Southern Belle in Training

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

April 29, 2015

#LillyForTarget Link-Up!

     Today is the day! My blog bestie Michaela (from The Monogrammed Midwesterner) and I are hosting our link-up themed around the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection.

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer for Target {sold out} || Coat: H&M || Shoes: Marshall's || Earrings: Versona Accessories || Bracelet: Charming Charlie || Nails: {Gel acrylics done for Black Diamond Formal} || Lips: L'Oreal for Lilly Pulitzer for Target Lip Gloss in Rose Melody

    First off- sorry for not putting links in the above description for anything that I'm wearing! I'm writing this post very late the night before it goes live as today was a very busy day with school, and right now I'm just feeling a little lazy. ;-) Plus- everything that I'm wearing here is either sold out or super old- so I don't think y'all are missing that much! (At the end of the post I did link some new Lilly Pulitzer signature dresses that I'm loving though!)

     So my Lilly for Target shopping experience was one for the books. I decided to completely avoid even trying to buy anything online, as I had a feeling the website might crash (and it did!). Instead, I wanted the in-store experience. I got to my local Target about half and hour before it opened, at 6:30 (mine is a Target that opens at 7 a.m.). Already between 100-200 people were in line! By the time the doors opened, there were probably 300 people. I have done Black Friday shopping for eight consecutive years now, and I have never experienced anything like when the doors opened! They let everyone in at once, and everyone just RAN FOR THEIR LIVES. 

     I went to clothing first, and was somehow able to snag two dresses! I really wanted the set of Lilly printed mugs from home goods though, but by the time that I ran to that part of the store literally everything was gone! I think that everything was sold off our display shelves at my Target in under 10 mins- crazy! I also ended up with the pineapple sandals in my cart, but after trying them on I didn't find them to be very comfortable so I left them behind. I also was able to snag one of the L'Oreal for Lilly lip glosses though, (I'm wearing it in this post!) and I love it!! I wish I had bought more in other colors.

    Also- I have been wearing this coral H&M coat on repeat lately!! I got it last spring, and I forgot how much of a perfect coat that it is for this season. It coordinates well with so many of my favorite sundresses, and I just feel like it really pulls an outfit together for this time of year! Such a staple piece.

     If you have blogged about your Lilly for Target experience or have shared an outfit of you wearing one of your purchases from the collection, please join Michaela and I in linking up for the #LillyForTarget link-up! You can link-up below. We also ask that you follow both of us, and that you use the hashtag when sharing on social media! :-)

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 28, 2015

Black Diamond Formal 2015.

     This past Saturday night was Alpha Delta Pi's annual Spring Formal, Black Diamond! The weather was a bit chilly and rainy this year, and I knew that wouldn't be idea conditions for pictures. So I was able to get all dolled up the night before, and I headed into Uptown Charlotte with my formal date Max and my future suitemate Caroline and they graciously took a bunch of pictures of me in my dress for my blog! We got to shoot at a bunch of spots in Uptown that I've always wanted to do blog pictures in. Here are those pictures:


Caroline and I finally got a picture by Charlotte's famous Firebird statue in Uptown!

Dress: Marshall's {$29.99! Similar here} || Shoes: Nina || Coat: H&M || Sunglasses: Le Chateau {Canadian store} || Purse: New Look {UK store, Similar here} || Earrings: c/o Gabe's || Necklace: Nine West || Bracelet: Express || Ring: HJ Greek || Lips: MAC lipstick in Sushi Kiss

      And here are some pictures from the actual day of Black Diamond! My friends and I did some indoors in a classroom building that I have done blog pictures in before, and also a few outside when it stopped raining quite as much. My date this year was my friend Max, who I met through my internship with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation! Max and I are the same major and he is the president of our school radio club (which I am an executive officer in), so we see a lot of each other every week. :-) 


My sorority family!

My internship family!

     Lol at the fact that you can see my hair falling and growing frizzier with the progression of the pictures being taken- that's Southern rain and humidity for you!

      Overall, I think that I enjoyed last year's Black Diamond better than this year's. This year we had Formal at a sports bar (traditionally it is held at a country club or estate home), and honestly the latter is more my scene. But I do know that many of my sisters had a great time, and that our Social Chair put a ton of work into planning the event, so I am trying to stay positive about it! Plus Max was a wonderful date (I think he had more fun than I did), and I was able to catch up with some sisters who I haven't seen much during the past couple months because of my crazy schedule!

     To read my recap from last year's Black Diamond, click here!

     Also Lilly Pulitzer fans: remember that the #LillyForTarget link-up is tomorrow!

     Linked below are some similar dresses to mine:

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 27, 2015

Life Updates: Internship, Studying Abroad, and Class of 2016.

      There has been a lot going on in my life lately!! There are two really huge, exciting things (both of which I have announced on my Instagram, @miss_alk) that are coming up for me this summer, and something else which isn't as exciting but is still really huge for me. I almost always post a fashion related blog post on Mondays, but I thought that I would take the day off from that to update everyone about what's happening in my life! First up, summer plans:

The internship:

      I am very honored to announce that in just a few weeks (from May 13-15), I will be traveling to Kentucky for the very first time to intern for the Fraternity Communications Association's annual conference. This conference brings together the employees from all Greek organizations who work in marketing and communications. (Three sisters/employees of Alpha Delta Pi's Executive Office will be there and I can't wait to meet them!). This internship was extremely competitive for me to receive, as this is not just a conference for my sorority, but all of Greek life! This year there were four intern spots open to all collegiate Greek college students, and I am the only Alpha Delta Pi intern. I am so honored to be representing my college, my sorority, and I also cannot wait for all the experiences that I will have at this internship! Hopefully I will also get to meet up with my Kentucky based blogging friend Bailey from Becoming Bailey on my last day there as well.

The study abroad experience:

      I am also excited to announce that for four weeks between mid-June through mid-July of this summer I will be studying abroad in Tours, France! My college has an excellent study abroad program, and last year I applied for a summer language immersion program since one of my minors is French. I was also very blessed to receive a scholarship towards my travels that helped to fund some of the costs (and recently I got to meet the donor behind the scholarship which was wonderful!). I will be living with a host family, and attending classes at a French language school five days a week. I am hoping on one weekend to be able to fly to Rome to visit one of my best friends from school and her boyfriend who will be there at the same time that I'm in France!

     I feel so blessed to have both of these travel experiences to look forward to this summer! I feel that traveling to Kentucky will prepare me for France. For the past few years now I have been flying several times a year on my own because I go to school out of state, but those flights are always from home to Charlotte. Both of these trips will be my first time ever flying somewhere that isn't home or college by myself, and both of these places are also both areas that I have never been before! It's very exciting, and makes me truly feel like an adult. :-)

The graduation plans:

     One of my favorite topics to blog about that's not fashion-related is how I transferred colleges after freshman year (and what that process was like). Well, something from that which recently came back to bite me in the butt is that I found out that I will be graduating a semester late. I was supposed to graduate in May 2016, and instead I will finish college in December 2016. I was lucky in that all of my credits from my former college (and the dual enrollment that I did at community college in high school) transferred to my current school, but there are still reasons for my delayed graduation. They include: 1. The fact that my former college had more gen-ed requirements then my new school, so even though the credit hours for my freshman classes transferred, they didn't count towards my major or minors so many were just extra elective hours, 2. I had terrible advising my first semester at my current semester before getting my correct advisor within my department, and 3. For my senior year, my school is switching from a 3 credit system to a 4 credit system. All of these things worked against me, and I won't be able to finish in time. So here is the plan:

     This year (2015-2016 school year), will be my "senior year." It will be my final year in my sorority, and also being involved in the clubs and honor societies that I'm in on campus. And it's my last year living on campus! In Fall 2016, I will finally be living off-campus, and I will be a part-time student with 8 credit hours. This will finally give me time to get a real part time job/paid internship that will be more consuming then just my once weekly babysitting job! I'm currently trying to figure out if I can still walk with my graduating class at Commencement or not, as my college doesn't do a ceremony for December graduates.

      So that is the plan for now. I am trying to stay positive, and I am thankful for the fact that most of my best friends at school are in the year behind me so they will all still be here when I am a super senior! Yes, it means extra loans and extra time in school, but it also means extra time with sweet friends and extra time to search for my first Big Girl Job.

     If you made it to the end of this post, congrats!! Leave me a comment telling me what's happening in your life or what your summer plans are. I love y'all, thanks for always being so supportive!

      Stay tuned tomorrow for pictures from my sorority formal!

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 26, 2015

Home Decor with Minted.

     This post is sponsored by Minted.   

     As my junior year of college comes to a close, I am already planning out my senior year dorm room. Weirdly, I was able to get a single room as a freshman at my former college. But here at my current school I have lived in traditional dorm rooms with various roommates for the past two years. Living with a roommate is an essential part of the college experience that teaches you a lot about yourself- but I am so ready to have my own space again! And especially to have a whole room to decorate! (See my previous dorm room tour blog posts here: Sophomore year and Junior year)

     I have had the same bedding (which is actually one of my childhood bedding sets!) and many of the same decor items throughout college. Decorating a dorm room can get very expensive, and I don't want to drop a lot of money on a room that I'll only be in for nine months! But for my senior year single room, I do want some more things to add to my walls. This year I attempted a gallery wall in part of my room, and I want to expand that next year!

     This is where Minted comes in. Minted is an online store that was previously known for their gorgeous invitations and stationary collections (which they still sell!). But now Minted has released a large art collection that is simply perfect for anyone who is looking to add a little something new to their home or dorm. This collection features art prints and photographs from artists all over the country, and you can order them framed and un-framed! There are hundreds of pieces, and literally something for everyone's tastes. The prices are very affordable as well when being compared to other home goods or art retailers!

     Here are some of my favorite picks from the Minted art collection:

          I am absolutely in love with this last print! It comes in three colors. I might order all three in the smallest size (5x7) framed for next year's dorm room. Wouldn't that be a cheery decoration to hang by my little entryway?

      Be sure to check out Minted for more great art prints (and stationary!).

     Stay tuned for some really exciting life updates on the blog tomorrow, pictures from my sorority formal on Tuesday, and the #LillyForTarget link-up on Wednesday! Eeeek!

      xoxo Miss ALK

April 24, 2015

Finals Week Jams.

      Finals is officially upon me! Although I guess technically it has been upon me for over a week now. I have the strangest schedule this semester. Finals Week at my college doesn't start until this coming Tuesday, but after Tuesday I only have one exam (the following Monday). All of my exams, final papers, and projects were due last week and this week this year. It's nice because next week will be an easier week for me. I can instead give my focus to packing my room and doing important last minute things like mailing back my textbooks and getting my car serviced (and doing some last-minute shopping in Charlotte!). But it meant that this week was terrible for me. #TeamNoSleep haha!

      Since I didn't have time to prepare an outfit post for today, I thought that instead I would share some of the songs that have been at the top of my Spotify playlists lately. With all of the work that I've had to do, I've definitely been listening to more music than usual! If you've seen any of my past music review posts before, then you know that I have interesting music tastes. 90s/early 2000s pop music is my favorite, but I listen to everything from Top 40, Christian pop, Bollywood, Country, 80s music, Dance, Rap... etc. Look below to see what I've been jamming to lately!

Tove Lo - Talking Body (radio edit)

Zedd ft. Selena Gomez - I Want You To Know

Duran Duran - Come Undone

Shaggy ft. Mohombi - I Need Your Love

Londonbeat - I've Been Thinking About You

Dave Matthews Band - Crush (I could only find the accoustic live version on Youtube but I like the original!)

Lady Antebellum - Bartender

Hilary Duff - Sparks Fly (LOVE this song! Queen Hilary is BACK y'all!)

      What songs are y'all loving right now??

      Do y'all have any fun weekend plans? I'm excited because my sorority's annual formal, Black Diamond, is tomorrow night! It's no secret that I love any excuse to dress up. ;-) So this is always a fun event! 

      Also- I am participating in another loop giveaway on Instagram!! It's tonight- at 7 p.m. EST. Be sure you're following me @miss_alk!

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 22, 2015

Finals Week Study Essentials with Ankit.

T-shirt: {Old sorority t-shirt :-)} || Yoga Pants: Victoria's Secret Pink || Jean Jacket: Forever 21 || Necklace: c/o Cardinal Monogram || Ring: HJ Greek ||  Lips: EOS Lip Balm || Headphones: c/o Ankit || Planner: Lilly Pulitzer || iPhone case: J. Crew Factory 

     Technically final exams week is actually next week at my college, but my schedule is unique this semester and four out of my five classes wrapped up this week instead! So this has been the crazy week for me. 

     Normally I actually study the best when I am dressed up. Something about being put together and putting effort into being prepared for the day helps me to focus on work. Yet with the amount of work that I've had to do in the past few days (and even early in the mornings before classes- no rest for the weary!), there have been a few days when getting dressed up to my normal standards just has not happened. So I thought I would do an outfit post to show y'all what I look like when I'm not all made up and dolled up for blog photos!! This is me wearing only mascara for make-up as well as some yoga pants that I've had since 10th grade. Au natural, y'all. ;-) 

     Since studying and writing papers is never any fun, I like to keep my school accessories as cute as possible to try and make my study place (which in the case of the day that these were taken was a spot in the basement of our school library) as cheerful as it can be! I'm a huge fan of Lilly agendas to use as my yearly planner. I have a Vera Bradley laptop sticker sleeve on my Macbook that I've had on for a couple years now- it's so cute, lasts well, and helps protect the computer from scratches! And of course I want to talk about my adorable headphones from Ankit!

     I was so excited with Ankit sent me these adorable ice cream cone ear-buds to review. I've never been big before into fancy headphones, and have always just used the ones that have come with my iPod or iPhone. Well- apparently I have been missing out! First of all- how freaking cute are these?! They ear-bud parts are little ice cream cones! Be still my heart. And they are also super comfortable in your ears! I like the way that they feel much better than my generic Apple headphones. Ankit products are sold at lots of retailers nationwide, including PacSun, Francesca's, Anthropologie, Forever 21, and many more! Their products can also be purchased on their website. In addition to headphones, Ankit sells a variety of phone cases and home goods! 

     On a different note- in these pictures you will see my current "natural" hair (since my perm two and a half years ago!). The night before these pictures were taken, I put a bunch of curl enhancing gel into my hair, but did not heat treat it or do anything else to it. So this is how much curl and wave is still naturally hiding somewhere in all of my hair! I'm thinking about doing a blog post soon to talk about the evolution of my hair since high school (when it was naturally pin straight), to when I got it permed freshman year of college, then cut it short at the end of freshman year, to now. Would any of y'all be interested in that? I'm also planning to do a couple of hair tutorial posts sometime this summer when I have more time to blog! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 20, 2015

Spring Business Casual.

Dress: Old {Marshall's maybe? It used to be my mom's! Similar here} || Blazer (in picture below): Forever 21 || Shoes: Rack Room Shoes || Sunglasses: LOFT || Purse: Michael Kors || Necklace: Charlotte Russe || Bracelet: {Local boutique} || Lips: Chanel Rouge Allure Lip Gloss in Sensuel

     Can I start by saying that on the day that these pictures were taken, I think that I was having an exceptionally good hair day?! Goodness I love those days. :-) I am so happy that my hair is finally getting long again, it's so much fun to curl and style now!

     This dress is one of my all-time favorites for any type of situation that I have to wear business casual attire for. I've had it for a couple years now- it used to be my mom's actually! If you've been reading my blog for awhile then you know that quite often I wear things that were formally my mom's. She has great taste in dressier clothing but she herself doesn't dress up that often, so gives me a lot of the dressy pieces that she has. This is probably one of my favorite things ever that she's passed on to me! I think that it was from Marshall's, but it is a few years old so I'm not entirely sure. The cut of this dress is just so flattering though... I wish that I knew for sure where it was from so that I could buy another in different pattern!

     A funny outtake from this little photoshoot:

     "Good friends take your blog posts, best friends photobomb them!"

     Hahaha. That hottie in pajamas in the background is my sweet friend Soo Jin, who has quickly become one of my besties at school this year!! We have the funniest friendship story- we met during spring semester last year (2014), and had a class together (we're both Comm majors and in the same track!). We sat next to each other in class and would say hi to each other every day, but literally never spoke beyond that. And then this past fall we had a class together again, and sat next to each other again... but suddenly started talking! And became besties. :-) I'm actually currently writing this blog post from her apartment!

     Anyways, the reason that I was dressed up so much in the first place on this afternoon was because my internship took the day off from our normal interning duties that day, and instead all of the Ryan Seacrest Studios interns for this semester and our boss went on a tour of some of Charlotte's top radio stations! We got to meet a lot of the DJs and station executives. It was a lot of fun and also a great networking opportunity!

     I am so grateful to have an internship that allows me the opportunities to meet experienced professionals in my field while I am still in college. One of the main keys to getting a job after school is networking, so I love being able to get a head start on that now!

      How was everyone's weekend? Did those of you who were shopping Lilly for Target do well? I'll be sharing more about my experience with that during the #LillyforTargetLinkUp that my friend Michaela and I are hosting next week, but in the meantime you can see a preview of the dresses that I got on my Instagram (@miss_alk)!

     I also know that I told y'all a little bit about my college's Student Life Awards in my post on Friday (the awards show was last night!), and how I got to help host the Pre-Show this year. It was so much fun, and I'm happy to announce that my sorority won Campus Greek Chapter of the Year, and the student radio club that I have an executive position in won three awards! Such a great night. And I got to wear one of my new Lilly for Target dresses for my emcee duties!

P.S. Since my dress from today's post is older, I have linked some similar ones below!

     xoxo Miss ALK

April 17, 2015

Of blog besties, Lilly P., and a link-up.

     This post has four main categories to it: talking about blogging friendships, a certain Lilly Pulitzer dress, the fact that the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection launches this Sunday (April 19th!) on and at stores nationwide, AND the fact that I'm co-hosting a link-up to celebrate this exciting launch! Let's start this post off with the Lilly P. at Target and the link-up information:

     In honor of the fact that an exclusive Lilly Pulitzer collection is coming to Target, my blogging bestie Michaela (from the Monogrammed Midwesterner) and I have decided to host a link-up in honor of this! The "Lilly for Target" link-up for fellow pink and green lovin' fashionistas will be held on Wednesday, April 29th, which is 10 days after the items launch. This will give everyone enough time to shop at their local Targets (or to order online!), and have time to style their items. The only rule for entering this link-up is that you must be wearing something from the Lilly for Target collection! Michaela and I hope that you will join us! We ask that if you do participate that you will use the hashtag #LillyForTargetLinkUp in your social media posts, and that you will include a link to both my blog and Michaela's blogs in your post (and follow both of our blogs as well!).

    Now, for the story portion of this blog post. On September 6th, 2014, I turned 20 years old! I wore this beautiful Lilly dress, which I had been saving to be my birthday dress. (There is actually a really awesome story as to the amazing bargain that I got on this dress and how I found it- but you have to read my original birthday blog post for that story!)

      Many months passed from my birthday. (And in that time a lot of blogging was done- including the re-branding of my blog!) In that time, Michaela and I started to become blog friends. We had been reading each other's blogs since she started blogging last summer, but didn't really talk a lot until this winter. She did however leave a very sweet comment on the blog post about my birthday/birthday dress. ;-)

     Fast forward to early April 2015. Michaela has now officially hit "blog bestie" status in my life. Seriously- I love this girl!! I am just so sad that she is a "Monogrammed Midwesterner" and I am a "Southern Belle in Training" (and also a New Englander in the summers still).... clearly geography isn't our friend as we haven't not been able to meet in person! But we are Facebook friends and a stream of late-night Facebook messages turned into texting each other almost daily, about both blogging and non-blogging related things!

      Michaela's 20th birthday was just a couple weeks ago, in early April. I was really excited to see what her birthday dress would look like! Especially when she told me that it would be Lilly. So imagine my delight and surprise when I logged on to Instagram on the day of her birthday and saw this dress:

      I still can't believe it- seven months apart, we both wore the same Lilly dress for our 20th birthdays! And this is after we had already been talking about hosting the Lilly for Target link-up. :-) I think Michaela styled the dress absolutely beautifully, and I can't think of anyone else that I would have rather seen in this gorgeous dress for their 20th birthday!

     I am so thankful for my friendship with sweet Michaela, and also for my friendship with everyone that I have met in the blogging community! Lately y'all have been leaving me the absolute sweetest blog post comments, and that has encouraged me so much during these rough last few weeks of the semester! I wish that I could meet every blogger that I follow in person, and I have been lucky enough to meet some of you! But until then, thank-you all for making the blogging community such a delightful and happy place. :-) 

      On that note- happy weekend friends! I have a very busy one ahead: mine is going to be filled with homework, sorority recruitment practice (to get ready for Fall recruitment my chapter starts practices in April!), shopping the Lilly P. collection launch at Target, and a really fun event at my college. My college holds an annual Student Life Awards banquet at the end of every semester which is a very fun event. Students and organizations get nominated for awards. Many of my good friends are nominated, as is my sorority for a few awards, and also the student radio club that I'm in! More exciting is that my friend Max and I were asked to host the pre-show for the Student Life Awards, which happens during the dinner before the awards presentation begins. (Graduating seniors are always the official hosts of the actual show). Still- this is a big honor for both of us, and I'm even more excited to get to host the pre-show with one of my best friends at school!! I am crossing my fingers that our school might ask Max and I to host the actual show next year. ;-)

     What are you all up to this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

     xoxo Miss ALK


April 15, 2015

Best in Blog Photo Bloopers: Spring 2015.

      I'm sure I've said this before, but this seriously feels like the most stressful week of school that I have ever had! I am just drowning in end-of-semester homework, projects and papers. (Forget even thinking about final exams prep!) And to make matters worse, it's Greek Week for the Panehellenic community at my college this week, so I have a bunch of mandatory events to go to for my sorority this week on top of all of my work.

      That means that for my mid-week blog post, I needed something quick and easy to share! So what better time then to bring y'all my spring edition of fashion blogger bloopers? Here are the worst and most awkward outtake pictures from my blog photoshoots! (You can see the winter 2015 edition here).

     Apparently my Panhellenic International Badge Day post was a real struggle...

      When it doubt, play with hair?! Lol!

      Next are some bloopers from my Spring Break in the Dominican Republic.

     And lastly, a couple recent posts:

     And possibly what is the strangest outtake of all (I still don't even know how this happened- considering I never fell down?)

    I laugh out loud just looking at this!! Jess, my Big, took the pictures for that post.

    Hope that you enjoyed! Please send prayers/well wishes my way as tomorrow I have a final presentation in what has been not only my most difficult major class, but also the hardest class that I've taken in all of college so far! Usually presentations don't scare me that much, but a lot of the percentage of my grade is resting on this (as well as the final paper which is due next week), so I am nervous.

     xoxo Miss ALK
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