January 16, 2017

Athletic Goals for the New Year.

Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography

     Ah- New Year's resolutions. Now that we're a few weeks into 2017, let's take a minute and re-visit this idea. As I shared with y'all in December, I impressed myself by following through very well with my resolution for 2016.  I genuinely hoped that I could go into this new year tackling my new resolution with the same type of determination and enthusiasm that I had for last year's.

     As you could probably guess from what I am wearing in these photos, my 2017 New Year's resolution involves prioritizing fitness. To give a little backstory, despite growing up as an athlete (I'm a former competitive figure skater from childhood, and I also played two team sports in high school), I fell out of the routine of making fitness a priority during my first few years in college. By senior year, I had finally found some workout classes offered by my campus gym that I really enjoyed attending, and had also figured out my own gym routine that I loved. Working out was finally a big part of my life, and it was great! But after having a serious concussion this past spring and not being able to do much physical activity for about 6-8 weeks, I completely fell out of my routine. And I'm a little bit embarrassed to say that I never got it back. Part of it might have been that because around the time this summer that I was finally feeling 100% physically myself again, I was also into the thick of my broadcasting school program, was working in retail, and was also beginning my social media job. Plus blogging! I had a lot on my plate in an ever-changing schedule, and I didn't know how fitness could play a part. 

     But it's a new year now, and I'm ready to stop making excuses. I finished my retail job in December, and for the first time in a long time, I finally have a set weekday schedule. It might be an insane one since I'm interning for a morning radio show, but it is a schedule! And that's huge for me. Now that I can plan out my weeks more in advance, I'm ready to make fitness a priority again, which is how it became my 2017 resolution.

     I looked into joining ClassPass or my local Y so that I could do fitness classes, but I am on a pretty tight budget until finishing broadcasting school in the spring. My plan is to make the most of the fitness center at my apartment complex, and utilize it as much as I can for my workouts. Since I'm just getting back into a regular fitness routine, I don't have any huge goals as of now. But here are the two things that I am holding myself accountable to for this year:

  • Going to gym or doing some sort of physical activity twice a week
  • Working my way up to running a 5k distance by the end of 2017

     On workout days in my apartment gym so far, I am enjoying running on the treadmill, and using the elliptical and bikes. As the year progresses, I'm hoping to find some Youtube videos or shorter workouts to do as well that will help with buildings abs or upper body strength (send any suggestions for these my way!). I'm also hoping this year to make physical activity that isn't just going to the gym a priority. I do love being outside, so I hope to do more nature walks and hikes, or maybe even get into running outside! And I love playing tennis, so I'm hoping that's a sport that I can rediscover this year.

      Of course my New Year's resolution means that I needed to invest in some new workout clothes. I was so excited to learn about all of the amazing workout options from Marks & Spencer. Where making fitness a priority again is still a newer part of my routine (and I'm also definitely on a budget right now!), I'm not quite ready to invest in super expensive workout clothing. But- I definitely did still want some new things to wear! Marks & Spencer came to my rescue. Almost all of their workout clothes are under $50, and many are under $25. Everything can be mixed and match to make lots of cute athletic outfits. The leggings that I'm wearing in both of these outfits are both very lightweight and breathable (but not see-through at all). I especially love the performance graphite print leggings - how fun are the colors in those?! Wearing a  supportive sports bra is also so crucial in helping to have a good workout, and both this one and this one that I'm wearing are supportive, and also super cute! 

     Do any of your New Year's resolutions involve fitness? How are you planning to meet your fitness goals in 2017? 

     xoxo Annaliese

      This blog post was written in collaboration with Shopping Links and Marks & Spencer. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training! 


January 13, 2017

Coziest Sweater Dress.

Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography

     Deeana and I shot this outfit this same day that we also did this look.... and as I wrote about in the previous blog post, it was 29 degrees while we were out shooting! Brrrrr! Amazingly though, this sweater dress is comfy and cozy enough that it was able to keep me (semi) warm while we were out and about. I own several sweater dresses, and I enjoy wearing them a lot in the winter months. Dresses are what I live in during the spring and summer, so sweater dresses are still a way to keep a feminine and girly look even in the cold. But out of all the sweater dresses that I have, I've never had one that's so comfortable to wear! This dress literally feels like it's made of pajama material, but it's also so flattering and form-fitting on- can we talk about a win-win? And best of all, it's under $35 right now! 

     The weather has been quite strange in Charlotte this week. Last weekend, it snowed throughout the Carolinas. The part of Charlotte that I lived in barely had any snow, but there was a significant amount of ice. However snowfall was significant enough in other parts of the county to cancel local public schools on Monday (and my broadcasting school was closed as well). All week though temperatures have been warming up... and tomorrow the high is 70 degrees! What the heck. I would much rather take 70 over snow any day, but but my body is having trouble keeping up with these weird weather changes! Has the weather been weird where you live as well?

     xoxo Annaliese 

January 11, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @miss_alk}

  • Popbar in Charlotte: Last week I had the opportunity to go and check out North Carolina's first location of Popbar, which just opened in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood. Popbar is a fun dessert franchise whose signature item is gelato on a stick. They also sell different sorbets pops as well, and a few different hot chocolate varieties. All of their ingredients are all natural, and the flavors of the gelato and sorbet pops are always changing. I got to try the Gianduia gelato pop (pictured, a combo of chocolate hazelnut), and also a vanilla gelato pop. Both were absolutely delicious! I would definitely recommend for all of my Charlotte reader friends to check out Popbar, and if you're not from NC don't worry- they have locations both in other US states and internationally as well! 
  • Reader survey: I've never done a reader survey here on Southern Belle in Training before, but after seeing a lot of other bloggers do them around New Year's, I'm thinking that it might be time to give one a go. I definitely want to keep creating content that y'all want to read! Do you guys like it when bloggers make readers surveys, or if you area a blogger, have you seen success with making a reader survey?
  • Yummy muffin recipe: Y'all know that I absolutely adore cooking and baking, and trying new recipes is one of my favorite things to do in my free time! This weekend was the first one in awhile that I got to spend a good chunk of time at home, and of course I used a lot of that time in the kitchen. I snapchatted/put on my Insta-story a picture of these banana-cinnamon muffins that I tried my hand at and some of you wanted the recipe, so there it is! They came out delicious and I think I'll be making them again soon.
  • The funniest thing I've seen on the internet this week: This Buzzfeed article had me laughing so hard!! I totally could relate to many of these things... how about y'all? 

  • Last week was Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale week, one of my favorite times of the year! In the last two sales, I've been on the hunt for Elsa tops, but this time around I was searching for dresses. I bought the cutest swing dress, and I cannot wait to wear it lots this spring! It sold out in the sale, but this one is very similar
  • I also bought a gorgeous shift dress! This purchase was really interesting- it wasn't actually from the Lilly website, but from a signature store with an online shop that was also honoring the sale prices. I'm thinking that it will be my graduation dress from broadcasting school! This shift dress is very similar to the one I purchased. 

  • I have an activewear collaboration coming up this month, and planning the looks for it has me thinking about how my workout sneakers might be in need of updating soon! I've had my eye on these classic sneakers for quite some time... I think I first just need to justify actually following through with my 2017 resolution and working out multiple times a week before getting them! (But last week I did go to the gym twice- progress!)
  • I've had a white marble Macbook case since I got this most recent laptop- about a year and a half ago. But the bottom of the case is now cracked in several places, so I'm thinking it's time for an upgrade. How gorgeous is this Macbook case?! It's similar to what I have now, but oh so pretty! 

     And my question for all of you this week: are you sticking with your New Year's Resolutions? Mine was to workout/go to the gym regularly again this year.... so far I've been doing okay, but I think it could still be improved! 

     xoxo Annaliese