bit of make-up work to finish. The good news though is that most of April was a warm and beautiful month!  This New England girl was very excited to see temperatures in the 70s and 80s so "early" in the spring! I spent as much time outside as I could.

April (aka three-ish weeks ago) is also when I cut my hair! My long mane was getting to be too much to manage. I love long hair and will grow mine out again eventually, but right now I'm still loving my new 'do! 

I don't have a picture for the last thing, but at the end of the month I found out that I was accepted to the school in North Carolina that I'd been wanting to transfer to! They offered me a very good scholarship so I'll be a transfer student next year.


May isn't even half-way over yet, but in the first weekend it brought the annual Spring Formal at school! It was a great time to celebrate the end of the year with my friends and have fun before finals. Here's the post with more pictures. 

And here I am, now done finals and off to Maine again for the summer. My dad has flown down to NC to help me pack up my dorm and drive home. We're making the trip into a mini-vacation and are spending the night in a few states on the way home. My most recent newsworthy event is that I finally have gotten called for job interviews! I've applied for a ton of jobs back home, so it is a relief to finally hear back from a few of them. My first interview is next Monday and I'm already crossing my fingers that it will go well!

     One thing that I can't show in a picture is that my faith and love for the Lord has grown so much this year. I have learned to trust His will for me and I'm much more confident in my faith now than I ever was in high school. I finally feel like I'm not doubting what I believe anymore, and I'm learning to live out my faith. I hope that this will only continue to happen in the future! God is so, so good. 

     While not every situation and thing that happened to me this year has been wonderful, all of it has been a learning process. I love the person that I'm becoming and I'm realizing how blessed I really am.

     What has your year been like?

     xoxo Miss ALK

     P.S. I actually pre-wrote this post on Tuesday when I had some free time between exams and packing. It's now 1 a.m. on Thursday morning and my poor dad only got in an hour ago. He was supposed to be in NC at 5 pm tonight. He left New England in the morning and his layover at JFK airport in New York City experienced delays... which altogether has added up to about 8 hours! He was finally supposed to come in at 10 pm finally so I drove to the airport with my suitemate to pick him up (the airport is an hour from school). Once we go there we found out about the extra couple hours, and I had a morning final and had to go back to school, so the poor guy will be spending the night at an airport motel. Guess I just couldn't leave college without a little extra excitement... Hopefully packing everything up tomorrow will go smoothly!
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