November 30, 2014

Guest post: The Southern City Appeal of Charlotte

     Today's post is sponsored by Henderson Properties


     I have said for a long time on my blog that coming to the South for college was one of the best decisions of my life. But I have realized more and more lately that transferring colleges after my freshman year and coming to school in Charlotte was also one of the best decisions that I have ever made. A little recap of my college journey: I started school at a Christian university in a rural part of North Carolina. Once I realized that I wanted to transfer, I knew that I wanted to stay in the state of North Carolina, and wanted to be closer to a city. I got more then I could have ever dreamed and ended up right in Charlotte! I absolutely love living life in North Carolina's largest and most metropolitan city, and today's guest post highlights some of the things that I love about the Queens City!



The Southern City Appeal of Charlotte



     For those of us who have lived in Charlotte for at least a little while, it comes as no surprise that our beloved city is finally getting the recognition that it deserves.

     There are many outsiders who got a glimpse into Charlotte life when they watched Emily Maynard star on both the Bachelor and Bachelorette television shows. Others were tipped off to this city with the growing popularity of the Charlotte Panthers and Charlotte Hornets athletic teams.

     Regardless of the reason, Charlotte is definitely becoming one of the top spots and fastest growing cities in the South. As people flock here for school, work or family life, they are quickly finding that Charlotte has a lot to offer.

Booming Real Estate Conditions
     When making the move to Charlotte, the first priority that needs to be tackled is finding a place to live. Whether you are single and looking for an industrial loft apartment or you have a family that needs a large backyard, there are options for everyone. Unfortunately (for buyers), Charlotte area home prices have been on the rise. But that doesn’t mean a great deal still can’t be found!

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
     One of the biggest reasons people are flocking to Charlotte is for the new jobs that are constantly coming to the city and surrounding areas. State figures show that around 22,400 jobs have been added over the past year. That is a lot of jobs, and potentially a lot of new residents too! Job security is something that everyone is looking for these days, and Charlotte is making that a reality for many workers as companies are continually expanding and relocating to the area.

So Many Things to Do!
     If you are looking for a fun and active place to live, Charlotte should surely make the list. From professional sporting events to music concerts, local breweries to a buzzing art scene, there is something for every taste and interest in the Charlotte area.

     Truly, Charlotte is the best of both worlds. You can work in a skyscraper in the heart of the city, and then drive just a few miles on the weekend to get away from it all. It’s pretty clear why Charlotte is becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the South. I think the bigger question becomes – why wouldn’t anyone want to call Charlotte home?


     A few of my personal favorite things about Charlotte that I would add to this would be the great variety of malls in all parts of the city (something for all shoppers- from the luxurious SouthPark mall to the bargain friendly Concord Mills outlet mall), how clean, safe and beautiful the Uptown area is, the plethora of churches, the weather, the close proximity to lots of areas in both NC and SC, a great airport, all of the different, diverse neighborhoods throughout the city, and the friendliness and southern hospitality of the residents!

     If you live in Charlotte or have visited, what are your favorite things about the Queens City? If haven't had the pleasure of traveling to the Queens City yet, tell me your favorite thing about your own city or town! 

    
      xoxo Miss ALK

November 27, 2014

Thankfulness + Black Friday preview.

     Happy Thanksgiving blog friends! I hope that you all are enjoying your day and taking a moment to think about all that you have to be grateful for. I am spending this Thanksgiving here in Charlotte at school (as I instead traveled home to Maine for October break last month), but I am looking forward to being home in a few weeks for Christmas vacation.

     Truth be told, Thanksgiving has never been one of my favorite holidays. I don't really like the weather during this time of year (everything just looks so dried up and dead), I don't like most traditional Thanksgiving foods, and football is of no interest to me... but, I still take the time each year to reflect on things that have happened during the past 12 months that God has blessed me with and that I need to be thankful for! Here are some highlights for this year:


  • My incredible internship with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, and all of the opportunities and experiences that it has brought me in 2014. 
  • Having a job back home in Maine that I enjoy working that and that provided me with lots of hours this past summer.
  • Spending summer 2014 back home in Maine meant that I got to spend another summer living near the ocean- and I am always so thankful for that!
  • For my mom and dad, who always encourage me to do my best in everything and support my dreams.
  • For finally feeling at home at the college that I transferred to. 
  • For my best friends back home in Maine who continue to prove the fact that distance means nothing to a good friendship. 
  • Another great year in blogging- 2014 meant meeting more of my favorite bloggers and doing more great things with my little corner of the internet! And I am always SO thankful for all of my followers and readers! 

   
Attending and organzing the #BloggersTakeBoston meet-up in June was a highlight of my summer and something that I'm so thankful that happened! :-) 


      In other news: tomorrow is my second-favorite day of the year. BLACK FRIDAY! (Clearly I have different views on this then I do about Thanksgiving.) A whole national day dedicated to shopping?! Count me IN! I Some people are turned off by the crowds and craziness of the stores on Black Friday, but that just makes me love the whole experience even more! This will be my 8th straight year going Black Friday shopping, and my first year doing so in Charlotte. I am so pumped, and plan to do a recap of some sort next week here on the blog. 

      Anyways, for those of you who prefer to do your shopping from the comfort of your own home instead of braving the masses (or for you super shoppers who do both the cyber deals and the in store deals!), I wanted to list below just a few of my favorite stores that are already having some great early online Black Friday deals! 

  • Forever 21 - "7 days of Pre-Black Friday Deals" sale leading up to Friday with a different deal online each day. Big deals expected on the website on Friday as well!
  • American Eagle Outfitters - Take 40% off and free shipping with code "GOBBLEUP" (through Nov. 30th). AEO is my favorite place to buy jeans from so I know that's what I would use that deal on!
  • Express - Take 50% off everything through Nov. 28th. 
  • J. Crew Factory - Take 50% off the entire site plus free shipping with code "THANKS."
  • Kate Spade - "Black Friday Surprise Sale", up to 75% percent off selected merchandise.
  • Ulta - (Lots of deals in store and online! This link takes you directly to their Black Friday sales flyer.)

     And a couple great deals from two wonderful businesses that I have worked with here on my blog:

  • The Mint Julep Boutique: 50% off the entire website through Black Friday! 
  • Pink Bubbly Jewelry: "Pink Friday" sale, 10% off 1 item with code PF10, 20% off 2 items with code PF20, 30% off 3 or more items with code PF30. Sale runs Nov. 28th-30th. 

     Have a wonderful Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend!


     xoxo Miss ALK

November 24, 2014

OOTD: The perfect sweater dress.









Dress: Forever 21 || Boots: Tory Burch || Sunglasses: LOFT || Purse: Michael Kors || Earrings: J. Crew Factory || Bracelets: {gifts} || Watch: Aldo || Lips: Essence XXL Shine Lipgloss in Hibiscus 


      I guess that I do wear my fair share of sweater dresses during the fall and winter seasons, but I actually don't really like shopping for them! Everytime that I buy a sweater dress, I just think about how I would rather be using my money to buy a sundress for warmer weather... see where this is going? Haha! I also think that so many sweater dresses tend to look very similar, and it's hard to find unique looks. 

     Enter this gorgeous sweater dress from Forever 21. It actually has a unique story behind it! A little over a year ago, I found almost the same exact dress in a Forever 21 store here in Charlotte, tried it on, and loved it. I even took a picture on my phone! But I didn't end up buying it because it was priced at $37.99, which I thought was a little expensive for Forever 21. 



      Fast forward to one year later, when I was at home in Maine this past October for Fall Break. One of the nights that I was home I went to the Maine Mall with two of my best friends. We went to Forever 21 (there's a surprisingly good one at home), and low and behold, I found almost the same sweater dress! I tried it on again and fell event more in love. Sadly the price hadn't changed at all, but I decided that I had to get it. It takes a lot for me to love a sweater dress, and I am just obsessed with the fun graphic print on this one! (The material is also so soft and comfortable, yet still form-fitting and flattering.) 

  
      I actually took these pictures for this post a couple of weeks ago (with my friend Olivia from Olivia Miller Photography on my beautiful college campus!). It was still warmer then, but this dress is something that could definitely be transitioned as the weather continues to get colder. I would love to pair it with a fancy winter coat, a cute pair of tights, and some nice dark heels for a dressy winter outfit.


      In other unrelated news to this outfit, I would appreciate any prayers for my day tomorrow! I have two presentations to present in two seperate communications classes, as well as a huge French test. It isn't even Finals yet and I don't know how it is possible to have a day this busy and this stressful,  but somehow it has happened. I am very nervous about doing well on everything, so I am going to try and get a good night's sleep tonight! 


      xoxo Miss ALK

November 20, 2014

Dream Christmas Wishlist 2014

Dream Christmas Wishlist 2014

Dream Christmas Wishlist 2014 by rainbowflash94 



     So many of my favorite bloggers have recently been posting Christmas gift guides on their blogs! I have really enjoyed looking at a lot of their favorite gifting picks (my favorite of these types of posts so far has been from Caitlin of Southern Curls and Pearls). While I do like the idea of sharing a gifting guide, I take Christmas gift shopping pretty seriously, and I don't want to share what I'm getting for my friends and family on my blog in case they should read the post! ;-) So I figured instead I would share my "dream Christmas list" for this year. I certainly don't expect to be getting most of the things on this list,  but hey, a girl can dream right?! 

     Ever since I bought my Tory Burch riding boots this summer during the Nordstrom sale, I have been obsessing over all things Tory Burch. Tory makes the most beautiful purses, and the one that I linked would be just perfect for the cooler months! I am also in love with the Miller sandals. (If I make enough money babysitting next semester then I might seriously consider buying a pair!) 

      For beauty items, Mally is my favorite high-end make-up brand. My mom often buys me Mally products for my birthday or Christmas since their make-up is a bit pricey, and I would love to receive some Mally mascara especially for Christmas this year! And I am also asking for this Remington T-Studio Pearl curling wand. I already have this wand in the smaller size and I love it! I love it so much that I want to try the one in the next size up to try out looser curls now that my hair is finally growing out again. 

     I have been in love with the classic J. Crew pearl twisted necklace for quite some time. And these cute little Kate Spade stud earrings keep popping up in my Pinterest feed lately, and they have grown on me a lot! I love them in this deep blue color. 

     The last two items are perfect for adding a little color into your Christmas. It's no secret that I'm a big Lilly Pulitzer fan, but I actually don't own any of the popular Elsa tops, so I would love to receive my first Elsa top for Christmas, especially since that would be the perfect fashion piece to add some Lilly style to my outfits during the cooler months! And I added a Vera Bradley totebag because that is the type of bag that I use for school, and the one that I currently have has almost reached it's limit... I have had it since my senior year of high school and it is definitely showing signs of age! 


     Lastly, I am asking for a DSLR camera for Christmas. (This is the item that I think I have the most chance of receiving. ;-) ) I think that it's seriously time to take the next step with my blog, and I am actually taking a photojournalism class for my major next semester, so this would be the perfect time to make that kind of investment! 


     As I said earlier though, I want to stress that this is a dream Christmas list! I certainly don't expect to receive most of the things on this list. If I were to just get a DSLR camera I would be so excited!! As cliche as this sometimes sounds, it is important to remember in this season that celebrates retail that Jesus is still truly the reason for the season. :-) 


     But now I want to ask y'all, what is on your dream Christmas list? Or what is on your "realistic" Christmas list? Haha!


     xoxo Miss ALK

November 19, 2014

Guest Post: Southern Living at Scotch Hall Preserve

Today's post is sponsored by Scotch Hall Preserve



     Today I am featuring a guest post from one of North Carolina's premiere coastal housing communities! Although I am still in college and will not be thinking about a permanent place to live until a few years down the road, it is never too early to start dreaming and planning about places that I might want to consider home after college graduation. As much as I would love to stay in Charlotte, the job market for radio broadcasting can send someone that is new in the field pretty much anywhere in their region (or even within the United States when starting out!), so a move for me after college is likely. Although I haven't gotten a chance to explore much of North Carolina's coast yet, I have heard that the state has many beautiful coastal regions! Perhaps someday I will be successful enough in radio to live in a house like one of the ones in Scotch Hall Preserve (or I guess the other option would be to marry well... ;-) )... enjoy today's post!


Southern Living at Scotch Hall Preserve


Drive along the winding drive into the Scotch Hall Preserve community, and you will be struck by the decidedly southern feel of this vibrant community. From the sprawling front porches on the homes to the colors used to paint each home, you know that you are in a coastal southern community from the moment you drive in. If you are looking to enjoy southern hospitality and architecture with a vacation home in North Carolina, then you need to consider Scotch Hall Preserve.



Ideal Coastal Location Provides Ample Recreation Opportunities
One of the reasons Scotch Hall Preserve is such a wonderful vacation community is its location. The community sits on the shores of the Albemarle Sound, so water-based recreation is simply a way of life. Enjoy boating, fishing and swimming whenever you wish from your own cottage or custom-built estate in Scotch Hall Preserve.

Scotch Hall Preserve's location is naturally beautiful. Acres of undisturbed coastal woodland have been carefully developed to capitalize on the views and natural resources of the region. Even the Signature Championship Arnold Palmer golf course was designed to work with the contours of the land and capitalize on the many vistas throughout the community.



The community also has a freshwater pool, beautiful boardwalks and maintained paths through the woods and a playground for the children. You'll never run out of something to do with a home in Scotch Hall Preserve. As an added bonus, the community is gated, so you can relax in peace knowing that your neighborhood will be secluded and safe.

Quality Homes from the Area's Best Builders
Another benefit of purchasing your second home in Scotch Hall Preserve is the quality of the craftsmanship of each home. The community has brought together the coastal Carolina's top builders to create unique homes that capitalize on all that the Albemarle Sound region has to offer. From cozy, fully-furnished cottages to custom-built estate homes, you will find a range of unique homes on spacious lots to choose from in Scotch Hall Preserve.

Friendly Neighbors and a True Sense of Community
Finally, you can't enjoy southern living without friendly neighbors, and Scotch Hall Preserve does not disappoint in this regard. Everywhere you look you will find friendly faces welcoming you to your home away from home. Discover Scotch Hall Preserve's southern living for yourself today!



     xoxo Miss ALK






November 18, 2014

OOTD: Casino Night Glam (on a College Budget!)

     I am especially excited about today's OOTD post for a couple of reasons. One, because sharing dressy outfits on my blog always makes me excited (as I love any chance to dress up!), and two, this is my first time featuring a friend's outfit on Southern Belle in Training who isn't a blogging friend! This past weekend at my college was our annual school-wide semi-formal event (not a sorority event). I went with my friend Caroline, and as she was taking my blog pictures I realized that I wanted to feature her adorable outfit in my post as well!








Caroline's outfit details:

Dress: Saks Avenue Off 5th || Cardigan: Saks Avenue Off 5th || Shoes: Target || Clutch (old) || Bracelets (from an antique store)











     Dress: Forever 21 || Coat: H&M || Shoes: Nine West || Purse: New Look {bought on my trip to the UK last year} || Necklace & Earrings: {Local boutique in Maine} || Ring: JC Penney || Nails: Wet n' Wild MegaLast Salon Nail Color in Disturbia || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink Velvet


     First off, I hope that the quality of these pictures are okay since they were taken indoors! (Caroline was a fabulous photographer but it's more the artificial lighting I'm worried about, since most of my blog pictures are taken outdoors.) Both of us had busy Saturdays and weren't even able to get dressed for Casino Night until after it was dark outside! So we made do and once we were all glammed up we headed over to one of the classroom buildings on campus and took pictures in the foyer, which you can see here. :-)

     So one thing that I really want to highlight is that I didn't pay more than $20 for anything that I wore to this event! It is 100% possible to look glam and gorgeous for a semi-formal or formal event and not break the bank. Here is the breakdown of what I paid for everything that I'm wearing:
  • Dress: $13 (Bought over October Break during my trip home to Maine! The Maine Mall has a surprisingly great Forever 21.)
  • Coat: $0 (Won when I entered an won an H&M store opening giveaway last spring! Read about that here!
  • Shoes: $20ish dollars (They are Nine West but were bought in high school at a Maine regional discount store chain that sometimes carries name brand shoes and apparel at very low prices. Don't remember the exact price but it was definitely under $25!)
  • All jewelry: Nothing above $15
  • Purse: Bought on my trip to the UK so it was paid for in pounds... but I think it came out to about $20 (such a steal!).
  • And my lipstick and nail polish are both from drugstore brands!

     I fell in love with this dress from Forever 21! I love the bold blue color, and since it's a plain dress there are so many ways to accessorize it. And since it has such a low price point I don't feel badly about wearing it to go out or to situations where it might get "ruined"... I could easily replace it for that price! It is a little bit tighter and lower-cut then things that I usually wear (which I'm sure you can tell if you've been following my blog and outfits for any length of time :-) ), but I didn't feel like it was inapropriate, especially for an evening event that was Las Vegas themed. Sometimes it's fun to have a special wardrobe that's slightly more "out-there" for going-out or other night-time functions!

     Here are a few other pictures from Casino Night! I really enjoy this event because it's a time to see all of your classmates and school friends all dressed up, and a chance to socialize outside of the day-to-day routine. Casino Night definitely has a very different vibe then any ADPi formals or even high school dances, but I like it nonetheless! I especially enjoyed this year's event since it was Las Vegas themed... I traveled to Vegas in summer 2013 and LOVED it (I have several posts about the trip somewhere back on my blog!) and I can't wait to go back someday! (There was also a Big Bang Theory episode a few weeks ago where Penny, Amy and Bernadette went to Vegas so that just fueled my excitement.) 


My sweet friend Soo Jin who is a fellow communications major with me! 

Haley! My Big in ADPi, Jess, is studying abroad this semester. Haley is Jess's best friend so I met her through Jess last year. With Jess not being here this semester Haley and I started hanging out a little bit at the start of the semester and now we eat dinner together weekly and hang out a bit too! So thankful that my Big's friends have become my friends too. :-) 

My sweet Little in ADPi, Julie, and her boyfriend Aaron! Aren't they a cute couple?



     And luckily for me I get to dress up again this weekend! ADPi is having our fall semi this Friday. It is a themed semi where you and your date have to dress up as a celebrity couple or a famous couple in history. Any guesses as to who me and my date are going as? Hint: they're a celebrity couple who went public sort of recently! 


      xoxo Miss ALK

November 17, 2014

DIY Tutorial: State Pride Sorority Craft


     I have a really fun DIY craft to share with y'all today! 



     A couple of weeks ago was initiation week for the new members in my chapter of Alpha Delta Pi! In my chapter, we save Big/Little crafts for the night before initiation (instead of at the time of Big/Little reveal). I have been waiting to do a blog post to share with all of you the things that I bought and made for Julie, my Little Diamond Sister!

      My favorite thing that I crafted for her was this canvas craft that featured that state of North Carolina, the name of our school, and our sorority name. It was inspired by something that I originally saw on Pinterest, shown below:



Etsy shop that sells these canvases (which was my inspiration) 


     There wasn't any tutorial attached to this picture on Pinterest since it linked to an Etsy shop, but I thought that I would try and free-hand it! Below is a picture of (almost all of) the craft supplies that I used for this project. Almost everything came from Hobby Lobby, and a couple things that I had to buy once I was already working on the project (more on that later in the post!) came from Michael's, since there's a Michael's five minutes away from my college. When I am away at school I generally prefer shopping for craft supplies at Hobby Lobby though. 



  • One 11x14 canvas (although you can use any size canvas that you want to!)
  • Stencils (unless you have great caligraphy skills and know that your penmanship will be even ;-))
  • Acrylic paint in a color of your choice for the base color of the canvas
  • Paint brushes- large brush to coat the canvas and small brush for going over the stenciling
  • Paint pen in color of your choice for stenciling
  • One sheet of scrapbook paper in color of your choice
  • All purpose super adhesive craft glue
     Not pictured:
  • Acrylic paint in the same color as the paint pen for touching up the stenciling
  • Sticker sheet of small hearts
  • Cut-out of state of your choice

 
     I began this craft project by finding a good map image of the state of North Carolina on Google Images, then saving it to my computer and blowing the size of it up in my computer's Preview feature (I have a MacBook). Then I e-mailed it to myself, printed it, and then cut it out!



     

     Next it's time to start getting the base coat of paint on the canvas! I wanted to go for a bright, medium pink color. I ended up originally mixing a custom pink color; combining a darker pink, light pink, and a little bit of white. (This later ended up being a bad idea and I should have just painted the canvas one color straight from the paint bottle, but more on that later!)




All painted! It wasn't quite that dark- the lighting is kind of weird here.


     After the base coat was done, I was ready the trace the state onto the pretty scrapbook paper. I didn't like Hobby Lobby's scrapbook paper selection as much so that was one of the items that I bought at Michael's. I picked out a really sparkly gold piece!




      Important thing to keep in mind: trace out your state THE RIGHT WAY. I ended up having to go back to Michael's the next day to buy a second piece of paper after making this mistake....





      In the mean time, I still wanted to work on getting the lettering started. I used the correct cut-out (from the map) and placed it approximately where I wanted the actual one with scrapbook paper to go, and then started the stenciling around that. I used a paint pen to do the intitial stenciling, and then later went to touch it up with acrylic paint and a fine tipped paint brush to make the letters look bolder.  




      Now here is where I accidently messed up (more than cutting out the state the wrong way!). I got a couple of tiny gold spots on other parts of the canvas, and tried to touch them up with the pink paint. But since the pink shade that I used wasn't directly from the a bottle of paint (it was mixed between three colors of paint), the color that I re-mixed to touch up the gold spots ended up being a little bit too dark... and it kind of looked like grease stains on my canvas. :-/



     You can kind of see the dark spots in these pictures, but they were a lot worse in person. Once the touch-up paint dried, the color was still much darker. So I knew that I had to re-paint the canvas a whole new color! But I didn't want to take off the state of North Carolina or the stenciling, so I decided to paint around that. This was a tedious process which took several hours, but it was worth it in the end! I used a tiny paint brush to paint around all of the stenciled letters and to trace around the state, and then used a larger brush to fill in the rest of the canvas. I had to do 2-3 coats of paint to cover all of the darker pink. Again- this was a step in the craft project that shouldn't have happened! 



       I think I forgot to mention that at this point I had glued on the (correct shaped) state of North Carolina, and also glued a small heart sticker onto the part of the state where Charlotte is since that's where my college is located!

      After a few coats of the new lighter shade of pink, everything turned out okay! Here is the finished product:



     
       Overall this wasn't a super difficult craft! Mine just had a lot of extra steps because I kept making stupid mistakes. :-) But everything still turned out okay in the end! 

   
      I will do another blog post later this week sharing the rest of the items that I purchased and crafted for Julie! 


     In the meantime, stay tuned tomorrow for pictures from a semi-formal event that was held here at my college this past weekend! This is the first time that I am featuring a non-blogging friend's outfit in my pictures as well, and I am really excited about that. :-) 


      xoxo Miss ALK







November 14, 2014

OOTD: Home brings out my #SmileStyle.







Top: Vestique || Jeggings: American Eagle Outfitters || Vest: American Eagle Outfitters || Socks: {old} || Boots: Tory Burch || Bracelet: Silpada Designs {old} || Suitcase: American Tourister || Lips: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Sponge Cake 


     Since last spring, I have been a member of Lucky magazine's online fashion blogging community. This is a great way for me to share all of my fashion posts, and to also discover new fashion blogs to follow! Sometimes Lucky also sends out blogging challenges to their community members, and this blog post is my entry for their latest challenge: which is called #SmileStyle. 

     For the #SmileStyle challenge, each blogger participating was supposed to show off an outfit/lifestyle post that showcased holiday entertaining style.  Due to the fact that I am a junior in college who still lives in a dorm, I sadly won't be hosting many people at "my place" for this year's holiday season. ;-) (Goodness- I barely have friends over in my room now as it is! I'm one of those people who would rather hang out off campus with friends then in my dorm room.) 

     Anyways, I thought that #SmileStyle would be the perfect time to share these pictures that my mom captured of me in my childhood bedroom at home in Maine when I was home during October break last month. At the stage of life that I'm currently in, the holidays to me mean trips home (instead of entertaining- that will come later in life!). As cold and soon-to-be snowy as Maine gets during the winter months, there is no where else that I would rather be for the Christmas season! Getting the chance to come home to my dear Maine friends, family, and all of the things that I love about home like the beach, my favorite restaurants, and the adorable tourist town that I work in, is what will be making me smile this holiday season! 

     The outfit that I'm wearing in these pictures would be perfect for me to break-out again if I do get invited to any holiday parties while I'm here at school or once I do go back home for Christmas break! I am in love with this fun flowy sleeve top from one of my favorite Southern boutiques, Vestique, and I will definitely have to feature it on my blog again so that y'all can get a better glimpse of it! Also a note about my hair in these pictures: I had my hair trimmed for the first time in about a year and a half while I was home on this trip, and the stylist also gave me a mini blow-out with some loose curls. How amazing did that look?! I tried buying what I thought was a similar curling iron to what she used at Ulta recently and attempted to recreate it (since the curling wand that I usually use does tighter curls)... but I ended up almost burning the ends of my hair off. No joke. The curling iron was promptly returned to Ulta, and I have had no luck in recreating this gorgeous hair look.  *le sigh* 


     Hope that y'all will be having a fantastic weekend! I have a very busy and fun Saturday ahead- one of my best friends from my former college who I haven't seen since my birthday is coming to Charlotte to have lunch with me!! And Saturday night is my college's annual school-wide semi-formal event which is always fun. Plus I might try and sneak it attending a blogging event in the late afternoon on Saturday too! If only I didn't have a full night of homework planned for Friday night then it would be the perfect weekend! 



     xoxo Miss ALK




November 13, 2014

November Goals.



      One thing that I just love about the South is that my favorite season comes early, and my least favorite season comes much later! But I suppose fall cannot be all bad when the beautiful trees on my college campus look like this... :-) (Although secretly I am still counting down the days until spring!)


     Let's take a look back at what my goals were for the month of October, and how I did on them:


      1. Start trying more new beauty products again. Check! Read my October Beauty Favorites blog post here. And I'm already excited for November's favorites post!
      2. Actually celebrate Halloween this year. Fail...ish. When I wrote this as I goal, I meant buy a costume and go out with college friends on Halloween night. That didn't happen! I had a quiet night of going to Ulta, buying groceries, and then working on crafts for my Little since Big/Little crafts were due for ADPi the week after Halloween. But the afternoon of Halloween at my internship we hosted a Halloween carnival, and I did dress up for that! I was a crazy bunny lady (instead of the traditional crazy cat lady). And I ended up wearing that costume to Ulta and the grocery store... so if that counts for celebrating...
      3. Do a good job on my Little's crafts. Check! I think. ;-) Crafting is something that doesn't come easily to me, and it takes me a really long time to work on a craft project, so being honest I didn't get as much done for Julie as I hoped because I spent a ton of time working on the items that I did give her! But I am really pleased at how what I did make turned out! I will do a couple blog posts on this soon! (Including a tutorial for one of my crafts!)
      4. Make a LinkedIn profile. Check! Although I am still very much figuring out how to use it... I will probably finish filling it in over Christmas break. I have already connected with some blogging friends on there too which is great!


      And my goals for this second to last month in 2014:


      1. Have my biggest and best Black Friday experience yet! I am spending Thankgiving Break this year on campus. This year I only have a few final exams, and instead I have a lot of final projects and papers, many of which are due directly after Thanksgiving, instead of during actual exams week. I knew that if I went home to Maine (or even to a friend's house here in NC) I wouldn't get enough work done, so it just made sense for me to sadly stay on campus during break. But the good part about this is that I get to spend my second favorite day of the year, BLACK FRIDAY, in Charlotte!! Charlotte has four malls and a brand new outlet mall that just opened, and I would like to hit at least two of the malls and the outlets! I have been Black Friday shopping every year since I was 13 and I am obsessed to say the least. I will post more about this as it gets closer, but this will be the highlight of my busy Thanksgiving Break for sure!
      2.  Get my oil changed before Christmas Break begins. Technically I could do this in early December as well... but it would be great to do it in November! I haven't had an oil change in my car since summer and this is just something that I keep forgetting to do. I was supposed to get one in October but haven't really been outside of Charlotte in awhile (or had time to go on any long drives) so I keep forgetting to.
      3. Try to get A's or A-'s on both of my presentations that are next week. Next week I have oral projects to present in two of my communications classes. My goal is to get an A or A- (my college doesn't allow for A+'s on our grading scale) on both of them!
      4. Figure out affordable (but meaningful) Christmas presents for my college friends. I am a big Christmas gift-giver. I have a general idea of what I want to get for my girlfriends back home in Maine, and I also know what I am getting for my Little and for my roommate. But I am completely boggled as to what to get for the rest of my college friends! I don't have the type of finances to get everyone big gifts, but I still want to get everyone a little something. Normally I would try and craft everyone something, but I am a little bit "crafted out" since I was a Big in my sorority this semester, and also with my demanding class schedule that I have have currently I don't have much extra time to be crafting for everyone that I know. So it will probably have to be something purchased. I will keep y'all posted on what I end up doing! I like to get Christmas gifts in advance (usually Black Friday at the latest!).


     Do you have an goals for this month? Are you a Black Friday shopper?


     Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a $50 gift certificate to Mimi's The Look For Less! Click here to enter!


     xoxo Miss ALK

November 10, 2014

OOTD: Fall Rompers are the LOOK {+ a giveaway with Mimi's the Look!}









Romper: c/o Mimi's The Look  || Tank top: Wet Seal || Hat: Target || Boots: Belk || Necklace: H&M || Purse: Michael Kors || Lipstick: Maybelline Color Sensational The Vivids in Neon Red || 


     Who says that rompers are only for summer?! When Mimi's The Look Boutique reached out to me about doing a product review and giveaway, I knew that the item that I wanted to style had to be this fun romper that was perfect for the cooler months. Here in Charlotte it is just starting to get cold, so up until now outfits like this could be worn almost everyday! (And we still have one or two warmer days each week... thank-goodness!) As y'all know, my personal style is very much based around fun prints and patterns, and that doesn't stop for me even in the cooler months. :-) The fun colors and pattern of this romper is just another thing that drew me to it! 

      For this look, I added a black tank underneath and a favorite pair of fall boots to make this romper appropriate for a day of classes at school. But throw on some fun heels, take away the tank top, and add some darker eye make-up and you have have a perfect outfit for a night out on the town! 


      Mimi's The Look Boutique has so many other cute items in their online shop, and an added bonus is that they offer weekly discount specials! On Mondays there are $20 clothing specials, Wednesdays have $20 purse specials, and $10 necklace specials on Fridays (talk about TGIF!). To help jump start the shopping, Mimi's is offering a discount code for Southern Belle in Training readers to shop with! The code is SOUTHERN BELLE and will get you 20% off your purchase from Mimi's The Look!

     And as an added bonus, and one lucky reader of mine will get to experience shopping at Mimi's with a $50 gift card that Mimi's is generously giving away! This giveaway will run until Monday, November 17th, 2014. Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget! Good luck! :-) 



a Rafflecopter giveaway


     P.S. In my Shop the Post link below, I have also linked up my Tory Burch Eloise riding boots! Even though I'm not wearing them in this particular post, they are on major sale right now, and this would be a great time to buy if you're thinking about purchasing Tory Burch riding boots! I know they're an investment but they are definitely the best fashion purchase that I've ever made. Just click on the picture of the boots below to shop! :-)




     xoxo Miss ALK