Southern Belle in Training

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

November 28, 2013

A grateful heart.

      I'm going to be honest with y'all, Thanksgiving isn't one of my favorite holidays. I think that's mainly because I don't really like a lot of the traditional foods... minus the stuffing, I'm not really a fan of anything else! It is nice to see family, but the weather is usually freezing cold, and the thought of having to be back in a busy airport in just two days is already stressing me out.

     But anyways, just because I'm not a huge fan of Thanksgiving the day doesn't mean that I don't have a whole lot to be grateful for! I am just in awe of all that God has blessed me with. Here are just a few of the blessings that I could think of:

  • Being able to go to college to pursue my dream of working in radio.
  • Having good health during this semester.
  • Having two parents that are so loving and always there for me, even when I am far away at school.
  • My amazing roommate at school!
  • Having the chance this year to join a sorority.
  • Always having food to eat. 
  • Life lessons, even when they are hard. 
  • The internship that I'll be doing next semester.
  • Still being close to my friends at my former college.
  • God's amazing grace.
  • BLACK FRIDAY. TOMORROW. Need I say more? ;-)

     And lastly, I'm thankful for all of you, and the amazing blogging community! I have loved getting to meet some bloggers this past fall, and I hope to meet many more in years to come! :-)

     xoxo Miss ALK

November 27, 2013

The Blackest of the Fridays.

     One of my favorite days of the year is quickly upon us! I LOVE Black Friday. After Easter and Christmas Eve, it's probably my favorite day of the year (no joke). I definitely love it more then my birthday, Halloween, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and every other holiday. I mean, it's a day devoted to my favorite "sport," and great deals are found everywhere! I just love it!

Black Friday 2010 in New Hampshire

     This will be my sixth year of Black Friday shopping. My first year was my freshman year of high school, and I've been every year since. Weirdly enough, I have never done Black Friday in Maine! I've gone shopping in New Hampshire three times, New York once, and last year since I spent Thanksgiving in North Carolina my Black Friday shopping was done down there. One of these years I will do the middle-of-the-night-standing-in-line-in-the-cold-waiting-for-the-mall-to-open thing, but the time hasn't come for that yet. (Plus I've found that in past years most of the middle of the night shopping is for technology related things. My mom did that a few years ago and came home with our flatscreen TV.) I usually just get earlier then usual in the morning, head to a mall, and spend the WHOLE day shopping. It's amazing.

Black Friday 2012 in North Carolina with my friend K!

      I've heard that many stores are having deals that are exceptionally great this year, so below are links to a few articles that I've found about some of the deals! Since this will be my first Black Friday shopping in Maine, all of these stores are ones that are in the mall closest to my house. But I'm sure that Southern stores like Dillard's and Belk will also be having amazing deals, so any Southern readers should definitely check into that!

     I wasn't able to find too much info online about the Loft Black Friday deals, but I'm sure hoping that they'll have some! I was in Loft yesterday briefly and found myself obsessing over pretty much everything that's currently in the store. Here are a few of my favorite things that I hope to find on sale this Friday:

     Just one more important thing that I want to stress to y'all- as much as I love shopping and Black Friday, it is also really important for all of us to remember to give and tithe during this holiday season. For the past couple of years I've made sure to set aside some of my money to use to bless others. Last year I made an Operation Christmas Child box, and this year I recently made a small donation to typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines, and I will probably make another donation to my favorite Christian charity, Samaritan's Purse, before the season is done. Shopping is great and all, but it's good to keep in perspective that all of our money is a gift from God, and we should use some of it to bless others in His name! :-)

     Would y'all enjoy it if I made a vlog and posted it early next week showing my purchases from Black Friday 2013?

     xoxo Miss ALK

November 25, 2013

Currently missing.

A glimpse of Uptown in a sunset while I was a backseat passenger in a car (and happened to have a camera!) :-)

     As soon as I leave North Carolina, I start to miss it. This past Friday, that happened the second that my plane left the runway of the Charlotte Douglas Airport.

     Charlotte, you have only been my home for about three months, but I have fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with you (90s song reference, Savage Garden anyone?). See you next Saturday!

     xoxo Miss ALK

November 21, 2013

Favorite Things Thursday: My Big Fat Greek Wedding

     Favorite Things Thursday is finally back after an unintended few week absence (which I am deeply sorry about)! Today I am going to be writing about one of my favorite movies of all time. And I'm not saying that lightly. This is one of the few movies that I have seen more times then I can count, and each time that I watch it I still laugh just as much as the first time! This is what I think the definition of a romantic comedy is:

Southern Belle In Training

       Oh, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, how I love thee. The biggest reason that I love you is clearly because one of your supporting actors is Joey Fatone... a member of *NSYNC... aka a member of one of the world's greatest boybands ever. ;-) Alright, alright, that's not the biggest reason, but certainly a factor!

     But really, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is hilarious. It's in-your-face comedy, and it doesn't require sarcasm or a deep sense of humor to find what is funny. It's centered around a family, and I love any sort of movies or TV shows around family drama (I mean 7th Heaven IS my favorite TV show). I also love how it isn't overly raunchy like many other popular comedies these days. It's rated PG, and is still super hilarious and doesn't have too much "kiddy" humor. A beautiful love story is the center of the movie, and there is a great message about how love between a man and a woman shouldn't be confinded to one race or one culture. Below is the official trailer!

     Is there a romantic comedy that you can watch time and time again and never get tired of?

     xoxo Miss ALK

November 19, 2013

My dream IS coming true!

      My ideal career after college graduation is to be a DJ on the radio, hence why I'm a communications major. :-) I first fell in love with the idea of working in radio when I was just seven years old. My dad had to go in to one of the Top 40 radio stations in Maine to record a commercial for the place that he works at. I was homeschooled at the time, so my mom had me take the afternoon off school and head up to the station with my dad. I got to meet the afternoon radio host, and while my dad recorded they gave me a tour of the station. I was offered the chance to go on-air, but at the time I was too shy to accept the offer. I did however get to take home a free Enrique Iglesias CD, and I got to request a song (I picked One More Time by Daft Punk). The memory stayed with me, and it still as clear as day in my mind.

      When high school came around and I started exploring possible major options, I always kept coming back to communications. Once I started looking at colleges in the south, one of the main factors that attracted me to my former school is that they had an active radio station. Those of you who are newer to my blog might not know that I was a student DJ at my old school's radio station all through my freshman year of college last year. I was an afternoon host on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Monday nights during second semester I got to host my own show! Want to guess what I played? If you guessed late 90s/early 2000s pop then you're right! ;-)

My last day DJing at the radio station in May 2013.
      When I realized last semester that I would be transferring colleges, I was super excited for things like Greek life and getting to live in the city. But the one thing that I was dissapointed about was that I would lose the chance to work in a college radio station. My new school doesn't have a radio station, and since it's such a small school that's probably not something that will ever happen in my time here. But all things happen for a reason, and thanks to the fact that I transferred I have the most amazing radio based internship next semester, something that I never would have had the opportunity to do if I hadn't transferred! I'm so excited to be finally sharing about it with all of you! I found out that I received it a few weeks ago, but I wanted to wait and check with my supervisor before sharing about it with all of you. :-) Ready to hear what it is?

Still can't believe this is my internship!

     I had a bit of trouble this summer setting up my e-mail account for the school that I was transferring to. After a few weeks and several phone calls with the IT department, I was finally able to access my messages. I saw that I'd already been e-mailed about some opportunities for the communications department, and one caught my eye.

      It was for an internship with the brand new Ryan Seacrest Studios at the Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte. Ryan Seacrest has a charitable foundation that places closed-circuit radio and TV studios inside of prominent children's hospitals across the US, and the Charlotte one just opened in July 2013! The duties of the intern included hosting a radio show for the children of the hospital, helping with celebrity visits and exploring other forms of communcation such as film and public relations. I suddenly had this feeling wash over me that this internship was the reason why I'd transferred. I cannot stress how perfect this internship is for what I want to do as a career! Ryan Seacrest is one of my top career role models, so working for something that has his name would be a huge honor for me. I was missing being in a radio studio, and this one would have brand new state-of-the-art technology! And best of all, I would get to work with children, so it would be an experience far more unique then what I would get at a typical commercial radio station!

      I called my dad at work after reading the e-mail and told him how excited I was. All I kept thinking to myself was how this internship seemed too good to be true! I quickly contacted the communications department of my college and asked them to keep me posted on this internship. They did, and that lead to me attending an info session/group interview at LCH (Levine Children's Hospital) in September. From the moment the I saw Seacrest Studios, I fell in love. Once I was asked back for a second interview I was incredibly nervous that I wouldn't make it through, but I ended up going into the second interview confidently with much prayer, preparation and encouragement. This interview was the first day of my fall break. (Also the day that my friend Jules from Maine arrived to visit me!)

      I found out about a week and a half later that I had gotten the internship! I am one of six students selected from my college who will be interning there. I start next semester, and if I enjoy it and they ask me back then I can keep continuing right through my senior year of college! Even though I've known that I've had this internship for a few weeks now, I'm still in complete and utter shock. God has just blessed me so, so much. I seriously almost start crying tears of joy when I think about how amazingly perfect this internship is for me, and how excited I am that this is apart of His plan for my life. The fact I will get to not only get great experience with my desired career path is awesome, but on top of that I'll get to meet celebrities, network with radio stations in Charlotte (It's never too early for job hunting!) and best of all, get to help bring smiles to the faces of kids in the hospital is just unbelievable. After I had such difficult high school years, transferring colleges, and then having a rougher first semester here at my new school, it was easy to start believing that I was a failure and would never make something of myself. But I didn't give up, and instead I realized my dreams and pursued opportunity, and look where it's gotten me!

     I went to LCH for my first round of training tonight, and it made me even more excited. I have the perfect internship, and I could not be happier! Thank-you Lord!

     "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Jesus Christ." -Philippians 4:19

     xoxo Miss ALK

November 18, 2013

The sweetest weekend.

     The past couple weeks have been some of the hardest weeks in my entire life. I've found myself overwhelmed and in tears on many of the days, and for many different reasons. I don't really need to go into any more details, but I'll just say again that the past couple weeks have been really, really tough.

     Going through everything has made me so homesick. I rarely get homesick for Maine, but I can now safely say that I know what homesickness feels like. As this weekend was approaching, I knew that I needed to get away from school for a bit to clear my head. I know and believe in the famous saying "You can't run from your problems," but I do believe that sometimes space from a certain place can help to clear your head a bit. Since my hometown in Maine is too far for a weekend excursion (plus I'll be headed there in a week for Thanksgiving break!), I wasn't sure where to go. But then one of my sweet friends from my former college invited me to be her "date" to a dance that they were having on Friday night. When I found out that the theme was 90s I knew that I had to go!!

     On Friday after my classes got out I quickly packed up a few bags and then headed to my car!! I stopped in a town that's halfway between here and my old school to get a head start on my Christmas shopping. This town has a bunch of great discount stores, and I got great deals on some presents for friends!! I also stopped at a Walgreens to get a couple 90s beauty essentials: dark berry lipstick and butterfly hair clips!! Below is a picture of what I hoped my hair would look like. Unfortunately the package of clips that I bought only contained two butterflies, but better two then none at all!

     I arrived at my old school in the late afternoon and was greeted with hugs from my best girlfriends. We ate dinner in the student center and got caught up. Next we headed to the lobby of one of their dorms and watched the Lizzie McGuire movie- one of my all-time favorite films. :-) There were a few technical difficulties so we had to crowd around someone's laptop screen instead of using the TV, but with a movie as good as that one you just can't go wrong!! After this it was time to get ready for the dance!

Me, A, K and C!

     Here are our outfits!! I tried to curl out the ends of my hair... it turned out that my curling iron was a little bit small for the look that I wanted, but I still tried. :-) I just love C's jean jumper... how 90s is that?!

C and A

      C and A were kind enough to let me sleep over in their room during my visit... aren't the just the cutest roomies ever?!

      After taking a few pictures in the dorm we headed over to the dance! My sweet friend E met us there, and took a few more pictures of all of us in the student center (which is already decorated for the holidays). :-)

My FAVORITE picture!

     The dance actually turned out to be just kind "eh".... the music was terrible. It was all early 90s rap... no boybands, Britney, J Lo, or anything like that! But I still had a great time getting to catch up with so many people that I hadn't seen since I transferred. I was pretty well-known and well-liked at my old school, so there were many people for me to say hi to!

      After the dance, a group of us headed out for a midnight Cookout run. For you Northerners reading this, Cookout is an awesome fast-food chain in the Carolinas that serves burgers, milkshakes and other snack type foods (my favorite item are the quesadillas!). The food isn't exceptionally great, but all Cookouts are open super-late so that's what makes them appealing! We have Cookout in Charlotte near my new school, and I've been a couple times. But there was something so fun about going to Cookout with people from my old school, so I'm so glad that I got to do that! Memories were definitely made... I'll leave it at that. ;-)

     C, A and I went to bed at around 2 am... and even though they got up earlier than me I slept in until 11:30! The next day happened to be the last home football game for my old school, so I went with the girls. I like to brag that this is where I used a "fake" ID.... aka I used my old school's ID to get into the game for free. ;-) Rebel status huh?! Haha. Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the whole game because I had to be back in Charlotte early that evening, but I got to see the team make a few touchdowns! The spirit at my old school seemed to be much better then I remembered, and since my new school doesn't have football it was awesome to be back at a live game. I'm not a fan at all of watching football on TV, but I enjoy actually attending games once in awhile.

     This weekend was exactly the type of break that I needed, and it was simply wonderful! I can't say that enough. I also think that I've come to a really healthy place mentally about my transfer... it's okay that I miss my old school a lot, and it's okay that I go back to visit mulitple times a semester. But it's also more than okay that I like my new school, and that I'm still happy that I transferred! God knew that my old school wasn't the place that I was meant to stay at, but He also knew that I would miss everyone from there terribly. I'm so thankful that Charlotte is only a little over an hour away from my old school. It's like the best of both worlds. :-) I'm feeling quite blessed right about now.

       xoxo Miss ALK

November 13, 2013

My first Charlotte Social event!

      I have been a member of a Charlotte, NC based blogging network called The Charlotte Social for about six months now. They host monthly blogger meet-ups, but up until now I was sadly never able to attend them! They were either when I was at home in Maine or busy with school events. But I was finally able to attend a meet-up, and it was held this past Monday night at the Nordstrom in Charlotte's SouthPark Mall. It was hosted by fashion blogger Bre of Baubles and Bubbly (Formerly Basically Bre). I have been following Bre's blog for awhile and I love her sense of style, so I couldn't wait to meet her and the rest of the Charlotte bloggers!

What a lovely group of ladies!! Click here for a list of all of their blogs!

     The meet-up was held near the Topshop section of Nordstrom, and all of us to the chance to browse at the beautiful new winter collection! Below is a picture of me trying on a gorgeous top and skirt from Topshop:

     Another one of my favorite things that I spotted during the night was a beautiful Alice + Olivia dress! The $495 price tag was WAY out of my budget... but I got to admire it, and it was probably my favorite fashion piece of the night!

This picture doesn't even do it justice... such an amazing dress!

     Emily of Life with Emily was also in attendance! She has a wonderful fashion blog, and I loved getting the chance to ask her a few fashion blogging questions. Another blogger who I got the chance to talk to was Bri of Just Bri. She is the founder of the Charlotte Social, and I got to talk to her about what it's like to start a blog network! I know that I've posted a few times lately about my involvement with the Delight group, and I'm currently talking to the Delight admins about starting a special Delight blogging network, so everything that Bri told me was very helpful!

     Even though I didn't end up purchasing anything at Nordstrom (and was the only blogger there who is still in college :-)), I still had a wonderful time at the event! I hope to be able to make it to more Charlotte Social events in the future.

Yours truly with two of my favorite fashion bloggers- Emily and Bre!

      Are you a member of any blogging networks? Have you met any bloggers in person lately?

     xoxo Miss ALK

     P.S. The outfit that I wore to this event was featured in this OOTD post!


November 12, 2013

OOTD: Neutral with sparkle.

  • Top: Charming Charlie
  • Jeggings: American Eagle Outfitters
  • Blazer: Forever 21
  • Boots: Rampage {Bought at Belk}
  • Necklace: Birthday gift from my roommate :-)
  • Earrings: Found at an NC discount store

     It's no secret that I love Charming Charlie. I have a lot of favorite stores, but Charming Charlie definitely makes my top five list! Their jewelry is gorgeous and so reasonably priced! I first learned about Charming Charlie on a trip to Connecticut to near where my dad's side of the family lives. I fell in love on my first visit, and I was thrilled to learn that there are many stores down here in the South! Unfortunately there aren't any in Charlotte (that needs to CHANGE), but there are a bunch in driving distance from where I go to school.

      When my dear friend from Maine, Jules, was down here in the Carolinas visiting me last month, I knew that I had to take her to a Charming Charlie. We ended up going to the Greenville, South Carolina, store, and we made the excursion into a whole day trip! But anyways, not only did Jules fall head over heels in love with the store (and practically bought the place out!), but I realized that they sell a lot more then just jewelry and accessories! This Charming Charlie location had a pretty decent clothing selection, and I found the gorgeous embellished tank that I'm wearing in these pictures! Isn't this shirt just darling?! In order to let its sparkle shine to its full potential, I decided to pair it with my favorite black jeggings, a simple black blazer and my new black riding boots (which were featured in my last outfit post). 

Jules and I at Charming Charlie!!

     I wanted my accessories to be simple and gold toned since many of the sequins on my top were a dark gold. I decided to wear my "A" necklace that my sweet roommate got me for my birthday a couple months ago, and these cute earrings that I found this past weekend an NC discount store chain. Want to know how much I paid for the earrings? $1.99! I'm just all about the bargains lately!

     I wore this outfit in this post to the November meet-up for The Charlotte Social blogging network! This was my first time being able to attend one of their events, and it was a wonderful time. Expect a post with more on that tomorrow! :-)

     xoxo Miss ALK


November 8, 2013

Website review: Campus Book Rentals

     This post is sponsored by Campus Book Rentals.  

     Calling all you college (or grad) students who hate spending insane amounts of money on textbooks- this post is for you! Last week I was contacted by Angela, an employee from Campus Book Rentals, who asked if I would share a little bit about some of the great options that they offer for textbook needs! Campus Book Rentals is an awesome resource for all of your book needs. Instead of spending a couple hundred dollars to buy a book that you'll only need for a few months (and then having to hassle with your school's bookstore to sell it back), you can pay a much lower price to rent the book. That means that when the semester is done you can just mail it right back to Campus Book Rentals, and not have to worry at all about selling it!! Here are a few more perks to using Campus Book Rentals that Angela provided me with:

  • Save 40-90% off of bookstore prices 
  • Free shipping both ways (even at the end of the semester when you're sending the book back!)
  • Can highlight in the textbooks 
  • Flexible renting periods
  • Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented.
     Below is a brief video that illustrates a little bit more about how textbook renting works! 


 Now you might be wondering what exactly Operation Smile is! Operation Smile is a charity organization that uses its funds to provide free surgeries to help children around the world in need of cleft repair surgery. Children in need of cleft repair can have much trouble eating, drinking and talking, so these surgeries can give them a new quality of life! I think it's wonderful that Campus Book Rentals has chosen to partner with a chairty, and what a worthy cause this is!

     I know that I will definitely be considering Campus Book Rentals for my book needs for next semester, and I suggest that any fellow college students reading this post should consider them as well! :-)

     xoxo Miss ALK


November 5, 2013

OOTD: November church attire.

  • Sweater: Kohl's
  • Skirt: Kohl's
  • Camisole (under sweater): Rue 21
  • Boots: Rampage {Bought at Belk}
  • Necklace: Belk
  • Earrings: Gift from a friend
  • Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure

     I'm a bit old fashioned in the fact that I like to dress up for church. I have nothing against people that prefer to dress more casually on Sunday mornings, but wearing traditional church attire helps me to focus on the fact that church is special and time with the Lord should be respected. I prefer wearing skirts or dresses to church unless it is exteremely cold or the weather is bad. I make it a priority to look modest for church, but without sacrificing the cuteness factor!

     I've had this black pencil skirt from Kohl's for a few years now, and it's a perfect "base" to build a fall or winter church outfit off of! I decided this week that I wanted my colors to be blue and black, so I found this older sweater (also from Kohl's) in my sweater drawer and added this fun necklace from Belk. My boots are from the Belk Days sale that I posted about here! I've gotten a lot of compliments on them and a few people have even asked if they are Michael Kors boots. I've been wearing them a fair amount over the past couple weeks and they still don't have any scratches or scuff marks! Not bad for a $30 pair of riding boots.

     My lipstick is my *favorite* lipstick of all time. I might devote a Favorite Things Thursday post to it soon!

      How do you like to dress for church in the late fall?

      xoxo Miss ALK

November 4, 2013

I was featured!

     Good morning, friends! I hope that you all had a restful and happy weekend. This week is already looking to be a bit stressful for me since I have two tests and a speech to give, but I'm trying to think positively and make it a good week. :-)

     I wrote a little bit about Delight in my last post, but basically Delight is an awesome network for Christian teen gals that I've been involved with for about seven months. There is a private Facebook page where we call communicate, and the posts there always encourage me and brighten my day! I've made so many wonderful online friendships from Delight, and even a real-life one. Everyone in the Delight group is involved with the creative arts somehow. Many of the girls are photographers, but I represent one of the blog writers. I was asked recently to write a guest post for the Delight blog about how I got into blogging and how to start a blog, and my post went up on Saturday! You can read it by clicking here.

     I was also today's featured guest poster for author Ashley Mays's blog! Ashley used to write for the Christian teen magazine Brio that was published by Focus on the Family until 2009. I had a subscription to Brio during my middle school years, and Ashley's articles were always my favorite! Once I got into the blogging world in high school I was so excited to see that Ashley had a blog. We have communicated online since then, and I have learned that Ashley's alma mater is the school that I went to last year, which I think is pretty cool! I was so honored when Ashley asked me to guest post on the topic of faith during the college years. You can read that post by clicking here!

     I'm so thankful for these two guest post opportunities! Please feel free to read both the posts and let me know what you think! :-)

      xoxo Miss ALK
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