June 29, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.




{With Cara from Caralina Style in Charlotte a couple weekends ago - photo by Deeana Kourtney Photography! Full blog post with my outfit found here}




Ramblings: 
  • 48 hours home: This past weekend I was at home in Maine! I was technically home Thursday-Sunday, but I had some unexpected travel delays on Thursday evening (I flew one-way), and most of Sunday was spent doing last minute packing for the drive back to North Carolina, so in reality I had two days to enjoy my time at home. I was lucky in that the weather was crisp and beautiful for the weekend- it was very refreshing to get away for a couple days from the 90+ degree temps in Charlotte. Since it was a short trip, I didn't get to do everything that I wanted, but I did manage to catch up with a couple friends, have dinner with my mom's family, and enjoy brunch with all of my co-workers from the store that I used to work at! If you would like to learn more about my hometown or the summers that I did spend at home, you can search the label "Southern Belle in the Bunk" here on the blog to see the fashion and photography series that I did last summer in Maine.
  • Travel guide: Today (provided the last leg of the trip goes safely ;-) ), my mom and I will be back in North Carolina after our road trip back! I have done the Maine/NC and NC/Maine drive many times with my dad during my college years, and it was interesting to do it with my mom for the first time, and to show her some of the places that my dad and I have always stopped at along the way. A blog post idea that came to me yesterday was to do a Western Virginia road trip travel guide, as I have spent a lot of time driving through this area over the past few years, and have stopped at some interesting spots here. Would this be a post that would interest y'all? 
  • Speaking of travel... So sorry that all of my ramblings have all been travel focussed so far this week! One last one- I recently updated the "Travels" tab on the homepage of my blog- it now has all of my past blog posts related to travels and vacations updated and organized by domestic and international travel! Let me know what you think of it. 
  • This is hilarious: This might be one of the funniest things that I've seen on Buzzfeed in awhile! I think #31 is my favorite... I actually laughed out loud at that (for far too long than I should admit!). 


Purchases: 
  • I didn't have any time to go shopping this week... my trip home was a whirlwind, and the rest of the week has been spent on the road! :-) Plus, with 4th of July sales coming up this weekend (and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale later in July), I felt like this was a week to save and not spend.
  • Speaking of the Nordstrom Sale... this is a great time to apply for a Nordstrom credit or debit card if you don't have one! Cardholders get early access to all sale items on July 14th (it opens to the public on July 22nd), so if you have a feeling that the items you'll be going for might sell out quickly, this is the way to go! I personally am not a fan of additional credit cards, so I am planning to apply for the Nordstrom debit card- I think it's so great that they give two options! 



      It was so much fun concluding last week's MR + RP post with a question for y'all! I will definitely be keeping that as apart of all future posts to come. This week's question: What new or upcoming movies are you hoping to see? Let me know in the comments!

     I personally am really looking forward to when The Secret Life of Pets comes out soon- it looks too funny from the trailers! I also keep hearing so much buzz about Finding Dory. Being honest- I was never the biggest Finding Nemo fan (I know, I know!), but I will say that I think the sequel looks very cute. 



      xoxo Miss ALK

June 28, 2016

Putting Faith First.




Photo by Deeana Kourtney Photography (flowers from Trader Joe's ;-) )



      I have always been very honest and upfront that this blog is not only a fashion blog, but a Christian fashion blog. My faith has been an integral part of my life for many years. It is what I clung to during rough parts of high school, is what lead me to move to North Carolina (as I began my college journey at a Christian college in rural NC before transferring), and is what gives me my moral compass for the ways in which I choose to lead my life. 


      The first time that I ever really began to consider having a relationship with Jesus was at a weekend youth retreat with my old church when I was in the 7th grade. My mom and I attended this church from when I was in 3rd grade until my 8th grade year, and I still look back on it as the church that I grew up in. Anyways, this weekend retreat took place at a camp on Lake Winnepisaukee, New Hampshire's biggest lake (and still one of my favorite places!). The theme of the retreat was to teach students about the persecuted church around the world. I remember being just 12 years old, and feeling my heart breaking as I learned about how Christians in other parts of the world had to practice their faith in secret for fear persecution or even torture. I had never felt so lucky before to live in a country where I was free to practice my religion. I knew that if people around the world were still willing to die just for the right to believe in Christ, there had to be something to that. The rest of the youth retreat itself ended up being a bit of a disaster for me as I ended up catching some sort of a sickness and coming home very under the weather, but the lessons that I learned stuck with me through the years, and after that experience I knew that I had accepted the Lord as my Savior. 


     Faith certainly is a journey. Like with any journey, there are highs and lows at different points. While I have never gone through any periods of my life since accepting Christ where I have completely lost my faith, there have certainly been seasons where my Christian beliefs have become more of my identity, and less focussed on my relationship with God. Christianity should be something that is lived and breathed everyday. Not just something that I say I am or that people know me as on paper. I am so thankful that my beliefs did help to keep me true to my morals during college, as this is a time when many students stray from the foundation that they grew up with. But faith is about so much more than things like not having a fake ID when you're underage, choosing not to have sex before marriage, or keeping radio edit versions of popular songs in your Spotify playlists. Faith is having an active relationship with the God of the universe, and His Son Jesus Christ.


     I have been through a lot in the past few months, a lot more than just graduation from college. I've been through some very tough situations. I do hope to be able to share more about some of these things someday in the future on my blog, although today is not the time. But what I will say is that having some life experiences happen that shook me to my core has given me a reason to run full force back to my faith. 


     How am I doing this? I'm making attending church a top priority again. My church in Charlotte has multiple Sunday services as well as a Saturday evening service, so despite my weekend plans, I really don't ever have an excuse not to attend! I'm also trying to get better about incorporating prayer into many parts of my day, especially when things aren't going my way. Giving my frustrations up to God is a great way to to recharge and try to channel positivity over negativity. And lastly, by building Christian community. Something that's rang true to me lately more than ever is the importance of having a solid group of Christian friends in your life, who share and support your faith and morals. I have found community through a young women's bible study group that my roommate and I joined last month through my church - I can't even put into words how much of a blessing this group has been in my life! 


      Lastly, I want to start sharing more about my faith again here on my blog.  It is such a big part of my life, and as I work on rediscovering my relationship with Christ this summer, I want y'all to be apart of this journey!



      During my trip home this weekend, I had the chance to pack up some things from my house to move down to my apartment in Charlotte. Most of what I moved was kitchen stuff, but I did slip a couple of my favorite devotionals and faith related reads into my suitcase. I think that this summer will be a great time to rediscover some of the the books that have made an impact on my faith in the past! Sharing some of my favorites below:






     xoxo Miss ALK

June 27, 2016

A Black and White Summer Look.













Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography



     The warmer months are my favorite time of the year for fashion trends, mainly because it becomes acceptable to wear bright colors and prints all of the time! I don't really let the fall and winter months stop me from my colorful wardrobe... but I'm sure that I do get looks from time to time when I try and break out my favorite Lilly pieces in January for example. ;-) But in summer, anything goes as far as colorful outfits! 


    
      As much as I love all of my favorite bright summer outfits, sometimes it's nice to take a day and break out some neutral pieces from time to time. There is always something very crisp and put-together feeling about wearing an all black and white outfit. My black top that I am wearing was a recent Marshall's bargain find. I love how it is simple in the front, and then open and sheer in the back- tops and dresses that come with a little element of surprise like that are always so fun! And these white skinny jeans that I'm wearing are my absolute favorite, and the price point isn't bad either. 



     Today my mom and I are currently on the road driving back to North Carolina from my hometown in Maine! I flew home late Thursday night and spent the weekend at home visiting with family and a couple of my friends. Since we are driving back, I was able to move a lot of things back from home to my new apartment! I am the most excited about having lots of new kitchen things to play with soon... that's when I know I've become an adult. ;-) 







      xoxo Miss ALK




June 26, 2016

Unboxing the PopSugar Must-Haves Box.





     Popping in for a weekend blog post to share with y'all about a fun package that I recently received in the mail thanks to Popsugar! Subscription box services have become all the rage in the last few years. The first one that I was ever familiar with was Birchbox, the popular beauty subscription service. Next came Ipsy, another makeup and beauty based subscription, and before you knew it there were monthly subscription services for everything and anything! While I haven't personally tried Rocksbox, many other fashion bloggers are affiliates for this popular jewelry rental service subscription. There are also wine clubs, pet lovers' subscription boxes, subscription boxes with treats for your pets... the list goes on! The first subscription that I personally tried was Shop Ditto, the designer sunglasses rental service (so far I'm loving it - use my code MISSALK for one month free btw!).

   
     Since I just recently have had such a good experience signing up for Shop Ditto, (and since I finally have a permanent address in North Carolina!), I thought that this would be a good time to try out another subscription box. So the timing ended up being perfect when Popsugar sent me one of their Must Have Boxes to review! This monthly subscription box comes in two different sizes: the original Must Have Subscription size (which I received and is pictured), or a mini version. The Must Have size contains over $100 worth of fun surprise items, which you can have each month delivered to you for $39.95 (the mini version is $18.95).


   



     A whole bunch of assorted goodies were inside of my box! The first thing that I dove into was the edible item, which was called Pressels. These tasty snacks are a fusion between pretzels and chips. I loved them, and my bag was devoured quite quickly! If I found these in my local grocery store I would definitely pick up another (hopefully larger) bag. 


     My box also contained a few beauty items! I received a fun red and blue glittery nail polish from a brand called ncla, which I know will be perfect for next week's Fourth of July festivities. The small square red thing pictured in the middle of the box is the most adorable little pocket sized mirror! I needed another small mirror for a purse that I've been using a lot this summer, so that came in very handy. The last beauty item was a package of deodorant wipes from Pacifica. I will be honest and say that I didn't have a chance to try these yet before I left for my trip home- but I am looking forward to trying them soon, and I've heard good things about the Pacifica brand! Deodorant wipes definitely sound like a needed product for humid and hot Charlotte summers. 


     The other few items were assorted goodies, and I liked everything else included! The item which you can see on the bottom of the box that is white with black designs is a lovely summer scarf. It has been a bit too hot in Charlotte lately for any type of scarf-wearing, but after being home in New England this weekend I am wishing that I had brought this along- it would have been perfect for the weather. The gold "CHEERS" bottle opener is absolutely darling, and I know will come in very handy in my new apartment for times when I'm entertaining! And lastly, the fun card game enclosed in the cute box. This game seemed so intriguing and it was one of the games that I actually kept on deck for my housewarming party- I was kind of sad that we didn't get a chance to play. 



     It was such a delight to receive the June Popsugar Must Have Box in my mailbox this past month! Have any of you ever tried this subscription box? Do you have any subscription services that you're loyal to?



     xoxo Miss ALK




      Popsugar provided gifted product in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!  

     

June 24, 2016

A Timeless Dress Option.












Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography



     With the amount of time and money that the fashion industry puts into brand identity and customer loyalty, it is no surprise that the simple act of just hearing the name of a certain retailer can instantly bring certain descriptive adjectives to mind for customers. Or vice versa. For example, if someone says the word "trendy" to you, I bet that you can instantly think of a store or two that in your definition, fits the bill for a retailer that always provides clothing and accessories that are always fresh and on trend. 


      Personally, when I hear words such as "timeless," "refined" and "chic" in a fashion context, one of the first stores that I always think of is Banana Republic. This is a classic American clothing retailer that has not only stood the test of time, but Banana Republic has continued time and time again to come out with clothing collections that stay true to the core facts that set their brand apart, and give it the upscale yet accessible feel that keeps customers staying loyal.


      This season, I think that Banana Republic's stand-out items are their summer dresses. They have the timeless elegance and class that one has come to expect of the brand, but with modern twists such as bold colors or fun details. I am absolutely obsessed with the beautiful Banana Republic dress that I am wearing here! Bold green is such a lovely shade to wear in the summer months. If you look closely at these photos, you can actually see that the dress is ombre, getting darker from the top down. I will be honest and say that I'm not usually a fan of pleats on  my dresses or skirts, but I think that on this lovely dress they only help to accentuate the beautiful color. 


      Many of Banana Republic's dresses are extremely versatile and can be dressed up or down, and are appropriate from everything from the office to semi-formal events. They are true investment pieces that any woman would be lucky to have in her closet! 



     I'm sharing this beautiful dress and my other current favorite Banana Republic dresses below - which is your favorite? 



   










    xoxo Miss ALK



 
     Banana Republic provided gifted product in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training! #ItsBanana

June 22, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.




{Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk!}



Ramblings:
  • Parks and Recreation: I have a new Netflix love, Parks and Recreation! I am definitely late to the party on this show and I'll be the first to admit it. One of my college roommates was obsessed with the show when we lived together, but at the time I never understood the hype. She always encouraged me to give the show another try and to stick it out through the first season. I finally did that this summer, and now I can't get enough- it's just too funny! If you haven't watched it yet, definitely press on through Season One. 
  • Free tickets! Just something to be aware of that I read about online this week: entertainment giant Ticketmaster recently settled in a large lawsuit, and they are rewarding customers who purchased selected tickets for events between 1999-2013 with free vouchers to use for future events! You can sign in online to your Ticketmaster account and check to see if any events that you attended during those years are eligible for vouchers. None of the specific events that I had tickets for during that time sadly were included in the voucher promotion, but this is still totally legit! Read more about these vouchers in this article. Just spreadin' some hopefully good news to y'all! 
  • Millennial Blogger Network: The Facebook group Millennial Blogger Network, which is a home for Millennial aged bloggers to engage and interact with each other, (I'm an admin for the group!) has had so many new members this week! If you aren't yet familiar with our group, check it out here and see if your blog meets the guidelines for acceptance. We aren't super picky with the blogs that we accept- admins mainly check that bloggers who apply are posting regularly, and that content fits the Millennial Blogger demographic!
  • Road Trippin': I fly back up north tomorrow night for a brief but busy weekend at home in Maine! I'll then be returning to NC via road trip with my mom. I've done the Maine to NC and NC to Maine drives several times with my dad, but this is the first time doing it with my mom! She is already planning some interesting stops along the way. Be sure that you're following me on Snapchat @miss_alk to keep up with our road trip adventures!


Purchases: 
  • This lace-up bathing suit is SUCH a steal!! I realized recently that I don't own too much in one of this summer's hottest trends, which is the lace-up look. I'm not crazy about a lot of the lace-up tops or dresses, but I do think that it can be cute in swimwear. I was amazed to find a deal this good on such a cute bathing suit, especially from the retailer that this came from! 
  • I've mentioned this on my Instagram a few times and in yesterday's blog post, but I recently joined Ditto, the subscription service for designer sunglasses! This is the first pair that I selected, and I love them! I can't wait to see what pairs I'll be wearing in future months. If you would like to sign up for Ditto, use my code MISSALK for a free month. 
  • One of the Kmart stores in Charlotte is going out of business soon, and everything in the store is on sale. Kmart isn't a store that I normally shop at, but I was in the area this week of the closing store, and figured I would pop in to see if they had any good deals. I was blown away! I spent just $40 and walked out with so many great things- with everything from laundry detergent to jewelry to greeting cards! Possibly the best steal of all was the most darling tassel scarf that I scored for just $5! Unfortunately the scarf I purchased isn't online in the color I have it in, but here it is in neutral shades. Definitely give your Kmart a visit soon- especially if it's closing! ;-)


     Lastly, I would like to start concluding all of my Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases posts with a question for y'all to answer! One of my favorite Charlotte bloggers, April from A. Liz Adventures, has recently started doing "Roll Call" type posts, where she posts a question and has her readers interact with it in comments on the post. I have been really enjoying these posts on April's blog, so I thought it would be fun to do a question each week for y'all in these posts!


     This week's question: What are you most looking forward to in the month of July?


      For me it is starting my new part-time job, and also beginning my main post-graduate plan: broadcasting school! So not a very "fun" month, but as someone who craves schedules and routines, I am excited to finally be back on one, and to start heavily pursuing my dreams of a career in broadcasting.



     xoxo Miss ALK

June 21, 2016

Hosting My First Housewarming Party.

     I've mentioned a few times here recently that there was an event coming up this past weekend that I was getting very exciting for - the housewarming party for my first apartment. A lot of you asked for a recap of the party here on the blog, so here it is today! I have always had a love for entertaining. In high school, I always loved having small groups of my friends over for movie and board game nights, or even just to hang out. I would always try and bake special treats if I knew that I had friends coming over, and the promise of company was about the only thing that would motivate me to clean back in high school. ;-) My favorite thing about having people over even back then was that it was a great opportunity to make new friends, and for different groups of people to mix and mingle. The main thing that I was involved in during these years was the Interact Club (a community service club for high school students through Rotary International), and I always enjoyed inviting new friends from Interact Club over with my people that I'd known for longer.

     Thinking back to the movie and board game nights that I used to host (shout-out to my mom for always lending me the downstairs TV room ;-) ) was the inspiration that I had for having an apartment housewarming party in the first place. I wanted the housewarming not just to be a time to celebrate my roommate and I's first apartment, but also to be a time to bring all of our friends from various walks of our life (as well as my roommate's family since they live near the area) together! I am so blessed to have made many wonderful friendships since moving to North Carolina almost four years ago. I have friends from my former college (including my now-roommate- hey Ciera!), friends from my Alma Mater which include sorority sisters, internship friends, former roommates just to name a few, blogger friends, and now my roommate and I also have friends in our new bible study! I thought that our housewarming could be a delightful time to celebrate all of the special people in both of our lives.


   



     I planned to document the evening with my camera, but I ended up getting caught up in the moment and only have a few saved Snapchats to share from the party. So I figured that the best way to recap everything was just to share some thoughts and reflections from hosting my first housewarming, and the few pictures that I was able to get.


     *Accept the help of friends for party preparation: My sweet friend Cara from Caralina Style generously spent the whole weekend with me in Charlotte at my apartment and did so much to help me prepare for the party! Cara assisted with everything from helping me bake treats for guests to enjoy, making sure that I stayed on task for finishing cleaning the apartment, and even designing our housewarming party's fun Snapchat geo filter, which is pictured above! (Yes- you can buy geo filters for events! Info here). Everything was able to come together just in time, and most of that was thanks to Cara's help! I sure am thankful for blogging friends turned real-life friends.

 
     *Check the calendar before planning a party: Originally I wanted to host our housewarming shortly after my graduation, but due to a much slower concussion recovery than I anticipated, my roommate and I didn't feel completely moved into our apartment until the start of June (Well- I take that back. Ciera's bedroom was all set up- I just wasn't done with my side of the apartment! ;-) ) With an upcoming weekend trip home planned for the end of June, and the 4th of July after that, I thought that mid-June would be the ideal time for a housewarming. Unfortuntely, I set the event date before realizing that it was Father's Day Weekend. We had just enough people able to come that we weren't able to reschedule... but most of the people on my guest list weren't able to make it due to family plans for the holiday weekend! This is definitely something that I wish I had considered before setting the date.


     *Have party games on deck: Everyone at our housewarming ended up getting along splendidly: from my roommate's family members to our bible study friends to a few of my college friends! But had small talk been awkward or slow, I did have a few party and ice breaker games waiting and ready to go. I personally am always one for playing a game, it's a great way to get to know people, and priceless memories are bound to be made! One of my favorite group games is this free Charades app from that can be found in the App Store.


     *After the (show party) it's the after party: (Anyone catch the (sort-of) R. Kelly "Ignition" lyrics reference there? Haha.) Anyways, who says that a housewarming, or any type of get-together for that matter, has to be contained to the event itself? The real fun of the evening began when a group of girls at the party joined me for a fun night in Uptown Charlotte after the housewarming concluded!





With Cara from Caralina Style and Amy from Pastel n Pink - love these sweet blogging friends!





A mix of a few of my college friends, my roommate's high school best friend, my roommate, my blogger best friend, and bible study friends... plus one selfie stick. :-)



     Ciera and I are so thankful that despite the holiday weekend, some family and friends did make it out to celebrate with us. We also received the kindest and most thoughtful housewarming presents, which we were not expecting at all!


      I'm linking some of the art that is in our gallery wall in the dining room below:







     xoxo Miss ALK

June 20, 2016

Back At It Again (With a Black Romper).














     Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography



     A few weeks ago, I shared an outfit post on the blog that featured a fun black lace romper from Tobi, which is a great online shopping destination, especially if you're looking for cocktail or nightlife attire! I loved the first look so much that I'm so excited today to be back at it again and styling another fun black romper from Tobi! This specific romper is definitely out of my comfort zone... both with the bold cut-outs in the front, and the openness in the back. But hey- you're only in your early 20s once, and I am a firm believer that as long as you're saving more revealing outfits for appropriate settings (i.e. not school, church, or a job interview ;-) ), there's nothing wrong with stepping out of your fashion comfort zone sometimes! 

     
     I've really enjoyed styling some rompers here on the blog from Tobi, and coming up soon I've also be styling a fun Tobi bodycon dress! (You may have already seen it in this post as I wore it to a blogging event that I attended a few weeks ago.) Just a reminder- all new customers to Tobi.com receive 50% off their first order. 


     Something else that I want to make note of in this post are these gorgeous Prada sunnies that I'm wearing. Yes- I did say Prada! This is the first pair of designer sunglasses that I have ever gotten the chance to wear. I am all for saving and splurging on a few luxury items, but up until now, those items for me have always been purses, jewelry, or shoes. When I was growing up I was always very hard on my sunglasses, and broke or lost every pair that I had. (Insert emoji of embarrassed monkey with hands over eyes- you know the one!) The fear of still breaking sunglasses stayed with me as I got older and it means that through the years I've only ever purchased cheap sunglasses, or styles that are dupes for designer looks. 

     Luckily for me though, I was recently introduced to Shop Ditto! This is a sunglasses subscription service that allows cheap sunglasses hoarders like myself to rent and sample different designer sunnies. And the best part is that if you end up falling in love with a pair, you can purchase them directly through Ditto! Use my code MISSALK to receive a free month's subscription. :-) 
     

     
      Unrelated to all of the outfit talk in this post- but if any of you are reading this post first thing in the morning when it is first published, I would truly appreciate any prayers this morning! I have been posting a lot of tweets on Twitter lately asking for prayers for an unspoken request. This request is not unspoken by my choosing, but due to a situation currently beyond my control. It is something that I do hope to be honest about with all of you when I can in the future, I'm just not sure when exactly the future will be. In the meantime, all I can say is that on days to come when I am posting tweets about requests for prayers, it would mean the world to me if you could keep me in your thoughts! <3 Love you all.





     xoxo Miss ALK



     Tobi provided gifted product for this blog post. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!

June 17, 2016

The Ideal "Tourist" Skirt.














     My mom and I have very different senses of style. She wears mostly classic pieces, and she doesn't often wear jewelry. I on the other hand do like some more classic fashion pieces, but I definitely tend to gravitate towards wearing things that are trendier. I am also a self-proclaimed jewelry fanatic, and rarely leave the house without at least earrings, rings or bracelets (if not a full accessorized ensemble to match my outfit!). 

     One thing that we both can agree on though is a love for the store Talbots. They sell the classic and simpler fashion items that my mom loves, as well as some gorgeous jewelry and the occasional "fun" item which I adore! This skirt would be a perfect example of the fun items to which I speak. It was in Talbots stores last summer, and my mom finally picked it up for me once it went on clearance. I'm so glad that she did! How absolutely adorable is it for summer travels?! I think that this skirt could be the focal piece for the ideal tourist outfit. While it would be ideal to wear it in a tropical climate- or a destination like the once pictured on the skirt! I wore it last weekend when I was in another part of NC visiting Cara from Caralina Style. Sometimes playing tourist in your own state is fun too! (And with the weather being in the high 90s that weekend, it sure felt like I was in a tropical destination!) This skirt is now sold out since it is from last season, but I found some beautiful skirts of about the same length and of a similar design, and they're also at a great price point!! They'll be linked at the bottom of the post also.


     Something else that I want to share about quickly are these beautiful handmade cross bracelets which I'm wearing in these photos! (Well- I actually didn't take them off for all of last weekend because I'm obsessed!) They're from Sutton Ann Designs, which is an Etsy shop owned by rising college sophomore Lily, who is one of my own ADPi sisters from my chapter! Lily has run Sutton Ann Designs for quite some time and has experience making all sorts of beautiful jewelry, but there is a special story behind these bracelets. Lily is headed on a medical mission trip to Uganda this summer, and for each bracelet sold, she will also make and bring a bracelet to give to someone in Uganda that she'll meet during her travels! How awesome is that?! All proceeds from these bracelets helps to fun Lily's mission trip directly. Each bracelet is $20 (buy one, Lily gives one :-) ), and you can find them here on her Etsy shop page!



     Hope that everyone is having a wonderful start to the weekend! I am spending most of today cleaning my apartment in preparation of my housewarming party. I've never been a big fan of cleaning... but when I have something fun to look forward to it motivates me to do it!






    xoxo Miss ALK

     

June 15, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases.




{Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk!} 




Ramblings:
  • Fun in the sun: It has been in the whopping high 90s all week here in Charlotte! This native Mainer is LOVING the hot weather! (Just for a comparison: the high temperatures back home this week have been in the low 70s I think...) This is my first full summer spent down south, and I wasn't sure how sensitive that I would be to the heat. But so far, so good! My roommate and I are starting to frequent our apartment complex pool, and we love it. 
  • Out and about in the Tarheel State: I spent this past weekend out of Charlotte, and I had so much fun! I spent two nights in Greensboro visiting Cara from Caralina Style. We enjoyed taking in a Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game, going on a nature walk (as pictured above!) and eating at some delicious restaurants. To beat the heat on Saturday, we spent the day in the mountains! I have been to Asheville, NC's largest mountain city, once before, but I wasn't really a fan of the area. This past weekend, Cara and I visited the Blowing Rock area, which is a small mountain resort town that is about an hour to the north of Asheville. I thought Blowing Rock was adorable, and I liked it much more than Asheville! As much as I love Charlotte, I always enjoy getting out and exploring other parts of this beautiful state.
  • Bible study blessings: A little over a month ago, my roommate and I joined a women's bible study (our church calls them LifeGroups) for 20-something aged women. This group has been the biggest blessing in my life! The other girls in our group are so sweet, and it has been wonderful to meet some Christian ladies around my age from the greater Charlotte community. I only wish that I had stuck with joining a LifeGroup through my church back when I was in college, I think that it could have helped me a lot then! This is the bible study that we're currently reading if any of y'all are interested- I'm loving it so far.
  • We'll have a HOUSE PARTY! I've probably been mentioning this for weeks on the blog now, but my housewarming party for my apartment is this weekend and I cannot wait!! My roommate Ciera and I have so many people coming out to support us: everyone from college friends, bible study friends, work friends, my blogging friends, and members of Ciera's family! We are so blessed. I know that it will be a wonderful evening! 

Purchases: 
  • Cara and I did a little bit of shopping at the Blowing Rock outlets, and I picked up these shorts! They are wonderful for so many reasons; they're cute, comfortable, can be dressed up or down, and they match almost anything. 



     I hope that everyone is having a fantastic week! Thanks as always for stopping by my blog! 




     xoxo Miss ALK

June 13, 2016

My Take on Summer Wedding Attire.













     The official beginning of the summer season also marks the start of wedding season! The older that I get, it seems like more and more people that I know are falling in love and tying the knot. My Facebook feed right now seems constantly filled with announcements and pictures of engagements or weddings! Although I wasn't invited to any weddings t
his summer, I will have the chance to be a member of a bridal party for the first time next spring (I'm already excited!). And I know that weddings will only continue to be in my future for the next several years- I'm now at the age where friends will be meeting the loves of their life and settling down. 


      I personally adore weddings, not only is it a chance to celebrate the love of those nearest and dearest to you, and a great chance to enjoy delicious food and dance the night away, but it's also a chance to get a bit more dressed up than usual, and to enjoy a fancier evening! But picking out what to wear to a wedding can sometimes be a bit of a task. Certain weddings, such as formal Black Tie occasions, have very strict and extremely formal dress codes (the type of wedding I dream about having someday ;-) ).  And some weddings have a very casual flavor, such as elopement celebrations or certain beach weddings. But most weddings fall in the in-between category for attire, and err more on the side of church clothing or semi-formal wear. 


     I think that this beautiful floral dress which I'm wearing here would be the perfect piece for most summer weddings! It is bright and cheerful, and since it is so lightweight it makes it a great option both for weddings in hot climate, and for tearing up the dance floor! It's fine for wedding guest attire to be bright or eye-catching and different from your day-to-day style, but it shouldn't be anything overly immodest. A wedding day is the bride's day, and nothing that you wear should detract from her! This dress covers everything that it needs to cover, so it takes care of that department as well. And the best part about this specific dress is that's it's currently super reduced- be sure to check it out before it sells out! 






     xoxo Miss ALK

June 10, 2016

The Best is Yet to Come - My College Senior Photos.



     I'm so excited to be sharing my senior photos here on the blog today!! And it's about time I do, because it was a month ago this weekend that I graduated! A few weeks ago, I had a special photoshoot done to commemorate college graduation. Senior photos are a big tradition for graduating high school seniors, and I think that the trend is just starting to catch on for college graduations as well. Jess, my Big in Alpha Delta Pi, and Ciera, my bestie from my first college and my new roommate in my apartment, joined me as they are both recent graduates as well! My wonderful new blog photographer, Deeana of Deeana Kourtney Photography, did the pictures for us at on my college's beautiful campus. You all might recognize some of the spots that the pictures were taken at from my outfit shoots from the blog over the past few years. :-)







     Jess painted me these letters a few years ago as one of my initiation gifts when I joined ADPi!











     One of the main reasons that I've never regretted spending my freshman year at a different school is because it lead me to this girl! We have only become closer since I came to Queens, and now we are roommates in post-grad life!







     Lastly, a couple photos from my actual graduation day! I was very lucky to have my parents here in Charlotte for the festivities, as well as some extended family from Maine, Connecticut and New York! I was only a couple weeks recovered from the unexpected concussion that I was dealing with near the end of the school year by the time that graduate came around, and I will forever be thankful that I was feeling well on the day of the festivities, as it had been a very rough few weeks leading up to it.





     I wore a gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer dress for graduation... my specific dress is sold out now (although it might be brought back for this summer's After Party Sale!), but I am linking a very similar one below!


     If you would like to see a peak into my senior year dorm room, check out this post from earlier in the week!




     Now that all of my college and graduation recap posts are over, I'll be starting to plan out some fun new blog content about my apartment and things related to beginning post-grad life!


     xoxo Miss ALK