December 31, 2013

My two goals.

     Like many people, I am terrible at New Year's Resolutions. Most years I don't even attempt to make any. (I've always been more prone to start my goal setting with the start of a new school year instead of a new calendar year for some reason.) But in 2014 I want that to change! Instead of setting super specific resolutions, I've decided upon two main goals that I want to try to reach in the coming year. Both of these goals require me to put in effort and work, but they aren't the type of goals where "all will be lost" if I miss a few weeks day or two.


2014 Goal #1: Exercise

     This is something that I was good at for all of my life until college. I was a figure skater for 10 years (I stopped taking lessons in 10th grade), and during the years when I competed I was skating between four and five days a week. I also took dance classes for seven years. After I stopped skating and dance I joined the JV volleyball and tennis teams at my high school. During my senior year I didn't play any sports, but I joined a gym in my hometown and worked out regularly, and I also went to weekly zumba classes with my friends!

     But during my freshman year of college I found myself slacking more and more on working out. College is wonderful but it tires me out, and in my free time I honestly prefer lounging in my bed (especially when that involved Netflix and blogging!). At my former college I used to play tennis sometimes with friends when the weather was nice, but I didn't make it to the gym more then a few times a month. And this past semester.... I went to the gym once. Yikes. That needs to change!

   The gym at my new school is brand new and very nice. It's a great facility, and I feel terribly that I haven't taken more advantage of that so far! Next semester I don't have classes on Fridays, so I am planning to make Friday mornings my workout time. Hopefully I can squeeze in another day or two as well, but at least having one set time every week is a good place to start. I have started a fitness inspiration board on Pinterest that is already helping me to plan some workouts!


2014 Goail #2: Making time for quiet time

     2012 and 2013 were the years that I really became confident in my faith. I started to pray a lot more and also began to crave and make time for Christian fellowship! But one area that I have struggled in a lot is having regular devotional times. I often pray short prayers throughout my days, but I have trouble just sitting down and setting aside a good amount of time to read a devotional book, the bible, and to pray and experience God's peace. It is something that I should especially be doing during the next semester; one reason being that I was just elected as the chaplain for the chapter of my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi! Being chaplain will allow me the opportunity of leading a bible study, and I couldn't do a good job with that unless I was preparing for it by spending my own time each week with God.

This is something that I really want to carve into my daily schedule in 2014! I'm not setting rules such as specific time limits or how much scripture to read per day. I'm going to kind of take things day by day, and hopefully develop into the perfect routine! And since God always has perfect timing... it just so happens that my hometown church in Maine has just started a young adults bible study for the college students and 20 somethings! There will be a Facebook page to go along with the bible study, so that out-of-towners like me can keep in touch. The bible study is using both an online curriculum and a book, and I can't wait to get started!



     I think that these two goals that I have will definitely be attainable if I put in the effort, and I'm planning to do that! I can't wait to see how achieving these goals will help make my life even better, both physically, mentally and spiritually!


     Have you set any resolutions or goals for 2014?


     xoxo Miss ALK


     P.S. It seems that I have left my memory card reader for my camera back at school, so I probably won't be starting picture posts from my UK trip until next week! Unless I can find and borrow my mom's card reader... I will put that on this week's to-do list! ;-)

December 30, 2013

#Bloggerprobs.

     Hi everyone!

     I have arrived back in the USA after my holiday trip with my parents to England and Scotland! To say that it was a very busy trip would be the understatement of the century... we were traveling with a bus tour, which meant that we saw new cities everyday and slept in a new hotel almost every night! I can't wait to share the pictures from my camera with all of you, and I also can't wait to blog about everything that I experienced!

     Because of jet lag, I have been awake since 5:45 this morning. I used to the extra morning time to  work on a "2013 in review" blog post to share today... and right when I was about to post it.... MY COMPUTER DELETED IT. I have never had a whole post just dissapear like that before!! So frustrating.

     I have way too much to do today to take the time to write another long post like that, so unfortunately there will be no 2013 review post on Southern Belle in Training this year. ;-) But instead, here are a couple of my Instagram pictures from my trip! I can't wait to share much more about it with y'all soon! And being away from my blog for almost two weeks has also given me tons of post ideas for 2014. So excited about another new year of blogging! :-)




   

     I hope that y'all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas!


     xoxo Miss ALK

December 26, 2013

Holiday Sparkle {Guest post by Jaime from Sunflowers and Stilletos}


     Hello to all of you Southern Belle In Training readers!  I’m Jaime with Sunflowers and Stilettos, and am taking over the blog today for Miss ALK.  Although my holiday is already over (tear), I still love Christmas time and the spirit and energy surrounding it.  Everything from the holiday tunes (especially *NSYNC’s ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays’ which plays over and over again in my car), the mayhem at the mall, receiving cards from friends and family, and the beautiful lights and decoration around the neighborhood, truly brings me pure joy.

     Most of all, I love the excuse to get glammed up! 

     Tis the season for sparkle, glitter, and sequins, and I want to share with you two of the many ways I incorporate that into my outfits.





    Photo Credit: Lindsay Wynne Photography 
     

     Both ensembles can be found on my blog with links directing you to each item, so you can achieve a similar look.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and very happy New Year!!


     XOXO,
     Jaime

December 23, 2013

A Very Bubbly Holiday {Guest post by Michelle from Pink Champagne}


     Hi, y’all!

     I’m Michelle, and you may know me as the voice behind the fashion blog Pink Champagne. A girl after my own heart, Annaliese and I are both self-proclaimed southern belles in training. I have the honor of guest posting while she is in Europe (who’s as jealous as moi?!), and I have some fabulous holiday sparkle for you.

     A girly girl through and through, I’ve always loved jewelry. I recently launched Pink Bubbly, an online jewelry shop filled with color and sparkle galore. You may have seen Annaliese modeling the Blair Bib necklace in this post. To get you through the holiday party season, I’ve put together some fabulous looks for you!

Soft and romantic, pale pink is one of my favorite tones. Dress Anthropologie, Pink Bubbly Ella earrings, Pink Bubbly Busy Bee bracelet


     For the special ladies in your life…these are some of my favorite pieces to gift (and don’t forget to treat YOU)!

Shop all here.


If you’re looking for the perfect gift, choose from gift sets that will make any girl giddy!
     
           



Free shipping is here through the new year, and hurry to order in time for holiday delivery! Big thank you hugs to Annaliese for hosting me here today! Wishing y’all a very merry and bubbly holiday season!


     XX, Michelle 


December 20, 2013

Last minute preppy gift ideas! {Guest post by Ashliegh from The Darling Prepster}

Hi there, Darling! I'm Ashliegh, the pearl-obsessed blogger behind The Darling Prepster! While my style is preppy and ladylike, I do enjoy experimenting with trends, like tribal print and statement jewelry, sometimes! 

Being a college kid has definitely taught me how to budget and find ways to save money! Here are eight gifts that are perfect for the prepster in your life! The best part is that they are all under $30! 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 

JCrew Factory Stretch Classic Button Down Shirt ($27) Who doesn't love a great button down shirt? The JCrew Factory is one of my favorite places to shop online as they are always have a great sale! Make sure to sign up for their email list to stay updated!

Charlotte Russe 2-Tone Lace Up Oxfords ($25.50) Whether you wear them with your favorite jeans or a cute skirt, oxfords are a go-to! They comfortable enough to walk around campus and also add a chic flair to your outfit!

Anthropologies Gold Monogram Mug ($10) Every prepster loves monograms! One of these mugs are bound to make your girl beam from ear to ear on Christmas morning!

Alex and Ani Sailboat Bracelet ($28) Nautical is such a classic! I can't be the only one with an Alex and Ani bracelet on my wish list!

Old Navy Pink Vest ($29.99) I don't know about you, but quilted vests are all over my Pinterest feed this season! I think this pink vest would look so charming layered overtop the Forever 21 Reindeer Sweater  ($22.80)! 

Target Glitter Bow Belt ($14.99) Raise your hand if you love glitter. Bows? I thought so. 

MAC Lipstick ($15) To finish off a compete polished look, lipstick is always a must and MAC never fails! This lipstick + stocking = perfect stocking stuffer

I hope this guide was able to help you in finding the perfect gift for the preppy girl in your life (perhaps yourself? Sometimes you need to treat yourself, too!)! Feel free to drop on by my blog or give a quick hello on Facebook or Twitter



-Ashliegh

December 19, 2013

Across the pond for Christmas!

   

     I have some exciting travel related news that I have been keeping a secret- my parents and I are going to England and Scotland for a 10 day Christmas vacation... and we're leaving TONIGHT! This will be my first trip overseas (and first overnight flight whoop whoop), so I'm hoping that all of the travel plans will go smoothly!

     We will be visiting the United Kingdom with a tour group, so we have a very busy schedule. Unfortunately, this won't leave any time for blogging. :-( But the good news is that I have a couple of guest posts scheduled throughout the time that I'll be away! So be sure to keep checking in here every couple of days for those!


     I cannot wait to share the pictures and experiences from my trip once I'm back! But until then, be sure that you're following me on Instagram @miss_alk, I will be updating that while abroad!


     I hope that all of have a very Merry Christmas!! And always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. :-)


     xoxo Miss ALK

December 16, 2013

December Beauty Favorites.

     I recently realized that 2013 is the year that I really got into make-up. I have started experimenting a lot more with different make-up looks, and I have also bought a lot more products from both drugstore and department store brands in recent months. Today I'll be sharing a few of my recent make-up favorites!


Speed Brow by Benefit Cosmetics



    
     My brows have always been on the "bold" side, and sometimes they can get a bit unruly. I've been looking for awhile for a great brow gel, and this is it! It has a light brown color that would look flattering on all brows, and it does a great job with both filling in and holding shape. It is priced at $18, making it slightly cheaper then Benefit's similar Gimme Brow product. I have been very pleased with it so far and I'd probably buy it again! I got mine at Sephora, but it should be found wherever Benefit Cosmetics are sold.


Merino Cool nail polish by Essie




     I first tried this polish a few weeks ago after I borrowed it from my roommate... and I loved it so much that I had to buy my own bottle! This is one of my favorite nail colors for winter. It is what I would call a mixture of purple, grey and light brown. It definitely has a "cool" feeling to it, and I've found that it goes nicely with most of my favorite winter outfits! The staying power is also amazing. With some top coat it stayed on my nails for almost a week before serious chipping! I know that Essie polishes are pricy at $8 a bottle, but this one is a must-have in my opinion!




Velvet Sugar body mist by Bath and Body Works

     This product was also brought to my attention through my wonderful roommate... she gave me a bottle as part of my Christmas gift! I will be honest- it has been a long time since I've liked a fragrance product from BBW. I usually just shop there for hand santizers, soaps, and now candles. BBW shower gels and lotions irritate my skin, and I've found in the past that many of their body mists lose their smell shortly after you spray them. But Velvet Sugar smells sweet and simply delicious, and it retains it scent long after you spray it! It reminds me of vanilla, sugar, and candy all mixed together, but without being "too much" that it's overpowering. This is a great BBW scent, and I've already been using it a lot!


      I'm hoping to continue monthly beauty favorites posts like these into 2014! Writing more beauty favorites posts will also give me an excuse to go to Ulta and Sephora more. ;-)


     Do you have any recent beauty finds that you have been loving?


     xoxo Miss ALK

December 13, 2013

Calling all *bling* lovers!

     It's no secret that two of my obsessions are earrings, and anything sparkly. So you can probably imagine that my favorite types of earrings are sparkly ones! I love adding a little bit of bling to my day with some cute sparkly earrings.

     JoJo Loves You  is a jewelry company based out of Masschusetts that makes some of the prettiest and sparkliest jewelry around! Although they do sell necklaces, bracelets and rings, their specialty is beautiful stud earrings, which they call "blings" (perfect name right?). The blings are made with beautiful swarovski crystals. I love a good pair of studs. While dangly earrings are super fun, sometimes they look "too much" when paired with a statement necklace or other types of jewelry, and they can also be impractical during active activities.  So I am a huge fan of studs! Below are a couple of my favorite bling studs from JoJo Loves You!




     And below is my favorite pair!! They are the Aqua Blings, and I can't wait to receive them in the mail later this month! They are both simple yet chic, and I know that I have many outfits that they will look wonderful with:



     The reason that today is the day that I'm posting about JoJo Loves You is because their annual bling sale just began! Now is a great time to get the best deals on some of the cutest stud earrings around. A few of the deals that they're offering include:


  • Blings: 3 pairs for $60
  • Mini Blings: 3 pairs for $50
  • Oval Blings: 3 pairs for $50
  • Navette Blings: 3 pairs for $50
  • Party Blings: 3 pairs for $60

   
      Customers are also welcomed to mix and match different bling styles!


     Are you a fan of stud earrings?


     xoxo Miss ALK

December 12, 2013

All done!

     Today I will be taking my last final exam for the fall semester! That means that I am halfway done with my sophomore year of college, and 37.5% done with college! I cannot believe how quickly this semester went by. It definitely felt a lot faster then either of last year's semesters. In some ways, I am very glad that it's done: there were a couple classes this semester that I really didn't like, I'm getting a bit tired of the caf food, and I'm ready to have a few weeks to have fun and clear my head before starting up classes again. But in other ways, I'm sad... this semester I have completely fallen head-over-heels in love with both Charlotte and the South, even more then I did last year. I can now say with certainty that the South is where I will really be hoping to stay after college graduation! There are a lot of people that I love and can't wait to see in my home state, but I know that I will start missing North Carolina the second that my plane leaves the runway tonight.


     Here's a look back at some of the cooler things that happened to me this semester, as told through blog posts!


  1. BACKSTREET'S BACK (that time I saw the Backstreet Boys in concert)
  2. Up the Mountain (that time I went hiking for my 19th birthday)
  3. FIRST.FINEST.FOREVER. - Bid Day 2013! (that time I joined a sorority)
  4. Best Friend Weekend! (that time my best friend from Maine came to visit me in NC)
  5. The Sweetest Weekend (that time I spent the weekend at my former college)

     xoxo Miss ALK

December 9, 2013

www...

     I am currently in the middle of final exams, so blog posts maybe be a bit scarce this week. But I couldn't wait until finals were done to share some exciting "blog housekeeping" related news!

     You may have noticed (or seen my Instagram post) that the URL for this lil' blog of mine has changed! Instead of http://missalk1994.blogspot.com... you can now find Southern Belle in Training at www.southernbelleintraining.com. Yes- I finally went and bought out my own domain! This has been a very long time coming, and I'm so happy that I finally did it.

      I hestitated on making the blog's URL "southern belle in training" for awhile because having it as "missalk1994" was shorter and gave me the freedom to change my blog's name if needed and not have the URL affected. But, things have gotten to the point where I've spent so much time trying to build up this blog (and I love it so much!) that I don't see a name change coming anytime soon. Southern Belle in Training is here and here to stay! And now it has an official domain to prove that. ;-)


     Happy Monday!


     xoxo Miss ALK

December 6, 2013

Product Review: Aveeno products

     These products were provided by a collaboration with Her Campus, Self magazine and Aveeno. I have given my honest personal review of these products.


     I am a proud member of the Her Campus Blogging Network, and oftentimes I find out about fabulous product review and sponsored post opportunities through the HCBN! I was excited to be apart of a recent product testing opportunity that was sponsored by Self maganzine and Aveeno. HCBN bloggers like myself had the opportunity to visit their nearest Walgreens and select two Aveeno products to try out and then blog about!



     Above are the two products that I chose. I picked a smaller version of Aveeno's Daily Moisterizing lotion, and a package of make-up removing wipes. I am not a big lotion girl- my skin is very sensitive and lotions from places like Bath and Body Works or Victoria's Secret often cause me to have dryness or rashes, so I didn't want to buy a big thing of Aveeno lotion and then feel as if had gone to waste if I didn't like it. However, after a few days of using the Daily Moisterizing lotion, I can say that I'm pretty impressed! I developed some excema on my hands over Thanksgiving break, and while that is still not quite gone this lotion has definitely helped to restore some smoothness to my hands. One other thing that I liked is that this lotion doesn't have a scent, so it doesn't interfere with wearing perfumes. ;-)

      As far as make-up removers go, I am very loyal to Almay's eye make-up remover pads. They recently released two new types of these pads, and I've tried and liked all of them, so Aveeno had a high expectation to beat in this department! These Aveeno make-up removing wipes were much larger then the Almay pads that I'm used to, so that was something different. They have a wonderfully soft texture, and a slight fresh scent which I liked. They did a great job taking off face make-up like foundation and blush; however, I think that my favorite Almay pads still do a better job on eye make-up. But, these definitely still work! With a $7.99 price tag (at Walgreens) I'm not sure that I'd buy them again, but I will definitely keep using this package.


     I would like to try some of the Aveeno face moisturizers in the future! I have heard good things about those. Have any of you tried Aveeno products before? What did you think?


     In a bit of a personal update, my final exams start today and run until next Thursday. Between studying, writing a final paper and final speech, internship training, babysitting, Christmas shopping and packing for both home and a family vacation, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to blog in the next week! But hopefully you'll hear from me at least once. Prayers for me to remain both sane and positive during finals week would be much appreciated! ;-) And as always, let me know if I can pray for *you.*


     xoxo Miss ALK

December 4, 2013

OOTD/Product Review: Collaboration with Pink Bubbly!

     This past monday afternoon, I went to check my post office box, and I was so excited when I saw the little yellow slip letting me know that I had a package to pick up. I was expecting a little something sparkly from Michelle at Pink Bubbly, and I was so delighted to see that it had arrived!



      I am not only excited, but honored, to be doing this product review with Pink Bubbly! Pink Bubbly is a brand new online jewelry boutique that was just launched by blogger Michelle of the preppy fashion blog Pink Champagne. I have been a long-time reader and fan of Michelle's blog, so I am just thrilled to be working with her and her shop!

     I picked out the Blair Bib necklace as the piece that I would style. Below is my outfit, centered around the beautiful necklace of course!









  • Top: Christmas gift in 2012
  • Skirt: Belk
  • Heels: Nine West {Bought at TJ Maxx}
  • Necklace: c/o Pink Bubbly
  • Sunglasses: Ann Taylor LOFT
  • Purse: Coach Poppy {A sweet 16 birthday gift to myself a few years ago ;-)}
  • (Blue) ring: Made by yours truly! {Yay for jewelry making classes in high school!}
  • Bracelets: Christmas gifts from my roommate!
  • Nail Polish: (base coat) NYC Color In a Minute in Mulberry Street (top coat) Sinful Colors in Holiday Rebel
  • Lipstick: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie
   
     This necklace is a beautiful aquamarine/Tiffany blue color, which happens to be my most favorite color! So I had a wonderful time styling this piece. I decided to make my outfit varrying shades of blue, and then I added a pop of color with my bag and ended things on a neutral note with some nude pumps. And of course my nails are getting in the Christmas spirit! I love this Sinful Colors sparkly Christmas polish that I picked up at a drugstore while I was home over break. And how darling are my bracelets?! I love my roommate for many reasons, but let me just say that she has the best taste when picking out gifts for me!! (And I love how the bracelet has an "L" on it, my roommate said that the store that she got it at was all out of "A" bracelets, but L is one of my initials and my mom's nickname for me starts with the letter L!) My roommate is also wonderful because she took all of the photos for this blog post!! And didn't she do a great job?! 

     If you are in need of any beautiful fashion jewelry anytime soon (what girl isn't?!) then be sure to check out Pink Bubbly! The pieces that Michelle has selected for her shop are absolutely lovely, and know that you would also be supporting a fellow blogger! :-) 


     xoxo Miss ALK 

December 3, 2013

Pinterest Funnies.

     I am officially a Pinterest addict. I knew that this would eventually happen, which is why I didn't join Pinterest until this summer... I wanted to put it off as long as possible! But gosh, am I glad that I joined. Although I mainly pin things that are fashion and beauty related, my heart has a special fondness for my humor board. Since this is my last week of school before finals and I'm feeling a little overstressed, I figured that today was a great day to share with y'all some pins that always bring a smile to my face!!








     
And this last one below is my favorite. I seriously can't look at this without laughing:




     If you aren't following me on Pinterest, let's change that! Click here to follow me!


     xoxo Miss ALK

December 2, 2013

A new season of singleness.

{Taken at the beach in my hometown in August 2013}

     I feel like the topic of singleness is something that I wrote about quite a lot last year, and also this past summer. Yet since I have started my sophomore year of college, it's something that I haven't written about here. It's not that I have been avoiding the topic, but instead my life has just been so busy and full that there hasn't been as much of a need to talk about it. For this beginning part of my 19th year, singleness is something that I don't hate with a passion anymore. Sure, I don't love it, but I seem to have a newfound respect for it.

     One thing that I have started to realize this semester is that I have the power to make myself busy with things that I want to do. I was always busy during my freshman year, but I feel as though a lot of the things that I was busy with weren't things that I necessarily enjoyed doing. Next semester especially I will have lots of enjoyable things to fill my time with. I will begin my internship, become more involved in Alpha Delta Pi (the amazing sorority that I'm blessed to be apart of), and hopefully join a bible study at the church that I've been going to in Charlotte. Each of these actitivies will help me to develop myself in a different way. They are also things that I am looking forward to, and I know that God has blessed me with all of these opportunities!

     Yes, I would love to be in a relationship right now. Yes, I would by lying if I said that my heart never hurts sometimes when I see girls posting pictures online of flowers or presents that their boyfriends gave them. Yes, I would love to have a wonderful guy sending me good morning texts or picking me up from the airport (either at home or at school!) from my trips on school breaks. But I have finally realized that this is just something that the Lord hasn't put into my life yet, and that's okay. It would be wrong for me to force any of this with the wrong person, and God will make it known to me when I meet a guy that it's okay to enter into a relationship with. And in the meantime, the Lord has blessed me with so many amazing opportunities- and I don't want to miss out on any of those because I'm too busy complaining about still being single!

     I hope that 2014 is the year that I find an amazing romantic relationship, but if it's not, I know that I will be just fine. 2013 is a year that has helped me gain a lot of self-confidence (transferring schools, job and internship hunting, going back and forth between North and South and having a blog all helps with that :-)), and I know that the reason that I haven't had a boyfriend yet doesn't have anything to do with me personally, it has to do with God's plan. All that I can do is keep doing what I'm doing, and work harder on practicing virtues like patience, hard work and positivity! Developing myself is the best thing to do in the meantime.


     xoxo Miss ALK