Southern Belle in Training

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

June 29, 2015

Green Sundress + My New Favorite Jewels...

Dress: c/o Francesca's || Sandals: Rack Room Shoes || Scarf: Lands' End {ON SALE!!} || Sunglasses: LOFT || Purse: Forever 21 || Necklace: c/o Taudrey || Bracelets: c/o Taudrey || Ring: {Local boutique} || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure

    When packing for any sort of trip abroad, you sadly have a weight limit within both carry-on and checked luggage. I'm one of those types of packers who always thinks that I'll be way below the airlines baggage weight limit, and then I always come so close to going over it! One thing that I always have to cut back on packing a lot of for vacations or other types of travel is jewelry, since it is so heavy (and I never want to risk losing any of my nicer pieces when I'm away!). So the jewelry that I do pack when I travel has to be items that will match most of the outfits that I have packed, and are simple yet bold pieces.

     I'm so happy to say that I have found an excellent solution to my jewelry packing woes! Taudrey Jewelry is the one-stop shop for the most dainty, delicate, and one-of-a-kind jewelry that is high-quality, lightweight, and doesn't break the bank! My blogging friend Lauren from The Fashionista's Diary works for Taudrey, and was excited to coordinate this product review for me. I was sent two items to style, and I honestly don't know which I was more excited about!

     I have been wanting a social media nameplate necklace for quite some time now, after seeing several bloggers having them! This necklace is completely customizable, and although I chose for mine to have my Instagram username on it (perfect for any blogger or social media fanatic!), Taudrey also makes similar styles for names, dates, initials and more!

     The bracelet set that I chose is even more special, because Lauren helped to design it herself! One of the reasons that I love Taudrey is because they love to support bloggers, and recently launched their first-ever blogger jewelry collection! Many favorite fashion bloggers got to help create pieces for the collection. This bracelet set is called "The Fashionista's Diary" after Lauren's blog! Each bracelet comes customized: one has your astrological sign, one has an important date in Roman Numerals (I picked the date that I moved to NC for college - 8/17/2012), and the last can say anything up to a certain number of characters, so I just picked my name with a heart. :-)

     My jewelry arrived right before I left for France, but just wearing here abroad I have received so many compliments on my pieces already! I know that I will be living in both pieces when I get back to school later this year. Be sure to check out Taudrey for all of your dainty and personalized jewelry needs (and to support the blogger collection!).

     I am also loving this green sundress from Francesca's! Francesca's is such a fun place to find summer dresses at. I thought that bold blue would be a nice accent color for it, so my favorite new bag and this coloful scarf helped to bring the whole look to life!

     For a France update, today is my first day of school here in Nice- my second destination here in France. If you aren't quite sure what I'm talking about- check out THIS post from last Thursday. :-) And did you see my post all about summer fashion with online retailer eShakti from this weekend? They're offering all SBIT readers a coupon code for $35 off any purchase through July 10th- the code is SOUTHBELL35!

     xoxo Miss ALK

June 27, 2015

eShakti Summer Style Favs + DISCOUNT CODE!!

     Some of you might remember that last summer I did a product review with a fun online dress retailer called eShakti. What sets eShakti apart from so many other clothing retailers is that all of their dresses can be personalized exactly for you! When you order an eShakti dress, you fill out a special order form giving them all of your own unique measurments. So instead of taking a gamble that the dress that you purchased online may or may not look good, you're guarenteed to have a perfectly fitting dress! And I don't even think that I mentioned how fun, classic, and even whimsical all of eShakti's dresses are!! Take a look at the dress that I got to review and style last year- it's still one of my favorite sundresses:

     eShakti recently reached out to me (and some awesome other bloggers!) to talk about their new collection for Summer 2015. In addition to their signature line of customizable dresses, they have added so many fun new clothing items to their website, including skirts, tops, shorts, and all sorts of fun things! Take a look at some of my favorite picks that are currently on the site below: 

    And the best news for all of you is that eShakti is offering all Southern Belle in Training readers an exclusive discount code through July 10th for $35 off your purchase! Yes- $35!! Just use code SOUTHBELL35 on any of these cute items, or on anything that your little heart desires from eShakti! All of their clothing is so fun and unique, and you know that you won't be seeing everyone that you know wearing the same thing!!

     In totally unrelated news, as I mentioned in yesterday's blog post (which you should definitely check out if you haven't- it's an update on my study abroad trip!) that I finished Gossip Girl last week! I definitely got emotionally invested in the show by the end, and I need to start something new on Netflix ASAP! While being here in France I really enjoy watching a couple episodes of American TV shows after coming from home long days at language immersion school.

      Anyways- do y'all have any Netflix suggestions for me? I also tweeted last night asking for suggestions... a few that were suggested to me there include One Tree Hill, Reign and Grey's Anatomy! Just being honest but I don't plan to watch Grey's anytime soon though... I have never met a group of TV fans that are more obsessed with a show then those who love Grey's and I'm sure that it's good but honestly the extreme level of the fandom scares me away! Haha. (Granted Gossip Girl has crazy fans too but in a different way.) Anyways- please suggest away!

     xoxo Miss ALK

    The product reviewed was gifted to me for review purposes on my blog by eShakti. All opinions are honest and my own.

June 26, 2015

Study Abroad... Part 2?

     Quite honestly I don't even know how to begin this post! I guess I will start by saying that if there is anything that I am certain of at my almost 21 years of life, it's to trust your gut. That might sound cliche, but I know that it's certainly not a cliche within my own life!! I believe that one of the ways that God speaks to me is through the strong "gut feelings" that I get in certain situations, either telling me something is very good or very bad. I'm sure that He does the same thing for many other people as well- I believe 100% that human instinct is something that's God given.

     Now y'all are probably REALLY wondering where I am going with this blog post! Many of you know that I have been studying abroad in Tours, France, since June 13th. (It is a month-long summer program for the French language.) In short, my experience so far has overall not been a positive one, and instead has been quite the opposite.

     When I first arrived and some things didn't seem right, I didn't want to rush to judgement. I blamed it on a lot of things: jet lag (Which actually I later realized wasn't the case! I managed to avoid that on this trip- I might write a blog post on that! Anyways), culture shock, impatience... etc. But as the first couple days turned into my first week and then into two weeks, the issues that were there only seemed to get worse.

    I kept telling myself again and again that I'm the girl who LOVES going to college in North Carolina, literally 1000 miles from home. How can I be experiencing so much discomfort if I don't normally experience homesickness at school? And then it hit me... I wasn't homesick. What was going on is that I was caught in a bad study abroad situation. That's when the whole gut feeling thing really kicked in! (As well as many phone calls to my parents...)

     Originally in this post I was going go into detail about what exactly it was that was so wrong here in Tours. But I realized now that I don't think it's necessary. To be brief, the language school that I was placed it was a terrible fit for me (not academically, due to the climate of the school), and probably not a place that I ever should have been placed in. There were also some severe things with my host family- my host parents were both kind, but unfortunately they weren't the only people in the family. And not everyone in the house treated me with kindness and respect.

     Again, I could go into so much more detail, but at this point, I don't need to. What matters is that I listened to my gut. I reached out to my parents, and then to my university back home. That's when I got the confirmation that what was happening to me here wasn't normal, and that this wasn't the type of study abroad experience that I (or anyone!) should be having.

     But I am so pleased and grateful to share that my study abroad experience will be getting a second chance come this Sunday. The study abroad department at my university was so considerate and caring as to listen to what was happening with me here, and arranged for me to switch to a different language school in the South of France. I leave on Sunday afternoon by train! It is absolutely TERRIFYING to be traveling completely alone across a foreign country, especially when my first experience in said country hasn't been very positive. But I am feeling so blessed to have this opportunity, and I truly pray that it will be better! I know that at the very least I am looking forward to seeing the Mediterranean Sea!

     I do want to say lastly too, that not everything about Tours has been awful. I have had a lot of fun checking out Rue Nationale, Tours' premiere street for shopping, several afternoons after school, eating delicious French pastries, and enjoying the architecture of the city. I have tried to share some of the positive moments so far (and some of my outfits that I've been wearing!) on my Instagram, @miss_alk, so be sure to follow me if you aren't! My Snapchat username is also @miss_alk.

     I would appreciate if y'all could pray for me on Sunday as I travel across France! Thank-you all so much for your support during my time abroad!!

     There will be a blog post tomorrow, and one on Monday as well!!

     xoxo Miss ALK

     P.S. I finally finished watching Gossip Girl during my first couple weeks here! A bit late to the party, I know... but better late than never, right? I LOVED seasons 4+5... was iffy about season 6, but  LOVED the finale. Were you guys fans of the finale?

June 25, 2015

Rompin' Through France.

Romper: Body Central {Old - many similar linked below!!} Shoes: L.L. Bean || Purse: Forever 21 {SUCH a steal! Get it before it's gone!} || Sunglasses: LOFT || Earrings: {Gift} || Lips: EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint

     Sharing my first outfit from here studying abroad in France today! It's a bit of a casual one, but there's actually a story to why I wore this outfit on this day. The city that I'm currently in is located on the banks of the beautiful and peaceful Loire River, one of the major rivers here in France. This was a warmer day during the first week, and I had originally planned to go down the the river after school and to try and find a spot to lay out and catch some rays, and maybe even stick my feet in the water! But instead after school, I ended up touring the home of famous French poet Pierre de Ronsard! Sometimes a spontaneous change in plans can be fun.

     Anyways, wearing this outfit for the historical excursion reminded me that rompers are perfect to wear for so much more than just water/beach related activities! At school, I usually only wear my rompers when I go out on the town occasionally with my friends, as they can add a touch of sexiness to an outfit when paired with some heels and extra make-up. And of course they make great beach cover-ups as well! But I had completely forgotten how much I love to wear rompers in casual settings. They are super comfortable, and since your whole outfit is right there, they require minimal accessorizing, which is perfect for travel (when you don't have all of your favorite jewelry, purses or hair accessories at your disposal!). 

      My new favorite blue purse (which got its own whole blog post HERE) and a ballerina bun added the perfect pops to finish out my simple outfit! Perfect for a day of exploring the city and delving into some history.

     But something that is not historical is that rompers are still very much in for summer! Below I have linked my other favorite floral picks. They're all so cute!

     Also- I have been only posting on Mondays and Thursdays while in France, but tomorrow I have an important "life update" type blog post going up- if you've been following my study abroad journey in France at all then you won't want to miss this post!

xoxo Miss ALK


June 22, 2015

National Wear Your Lilly Day 2015.

Top: Old {Similar here} || Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer || Shoes: Jack Rogers || Belt: Petal {Charlotte boutique, Similar here} || Sunglasses: Charming Charlie || Sunglasses Straps: c/o Gobi Straps || Purse: H&M || Earrings: Kendra Scott {Designed by me in their Color Bar!} || Bracelets: c/o Jet Chic Arm Candy || Nails: {Gel polish from salon} Lips: Mally Lipstick in BFF Pink

     Yesterday was one of my favorite "holidays" of the year! Not only was it the summer solstice and longest day of the year, but it was also National Wear Your Lilly Day- the most pink and green day out of the whole year! This is the day each year when all Lilly Pulitzer lovers pull out their favorite Lilly pieces and wear them proudly! It was an extra special National Wear Your Lilly Day this year since the Lilly For Target collection launched this past April!

     These pictures were actually taken during my trip to the Cape Ann region of Massachusetts a few weeks ago (photo credit to my mom)! I have been saving them to post until now. I bought these shorts a few months ago but had yet to wear them until recently!! They are even more gorgeous in person though- I really don't think the photos do them justice. The colors in this pattern are so vivid and such a fun twist on classic Lilly! 

     Since I'm wearing something so bold for bottoms, I decided to wear a very simple top, sans a necklace. I kept my accessories instead to my Kendra Scott earrings (which I designed in the Charlotte store's Color Bar!), and my favorite bangles from Jet Chic Arm Candy

     I didn't bring any of my Lilly dresses (or the shorts that I'm wearing in these pictures) to France, as I tried to avoid packing anything that would advertise too much that I was an American tourist when I am out in public. Theft and other crime against tourists, especially Americans, can be a real problem here. I am lucky that Tours, the city that I'm studying in, is known to be fairly safe, but one can never be too careful. I did however pack with me my beloved Murfee scarf (which has a whole blog post dedicated to it!), and my favorite Lilly bracelet as well. I wore my Murfee to school last week, and my host mom loved it! After dinner, I showed her some pictures on Facebook of some of my Lilly dresses- so fun to get to introduce someone to a brand that I love so much. :-)

     And to conclude this post- sometime in the next few years on my Lilly bucket list is shopping the Lilly annual warehouse sale in Pennsylvania! I know that it would be just amazing! 

     Did you celebrate National Wear Your Lilly Day this year?

     xoxo Miss ALK

June 18, 2015

First 48 hours in France: Thoughts, Feelings and Lessons Learned.

     (Due to my limited access to internet here this is a pre-scheduled post that I wrote on Monday evening, hence the title "First 48 Hours...". :-) )

     After being in France for just a couple of days, so many thoughts and feelings are already running through my head! I originally had a different blog post scheduled for today, but I felt the need to write a few immediate thoughts about being abroad. That's the beauty of blogging, I can bump posts around as I wish- hehe!

My first French crepe! (With coconut, coconut ice cream and chocolate)

     In no particular order, I thought that I would share some thoughts and observations from my first few days of living abroad! This might help you all to get a glimpse into my head, heart (and anxiety state) from when I first arrived, and other followers who have studied abroad or traveled a lot internationally before might be able to relate!

  • Something will always go wrong in your travel plans, but it doesn't mean this is the end of the world. My mom told me this before I left. I was lucky in that everything went very smoothly with my flight (minus the fact that I could not fall asleep, but that wasn't the fault of the airline). My travel agenda problems arose in the second leg of my journey: which was the part in which I had to change trains at a smaller train station in a suburb outside of my final destination. My first train ran very late, and I missed my second train. Even though I was jet-lagged and running on no sleep, I somehow communicated with the ticket associate at the station (mind you I am not fluent in French yet- more on that to come) and she kindly didn't charge me to switch my train ticket to a later train! It was a little bit scary having to spend more time than expected in the smaller train station with all of my luggage, not knowing a soul, but I prayed my way through the experience to calm down, and everything turned out fine.
  • Some foreign stereotypes are true. On my way to my first day of school, I saw a man leaving a "boulangerie" (bakery) carrying a fresh baguette wrapped in paper, just like I had seen portrayed in my French textbooks or various movies and such. So much cooler than just buying a (American-made) baguette at a grocery store! 

  •  It's okay to indulge small comforts from home. I felt coming into this experience as though there was a lot of pressure on me to immediately start getting out there, soaking up the culture, and doing all things French as soon as I got here. What I actually realized is even though I got lucky without having to deal with a lot of jet lag, homesickness (for Charlotte) was real. I didn't want to let that get me down, so I made sure to make time both on the evening of my arrival and on my first afternoon after school to work on my blog a little bit, and to watch a little bit of Netflix. Both of these things are stress relievers/comforts for me when I'm at school/home, and sure enough, it worked! Will I be spending all of my free time in France huddled in bed binge watching Gossip Girl? Absolutely not! But is it okay for me to take some chill time to enjoy some online comforts from America when I know that this experience is overwhelming me? Absolutely

  • Download an app on your phone that's an offline dictionary in the native language of the country that you're in. So handy for those quick words that you forget! And make sure it's an offline app if you don't have an international cellular data plan!

  •  There is nothing more humbling than living in a place where people do not speak your language. Words are a big part of my life. I use written words almost everyday when working on this blog, and I value the spoken word as well, as I am a communications major in school and I hope to someday soon pursue my dream of working in radio broadcasting. Yet I never quite realized the value of speech and my words until I found myself residing in a country where my new family does not speak my native tongue. Instead, I have to carefully think before I speak, so that I can form sentences and phrases that make sense. Thinking before I speak is a great lesson for me- it is frustrating yet humbling. Being a student at a French language immersion school 5x a week is also a humbling (yet exciting) process.

  • It's really fun to travel to Europe three months before your 21st birthday. #WineAtEveryDinner But really though.... Also I'm going to my first-ever wine tasting tonight which is organized by my school! Adult status!!

      Overall, I think that I will really enjoy it here! If I had to use one word to describe my study abroad process so far, it would be "overwhelming." Not only did I travel to the other side of the world, but I have to speak a second language which isn't even technically my second language yet! But it will all be okay. There have been many wonderful moments already, like enjoying my first ever French crepe (pictured above), my first trip to a French grocery store, and my first time seeing the adorable bedroom at my host family's house that I get to call mine for the next few weeks (see it on my Instagram! @miss_alk).

     Stay tuned for Monday's post! This Sunday is one of my favorite holidays, National Wear Your Lilly Day! I didn't bring any of my Lilly or Lilly for Target dresses with me to France as I didn't want to bring any clothes that would make me stick out too much as an American tourist (for fear of theft or other crime), but I did bring a few Lilly accessories which I will be sporting on Sunday. And Monday's post is my tribute to National Wear Your Lilly Day- you won't want to miss it!

     xoxo Miss ALK


June 15, 2015

The Ultimate Blogger Gift Guide.


     Something I learned last week: Etsy + Blogger goodies = DANGEROUS FOR THE WALLET!

     Recently while browsing various bloggers' Instagrams I have seen the above Blog Planner notepad being featured, and while I had some time to kill while waiting for my car to be serviced last week I decided to try and find the notepad on Etsy. That was a big mistake. Not only did I end up finding the Blog Planner notepad from Heart and Arrow Design, but I found more amazing accessories and apparel for bloggers than I ever knew existed! And of course I wanted ALL OF IT. Luckily for all of you- I have rounded up all of my favorite Etsy finds into what I would like to call the "Ultimate Blogger Gift Guide."

     (I realize that Gift Guide type posts are extremely popular here in the blogosphere during the holiday season- but I figured why wait until December to share all of these amazing finds?! I know that I'll be ordering at least a couple of these when I return home from France!)

     Let's start with that adorable pink t-shirt. "Eat, sleep, blog, repeat." Ummm, how accurate is this?! I know that more often that I'd like to admit this is how my days off from work in the summer look (or some lazy weekends during the school year!).

    Next up there are some organizational tools perfect for any blogger- fashion, lifestyle, food, fitness, faith, photography... you name it, these tools will work for bloggers of all categories! First is the handy dandy Blog Planner notepad (which is what brought me to Etsy to be looking up blog accessories in the first place!).  This notepad allows you to visually plan out your posts for each week! And how cute is this little pink "Blog this!" notebook?! I know that post inspiration often hits me at the most random times, and the best way for me to remember all of my ideas is to write them down! Currently I have been writing my post ideas in the "notes" pages of my Lilly Pulitzer agenda, but a.) I'm running out of those pages, and b.) I don't carry my agenda with my everywhere in the summer months, so I really should invest in a separate notebook just for blog inspiration!

     The decorating concept of gallery walls is something that has just exploded in the blogging world. These two adorable prints, "Bloggers Gonna Blog" and "Blog It Like It's Hot" would just be perfect for any blogger's gallery wall, or really just for any decorating of any sort!! I know that I'll probably be ordering at least one of them for my dorm room for next year, and I'll probably head to Hobby Lobby to try and find an adorable frame to coordinate with it!

     And last but not least- the MUGS. Who else has an obsession with collecting adorable mugs?! (*raises my hand*) The travel mug says the same adorable quote as one of the wall prints, "Bloggers Gonna Blog." And the coffee mug... oh my word! Y'all have probably noticed that I'm not normally one to use that type of language... but just seeing this literally made me laugh out loud. I can only imagine the reaction that I would get if I carried that with me to my school library!!

     So who else is in love with all of these fun Etsy finds?! The links to all of them are under the product collage! Happy shopping blog friends! :-)

      xoxo Miss ALK


June 13, 2015

Au Revoir!

     Today is the day! As of this evening, I will be boarding an evening flight bound for France to begin my month-long summer study abroad program! I will be living in Tours, France (about two hours by train from Paris), staying with a host family, and will be attending school and taking language immersion classes Monday-Friday. My weekends will hopefully be spent soaking up as much of the culture and sights of Tours, the Loire Valley (and Paris!) that I can get in!

Repost of my own photo that I used to announce my study abroad trip a couple months back!!

     I will be blogging while abroad (did you really think I could quit for a whole month?! ;-) ),  but my blogging schedule will look a bit different than what it has been lately. You might have noticed that over the past month or so I have finally developed a semi consistent posting schedule!! My blog is right now on a MWF schedule for fashion posts, with lifestyle posts appearing sometimes on the weekends. While I am in France, I will be posting Mondays and Thursdays guaranteed. (I already have Monday's post written and scheduled and I can definitely say that y'all won't want to miss it!)

     I am hoping to start doing recaps of my life abroad in France on Fridays, in place of my Southern Belle in the 'Bunk posts, seeing how much extra time I have for writing. (I might just save all of France recaps for the blog until I return home.) It just depends what my internet situation is like once I get there, and how much free time I have in the evenings!

     Lastly: what will be updated more than the blog while I'm abroad is my social media! Please be sure to follow me if you aren't already!!

     Instagram: @miss_alk
     Snapchat: @miss_alk
     Twitter: @rainbowflash94

     I would appreciate any prayers or well wishes today for safe travels! I am not as nervous about the flight... but more nervous for my arrival... right after getting into Paris I need to make my way onto a train, and then later change trains- all while fighting off jet lag and keeping an eye on all my luggage! Eeeek!

     Stay tuned for Monday's post!

     xoxo Miss ALK

June 12, 2015

Southern Belle in the 'Bunk: Main(e) Street.

     This is Week Three for my Friday summer post series here on the blog, called Southern Belle in the Bunk. This blog series combines my love of fashion, beautiful scenic locations for fashion posts, and the fact that I'm spending this summer back in my hometown area of the Kennebunks region of Southern Maine! You can read more about the inspiration for this series in the intro post HEREWeek One HERE, Week Two HERE, and Week Three HERE! Xo

Top: Talbots {Last season, Similar here} || Shorts: J. Crew Factory || Shoes: L.L. Bean || Hat: c/o Pack-A-Hat || Clutch: c/o Pack-A-Hat || Bracelet: {Gift, Similar here} || Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink Velvet 

     Welcome to Main(e) Street (see what I did there? #punny) in my hometown! For this hometown look, I wanted to show what I think is typical Kennebunk style, which is kind of a laid-back, New England preppy look. The blue J. Crew Factory shorts and the anchors on my top (and lobsters on my shoes!) build on the New England feel of the area, and it's a summery and put-together outfit, but without looking overdone. Y'all know that my own personal style is a bit more "out there," but sometimes it's fun to go "back to your roots!"

     I am also so excited to be wearing styling and reviewing this fun and nifty hat from Cappelli Straworld called the Pack-A-Hat! It has such a cool concept to it- which you can kind of see illustrated in some of these photos! The Pack-A-Hat is the ideal hat for traveling. It comes packaged in an adorable clutch (which can also double as a purse on its own!), and it folds perfectly into the clutch. Then when you're ready to wear your hat, you simply pull it out and unfold it! What a smart invention. The best part is that if you need to take your hat with you in a suitcase or duffle bag for traveling then you don't need to worry about it getting crushed or damaged since it is already packed away! The Pack-A-Hat retails for $25 and can be purchased here!

The location:

      The downtown area of neighboring town of Kennebunkport usually tends to get all of the attention, since Kennebunkport is the more touristy area between the two Kennebunks. But Kennebunk's Main Street is still what I consider to be a quinntessential American small town Main Street area! It is peaceful, well-kept, and filled with a few small businesses, restaurants, and the historic Kennebunk Inn sits right in the middle of it all.

     Last year, the town bought out a lot the used to house a gas station that had gone out of business. They tore down the building, and instead constructed an outdoor ice skating rink! It is open all winter long, and even equipped for night skating. In the warmer months, this space is used for Farmers' Markets and town festivals. I didn't get any pictures of this new space for this post, but it is just a block or so up from where these pictures were taken! And I had fun trying out the new ice skating rink over this past Christmas break.

    In other Kennebunks news, Kennebunkport was in national news this week because former First Lady Barbara Bush had her 90th birthday party (and a Bush family reunion!) at the Bush's summer home in Kennebunkport! Christian singers Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, as well as country singer Reba McIntire were performers at the party. Another interesting party feature was that antique cars were somehow incorporated in... not sure if there was a private car show put on for the Bush family, or if just anyone that owned a certain type of antique car was invited to the party, but during June 7th/8th, there were more antique cars driving through Kennebunkport than newer cars!! Such a fun sight. Anyways, happy birthday Barbara Bush!!

     I hope that you all have enjoyed the first four weeks of my Southern Belle in the 'Bunk post series, where I have combined my love of fashion and scenic locations for my blog photos, all while wanting to tell you all more about where I am from. I will be taking a break from these posts during the next four weeks while I am studying abroad in France, but Southern Belle in the 'Bunk will return on Friday, July 17!

    Also- I leave for France TOMORROW! I have scheduled a brief post for tomorrow, which will update y'all about what blogging is going to be looking like for me while I'm abroad. Hope that y'all will check in for it! :-)

    xoxo Miss ALK

      The product reviewed was gifted to me for review purposes on my blog by Cappelli Straworld & Lipton Publicity. All opinions are honest and my own.

June 10, 2015


     Just sharing some recent snaps of my recent purchases + life over the past couple of weeks via my favorite form of social media!!

Wallet: Kate Spade || Tiara {Old} || Dress: Lulu's

     This is my 21st birthday dress!! I ordered it about three and a half months early... can you tell I'm excited? #noshame. It's just so gosh darn perfect that of course I couldn't wait until September to put it on Insta! ;-) It is linked above but promise me y'all won't steal it in the same color for your birthdays, hehe! 

 Shoes: Jessica Simpson

     How amazing are my new pumps?! I have always wanted a pair of floral pumps, but I'm so glad that I held off on buying any until now because these are just perfect! These would be such a great way to jazz up a simply solid colored dress, or a fun summery outfit with white jeans.

     Did you check out Monday's blog post yet? It was a fun collaboration with Hanes Hosiery, and featured a summery business casual outfit!

     Y'all- I leave for my summer study abroad trip to France in FOUR DAYS! I cannot even believe it. I posted this on Instagram last week as a throwback to the first time I was in Europe, which was my family's trip to England and Scotland for Christmas in 2013!

 All from Forever 21: Hat || Bathing Suit {Not online, Similar here} || Purse

     Y'all- Forever 21 is just killing it right now with all of their summer items! I could have bought out the whole store but refrained to spending $75 (of course in F21 though that still gets you a whole big bag of things!). I may or may not have bought three sunhats.... but seriously, so much cute everything!

     And last but not least, some yummy treats I've eaten lately! IHOP is a favorite restaurant of mine- I am obsessed with the fact that many Charlotte locations are open very late if not 24 hours a day. Here in Maine, the nearest IHOP to my house is at least 40 mins away, but that just makes the drive for the pancakes all the more worth it! (And I eat my pancakes drenched in whipped cream instead of with syrup!)

     The other night after I got out of work I met Tim, my best guy friend from high school for pizza and Ben & Jerry's! Both of us have been working lots of hours at our summer jobs, and it was so nice to catch up with him before I leave for France!

     Tim and and I even got into a discussion recently about Instagram (he was asking me about how I use it for my blog), and I was trying to explain to him how all fashion bloggers try and find a "theme" with their outfit and blog photos on Instagram that makes their feed unique. He joked that the theme of his personal Instagram account is simply "the beach," since he is all about the beach and loves sharing beachy Instagram photos!! We both had a good laugh about it and it reminded me that sometimes it's fun to talk social media and blogging with friends outside of the online world too. :-)

     Stay tuned for Friday's Southern Belle in the 'Bunk post!

     xoxo Miss ALK

June 8, 2015

Stylish Summer Legs with Hanes Hosiery.

Candid shot captured by my mom- Snapchatting away!! Haha.

Tank top: {Old} || Skirt: LOFT || Cardigan: LOFT || Shoes: Nine West || Hosiery: c/o Hanes Hosiery || Sunglasses: H&M || Purse: Calvin Klein || Necklace: The Pink Slate Boutique || Bracelet: c/o Stella & Dot || iPhone case: Lilly Pulitzer || Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Daquiri 

      My mom has taught me a lot of classic fashion rules throughout the years, but one thing that she has always stressed to me is that the perfect accessory to pull together a classy outfit is the right hosiery. There is just something so chic and put together about wearing hosiery with your favorite dresses and skirts instead of just bare legs. So I knew I'd be making my mom proud when I got the chance to participate in a special blog collaboration with Hanes Hosiery!

     Hanes Hosiery sent me three pairs of sheer tights to style, all from their Silk Reflections collection. Each was a slightly varrying shade. For this outfit, I chose to wear the Medium Bronze shade. This shade of hosiery gave my legs the look of a perfect, natural tan- which was much needed since the truth is my poor legs were actually a little sunburned and peeling when I shot these pictures!! Since I now have hosiery in varrying shades of the Silk Reflections collection, I can choose how dark I want the shade to be depending on my outfit and mood, which I love! 

     Hanes Hosiery also included some little Blogger summer health and beauty treats in the package that they sent to me, which was a nice treat!! :-) I know that they will continue to be my top choice for my future hosiery needs!

     In this post I am also wearing some great business casual separates from LOFT! They are one of my favorite go-to stores for any time that I need business casual clothing. I know this is an outfit that I might repeat come Fall for sorority chapter, internship networking, or any other "business-ey" events that I need to go to!

     So story time... if you were following my Snapchats last week (@miss_alk), the iPhone that I'm holding in these photos, that's the iPhone 6 that I owned for a total of TWO DAYS last week! My family had been looking into switching to Sprint from AT&T for the past couple of months, as they were doing a big promotion called "Cut Your Bill in Half" or something like that. (We have been with AT&T since I got my first cell phone when I was 13!) We were supposed to switch when I was still at school a few months ago, but basically we learned that since my mom and I are on the same plan, both of our old phones would have to be turned into Sprint at the same time. So we had to wait for me to get home to Maine for the summer.... but then I left for Kentucky for my internship, and then my mom was away on an art trip, and then my dad was gone on business, so we all kept missing each other! But finally last week we switched the phones. But it was AWFUL. I never got good service at my house with AT&T before, but with Sprint it was literally a dead zone! And the brand new iPhone also had trouble picking up our wifi, and it was already doing things like quitting apps and freezing. We had three days to return the phones and on day three we switched back to AT&T. I don't have an upgrade until this Fall so it's back to my old iPhone 5S, but honestly I couldn't be happier! It already works so much better then the 6 that I had for two days did. What a strange experience.

     xoxo Miss ALK

     The product reviewed was gifted to me for review purposes on my blog by Hanes Hosiery. All opinions are honest and my own.

June 6, 2015

Cape Ann Getaway.

Preview of an upcoming outfit post!

Favorite art piece in the Cape Ann museum

Halibut Point State Park

     Last week, my mom and I spent a few days in the Cape Ann area of Massachusetts. This is the coastal area north of Boston that comprises the towns of Gloucester, Essex, Rockport and Manchester-by-the-Sea. We stayed in Gloucester, and a cute little hotel called the Atlantis, which was right on the ocean (the last picture is the ocean as seen from the lawn of the hotel!).

     Even though this coastline is only a couple hours' drive from the part of the coast that we're from in Southern Maine, it still felt very different! Cape Ann is home to high cliffs and lots of colorful harbor scenes. There are also many beautiful beaches in the area.

     My favorite meal of the trip was at a restaurant called Cala's in Manchester-by-the-Sea. They aren't a strictly Italian restaurant, but I had one of the best pizzas of my life there! I also enjoyed visiting a used bookstore in Manchester-by-the-Sea that sold many vintage books, and one of my trip souvenirs was buying an interesting looking novel that was 100 years old!

     On the way out of Cape Ann, we stopped by the Northshore Mall. Northshore is the closest "good" shopping destination to my hometown... aka the closest mall that makes me feel like I'm in Charlotte! That's where the closest Nordstrom and Chick-Fil-A is to my house. It was on this shopping trip that I found this gorgeous (and super affordable!) purse, which I ended up writing a whole post on!

     xoxo Miss ALK

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