Southern Belle in Training

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

March 31, 2015

A Day Behind the Camera.

     Being a fashion blogger, I would say that I am fairly comfortable being in front of the camera. I enjoy trying new poses and experimenting with different settings for having my blog pictures taken in! But last week, I was offered a really fun opportunity to try being behind the camera for an afternoon, so of course I could not turn it down!

     This semester in school I am taking a photojournalism class that counts towards my major. It came at a perfect time in my college career, as I just received my beautiful new DSLR camera this past Christmas! So this class has been the perfect chance to get more comfortable with my camera through practice with the assignments.

     My photojournalism teacher had been happy with how I had done on some recent assignments, and she asked me if I would be interested in volunteering outside of class for a special event! In addition to teaching photojournalism at my college, and having a photography business, my teacher is also the president of the Charity League of Charlotte, a renowned women's organization in the community that does much philanthropic work for Greater Charlotte. One of their largest annual fundraisers is a fashion show and silent auction event, held at a golf course in a more suburban neighborhood in Charlotte. She asked if I would be interested in photographing the event. Of course I said yes! What a great opportunity to practice my skills, and I knew I couldn't say no when I found out that fashion was involved. :-)

     Since the event was at a fancy golf club, I got to dress up for the event which made it even more fun! The first part of the afternoon was the silent auction and luncheon. I circled the rooms in which the auction was taking place in, and tried to get some shots of the ballroom starting to fill up with luncheon guests as well, and also a few pictures of the fashion show models getting ready!

     I was so honored and surprised that the Charity League gave me a seat at a table during the luncheon! The ladies at my table were all so sweet, and I really enjoyed chatting with them during the beginning part of lunch! I especially enjoyed meeting Olivia Fortson, who is the fashion editor for the Charlotte Observer (Charlotte's major newspaper).

     Next it was time for the fashion show, and time for me to really get to work! The children's fashions were from the Vineyard Vines store at SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, and the women's outfits were from Talbots- two wonderful preppy brands!

     These are just a few of the many beautiful outfits that were modeled! All of the models did a fantastic job, as did the emcee, who was Natalie Pasquarella, a news anchor for a Charlotte television station!

     Below is a picture of my favorite children's outfits from the fashion show. In these cute little Vineyard Vines outfits don't these two look just like a mini Blair and Chuck from Gossip Girl?! (She even has a headband!)

     Thank-you again to my photojournalism teacher for trusting in my photography abilities and allowing me to photograph this fun event!! It was such a fun afternoon to be behind the camera. :-)

     Fellow fashion bloggers: do you ever step behind your cameras and take pictures of others or at events?

     xoxo Miss ALK

March 30, 2015

Long Live the Hart.

Dress: Talbots || Coat: H&M || Shoes: Aldo {old} || Hat: Target || Necklace: J. Crew Factory || Bracelet: {Boutique that I work at in the summers!} || Ring: HJ Greek || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Temptress 

     Friday, March 27th, 2015, was a sad day in my world. It was the season four finale of Hart of Dixie, and it's also looking like this is the series finale of the show as well. I thought that the final episode was absolutely beautiful and very well-done (I may or may not have cried...), but despite that I will still miss this show so much! I started watching this little CW show on Netflix over the summer (it was suggested in my queue- thanks Netflix!), and immediately  Like- best show ever kind of love! Hart of Dixie told the story of Dr. Zoe Hart, a recent medical school graduate and native New Yorker who plans on staying in the city after graduation. But things in her life take an interesting turn and she ends up getting a medical job in a quirky little town in Southern Alabama. That is all that I will say without giving away anymore of the plot, but if you like romance, comedy, real-life drama, amazing fashion, hot guys, and Southern Hospitality (with a little bit of New York sass) then Hart of Dixie is the show for you! Trust me- you will be hooked! I have now gotten friends of mine in both Maine and NC hooked on it. :-) 

     Since Friday's finale was most likely the show's last, I had to do an outfit post on the blog as a tribute to this great show! In Hart of Dixie, there is an exclusive women's society called the Bluebelle Belles. All of the Belles are always sporting the most gorgeous sundresses with the cutest jewelry, hair and accessories, so this outfit is my little tribute to what I would wear if I was a Bluebelle Belle! I am such a girly-girl that I wish that I could dress-up like this everyday sometimes... (although that clearly isn't happening this semester since I have all 8 am classes!) 

     Are any of you Hart of Dixie fans as well? What did you think of the finale? 

     P.S. My dress is last season from Talbots, but I have linked below several similar (and equally cute ones!). And my necklace is from J. Crew Factory and still very much in stock! ;-) (Also linked below!)

     xoxo Miss ALK

March 26, 2015

Caribbean Cutie.

Top: American Eagle Outfitters || Shorts: Kohl's || Shoes: TJ Maxx || Purse: Michael Kors || Sunglasses: Charming Charlie || Earrings: Charming Charlie || Bracelet: {gift} || Hair Accessory: {old} || Lips: Etude House Dear My Blooming Lips in Shade #BE107 {Korean make-up brand!)

     Today I'm sharing my last outfit post from spring break in the Dominican Republic! *insert tears in realization that vacation is truly over* School has picked up in full force since I returned from spring break, and I'm already feeling ready for another vacation! 

     I think that my favorite part of this outfit turned out to be my hair! This was just a fun hairstyle that I threw together since I had just come out of the shower and had wet hair still. I experimented with a simple braid down the side, and then put the rest of my hair in a low bun, and topped it off with this fun flower hair-tie! It turned out so well that I think I want to try and duplicate it again soon now that I'm back at school! Such a fun way to add a touch of the tropics to your everyday look. 

     I am SO excited for this weekend- because Saturday is the first time since Labor Day weekend (which was at the end of August in 2014) that I am getting to visit my former college! I am much over-due for a trip there, and it will be so wonderful to see all of my old friends, as well as the beautiful campus. My former college will always hold a special place in my heart since that was my very first home in North Carolina. (You can read my most recent blog post with thoughts about transferring schools here!)

     xoxo Miss ALK

March 24, 2015

Dining in Charlotte: Fresh To Order

     Last week, my blogging friend Morgan (from How 2 Wear It) and I got to meet for a mid-week dinner date, courtesy of a fun and healthy new restaurant that has just opened its doors in Pineville! (For all of you non-Charlotteans, Pineville is a cute little suburb on the very Southern tip of Charlotte- literally on the state line of South Carolina!) Fresh To Order is a chain of restaurants in the Southeast that has just moved into the Charlotte area. They specialize in selling foods that are healthy but not at all short on flavor! The Pineville location invited me in for dinner, and of course I had to invite Morgan to come along. :-)

     Upon arriving at Fresh To Order, the delicious drink bar caught our eyes! In addition to soft drinks and water, Fresh To Order has a fantastic selection of house-made iced teas and lemonades. They have regular flavors of each, as well as unique flavors, such as Mango Orange Lemonade, Green Apple Cinnamon Iced Tea, and my personal favorite, Vanilla Mint Lemonade. Seriously, the Vanilla Mint Lemonade was perhaps the best lemonade I have ever gotten to drink in my life- and I am not just saying that!

     Once being seated, the Fresh To Order Staff brought Morgan and I some soups and appetizers to sample! We got to try small selections of the restaurant's most popular soups. Surprisingly my favorite that I tried was the corn chowder! I am normally not a fan of chowder at all, but it had a nice spicy kick to it which made it very enjoyable and I found myself craving more!

     And then came the appetizer sampler! We got to try the Ale Laced Chicken Tenders, Almond Crusted Seared Tuna, and Blackened Lime Shrimp (although I let Morgan enjoy the shrimp as I am not a shrimp girl!).

      What really surprised me is that my favorite part of the whole appetizer plate was actually the Asian style slaw that came along with the tuna! If there's one thing that you should know about me, it's the cole slaw is probably one of my least favorite side dishes. I'm not a fan of cabbage at all, and just the sauces and seasonings used in most cole slaws don't really mix well with my taste buds. But this Asian slaw was fantastic!! It was a ginger apricot slaw, and you could definitely taste both of those flavors strongly, which made it all the more delicious. I ate every last bite (as Morgan would attest to!). Such an interesting surprise how that was my favorite part of the appetizer plate! :-)


     Next our waitress brought out three of Fresh To Order's salads for us to try: (L to R) the Southwest salad, the Market salad, and the Club salad. Already starting to fill up on soups and appetizers though (and knowing that my main dish was on its way!), I only had a couple bites of these!

    And finally, the delicious main courses! Morgan chose the Fresh To Order Bison Burger, which came with on a pita bun, and also came with some fresh apple slices! I chose the curry salmon, and the coconut curry sauce was house-made and just delicious! My dish came with a side salad and Fresh To Order's signature wheat berry rice.

     We were both way too full to even think about dessert (although Fresh To Order does have a great dessert selection!), but I made sure to grab a refill of the Vanilla Mint Lemonade to take with me for the road! It was great to sip on that during a sorority workshop event that I headed to after dinner.

     I absolutely loved getting to dine at Fresh To Order! It is always wonderful to discover more restaurants that offer to many tasty healthy options. Thank-you so much to the Fresh To Order Pineville location for inviting Morgan and I to dine with you! I know that we will be back!

     xoxo Miss ALK

March 23, 2015

Spring Scarves Collaboration with Bramblewood Fashion!

     I'm excited to be doing a style collaboration today with Ashley from Bramblewood Fashion! Ashley is a Christian fashion blogger from the Midwest, and she is an absolute sweetheart. (She also works at Ulta which I am super jealous of- hello discounts on make-up!) For our collaboration, we decided to each style a scarf that was perfect for springtime. Scarves can be great pieces for transition seasons, and both of us realized that we had more than enough scarves to choose from in our own closets! ;-)

      Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer {Limited Edition for Belk stores, similar here} || T-shirt: {Old, similar here} || Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters: Cardigan: LOFT || Sandals: Jack Rogers || Purse: Michael Kors || Sunglasses: DEB Shops {similar here} || Earrings: Ten Thousand Villages || Bracelet: Kate Spade || Lips: Covergirl BlastFlipstick in Stunner 

     Out of all the scarves that I own, this is my favorite! Definitely part of the reason that I love it is because it's Lilly and it has an adorable pattern, but mainly I adore it because of the story behind it. In fact, this scarf has such a great story attached with it that I once devoted a full blog post solely to the story of how I got this scarf!

      Wearing a bright scarf like this is such a simple way to dress up a casual outfit of a white t-shirt, cardigan, and boyfriend jeans. This could easily be my Saturday afternoon uniform during this interesting transitional weather season! 

      One thing that I had fun with as well was coordinating my make-up to match my outfit! This semester on most school days I find myself gravitating towards my same favorite tried and true products for convenience sake, and many of these are neutral in color (or basic nude/peach shades for the the lips). For this look, I experimented with a fun bright blue eyeliner on my lower lash line (to bring out the blue in the scarf), and rocked a bright coral lip to coordinate with my cardigan. I absolutely love playing and experimenting with make-up, and I really need to keep doing that more since I own so much of it! 

      Be sure to stop over to Ashley's blog sometime today to see how she styled her scarf outfit!

      Did all of you have a good weekend? As I said in my post on Friday, I had an extremely long to-do list for this weekend! I didn't get quite everything done, but I did accomplish most of the major tasks, which included an application to join one of the selective honor societies at my college, finishing all of my assignments for my online classes for the week, and getting some reading done for classes as well. Yet I have more applications for various things to work on this week- including an application for an incredible internship for early this summer! I would appreciate any prayers as I work on and submit that one this week! :-) 

     xoxo Miss ALK

March 20, 2015

Spring Fling Link-up!

Dress: Old Navy || Shoes: {Macy's Style & Co. brand, purchased at a Maine discount retailer. Similar shoes here} || Purse: Michael Kors || Necklace: Charlotte Russe || Bracelet: {Gift, Similar bracelet here}, Kate Spade || Ring: c/o Soulful Ceramics || Lips: Nyx Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Daquiri || Nails: Essie in Boxer Shorts

      I'm so excited to be apart of the Spring Fling Link-Up, hosted by two wonderful Southern bloggers, kTm from Pick Your Beau and Seersucker Sass from A Little Seersucker Sass! I love both of these blogs (And more then that I love the bloggers behind them! I'm Facebook friends with both of them hehehe ;-) ), so of course I was excited to join in the link-up fun!

Pick Your Beau

      For my Spring themed outfit, I picked another outfit that I wore on my recent Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic! But as bright and bold as this outfit is, I feel like this is something that I would be just as likely to wear for a fun night out here in Charlotte, so it's definitely not something that is just in the "resort wear" category of clothing!

     The dress that I'm wearing has actually been featured on the blog before! #outfitrepeater #guilty You might remember it from this post from last September, in which I styled it with some turquoise accessories! My favorite thing about this dress that is that I got it from an Old Navy outlet store last year during a Memorial Day Weekend sale for $7.99! What an incredible bargain. Just thinking about it makes me excited for Memorial Day Weekend sales again this year!

     I hope that you've all enjoyed seeing some of my favorite outfits from Spring Break this week! I still have a couple more posts to share from the trip, including more a recap of the vacation itself with some details about the resort. My dad and I stayed at a different hotel this year than our first trip to the DR in 2014, so I thought it would be fun to share some pictures from this new hotel and to talk a little bit about vacationing at all-inclusives in the Caribbean!

     Hope that y'all will have a wonderful weekend! Sadly mine doesn't include any big plans. I have two terms papers to begin, as well as lots of other homework. But I am feeling very relieved as I paid the local Charlotte Mazda dealer and service center a visit this week, and found out that my car actually doesn't need a very expensive maintenance job that I thought it needed! So that is always good news- think positively! :-)

      xoxo Miss ALK

March 18, 2015

Floral: A Family Affair.

Dress: {My mom's!! Her dress that she wore at a party right after her and my dad's wedding... almost 22 years ago! :-) Similar dress here} || Shoes: {Macy's Style & Co. brand, purchased at a Maine discount retailer. Similar shoes here} || Earrings: Target || Bracelets: Charming Charlie, {Local Boutique}, || Lips: Nyx Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Daquiri || Nails: Essie in Boxer Shorts

      Today's post is a very special one! I have shared outfit posts before that feature fashion pieces from my mom's closet. My mom and I are of similar clothing sizes, and she often gives me lots of cute things from her wardrobe that she doesn't wear as often anymore! She did just that with this dress. But this dress has quite the story behind it. See the picture below for further reference. :-)

      Yes, that is little baby Annaliese, playing dress up in the same exact dress!! I guess I was born to be a fashion blogger. ;-) This picture has hung on the fridge in my home in Maine for too many years to count (probably since the year the picture was taken!).

     For styling this dress for my vacation to the Dominican Republic, I chose to go a slightly different route then I did when I was a toddler (although I kept the flower in my hair- haha!). I love these strappy floral heels from the Style & Co brand from Macy's. They are gorgeous shoes, but have very specific colors in them, so there isn't a ton that I have that matches them in my wardrobe. Luckily though I was able to wear them a few times on my vacation since I packed lots of bright and tropical colored outfits (so stay tuned for them again in Friday's post!).

     I also finished off the outfit with some blue, green and gold jewelry. I chose not to wear a necklace and to try and let the silhouette and ruffles of the dress speak for themselves- sometimes it's best not to over-do it!

     Since this dress is over 20 years old, I cannot sadly link up the exact version for y'all. But below through ShopStyle I have found some similar and still gorgeous floral dresses that would be perfect for Springtime or a tropical vacation!

     xoxo Miss ALK

March 16, 2015

Beach Beautiful with Aerie Swim.

      I'm back from my Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic! This was my second year traveling there for Spring Break, and this year's trip seemed to go by even faster than the first year. My dad and I stayed at a different hotel then last year, and I will be sure do a full recap post of the trip later in this week or next, and share some more pictures of our beautiful resort! 

      The best part about visiting the Dominican Republic is getting to spend time near such beautiful beaches. I was blessed to grow up in a part of Maine that is on the coast and near beaches as well, but Maine's beaches are very different from the tropical waters of the Caribbean! To me, there are few things more beautitful then that turquoise water. It looks very light in these photos (since it was a little cloudy out on this day), but other days it was so rich in color! Absolutely stunning.

     Of course for a trip with such beautiful beaches, a girl has to pull out her best swimwear! That's why I was so excited to have been chosen to partner with Aerie to show off a bathing suit from their 2015 swimwear collection! I am a huge fan of Aerie and have been purchasing lingerie and loungewear from the brand for several years now. I love their affordable prices, awesome sales, gorgeous designs, and more recently I have loved their popular #AerieREAL campaign! Aerie has made a wonderful commitment to not photoshopping any of their lingerie or swimwear models, which is a huge thing for the modeling industry. I love supporting a brand that has made a commitment to do this! 

     Aerie chose to send me this beautiful white eyelet bikini. It fit me absolutely perfectly, and I would be lying if I said I didn't sort of pretend I was a swimwear model when walking around in the beautiful ocean water in it. ;-) This bathing suit also matched perfectly with my new favorite beach cover-up from Target! This season Target has so many adorable cover-ups- the one that I'm wearing was sold in at least four colors, so definitely stop by there if you're in need of some beach cover-ups!

     Can't wait to share even more from the trip soon! Wednesday's outfit post is a special one.... :-)

     xoxo Miss ALK
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