May 30, 2016

Old School Lilly Dress.









Dress: c/o Lilly Pultizer via thredUp // Cardigan: LOFT // Shoes: TJ Maxx {similar here} // Sunglasses: H&M // Lips: Essence Liquid Lipstick in Show Off! 



   


     There are many things that I love about Lilly Pulitzer: the beautiful colors and iconic patterns of the brand, the classic silhouettes of their dresses, and the fact that no matter which season your Lilly is from, it's never out of style! But one thing that I don't love about Lilly Pulitzer are the high prices of each season's current line. Full priced dresses are often in the $200-$300 range, and at this point in my life, I just can't afford to be dropping that much money on dresses all of the time! Lilly's sales are wonderful, but they only happen a few times a year.

     Enter thredUp as an excellent option for shopping Lilly Pulitzer pieces on a budget! thredUp is an online consignment store that sells like-new name brand clothing and accessories. Their brands range from popular mall brands all the way up to designer labels! thredUp carries a wide array of gently used Lilly Pulitzer items, and the prices are very reasonable. Many of the items in stock are Lilly dresses or clothing pieces from seasons past, but since Lilly is the epitome of classic, preppy style, everything is still in! How beautiful is the Lilly dress that I'm wearing here from thredUp?! It would be perfect for all spring occasions, and I'm sad that I didn't have it in time for attending the Carolina Cup last month! 


     Have you ever shopped with thredUp before? They have so many clothing brands on their website, so if Lilly isn't your thing, don't be afraid to still give it a try!


     Hope that y'all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Did anyone have any fun plans or travel anywhere exciting? My weekend was pretty low-key.... I caught up with some friends from college on Friday afternoon and enjoyed my first pool day of the year. On Saturday I attended the evening service at church, and then had a late dinner out with my Big and Little from ADPi (Jess, my Big, moves to Florida for an internship at Disney this week!), Most of my Sunday was spent working. It was a mellow weekend, but needed! 




     xoxo Miss ALK



     P.S. On the actual Lilly Pulitzer website- the awesome free gifts with purchase for Memorial Day Weekend ends today!! 






May 28, 2016

Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Picks + Memorial Day Weekend Sales.






    {The collage is shoppable! Click on each product to shop}



      In the blogging world, fashion bloggers enjoy keeping up with current sales at their favorite retailers and passing the word onto their readers. However, one sale each year trumps all others for blogger promotion. That would be the famous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which begins in mid-July of each summer. If you follow a variety of fashion blogs then you know what I'm talking about! Come the start of the sale, most bloggers will be oversharing gift guides, sale notifications, and Instagram and Snapchat pictures of their favorite finds. But hey- a good sale is a good sale. :-) While I didn't shop the Anniversary Sale last summer (nothing in the 2015 sale really caught my eye!), I bought one of my favorite purchases of all time, my Tory Burch riding boots, in the 2014 sale.


     However- something that isn't to be confused with the Anniversary Sale is another big Nordstrom Sale event, the Half-Yearly Sale, which is happening now! I like to think of this one as the pregame to the main event, which happens later in the summer. As you can see from my round-up collage above though, lots of fantastic items are already marked down now for the Half-Yearly Sale! This is such a great time to stock up on some new wardrobe or shoe collection essentials. (Especially shoes- I think that Nordstrom killed it in the shoe department in the sale this time around! There are even Jack Rogers on sale!)


     Nordstrom isn't the only retailer having a big sale right now. Thanks to Memorial Day Weekend, many stores are having awesome sales right now. My favorite deals are rounded up below:


ASOS - Extra 20% off with code HISUMMER. Ends 5/30.

Ann Taylor - Take 50% off a full-priced purchase, and an extra 40% off of sale items. Use code SUMMER50. Ends 5/31.

Express - 15% off online purchases with code 9492 entered at checkout. Ends 5/31.

J. Crew - 30% off purchases with code WEEKEND. Ends 5/31.

LOFT - 60% off summer favorites + sale styles, and 40% off new arrivals. No code. Ends 5/31.

Macy's - Extra 20% off sale and free shipping for orders over $50. Use code MEMDAY. Ends 5/30

Modcloth - Extra 20% off sale styles. Use code SOHOT. Ends 5/30.

Nordstrom Rack - Extra 25% off all clearance. No code. Ends 5/30.



     And of course, one of my personal favorite stores, Lilly Pulitzer, had to get in on the fun for the long weekend! They are offering some incredible free gifts with purchase during this weekend- so if you're in the market for some new Lilly, now is the time to buy!






     And lastly.... because I talked so much about the upcoming Nordstrom Anniversary sale in this post... and who doesn't love a good meme?! (Fun fact about me: I absolutely adore memes and after I discovered some of the easy websites where you can make them, I now make memes for just about everything and text them to friends on the regular- ha!)







      Happy weekend and happy shopping!



      xoxo Miss ALK

May 27, 2016

Black Lace Romper.








Romper: c/o Tobi // Shoes: Michael Kors // Sunglasses: {old} // Earrings: c/o Micha Store // Bracelet: c/o Stella and Dot {old} // Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink Velvet 






     I was never much for nightlife before I turned 21. The few 18+ bars and clubs in Charlotte never really appealed to me, and still don't to be honest. I never had a fake ID for a number of reasons, but first and foremost because it is illegal. And since my college was so small, it didn't have a great party scene. (Plus the whole idea of college house parties kind of creeps me out- too much can go wrong!) This is a very long way of saying that it wasn't until last fall, after my birthday, that I started enjoying the late night scene and seeing a different side of Charlotte.


     With a change in my nightlife agenda came a need for new items in my wardrobe, specifically good "going out" clothes. In the winter, I usually just wear a pair of skinny jeans and a cute long sleeved top to go out in, but during the warmer months, the outfit potential is endless! The perfect going out outfit is one that is a touch sexy, a touch classy, and lightweight to move in for dancing purposes, while still looking trendy and super cute! 


     Enter online retailer Tobi as my new shopping destination for nightlife attire. They sell more cute rompers, dresses, (and skirts and pants and tops... etc!) than I even knew existed, and most would be just perfect for a night out on the town! I knew as soon as I saw this beautiful black lace romper listed on their website that I had to have it. Is it out of my comfort zone? Yes. But is it also one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing that I've ever put on my body? Yes again! The fabric is so soft and breathable, and it is so flattering on! I am wearing a size Small for sizing reference. I cannot wait to wear this fun romper for my next night out! Also FYI: New customers to Tobi get 50% off of their first order! 


     Speaking of nights out.... I actually haven't gone out since before getting my concussion last month! I am doing very well in concussion recovery- I went back to work the week after graduation, and I have been doing just about everything else in my normal life by this point. But my doctor encouraged me to stay away from both alcohol and loud environments for a longer period of time, as both of these things can give someone recovering from a concussion a set-back. :/ I am hoping that in the next week or so I might be able to enjoy going out again. Until then- I have a beautiful Tobi romper in my closet that cannot wait to be worn! 


     
     Hope that y'all are having a great start to your Memorial Day Weekend! I'll be back tomorrow posting a recap of the best sales to shop for the long weekend. I am excited today to be spending the afternoon out at a pool with some college friends- the weather in Charlotte has been lovely this week and I haven't really gotten to enjoy it yet! 



    xoxo Miss ALK

May 25, 2016

The First Month of Post Grad Life.

     So sorry for the lack of a Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases post on-time for the second week in a row! As I went to my laptop to write it late last night (#procrastinator), my internet went out! The cable went out as well- I'd had the TV on the in the background while I was working. Technology can definitely be frustrating sometimes! Luckily everything is back and running now, and I hope to have an MR+RP post up bright and early next Wednesday.


     For today, I thought it would be fun to share a little recap of what all I have been up to (aside from blogging!) since graduating college. It has been a good few weeks now since I graduated and moved into my apartment, and life has definitely been different since when I was a full-time student. Here is a peak into what my post graduate life looks like:


      Lots of afternoons spent lying by the pool while two of the girls that I nanny for go to swim practices.


     Reunited with a dear friend from my former college, and exploring a new part of NC together for a hiking adventure! 





      Joined a women's bible study (my church calls them LifeGroups).


     Had senior pictures taken (with my Big and my roommate) to celebrate college graduation. I'll share more pictures soon, and do a longer recap post of graduation weekend! 





     Got my North Carolina drivers' license!


     Got my Charlotte-Mecklenburg library card. 


     Am constantly trying different (easy) recipes in my kitchen.


     Booked this year's birthday trip. (With my roommate and one of her good friends! It is top secret where we are going ;-) )


     Was invited to my first wedding (not family related) as a guest, and also was asked to be in a bridal party for the first time for a different friend's wedding! 


     Spent the first half of one day on the phone with Time Warner Cable to try and set up the cable on both TVs in the apartment. 


     Planned and attended another fun blogger meet-up.





     So life as of late hasn't been too exciting, but as y'all can see there have also been lots of little experiences which I know I will treasure memories from! I am getting more and more excited to start broadcasting school in less than two months, and for the fun travel plans that I have coming up in August/September!



     xoxo Miss ALK









       


   


      


     



      

May 23, 2016

(Bare Minimum) Kitchen Essentials for a First Apartment.







     {Shop this collage! Click on the images to shop each item.}



     I have been settling into my first apartment for the past few weeks, and probably the biggest transition from living on-campus in college to having my own place post-grad is having a kitchen! I love to cook and bake, and it is so exciting to finally have my own space to be able to do this in. Something that I didn't account for though was the fact that a kitchen has to be completely built from scratch. While my apartment might have come with a refrigerator, oven and dishwasher, it did not come with any food in the pantry or kitchen tools or gadgets necessary for cooking! These are certainly all things that I took for granted during the summers that I went home. ;-)

     I have some kitchen appliances and tools which my mom and grandma have been collecting for me throughout the past few years, but unfortunately those things are all still at home in Maine. My mom and I are working on a way of getting them down to me later this summer, but until that happens, I've had to figure out some ways to cook with a smaller selection of kitchen tools. 


      Above is a small list that I have comprised of what I deem to be the absolute must-haves for anyone who is hoping to cook in their first apartment! A set of cookie sheets is much needed, because they are used to so much more than just baking! They are essential for heating up certain frozen items in the oven, or for toasting up leftover food items. And with using the oven comes a need for cute oven mitts! My mom purchased my roommate and I several in varying colors and designs, but I really like these polka dot Kate Spade ones from their home collection.

      Even though my roommate and I have a dishwasher, we have yet to use it and prefer to wash our dishes by hand! She picked out this cute dish drying mat for us, it is not only affordable but also blends in nicely with the neutral decor of our kitchen. Something that I had to run out for while cooking one of my first recipes in the new place was a basic set of knives! Knife sets can be a very expensive item and are traditionally a popular wedding registry item. I didn't need anything too fancy for my first place, but this set of three knives was affordable and does the job for now! 

     Finally, the holy grail of my kitchen: our Crock Pot. This was something else that Ciera, my roommate, bought for us (bless her!). I will admit that I was a bit skeptical about it at first. My mom is a great cook, but the occasional recipes that she would make in her slow cooker when I was growing up were never my favorites. Then once I saw this one in our apartment, I started looking up slow cooker recipes on Pinterest and I was amazed at how much you can make in these! I have already made several recipes in it, and it is the easiest thing in the world for cooking: both in terms of saving you the mess of several pots and pans, and also in the fact that you can "fix it and forget it." So practical for two girls like ourselves with busy schedules! If there is a recent college grad in your life (or a college student with an apartment), BUY THEM A CROCK POT if they don't have one! Best gift- I promise! :-) 


       And finally- a mug that accurately describes post-grad life! My real-life friends know that I am obsessed with cute mugs. I have a fairly large collection of fun mugs, and that doesn't include my constantly growing collection of the Starbucks You Are Here mugs, which I enjoy picking up when I travel (Although I don't drink out of those- ha!). I personally definitely don't need another mug to add to my kitchen, but this one made me laugh and I think it would be great for any other recent grads! 



     Fellow new apartment-leasers or anyone who has been through the process of having a first apartment before: what were your must have kitchen essentials before you had your whole kitchen put together? Building a home, whether an actual house or a small apartment, is definitely a process!


     And please let me know as well what you thought of today's post! It was one of my blogging goals this summer to incorporate some apartment/new-to-adulthood type blog posts alongside my regular fashion content, so please let me know if this type of post is something that you would like to see more of!



     xoxo Miss ALK

May 20, 2016

A Twist on Chambray + May Blogger Meet-up Recap.







Top: {Old from Piperlime, very similar here} // Skirt: {Old from Red Dress Boutique, another fun summer skirt option here} // Shoes: The Walking Company {similar here} // Necklace: c/o Nava New York // Lips: Essence Liquid Lipstick in Show Off! 


     This is the outfit that I wore for the May meet-up for the North Carolina bloggers of the InfluenceHer (formally known as Her Campus) blogger network! I had originally planned to wear an even more summery-looking skirt outfit for the day of, but the weather ended up surprising us all and being a little chilly on the day of. With temperatures only peaking at about 70 in the afternoon, I knew that wearing long sleeves was a must. So I went through some of older clothes in my closet that I had recently re-discovered when moving, and put together this fun look. My top and skirt were originally featured in blog posts that I did a couple of years ago (found here and here).  

     For this month's blogging meet-up, we met at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC! This is about a forty minute drive west of the city. I love botanical gardens and had always wanted to visit this one while I was in college, but I suppose it was worth the wait. :-)

     There were delightful and well-maintained outdoor gardens throughout the property, complete with fountains and other small attractions. An interesting feature of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden are a series of small child sized houses that various artists have designed throughout the gardens and woods, which helps to add a sense of whimsy. A picture of our group exploring the "Mirrors" themed house is below!




     I think that everyone's favorite part of the day though was getting to explore the beautiful indoor greenhouse. This is where we got to see the best species of plants! 






     They even had one of the little houses in the greenhouse, this one in the form of a teepee!









     The icing on the cake to our day in the garden was that there were a few food trucks making their way around that afternoon! We all enjoyed some yummy snacks after exploring, and then finished the day with blog photos. (What else do you expect for a group of bloggers? ;-) )


     It was so great to see some of my favorite NC bloggers last weekend, and I'm already looking forward to planning our next meet-up! If you are an NC blogger and/or member of the IHC Blogger Network, please email me at rainbowflash94@yahoo.com so that I can keep you in the loop about our future events!






     xoxo Miss ALK

May 19, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases (on a Thursday!).




{Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk!} 




Ramblings:
  • Blogger meet-up fun: In tomorrow's post I'm excited to share my outfit details and a recap of the latest meet-up for the North Carolina region of the InfluenceHer blogger network! As I have shared before, I am the regional chair for NC, so I get to plan fun meet-ups for other local bloggers. As always, this month's meet-up was a total blast! The above picture was taken with Cara from Caralina Style at the event. 
  • The BEST Crock Pot recipe EVER: With moving into my new apartment, I am so excited to finally have my own kitchen to cook in! I absolutely love cooking and baking, but I never had a place to do it while in college. Something that I realized very quickly though after the move is that kitchens are built over time! All of the necessary appliances and utensils necessary to make complicated recipes add up to being a lot of money, so my kitchen tools will grow with time. In the meantime, I have been adoring the Crock Pot that my roommate bought for us! (This is the one that we have for those interested!) I have already made a few Crock Pot recipes since it is such a simple method for cooking meals with, but y'all, this recipe right here... LIFE CHANGING. Possibly one of the best soups that I have ever tasted! I can't wait to make it again soon.
  • Post-grad friendships: Something that I have learned very quickly in the weeks since graduation is that your college friendships change quickly after the diplomas are received. I don't remember their being such a big transition with my high school friends immediately after graduation (things started to change more once I moved to NC for school). It has definitely been an adjustment for me not to be living on campus anymore and to be immersed in college life. As an extrovert, I loved having people around me 24/7, even if they weren't all my close friends! While I love my new apartment, life is much quieter here, and I have to go out of my way to find time to meet up with friends. Can anyone else relate to the weird friendship transition after college? 
  • Citizenship!!! Something very exciting that happened for me last week was finally becoming a citizen of North Carolina! I passed the (modified) version of the NC drivers' exam, and finally have a new license to call my own. Y'all- my Maine license was rough. I'm honestly not sure what was worse, the large moose decoration on the license, or my horrific picture! But luckily I have a beautiful new license on its way to me, and I'm finally a resident of the city and state that I adore so much. Next on the post-grad to-do list: get a library card!


Purchases:
  • One of my newfound fashion obsessions is the clothing brand Cece by Cynthia Steffe. Their pieces are always colorful and feminine, and they make the most unique styles! A couple of the department stores in Charlotte's SouthPark Mall carry Cece, and I always enjoy browsing at the latest styles. I picked up this beautiful dress  this past week, which I can't wait to style on the blog soon! 
  • I have been suffering from a lot of break-outs this week, which is unusual for me. I'm not really sure what it's due to, but I know that I want them gone ASAP! I picked up this new acne spot treatment yesterday and am currently testing it out- hoping for great results! 
  • These adorable shorts are on their way to me in the mail right now and I just can't wait for them to get here!! 


     xoxo Miss ALK





May 17, 2016

A New Take on Grocery Shopping.

     As most of you know, I moved into my first apartment about a week and a half ago. Even though I am living just a short drive away from my alma mater, adult life is definitely a change from the college dormitory lifestyle that I was used to. All the elements of my life have changed- definitely for the better! But still, change is change, and can be interesting to get used to.

     For example, take grocery shopping. In college, I looked forward to my weekly grocery runs in which I would solely purchase snack foods. Everything that I would come home with would just be foods to munch on during homework breaks or for midnight snacks. I never had a kitchen in college as I lived in dorms all four years, so my grocery lists were always quite simple! Now that I have an apartment, I'm not only still purchasing my wide array of favorite snack foods, but also fresh items such as meats and produce, and I also need to buy everything necessary to stock a pantry so that I can start cooking and baking- whew!


     Instacart, a grocery delivery service that is brand-new to Charlotte, came into my life at the perfect time for my adulthood transition period. Instacart is known for providing fast and reliable same-day grocery delivery service in the cities that they operate in, and they also work with as many grocery store chains in each location as they can (including both regional and national chains!). With many trips to the grocery store in my current future, I was so excited to get to try out Instacart for myself!





     The perfect day to test out the service came for me at the end of last week. I visited a grocery store earlier in the day to stock up on some pantry items and some things that I needed for a recipe that I wanted to attempt that evening, but as to be expected, there were a couple items on my grocery list that I forgot. Several hours later, when I had already begun cooking the recipe, I realized what I had forgotten to get at the store, and knew that this was the perfect opportunity for my first Instacart order!

     I logged onto my account, selected which grocery store I wanted my items from, and placed an order. I was amazed that even in the evenings, delivery times were available within the hour!





     While my shopper was out purchasing my items, she had to make a substitution for something that I requested (they were out of name brand on a product so she had to purchase store brand). I was notified about the changes via text, and I loved being kept in the loop!


     My shopper arrived promptly and right to my door at the start of my expected delivery time, with all of my groceries in tow! I was able to finish my recipe without leaving my apartment, which was awesome! I was very impressed with my first Instacart experience, through and through.





     Instacart is currently available in cities all across the United States, and they continue to expand into new locations. They have generously sponsored a giveaway on Southern Belle in Training for one month's worth of free delivery service and a $50 credit to one lucky winner! This giveaway is open not only to Charlotte-based readers, but to anyone across the US who has access to Instacart in their city! Or if they haven't come to your location yet, then enter for an out-of-town friend- what a great gift this could be to another new college grad, or someone who has a very demanding work schedule and finds it hard to make time to grocery shop! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway




      One of the entries to the giveaway is leaving a comment on this post- how easy is that! :-)


     P.S. More pictures of my apartment will be to come this summer on the blog! I am still very much in the early stages with decorating and still have a few boxes to unpack. But I do plan to share more once everything is set!




     Today's post was sponsored by Instacart. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!


     xoxo Miss ALK

May 16, 2016

My Color of the Year.








Top: The Limited // Shorts: The Limited // Shoes: Michael Kors // Purse: Coach // Earrings: Tory Burch // Necklace: c/o Nava New York // Bracelets: c/o Taudrey // Lips: NYC Color ExpertLast Lipstick in Forever Fuschia


Photo Credit: Deanna Kay Photography



     Ever since I was little, blue has always been not only my favorite color, but a go-to color of mine for fashion. I love all shades, although anything aquamarine I have a special soft-spot for.  There's just something about a beautiful shade of blue that makes me happy!

     But in the past year or so, another color has taken up a special place in my heart: a distinct fuchsia or neon pink. This color is so fun to wear, and I have enjoyed incorporating pieces in it into my wardrobe (such as this Lilly Pulitzer top from this blog post, or my 21st birthday and Carolina Cup dress!). The two Pantone colors of the year might both be lighter colors, but currently this pretty shade is having me love all things BRIGHT- even more than I did before! 

      When I saw this versatile top in my new favorite color in the mall recently, I knew that I had to have it! I love purchasing pieces such as this which I can dress up or down and style many ways, so this top was truly a win-win. And how fun are these striped shorts! I definitely can work on improving my shorts game for this season. I've always been more partial to skirts, but who says that shorts can't be adorable too?!


      Also for some exciting blog news: I have officially hired Southern Belle in Training's first photographer! I was very blessed during the first few years of having this blog to have various friends (at both of my colleges!) who helped me out over the years with the pictures for this blog. Most recently, my suitemate from senior year (and dear friend) Caroline did just about all of my photography for this most recent semester, and I think that she did a fantastic job! But with graduation and moving to a new part of Charlotte upon me, it was the right time professionally to hire someone.

     After going through the process of looking through many Charlotte photographers, I decided to work with Deanna of Deanna Kay Photography! So far I could not be happier! She is an absolute sweetheart, and I can't wait to see how her incredible work will help to benefit Southern Belle in Training. :-) You can check out her work on Instagram @dkourtneyphoto.





     xoxo Miss ALK

May 11, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.




{Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk!}





Ramblings:
  • Moving: In this week alone I have not only graduated college, but also moved into my first apartment! I lived on campus in different dormitories for all four years, so this apartment brings many "firsts:" my first big-girl bed, my first kitchen, and first walk-in closet, just to name a few things! As excited as I am to have all of the little luxuries of adult life in my new home, moving itself isn't very fun. As I am still recovering from my concussion, I have to take unpacking and organizing one day at a time, so things are coming along slower than I would have liked. I'm hoping to still keep going strong by doing a little more unpacking with each day!
  • Something for the blog: Be sure that you're following me on Snapchat @miss_alk, because this evening after work I am starting on something new and exciting for Southern Belle in Training! I have been planning this for awhile. 
  • A shout-out to my other job: I've mentioned this before on here, but my "day job" for the past few years during the school year has been working part time as a babysitter for some wonderful Charlotte families. I am excited to continue babysitting this year while I am in Broadcasting school , and currently my jobs from the school year are still going on. I had to take a few weeks off of work unexpectedly after the concussion (mainly since I couldn't drive!), but this week was my first week back to work. In the time that I was gone from the families that I work for, two of the girls that I watch had found my blog. :-) I had a very fun afternoon yesterday going through some older blog posts with them and answering a lot of questions about blogging! I am truly blessed to currently have the two best jobs in the world: babysitting and being a blogger! 
  • Blogging meet-up: I am the Regional Coordinator for North Carolina for the the InfluenceHer Blogger Network (formally the Her Campus Blogging Network), and every 1-2 months I try and plan fun blogging meet-ups for local Charlotte and North Carolina bloggers and members of this region of the IHC! We have our next meet-up this weekend. If you are a local Charlotte or NC blogger, please email me ASAP, I would love to invite you to our event! 

Purchases:
  • These fun shorts will be on the blog soon, and I am looking forward to wearing them this summer as well! They're a perfect way to add a nautical touch to a summer ensemble. 
  • Fuschia has become one of my new favorite colors to wear over the past couple of years. When I saw this bright top, I knew that I had to have it! 
  • I need to admit that over the past weekend, in a very short amount of time I spent a scarily large amount at a discount home goods store near my apartment. #FirstApartmentProbs haha! I purchased everything from bedroom accent pillows to bar stools for my kitchen! This pillow looks very similar to one of the accent pillows that I bought- I can't wait to share a bedroom tour on the blog next month! 



     xoxo Miss ALK

May 10, 2016

Dressed Down Chic.








Top: Target // Shorts: J. Crew Factory // Shoes: Marshall's {similar} // Earrings: {Mine are from a jewelry store in Maine, tassel earrings at similar price point linked here!} // Bracelet: Kate Spade {old, similar style here} // Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure


    
      There are a variety of adjectives that can describe my personal style, but I would say that my outfits usually represent descriptive words such as "colorful," "glam," and sometimes even "over the top." But every now and then, I like to keep things casually chic. This simple shorts outfit that I wore while studying for exams last week is a perfect example of what it looks like when I dress down. This is a functional outfit that is still put-together and coordinating, but not too overdone. 

     Everything that I'm wearing in this outfit has been featured on my blog before! I know that many of y'all enjoy my restyled fashion posts, so I try and incorporate them into my content from time to time. It definitely isn't realistic for someone on my budget to be wearing new clothes 100% of the time, so I enjoy finding creative ways to re-wear pieces that I already own. 


    Also! The tassel earrings that I'm wearing here are a favorite pair of mine, and I got an incredible bargain on them at one of my favorite stores back home in Maine. (Incredible bargain as in I paid under $5!) But the good news for all of you is that I found a similar pair of tassel earrings online at an equally similar price point, these are also priced under $5! 



     Be sure that you're following me on Snapchat- tomorrow evening I'm scheduled to be starting something exciting for the blog and I can't wait to share more! My Snapchat username is the same as my Instagram: @miss_alk.


    Hope everyone is having a great week!




     xoxo Miss ALK 

May 9, 2016

I GRADUATED!




     Goodbye college and hello adulthood! As of Saturday, May 7th, 2016, I am a proud graduate of the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. 

     Up until now, I have never publicly shared the name of my college on my blog for privacy reasons- but you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat then you probably already knew where I went to school, haha! UNC Charlotte is a large public university that is also located in Charlotte (although in a different part of the city), and I have had blog readers before who assumed that I went to school there, and I just left the assumptions at that while I was still a college student. But now that I am all finished with school, I figured that it was time to finally share where I spent the last three years!

     I have lots of photos from graduation weekend to share on the blog at some point soon, and next weekend I am having professional senior photos taken, so those will be fun to post as well! This will be a big week of playing "catch-up" for the blog, as my blog had to go on the back burner of my life for the past couple of weeks as I dealt with a very unexpected concussion during the end of school. I am so thankful to be feeling a lot better now! My energy levels still are not what they were before, but other then than I feel pretty much my normal self again. The fact that I was able to take all of my exams without incompletes and receive my diploma on time after dealing with something like that is still unbelievable to me- God is good! 


     Anyways, as this week I tackle returning to work, unpacking in my apartment, and beginning to make the transition from college student life to adulthood, please help me out by letting me know what types of posts YOU would like to see on Southern Belle in Training soon! Now that the unexpected craziness in my life has settled down a bit, I will have much more time soon to devote to the blog, and I want my content to be as good as it can be, and posts that y'all enjoy reading! I would love suggestions for both fashion and lifestyle content. :-) It has been my plan for many months to finally work on a hair tutorial post for y'all once I graduate college, and that's on the agenda for June! As well as a tour of my new bedroom in my apartment. But please let me know anything else that you would like to see! 



     I'll be back tomorrow with an outfit post!


     xoxo Miss ALK

May 4, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases (+ UPDATE from last post!)



{Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk!}


      First and foremost, thank-you to all of you for your sweet comments from my previous blog post! They truly meant the world to me during two difficult weeks. I cannot even put into words how much the blogging community does mean to me. It's times like these that remind me how the friendships made in the blogging world are 100% real, and your encouragement during a tough and unexpected time in my life was so special to me.



Ramblings:

  • Concussions. are. not. fun: In case you missed my previous blog post or recent social media updates, things have been a bit quieter than usual here on Southern Belle in Training as I have been recovering from an unexpected concussion. Due to confidential reasons beyond my control I am not allowed to discuss the circumstances that lead to my concussion, but all I will say is that the reasons behind everything were almost as hard to deal with as the physical pain and hardship of having a concussion in the first place! I did play a couple of years of sports in high school, but was lucky enough never to have a concussion, so this was my first experience with one. Those who have also had one can agree with  me- they are terrible! Probably the worst part was how boring the first week of recovery was- unlike being in sick in bed with a normal illness, what you can do during concussion recovery is so limited! By doctors orders, I couldn't blog or watch Netflix (or really be on the computer at all), and my cell phone usage was limited also. I am doing much better now of which I am thankful for, but I am still not 100%. For the next month there will still be some things that I won't be able to do, and that will be difficult.
  • Thankfulness through tough times: Despite dealing with all of this during my final exams week and senior week or college, as well as everything else associated with the situation, since I had so much time in bed to myself over the past couple of weeks it allowed me plenty of time to think. During that time, I did a lot of praying, and many of those were surprisingly prayers of thankfulness. Yes- there were lots of moments that I was very irritable and upset about what happened, and frustrated by things that I had to give up or lose for recovery. But there were also moments that I felt much growth in my faith, and that I had to thank the Lord for His goodness. For example- having such limited use of technology for over a week made me realize how lucky I am just to have access to things like electronics and blogging, and even to have eyesight! And spending so much time in bed made me realize how lucky I am to have a healthy body that is (normally) able to be physically active- once I am fully recovered I hope to make a much better commitment this summer to physical fitness. 
  • GRADUATION! Other than the fact that I have been in bed for the past couple of weeks, the other big news around these parts is that I will be a college graduate on Saturday! It didn't seem real before, and after my life as of late it feels even more like a dream. Be sure to stay tuned to my Instagram and Snapchat this weekend @miss_alk for lots of updates from graduation festivities and my move! I am excited to have extended family from both my mom and dad's sides here in Charlotte with me to celebrate. 
  • Back at it: My normal posting schedule will resume on Monday, May 9th. I am so so so excited to get back to blogging regularly! Big things are coming this summer to the blog and I can't wait to begin on everything.


Purchases:
  • I wore these gorgeous earrings for my final sorority formal a few weeks ago, and they're still available! Pretty and a reasonable price- always a win-win!
  • I recently got a new iPhone! I'm so excited to have finally upgraded from my little and dying 5S to the big and beautiful 6S plus. After looking at a few different options, this is the first case that I chose to go with for my new phone. 
  • Something very similar to my graduation dress was just re-released in a new print... dare I say that I like this version better than the one that I have?! 


     Talk to you all next Monday!! 


     xoxo Miss ALK