October 31, 2015

Easy DIY Halloween Costume: The Bachelorette.




      Happy Halloween! I am so excited to be sharing all about one of the costumes that I wore for this year's festivities. Last year, I only dressed up for a party at my internship, and didn't really go out or celebrate other then that. Since I had such a mellow year last year, I knew that I wanted to go all out for my senior year of college Halloween!! I started planning out this costume around this time last year, and I'm so happy with how it turned out!

   


      I'm the Bachelorette! Would you accept my rose...?








Dress: H&M {similar here!} // Shoes: Nine West // Earrings: {old} // Lips: Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien


      I have been a fan of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for quite a few years now. I wasn't able to watch the most recent season this summer due to my travels abroad (and the fact that I worked every Monday night after I came home), but in the past I've always enjoyed keeping up with the show. Fun fact: former Bachelorette Emily Maynard lives here in Charlotte, and actually met her new husband not on the show, but at the church that I go to here!! How cute is that.

      This costume was so easy to create! I've had this gorgeous sequin H&M dress for awhile (Update: the dress is back in stock for Fall 2016!), so I was excited to have an occasion to wear it again. The only thing that I had to buy for this costume was a dozen roses, and then I just printed out a logo and image from the show and super glued it onto a name-tag pin. This is a flirty, fun, and no maintenance costume for any of my fellow single ladies to put together! 



      Hope that all of you are having a wonderful Halloween weekend so far! I had a lot of fun yesterday wearing this costume for the annual party at my internship, and also to go out with a couple sorority sisters last night. Tonight is actual Halloween and round two for us! I don't go out very often so this is a big weekend for me.

       I'm actually more excited about what I'm wearing tonight than I even was about my Bachelorette costume.... in a Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases post a couple of weeks ago, I shared that I purchased something very similar to this for my costume. That was my only hint!! I'll be sharing on Instagram tonight though what my second costume is, so be sure that you're following me @miss_alk if you aren't yet! 



      Here is the dress that I wore for this costume, and some other dresses that I think would be perfect for any Bachelorette: 








      xoxo Miss ALK

October 29, 2015

Pajamas for Traveling...



T-shirt: c/o Aerie // Shorts: Forever 21 // Bra: c/o Aerie // Earrings: {old}


     I've spent a few weekends so far this semester traveling and in hotels. I am by no means an expert at packing light for short trips, but I am trying to get better. When I travel, I usually pack one pair of warm pajamas (in case the hotel room has heavy AC), and also a shorts and t-shirt for sleeping as well, in case the room is warmer. I've found that often you just never know what to expect as far as hotel room temperatures go, and it's always better to be prepared for anything!

     This t-shirt from Aerie is so perfect to pack for travels! You can mix and match it with scarves or statement necklaces to wear during the day, and it's the comfiest shirt to wear for sleeping as well. Win-win! And even better news? This perfect t-shirt is currently on sale!





     Another necessary travel essential is a very comfortable bra. When packing undergarments, you don't want to overpack or under-pack, you just want to bring the right amount of each, and options that will work for different outfit situations. The new Sunnie bra from Aerie is one of the comfiest bras that I have ever worn, and it's perfect for everything from going out to keeping it casual.





     What types of pajamas/comfy-wear do you like to pack when you travel?


     xoxo Miss ALK


     This post is not sponsored, but the items in the post marked as c/o were provided to me from Aerie for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!

October 28, 2015

Unboxing the UniversiTee Subscription Box!



     What college girl doesn't adore getting mail?! I know that whenever my mom, a friend or other family member from home ever surprises me with a little package filled with goodies, it can absolutely make my whole day, especially since I go to school so far from home!

      Since it's a little unrealistic to expect our loved ones to be sending us fun packages all of the time, that is where the genius idea of subscription boxes comes in. Signing up for a subscription box service is like treating yourself to a custom care package that's delivered straight to your door every month! There are already a host of subscription box services out there- but something super exciting is that there is now a service designed specifically with college girls in mind!

      The UniversiTee Box from Maverick Hill is a monthly subscription box service filled with goodies that are perfect for college students! Inside of your box each month, you can expect to find a cute graphic t-shirt, a statement necklace, and fun smaller accessories. During certain months, the UniversiTee Box can also come specifically themed for certain college events, such as Homecoming or Back-To-School! Above you can see a styled photo of what was in my box that I received from Maverick Hill, and below you can see how cute my box first arrived before I unwrapped it!





     If you're interested in trying out the UniversiTee Box for yourself, or gifting it to a collegiate in your life, be sure to use discount code BELLE50 for 50% off your first box!! Stay tuned for an upcoming post next month to see how I styled my t-shirt and necklace that I received in my box.


     My usual Wednesday post series, Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases, will return next week! But just a quick reminder in the meantime for my Charlotte blog friends that tonight I am co-hosting a fun event at the Kendra Scott store in SouthPark Mall! It is from 6-8 pm, hope that anyone in the area can make it. :-) See Monday's post for more details!


      xoxo Miss ALK


     This post is not sponsored, but my UniversiTee box was provided to me c/o Maverick Hill for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training! 

October 27, 2015

ADPi Recruitment & Bid Day Recap 2015.


     One month ago today was the most wonderful, bittersweet and emotional day of my college career (to date). I originally wanted to blog about these events right away. But now as I write this post several weeks after Bid Day, I am happy that I took a good amount of time to reflect on everything before writing out my thoughts.




     Just to recap a little bit on my journey in Greek life for those of you who are newer readers of my blog: when I transferred colleges after my freshman year, I went through Formal Recruitment in September 2013 and was so excited to be going Greek at my new school. I fell in love with Alpha Delta Pi on the first night of recruitment, and was ecstatic to be offered a Bid to join ADPi at the conclusion of recruitment.


My Bid Day in Fall 2013!! (Only two years ago but I feel like I look so young here... and my hair was so short!) 


     Older members of my sorority told me that the first year as a member of any sorority is often the hardest. Looking back, I would definitely agree with that. While my first year in ADPi did have some very special memories (like getting matched with Jess, my Big, and getting to experience all of the sorority traditions for the first time), getting used to Greek life was overwhelming at times as well. I was ready for the year to be over and excited to start my second year in the chapter!


Shirting a new member on Bid Day 2014.


     My junior year of college was my first year of participating in the ADPi side of sorority recruitment. Going through recruitment with your own sorority is a huge undertaking- both with time, emotions, and of course all the excitement that leads up to Bid Day. My second year of being an ADPi brought different types of new memories, like getting Julie, my Little, and then having the honor of representing Alpha Delta Pi on a national level through an internship with the Fraternity Communications Conference this past spring.

Throwing Diamonds at Churchill Downs in Kentucky during my internship with the FCA.


     All of my prior experiences in ADPi and Greek life are what prepared me for this year's recruitment season. My college holds sorority recruitment near the end of September each year, which means that all of the chapters have about a month of practices and preparations to prepare for the main event. It is definitely an undertaking!

     Despite the time commitment, I thought that recruitment this year would be such a breeze, since I had already been through the ADPi side before. I couldn't really picture myself being emotional through the process at all, and I was just ready to get it going.

     ^ HAHA. Well, I was in for quite the surprise.


     The month of September continued on, and with each week of recruitment practices, I found myself getting more and more emotional. I became emotional for a lot of reasons: that although recruitment is such a huge undertaking- that is was my last year of it and I knew I would kinda miss it in the future, it was hitting me that I was actually a senior (and OLD!), and I was also nervous about the fact that I had a personal connection to a few of the girls who were going through recruitment this year. The time commitment of sorority recruitment is also insane. My chapter frequently had weeknight practices until midnight or 1 am.

A pre-recruitment photoshoot that my sisters did!

     Finally, the main event was here! Night one of recruitment was on Friday, September 25th, and the second and third rounds were on Saturday, September 26th. Bid Day was Sunday, September 27th. The Charlotte weather did not cooperate with the Greek life calendar, and all of these days fell in the middle of two weeks of rain.


Senior sisters in the chapter.

Our sweet President, Emily!

Lilly Pulitzer letter twins with my sister Jamilynne!

     I didn't get any pictures during round two on Saturday morning, because my school actually experienced a power outage right before the round began, due to the weather!! Everything had to be postponed a couple of hours, so there was no time for pictures.


Night three of recruitment with Julie, my Little!

Night three with sweet Mary.


      Round three of recruitment, or Preference Round, was absolutely wonderful. I cried, I laughed, and there were moments when my heart literally felt like it was going to burst with pride for ADPi. I couldn't wait for the next day.

   
Sassy seniors on Bid Day!!



     Due to the weather not cooperating, Bid Day was held indoors this year. But that didn't dull any of the enthusiasm, and as you're about to see, this was truly one of the best days ever for me!









       
      And then our new members (we call them Alphas) began running home to us! :-)







     As you can see in these last few photos, there was SO much happiness and excitement to welcome all of our sweet new Alphas home!! There is a saying that sorority Bid Days are like Christmas morning, and I think that's an excellent analogy.

     All of our new members are such wonderful girls and I can't wait to see what each of them will bring to ADPi. 


      And lastly, two more special moments from Bid Day!




      My beautiful suitemate Caroline took all of the Bid Day pictures featured in this post! She was so kind as to take over my camera for that morning, and take Bid Day pictures for my whole chapter. I will treasure these pictures forever! 



     
      My sweet friend Jess, a friend of mine who went through recruitment, became a sister of Phi Mu on Bid Day!! SO happy for her!! Truth be told, I think I cried the hardest of the day hugging Jess. 
     

        Shout-out to anyone who made it through the end of this very long post. :-) Sometimes I like to share the more personal parts of my life with y'all. Usually when I do write a personal post, it's about a topic that's a little deeper or even hard for me to write about, but today I was so excited to just share a bit about the very happy way that I started off my senior year! 



     Are you in a sorority, or if you are out of school, were you Greek in college? If so, did you ever get the chance to welcome one of your best friends into your sorority? (Or see a dear friend find her home somewhere else?)


     To read some past posts about my Greek life experiences:




     xoxo Miss ALK

October 26, 2015

Poncho in the Pumpkin Patch.









Poncho: Ross // Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters // Boots: Tory Burch {similar style} // Sunglasses: Le Chateau // Purse: Michael Kors // Necklace: c/o Cardinal Gift // Bracelets: c/o Taudrey, Alex & Ani // Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure 



     Fall is here, and here to stay! That means that it's time to enjoy all of the fun seasonal activities that come during this time of year- like visiting a pumpkin patch! Here in Charlotte, it's harder to find large field-like and more traditional pumpkin patches, but there are still some cute small ones scattered throughout the city. I visited this adorable little pumpkin spot with my blog bestie Morgan on a beautiful evening recently.

     A visit to a pumpkin patch was the perfect time to break-out this adorable new poncho sweater that I am absolutely in love with! It is one of the comfiest things in my closet, and is the perfect way to stay warm and fashionable at the same time. But the best part of all about it? I got it for under $20!!

     My adorable sweater is from Ross! This is a store that I have never previously shopped at. One of my best friends loves Ross and always manages to find the cutest dresses there, but whenever I have gone, I have never found anything that appeals to me. On a whim, I decided to visit my local store in Charlotte a couple of weeks ago. I'm so glad that I did, because there were so many great bargains to be found! I not only found this cute poncho, but also two gorgeous dresses for upcoming events. I would tell y'all that if you have never found anything at Ross before either, definitely give them another try, you might be pleasantly surprised like I was!






     I also have a special announcement for all of my Charlotte blog friends! Morgan, myself, and two other Charlotte fashion bloggers (Laura from Louella Reese and Taylor from Style Souffle), are so excited to be hosting an event at Kendra Scott at SouthPark Mall this coming Wednesday evening! More details are on the attached picture below- if you are in the area, I would love to meet you and have you drop by!!






     I have linked up some other poncho favorites of mine below!


     xoxo Miss ALK

October 23, 2015

Thoughts on Asheville + a great NC hike.

     As I shared last week,  I recently went to Asheville, North Carolina, to spend a night and see a new part of the state. Asheville is a small but culture-rich city located in the heart of the mountains in the western part of the state. It's about a two hour drive from Charlotte.

From the botanical gardens at the UNC Asheville campus.

     I had never been to Asheville before, and I had very high expectations for visiting the area. Numerous friends of mine had told us how much there was to do there, how beautiful the mountains were, how many great restaurants there were, etc.


     Surprisingly, I was unimpressed with the Asheville area. I found the city itself to be pretty old (and not in a charming way, more of in just an old way), and almost a bit unsafe feeling at night. I ate at all local restaurants during the couple days I was in the area- and I didn't have any terrible meals, but nothing really stood out to me as exceptional either.

     One thing that I was very excited to do was to drive for a bit on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway (a nationally protected route that runs several hundred miles from the mountains of Virginia into western North Carolina). I had always heard fantastic things about Blue Ridge Parkway drives, and I could already imagine the road winding around mountains and foliage. Once we actually got onto the Parkway though, what we found was simply a narrow road that ran through thick forest! There weren't many exciting views at all. Maybe we were just on the wrong part of the Parkway, but it was definitely another thing that wasn't what I was expecting.


From this outfit post


     The highlight of our little trip was the very first thing that I did- a hike on the way to Asheville! I took a little rest stop on the way to Asheville by visiting Chimney Rock State Park, located in the Lake Lure resort area.  (This is about an hour and a half west of Charlotte.) Chimney Rock has lots of trails on the premises- I only did the main hike (which is mostly stairs :-) ) so that I could see Chimney Rock itself, but had I had more time in my day, I would have loved to check out the other trails that were there!

     The views were absolutely amazing! I can only imagine how nice it would be to visit the Chimney Rock area when the weather is a little bit nicer so that the lake can also be taken advantage of.



      Have you ever visited somewhere before that just wasn't quite what you were expecting? I absolutely love North Carolina, but I don't think that Asheville will be on my list of favorite places that I have seen in the state- haha! As I said in one of my outfit posts from the trip though, I would go back for a day trip to visit the famous Biltmore Estate in the future. I feel like that's a trip that I would enjoy making!


     I'm excited this weekend to be off on another adventure- this time to Atlanta! Be sure to be following me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk to keep up with all of the fun!



     xoxo Miss ALK

October 21, 2015

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.



{From my Instagram @miss_alk - also be sure to follow on Snapchat with the same username!}



Ramblings:

  • My first blogging trip! I am so excited to be heading out of town this weekend for my first-ever trip related to my blog! Many of you know that I've been a member of the Her Campus Blogger Network for a few years now- it's such a wonderful blogging network that provides so many great opportunities to college aged bloggers. This year, the HCBN is sponsoring a few fashion shows across the country with college aged girls in mind. They invited bloggers from their network to apply to be models in the shows, and I was selected to model in the Atlanta show this upcoming weekend! I am so excited! This will be such a fun weekend full of lights, cameras and getting all dolled up, and I can't wait to have the opportunity to do some more networking for my blog. I've also never been to Atlanta before (minus a brief airport layover), so let me know of any recommendations for places to eat or cheap things to do if you have them! 
  • My favorite part of 21 is... On the note of traveling, I think I have come to the conclusion that my favorite part of being legal isn't being able to buy or drink alcohol, it's being able to book and check into hotels! My trip this weekend will be my third time traveling and booking my own hotel since turning 21 in September. It's seriously becoming addictive (and bad for my bank account!). My Expedia account is quickly racking up points, and stay tuned for the Purchases section of this post to see how else I'm saving money on traveling!
  • A new routine. I shared in one of these posts several weeks ago that during my sorority's stressful recruitment season at the start of the semester that I was trying out something new to channel my stress: working out! I used to be really into working out in high school but had stopped going to the gym somewhere around my first semester of college. But I decided that enough was finally enough and that fitness would get me through recruitment. I'm proud to report though that working out is now apart of my permanent weekly routine! I have fallen in love with one of the weekly yoga classes offered at my school, and I also work out in the gym a couple times a week as well. And starting next week, I'm also the captain this year of my sorority's intramural volleyball team! My fitness journey isn't huge by any extent, but it's already brought so much positivity into my life and routine. 


Purchases:
  • Ya girl over here kinda waited until the last minute to book her hotel room for Atlanta this weekend... so she ended up spending WAY more money then she intended to get a nice room. :-) (I was almost tempted to book a place on the outskirts of the city that was $50 a night, but my parents convinced me that probably wasn't the best idea ;-) ). Anyways, I will be on a stricter budget then usual for the next few weeks while I build my savings back up.
  • On the note of traveling though- have all of you heard about Ebates yet? This is an incredible website that I just heard about a couple of months ago!! You can earn cash back for online shopping purchases on qualifying websites by installing the Ebates toolbar on your internet browser. Most clothing retailers are on Ebates, and you can get between 1-7% cash back depending on the store. The way that I have been getting most of my cash back though is through my travel purchases on Expedia- they usually offer excellent cash back rates! (And you can still earn your Expedia points at the same time!) Sign up for Ebates HERE!  Ebates will send your payments either in the form of checks by mail, or via Paypal (which is what I chose to do!). 


      Hope that y'all are having a great week! 


      xoxo Miss ALK



      This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used. 

October 19, 2015

Striped Dress.








Dress: Romwe // Blazer: Forever 21 // Shoes: Clark's // Necklace: Handpicked {local Charlotte boutique} // Bracelets: c/o Swell Caroline {floral}, Alex & Ani // Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure {my signature shade!}



     I don't know about y'all, but it's been a little bit hard for me to switch my wardrobe into 100% fall mode when we have still had a few really nice days here in the Carolinas this month! When the temperatures are still reaching the mid 70s, I just can't pull out my thick scarves or winter vests quite yet. 

     I was so excited to wear this adorable striped dress during a beautiful day here in Charlotte last week! My best friend from high school, Jules, bought this for me as one of my birthday presents this year. Whenever she picks out clothing for me, she always chooses the cutest things! A black and white striped dress is always a classy and classic option, and the yellow trim at the bottom of the dress adds a fun twist. I dressed this outfit up with a basic blazer and some of my favorite black heels to finish everything up! 


     What has the fall weather been like where you live? Are you already embracing all of the fall trends, or are you holding onto some warmer weather styles for a little longer as well? 




     xoxo Miss ALK