Southern Belle in Training

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

October 29, 2014

Off-campus fun for college students (on a budget)!


     Something that I say quite frequently here on the blog is that I am a college student on a budget. I am definitely not a broke college student... I work hard each year at my summer job to save up for the school year and my sorority expenses, and I also babysit frequently on weekend nights during the school year to earn extra cash. But I also don't have the type of money to just be throwing it around on whatever I want. Before I buy something I usually have to think consciously about if it's a good purchase, whether that is something as small as make-up from the drugstore or as big as concert tickets! This helps me to stay accountable to myself and my bank account, and has always allowed me to have money on hand for emergency expenses. 

      But being on a budget doesn't mean that I don't enjoy having fun off-campus or visiting new places in North Carolina on the weekends! I haven't had as much time this past semester to go adventuring due to more sorority commitments and my demanding class schedule, but during my first two years of college I was able to do a lot of pretty fun and affordable things on weekends (and school breaks that I stayed at school for!) I wanted to share some of those things with y'all today, and also share a few things for my mini "before graduation bucket list" of stuff that I'm hoping to accomplish in the next year and a half! 

     1. Go hiking. This is something that I don't get the chance to do too often, as I go to college right in the middle of a large city. But the few times that I have made an effort to do this have been so rewarding! The Western part of North Carolina is filled with mountains, waterfalls and tons of state parks, forests and protected trails that are a hiker's dream come true. A lot of these hiking locations are a little bit of a drive from Charlotte, but taking other friends with you is great for both safety reasons and for splitting gas money (double win!). And many of these places have free admission or very low admission rates! Hiking is such a fun group bonding activity, and makes for a perfect day trip with friends. Plus think of all the awesome exercise that you'll be getting! You can read about some of my past hiking adventures in North Carolina here and here. (Now I'm thinking that I need to plan a hiking trip before the end of this semester...) 

Hiking in the DuPont State Forest in Brevard, NC (March 2014)

     2. Stay tuned for free festivals and events. It's great to be aware of what events are going on in the greater community of where your college is located! It doesn't matter if this is a small town or a large city- you never know what free events might be happening! Many of you know that I spent my freshman year of college at a Christian college in a rural part of NC. Even though I wasn't close to any cities with any big attractions, there was an annual attraction close to my school that attracted lots of out-of-towners for a couple of weekends each year... the County Fair! I learned that on Sundays you could get into the fair for free if you had a church bulletin from a service from that morning from a church in the county, so a friend and I were able to go to the fair for free. Also during my freshman year, I learned about a free Indian themed wedding expo that was happening in Charlotte. Neither me or my friends were getting married anytime soon, but all of us enjoyed Indian culture and food, so we made a day of it and roadtripped to Charlotte for the afternoon! That ended up being one of my favorite memories of freshman year (and before I knew I would ever be transferring to a college in Charlotte :-) ). 

My first ever fried Oreo at the County Fair! (September 2012)
My friend Melanee and I enjoying some dessert samples at the Indian wedding expo (October 2012)

     3. Stay tuned for low-cost festivals and events. While finding free events to attend is always awesome, sometimes paying to go to something is the only option. ;-) But it's good to also keep your eyes out for cheap festivals, concerts, and other things to do in your area! Last winter for example, I got to go to the WinterJam Christian concert with some girlfriends when it came to Charlotte in January (the awesome thing about WinterJam is that all tickets are just $10!!). Other things that I can think of would be staying tuned for discount showings at movie theatres, bargain nights at bowling allies, roller skating or ice skating rinks, and any sort of festivals or fairs that might offer cheap tickets! Anything to get off-campus and into the community is always fun! 

At the WinterJam concert with my sweet roommate from last year and my best friend from my former college! (January 2014)

      4. Visit a beach. The beach is one of the things that I miss the most about my homestate! I do go to college in a coastal state as well, but unfortunately Charlotte (and the location of my former college as well) isn't that close to the ocean. However one thing that I've enjoyed doing since coming to school is trying to explore one new lake each spring! Both back home in New England and here in the South there are tons of lakes that have beautiful state park beaches on them, and many have very low cost (or even free!) admission. Lake water can be very enjoyable to swim in, and some of these state parks even have nice sandy beaches! During my freshman year I took a day trip to visit a lake in Georgia (which you can read about here), and last Spring my friend Jessica (who I met through my internship :-) ) and I spent an afternoon at Lake Norman State Park! Lake Norman is a huge lake just north of the Charlotte area. Obviously if you go to college near the ocean then I would suggest that you spend as much time there as you can, but if you live in a more inland location then defintely explore alternative "beaches" at lakes and rivers! 

Lake Day selfie at Lake Norman State Park! (April 2014)

     So those are some of my favorite off-campus adventures that I have had in my college years so far! Of course I have had also had some really fun shopping trips... ;-) But that definitely doesn't count as a budget friendly activity, haha! This year I have been really good about staying away from the malls unless I absolutely have a reason to go. 

     Before I graduate I would like to check out some of the museums in Charlotte (as well as look into seeing if any of them offer free or discounted admission nights), visit Charlottte's main public library branch in Uptown, attend a couple more concerts, and make a day trip to a beach in SC! As I said earlier, the beach isn't close to Charlotte... so that would require an early morning and a late night, but I think that would be a really memorable day trip with friends. And I'm definitely willing to drive for some ocean time! 

     Now I want to ask y'all- if you're a college student, how do you have fun on a budget? Or if you are a former college student, how did you have fun on the cheap when you were in school? Please share away in the comments!

     xoxo Miss ALK


October 27, 2014

OOTD: J. Crew Pleated Mini Skirt Style Collab!

     I am so excited about today's blog post!! I am doing a style collaboration with Michaela from The Monogrammed Midwesterner. If you aren't following Michaela's blog, then I think you absolutely should! Michaela just started blogging this past summer, and her blog has already become one of my favorite daily reads!! She is a fellow college student (like me!) who also has quite the passion for fashion. :-) Michaela is absolutely the sweetest thing, so definitely visit her blog here and also be sure to follow her on Instagram @missmichaelaaaa!

     The idea for this fun collab started after I tweeted back in September about purchasing the famous J. Crew Factory during a big online sale they they were having. Michaela tweeted back saying that she had it in a different color, and we mutually agreed that once mine came in we needed to figure out a way to combine OOTD posts! I absolutely loved how Michaela styled her skirt. I also love the color of her skirt! This skirt from Factory is sold in a few different colors, and let me tell you if I wasn't on a college student budget I would have scooped it up in every color it's sold in!! I ended up buying the navy one though since that happened to match the most things in my closet (practicality won ;-) ).

     Here's the rest of my outfit!

All photos credit to Olivia Miller Photography

 Skirt: J. Crew Factory || Top: Talbots || Jacket: Wet Seal || Boots: Tory Burch || Scarf: Talbots || Laptop Bag: Vera Bradley || Earrings: In Pink Jewelry || Bracelet: Silpada Designs {old} || Lips: New York Color Expert Last Lip Color in Air Kiss

     The beauty about the J. Crew pleated mini skirt is that no matter what color you have it in, there are endless ways to wear it! I had so much fun pulling out different things from my closet to put this outfit together. As y'all know, I love wearing bright colors (hence why spring and summer fashion is my favorite!), so I was glad that this fun scarf and my beloved Vera Bradley laptop bag allowed me to add some bright pops against all of the fall colors.

     This outfit also mixes some high end and low end purchases. Obviously my Tory Burch riding boots (which I have blogged about before) were more of a splurge, but this faux leather jacket that I'm wearing was a clearance find at a Wet Seal outlet last spring for under $10!! And my lipstick is quite the bargain- $1.99 from the New York Color drugstore make-up line. I really like this line of Expert Last Lip Color lipsticks that they launched earlier this year, they have great staying power and pigmentation for such a low cost product! I would definitely recommend them. 

      Be prepared to see this skirt again on the blog this fall and winter! I love investing in quality pieces that I can wear again and again and mix and match with things that I already own. 

     And shout-out to my sweet friend Olivia of Olivia Miller Photography for these beautiful pictures! More pictures from Olivia Miller Photography will be on the blog soon!


     xoxo Miss ALK


October 22, 2014

Stress today, a memory tomorrow...

     So far my week has looked a lot like this! Fall Break already seems like it was months ago (even though it wasn't even two weeks ago). Midterms are finally behind me (this Instagram picture was taken as I was studying for my last midterm was was in my Monday night class this past week), but now begins the part of the semester when projects start happening, as well as more demanding homework assignments!

     One mentality that I'm trying to think about lately to try and put all of my college (and life!) stress into perspective is how this is such a fleeting time in my life. I am already past the halfway point of being done with undergrad! Today in one of my communications classes we got into a discussion about where we want to be living and working after college. It seems like such a grown-up topic, but in reality it's less then two years away (or a year away for anyone in my class that is graduating early). So soon my college years will be just a memory, and I do know in my heart and mind that all of this craziness that I'm dealing with now will help lead me to my dreams someday down the road. And maybe someday isn't that far away!

     On top of school being very demanding right now, I'm currently looking into some different internships for next semester, dealing with a very uncomfortable spider bite on my foot (Don't worry too much y'all- my school's health and wellness center diagonosed it as coming from a non-poisonous spider so at least there's that!), procrastinating on cleaning my room, and now possibly dealing with part recall isssues for my car? Never a dull moment I tell you!

     Not really sure where I was going with this post today, but I felt the need to write a little bit before bed. :-) Hope it made sense at least a little bit! Stay tuned for some more fun fashion posts coming up soon!

     xoxo Miss ALK

October 20, 2014

OOTD: Evening at the Orchard...

Shirt: Aeropostale {old} || Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters || Vest: L.L. Bean || Hat: {Throwback from my high school :-) } || Scarf: {Bought on my trip to Scotland} || Boots: Belk || Earrings: Talbots || Ring: {Local boutique} || Purse: Target || Nails: Essie in Merino Cool || Lips: Nyx Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Sponge Cake

     Here are some more pictures from my recent weekend home in Maine! On the Sunday afternoon that I was home my mom, grandma and I made a last minute trip to an apple orchard/pumpkin patch a town over from ours. We ended up getting there close to when the orchard was closing, so we had to pick our apples quickly!! But as we were leaving and paying for my apples my mom realized her car keys had gone missing somewhere in the orchard... we weren't going anywhere! The staff of the orchard and the three of us been to walk through all the rows of apple trees again and again, looking for the keys, but it seemed just as bad as finding a needle in a haystack. We didn't end up finding them, and my dad had to come and pick us up and bring my mom her spare set of car keys! The story has a happy ending though- the four of us got to have dinner at a nice restaurant near the apple orchard, and then two days later we got a call saying someone had indeed found my mom's keys! :-)

     Since we were stuck at the orchard longer than expected I wanted to take advantage of this beautiful light for some pictures! It was a beautiful fall afternoon on the day that we were there- the sun was shining but you could feel the chill in the air. I wanted to wear an outfit that was relaxed yet chic, and would keep me warm without being too bulky!

     While home I found a few old Aeropostale long sleeved v-neck shirts in my closet (throwback to high school!), and this navy one was the perfect base shirt for a layering. My mom got me this L.L. Bean vest for Christmas last year, and I love the dark purple color for fall! (I always feel so festive wearing anything from L.L. Bean when I'm in my homestate too!) Another gem that I found in my closet at home over the weekend was this old baseball cap from my high school days. My high school's mascot was the Rams. I never liked the way baseball caps looked on me for the longest time so I don't think I actually ever wore this once during high school (lol). But I realized on this trip home that baseball caps aren't so bad, and it perfectly matched the tartan plaid scarf that I had packed in my suitcase! Together they made for some prefect pink accessories for this fall outfit.

     As much as I'm in love with my new Tory Burch riding boots, I still have a couple pairs of my (much cheaper) fall boots from Belk from last year. Since these boots are already a bit worn I don't mind as much should anything happen to them, so I will be wearing these on any days with a chance of rain or for any outdoor activities like apple picking! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

October 16, 2014

OOTD: Foliage Fun.

Dress: Pink Slate Boutique || Boots: Tory Burch || Vest: American Eagle Outfitters || Sunglasses: Le Chateau || Purse: Target || Earrings: Charming Charlie || Necklace: c/o Cardinal Gift || Bracelets: c/o Urban Peach Boutique || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blushing Mauve

      These are definitely some of my favorite blog photos that I've posted in a long time! How amazing are these fall leaves?! I'm telling y'all- I truly was home for peak fall foliage this past weekend up in Maine. 

     After church on Sunday my dad and I were actually on our way to one of the local beaches to take these pictures, but I made him stop the car as we passed by a local sandwhich shop. It's a seasonal place that's already closed for the season, but the trees near the parking lot were all changing colors and the light was perfect! So as cars kept driving by I did all of these photos. I hope that no one that I knew from high school drove by... #smalltownprobs :-)

    So my trip home was my first time wearing my Tory Burch riding boots that I bought during the NSale this summer! I was so excited to finally be wearing them, and yet also so nervous! I kept thinking that something would happen to them in the airport- I literally didn't want to let go of them to let them to through the security scanners haha. Anyways, I absolutely love how they look in this outfit. They're just dressy enough to wear with my favorite fall and winter dresses, and yet they look great with casual jeans outfits too! Y'all will be seeing a lot more of them in the months (and years?!) to come! They were definitely an item worth splurging on. The only problem is now I want all sorts of Tory Burch shoes.... 

     Bow back dresses like the one that I'm wearing here were really in last year, and yet I didn't get my hands on one until this summer! Pink Slate Boutique had this adorable one on sale on their website a couple of months ago so I knew I had to scoop it up, and I'm so happy that I did. Like my riding boots, it can also be dressed up or down! This outfit is what I wore for church on a chilly fall morning, but I could see this outfit also being worn for a fall date night, or a dressy family part or girls' night out. 


     xoxo Miss ALK


October 15, 2014

Fall Break Recap!

     I had some extra time during my layover on my way back to Charlotte and I wanted to write a blog post, but silly me forgot my camera's card reader back at school during my trip home, so I can't upload any of my outfit pictures that were taken recently yet. :-( So instead here is a recap of my long weekend at home in Maine (via my iPhone!).

     I left for Maine on Friday night (October 10th). The whole week leading up to this was midterms at my college which was quite stressful, and I ended up packing all of Friday afternoon right up until I had to leave for the airport! My parents picked me up, and the first place that we went was my favorite Asian restaurant. They sell one of my favorite desserts in the world, which is fried green tea ice cream. Up until this point I have been unable to find any restaurants in Charlotte that sell this (but some Instagram friends of mine saw this picture and commented with restaurant suggestions for me to try back near school- yay social media!).

     My Saturday got off to a busy start! It started off attending a Fall Festival on my town's Main Street (and while there filling out my voting forms for an absentee ballot #outofstatecollegestudentprobs), stopping in to visit my coworkers at the store that I work at during the summers, and then going to get my hair trimmed! I have been growing my hair out long again and haven't gotten it cut in over a year! It definitely needed the healthy trim and I was really pleased with the results!

     Saturday night was Girls Night Out for me! I arranged to borrow my dad's car (Another #outofstatecollegestudentprob is that when I come home on breaks I don't have my car... it was currently in the parking lot of the Charlotte airport!), and drove to Portland, which is Maine's biggest city. There I met two of my best friends from home for a fun GNO! If y'all have been reading my blog for any length of time you will probably recognize both of my friends names: my friend Katie is my longtime real life best friend and also a blogging bestie, and my friend Shara is my sweet friend and also one of my fabulous blog photographers!


     I shared this picture in my October Goals blog post, but it was too pretty not to share again! This is the view from the restaurant that I ate at with Shara and Katie! It was right on the Portland waterfront, near the ferry terminal (there are several small islands off the coast of Portland).

     After dinner we headed over the the mall to do some shopping! The little mall in Maine certainly isn't as great as some of the big malls in Charlotte, but it will always hold a special place in my heart, since that's the mall that I grew up going to! I actually found a couple cute dresses at Forever 21 (surprisingly we have a huge Forever 21 at home) and of course we all had to take some pictures together before the night was done!

(My outfit will be in a post up next week!)

     Sunday was an interesting day for me! I started off my morning back at my home church. I adore my church in Charlotte but it is always so nice to be back at the little church that my family has been going to for several years now! After church my dad took some outfit pictures for my blog which will be up tomorrow- I can't WAIT for y'all to see them. Some beautiful fall foliage made it into the pictures! Speaking of foliage- that was the highlight of my time home! I made it home during peak foliage for the first time since I started college and it was such a treat!! It seemed almost every tree was in full color.


     Sunday afternoon I got to see Tim, one of my best friends from high school! This summer Tim and I used to play tennis a lot when we both had the same days off from our jobs, so of course we had to play a few games of tennis for old times sake. :-) And just for the heck of it I wore one of my old high school spirit week shirts and this baseball cap which was also from my high school to get back into the hometown spirit!

     After I got back from tennis, my mom and grandma picked me up and we drove a couple towns over to go apple picking! We arrived at the orchard as it was closing so we had to pick the apples quickly. But then my mom unfortunately lost her car keys.... let me tell you, the phrase "finding a needle in a haystack" really should be changed to "finding car keys in an apple orchard!" Some of the staff of the orchard stayed after closing to help us look for them, and we were all looking as well, but they couldn't be found. The sun was setting quickly so we had to call my dad to rescue us and to bring my mom's spare set of keys. The extra time at the orchard allowed for a lot of pictures to be taken for the blog though, so expect to see those soon! Here's one that I posted to my Instagram while we were "stranded."

     The story has a happy ending though! The apple orchard called the next day to let us know my mom's keys had been found by someone!

     Monday was a mellow day for me. Tim and I went to brunch at a nearby breakfast restaurant, and then that evening I went out for tea at a local coffee shop with a friend of mine from church. And that night my dad and I got to watch the new Big Bang Theory episode together, and then I baked a bunch of chocolate cookies to take back to school with me! Honestly sometimes the best things about being home are the little things like being able to have access to a full kitchen again and watching TV with my parents. (My dad and I got hooked on the Big Bang Theory after our trip to the Dominican Republic last March- a channel there played old episodes on repeat!)

     I flew back to Charlotte yesterday, and this was the sight that I saw as my plane started to leave Maine:

     All of that beautiful peak season foliage seen from the sky!

     It was a busy few days at home, and I'm glad that I got the chance to see everyone that I did! I am looking forward to Christmas break though and gettting to spend more time with friends and family. There were a couple friends of mine who were out of town that I didn't get to see, as well as some family that I am looking forward to seeing at the holidays!

      Stay tuned for a fun fall fashion post tomorrow!

     xoxo Miss ALK

October 13, 2014

(Much belated) October Goals!


     This blog post is coming to you from at home in Maine! I apologize for my unplanned blogging break over the past week- my midterm exams ended up being a lot tougher then I expected, and I left to go home to Maine the day after exams ended. I have been having a great weekend at home so far! This is the first year that I've been in college that I've finally made it home in the Fall early enough to see the beautiful foliage, and that has been the biggest blessing! The above picture is the view that I had at dinner at a restaurant in Portland (Maine's biggest city) a couple of nights ago with my favorite girls Shara and Katie

     The month of September felt absolutely overwhelming for me, but let's see how I did with my September goals:

     1. Stay on top of my homework with sorority recruitment. The Formal Recruitment season (which ran during the first month of school) was definitely stressful, and it provided a few really late nights of homework and cramming for tests, but overall I think I did a decent job of staying on top of things.
     2. Look into getting a Charlotte library card. This didn't happen this past month- most of my free time in September was on weekend nights and the local libraries aren't open then! I'm hoping to do this sometime before the end of the semester though. 
     3. Have a memorable and fun start to my 20s. Check....ish. I had an interesting birthday this year! The whole morning was spent in a mandatory three hour sorority recruitment practice, and I ended up babysitting the whole night of my birthday. But some sorority sisters of mine baked surprise cupakes for me and brought them to our morning practice that day, and that afternoon two of my friends from my former college came to Charlotte to have lunch with me (and my roommate came too)! So that was fun. :-) I did feel a little stressed the whole weekend from recruitment and homework, but I am still happy that I got to do a few fun things. I have big expectations for the Big 2-1 next year though!
     4. Get better again with reading the Bible/daily devotions. Sadly I didn't do very well at this! My church attendance also wasn't great for the month of September because of everything happening at school, but it is getting better again. I attend an amazing church in Charlotte (Forest Hill Church) and I seriously feel like I learn so many new things about God and His word after every sermon! 

     And here are my October 2014 goals!

     1. Start trying more new beauty products again. My "beauty favorites" posts each month have been absent for the past couple of months... not because I have been forgetting about them, but because I have really been stuck in a beauty routine!! Over this summer I tried not to buy new beauty products to save any extra money that I could for this school year, and since school started I have been so busy that I have barely that the time to go shopping! Each day when I get ready I find myself gravitating towards the same few products that instead of experimenting my own make-up collection. I absolutely love buying and trying new make-up though, so I'm hoping to break out of the routine that I have been in soon! While home this weekend I picked up some goodies from the Too Faced Holiday 2014 collection that I can't wait to review here on the blog! 
     2. Actually celebrate Halloween this year. Halloween is one of the holidays that college kids go crazy over. And I have sadly missed out on that for my first two years of school! My freshman year (when I went to a Christian college) I had a HUGE test in my Old Testament class the day after, so I spent the whole night in a study room with my classmates cramming for the exam. Last year I wasn't into going out at all so my friend Perrin took me to Hobby Lobby for some craft shopping (it was my first time there and I loved it!) and then we got Mexican food with her family. Both years I didn't dress up or celebrate at all and I was okay with that. But this year I'm hoping to change things... I'm not really sure what I will be or what I will do but I know I want to celebrate somehow!
     3. Do a good job on my Little's crafts. I posted recently that a couple weeks ago I got my Little Diamond Sister (ADPi's version of Bigs/Littles)! It is Alpha Delta Pi tradition for the Bigs to shower their Littles with crafts and gifts before initiation. Our chapter's initiation is in November but I want to get a head start on some of my Little's gifts this month so that it will be less stressful as the deadline gets closer (and so that I do a good job!). For me to do a good job at crafting it takes me a long time, so I will need the extra time. ;-) 
     4. Make a LinkedIn profile. This is something that my boss at my internship encouraged me to do, and I think that I am at the point now in college where I am starting to network with different professionals, faculty and other students and this would be useful! It would be great to already have a LinkedIn profile up and running well before I graduate college (especially if I want to pursue other internships during my college years). 

     Here's to a productive rest of the month! Although the foliage has been beautiful here at home, the temperatures have been chilly- ranging from the 40s to the low 60s. I am hoping that weather this cool will stay away from Charlotte for a little bit longer!! 

     Stay tuned for some fun OOTD posts from my trip home coming to the blog soon!

     xoxo Miss ALK 


October 8, 2014

OOTD: Target Does It Again.

Shirt: Piperlime || Skirt: Target || Tights: Talbots || Coat: H&M || Shoes: {Given to me by a sorority sister :-)} || Sunglasses: Le Chateau || Headband: Charming Charlie || Necklace: Express || Earrings {old} || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Temptress 

      The title of this blog post, "Target Does It Again," doesn't just refer to the fact that Target continues to come out with amazing (and affordable!) fashion and accessories. I'm also referring to the fact that my favorite Target location in Charlotte continues to provide me with my favorite setting to do blog pictures when I'm here at school! :-) This location (which I've used in several of my blog posts before) is the top of Target Metropolitan's parking deck, located very close to Uptown Charlotte. Honestly I think that this view just never gets old! A lot of times when I'm at this Target just getting groceries or running other errands I park on the fifth floor just so I can take a few minutes to pause, breath, and take in the amazing views.

     And of course I am had to wear something from Target in this post as well, which is this adorable striped skirt! I have seen skirts similar to this popping up at other stores during this season, but I don't think that I have found one as affordable as Target's, which was priced at $22! I knew when I saw it that I had to scoop it up for that price. This is such a great closet staple and I can't wait to see how many outfit combinations that I can build around it! I love the way that the material is so structured and how the skirt flairs out- it is so flattering to wear. If you can't tell I really don't have enough good things to say about it!

      I have never seen the TV show Gossip Girl before (although eventually I will watch it on Netflix, it's in my queue!), but from what I've seen of the fashion on the show I feel like this outfit is my take on a Gossip Girl inspired fall fashion (on a budget!). I felt very preppy and very city chic while wearing it. If I happened to be visiting NYC at all this season then I know I would pack this outfit with me!

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     xoxo Miss ALK

October 6, 2014

My Instagrammed Life of Late.

     My goodness- what a week and weekend I've had!! I thought that once sorority recruitment ended a couple of weeks ago my life would really calm down, but that couldn't be further from what's happened to me. My life has only seemed to have gotten busier! Last week was another busy week for me with classes, but it was other stuff going on at school that made it even crazier! From playing on my sorority's intramural volleyball team, to guest speakers coming into my classes and the Comm department at my college, picking a friend up at the airport, reviews in my classes for midterms next week, seeing friends that graduated last year, and special guests at my internship, it's safe to say that I was quite overwhelmed. But the most exciting/busiest thing of all happened this past Saturday, which was my chapter of Alpha Delta Pi's annual sisterhood retreat. The highlight of chapter retreat is when Diamond sisters (ADPi's version of Bigs and Littles) are revealed. This year I got a Little Diamond sister!! But more on that in the Instagram recap. :-)

     Usually my Instagram blog posts are filled with pictures of my outfits or recent purchases, but today's Instagram recap is solely pictures of what I have been up to lately because that's how busy I've been!

     A couple Sundays ago I went on a crepes brunch date with my sweet friend Olivia from school. (This is the Olivia behind Olivia Miller Photography who did some gorgeous blog pictures for me recently!) We ate at the Crepe Cellar in Charlotte. It was only my second time there but it has already become one of my favorite restaurants to eat at with my girlfriends! I had the nutella brownie crepe and it was heavenly. I considered it a belated birthday cake crepe. ;-)

     On September 24th, I went to a blogging meet-up hosted by two of my favorite fashion bloggers at one of my favorite Charlotte boutiques! Charlotte blogger Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls and Boston blogger (but Charlotte native!) McKenna from McKenna Bleu were the hosts of the evening, and the setting was at Vestique, the cutest little boutique (Which I actually did a couple collaboration blog posts with last Spring!! Found here and here.). Both of these ladies have been such inspirations to me with blogging! I have met Caitlin before and she is absolutely the sweetest (and if you aren't following her blog you need to get on that ASAP!). And I was SO excited to finally be able to meet McKenna- her blog features not only her amazing outfits but also pictures from her travels all around the world!! Other Charlotte bloggers in attendance included my sweet friend Kristin from Lily and Lace, Melissa from Simply Sweet Melissa and Morgan from How 2 Wear It. Another fun part of the night is that I got to meet Janet, the Etsy shop owner behind Made by JH Designs who has sponsored two giveaways on my blog this summer! All in all it was a wonderful evening- I love the Charlotte blogging community!

      On Thursdays at my college, everyone goes out to the clubs in Uptown Charlotte (our Uptown is pretty much the same thing as downtown in other cities, like where the big buildings are). And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. But last year it just wasn't my thing. At my former college people didn't really go to clubs much since it was a Christian school, so it was kind of a culture shock for me when I transferred. I went out once last year and wasn't really into it. I much preferred to stay in on Thursday nights to work on my blog or watch Netflix. #lifeoftheparty But this year I am trying to be a bit more social, so a couple weeks ago I actually went out on a Thursday with all my ADPi sisters!! (This picture is me with a couple sisters before heading to Uptown.) Don't worry y'all, I didn't go too crazy... I was a designated driver. :-) But I did have enough of a good time that I'm planning to go out again sometime this month!

     Last Spring I babysat every Wednesday for a wonderful family here in Charlotte. Sadly my busy schedule this semester doesn't allow the time for me to babysit on weekdays anymore, but I have gotten to babysit for this family a few weekends so far this Fall! They have the cutest dog in the world as evidenced by the picture above. He was my #MCM on Instagram last week!

      After fashion and beauty, the topic that probably write the most about on this blog is my internship with the Charlotte location of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation! I have been interning there since last January. One of my co-interns from last semester was Jessica (in the color-blocked dress), who graduated from my college in May. She will be moving to California in January to pursue her dreams of working in TV production and I am so proud of her!! She was back in Charlotte this weekend and came in to visit the studio. From left to right: Max (my current co-intern from my college), Jessica, yours truly, and Mamie, my amazing boss! Love my Seacrest Studios family!!

     And this was the highlight to the end of a very busy couple of weeks- getting my Little! This is Julie. :-) She is a sophomore, and we actually knew each other last year before she joined ADPi! At my college there are these special support/friendship group things that freshman and transfer students can join to meet other new students and to talk about the transition to life at our college. I joined one last year since I was a transfer, and Julie was in my group! That makes it even more special to me that she ended up joining my sorority and then coming into my Diamond family! The picture frame that we are holding is a picture of my Big, Jess. Jess is studying abroad in Amsterdam this semester and obviously couldn't be there for chapter retreat, so I decided she had to be there in spirit. (It's a funny picture of herself that she gave me last year- I was finally able to put it to good use!) :-)

     And you would think that the craziness would stop this week... but it will only get worse as it's midterms week at school! I would appreciate any prayers as my midterms seem to be exceptionally tough this semester. And then this coming Friday night I fly home to Maine for Fall Break! That hasn't even sunk in yet (nor do I know when I'll have time to pack!). Maybe once I'm home I can finally breath?!

     xoxo Miss ALK
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