Southern Belle in Training

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

September 30, 2016

My First Staycation Experience.

     Earlier this month, I finally got the chance to experience what a staycation is. And I am only regretting why I didn't do this sooner! The official definition of a staycation is: "a vacation spent in one's home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions." (I did spend a few holiday breaks in college on campus, but I wouldn't quite count my long weekends of dorm room chilling as staycations!)

     I've spent a good deal of time this summer at City Lights Rooftop bar and Craft City Social pool and day club. Both venues are located at the neighboring Uptown Charlotte hotels Le Meridien and Sheraton Charlotte. I was so excited to finally have the chance to partner this month directly with Le Meridien to spend a night at their hotel. I couldn't wait to finally get the full guest experience after spending so much time there at City Lights! I couldn't think of a better place to stay at for my first staycation.

     Uptown Charlotte is very easy to navigate, and small enough to do so on foot. The streets that make up Uptown are divided into four units,  and called the Four Wards. Le Meridien is located at the far end of the Second Ward. This gives the hotel all of the benefits of an Uptown location, such as being in walking distance to most of the restaurants, museums, nightlife and other attractions. But since it lies just on the outskirts of the center city it gives the hotel rooms facing Uptown the most incredible views of the entire skyline! A true win-win in terms of location.

     Since my 22nd birthday fell midweek this year on workday for me (and I was traveling for the weekends before and after it), I still hadn't had a chance to celebrate with some of my Charlotte girlfriends yet! So this weekend provided the perfect opportunity to do so. Two of my dear girlfriends from college, my senior year suitemate Caroline and my sorority sister Mary, and my blogger bestie/new Charlotte resident Cara. I knew that a night in Uptown would be the perfect time to catch up with these ladies. The older that I get, the best birthday presents seem to be quality time and memories made with sweet friends. 

      Cara, Mary and I checked into the hotel in the late afternoon on Saturday, and we spent a few hours catching up with each other and just enjoying the room and the amazing Uptown views that it provided! 

(I was unfortunately suffering from a weekend-long migraine during the time while we were at the hotel, so while my friends popped some Prosecco, I popped open a water bottle. ;-) ) 

     Uptown Charlotte has a variety of phenomenal restaurants. I don't get up to Uptown to eat nearly enough anymore now that I have graduated college and live in a different part of the city, so I was really excited to have a night where some of my favorite Uptown restaurants were all in walking distance! After much deliberation, the three of us decided on Red Ginger, which is what I believe to be the best Hibachi restaurant in all of Charlotte. The weather was beautiful so we decided to walk to dinner. On the way, we finally discovered the "carpet murals" that were painted recently on the sidewalks that border Charlotte's Light Rail! I had thought that these were found in South End, another nearby neighborhood, but it turns out that they're right in the heart of Uptown. 

     My friend Caroline joined us later in the evening, and then all four of us ended out Saturday night with a trip up to the top of Le Meridien, to take on the views of the skyline and enjoy drinks (or water in my case, as the nasty migraine still hadn't left! #ohwell) at City Lights Rooftop bar. If you're a regular blog reader then you know that City Lights was one of my favorite summer hang-out spots this year, and also the location that I did my birthday/blogiversary photoshoot in earlier this month! It is such a fun rooftop bar setting, and some of my favorite memories from this summer have been made there. 

      We slept in on Sunday morning, and took advantage of the 12 pm check out time at Le Meridien. All in all, I have to say that my first staycation was a huge success. Despite being less than thirty minutes away from where I live, it truly felt like I was traveling to a new and far-away destination for the night. The "trip" actually kind of brought back some precious memories of my two college visit tours in North Carolina and the Charlotte area from a few years ago!

     If you have never done a staycation- do it. Round up your significant other, or your best friends, and book a night somewhere close to home. Play tourist in your home city! You will be amazed by how much joy it can bring you, and how refreshed you might feel. And if you're a Charlottean, make Le Meridien in Uptown your staycation destination!

       This staycation experience weekend happened before the protests and riots in Uptown Charlotte that made national news at the end of September. As I hope to have conveyed through this post, Charlotte is normally a beautiful, safe and friendly city. Thank-you to all of you who kept Charlotte in your thoughts and prayers during the difficult time! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

     Thank-you to Le Meridien for providing me with a complimentary's night's stay. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the businesses that support Southern Belle in Training!


September 28, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.

{A couple weeks ago at the City Lights Rooftop x Diet Coke End of Summer Bash. Follow me on Instagram + Snapchat @miss_alk!} 

  • Free Pinterest e-course: Starting off this week's Ramblings by getting real for a sec... I've seen extremely low page views on the blog this month, which has been really discouraging to me. I'm not really sure why this is, as I've still been posting regularly here on the blog and social media. But I know that I definitely want to bring my numbers back up for the rest of the year! One area of social media that I can definitely improve on is Pinterest. I love using it for things like recipes or to save articles that I enjoy reading, but I haven't always been the best at using it for my own bloc content. That's going to change! This weekend I went through and cleaned out a lot of my irrelevant boards, and I made some behind-the-scenes HTML changes as well. All of this was inspired by the information that I learned from my friend Jenny's new FREE Pinterest e-course launch! Jenny (from Breakfast at Lilly's blog) wrote an awesome 5-day email course that will be sent to your inbox 100% free of charge. There is so much useful information in this course. Definitely sign up for it if your Pinterest is also in need of a revamp, and while you're at it support Jenny as she prepares to launch her social media business Confetti Social
  • A unique clothing line: My funniest online article find of the week would be this one. A Swedish ad agency recently developed a clothing line with designs that feature some of the most well known (and tackiest) stock photos. I was laughing so hard looking at these clothing options... you just have to see this!
  • Charlotte in the news: As many of you know, Charlotte has made national attention over the past week for violent riots (and some peaceful protests) that began after an African American man was shot and killed by police last week. Many friends of mine from out-of-state or other parts of NC reached me over the weekend to check in on my safety, of which I was very grateful for! I currently live in a part of Charlotte that wasn't near any of the protests, but it was still unnerving to just be living in the same city where it was happening. Thankfully, the protests seem to be calming down now. The bottom line is that this is all around an extremely tragic situation, without casting judgement for either side. I pray that the city will find peace and understanding in the weeks, months and years to come! 
  • Product reviews: In the past few weeks, I've received a few PR gift packages from different haircare and beauty companies. I have so many new goodies that I've been trying out. Bloggers frequently receive gifted items, but other then featuring them on social media occasionally, I feel that these gifts often don't get featured on actual blogs. Would y'all be interested in seeing a big review round-up post of some of the items that I've recently received? Let me know in the comments!

  • In New York City a couple of weeks ago, I picked up this gorgeous top!! I'm obsessed with both the cut of it and the pretty pattern. 
  • Possibly one of my best bargains of all-time... I found a Lilly Pulitzer skort in my size for $9.99 at a consignment shop here in Charlotte this week! The pattern in a couple years old, but this is the current equivalent
  • I also picked up these pretty heels while in NYC. 

     My question of the week for y'all: Since I shared the funny stock photo find above, what is the funniest thing that you've found online this week?

     xoxo Miss ALK

September 27, 2016

Britney Spears Piece of Me Las Vegas: Concert Recap.

     I was in Las Vegas for Labor Day Weekend and as an early 22nd birthday celebration earlier this month. The highlight of the trip, and quite honestly the reason that the trip came into being, was so that I could fulfill my lifelong dream of seeing Britney Spears live in concert. Britney has had a residency at Planet Hollywood in Vegas since December 2013, and I knew that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t make it out there to see her perform before her show ended. I traveled to Vegas with my current roommate Ciera, and one of her good friends Priyanka (who has also become a friend of mine!). We all couldn't wait to see Britney perform at last!

Performing 'Til the World Ends
     Britney's residency was just recently extended through 2017, but at the time that I booked the trip her last shows were still planned for September 2016, so I was able to get in just in the knick of time! I’m on a pretty strict budget this year, as I’m paying for broadcasting school myself  (and my college student loan payments begin next month as well...), but I justified making one sort of crazy financial decision and using a good deal of my graduation money for the Vegas trip! While a lot of my 2016 has been wonderful, there have been some very low points as well, and I knew that living out my dream of seeing Britney in Vegas was exactly what I needed to look forward to. 

   Britney Spears performs at The AXIS concert venue inside of Planet Hollywood, which is located right on the Las Vegas Strip. The AXIS is a more intimate concert hall then some of the other ones on the Strip- there really isn't a bad seat in the place! Britney's tickets are not on the cheap side, so we opted to sit further away. Our seats were in section 206 and the tickets cost around $160 a piece. Even though we weren't in a front section, the venue is small enough that we still felt very close to the stage! The concert hall reminded me a lot of my church in Charlotte (Granted I do attend a very large church!), but I feel like you couldn't really have a bad seat no matter what section you were in. 

      We arrived to Planet Hollywood very early, before the doors opened to concert. And once the doors did open, it was another half hour or so until the ushers let people go in and take their seats. But the wait for the concert to begin was almost as much fun as the show itself! In the lobby area of The AXIS, there were displays of some of Britney's most famous concert, awards show, and music video outfits. Of course I had to take a photo with the iconic Oops!...I Did It Again red jumpsuit!

     There was a great playlist of really fun and upbeat dance music that played for about an hour before the show began. But at long last, it was finally time for the main event: Ms. Spears! 

Performing Circus

Performing Toxic (with a jungle twist)

      I basically filled up my phone with pictures from the concert, but later on when I went back and looked at most of them I realized that the majority were blurry- probably due to the fact that I was dancing and singing my (off-key) heart out while also snapping away! So I'm only sharing a couple. I will say though that Britney's performance value of her show was mind-blowing. The lights (especially the lights!), interesting twists on classic hits, her outfits, and most of all, the dancing, was just incredible to see live and first-hand. 100% worth the trip to Vegas! From the time that the show began to almost two hours later when it ended, Britney literally did not stop moving. She was like a dancing Energizer Bunny machine. Absolutely unbelievable! Her dance moves are off-the-charts, and most certainly put mine to shame. ;-)

     My one complaint about the concert is that the set-list seemed to be very focused on some of her later albums, like Blackout and Circus. Britney's most recent album, Glory, also released about a week before we saw her in concert, so naturally she had mixed songs from this album into the setlist as well. Every single song that she performed was fantastic (I can't stress this enough!), but as someone who idolized Britney when I was a little girl and is still obsessed with 90s/early 2000s music, I was a little bit sad that the show didn't focus more on those albums. For example, she performed a brief medley of Oops...! I Did It Again and Baby One More Time... - those are two incredible songs on their own that I don't think ever should be mashed together! But maybe that's just me. Either way, the bottom line is that she was still phenomenal to see live. 

     I didn't shoot any outfit posts in Vegas, as we were only there for the weekend and I wanted to take that weekend off from the blog. But I did write a post last week about some of our favorite restaurants on the Strip that we ate at that are perfect for travelers on a budget- be sure to check out the post if you haven't! Vegas is one of my favorite vacation spots ever, and I know this was definitely not my last trip! (Especially since the Backstreet Boys just announced last week that they're starting their residency next year.... Lord help me!)

     xoxo Miss ALK

September 26, 2016

Pink + Florals.

     I share quite often that my favorite outfits to put together are restyled looks where I take various fashion pieces that I've worn before on the blog and mix and match them into new looks. But out of all the restyled looks that I've shared before- this might just be my favorite!! It combines two of my very favorite things to wear: florals and bold color. 

     I first styled this pretty blouse last winter in this spring fashion preview post. It is still in stock and still selling for an incredibly low price- you can snatch up this pretty little top for under $20! My skirt is from a local Charlotte store that I bought especially for my birthday/blogiversary photos. As soon as I saw this skirt in the store, I knew that I had to have it! Few things to me seem quite as feminine and darling to wear as a hot pink midi skirt. There are literally endless ways to style this, which is why I styled it three different ways on the day that I did the blogiversary photos! Another look will be posted in a few weeks. Even though I found the midi skirt I'm wearing at a local store, I was able to find another pretty pink skirt that's almost identical and available online! 

     These photos were taken at City Lights Rooftop bar in Uptown Charlotte during the same day as my special birthday and blogiversary photoshoot a few weeks ago. A big thank-you again to City Lights for allowing Deeana and I to shoot there. And thank-you to all of you again who have been keeping the city of Charlotte in your thoughts and prayers through last week and this weekend- there has been much tension due to the riots and protests that have occurred! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

September 23, 2016

Fun and Affordable Business Casual Look.

Dress c/o {under $20!} // Blazer {old, similar here under $25} // Shoes {old, similar here} // Purse {newer style linked} // Pom Pom (on purse) // Watch // Nails // Lipstick //

     I've been attending broadcasting school since mid-July, and choosing to enroll in this program has been one of the best decisions that I've ever made. I'm having so many incredible experiences, and furthering my education so much in my chosen career field. In addition to being a student, I also began an internship working for my broadcasting school in August, so I spend a good deal of time there each week! The school enforces a business casual dress code amongst students and staff. I always enjoyed dressing up for class in college, but that was always at my leisure, and there were definitely some days when I would sometimes roll out of bed and head to class with bedhead and in a wrinkled sweatshirt. But in post-grad life, I don't have that luxury anymore! I've really had to build my business casual wardrobe in the last few months.

      While some investment pieces are necessary (such as some well-fitting dress pants, good pairs of heels, and a good work tote- like one that I'm carrying here!), I'm finding that you can also snatch up some more "fun" business casual pieces that both add flair to your workwear a little bit, and also don't break the bank.  

    This eye-catching floral dress is such a great way to mix up your business casual attire! The higher neckline and short sleeves give it a stylish modesty factor that make it office appropriate. And the stretchy fabric makes it comfortable and breathable for long days. And the best part of all is that it's UNDER $20

     This floral dress is another great buy from SheIn. While SheIn might typically be thought of as a shopping destination for trendy pieces or the perfect spot for weekend-wear, I've realized that there are actually some great picks to be found that could be great for work-wear also! Some people have asked me before on my thoughts about buying from SheIn- since their prices are insanely low, it can sometimes be hard to judge the quality of the items online and you can be left wondering if things will look the same when they arrive to you! So far, my experiences with SheIn have been only positive. My #1 tip is to order items from them that have been already purchased by other shoppers, and have pictures posted in the style gallery for the item (where real purchasers share how they wore the item, so you don't just see it on the models!). This is a great way to get a feel for if you would like an item or not. 

     My outfit details are below, and after that I'm also sharing some other great SheIn picks that I think would be perfect business casual attire for the upcoming fall months! 


     I hope that y'all have a great start to your weekends! Thank-you to everyone who has been keeping the city of Charlotte in your prayers this week in regards to the tensions and violent riots that have erupted throughout the city during this week. I feel very thankful that the area of the city that I live in is not near where any of these events have occurred, but it is still a very sad week to live in Charlotte. Praying that everything will be resolved soon and peace and love will cover the city!

  xoxo Miss ALK

September 20, 2016

Eating For Cheap on the Las Vegas Strip.

     I spent Labor Day Weekend of this year in one of my favorite cities on earth, Las Vegas! I have been there once before, three years ago for a girls' week with my mom. (Trip recaps from 2013 here, here and here.) Traveling with friends in Vegas is a very different experience then traveling there with parents. It's also different to be there at 21 versus underage. So it was definitely a lot of fun to be back!

     Although Vegas is famous for some of the best restaurants in the country, it is also an expensive destination in terms of food and beverage. Prices for dinners at some of the hotels' better restaurants can quickly get up in the hundreds of dollars (!!), and it's not uncommon for lunch prices to be ranging between $20-$40. Despite the fact that just about all food in Vegas is out of this world, the average price points can be very hard for anyone on a budget to fathom for a multi-day vacation. I'm currently on a fairly strict budget as I'm in broadcasting school this year, and I'm also working to pay for school loan-free! Anyone who is also on a student budget, or anyone who might be on a budget in general could have a hard time paying that much for food on vacation.

    But luckily, Vegas does have lots and lots of affordable restaurant options as well! They just take a little digging to find. I am rounding up all of the places that I enjoyed eating at during my Labor Day Weekend in Vegas that didn't break the bank- I would definitely recommend each one of these spots to anyone who might be traveling to Vegas in the future!

*Sambalatte at Monte Carlo: I have to give credit to one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Emily Gemma from The Sweetest Thing, for how I found out about this darling spot! Emily and her husband visited Vegas earlier this summer, and after she instagrammed a picture of a latte from this coffee shop I knew that this was a must-visit for me. Sambalatte has the menu of a typical coffee shop: they serve the typical iced and hot coffee and tea beverages, and since it's Vegas they also have some adult beverages on the menu too. But what sets this coffee shop apart is the incredible colored latte art that they're able to do on some of the foam beverages! I have never seen anything like this, and getting to see the beverages in person was even more amazing. I ordered my standard hot beverage, a chai latte, and not only was it incredibly delicious,  but was also the prettiest drink that I've ever had! My chai latte was $6 and I think most of the Sambalatte latte art beverages range from $5-8. Definitely worth it in my opinion though!

*The Buffet at Aria: This was the one "splurge" meal of the trip. My roommate really wanted to visit a classic Las Vegas buffet while on our trip- which let's be real, if you're going to Vegas then you have to do at least one buffet on the Strip! I spent literally weeks researching all of the buffets at the various Strip hotels, and comparing Trip Advisor reviews, sample menus and prices. I ended up deciding that Buffet at Aria was the one that I wanted us to visit.
      It did not disappoint! We decided to go for lunch instead of dinner to save money (Lunch is $25.99 and dinner is closer to $40), but the lunch buffet is still full of amazing options. They had a huge section of different Asian cuisines which made me very happy, since those are my favorite type of foods! The build-your-own pho bar and fresh naan bread were definitely hits. And the dessert bar... don't even get me started on that! I am sad that I was already quite full from lunch so I didn't get to try a lot of the desserts that I wanted to, but the few that I did sample were incredible.
     The next time that I'm in Vegas for a longer period of time, I might buy the "Buffet of Buffets" pass from Caesar's. It gives you unlimited access to buffets at five or more Strip hotels for as many days as you would like on your trip. This package was a bit expensive for what were were looking for during this trip, but definitely something to think about during future travels since buffets are a hit!

Build your own Pho station, and sampling the different hummus varieties. 

More yummy Asian delicacies from the Buffet.

Just a few of the great desserts!

*In-N-Out: There are plenty of affordable chain restaurants with convenient locations on the Vegas Strip. Everything from fast food such as Burger King and McDonald's, to popular sit-down chains like Outback and PF Chang's. We wanted to eat at places that we might not have access to back here on the East Coast, so although eating at these chains would have definitely been affordable, we chose not to visit any while in Vegas. But one chain restaurant broke our rule: In-N-Out! (Although we don't have this on the East Coast... so technically it didn't break any rules about chains that we have access to at home. ;-) )
     If you're not familiar with In-N-Out, it's a West Coast burger chain with a sort of similar restaurant structure to Five Guys, and it definitely has a large following. My first time eating at In-N-Out was when my mom and I went to Vegas three years ago, and I couldn't wait to eat there again! Their burgers are definitely worth the hype. And best of all, just about everything is under $10, if not under $5!
    There currently isn't an In-N-Out on the Strip, so we ate at the one closest to. It was about a 10 minute drive from our hotel. I read online though that there should be an In-N-Out built right on the Strip before the end of 2016, which is exciting!

*The Food Court at the Grand Canal Shops at The Venetian: Amazingly, every strip hotel in Vegas is large enough to have its own food court. The variety in the types of restaurants that are found in the food courts vary from hotel to hotel though. The best food court experience that we found was at the Venetian/Palazzo, in their Grand Canal Shops mall area. The Food Court had some chain favorites like Johnny Rockets and Chipotle, and also some really creative eateries such as a quick-serve Indian restaurant, and a European-style cafe which served crepes! I enjoyed a dessert crepe for lunch and can honestly say that it compared to the crepes that I ate when I studied abroad last summer. The Grand Canal Shops Food Court is a very affordable option for eating compared to the sit-down restaurants in the shopping area, but it still provides a lot of variety in terms of food choices!

*Hexx Chocolate and Confexxions at Paris (for dessert): Each day when we would walk past the Paris hotel on the strip, I would notice large signs in the windows for Hexx candy store that advertised their gourmet ice cream sandwiches. They take homemade cookies in a variety of flavors and pair them with your choice of any of their homemade ice creams! The pictures on the signs looked incredibly amazing, and I knew I had to experience this treat at least once before leaving Vegas. We finally made it over here on our very last morning in Vegas before heading to the airport and waited for Hexx to open- I was actually the first customer of the day! I had my ice cream sandwich made on two sugar cookies, and with half cinnamon ice cream and half banana chocolate. It was divine. Possibly one of the best desserts I've ever had! So rich though that I could not finish it.... I guess that just means I'll have to go back for another someday!


      I already can't wait to be back in Vegas again in the future! One of my favorite cities ever... I could definitely write a very long blog post on all of the reasons that I love Vegas as a vacation destination. I'm already planning to write a recap of the Britney Spears concert that I saw while there for the blog soon!

     Have you ever been to Vegas? If so- where were your favorite places to eat for cheap?

     xoxo Miss ALK

September 19, 2016

One Top Two Ways (Night Look): OTS Top for Fall.

Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography


     Today I'm sharing the part two for how to style this fun fall top. I first shared a casual daytime look last week, and today I'm sharing a nighttime look! This top is technically an off-the-shoulder top, so I figured it was about time I styled it properly here on the blog. I really like how this is an OTS top that is also very fall appropriate. OTS tops and dresses were such a huge trend this past summer, but who says that the trend has to go away just because it's fall? I think this outfit would be perfect for a fun date night, or also for a night out with girlfriends. To give the top some attention, I pulled my hair into a high ponytail, and opted for big earrings instead of a necklace. Wedges and a bold lip finished off this look. 

     I really enjoy putting together blog posts where I either bring back older items from my closet and give them a new twist and re-style, or take a newer item like this top and show y'all multiple ways to wear it! To me, fashion is all about versatility and creativity, and it's always a plus if you can do this while sticking to a budget! Do y'all enjoy seeing posts like these? 

     Thanks again to City Lights Rooftop at Le Meridien Hotel for letting me do a photoshoot for this post (and this post and this post)! Speaking of Le Meridien, I stayed at the hotel this weekend for a fun Charlotte staycation with three of my friends - I can't wait to share more about that later this week here on the blog.

     Hope everyone is having a great start to the week! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

      Thank-you to Make Me Chic for sponsoring today's post. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training.


September 16, 2016

What I Wore for NYFW.

     This is the outfit that I wore when I attended my very first NYFW show last weekend! (Read all about my experience at the Katie Gallagher Presentation in this post.) I originally had a completely different outfit in mind- this one which I ordered online and paid for rush shipping on so that it would get to me in time. However, it still didn't arrive before I left for NYC, so the night before my trip I ran to the mall and was desperate to find something! I have a whole closet full of clothes, but of course I was worried none of them would "do" for something like NYFW - you feel me ladies?! ;-)

     Luckily I found this skirt at the mall! It is both super comfortable and very flattering, and also kind of makes me look like I have a little bit of a booty, which is a win-win since a booty is not something that I was really blessed with - haha!! After trying on a bunch of tops in the mall, I ended up deciding to pair it with a sequin top and jewelry that I already had. I didn't have any idea if it all would come together - but thank goodness it did! 

      I had planned to share some tips for attending NYFW and networking to attend shows and parties at the end of this post, since this was my first experience with Fashion Week. However- I am super tired and it is past my bedtime as I am finishing this post (#honesty), so that blog post might be coming next week! Is this something y'all would like to read more about? 

     Hope that y'all are having a great start to your weekends! I am having a staycation as a belated birthday celebration with three of my best Charlotte girlfriends this weekend, and I can't wait. :-) 

     xoxo Miss ALK



September 14, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.

( Outfit: Top // Sports Bra // Shorts // - Follow me on Instagram + Snapchat @miss_alk!)

  • Recent Travels: After spending the past two weekends out of state, I am finally back home in Charlotte for awhile. I spent Labor Day Weekend in Las Vegas- my roommate and another friend and I traveled out there mainly to see Britney Spears perform, and she was absolutely incredible! Would you guys like a full blog post recap of the concert? And then this past weekend I was in New York City, primarily for a family reunion, but I also met up with a friend from college who lives there now and got to attend a NYFW event! I recapped that in yesterday's post, and I'll be sharing more about it this Friday. 
  • Birthday part 3: Since I have been away for the past couple of weekends and also worked a full day on my actual 22nd birthday, I am finally getting a chance to celebrate with some of my Charlotte girlfriends this weekend! I'm having a staycation in the heart of Uptown Charlotte this weekend, and I can't wait to share more about it on the blog next week. It is so fun to play tourist in your own city sometimes, especially with your best friends! 
  • Switching My Closets: So here's something funny... during my college years here in NC, I would dread the arrival of cooler fall weather, and would wear my summer clothes as long as physically possibly! In Maine we always had such a fleeting summer season, and I wasn't quite ready to give it up despite the start of the school year. But now that I've survived my first summer in NC (with full-on insane humidity levels), I think I'm more than ready to welcome fall! I'm thinking about packing up my spring and summer clothes this weekend and switching over the my fall and winter wardrobe. I'm just chuckling at myself because I never would have done this until almost Final Exams time back in college- my how times change!

  • This technically isn't a new purchase, but something in my closet that I've rediscovered my love for is this tank top. I wore it in an earlier blog post this summer when I talked about atheletic wear, but I recently learned that it also makes the perfect top for traveling! I wore it on three out of my four flights in the past two weeks- it's comfortable, lightweight, and perfect for layering. Would definitely recommend! 
  • This next item makes me feel slightly guilty... so I will admit that I totally used to hate on the blanket scarf trend when it first came out! I thought that it was a fad item that would blow up and then go away the next season. Clearly I was wrong, and blanket scarves have also grown on me. I officially picked up my first Zara blanket scarf while in NYC... they're pretty much the store behind the trend, so I guess I can't hate anymore!
  • I was supposed to wear this outfit for the NYFW presentation that I attended last weekend, but despite paying for rush shipping, it didn't arrive to me until after I got home from the trip. Luckily, it's still a super cute outfit and I can wear it for my Charlotte staycation this weekend!
  • I also bought this fun necklace that didn't arrive in time for NYFW, but I'll be wearing it this weekend as well. 

     My weekly question for y'all: have you ever taken a staycation in your town or city before? :-)

    xoxo Miss ALK

September 13, 2016

Katie Gallagher Presentation at NYFW.

     I was in New York City for a quick and last minute trip this past weekend for a family reunion on my dad's side. The timing of this just so happened to coincide with the biggest week in fashion, aka New York Fashion Week! I knew that I would never forgive myself for being in the city during such a momentous time and not trying to attend any of the events or shows.

     A long story made short for the sake of this blog post, thanks to some kind blogger friends who had already long planned their NYFW trips, I was able to find some PR contacts and start sending out email inquiries about attending events. Many of the events that I heard back on unfortunately conflicted with the family reunion, or were being held after I would have already gone back to Charlotte, but luckily one presentation worked perfectly with my schedule!

     I had the pleasure of attending my very first NYFW event on Friday, September 9th. It was a presentation for the Katie Gallagher Spring/Summer 2017 line. This line was called "Eclipse," and was Katie's third all-black line. The program that I received at the presentation stated that she  is "constantly inspired by this hue that has no hue." A phrase like that definitely makes me see the color black in a new light! 

     The presentation was held at an intimate venue in an open room. Guests stood lined the walls and stood on both sides of the room, and the models walked right down the center of the room. I ended up being closer to the wall so it was harder for me to get close up photos with my phone with some of the people in front of me, but since it was a small enough event I still felt that I could see all of the models quickly! First up I will share some presentation photos from my phone, and next I will share some images of the collection which I was provided after the event, so that y'all can get a better view of the designs.

      The last dress pictured was my favorite item from the collection. Few things are as elegant as a simple yet chic black dress, and the one that Katie Gallagher designed for the Eclipse collection was just stunning.

     It was such an exciting experience and honor to be able to attend my very first New York Fashion Week event! I still can't believe that everything worked out for me to attend this show with the family reunion that I went to- God sure is full of many blessings! :-) I will be sharing in Friday's blog post more details on how I was able to find out about the NYFW presentations and shows open to bloggers in the first place... this will definitely be useful information to anyone who is thinking about going in the future! I didn't know anything about how to attend, and had to pull everything together in just a few weeks to spare. 

     I attended the Katie Gallagher presentation with my friend Audrey from Audrey Madison Stowe - so great to finally meet her IRL! We took blog photos beforehand of our outfits and I can't wait to share mine on Friday! At the show we met up with her NYFW roommates- Amanda from For the Love of Glitter, Taylor from Style is Everything and Brooke from In a World of Bees. I also got to very briefly meet one blogger who I've been dying to finally meet, Alicia from Alicia Tenise (I hope the next time we meet will be for longer!), and get to see Brooke from KBStyled again, who I first met in Charleston at TBSCon. 


     I also got to meet one of my favorite fashion bloggers, the lovely Katey McFarlan from Chronicles of Frivolity! Through reading her blog (and obsessing over her Snapchats #guilty), I absolutely adore her personal style and knack for home decor, and I also admire her huge heart for Christ! Katey is even sweeter in person, and it was just a delight to meet her. 

     All in all, I think that my first taste of NYFW was a huge success! Again I will be sharing this coming Friday all of the details on my outfit (and the story of how I had to put it together last minute!), and some tips for networking and finding NYFW events to attend. For those of you who can't wait for outfit details, I'm linking similar items below:

      xoxo Miss ALK

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