Southern Belle in Training

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

May 29, 2014

OOTD: Because I'm "Hoppy!"

     Sweater: Delia's || Skirt: H&M || Cardigan: Deb || Shoes: DSW || Sunglasses: KMart || Headband: Charming Charlie || Necklace: {old} || Ring: {Jewelry boutique in my hometown} || Lips: Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue in Pink Me Up

     So it's no secret that bunnies are my favorite animals (I once devoted a whole blog post to the matter!). I had a pet bunny named Lily from when I was in 6th grade until my junior year of high school, and she was the sweetest little thing. I can't wait to adopt another rabbit as soon as I'm done with college! My friends (and dad) constantly get texts from me of pictures of cute and cuddly rabbits with messages attached that say things such as "Can I please kidnap this and have it live with me in my dorm room next year?" Forget cat or dog lady- I'm a bunny lady all the way!

     Anyways, when I saw this adorable sweater at Delia's this past Black Friday, there was no question that I had to get it! It fit me perfectly, and I'm obsessed with the adorable little bunny on it! (Love how it has button eyes and a button nose.)  As I wrote in my last OOTD post, the weather in Maine this past week has been depressingly cold for this time of year, with temperatures everyday in the 50s and low 60s, and rainy most days as well. Definitely still sweater weather, but since it's so close to summer I don't want to be wearing all of my winter sweaters! That's why this bunny sweater is perfect- it has its sweater functions but definitely looks more spring-like then a lot of the other sweaters that I own! 

     I also want to talk quickly about this H&M body-con skirt that I'm wearing. I got this during my senior year of high school back when these body-con skirts were all the rage. I used to seriously live in this skirt! I had several body-con skirts that year but this was always my favorite, and one of the few that I still have! It is a little bit longer then most body-con skirts are which makes it more modest, and since it's plain black it matches everything. It's so easy to dress it up or down! Here's a throwback picture of me wearing this same skirt during my senior year of high school! Also pictured is my bestie Jules (We happened to be skirt twins that day!) and my hair that used to be naturally straight... ;-)

     Do you ever incorporate your favorite animal into your outfits?

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 28, 2014

May Music Loves.

      It's been quite awhile since I've shared my favorite music on the blog! My starred playlist on Spotify has been rapidly growing over the past month, so I thought I'd share some of the songs that have been on repeat with y'all. My music tastes have been all over the place lately (which hopefully is a good thing for someone who wants to work in radio?), and I've been listening to everything from songs that came out decades ago to songs that are hot on the charts.

  • "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" by Phil Collins 

     I've been a long-time Phil Collins fan, but I've never really known how much I loved this song until now! I was listening to his greatest hits album on Spotify last week, and when this song came on I literally started dancing, and have been listening to it non-stop since then! Such a fun, catchy beat, and I just love his voice!

  •  "Crush (Dance Mix):" by Jennifer Paige

    Did anyone really think they could get through a post of my favorite songs without at least one 90s one-hit wonder in there? ;-) Didn't think so! Jennifer Paige's song Crush was a 1998 hit that peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts (fun fact), but I recently discovered the dance mix of this song, and I am in love! I love it so much more than the original. It is so peppy and upbeat, and definitely has that classic 90s dance anthem feel to it.

  • "Problem" by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea 

     This song is just too fun! I love Ariana's voice, I know I'm definitely not the first person to say this but she reminds me of a younger Mariah Carey. This is the perfect song for getting over a dumb guy and reminding yourself that it's time to move on! Perfect song to drive around to in the summertime with all of your girlfriends in the car; music blasting, sunroof open and the windows down!

  • "The Way It is" by Bruce Hornsby

      I think that the piano playing in this song is absolutely gorgeous! I love it so much that I have even been listening to instrumental versions of the song. The lyrics to this song also have a very thought-provoking message, which certainly can't be said about a lot of newer pop music today.

  • "Forever" by Haim

     I first heard of Haim last fall during one of my school breaks. I was visiting home and watching Saturday Night Live with my parents when they performed. A few months later, I started hearing this song by them featured on Target commercials. I really liked it! For some reason this song reminds me of summer... but I like summer, so that's a good thing!! I like some of Haim's other songs as well.

     What are some of your favorite songs right now? Do share!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 27, 2014

Book Review: Pulling Back the Shades

     About a month ago,  Icon Media Group sent me a book to review. The first time I had worked with Icon was over the winter, when they had sent me a copy of Beth Moore's newest devotional, Whispers of Hope (read my review here!). I was thrilled when I was contacted again about reviewing another book, and even more excited when I found out that it was the newest book from one of my favorite Christian authors. I have gotten to review Pulling Back the Shades, by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery. This is a book that covers some heavier subject matter. Here is the description that Icon Media sent to me: "Pulling Back the Shades exposes the danger of erotica for both single and married women. Dr. Slattery and Gresh examine erotica from a spiritual and sexual standpoint, providing Biblical teaching, personal stories and testimonies from those affected by erotica to help women navigate this uncharted territory and discover how to embrace their sexuality and spirituality. While the Bible is clear on topics such as adultery and incest, Slattery and Gresh point out where even God is “grey” on sexual matters." Gresh and Dr. Slattery felt that God was calling them to author this book in response to the recent erotica "craze" after the publication of the best-selling book 50 Shades of Grey a couple of years ago. I have noticed that in the Christian community a lot of attention seems to be given to men who have a porn addiction, but I haven't heard of very much for women who might struggle with the same lustful thoughts, so props to Gresh and Dr. Slattery!

     I have been a long-time fan of author Dannah Gresh, so I was interested to see what this book would be like, although the subject matter is a bit heavy. I'll start by saying that this book is very readable, and the two authors did a good job of making these topics as least-awkward as possible! The first couple of chapters focus on the reasons why women (including Christian women) are reading and purchasing erotic literature in such high numbers. Gresh and Dr. Slattery discuss the many reasons that lead to how easy it is for readers to get sucked into the fantasy world that these books and stories create, which can cause addicition to erotica and also for consequences in the readers' real lives.

     The middle chapters discuss what the bible says is right and wrong in regards to sex. Gresh and Dr. Slattery also discuss some "grey" areas which aren't directly mentioned in the bible. A lot of helpful bible verses are cited in these chapters, from both the Old and New Testaments of the bible.

     And the conclusion of the book offers an alternative to ertotica: becoming spiritually satisfied through Christ. The story of Jesus and the woman and the well is shared, and I love this passage that Dannah Gresh wrote at the end of the chapter:

     "An intimate walk with Jesus isn't reserved for 'super Christians.' He promises, 'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart' (Jeremiah 29:13). You only have as much of God as you really want. So I ask, are you hungry for Him? Are you so thirsty for His love that you would dive headfirst into a well to be satisfied?"

     As will all Dannah Gresh books, I loved this book, and it was so excellent that I think every young woman should read it!! I originally read this book solely for the purpose of reviewing it on my blog, and I was able to get so much more out of it then expected! It definitely made me think a lot about how my media and literary choices affect me (at one point Dannah even writes about how even reading too much Christian romance can be a bad thing if you let it become an obsession). I could definitely relate to that- there have been times in the past when I have turned to reading romance novels because I was so tired of being single, but this book reminded me how that can actually be a dangerous thing to do. I also loved the spiritual content in the last two chapters.

     Thank-you Icon Media for sending me Pulling Back the Shades! It was a pleasure to review it.

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 26, 2014

OOTD: April Showers bring May Flowers.

Top: Izod {old} || Jeggings: American Eagle Outfitters || Cardigan: Forever 21 || Boots: {old} || Sunglesses: LOFT || Headband: Forever 21 || Earrings: In Pink Jewelry || Ring: Kohl's || Nail Polish: Forever 21 || Lips: Maybelline The Elixer ColorSensational Lip Gloss in Nude Illusion 

     Well- this post is a first! Minus the lip gloss that I'm wearing (and a tiny dab of concealer on my chin), I am completely make-up free in these pictures! That is a first for any of my outfit pictures on this blog! As y'all know, I absolutely love make-up; buying it, experimenting with it, watching tutorials, wearing it... etc etc. But as much as I do enjoy make-up, I am still confident in my own skin. I do wear it most days, but not everyday! I happened to have a make-up free day last week, and got the idea to take a few blog pictures while that happened. I do go out in public without make-up sometimes. I'll run errands around town or if I'm at school I'll go to the cafeteria or library without it on the weekends. Overall, I prefer wearng make-up because I think it's fun and a way to enhance my features, but I wanted to show y'all that I'm also comfortable in my natural state. I'd love to see any make-up free OOTD pictures from any other bloggers as well! (Fun fact: the part of my face that I'm most self conscious about without make-up is actually my eyebrows! I fill them in with a pencil and brow gel normally. )

     Maine has been having a really slow start to the warmer season. The past couple weeks have been in the 50s and 60s, and mostly cloudy and rainy. At least all of the rain is making all of the plants and trees look extra pretty and green! I'm hoping that warmer weather will be around the corner soon. At least I've had lots of excuses to wear my cute floral rain boots! :-)

     Hope that y'all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Sales!

     This long weekend is proving to be the perfect time to get some great deals! I thought that I would do a quick post to let y'all know about which of my favorite stores are having Memorial Day sales. I'm not sure how much money I will be spending this weekend as I am on a strict budget until I get a few more weeks of work in (thanks a costly month of April which included my first driving ticket, additional sorority expenses and housing fees at my college)... but perhaps these deals might be so good that I might even be able to find something! ;-)

*J. Crew Factory - 50% off all mens and womens styles both in-store and online

*Francesca's - Clothing BOGO, buy one get one 50% off both in-store and online

* - 15% off all orders, online only

*LOFT - 40% off everything online with code MUSTSHOP

*American Eagle Outfitters & Aerie - Free shipping on everything online

*Vera Bradley - Online outlet is available on website

*Pink Bubbly Jewelry - Memorial Day Weekend #SparkleSale, jewelry starting at just $10!

     What stores will you be shopping at this weekend?

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 23, 2014

3 Pros and Cons of being home for the summer.

     Had I gone back to Charlotte for the summer (like I had originally planned to do), I would have left this Sunday morning to go back to school, and summer classes and my internship would have started back up again on Tuesday. I am so happy that I made the decision to come home to Maine for the whole summer! I will be happy to return to Charlotte in mid-August to start my junior year, but I'm in no rush to do that, and I'm ready to enjoy another summer in my hometown.

Summer 2011

     I thought it might be fun to compile a little list of my favorite things about living in Maine in the summers! These are some of the main(e) (no pun intended ;-)) reasons that lead me to come home for the whole summer instead of for just a few weeks in May.

  1. Being close to the ocean. I'm from a coastal town, and I've lived in the same town for my whole life, until I left to go to college in North Carolina two years ago! Like Maine, North Carolina is also a coastal state, but I don't go to school anywhere near the beaches. Charlotte is about 3-4 hours from the nearest beach... and I've only been once in my two years of college! My house on the other hand is five minutes from four different beaches. Last summer I didn't get to the beach nearly enough, but I plan to change that this year! Living close to the beach is such a blessing. 
  2. Having a second Spring. Spring is by far my favorite season, and nothing makes me happier then watching the leaves form and the flowers begin to blossom. I got to watch all of that happen in the Carolinas in March and April, and I just got to watch all of that happen again here at home! When I arrived home during the first week in May, it literally still looked like winter outside (except thankfully there wasn't any snow!). But in just a few weeks everything has started growing and blooming- it's truly magical! I love watching my favorite season happen all over again!
  3. The experience of living at home. Going to school so far from home truly has been amazing, and it has brought me so much personal growth and new experiences, but that doesn't mean that I don't miss home from time to time! Living in a dorm setting can get old, and since home is a plane ride (or 16+ hour drive) away I don't get to go home for every break. This has made me truly appreciate what it's like when I am home! Things like being able to take bubble baths instead of using the dorm showers, not relying on cafeteria hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not having to share the washing machines with a whole building full of people... I could go on! I'm also enjoying spending more time with my parents again after so many months apart! And of course it's great to be living closer to my friends from high school as well!

     But as much as I've been enjoying being home and am happy that I'll be here for a few more months, there are still some things that I miss about Charlotte and North Carolina! Here are a few of my cons about life in New England vs. NC:

Charlotte Skyline, February 2014
  1. The lack of delicious fast food. I suppose that health-wise this would be a pro. ;-) But one of the things that I love most about the South is that there is an abudance of fast-food everywhere. I certainly don't eat it all the time, but it comes in handy when you want it or need it! My summer cravings for Chick-Fil-A, Bojangles and Cook-Out have already set in, and unfortunately I won't be able to do anything about them. Maine just doesn't really have much going on as far as chain restaurants go... minus Dunkin' Donuts. Every town in Maine, no matter how small, has it least one Dunks! 
  2. The toll-free highways. I haven't been on every highway in the state of NC yet, so I guess I can't speak for the Eastern part of the state, but I can say that all of the highways in the Charlotte area, the Western part of the state, and the Triad region are all toll-free. This was huge for a girl that's from a state where it costs a dollar (or more!) everytime you want to get on the highway, even if it's just to go up one exit! My parents both have EZ passes in their cars, but since I'm only home now for a few months out of the year they don't want to get me one, so I have to avoid the highway or start emptying my wallet. 
  3. Missing college friends. It is great to be reunited with family and friends back here in Maine, but I'm already missing my sweet college friends! I guess that's the downside to going to school far from home- you're always missing someone! I am thankful that I have met some truly wonderful people at both my former college and the school that I go to now in Charlotte. I can't wait to see everyone again in the fall, and to hopefully meet new friends as well! And to get to meet up again with my Southern blogging friends as well! :-)

     Have any of you moved home before and dealt with the pros and cons of missing and not missing school? It's an interesting thing to deal with! 

     Right now though my main focus is on having an amazing summer! I somehow managed to get Memorial Day weekend off from work, so I'm planning to enjoy it by finally finishing my unpacking, playing tennis, and hopefully heading to the beach on Monday, which if the weather stays nice will be one of the first days of swimsuit weather this season! 

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 21, 2014

OOTD: Very Violet.

Excuse my crazy windblown beach hair!

Top: LOFT || Cardigan: LOFT || Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters || Shoes: Isola {Bought at Marden's- my favorite Maine discount store!} || Sunglasses: Marden's {originally from K-Mart} || Necklace: Charlotte Russe || Headband: Dazzle Up {NC Accessories store} || Purse: Target || Bracelet (Right hand): White House Black Market || Bracelets (Left hand): Alex & Ani || Ring: {Jewelry boutique from my hometown} || Nails: Ulta Nail Laquer in Mint Condition || Lips: Chapstick :-)

     I wore this outfit last week when I got to meet up with two of dear Maine friends, Katie (who is a fellow blogger and who took these pictures!) and Em. I've blogged before about my friendship with Katie, because we have been friends for such a long time! I was homeschooled for a lot of my childhood, and she was my first friend from homeschooling. Em was another friend from my homeschooling days as well. It was so great to see these two gals again after so many months apart! The two of them were able to come out to my hometown, and we spent the afternoon driving around and visiting various beaches and enjoying the sunshine. (I'm extra-glad we were able to do this since many days of rain soon followed!)

Sweet Katie- one of my BFFs since 2002!

Em! :-) 

     LOFT is quickly becoming one of my new favorite stores, their clothes are trendy and chic but at the same time I feel that what they sell is more well-made and classier than the clothing that's sold at other mall stores. (I especially LOFT outlets, where you can get really good deals!) My top is from an outlet store, and I got it for only $5.99 last month! Such a good bargain. I also love LOFT's cardigans, I have worn this purple one in many other blog posts because I practically live in it! 

     I chose some neutral accessories to off-set the purple and violet. The awesome thing about my accessories is that all of them were either bought on sale or were great bargains that I found! I used to wear cute headbands so much in middle school and high school, and I often forget how much I enjoy wearing them, so I decided to throw this cute little bow headband into this outfit. I'm wearing my favorite pair of flats here, which I got a couple of years ago at my favorite Maine discount store, Marden's. Isola shoes are a brand that are sold at fine department stores like Dillard's, but I found these at Marden's for much less then their original price! These were some of my favorite shoes to wear to my internship over the past semester. My sunglasses were also a Marden's find- as y'all know I never pay much for my sunglasses! ;-) And how cute is this Charlotte Russe statement necklace?! Another baragin find- it was originally like $15 or $12 but I found it on sale for $5!  

    Lastly- a note about this wonderful nail polish. Alpha Delta Pi has an end-of-year tradition called Senior Wills where graduating senior members hand down things to younger members of the chapter, and one of my sisters willed to me a couple of Ulta brand nail polishes that she had used during last year's recruitment, and I'm wearing one of them in this post. I hadn't previously used any nail polishes from the Ulta brand before so I was really excited to try these and see how well they worked. I can say that I love this polish!! It lasted almost a week (with a top-coat) before chipping, and the color is absolutely stunning! I can't wait to try out more colors from Ulta's nail line. 

     Sorry that this post turned out to be so wordy!! I guess that I just had a lot to say. ;-) I'm so happy to finally be blogging more regularly again, and also to finally be feeling adjusted to life at home again! Now I'm just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit... it's still been in the 50s and 60s most days, Maine has such cool spring seasons!

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 19, 2014

OOTD: Paisley & Pretty Places.

All pictures credit to Shara Lynn Photography

Top: Vestique || Jeans: J. Crew || Shoes: TJ Maxx || Hat: Target || Bag: c/o H&M || Sunglasses: LOFT ||  Necklace: Kohl's || Bracelets (Right hand): Charming Charlie || Bracelets (Left hand): Alex & Ani || Rings: Charming Charlie, c/o A-List Greek Designs || Nails: Essie in Hide and Go Chic || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blushing Mauve

     A few weeks ago I posted about how I had been invited to shop at an adorable Charlotte boutique called Vestique. I wrote one post sharing some pictures from the store, and also a few pictures of some of the gorgeous dresses that I tried on! But I never actually shared the item that I ended up purchasing... which was this beautiful paisley top! I wanted to save it until I could get home and see my favorite blog photographer, the one and only Shara. As always, she did a phenomenal job on these pictures and I couldn't be happier! We were able to do this shoot at my favorite place in my hometown, the beach! 

     I fell in love with the vibrant colors in this cute top. It is high cut and and fairly modest as far as shirts go, but it does this without losing its fashion appeal. It's the perfect top to dress up or down! I know that I will be able to wear it a lot for work this summer, and also for school in the fall. I can't wait to shop at Vestique again in August when I'm back in the Queens City! 

    A note about the weather- our beaches don't usually look this foggy or depressing! ;-) It was a bit of a cloudy day when Shara and I ventured out for these pictures. Over the next several days the rain and gloomy weather is continuing up here, but I'm hoping that sometime within the next few weeks we should hopefully have some beach weather! Nothing beats the beauty of a Maine beach on a beautiful (sunny) summer day! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 15, 2014

Summer 2014 Swimwear Loves.

     One of my favorite parts of summer the fact that it's bathing suit weather! I love both shopping for swimwear and wearing swimwear. I'm the type of girl who loves to both lounge out on the beach and who also loves getting into the water! (Even in the frigid Maine ocean.... on hot days at least. ;-) ) I wanted to share some of the swimsuits that I have been lusting over for Summer 2014.

     Lilly Pulitzer Peachie Convertible Bandeau Bikini (Top $78, Bottom $68)

     This is my all-time favorite bathing suit right now! I am in love with the bright colors, the fun starfish print (I've always been more of a starfish girl over lobsters or other sea creatures), and the bandeau style. And of course the fact that it's Lilly! It's definitely out of my budget, but I can dream!

     J. Crew Blue Paisley Underwire Tank One-Piece (Currently on sale for $79)

     I love that one-pieces are becoming fashionable again! I find them to be very practical for days that I want to wade or swim in the ocean, or for situations when extra modesty is necessary. This one-piece suit from J. Crew is adorable! I love to pretty blue paisley print, and the cut of it is very flattering.

     Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy Fabulous Push-Up Top and Double String Bottom (Top $44.50, Bottom $18.50)

     Usually I'm more a fan of printed swimsuits in bold colors, but there is something so classic about a little black swimsuit, and I love this one from Victoria's Secret! It's simple but bold at the same time, and I love the hint of ruffles on the top! VS is one of my favorite places to buy bathing suits from. Their bikinis are a bit expensive, but they last well and they have such a great selection of styles, sizes and colors to choose from!

     Forever 21 Paisley Keyhole Bikini (Top $14.80, Bottom $10.80)

     Forever 21 is always a great place to find affordable swimwear at. I can't vouch for how great the quality always be, but if you're just looking for cute suits to lie out in the sun in then their bathing suits might be perfect for you!! This one really caught my eye, I loved the style of the top- very unique, and I liked how it provides a bit more coverage then a normal bikini top. It has such a fun print as well!

     Target is probably my all-time favorite place to shop for swimwear at. I got one of my favorite bathing suits from my Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic there! The reason that I didn't include any swimsuits from Target in this blog post is because I've never been crazy about their website's selection of bathing suits! I much prefer the in-store selection. But anyways, here's the suit that I wore in the DR a couple months ago from Target:

     Where are some of your favorite places to shop for bathing suits at?

     xoxo Miss ALK


May 13, 2014

OOTD: Reunited.

     Top: Oakleigh Rose Boutique  || Jeggings: American Eagle Outfitters || Boots: DSW || Purse: {Vintage} Chanel || Necklace: c/o Cardinal Gift || Earrings: {Jewelry Boutique in my hometown} || Bracelet (Right hand): {gift} || Bracelets (Left hand): Alex & Ani || Nails: Essie in Hide and Go Chic || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blushing Mauve 

     Since coming home to Maine for the summer I've been able to be reunited with many of my favorite things: one of which is my favorite blog photographer, my sweet friend (and talented photographer friend) Shara! Shara came over to my house for lunch over the weekend, and she was able to shoot a couple of my outfits during our time together. As always, I am beyond impressed with her pictures!! If any of you from New England are ever in need of of a photographer for any portrait needs (or for weddings she travels outside of New England!), talk to her! :-) 

     This outfit also features some pieces from my closet that I was recently reunited with- a couple things that didn't make it to school with me. One thing is my beloved Chanel purse. It was my grandma's and then she gave it to my mom, who passed it on to me last year. There is no way that I'd let a bag this nice get anywhere near a dorm room, so this stays put when I'm at school! And this pair of riding boots got accidently left behind in January when I headed back to school for the Spring semester, and it would have cost a lot for my mom to ship them when I already had several other pairs of boots at school, so they stayed behind as well. It's still been fairly chilly here in Maine so I'll be getting some use out of them this month!

     And how cute is this fun sequin top from Oakleigh Rose Boutique? Oakleigh Rose always has such adorable clothing pieces in their shop, and they also provide the best customer service!! I loved pairing it with my monogram necklace and my favorite pair of jeggings for a simple yet chic weekend look. And let's not forget about this new Essie nail polish- my favorite blue for Spring!! I'm obsessed! 

     Stay tuned for more of Shara's OOTD pictures coming to the blog early next week! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 12, 2014

Start of Summer via Instagram.

     I can't believe that my last final exam was two weeks ago today! And on Thursday it'll mark two weeks since I've been home in Maine for the summer. I haven't been the most productive blogger since I came home, hence why I've only gotten one OOTD post up since I've been home (although that will be changing soon!). I thought that I'd start this new week in blogging off by showing y'all what I've been up to over these past couple weeks through my favorite form of social media: Instagram! As always, you can follow me on Instagram @miss_alk

     My dad and I got home from our drive from NC really late in the evening, so it was already dark out and too late for me to head to the beach. So the next day not even a cloudy sky or high tide could keep me from visiting my favorite place! Four months without the ocean is four months too long for this Maine girl! This is my favorite beach out of the four in my hometown. I can't wait for summer weather to get here so that my inner beach bum can come out!

     One thing that hasn't been going so well for me since I've been home is unpacking. Last year I did such a good job with it, but this year I seem to be drowning in boxes and suitcases- it's terrible!! As the days go by I'm slowly making progress. Last week I worked on unpacking my jewelry (mainly because I was going crazy without it!). I decided that I wanted to store the bracelets and watch that I wear the most apart from the rest of my "arm candy," so I decided to re-use this cute polka dot gift box that was in my closet and I turned it into a jewelry tray!! The box originally was from a pair of Victoria's Secret PINK pajamas.

     My mom and I did some errands "south of the border" in New Hampshire last week, and the restaurant that we stopped for lunch at had outdoor seating. Our table was under this gorgeous tree, and it was just so lovely that I had to take a picture! One of the perks of going to school in the South is that I get to experience my favorite season twice: I get one Spring in March/April, and then another round of it in May when I come home! Things are just started to bloom and blossom up here and I love it!


     Y'all, meet my second pair of Jack Rogers! Aren't they pretty?! :-) After getting my gold Jacks a few months ago, I honestly had no plans to buy another pair anytime soon! But a couple weeks ago, Neiman Marcus Last Call was having an amazing discount on Jack Rogers that I found out about from one of my sorority sisters. A lot of bloggers were also posting about it (including Ashliegh from The Darling Prepster!), so I figured that it couldn't hurt to look at which sandals were on sale. WRONG! I saw that many of the sandals on promotion had Vera Bradley inspired fabrics, and y'all know that I'm a huge Vera fan. When I saw these, I knew that I had to have them!! Java Blue was my all-time favorite Vera Bradley print- it's what I had my very first VB purse in (and sadly it's also been retired for a few years). So I quickly ordered these and didn't regret it!! After all- they match my favorite sorority sweatshirt! :-)

     Reunited with my sweet friend Shara! The last time I saw her was when she came to visit me in North Carolina a couple months ago. We had the most amazing time, but I'm so happy to be hanging out with her again in our home state!! And to be in close proximity to my favorite blog photographer for the whole summer. :-) Here's a preview of one of the OOTD posts that she shot for me, the full post will be up tomorrow:

     Today I am off to Boston for a fun day trip with one of my best friends from high school! And stay tuned tomorrow for more pictures from the OOTD shown above!

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 8, 2014

May Goals!

     I am about a week behind on getting this post up- I have finals and moving home for the summer to blame for that. But I actually really enjoy writing out my monthly goals posts, so I didn't want to skip a month just because it was a little bit late!

     I have been at home in Maine for about a week now, and so far I have spent a lot of time with my parents, eaten at three of my favorite Maine restaurants, seen a couple close friends from high school and a friend from my church, had lunch with my grandma, gone walking at one of the local beaches, made it through season one of The Big Bang Theory (new favorite show!), and procrastinated on unpacking. ;-) But more on that in my goals for this month!!

     Here is a look back at my April goals:

     1. Do well on my final exams. CHECK! I did well on all of my finals, and found out that I got A's in all of my classes this semester! I feel very blessed that my hard work paid off and that I got such such good grades- hopefully I can do the same in the Fall as well!
     2. Start running. Check.... sorta. I went to the gym at school a few times in April and attempted running on the treadmill. I hadn't run in so long that it was more like walk/run combos with me sweating profusely and being extremely out of breath but I still made the effort to get out there and try running! While I'm home this summer, my exercise routine will be dance based. My mom and I are taking a weekly dance class together, which will be my first dance class since my freshman year of high school! (I danced for seven years growing up.) I'm also hoping to go to some zumba classes this summer in between my work schedule.
     3. Have fun at my formal events. CHECK! Both my sorority's Black Diamond formal, and the spring formal that I attended at my formal college were great successes! I danced the night away at both and had such a fun time getting all dolled up.
     4. Continue working on my freshman year scrapbook. Fail. This poor goal I feel like has appeared in every month's goals post so far in 2014! Lol. I'm taking a break from it and leaving it off of May's list. I was just too busy in April between my normal schedule and all the extra stuff that I had going on to even think about crafting. I'll see if I can get to it in June at all!

     And here are my goals for May 2014:

     1. Set up at least one job shadowing opportunity. Because I will be going back to work almost full time at my retail job this summer, I won't be able to have a radio or broadcasting internship along with that. (I will be continuing to intern at the Ryan Seacrest Foundation in Charlotte again in the Fall and I can't wait!) But one thing that my boss from RSF encouraged me to do while I was home was to try and job shadow at some Maine radio stations. This would be a way for me to start building connections in the Maine media markets, and also great experience for me!! I'm hoping to visit at least one station before the end of the month.

     2. Set up some blog collaborations. Over the past few months I have been on a roll with product reviews, giveaways and sponsored blog posts!! But I currently don't have anything lined up for the next month or two. I need to set aside some time soon to contact more companies about working with my blog- that is the best way to set up partnerships!! I often did this during study breaks when I was at school. Now I just need to find time to do this since I'm on summer vacation!

     3. Cook and bake more. One of the things that I dislike the most about going to college out of state is the fact that I have no access to a kitchen! My college requires that you live on campus until you're a senior, and most of the dorms don't have kitchens, like the one that I lived in this year. I love to cook and bake, and I want to take advantage of the fact that I have a kitchen to use this summer!

     4. FINISH UNPACKING. This is the most dire out of all my goals. ;-) I haven't done a very good job with unpacking my boxes from college. So far I have unpacked all of the suitcases and a couple small boxes, but several large bags and boxes still remain in our TV room and on my bedroom floor! I know I need to do this sooner then later- preferably before the end of May?!

     What are some of your goals for this month?

     xoxo Miss ALK

May 7, 2014

April Beauty Favorites.

     It's that time of the month! (The good time of the month that this. :-)) The time where I talk about my favorite beauty products that I either discovered or rediscovered in the past 30 days! I'm feeling especially excited about April's products. As always these favorites posts aren't sponsored in any way, these are just my own findings of beauty products that I've tried and enjoyed!

     Tarte Amazonian Clay Mineral Bronzer (Ulta, Sephora, $30) 

     During the month of April, Ulta offered great beauty deals during their 21 Days of Beauty promotion. For each day that the promotion ran they took a high-end beauty item and cut the price in half or more! I waited and waited until this bronzer was the item of the day, and was so excited when I got the very last one at the Ulta near my college! I had been using a Mally bronzer since high school. I love all of Mally's make-up products, but I had been wanting to try something new, and when I saw that this bronzer would be on sale from $30 to just $14 I knew that I had to try it! So far I have been loving it!! It has a little bit of shimmer in it which adds a beautiful glow, and I love the natural looking color that it adds to my face. Perfect for contouring!

     Garnier Fructis Style De-Constructed Beach Chic Texturizing Spray (Drugstores, $4.99) 

      I had natrually straight hair up until my 18th birthday, when I permed my hair. All it took was one perm for my hair to turn permanently wavy! On days now when I wear my hair "natural" I like to put some product in it to enhance the waves. My base product is a curl gel from Ion (found at Sally Beauty), but I've found that using just the Ion gel can cause my hair to get a little crunchy and matted looking... and no girl wants crunchy hair! So I tried out this new Garnier spray after using my Ion gel and fell in love! It helps to define my hair's natural waves, and takes away the crunchiness of the other product that I use! The waves hold very well throughout the day, and it smells nice as well. Something that I will be repurchasing for sure!

     Wet N' Wild Mega Last Balm Stain in Pinky Promise (Drugstores, $2.99)

     This is the lip product that I have been wearing the most this Spring! I still can't believe that it's under $3. It produces a beautiful warm pink color on the lips that isn't too bold, but isn't too pale either. It's also a bit on the shiny side which adds a fun touch! (I'm wearing it in this post and this post if you would like to see what it looks like on me.) I'm also impressed by staying power of this lip product, and the softness of it. Definitely a great drugstore beauty buy! I've tried on other color in the Mega Last Balm Stain line, and I'd like to try more!

     What new beauty products for Spring have you tried and loved? Do share!! :-)

    xoxo Miss ALK


May 5, 2014

OOTD: A little leather.

Jacket: Wet Seal || Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters || T-shirt: {old} || Boots: Belk || Scarf: Oakleigh Rose || Earrings & bracelet: {Jewelry boutiques from my hometown} || Ring: Lia Sophia || Nails: Sally Hansen InstaDry in Love Train || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure

     It feels so good to finally be settling back into life at home again! Although I am still not totally unpacked yet- I had way too much stuff at school this past semester. My poor car was stuffed to the max on our drive back to Maine last week!! I will sadly need to bring less clothes and accessories to school the Fall... but I'm not going to dwell on that right now! ;-)

     It isn't exactly warm here in Maine quite yet. It's been in the 50s and low 60s since I've been home, so I've had a chance to wear some of my early Spring outfits again. This (faux) leather jacket is one of my best recent bargain finds. I found it while outlet shopping last month for only $9.60!! My Big, Jess, also got a similar jacket, so next school year we will be the Big/Little duo that rocks leather jackets! 

      I'm also loving this infinity scarf from one of my favorite online boutiques, Oakleigh Rose. Mint is one of my favorite colors to wear in this season, and this scarf is so lightweight and comfortable to wear! I can't wait to keep wearing it this summer. 

     I'm going back to work this summer at the same store that I worked at last year, but my work hours don't pick up for a couple more weeks. That means that this week I get to see my grandma and several of my friends from home which I'm very excited about!! The last time that I was in Maine was over Christmas break (and even then it wasn't for long since my family was traveling for much of the break) so I have a lot of people to catch up with. :-) Yesterday was my first Sunday back in my home church since Thanksgiving and it felt so good to be back!

     xoxo Miss ALK
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