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January 2019

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A Weekend in Chicago, A Travel Guide

January 11, 2019

Happy New Year! Cheers to 2019 it’s God’s year to do what he desires! I am so excited about the many wonderful things that are to come in this new year! With this being my first blog post of the new year I just wanted to take a moment and tell y’all thank you. I pay attention to each and everyone who likes, reads and gives feedback to my content. Your support means everything and I deeply appreciate it. When I started 1998miss.com almost 31/2 years ago I had every hope that it would grow but honestly didn’t know if it would! I am so happy to celebrate the over 4K of Y’all who have taken an interest in my life. I would also like to say thank you to the over 6K of you who have taken an interest in my blog and have visited 1998miss.com. I am beyond blessed and want to say that every good thing I have comes from God. Y’all might even be surprised to know that this outlet and my blog is something that I pray about almost every day. I want Jesus to be in every detail of the content I put out and if you’re getting into starting a blog I would highly suggest doing the same. God wants to bless you in all your endeavors but you can not hesitate to let him be in complete control. I would be absolutely nothing without Jesus. I give him all the glory and honor.

Now to kick off MY FIRST OFFICAL BLOG POST OF 2019!

My weekend in Chicago, a travel guide!

I have always longed to visit the second city because it is where my papa Mike grew up and I’ve heard my mom talk about the many fun times she had visiting as a child. I can remember learning about the Chicago fire in the school and I soon put it on my list of travel destinations! I am delighted that it served as my first travel destination of 2019! My mom, brother, my best friend and I spend a few days together seeing the Windy City. My best friend Miranda told me time and time again she thought I would love Chicago because I love New York City! She spent the last summer studying at Chicago Booth a business school and since then fell in love with the city. After visiting I know exactly why!! New York City is extremely fast paced but it feels like Chicago is a little bit slower. It feels cleaner and just completely different! I, of course, love both New York City and Chicago but currently, I’m in a debate at which one I like more. After this little visit, I decided it’s on my list for medical school-something I never thought I would say! I, of course, will only go if it’s God’s will but I am now open to it because I am finding I am quite the city girl. I love the idea of continuing the dynamic duo of Boo and me in Chicago! Living with my best friend the last three years has been so much fun so why not continue it into our business and medical school years?! We shall see!!! P.S. If anyon e is asking I LOVED the campus there and could totally see myself studying medicine there!

Here are a few of my favorite shots in Chicago!

Anyways to get to the travel guide! I’m breaking down where we stayed and what we did but just like any great city a few days isn’t enough to see the entire city! So here’s my weekend recommendations with an updated travel guide soon to come after more visits to Chicago! Next time we hope to visit during St. Patricks Day!

SITES TO SEE

So first and foremost you must see the

MAGNIFICENT MILE which is Michigan Ave.

It is by far the most iconic spot to visit in Chicago. What isn’t more blissful than walking down Michigan Ave. picking up some goodies along the way! If you’re feeling like some major shopping stop at the beautiful Water Tower Place for some upscale shopping!

Next, I would suggest a few pictures!

Visit Millenium Park

Which has so many different unique architectural pieces! While you’re there visit the iconic Chicago bean! We had so much fun taking pictures there! You should also be sure to stop and watch the skaters in Millennium Park or join them! We had a great time watching them from above and taking in the beautiful Chicago architecture.

You’d be amiss to leave Chicago without visiting this Iconic spot!

The Art Institute!

Be prepared for a $25 admission fee which is well worth it! While we where there they had a Christmas exhibit celebrating and exploring the different way people around the world do Christmas!

You should also watch one of the many different shows available to the public!

Mary Poppins is a great choice!

While it was in our plans we didn’t actually make it to the show but plan to hit it for sure next time!

For another iconic destination, you must take a walk along the water!

Do so at the NAVY PIER!

You’ll get a beautiful view of the water and the Chicago skyline! It’s even fun in the winter! Next time I hope I’ll see my sailor and take a river cruise!

You can’t leave Chicago without visiting and take photos of the skyline!

Do this at The Sky Deck!

It is so much fun and you’d be sad to miss it! Just the experience alone is enough! We paid the $25 fee and spent about 4 hours up at the top! We only got 60 seconds in the glass popouts but it was so worth it! Pro tip: Go in the early morning hours so you can get more than 60 seconds in the glass case, don’t be afraid to go through the line twice! This was one of my favorite places!

WHERE TO EAT

WildBerry

WildBerry was recommended time and time again to me! It’s a fabulous brunch location on Michigan Ave right across from Millennium Park!

Trump Tower

This was quite fun because you get a great view of the city! If you’re dining there in the summer you can even eat on the roof just overlooking the beautiful Chicago architecture. Get the charcuterie board too! So YUMMY!

Protein Bar

This was the place we hit for a meal replacement shake daily! KETO FRIENDLY SHAKES! They are only available in Chicago, Washington and Denver so don’t miss out! If you visit the location on Huron street be prepared that it’s in a hospital because we didn’t know! It was a part of Northwestern’s medical school campus! So it ended up being a win-win for me but you might not be interested in seeing Northwestern! There are several different locations in the city so it’s always great to hit up during your day! I love the Beauty Blend so much!!! Pro Tip: If you download the Protein Bar app you get a free smoothie!!!

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is a no brainer because it’s so yummy! We ate keto friendly the entire trip so having a Shroom Burger was a tasty new switch from our regular order! Be prepared to pay to park in Chicago because it is expensive!!!

The MountainGoat

The MountainGoat is also super yummy for burgers plus you really get a fun Chicago feel! I would recommend eating here Keto too!

Lino’s

Chicago has so many different places to eat pizza and we enjoyed a keto pizza at Lino’s! It was so tasty but it was almost $40 for a medium so be prepared to lay down some bucks!

Room Service at Lowes hotel will not disappoint! My mom had there Cobb salad for dinner with Brussel sprouts-OH MY GOODNESS YUMMY! My brother and best friend both enjoyed breakfast from Bed! They had the Chicago breakfast and loved it! The experience of room service is honestly what makes it so much fun! During one of our days, we enjoyed laying in bed with a view of the beautiful lake with breakfast from our room! Lowes hotel is excellent! I did a room tour of our room which we booked through Priceline on my Instagram stories which I will be adding to my highlights very soon! I hope to update those a little bit soon!

WHERE TO STAY

Lowes Hotel

Lowes hotel was where we spend most of our nights while in Chicago! I would 12/10 recommend this hotel! Excellent staff and beautiful rooms! The large space is great for a big family and excellent for relaxing! Pro Tip: If you visit just after New Years you’ll be sure to get a better deal on any hotel you choose!

Trump Tower

I would also recommend Trump Tower if you’re looking for an extremely luxurious experience! We quite enjoyed dining on the 16th floor and relaxing in the beautiful lobby after!

NEXT TIME

We hope to visit The Drake hotel for tea and maybe stay there if we don’t stay at Lowes again!
See a show at one of the iconic Chicago theaters!
Take a river cruise or rent a yacht! (That sounds so fabulous to say even if it is something we do in the very far future!)
See more art at the Art Institute.
Take the L-Train.
Visit in the Summer!
WE MUST COME BACK ON ST. PATRICKS DAY! -IT IS IN THE PLANS!!! HOW MUCH FUN WOULD THAT BE!!!

Hope this guide is helpful in your travel planning! We loved Chicago and can’t wait to go back!!! If you have any questions about my recommendations please feel free to comment below or message me on Instagram!

Cheers to 2019!
XOXO,
1998miss
Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley

Beauty Home

My Honest Thoughts on A Microdermabrasion Facial!

January 11, 2019

Hey, Y’all welcome back to 1998miss.com! I am Alexa Dudley and I am so glad you are here!

Today I am sharing my complete experience getting a microdermabrasion facial! This facial was actually the first facial I have ever had the privilege of getting! It was my “You’re getting gowned” treat from my momma. She’s a regular facial gal and it was so much fun to get my first facial right beside her. It was a great way to celebrate my academic distinction and Christmas break!

What is microdermabrasion facial?
According to Healthline “It is a minimally invasive procedure used to renew overall skin tone and texture. It can improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scarring, melasma, and other skin-related concerns and conditions.”

So the first thing we have to address is the cost worth it?
This specific facial is quite expensive and the number question asked is always as to if the price is fair…
I would say the price is expensive (can be upwards of $100) but your skin is an investment! It is so good for you to take time to care for it! 20 years from now you will be so glad for all the time you took with the upkeep of your skin. I saw dramatic improvement after just one time which is why I know this to be true. Pro Tip: Check Groupon for a discount, buy a bulk facial pack to save $$$!

Did it hurt?
No! I may just have high pain tolerance but I found the sucking pressure to be relaxing! I loved laying there knowing that the esthetician was sucking out all the debris from my skin! The pressure felt nice and I found it to be a painless experience. Honestly, it shouldn’t hurt at all to be wary of this when getting the facial.

How long was the facial?
It was around an hour because I also did a collagen treatment!

What did it even do?
It cleaned my skin and looking at the gunk at the end I knew every dollar was worth it! I walked out with a beautiful natural glow!

What is it good for?
Many people do these facials to treat wrinkles and some of the side effects I mentioned previously. If you struggle with acne it can also be an effective method for treatment. I wanted to have brighter skin and target the wrinkle lines forming on my forehead so that’s why I did it!

Where did I hear about this facial?
Honestly, it’s being talked about everywhere and if you’re interested in the skin in the least bit you’ve probably heard of this facial! My mom has been getting them for years so I was so happy to finally join in with her!

Would I do it again?
YES, YES, YES! I loved the experience and if you check out the pictures below you’ll see why!

How long do results last?
If you take good care of your skin your treatment will last anywhere from 2-6 months!

Where can you get them done?
A quick google search will lead you in the direction of where you get this treatment done near you! If you are in my area I would suggest Premier Dermatology and if you’re on a budget check out local beauty colleges for a better deal! If you visit places like city point you can request a high-level student to get the same facial but at a lesser cost!

I am excited to have this treatment available to my own clients in the future as I continue pursuing medicine! I hope to work in a hospital as well as have a private practice focusing on helping women in areas like skin. I have a major interest in Dermatology and just this last semester focused on research examining Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa!

Some of my Photos!

As always check out my Instagram for more about what I’m doing and to see videos from this treatment in my highlights!

All Glory to God!
Peace and Blessings,
1998miss

XOXO,
Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley

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2018, My Year in Review

January 11, 2019


2018, thank you for the lessons you taught me, the blessings you brought and the experiences you gave. In short, this was a year of growth and learning in my life.
I am thankful for each and every moment of this past year because each day was a profound gift from God. While it might be more fun to make this year in a review blog post all my glittery moments I simply can not sugar coat it all because while there were many beautiful days in 2018 there were also many hard days. There were days where I felt like I couldn’t make it through, where I felt my lowest of low when God picked me up and carried me. We can not forget those days as we take a look of review on this past year because it isn’t always the beautiful sparkly days that teach us the important lessons. Often it is the dark days where we have to call on the name of Jesus to get us through that will get something valuable. Sometimes God has to break us and get us into a place where we are able to listen to his voice and hear him clearly. He broke me many times in 2018 and I am so thankful for that. So while I share the many beautiful days, experiences, people and moments of 2018 you must understand that there were many moments that were not glamorous but were just real life days-those unfiltered/unshared/raw/real moments. The ones that I didn’t share to Instagram or 1998miss.com with you. The ones that shape me at my very core and make me the Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley I am. Those are the ones that give me my character and ability to find beauty in the ordinary. Even though life is often broken, mundane and hard we have the power with God to make each day as sparkly and as fun as we wish.

So to celebrate my two thousand and eighteen I am going to highlight my favorite moments/photos from 2018.

My biggest and greatest moment in 2018 would have to be traveling to China with my mom and best friend for my summer break. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would get to travel there before I graduated from Sewanee. Also if you’re new here I am called to China for missions and the Chinese people have a very special place in my heart.

So wow first off GOD DID A MIRACLE AND GOT ME THERE FOR UNDER $500 + my mom is stellar at finding good flights. Next, God helped me keep all of my expenses under 1,000 for an entire month and a half. Y’all God literally opened every single door. Then, God worked out an arrangement for me to spend an entire week interning at the top Chinese hospital in Xi’an, China. As if it wasn’t enough he also placed me in contact with the president of the hospital who okayed me spending an entire day in the OR. I should also mention here if you’re new that I am a PRE-MED student at the University of The South planning to do international medicine in China after graduation from medical school. The OR is the operating room and is the place where I watched my first surgery ever. It is the place where I discovered my passion for medicine and where I saw the potential to serve in the future. It was the place where all the hours and hours I spend studying in my dorm room found reason. God is faithful friends and in more ways than one God showed me that in 2018. HE IS GOOD.

The rest of my 2018 and my top favorite most beautiful moments.

Starting up and sticking with my YouTube Channel! Cheers to 137 subscribers!!!

Ringing in the new year in Viva Las Vegas with my favorite Uncle and shooting in the desert.

Seeing my first snow in Sewanee and wearing my beautiful NEW Burberry coat from my precious Uncle. It is my first ever Burberry PURCHASE!

Doing a photoshoot wearing my beautiful blue dress in my University’s library as where I work.

Celebrating Valentines Day in Sewanee!! STAYED SINGLE 😉 I get asked a lot why I don’t date and it’s because it is something I am very intentional about. I date to marry!

Celebrating turning 20 years old with a real and raw picture + 20 things I learned by 20 on 1998miss.com

Doing a photo shoot in The Fresh Market candy section.

Getting Corn Rows by my beautiful friend Mesgana!

Meeting Isra Cracker and hosting her for at Sewanee. It was such a joy to expose her to the Apostolic Pentecostal faith when she had never heard of it before. She is an awesome lady who advocates for so many different people! She is an inspiration.

Visiting The Beverly Hills Hotel for the first time ever, dinning in the polo lounge for Mothers Day and seeing Kieth Urban, Nicole Kidman and Tom from Magnum P.I.

My favorite China moments!

Visited Shanghai Disney in China!

Celebrated Boo’s 20th Birthday! I love my precious Best Friend!

Standing beside my precious friends as they said I do and started
forever!

Hit Viva Las Vegas Again to see my precious Uncle!

Enjoyed Sewanee’s first football game of the season where I shared my most popular photo on Instagram in 2018 wearing an $8 dress from target!

One of my favorite looks of the year wearing stuff I’ve had in my closet forever!!!

Got my first collaboration and partnership EVER!!!

Got another one!

Got offered a paid position to write for Skirt Society in JESUS NAME!!! (An answered prayer)

Celebrated Thanksgiving in New York City with my best friends.

Saw the strength of my precious friend Hannah Katt.

Rang in 2019 at NWA HYC!

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND 2019 IS GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER THAN 2018! P.S. I couldn’t list all my favorite moments because there were just so many but these complied from my Instagram account- it’s a good way to see my highlights of the year so if ya want to give me a follow @1998miss on Instagram! XO!

I have so many goals and I can’t wait to see God work in my life. If you’re reading this thank you for celebrating 2018 with me and for every single follow, like and word of encouragement. God is faithful if you give your all to him. I am so blessed.

2019 isn’t just going to be my year because it’s also going to be your year! It’s the year that you find your strength and let God be the center of your life.

Lot’s of love in the new year. Look for a new schedule and resolution blog post soon. 🙂 EXCITED FOR WHAT IS COMING!

All Glory to God!
Peace and Blessings,
1998miss

XOXO,
Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley