February 29, 2016

Last Chance for Winter Style.











Top: Lands' End // Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters // Shoes: TJ Maxx {found online here!} // Vest: LOFT {older style, similar here} // Sunglasses: {old, similar here} // Purse: Forever 21 // Earrings: {old} // Necklace: ILY Couture {on sale!} // Lips: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie 



     Charlotte's weather has been all about the ups and downs this winter! We will have a few days of frigid temperatures that remind me of Maine, and then before I know it, it's back in the 60s or 70s. Too unpredictable, and it can make it hard to dress!

     This past weekend, it was sunny out, but on the chillier side and quite windy. I knew that I wanted to get a little bit more use out of some of my favorite winter fashion pieces, so I threw this outfit together for a birthday lunch for one of my sorority sisters. The pops of bright blue with the flannel, purse and sunglasses make the outfit more appropriate for the spring transition season! But it still kept me warm and cozy through the harsh winds as well. Win-win!


     This week is absolutely insane for me- I have midterm exams and projects today, tomorrow and Wednesday, and very early on Thursday morning my friend Caroline and I fly out for our trip to Disney for Spring Break! I need to get my packing done ASAP. :-)






     xoxo Miss ALK


     

February 25, 2016

My (Least) Favorite Hair Products: Things I Won't Buy Again!

     This post marks part four (and the final part!) of my four-week haircare products post series on the blog. Parts one, two and three featured my favorite hair products in various categories, and this week's post will take a slightly different focus: I'm instead talking about a few products I've tried that didn't meet my expectations, and that I won't be repurchasing!

     I will not be putting in product links to these items, since I would not recommend them, but instead at the bottom of the post I'll link up some of my favorite items from the past few posts again!





      First up is the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Sassy & Daring Wild. I spoke very highly of a different Batiste dry shampoo scent in one of my other posts in this series, but the Wild scent doesn't get my seal of approval.  It has the same formula as other Batiste Dry Shampoos that I've tried, but the scent is quite, for lack of a better word, repulsive! I'm not really sure what it is that this is supposed to smell like, but whatever it is, I definitely don't like it. I think that it makes my hair stinky, and for that reason alone I would only purchase other Batiste scents in the future!

     Next is the Big Sexy Hair Big Boost hair creme. This is a volume product, and you run the cream under sections of hair before teasing or other products are added. I tried using it several times, and I didn't notice that it helped to add any extra volume to my hair. All that it seemed to do was make my hair look clumpy and dirty in the places that I applied the creme, and it tangled more easily as well.

     And lastly, the Big Sexy Hair Full Bloom Thickening and Refreshing spray. This spray goes onto damp hair, and is supposed to add more body to fine hair. I own a sample size that Ulta gave to me after I bought a lot of Big Sexy Hair products. Anyways, my hair is super thick and doesn't really need any extra body on the bottom of it, so I wasn't really sure what this product could do for me in the first place. I decided to give it a try anyways, but I was disappointed. I applied it to my damp hair (fresh out of the shower) a few times, and saw that each time it just made my hair dry in a very weird way. It dried looking dirty and clumped together, instead of clean and full of volume and bounce. Again- this could be because I already do have very thick hair, but either way I won't be using this anymore!




     Some of my favorite hair care products from past posts in this series are linked below. I hope that y'all have enjoyed learning about my favorite (and least favorite!) haircare products! Shooting some hair tutorials is definitely on my blog agenda for post-graduation! :-)



     xoxo Miss ALK

February 24, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.




{Follow me on Instagram + Snapchat @miss_alk}



Ramblings:
  • Spring Break in 8 Days: The past couple weeks have been quite a whirlwind for me, both with school, and also due to some things and my personal life. I can't believe that my spring break vacation with my dad and my suitemate/dear friend Caroline is just over a week away! However, since I have been so overwhelmed by well, life, I have not at all done the proper planning (or shopping!) yet for my Disney vacation. Again- if y'all have any last minute recommendations for Disney or anything in the Orlando area, please do send them my way! I don't think that I have ever needed a break and a vacation more than I do right now. :-) 
  • A lot can happen in 24 hours: In some positive news, two huge and very positive things happened for me (all at once!) at the start of this week! One thing regarding my post-grad plans, and one thing that is a huge step for my blog. Despite having some hardships this week, there is always much to be thankful for. 
  • Senioritis: Now that my post-grad plans are starting to shape up, I need to admit that senioritis is starting to sink in a bit. I have midterm exams and projects due at the beginning of next week, and my motivation levels are lacking!! I'm hoping that after my upcoming vacation I will return to school feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the last stretch! 
  • Color everywhere: I snapped the photo featured in today's post when I visited a TCBY frozen yogurt store location here in Charlotte this week while babysitting. How fun is the gorgeous color scheme that they have?! As I start thinking more and more about how I want to decorate my first apartment in just a few months (!!!), I realize how much color truly inspires me. I grew up in a very colorfully but tastefully decorated home- my mom is an artist and each room in our home is a different radiant color. I'm realizing that maybe my decorating tastes are more like my mom than I thought! 

Purchases: 
  • With everything that's happened for me this week I haven't done much shopping, but I'm looking forward to retail therapy being on this weekend's agenda! I have a gift card to Kohl's that I've been saving to use for spring break shopping, and something on my radar will definitely be new swimwear! I was browsing their website this evening and absolutely fell in love with this bathing suit. The colors and design remind me a little bit of Trina Turk swimwear, but for a much more affordable price!
  • Another fun Kohl's find: this darling sweatshirt!! It is just perfect for a Disney vacation, so I think that I might need this for my trip. 
  • With midterms week approaching and my final semester flying by, I need to start thinking about graduation dresses soon! Every now and then I peak around online to get ideas. This adorable dress caught my eye this past week- not sure if this style is what I'll end up going with, but it definitely is cute! 


     xoxo Miss ALK

February 22, 2016

Spring Preview.










Top: SheIn // Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters // Shoes: TJ Maxx {similar here} // Sunglasses: H&M // Purse: Forever 21 {very similar} // Earrings: Forever 21 {old} // Necklace: Charlotte Russe // Bracelet: Charming Charlie // Lips: NYC Color Expert Last Lipstick in Velvety Fuschia


   
     Hi and Happy Monday! Ever since receiving this gorgeous top from SheIn in the mail last week, I have been so excited to style it. Charlotte had some milder weather over the weather last weekend, I felt that it was appropriate to break out some of my spring clothes! Spring is my absolute favorite season, and after Valentine's Day if the weather is warm enough, then I'm already back in the spring mindset! 

     This was my first experience with ordering from SheIn. I have heard mixed reviews about this website, but I read a shopping tip on another fashion blog awhile back that suggested to only buy pieces from the site that had user reviews and photos from buyers uploaded. This top had many positive reviews (and the reviews also said to buy it a size larger, which was a great tip!), and it ended up being just fine. I think that if I purchase from SheIn again in the future, I would probably only be interested in reviewed items! 


     What is everyone's plans for the week? I am currently deep in starting to prepare for midterm exams and projects, as well as doing some work on figuring out my plans for post grad life! :-)





     xoxo Miss ALK







February 18, 2016

My Favorite Hair Products: Curl Enhancers + Hairsprays.

     Time for part three of my favorite hair care products series! Check out my post on shampoo and conditioner here, and the second post on dry shampoos and volume products here. Next week I'll be concluding this series by talking about hair products that I dislike and won't be repurchasing, so stay tuned for that as well!

     Before sharing today's items, which are my favorite curl enhancing products and hairsprays, I want to give a little bit of background on my hair. I had naturally pin straight hair up until the start of my freshman year of college (ironically around the same time that I started this blog!), when I decided to perm my hair on an impulse. The hairdresser told me that my newly wavy hair would only last for about six months.... instead it lasted two and a half years! Today my hair still isn't as naturally straight like it used to be, but most of the curls and waves are finally gone. For the years that the perm was still in tact, I tried tons of curl enhancing products to bring out my waves and make it look less frizzy. 



     These are my two favorite products from when my hair was more permed! One is a spray, and that is the Garnier Fructis De-Constructed Beach Wave Chic texturizing spray. You spray it and then scrunch it all over damp hair to enhance curls and waves. It has a nice fresh scent, and doesn't leave hair too "crunchy," which is a problem that I found with many other curl enhancing sprays and gels!

      My favorite curl enhancing gel product is the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Gel. It has the most luscious berry scent- if you need any reason to buy it, buy it for the scent! If you scrunch this into your hair, it helps curls to be a little bit more defined than the Garnier Fructis spray. The spray is more of a wave enchancer, while this product holds curls better.

      Although my hair isn't as naturally wavy anymore, I still keep both products around because they also have a second use. They're both wonderful for using on my hair when I wear high ponytails or up-dos and need to keep fly-away hairs away! I just smooth a little bit of spray (or gel when I have a lot of fly-aways), and I'm good to go for several hours.




     Being honest, I don't wear hairspray very often. I think that hairsprays add a lot of weight and unnecessary product to hair, and I only wear it unless I absolutely need my hairstyle to last all day, or I'm going to be in a very humid or high movement situation (such as a night out on the town with friends- ha!). The L'Oreal Lock It Weather Control Hairspray is my favorite out of the ones that I've tried though. It has a bit of a strange odor which turned me off to it at first, but it's one of the least crunchy hairsprays on the market! It's a product that's easy to build up as needed, and affordably priced.

     A newer hairspray that I've been experimenting with on days when I spend more time curling my hair is the Big Sexy Hair What a Tease BackComb In A Bottle hairspray. This hairspray is extremely sticky and crunchy on hair that it touches, but it's supposed to only be used on small sections of hair that you're teasing. Despite having very thick hair that holds a curl or style well, the one thing that my hair will not do easily is tease! I can use all the extra help that I can get in the teasing department, so on days when I do attempt to tease I have been trying this product.





     I hope that you enjoyed part three of this series! You can always feel free to email me at rainbowflash94@yahoo.com if you have more questions about any products that I've featured in these posts, or about my own haircare routine. As always- these posts are not sponsored in any way, just me sharing some of my favorite hair products!


      I normally share outfit posts on my blog on Mondays and Fridays of each week, but I'll be taking tomorrow off from posting! This week has been very overwhelming for me with school, and I need a little extra time this week for my commitments outside of blogging. I am hoping to shoot lots more looks over the weekend though, and be sure to check out Monday's post if you haven't yet!



      xoxo Miss ALK

February 17, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.



{Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk!!} 



Ramblings:
  • Lent Update: I shared in last week's MR+RP post what I'm giving up for lent this year: social media after 10:30 pm. My first week of this has gone so-so. On weeknights, I've been very good about shutting off social media when it gets late, and in fact my Lent resolution has only helped me to go to bed earlier on school nights! This past weekend I failed on a couple of nights though... (In my defense- Saturday night was an on-purpose fail. My dorm had a minor fire at 3 am on Valentine's Day, and I figured that my Snapchat friends would want a live update. ;-) ). I'm going to try and be better for the rest of Lent and say NO to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat not only on late weeknights, but also weekends!
  • Bills, Bills, Bills: (Did anyone catch the Destiny's Child reference?) A couple of months ago in a different MR+RP post, I shared that I was starting the process to look for my first credit card. I compared many different companies and cards, and eventually decided to go with the DiscoverIT card. So far I have been very pleased with it! It had everything that I was looking for in a credit card (great rewards, no annual fee and no international fees), which are three things that are hard to find all together when you don't have existing credit. Because of these perks I would recommend this card for sure! I just paid my first large bill last week. So far I have been paying all of my bills before my statements are due- I can be very forgetful, so as soon as my charges post online I like to take care of them! I think overall I still prefer using my debit card though- less for me to remember!
  • Galentine's 2016: Since I've been single for every Valentine's Day in college, I try and plan something fun for Valentine's weekend every year to still have something to look forward to. This year I had some mellow but still fun Galentine's plans! I went to the movies with some girlfriends and my Big on Saturday night to see How to Be Single, and on Sunday night I went with another sorority sister to see The Choice. I am more of a comedy fan then a sappy movie girl, so I preferred How to Be Single out of the two movies, but it was still fun to get to go to the theatre twice in a weekend! I rarely go to the movies when I'm at school, and it made me realize how much I actually do enjoy it. 
  • Giving back: For my Senior Capstone class (which I need to complete this semester to graduate as a communication major from my school!), I have to do 20 hours of service work during the course of the semester. I have done some already in the past couple of weeks through my sorority and our wonderful philanthropy, which is the Ronald McDonald House charities.  I'm very excited though today to have volunteer orientation for the organization that I'll be doing most of my service work for my class! It sort of relates to my blog and interests, and I think that it will be a great fit for me. If I love it, I hope to continue serving after graduation! Do any of you volunteer your time and talents for local charities or non-profits? 

Purchases:
  • I didn't make many fun purchases this week because as I mentioned above, I had a large credit card bill last week, and on this week's agenda I need to make a payment towards interest on my school loan, as well as make a donation to my school's Senior Class Gift fund! Isn't becoming an adult oh so fun?! ;-) So instead of highlighting things that I've bought in the past week, I'll be sharing below some things that I already had but have been using a lot lately! 
  • It is almost getting to be past blanket scarf season now that spring is approaching, but I realized an excellent new use for my favorite blanket scarf over the weekend. They do actually make great blankets! I brought mine with me to the movies to cuddle up with, and it was the perfect size to tuck into my purse and then pull out when I got chilly. Here and here are two blanket scarves that I'm loving! 
  • For this past Christmas, my parents bought me this hair straightener (mine is just teal instead of pink) that I had been wanting for a long time. I absolutely love it! My previous hair straightener was years old, and it didn't do a very good job on my hair anymore, since it's getting so long! This new straightener on the other hand gets everything done in about ten minutes or less for me, which is incredible since my hair is so long and thick! I would definitely recommend it- I've been wearing my hair straight so much lately! 
  • I'm starting to look at swimwear for Spring Break since my upcoming travels are quickly approaching! I saw this gorgeous bathing suit top on my favorite Charlotte fashion blogger Caitlin's Instagram, and I can't get it out of my head now! I might need to head to the mall soon and see if I can find it, or something similar!


     xoxo Miss ALK

February 15, 2016

Dressing for a Cold Front.









Sweater: L.L. Bean // T-shirt: Target // Jeans: American Eagle Outfiters // Boots: Tory Burch // Leg Warmers: Charlotte Russe {not online, similar here} // Earrings: In Pink {old, similar style here} // Bracelets: c/o Taudrey // Lips: Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Bare Secret 



      Now that Valentine's Day has come and gone, Spring Break and Easter are on my radar, which also means the arrival of one of my favorite things- spring fashion! But just when I'm getting ahead of myself, the weather outside reminds me that despite being below the Mason-Dixon line, winter is still here for the time being. This past weekend, temperatures in Charlotte were in the 20s and 30s! It was quite chilly and reminded this native Mainer a little too much of home.

      Luckily for me, it was the perfect time for me to break out this cardigan from L.L. Bean. Back when I was home in December, my friend Shara and I paid a visit to the L.L. Bean Factory Store in Freeport Maine, and that's wear I found the cardigan! It is soft and cozy, and the print on it is able to add a fun twist to wintery attire. One of the reasons that I hate freezing cold weather is because I find it very hard to dress for, but pieces like this help to brighten up your look and still help you to stay warm! 


     I hope that y'all had a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend, despite the cold weather in many parts of the country! Did you do anything fun? My weekend was pretty low key- I had a huge annotated bibliography due for my senior ethics class today, so I spent most of my weekend working on that. I also took the time to see two movies in the theaters for Galentine's plans with different girlfriends... which is unusual for me since I rarely go to the movies!





     xoxo Miss ALK


February 12, 2016

A Fresh Start to Mornings with Bioré.

     This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyBioreFizz #CollectiveBias




 
      If you know me, you know that early mornings are not my friend. Through and through, I am a night owl. However, the educational world does not agree with my sleeping habits. During spring 2015, I had all 8 a.m. classes. It was brutal. This year, my schedule has worked a bit more in my favor, but I still have 8 a.m.'s on Wednesdays and Fridays. Yes- 8 a.m. class on Fridays in my final semester of college- I know!! You don't have to tell me- I know it's rough. It doesn't even help that the class is a senior level seminar that focuses on some very interesting parts of the communication industry. It's still just too early!

     I never feel quite fully awake in the mornings for school until after I have washed my face. Once I've gotten out of bed, made it to the bathroom, and splashed my face with cleanser and hot water... then I know my day has officially begun! But since it is so hard to wake myself from slumber, selecting the right facial cleanser for my morning routine is so important. I've tried many different ones throughout the years of college, and it's been hard for me to find favorites.

     I was so excited to get to try two new products from Bioré! Bioré's Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub and Baking Soda Pore Cleanser are two brand-new products to their skincare line, and they both get the thumbs-up seal of approval from me! Both products provide your face with a deep cleanse and gentle exfoliation, and they're designed with combination skin in mind (which is exactly what I have!). The baking soda in these Bioré products helps to purify pores, and in the case of the baking soda scrub, you can actually hear and feel it working! (For real- it makes the coolest fizzing sound!) 


     The first step in my new morning routine is to use the Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub. You sprinkle some into your hand, activate it with water, and then gently rub it all over your face as desired!





     After rinsing my face from the scrub, I put a little bit of the cleanser onto my washcloth and washed my face with that to finish off my morning skincare routine!

     After I've used both products, this night owl feels a bit more awake and alert to start her school day... so thank-you for that Bioré! 









     That is me, completely makeup free, but feeling confident and ready to tackle my day anyways thanks to these invigorating products! Baking soda has power, y'all! 






     Both of these new products can be found easily at your local Walmart, in the facial cleansing aisle! 


     What does your morning facial care routine look like? Have you tried the new baking soda line from Bioré?


     xoxo Miss ALK

February 11, 2016

My Favorite Hair Products: Dry Shampoos + Volume Product.

      I'm back with Week Two in my favorite hair products series for the month of February! You can check out last week's post here, in which I shared my favorite shampoo and conditioner. As always, no post in this series is sponsored in any way! Just a chance for me to share with y'all what some of my favorite hair care products are (and I'll be sharing few of my least favorites too in a couple of weeks!).



      First up in today's post: dry shampoo! As I mentioned last week, my hair is naturally extremely oily. That means that if I'm going to attempt second day (or third day... bless!) hair at all, dry shampoo will definitely be a necessity.

     I won't say that I've tried every dry shampoo on the market, but I have tried several, and I do have two definite favorites now! They are Batiste Dry Shampoo in Coconut & Exotic Tropical, and Tressemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo. I like each of these for different reasons, which is why I continue to purchase both!

     Batiste makes their dry shampoos in a variety of scents and formulas, all with different and fun packaging! I've tried a few of them and have found some that I've liked and some that I've hated (I'll be sharing more about hair products that I dislike during the last week of this series!). The Coconut & Exotic Tropical scent is definitely a win for me though. As someone who is an enthusiast of all things coconut, I think it smells absolutely heavenly! And the formula of the product is great- it's a thicker and more traditional dry shampoo that comes out on hair as a white powder. It does a lot for volume, and I use this dry shampoo usually on days that I'm curling my hair to shoot for the blog, even if my hair was just freshly washed! It really helps my hair to hold a curl and stay voluminous during photoshoots. Bonus: this product is currently on sale through Ulta's website right now!

     The other dry shampoo that I like is from Tressemme. They have a couple different dry shampoos, but I prefer the Fresh Start Volumizing one! It doesn't have quite as thick of a formula as my favorite Batiste dry shampoo, but while I prefer to use the Batiste product for curling or styling my hair, the Tressemme one is just great for refreshing regular second day hair. It has a nice, fresh scent, and is available at most drugstores and national retailers!





     On busy school days when I curl my hair, I don't usually put any products with it. I will curl it quickly, and depending on the weather and humidity levels of the day it might last for several hours, or it might fade more quickly. While my curls themselves usually last well, one thing that my hair doesn't hold onto as well is volume! The top of my hair goes from fabulous to flat in about .5 seconds if I don't have time to put any products in. 

     When I do have the time to put more energy into my curls and style (aka blog shoot days and not school days), I always use this amazing volume product from Big Sexy Hair along with one of my dry shampoos! It's called Powder Play, and it comes out looking a little bit like white baby powder. You sprinkle a tiny bit on the underneath sections of the top of your hair, then run your fingers through it a few times, and then BOOM! Volumized!! 






     Now let me know- what are your favorite dry shampoos or volume products? I am always looking to try more! Stay tuned for next Thursday's haircare post, in which I'll be sharing my favorite curl enhancing products and hairspray!





     xoxo Miss ALK
   

February 10, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.



{Follow me @miss_alk on Instagram and Snapchat!}


Ramblings:

  • Lent: I'm really excited to be giving up something for Lent this year! Every year of college, I have wanted to participate in Lent fasting. Even though I am not Catholic, I think that all people of Christian faith can still celebrate this special season. Yet each year the Mardi Gras holiday happens before I can even catch my breath, and then Easter is here already before I know it! But I made sure that didn't happen this year. For my Lent fast, I am not giving up a food item, but instead something a bit more untraditional. Starting today (and until Easter), I am giving up social media after 10:30 pm. With my blog (and honestly just with being a Communication major!), I cannot give up social media entirely as it's something that I both use for the business of blogging and need for some academic purposes. But I do realize that it can become a bit addictive for me, and many of my favorite websites and apps keep me up way past bedtime each night. By cutting my social media off early during Lent, I'm hoping to use this extra time each night for homework, spending time with the Lord through devotionals and bible readings, and also just going to bed earlier! (I will still be working on blog posts later at night, and using Facebook for blogging groups later at night if needed. But all of my other apps and websites like Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat will be daytime and evening only until Easter!) I am making an exception to this fast during the days that I will be traveling for Spring Break next month- as I know my schedule will be different during that time! Are any of you participating in Lent this year? 
  • About yesterday's post: In yesterday's blog post, I had the opportunity to review an app that helps with organization for online dating. If you use dating apps, then definitely check out the post! I do want to share though that despite having some interesting adventures with both Tinder and Bumble at different points in this school year, I have decided not to pursue dating any further until graduation. My life is too crazy right now- before I factor someone else into my equation, I need to be figuring out my post-grad plans, finishing school on a strong note, and also taking time just for enjoying the last couple months of college! I might get back on Bumble after graduation (definitely prefer this to Tinder!), but we will see. God has given me lots of peace in having the next few months as a single girl, and I'm ready to enjoy that! 
  • New music: I am OBSESSED with this new song by Mike Posner! Do y'all remember him? He had a big hit during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school some years back called Cooler Than Me. (That song will forever make me think of my high school friend Tim- he was the first of my friends to get a license and car, and that whole summer we would listen to Cooler Than Me on trips in Tim's car to the beach! Haha.) Anyways, this song seems to be a totally different sound for Mike Posner, but I love love love it! I wish this song didn't drop an F bomb in it, as I prefer clean music generally. But other then that I can't stop listening! 

Purchases:
  • I had a very stressful Monday this week, and after getting out of a long afternoon meeting I did a little bit of online shopping! I ordered this top and I can't wait for it to come in so that I can style it on the blog- I'll also be bringing it to Florida next month! 
  • You might have seen on my Instagram account last week that I had the chance to test out some products from one of my favorite affordable cosmetic lines, Essence! I was sent so many wonderful goodies that I haven't had a chance to try everything yet, but so far a couple of my favorite items are this liquid lipstick and this concealer stick. Two new favorite Essence products that I will probably repurchase! (And under $10 for both!)
  • The tassel necklace featured in the photo in this post can be found here- isn't it fun?! 


      I hope that y'all are having wonderful weeks so far! Mine has been very busy, and today I have a lot of homework to do before night class, but here's to a hopefully productive day!



     xoxo Miss ALK


      

February 9, 2016

Managing dating apps with Who Now.

   
     I am not one of those bloggers who has two very separate lives: a blog life and a personal life. There are of course things about myself that I do keep off of my blog for privacy reasons, but overall I try to be consistent in both areas of my life, and transparent and approachable with my readers. That means that I'm not afraid to talk about topics beyond fashion on my blog. For example, I'm very open about my Christian faith from time to time here on Southern Belle in Training.

      Something else that I have been open about with all of my reader friends is the fact that I have taken the plunge into the online dating world during this school year. During fall semester, I ventured into the wild world of Tinder. This process was so interesting for me that it prompted a whole blog post about the experience (find that here!). Then in January of this year, I took the plunge and downloaded Bumble, another dating app that is quickly gaining popularity. This app had better results for me than Tinder (Okay- the results weren't so great that my relationship status changed... definitely still single! But my date experiences were actually quite positive on Bumble.)

     Anyways, being involved in dating apps is definitely a time commitment. Not only is it time needed for actually going on dates, but also for weeding through matches and swipe, swipe, swiping away, plus taking the time to manage multiple conversations with various guys through the apps (something I realized quickly that I am not very good at #BadMultitasker). Although I have stepped away from Bumble for the time being until I figure out my post-grad plans, I definitely wish that there could have been something to make the whole process a little more organized for me when I was heavily pursuing dating apps.



     Enter Who Now! This fun app was designed with the amazing purpose of making online dating more organized and social. The concept of Who Now is sort of like a private social media network, where you can privately invite select friends of yours to follow you, and then you can safely and confidentially share information with these friends about your dating matches. In theory- this is a much easier way to get feedback about potential dating options then doing the route of screenshotting every conversation and photo and texting it to many different people in your contacts.

    I invited my best friend Ciera to check out Who Now  with me, as she has also began online dating recently (more on that further down!). I asked her thoughts on the app, and both of us had the same favorite feature: Hotline! Hotline is an anonymous posting forum for all users of Who Now, not just your own network. For those of you in college- Who Now's Hotline feature is sort of like Yik Yak, except all of the posts are themed around dating stories! There are some hilarious anonymous stories on the Hotline, and also some Who Now users who just want some advice about their dating debacles.




     I think that the concept of Who Now is absolutely fantastic for the Millennials, since dating for my generation is becoming so different from what it used to be. I only wish that I had known about this app sooner, when I was more involved in dating apps! I especially wish that I had known about this app on the night that my friend Ciera first downloaded Bumble....

     Ciera is my best friend from my former college, and she graduated college in December! She has been coming to spend most weekends with me here at school in Charlotte now that she has more time in her schedule. On our first sleepover weekend of 2016, I told Ciera that I had recently downloaded Bumble, and was enjoying it a lot more than Tinder. She downloaded it that very night, and we honestly spent the whole rest of the night sitting on my bed together, comparing matches and conversations! It definitely made for a funny memory, but had we known about Who Now at the time, we could have spent our evening doing other things (while still trading dating info ;-) ).


      Fellow online daters: what are you waiting for? Start #DatingWhoNow NOW!


     xoxo Miss ALK



     I am so excited to be partnering with Who Now for today's blog post! Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training.



February 8, 2016

Productive Weekend Attire...







Sweater: Piperlime {old, similar here!} // Top: Lands' End // Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters // Boots: Tory Burch // Bag: {Bought on my trip to France, similar here!} // Binder: Target // Agenda: Lilly Pulitzer // Pencil case: Kate Spade // Necklace: H&M {similar item linked} // Bracelets: c/o Urban Peach Boutique // Nails: Nicole by OPI in Carnival Cotton Candy // Lips: c/o Essence Lipstick in BFF


     Unfortunately for my social life, I was not lucky enough to be a college senior who could afford to float by in her last semester of school. I have an extremely demanding course load for my final semester, and between school, work, blogging and sorority commitments, I have been having to devote a lot of my weekend time to homework. Is this the funnest thing in the world? No. But after making a 4.0 last semester, I know that I want to try and keep my grades as high as possible to finish school on a strong note. 

     This is an outfit that I wore this past weekend for a very productive Saturday morning and afternoon! I spent the later part of my morning at one of my favorite bakeries, working on some writing assignments for my Communication Capstone class. My afternoon took a fun turn though- I got to meet up with Charlotte area blogger Katie from Chic in Carolina! We had fun visiting Not Just Coffee, an Uptown coffee shop that was new to both of us. (Some of you might recognize Not Just Coffee from other Charlotte bloggers' Instagram accounts, especially Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls!) 

      The weather was cooler in Charlotte again this weekend, but I am already thinking spring in terms of colors and styles, so I pulled out some of my favorite bright pieces to make up this outfit! Most of these items that I'm wearing have been on my blog before, but I know that y'all usually enjoy my re-styled outfit posts. My sweater is an older favorite of mine, from the online retailer Piperlime (RIP!)- who else misses Piperlime?! 


     I have an extremely busy week coming up, but there will still be lots of fun new posts on the blog, so stay tuned! :-)





     xoxo Miss ALK 


     P.S. What was everyone's favorite commercial from the Super Bowl this year? Those are what I'm always most excited for each year.... and this one was my absolute favorite from last night!

February 5, 2016

Floral Jumpsuit.








Jumpsuit: Abercombie & Fitch {similar here} // Shoes: Vince Camuto  // Earrings: Target // Bracelets: c/o Urban Peach Boutique // Nails: Revlon Nail Enamel in Raven Red // Lips: Essence XXL Shine Lip Gloss in Pretty in Hibiscus 



     What wacky and wild weather North Carolina has been having lately! From a snow-filled weekend not even two weeks ago, to temperatures hitting as high as 70 degrees this past week! And then it's supposed to be colder again this weekend. I can't keep up! Both my cold and warm weather wardrobes are definitely getting use during this strange winter season.

     I had to take advantage of the sunshine and high temperatures this week and break out my favorite floral jumpsuit! This absolutely perfect to wear on warm winter days; it doesn't look too summery, but still allows you to dress for the weather. And the floral pattern is too pretty! My own jumpsuit was from A&F this past summer, but I have found a very similar one here, and will link more at the bottom of this post! 

     
     For some personal news, my whole week was made yesterday when I found out that my Instagram and blog were featured on Charlotte Agenda! For those of you not from Charlotte, the Charlotte Agenda is an incredible collaborative website that features daily articles all about Charlotte news and social happenings, targeted especially for millennials. Their morning content is the first thing that I read every morning when I grab my phone- before checking any of my own social media (it's the truth!). 

     Anyways, I was featured in a wonderful article all about Charlotte fashion bloggers. I am so honored to have been mentioned amongst some of these amazing women! I was so excited to see my Charlotte blogger bestie Morgan from How 2 Wear It featured, as well as so many other great bloggers who I've gotten the chance to meet over the past few years. Check out the feature here! 


     Have a wonderful weekend!




     xoxo Miss ALK 

February 4, 2016

My Favorite Hair Products: Shampoo + Conditioner.

     One of my blogging goals for 2016 was to start sharing more beauty posts with y'all! I've had several requests to film or photograph a hair tutorial for how I curl my hair. I plan to work on that this summer, after I graduate (and a.) have time to work on non-academic projects and b.) am hopefully living somewhere with a better lighting situation then my depressingly dark dorm room!). 

     In the meantime, I thought it would be fun for the month of February to do a little series for the blog on my favorite hair products! For each Thursday this month, I will be sharing different types of products that I love. And the last week of the month- I'll be sharing a few "misses," or products that I won't be buying again!

     First up for Week One is my shampoo and conditioner! 




    The first thing that you should know about my hair as I start this hair product series... I hate spending money on my hair. Hate it. (This is something I've never quite understood, since it's easy for me to drop lots of money on makeup- ha!) I'll talk more about my hair's history with coloring and other treatments in future posts, but it's now been almost three years since I've done any sort of a treatment on my hair! I keep it long and trim it once, sometimes twice a year. While some of my speciality hair products are a little bit more of splurges, for my shampoo and conditioner I try to keep things as affordable as I can, while still getting what I need from the products!

     The second thing that you should know about my hair, it is extremely oily. I am lucky to have facial skin that isn't too oily or dry... but my body processes excess oil through my hair! I'm not one of those girls who can only was her hair a couple of times a week. I should wash mine everyday for it to look its best. Sometimes with a little dry shampoo and a lot of luck I can get by on second day hair, but it's rare. 

     Because of the amount of oils in my hair, a lot of drugstore brand shampoos don't work for me.  They're designed for people with fine hair, color treated hair, or hair that that is too dry and needs moisture! My hair is neither of those things. It's thick, not colored, and has plenty of natural oils! What I need for my mane to look its best is a clarifying shampoo, or a shampoo to help dry up my hair! Most people that use clarifying shampoos only use them once or twice a week as a supplement to their normal shampoo routine. For me- clarifying shampoo is my only shampoo!

    I use Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo. This is available at Walmart, Target, and just about every drugstore and supermarket in America. It's one of the cheapest shampoos in the whole beauty aisle, and it also does exactly what I need it to do for clarifying. 

    I only use conditioner on the lower half of my hair, and that part of my hair doesn't get as oily as my scalp does. Because of this, I don't use a clarifying conditioner, and instead use one more tailored to my longer hair's needs. I had permed hair three years ago, and my hair has never completely gone back to being pin straight. I use the Suave Professionals Keratin Infused Smoothing Conditioner on the bottom of my hair to help decrease tangles. The straightening and smoothing power of this conditioner definitely works! If I brush my hair while its wet after showering, I notice that it dries with a lot less frizz to it then it used to. 

     Buying both my shampoo and conditioner costs me under $5 usually- Suave products are so affordable! 



    The above shampoo, Pantene Clarifying Shampoo, is actually my shampoo Holy Grail. I have used this off and on for a few years, and always return to it, because it is an excellent clarifying shampoo! This actually works even better on my hair than the Suave one, believe it or not. 

     The reason that I am not using it as much anymore is because sadly this shampoo is almost impossible to find. I was never able to find it at drugstores, and I'm fairly certain that it was a Target exclusive product. My Target here in Charlotte recently stopped carrying it in store. It is still available on the Target website, but in case it disappears altogether I'm trying to train my hair on the Suave shampoo- which is definitely almost as good! 





     Please let me know what you thought of this post! Next Thursday I'll be sharing my favorite dry shampoos and volume product. This post (as well as any future posts in this series) are NOT sponsored in any way- just me sharing some favorite hair products with all of you!


     xoxo Miss ALK