June 20, 2018

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{A look at one of Richmond VA's highways by night! Loved getting to explore this city this weekend. Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk!}

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  • Waking up extra early: I had an early morning event for work on Monday, so to prepare for that I tried going to bed early and waking up a lot earlier than normal for a few days leading up. I was very prepared for Monday, and have ended up loving the new weekday schedule so much that I think I'm going to try and make it stick! Previously, I was waking up around 7:30-8 am (still pretty early considering I don't leave for work most days until 10:30 am!), but lately I've been waking up between 6-6:15. It's very early, but I end up having so much extra time in the mornings, and feel so energized throughout my day! And then I have less trouble falling asleep at night. All around a win- I'm hoping to keep up the early schedule, at least on weekdays.
  • No Southern Belle in Training Facebook page: On a blogging note- this is something so frustrating that happened this week! On Monday, I woke up to find I had lost access to Southern Belle in Training's Facebook page, and due to some Facebook glitch I had been removed as the admin from it. I was the only admin on the page, so this was very weird, and I couldn't post on the page at all, or re-add myself as the admin! I posted about it in a blogging Facebook group that I'm in, and found it had also happened to other bloggers with their Facebook pages over the weekend! I've filed a report to Facebook but so far no progress. I have my fingers crossed this will be resolved soon! 
  • "Bad Chiller" Recap Show: I shared in last week's Midweek Ramblings that while most summers I do watch The Bachelorette, this year I just haven't been keeping up. However, one thing Bachelor related that I do keep up with religiously is Nick Viall's "Bad Chiller" Bachelorette recap show on Youtube, which also stars Dean Unglert and Jared Haibon. It is hilarious! The three guys play all characters on The Bachelorette this season (Becca included!), and they recreated the highlight moments from each week's episode. I laugh until I cry at most of these- I hope they continue this for Bachelor in Paradise! 
  • Summer bible study: Something that I'm excited about is that I just joined a summer bible study (we call them community groups) at my church here in Charlottesville! I had joined a 20 something women's community group shortly after I moved here, but that group is on break through the summer. I thought these next couple months would be a great time to keep getting to know people at my new church, and maybe study some different types of topics in the bible. The summer group I'm in is co-ed, and is focusing on racial relations in the American Christian church (both past and present), which I think is an excellent topic given some of the issues happening in our culture right now. The first meeting was on Sunday evening, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the summer. 


  • Lilly Pulitzer has brought back their S'well water bottle collaboration! I wasn't able to get one of these last time they did this, and I have all the heart eyes for the second edition of these. Truth be told- I don't even own a regular S'well bottle yet!
  • I'm always on the hunt for more cute summer tops that I can wear with jeans or skirts to work (my job is so casual that sometimes in the dead heat of summer, it does become hard to dress for!). This peplum striped tank is really fun!
  • A simple but chic striped summer sweater! This would also look great dressed up with a statement necklace. 
  • I have a pair of embroidered mules that I love and wear often, and I'd love another pair in a solid color! These metallic mules are so fun and come in many colors. 
  • This is SUCH a classy wrap top! Love the sleeve detailing and the color. 
  • My friend Nicole from What Nicole Wore shared these multicolored earrings and I absolutely love them!! They're so cute and fun, and I wish I had a pair to call mine too! 

Recipe of the week: Teriyaki Salmon from Damn Delicious. I've been trying to get better about trying more new recipes each week and falling out of "cooking ruts", and so far so good this week! I made this tasty salmon on Monday night- I don't cook fish for myself that often but this came out well! I omitted the Sriracha cream sauce and just did the teriyaki glaze. 

Song of the week: Bed by Nicki Minaj ft. Ariana Grande. Not the cleanest song or the best message... but it sure is catchy! This just dropped this week and it's been on repeat on my Spotify.  

On the blog this week:

     Thanks for reading!! Enjoy the rest of your week- summer is officially here as of tomorrow. And June 21st is also National Wear Your Lilly Day for Lilly Pulitzer fans... I'll have a special post up! 


     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 

June 19, 2018

Radio 101: Working in Country Radio vs. Top 40 Radio.

     Whew- it's been awhile since I've written one of these posts! But I'm excited to bring back Radio 101 to the blog today after an extended break. This is the series where I talk about all things related to my day job and career in radio broadcasting! Everything from sharing my personal experiences in radio, to answering some of your questions about radio stations (such as why you hear the same songs over and over on certain types of radio stations). The last time that I wrote a Radio 101 blog post was in November 2017, which is when I was still working at my former stations in Vermont, and also around the time that I began to strongly realize I'd be pursuing other employment opportunities in early 2018. Since I was at a place late last fall where I knew I'd be leaving former radio job, it felt weird to keep writing these posts on my blog at that time.

     Thankfully- a lot can happen in a few months, and now it's actually been three months since I moved to Virginia and started working in country radio! I'm still absolutely loving my new job, and also loving being on-air in Charlottesville. I am excited to be bringing back Radio 101 blog posts this summer! I love being able to integrate a bit about my career into the blog, and it's fun for me to hopefully share with people some things about radio that they didn't know! I love working in an industry that's literally apart of everyone's lives in some way or another. 

     I thought a fun way to reintroduce Radio 101 on the blog would be to share some thoughts about working in Country radio versus CHR radio (Contemporary Hit Radio - Top 40)! Obviously I'm still very new in the radio industry, and I only did work in CHR for just under a year. But I still have some observations that I've made between the two types of radio from both of my jobs, as well as some internships and job shadowing experiences that I had back in school! 

      Working in Country radio vs. CHR radio

  • CHR: The whole point of Top 40 radio is to play the top songs on the radio airplay and Billboard Hot 100 charts... over and over and over! Which can be great if you're a consumer of radio and enjoy listening to what's popular and new now.... but if you work in radio on the other hand, this is absolute torture. The most popular songs of all are played as often as twice an hour, and this gets real old real fast. Songs that are very successful on the charts and have a long run on Top 40 radio are played frequently for 10+ weeks... and if you're hearing these songs multiple times a day (for work) for that long, it gets old. I'm saying that as someone who genuinely does like pop music, too! 
  • Country: I've been working in country radio for three months now, and still have yet to really get "sick" of the music! (PRAISE!) Sure- there are some songs and artists that I definitely like more than others. But there is a lot more variety in what you can play in the type of country station I work for, as we aren't just playing only the same 10-20 new country songs. We heavily play 90s, and early and late 2000s country, as well as the new stuff. Other country stations do play more new music and less gold tracks (older songs are often called "golds"), but even with that, I still feel there's a little more variety in the country format than Top 40. No songs on the station I work for now play as often as once or twice an hour! The most I'll hear the same song is maybe twice during my workday (for one of the new songs that's high on the country charts). 

  • CHR: Top 40 radio is something that most people are very familiar with, but I think it's hard for a lot of millennials especially to stay really passionate about it. A lot of people do have a favorite CHR morning show (morning shows often thrive in this radio format), but other then that, I've found in people my age that I've talked to about radio that there isn't a ton of loyalty. Yes, people do call of course if there is a contest and sometimes request songs, but minus the morning shows, this type of radio doesn't seem to be something that a lot of people get truly "excited" about anymore if that makes sense, especially in smaller cities.
  • Country: My experience with country so far has been so different! The local listeners are SO passionate not only about the music we play, but about our station specifically! The phones absolutely blow up for all of our contests, whether we're giving away a huge prize, or something very small. My radio Facebook page for my new job has tons of friend requests most days, and a lot of the listeners like to talk to me on Facebook and send me the nicest messages! When our station has a local event, most times tons of listeners will come out to see my boss and I. It's the most amazing thing! Charlottesville is near a lot of smaller counties that are more rural / more fit the country lifestyle, so I think that also works to the advantage for doing this radio format in this area. 

  • CHR: In both radio formats, types of events will vary station to station and city to city! Both formats are also subject to the regular car dealership live broadcast event (something I've actually not had to do yet- haha!). But as a generality, it's not uncommon for CHR stations to do events associated with bars or nightclubs, as that's where a lot of their listening audience spends time on the weekends! I had a lot of work events last year at a waterfront bar in Burlington for example. In my personal life, I do very much enjoy going out on the weekends, however I don't feel like bars and nightclubs are the best environment to be working in, if that makes sense! 
  • Country: Lots more family friendly events!! Live broadcasts at local fairs, community events, etc. Just about every live broadcast that my boss or I do out in the Charlottesville community is marketed as something to "bring the family" to. We of course do broadcasts at places like restaurants, stores, or specific businesses as well, but my experience so far has been it's places that the whole family can enjoy coming out to, not businesses so much targeted specifically at millennials or college students. Both country and CHR radio stations also do a number of charitable events per year. My former station had a few charity partners in the local community, and my new station does as well. We actually have a charity event today! 

      Of course, I know I am only just a few months into my country radio career. I know I have so much to learn as this first year continues, and hopefully have many more years ahead of me! I have been having so much fun and learning so much at my new job so far. I'm really excited to be bringing back Radio 101 posts! For the next one: I'm thinking of writing a blog post walking y'all through the process of how radio commercials are produced. Would this be an interesting topic to you?

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

June 18, 2018

My Favorite Type of Place to Shoot Blog Photos At.

     Hello and happy Monday! I am fresh off of a great weekend overnight trip to the nearby beautiful city of Richmond, which I can't wait to share more about with you soon! I'm so excited as I was able to shoot a lot of new blog content in both Charlottesville and Richmond last week, and I can't wait to start blogging everything! I absolutely love today's casual but chic spring look, and I'm also chatting in today's post about why parking decks are my favorite place to take blog pictures at. Today's post is SUPER photo-heavy, but I'm sharing some old favorite blog post memories!

Feminine Chic Jeans Look

Pink Madewell Top Preppy Looks

Pink on Pink Top Purse

Hair Scarf Brunette Curls

Southern Belle in Training // Virginia Blogger

Parking Deck Photoshoot

Photography by Meredith Sledge

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training! 

     First things first as always: outfit talk! Madewell is actually a store that I don't usually shop at. While they do have some great classic basic pieces, I think their prices are very expensive for what they sell, and I think I can often find similar items for their signature pieces at other stores on sale for a fraction of the price. (Just being honest!) Anyways, I happened to stop by the Charlottesville store a couple weekends ago when my friend Ciera was visiting, and I'm so glad I did! They had a great sale on some spring tops, and I just loved this pink striped wrap top. Best of all- it was originally $72, marked down to $20, and that day in-store there was an additional discount so I purchased it for just $10!! What a savings, especially from a store like Madewell! Surprise sales like this are exactly why I still love browsing the clearance racks from time to time. I tried to go for some "Gal Meets Glam" vibes with this outfit, by adding in my favorite embroidered mules and a hair scarf. Do y'all think I channeled a little Julia Engel at all? 😊

     So this shoot was the first time that I've done parking deck pictures in Charlottesville! These were taken at the Water Street Garage, which is right by Downtown Mall if you know Charlottesville at all. (Essentially the biggest and main parking garage for the downtown area.) If you've followed me for awhile, you know that parking decks have been my favorite places to shoot at for years now! The obsession started my sophomore year of college in Charlotte.

     Here's something funny- one of my Charlottesville photographers, Meredith, (who I did today's photos with), and I actually met years ago! We had mutual friends through a Christian online ministry group called Delight & Be, and when my friend Shara (another Delight friend, who is from Maine!) came to visit me in Charlotte back in 2014, Meredith came down from Virginia to meet us and spend a few days hanging out with us in Charlotte. The three of us actually did some parking deck pictures way back then (you can check out one of those blog posts way in my archives here!), and that's kind of when my obsession with taking photos on parking decks began! I kept exploring decks all over Uptown Charlotte and beyond throughout my college years- although the Midtown Target parking deck of course was my favorite, and I frequently took blog photos there for a few years. Burlington Vermont wasn't really a "hot spot" for parking decks as it isn't a large city, but I did do a couple sets of blog photos during my year there on the Cherry Street parking deck downtown!

     So why do I like the tops of parking decks so much for photos? First and foremost, the views! They provide such a cool and unique look out over a city. Second, the top floor of a parking deck is generally speaking a more private and secluded place to shoot, especially on weekends if it's a deck that's mostly used during the workweek! Even if there is weekend traffic, generally speaking the cars usually stick to lower levels. Third, you can find beautiful lighting on them! With that being said... lighting can be finicky at certain times of day. It can be tough to shoot on some parking decks in the middle of the afternoon, depending on the positioning of the sun. But in the early mornings, evenings, and on cloudy days, you should be good to go, and light should be great!

     One thing to keep in mind is that not all parking decks are public or city owned. One of my close friends and I actually almost got in trouble for trespassing once for going to the top of the CPCC (community college) parking deck near Uptown Charlotte! The crazy thing was we weren't even there for blog photos or anything to do with my blog! It was one night in the winter during one semester of college, and we actually just wanted to watch the stars and the Charlotte skyline from a parking deck. (Literally the most innocent thing!) A security guard ended up finding our car up there while doing rounds and almost called the cops on us- it was kind of scary. And a lesson to me for using parking decks for my blog in the future to try and stick to the public ones!

     Here are a few favorite parking deck photos from North Carolina and Vermont throughout the years- these were taken in Charlotte and Greensboro NC, and Burlington, VT! I'm excited to hopefully discover more parking decks here in Charlottesville, and beyond in Virginia.

     And finally- a few blog memories from my favorite parking deck of all (and one of my favorite places in the whole wide world!) - the Midtown Target parking deck in Charlotte.

      Fellow blogger friends- do you also have a favorite spot that you keep returning to for blog photos?

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese