Southern Belle in Training

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

December 26, 2014

An extended blogging break...

     I was so excited to come home for Christmas Break this year because I thought it meant that I would finally have a lot of catch up time for my blog! I had such a busy semester in general between tough classes and a generally busy daily schedule, my first time going through the "other side" of sorority recruitment, taking babysitting jobs when I could, interning, and more! Blogging regularly on top of all of this was hard, and more often than not my blog took the back burner to everything.

      But sadly, blogging will have to be put on hold for most of my Christmas Break as well. Upon arriving home I dealt with some unexpected computer issues, and my laptop had to be sent into a computer repair place (I am fondly calling it "gone to the doctor"). The place that it went to is one of the best in the area that I live in, but they were a bit backed up due to the holiday season, and I probably won't be getting my laptop back until right before I leave to go back to school. This means that for the duration of my month at home I have been/will be using my good ol' HP laptop from my freshman year of high school. It's half a miracle that my old computer still even turns on (it had a lot of issues back in the day which is what lead my parents to eventually get me a MacBook), and to say that it hates Blogger would be the understatement of the century. I have been having so much difficulty writing posts, and I don't even want to think about uploading photos onto it.... so I think it would just be safer if I took some time off from blogging until my main computer returns to me!

     For some good news though- those of you who follow me on Instagram (@miss_alk) know that I got a very big Christmas present this year- a beautiful Canon DSLR camera!! I am so excited! This is something that I have wanted for a long time, especially to help take my fashion blogging to the "next level." :-) In the next few weeks I'm going to be trying to learn as much about my new camera as I can before going back to school, and then hopefully once I get my laptop back I can upload all of the pictures that I've taken while being home to share with y'all!

     Leaving all of you with a picture of my family's little white Christmas tree. (Thanks to the weird Blogger formatting on my old laptop I have to put the picture in after I'm done writing... I don't understand this computer... haha!)

     xoxo Miss ALK


December 23, 2014

Guest post: Charlotte's Exciting Growth.

     This post is sponsored by The VUE

     I have only been home from college for about a week and a half, but I am already missing my sweet city of Charlotte so much! It is crazy to me how quickly I both fell in love with the Queens City, and also made it home. One of my favorite things about Charlotte is its fun Uptown area. (In Charlotte, Uptown is where the skyscrapers and many cultural attractions are- in many other cities this would be called downtown. I guess Charlotte just likes to be different!) Anyways, what makes Uptown so great is that it is very safe and clean compared to the downtown areas of many other large cities. I always feel very comfortable going into the Uptown area with my college friends for lunch or dinner in the city at a favorite restaurant, or a fun night out on the town. I also love doing my blog pictures there when I get the chance to as y'all know! :-)

     Anyways, enjoy this guest post sponsored by one of Uptown Charlotte's premiere living communities, The VUE, which will highlight even more wonderful things about both Uptown and Charlotte in general. (I actually know some people from my college who live in The VUE- it's a beautiful building!) 

Charlotte’s Exciting Growth

As the second-fastest growing city in the country, and the fastest on the East Coast, Charlotte is an exciting place to live and work. As younger populations move out of rural areas and into the cities, Charlotte continues to grow and expand, offering a friendly business climate, thriving nightlife and diverse cultural scene. A quick look at all that Charlotte offers shows that there's little to dislike about the growing city.

Sports, Arts and a Fun into the Night

What makes Charlotte such a fun city? For many it is the many different things to do. Whether you are a sports enthusiast, love the arts or want to party into the night, you will find that Charlotte makes it possible.

For those who love active sports, or love to watch their favorite teams play, Charlotte does not disappoint. When the Hornets season starts, the city rallies behind their NBA team. It's not uncommon to see people on the streets of Charlotte with Hornets jerseys or hats as they cheer on their favorite players.

Of course, you may prefer a more active sports experience, and Charlotte offers this as well. For those, the U.S. National Whitewater Center may be a place to visit. With facilities for all types of water sports, as well as ropes courses, zip lines, canopy tours and mountain bike trails, the USNWC provides active Charlotte residents a facility to pursue their favorite activities.

Charlotte is also known as a city that values art. From the Levine Center for the Arts to the NC Blumenthal Performing Arts center's live performances, you will find artistic expressions and venues, as well as local artists and galleries, for every taste.

When the sun sets, Charlotte comes alive with an active nightlife that keeps residents entertained well into the early morning hours. Bars, clubs, lounges and live music venues and even bowling allies keep residents entertained throughout the night. You will be able to find a venue to match almost every taste and budget.

Charlotte's Growth Continues Despite Economy

With all that Charlotte has to offer, it's no wonder the city has grown consistently over the past decade, even during the heart of the economic downturn. As the city moves forward into the future, this growth is expected to continue. Those who make the move to charlotte can enjoy the ride! 

This article was contributed by The VUE, which is one of the most desired places to live in uptown Charlotte because of their upscale amenities, luxury apartments, and ideal location to Charlotte’s active nightlife.

     xoxo Miss ALK

December 22, 2014

Favorite bloggers of 2014: Collegiate Bloggers.

     Welcome to part two (of four) of my favorite bloggers of 2014 series! (Be sure to check out my first post, my favorite Charlotte bloggers, if you haven't yet!) Today I am highlighting my favorite lifestyle and fashion bloggers who like myself are fellow collegiates. I know firsthand that it takes a lot to be able to maintain a blog full-time and to also be a college student with a major, minor(s), and to be involved in activities at school (plus possibly keeping a part-time job on the side!). So props to these ladies for being able to keep up amazing blogs at the same time as being students. You all inspire me, and I am consider myself blessed to have found all of you through the blogging world!

     Rachel from A Preppy State of Mind

      Rachel from A Preppy State of Mind has possibly been one of the biggest inspirations to me and my blog (out of the collegiate bloggers that I am featuring). I first found her blog in the middle of my freshman year of college, right around the time that I decided that I wanted to transfer. Rachel is a sister of mine as she is a member of Alpha Delta Pi, and when I first discovered her blog it was before I joined ADPi (as I wasn't Greek before I transferred colleges).  I absolutely loved reading Rachel's posts about sorority life and all things Alpha Delta Pi, and I knew after reading her blog that I had to rush at my new college! I was so excited too when I found out that my new school had a chapter of ADPi... and who knew that I would end up in that sorority and that Rachel and I would be sisters! :-)
      Rachel also has the most amazing preppy style! Her Lilly Pulizter collection is to die for- if you are a Lilly, Tory Burch or J. Crew fan, her blog is for you!

      Michaela from The Shore Life According to M  

     Out of all of the bloggers in this list, Michaela from The Shore Life According to M and I probably have the most in common! I found her blog around the same time that I found Rachel's blog during my freshman year of college. Both Michala and I are Northern girls who ended up transferring colleges after our first year. Both of us had a difficult time transitioning at first, but things turned out well in the end for each of us! We both went through sorority recruitment at the same time, and both of us ended up choosing Alpha Delta Pi! And lastly, both of us took on leadership positions in ADPi last year (Michaela as Membership Education Vice President of her chapter, and myself as chaplain). I am so proud of Michaela as this year she is serving as her sorority's president!! (Side note: I am chaplain of my chapter of ADPi again!) I am so lucky to have found someone in the blogging world who shared so many of the same things that I went through over the past couple of years. Michaela hasn't been blogging as much over the past semester because she has a schedule that's even busier than mine- but I miss her regular posts!

     Kriselle from Livin' and Lovin'


     Kriselle from Livin' and Lovin' is one of the most kind-hearted bloggers that I have had the privilege of getting to know! I have been featured on her sponsors page a couple times (most recently here!), and she always has the kindest things to say about me and my blog. Kriselle and I are also both active members in the Her Campus Blogging Network (she is actually a moderator for their Facebook group!).
      Kriselle is a fellow Christian, and I love how she is able to incorporate her faith so beautifully into her blog. Her blog isn't persay a "faith blog," but she isn't shy at all about sharing about her faith in the Lord and whenever she ties it into her posts it just fits so well! That is exactly what I try to do with sharing my faith through my fashion and lifestyle posts here on my blog, and I hope I'm able to do as good of a job as her. I also love how Kriselle has a nice mix of lifestyle and fashion posts- you just never know what she's going to post about on her blog and it keeps things interesting for readers!

     Michaela from The Monogrammed Midwesterner

     Michaela from The Monogrammed Midwesterner is the second Michaela in this list, haha! Anyways, can she and I just be best friends already?! I know that we would be absolutely perfect BFFs- it just makes me so sad that she is in the Midwest and I am in the South (hence our blog names...). Michaela's blog reminds me so much of my own! She shares a lot of outfit posts, with a few life updates and some fun recipe posts mixed in as well. She just started her blog this summer and I cannot believe how much it has already grown! We did a fashion collaboration post together back in October so be sure to check that out if you haven't yet!

     Grace from Gracefullee Made

     Grace from Gracefullee Made has the most amazing style of any college student I've ever seen. This girl can mix and match different things together that I would never even think to pair together and make them look amazing. I am convinced that chic is her middle name! Grace is definitely my favorite collegiate fashion blogger.
     Grace is a fellow North Carolina blogger (whooo NC bloggers!) and I hope that I get the chance to meet her at some point during my time in the Carolinas!

     Allyssa from Life with Lyss

      Allyssa from Life With Lyss is another fellow Her Campus Blogging Network member (like Kriselle!) and is just a total sweetheart! We have chatted a little bit back and forth and this girl is just one of the nicest bloggers ever (with a total heart of gold). And I just love her fashion blog! She puts together the cutest outfits with a girly style that is just so "her." (And look at how amazing her hair is!)

     Cara from Caralina Style

     Cara from Caralina Style is a blogger that I actually found through Instagram! Be sure to follow her adorable account @cara_194. She has an equally wonderful blog where she shares her school and internship OOTDs, and other life and style posts. I just love her cute and preppy style! Cara is the opposite of me in that she is a Southern girl going to college up North. She is always at home in NC when I am back home in Maine, but I hope that sometime soon our paths can cross so that we can finally get the chance to meet!

     Gina from Gina Alyse

     I love this girl! Gina is the closest thing that I have to a real life blog bestie (as in someone that I met through blogging and then became real life friends with). She is hands down one of the most genuine people that I have come across in the blogging world, and her faith in Jesus just shines through her blog! Gina is also a talented graphic designer who is starting to establish her blog design business (and she will be giving my blog a make-over soon- so excited for this!).
     Gina is a lifestyle blogger who blogs about everything from college life to faith to travel. She studied abroad in Europe last year and frequently writes about her amazing experiences there. Gina's writings help me to see the world around me in new ways, and that to me is the sign of a truly great blog!
     I have had the pleasure of getting to meet Gina in September 2013 when I visited her at her college for the day (which is about two hours from Charlotte). I can't wait until the next time that we can meet up again!

     So those are my eight favorite collegiate bloggers! Do you follow any of these wonderful ladies? Or do you have a favorite collegiate blogger that I'm not following? If so then please share the link to their blog in the comments!

     xoxo Miss ALK

December 19, 2014

Favorite bloggers of 2014: Charlotte Bloggers.

      Welcome to the first post in my end-of-the-year four part series! Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing and highlighting several of my favorite bloggers. To make things easier, I have broken things down into four categories: Charlotte bloggers, collegiate bloggers, and general lifestyle and fashion bloggers. (The Charlotte and collegiate categories will combine both fashion and lifestyle bloggers.)

     I wanted to highlight all of my favorite bloggers for a few reasons! First and foremost, because I am amazed at the types of great friendships that can come out of meeting bloggers. It's crazy to tell people that I met some of my friends online, but it really is the truth! Bloggers are such incredible people, and I feel blessed to have gotten to meet so many of my favorite bloggers in the past couple of years. I hope to continue to get to meet many more bloggers in the next few years and to only strengthen the blogger friendships that I already have!

     Secondly, reading blogs has been perhaps an even bigger part of my life recently then it has been at other times during my blogging career. During this past semester I haven't had the time to blog as much as I wanted, or even comment on my favorite bloggers' posts as much as I wished, but I certainly read! Every weekday morning I set my alarm a few minutes earlier then needed so that I have time to grab my phone, climb back into bed, and read blogs on my Blog Lovin' app. It's a great way to help myself wake up in the morning, and nothing makes me happier then starting my day by reading all of my favorite blogs.

    I am starting things off by highlighting eight of my favorite Queens City bloggers today! There are numerous reasons why I love going to college in Charlotte, but one of them is definitely because Charlotte is perhaps one of the best cities in the country to be a blogger in! We have our own blogging network, The Charlotte Social (which hosts regular meet-ups and events), and there are so many great fashion and lifestyle bloggers based right in the Queens City. Here are my favorite QC bloggers:

     Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls

     If any of you have been in the blogging world for any length of time then I'm sure that you're no stranger to either Caitlin's fantastic blog or her swoon-worthy Instagram account (@cmcoving). This girl is pretty much both blog and Insta-famous- and well, well deserving in my opinion. The quality of Caitlin's blog posts and photos are absolutely superb. Her blog is an absolute inspiration to me, and I can only hope that my little corner of the internet will be something like Southern Curls and Pearls someday!
     But in addition to absolutely adoring Caitlin's blog- I want to add that she is an equally amazing person! I have gotten the chance to meet Cait at a few blogging events in Charlotte over the past year (like I said- Charlotte is the best city to be a blogger in!), and back in October we got to meet up for dinner one night. Caitlin is absolutely the sweetest and most down-to-earth person, and is exactly the type of 20-something city girl that I hope to be in a couple of years. If you aren't following her blog- stop what you're doing right now and get on that! :-)

     Melissa from Simply Sweet Melissa

     Melissa from Simply Sweet Melissa  is one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers in all of the blogging world- and it just so happens that she lives in Charlotte! I love Melissa's blog for so many reasons, but first and foremost because her writing style has a realness to it. There are a lot of bloggers in the blogging world that I feel often try to become something that they're not to gain followers or to attract a certain audience, but you never get that feeling with her posts. Melissa is always genuine on her blog, and I love the person that she is! She is as sweet and Southern as they come. And I think that a large part of that is from her faith! She's very open about her Christian faith on her blog and I love that and find it very inspiring!
     Melissa is engaged and I have been loving her wedding update posts over the past few months! Her relationship is the type of relationship that I hope to be blessed to be in someday. Speaking of relationships... she is also besties with Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls! They met through their blogs and I think that is just the cutest thing ever. :-) I have also gotten to meet Melissa at a couple of Charlotte blogging events. (But I would love to see more of both her and Caitlin in the New Year!)

     April from A. Liz Adventures

     April from A. Liz Adventures is another Charlotte  lifestyle blogger, and I just got into reading her blog a few months ago (and goodness I'm glad I did!). Have you ever found a blog that just makes you smile everytime you read it? That's April's blog for me!
     April describes her blog as being "A smidge of this, a smidge of that" and I think that's a perfect description. She truly blogs about everything: her favorite recipes, fashion items she's loving, travel, Charlotte happenings, and of course updates all about her sweet family! April and her husband welcomed their sweet baby girl earlier this year and she is the most precious thing ever. (If you need a babysitter... I'm in Charlotte.... ;-) ) I love the fact about how you just never know what her post of the day is going to be about, but everything that she writes about is enjoyable to read! I hope that my blog has the same postivity and fun in each post as April's blog!

     Kristin from Gwen and Taylor

     I just love this girl! Kristin is a fellow collegiate fashion blogger living in Charlotte. She and her friend Janet co-run the fashion blog Gwen and Taylor and are doing an amazing job at it! (I love both of their styles and they always post such great outfits.) Kristin is one of the friendliest bloggers that I have ever met, and everytime that we have met up I always have a wonderful time. It's always so great to get to talk blogging with another girl who is the same age as me and has a blog of a similar size and focus. I am thankful for Kristin's friendship and hope that we can spend more time together next year!

     Morgan from How 2 Wear It 

     I first met Morgan at a blogging event back in September, and I'm so glad that we got to meet! Morgan has a fashion blog and has an awesome sense of style that is perfect for the working girl. Like many of the other bloggers that I've featured so far in this post, her blog definitely has a "realness" to it that I appreciate. Morgan also always leaves the sweetest comments on many of my blog posts, and that always makes my day! I wasn't able this semester to comment on as many blog posts as I would have liked, so it always made me smile when a blogger that I follow took the time anyways to leave a kind comment on a post of mine.

     Jaime from Sunflowers and Stilettos

      Jaime's fashion blog and style are simply fabulous. I love how she isn't afraid to try styles or looks that are very bold, girly or glam (things that I am not afraid to do!). And let me tell you- if you aren't following her on Instagram (@jaime_cittadino) then you are missing out on her pictures of her insane closet! Coming from a girl who technically doesn't even have a real closet in her dorm room this year (an "armoire" thing so doesn't count...) I always have major envy whenever I look at her amazing Instagram photos! And just like fellow Charlotte blogger April, Jaime also is a new mom and had a sweet little baby girl in 2014!
    I met Jaime very briefly last year at SouthPark mall in Charlotte, but I would love to meet-up with her again sometime. (Can you tell that basically I would love to spend more time with all of the bloggers that I feautured on this list?)

     Bri from Just Bri

     Bri is a fashion and lifestyle blogger at Just Bri, and she is also the founder of The Charlotte Social (Charlotte's blogging network), which I think is super cool! Bri came to Charlotte from out-of-state to attend college, and ended up staying in the city after school. I also came to Charlotte from out-of-state for school, and would love to stay there after college if I'm able to find work in my field, so I can relate to that a lot!
     Bri's fashion posts feature outfits perfect for casual wear and work attire, and I love her lifestyle posts as well. One of her posts from earlier this year, titled "The Man at Waffle House," was literally one of the most touching blog posts that I have ever read and it almost made me cry!

     Alyssa from Lessons with A

     Alyssa from Lessons With A is just the cutest thing ever! She works as a teacher, and she is definitely one of the most stylish teachers that I have ever seen! Her blog is a wonderful mix of fashion and lifestyle. She also just became a fur mom to an adorable little puppy! I believe that Alyssa is the only blogger in this post who I haven't met at a blogging event or elsewhere, but I would love to meet her.

     So those are my eight picks for my favorite Charlotte bloggers! Do you follow any of these wonderful ladies? Stay tuned next week for my favorite collegiate bloggers, and then my favorite other lifestyle and fashion bloggers!

     xoxo Miss ALK

December 18, 2014

OOTD + Giveaway: Holiday Party Style with Dauphines of New York.

Top: Macy's || Skirt: Target || Tights: Forever 21 || Shoes: {from a sorority sister} || Headband: c/o Dauphines of New York for Sephora || Purse: Calvin Klein || Earrings: Icing || Bracelet: {old} || Nails: Essie in Toggle to the Top || Lips: Essence XXL Shine Lip Gloss in Hibiscus ||

     I have always had a thing for beautiful hair accessories. When I was in elementary and middle school, I always had super long, straight hair. (My hair was naturally pin staright until I permed it during my freshman year of college!) I would always try and keep my hair out of my face or to add a little something to my outfits with different headbands and hair clips. As I got older, my taste in hair accessories got a bit more mature, but I still love anything sparkly and glam to add a fun touch to my hair-dos. 

     So when Dauphines of New York, makers of luxury hair accessories, reached out to me about doing a collaboration and giveaway on my blog, of course I said yes! I learned that Dauphines of New York just launched an exclusive collection of gorgeous headbands that are only being sold at (both in store and online!). Each headband is created on a comfortable (and adjustable!) elastic band, and is designed with beautiful crystals and semi-precious stones. The headband that I was sent to style was Screen Siren. I absolutely love the combo of the black stones against the beautiful clear crystals. Such a gorgeous color combo for winter fashion and especially for planning holiday and New Years outfits! 

      There are lots of ways to wear your Dauphines of New York headband with your hair down, but I was able to create this easy up-do by simply rolling and tucking my hair into the elastic band, and then tucking in a few loose stray pieces into the bottom with bobby pins. This look was so easy to create and stayed up all day! My hair is very thick and can be difficult to hold up at times, so that shows how powerful the elastic band is on these handbands (yet they're still very comfortable to wear!). I'm so happy that I got the chance to style a Dauphines of New York headband! Dauphines of New York has been so kind as to sponsor a giveaway here on my blog! They're giving away one headband from their Sephora exclusive collection. This giveaway will run until Thursday, December 25th, 2014 (that's Christmas!). 

     A quick few notes about the rest of my outfit: I am still obsessed over this striped skirt from Target! I wore it in an earlier OOTD post this fall (found here). On a different note, I rarely wear a lot of red. I am not a huge fan of red lipstick on myself, and don't wear the color a lot in clothing. But during the month of December, all of the red that I have seems to magically appear out of my closet! Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like wearing things that are a cheery bright red. I bought the top that I am wearing in this post at Macy's a couple seasons ago, and remains one of my favorite tops to wear during the holiday season! I love the flowing sleeves and the beautiful detailing on the back. 

     One last thing that I cannot leave out- I was absolutely freezing and miserable when taking these pictures! It was in the 30ish degree temperature range outside in my hometown when I shot this outfit. I was clearly still envisioning Charlotte winter weather in my head (which most days had been in the 50s and high 40s).  Oh- the things that I do for my blog!! Can any other fashion bloggers relate?! :-)

     Be sure to enter the giveaway below to win your own Dauphines of New York headband! And I have linked similar outfit pieces to what I am wearing in this post. 

     Stay tuned over the next few days for a special end of the year blog series! I will be highlighting many of my favorite blogs that I have read in 2014 by category: Charlotte bloggers, collegiate bloggers, and general fashion and lifestyle bloggers. I can't wait to share! (This is inspired by my blogging bestie Gina's favorite bloggers of 2014 post!) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

      xoxo Miss ALK

December 15, 2014

(My Crazy) Life Lately via iPhone.

     Why hello there! Long time, no blog! I am so thankful to say that my first semester of junior year is finally over! In many ways this was a difficult semester. It definitely had its good moments, but it also brought a lot of new challenges and I am thankful to be on Winter Break at last! 

     I feel like since Thanksgiving I haven't had time to stop and breath at all. I can't even remember how much I blogged about this, but I spent Thanksgiving at school this past year instead of coming home to Maine since I had a very short vacation that week and knew that I was coming home for a full month for Winter Break.  The two weeks after Thanksgiving were literally hell for me with school. I have never had so many final assignments due or such tough exams! And I had so much else going on as well. I thought that I would do a little picture recap via my iPhone to show y'all what I have been up to over the last few weeks- right up through this weekend when I came home. 

     Last week I finished out my internship at The Ryan Seacrest Foundation for the semester. I am so excited to go back again in January, but the end of this semester brought some really fun things, like getting a visit from a muppet! Lenny the Lending Tree muppet came to visit Seacrest Studios and helped me and my boss host Bingo one afternoon. He was a hoot and the hospital patients loved him! :-) 

     Another thing that wrapped up for the semester a couple of weeks ago were sorority events and chapter meetings. Here is me and Julie, my Little, and ADPi's annual tacky sweater Christmas party! 

     Separate from sorority events, the end of fall semester brings several events that are unique to my college. I go to a small private university, and my college has lots of holiday traditions that happen each year after Thanksgiving and before Christmas Break. This year I tried to attend as many as I could between exams and homework! My favorite annual holiday event is when my school rents out a local ice skating rink on the night that classes end of the semester. A fun fact about me is that I grew up as a competitive figure skater. :-) I bring my old skates to school ever year for this event and it's a chance for me to pull out the ol' moves!

     My roommate from this fall came ice skating and this was one of the first times this semester that we got a picture together! (She is studying abroad next semester and I will be getting a new roommate.)

     Props to my college for inviting cute puppies in holiday outfits to visit the library during exams week to cheer up studying students (like myself!). This cutie was named Paco and I couldn't get enough of him and his little Santa suit!

    Sweet snapchats of encouragement for finals week from my bestie Katie (who I couldn't WAIT to see as soon as I got home- more on that in a sec!).

     This past Thursday night I was finally done my exams, and I treated myself to a little shopping at one of my favorite Charlotte boutiques, Vestique! I just loved all of the fun holiday decor in the store. (And I found a great winter top that I can't wait to style on the blog soon!)

     So as I mentioned earlier in this post, I was so excited to get to see my friend Katie once I got home! She is one of my best friends from Maine (we have known each other since childhood). And we had quite the exciting plans for my first night home! Katie rushed this past fall and pledged for Alpha Xi Delta. Her first formal was the night that I flew home for Winter Break, and she asked if I would be her date! Of course I said yes... the only thing was that the event literally started at the same time that my flight arrived. But this was a challenge that I was willing to accept! (Picture Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother saying "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!") Friday was the craziest day for me as I rusehd to pack up a month's worth of clothing and all my Christmas gifts for Maine friends and family into two overstuffed suitcases, AND changed into formal attire and did my hair and make-up and somehow made it to the airport just in time to get through security and board my flight...

    ...BUT I made it!! Here is me and Katie in the Maine airport right after I arrived! Somehow it all worked out. Katie and her dad picked me up and we headed right to her formal. (Let me just say too that flying in formal attire and with an updo isn't quite conducive to trying to nap on a plane. Staying awake to stay pretty ultimately won out this time...) 

    I'm so happy everything worked out though because formal was SO much fun! I loved being able to see how another sorority did their events. Katie's sisters were incredibly sweet and welcoming and I loved meeting her Big and all of her pledge sisters. Kim, in the red dress in the photo above, is in Katie's pledge class and is actually a fellow fashion blogger! (You can check out her blog Mainely Fashion here!) Isn't that a small world?! (Other fun fact: my high school best friend Jules is also an Alpha Xi Delta in the same chapter! Sadly she was unable to make it to this event though- but I love how she and Katie are sisters!!)

     And my crazy few weeks ended with spending the whole rest of my weekend (after the big formal event) at my retail job here at home! It was a very busy weekend with a lot of tourists up doing their Christmas shopping. I do enjoy my job and it was nice to be back in the store and seeing my co-workers. I also loved seeing the store all decked out for Christmas! But, I am so happy to have today off to sleep in and finally rest. :-)

     So that is all that I have been up to, and I hope that gives a good explanation for why the blog has been fairly quiet! I am looking forward to blogging a lot more over Winter Break though! I actually do have a list of goals that I hope to accomplish this month before I head back to school, so stay tuned for my December goals later this week. (As well as another giveaway!)

     xoxo A

December 9, 2014

OOTD: It's Christmastime in the City.

Coat: Lands' End || Sweater: Talbots || Shirt: Coldwater Creek (old) || Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters || Boots: Tory Burch || Hat: Forever 21 || Purse: Target || Necklace: Express || Lips: Wet n' Wild n' Wild lipstick in Just Garnet

     This past weekend my main goal was to study hard for my final exams. I ended up however taking a long study break on Sunday evening, because my friend Jessica was in town! I met Jessica last spring through my amazing internship with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. I love my internship for so many reasons, but one of the reasons is the amazing people that I get to intern with! Jessica graduated from my college in May, and has since moved out-of-state, but she was in Charlotte visiting over the weekend. 

     We went to dinner in Uptown Charlotte at one of my favorite restaurants,  and then before heading out of the Center City area I suggested that we walk around a few blocks and explore the Christmas decorations. I don't go into the Uptown Charlotte area very often (this is where Charlotte's skyscrapers are)- I'm usually only there to go out to dinner once in awhile or occasionally to go out for a night on the town with college friends, but I rarely take the time just to walk around and take everything in. I'm so glad that we did! There was a huge beautiful Christmas tree right in the center of Uptown, and then we found these gorgeous light covered trees that I took these pictures in front of. Not pictured are some gorgeous fountains as well. Many of the buildings also had festive wreaths and indoor Christmas trees that could also be seen from the street.

      I haven't really allowed myself yet to enjoy much of the Christmas season since I have had such a stressful past few weeks of school. I'm planning to really dive into the Christmas festivities once I arrive home in Maine this weekend- but it was nice to take an evening to see how my favorite Southern city celebrates Christmas. 

     I forgot to add that it was a chilly night! I decided to layer up and I'm so glad that I did. This Tablots sweater is perfect for staying comfy, cozy, and festive since it's such a cheery bright red! I got a few Talbots sweaters last December before my family traveled to the UK for our vacation for last Christmas, but I'm sure that Talbots has more great sweaters this year as well. And I picked up this fun black hat at Forever 21 on Black Friday this year! I had been looking for a hat like that for awhile and Forever 21 had the cheapest one that I could find. I can't wait to style it even more later in the season. 

     Here's to me survining the rest of my exams this week! The end is near- and I have a very busy and exciting first weekend back at home coming up. :-) Good luck to any other college students reading this who also have exams this week!

     xoxo Miss ALK


December 8, 2014

It's that time of the year again: textbook shopping with!

      This post is sponsored by

     This week marks the beginning of Finals Week for me. Although quite honestly it feels like I've been in finals since before Thanksgiving! My busiest week of my entire college career was last week, when I had two huge final presentations, a term paper, and a digital project due. Somehow I survived! But sadly I am not done yet, since actual exams are this week. Just a few more days to get through and then I will be on my way home for winter break! (Although there will not be a lot of resting for me in the first few days that I'm home... silly me scheduled a bunch of work hours at my job at home... although money is always good!)

      Anyways, as all college students know, the end of one semester means that it's already time to start thinking ahead and looking at books for next semester! You definitely don't want to be that student who gets back to school during the first week and can't get a copy of a textbook because the campus bookstore and many only retailers are sold out of a book (or have raised prices!). The campus bookstore is almost always the most expensive place to get a book, so I generally try to avoid shopping for textbooks there if I can. I am a huge fan of renting books. It is such a pain to try and sell books back at the end of a semester (and I don't think I've ever really made my money's worth back), so renting and then mailing them back after finals is easy and works so well for me!

 is one of my favorite textbook retailers to rent from! I have done posts with them before here on the blog, and I am a big fan of their company. Here are some perks about choosing to rent your textbooks with

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