Southern Belle in Training

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January 23, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{I've recently discovered that Virginia wineries are just as fun in the winter as they are in other months- and they're less busy in winter!}

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  • Midweek Ramblings is....: Last week was pretty busy for me, and I didn't have time to get a Midweek Ramblings post up for last Wednesday. I put up a poll on IG Stories to ask if y'all still wanted to see these posts every week, or if you'd prefer for them to be Monthly Ramblings at the end of each month. Surprisingly, the poll was tied about 50/50 at the end! That was enough for me to know that I should keep these posts on Wednesdays. So- here we go again, Midweek Ramblings back and here to stay!
  • Up and coming travel destinations: I loved this round-up from USA Today! It highlights some of the top beach destinations around the world, and many of them are up and coming or off the beaten path, with incredible deals to be found. I don't anticipate any international travel this year, but I'm totally saving this list for 2020 and beyond!
  • Helping with fellowship: When I first started going to my church here in Charlottesville, there was an incredible girl named Kaye who would organize a lot of social events and Sunday fellowship times for the young adults at church. She was such a social butterfly, and thanks to her efforts, so many of the young adults at church were able to connect and become friends! Kaye moved out of Charlottesville recently, so myself and my friend Lily have stepped up and are trying to continue some of the Sunday Fellowship traditions that she had started. This Sunday was our first young adults gathering of the year, and I think it went well! I hope that by getting involved in planning these church events, they will be a blessing to everyone, just like it was such a blessing to me last year when I was newer in Charlottesville!
  • Photography tips: I recently had a chance to review an e-book all about photography tips, and specifically photography for fashion blogging and Instagram! I thought this e-book was informative and fun to read- while a lot of the information was things that I've learned over the years from doing so many blog photos, I think this would be a great resource for someone starting out! You can save 20% on your purchase of e-book "How to Take a Better Photo" by Meg Cusick- use code MISSALK20!
Weekend recaps: 
  • Last weekend: On Friday night I hosted a swap night at my place with some girlfriends (I'll definitely share more about that in a separate blog post too!). Saturday I went to barre class in the morning, and then my had my friend Emily over for a cookie decorating afternoon. Saturday night ended up being a blast! My friend Abigail is in grad school and UVA, and she invited some of our friend group to accompany her to the grad school winter formal. It was a BLAST- I haven't danced that hard in so long! Sunday morning I taught Sunday School, and then kicked off the young adult Sunday Fellowship afterwards. Whew! What a fun and busy one. 
  • This weekend: One of my ADPi sisters, Perrin, is coming to visit for the weekend! I'm currently working on planning an itinerary that involves highlights of all there is to do in Charlottesville. 
  • I purchased this mascara that so many of my friends have raved about! I'm currently layering it with two others that I really like for my everyday makeup, and I'm a fan so far. 
  • I stocked up on a few pairs these tights! They were 50% off last week, so I made sure to buy enough for NYFW, as that trip is coming soon. 
  • And a couple fun purchases, I bought this dupe purse and this dupe belt! I haven't ever really bought a lot of designer dupes before, but both of these came well recommended to me from a friend, so I figured I'd give them a try. I can do a review after I get them if y'all are interested! 
  • Zara is one of my all-time favorite stores, and sometimes they have really incredible deals. This super cute tank top is under $10 currently!
  • How cute is this heart sweater for Valentines? I think this would be really cute if you had casual plans for the holiday- or for Galentines!
  • And sticking with the Valentine's theme... these adorable sparkle earrings! I love the heart detail.
  • Swimsuit season is still awhile from now... but if you're headed somewhere warm for Spring Break, I love this one-piece!
  • This business casual dress is effortlessly chic, and I think would transition well from winter to spring (wear now with tights, wear with spring accessories when the weather warms up!).
Recipe of the week: Christmas Sugar Cookies recipe from Southern Curls and Pearls. I've had this recipe from Caitlin's blog saved on Pinterest for so long, and I finally gave it a try! These cookies are AMAZING!! I didn't do them in Christmas shapes or colors, but the recipe works perfectly for normal decorated cookies too. 😉

Song of the week: My Favorite Man by Irina Rimes. If you've been reading Midweek Ramblings for awhile you know that I listen to a lot of world music. Lately I've been obsessed with this song- it's has such a great beat that makes it perfect for a workout playlist!

Favorite blog posts of the week:
  • Style Charade - I loved reading about Jenn's dream blog collaboration with United Airlines!
  • BeYOUtiful - Torunn did her wedding recaps this week, and I especially enjoyed the post dedicated to her bridesmaids!
  • Olivia Rink - I just adored Olivia's honest and heartfelt post about the realities of being both a fashion influencer and a Christian woman.
On my blog this week:

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

January 22, 2019


     I've been having so much fun sharing the different rooms of my apartment for my Tuesday blog post series this month!! Today we're tackling the smallest room (which actually isn't actually all that small): my bathroom! 

Photography by Meredith Sledge

    Similar with the living room and dining room/kitchen posts that I've shared, just about all of my decor in the bathroom is either from discount stores or is something older that I've had for awhile, so I don't have any exact product links for you! If you're curious where something is from, feel free to comment on this post or email me. 😊

     This apartment has the biggest bathroom that I've ever had! The amount of storage I have in here is crazy. I have way more cabinets then I need for storing bathroom things, so I actually keep some random household items in bathroom storage as well. Other than the floral towels pictured above, I didn't buy any new bathroom decor when I moved to this apartment! I think that whenever I do move next, it might be time to upgrade some things (like the shower curtain and mats), but for now everything was still in good shape. I love having bright accent colors for the bathroom decor- I feel like this room definitely personifies a bachelorette pad! If your bathroom doesn't currently have a lot of decor, I encourage you to try incorporating some bright colors in there! I do my hair and makeup for work each morning in here, and seeing all of the colors and fun decor always starts my day off on a happy note. 

     I guess that's about all that I have to say for the bathroom- this part of the apartment tour is very straightforward! You can check out the previous apartment tour posts; living room, updated living room with couch, and kitchen/dining room in the meantime. Next week will be the final post of January's Tuesday series, and I'll be finishing the apartment tour by sharing my bedroom! 

    Last week was pretty busy for me, so I took last Wednesday off from sharing my weekly Midweek Ramblings. I posted a poll on Instagram Stories asking if y'all would prefer if I switched them to one Monthly Ramblings post instead of doing them each Wednesday... and amazingly a lot of y'all voted to keep them each week! So Midweek Ramblings is here to stay for the time being, and returns tomorrow. 🙂

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

January 21, 2019

Back to Basics with Outfit Posts.

     Happy Monday! I can't believe this is my first true outfit post of 2019. Sharing a classic look that I wore for a weekend shopping day a few weeks ago, and also some thoughts on my blog's fashion content going forward.

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

     Let's start with some blogging thoughts! A couple years ago, I would say that about 75% of my blog posts were fashion or outfit related, so this is definitely a big shift. In 2018, I celebrated my 6th blogiversary, and around that same time I made the shift from calling my blog a lifestyle blog instead of a fashion blog. Fashion is a component of my blog that I definitely want to continue writing about, but I no longer want it to be the focus. To me, my travel and faith/personal posts are just as important as style content- all of those three things together are what makes my blog unique! 

    Anyways, with the difference in how I'm classifying my blog, there are going to be a few changes this year to how I share fashion content on the blog. To start, I'll be working less regularly with blog photographers. I'm definitely not eliminating professional photography from my blog by any means, but I want to be more selective in using photographers. I'll probably just continue using them for sponsored collaborations and some travel content, rather than everyday outfits. I've had a DSLR camera for years, and I actually really do enjoy having friends snap my pictures on it and editing them myself! There's just something about that whole process that seems more "real." It seems like with each month that goes by, a lot of fashion Instagram accounts and blogs get more and more staged and fake, especially in terms of photography. I want to stay authentic as possible, and for me that means starting to do more blog photography on my own camera again. 😊

    As far as the outfits go that I wear on the blog, I'm done buying stuff just for blog photos! The outfits that you see this year will be exclusively real outfits that I have worn in real life, or will be wearing soon. It'll still include a wide range of everything from casual to dressy looks, but I'll only be featuring stuff that I actually wear. I've definitely fallen trap in the past of buying clothing or accessories solely because I think they would look cute on the blog or Instagram... and then I never wear them again! That just seems so materialistic and wasteful to me now. 

    Alright- now that all that's out of the way, let's get to today's outfit details! My mom got me this light pink sweater for Christmas. It is currently on sale! It's very soft and light, and the perfect type of sweater to layer over a button up shirt. I also pulled out one of my older favorite purses for this look- OG Southern Belle in Training readers probably remember when I was obsessed with this bag for a good couple years in college! 😉 I wore this outfit a few weekends ago for a shopping day in Richmond. One of the largest shopping districts in Richmond, Short Pump, is just under an hour away from Charlottesville, so it makes for an easy weekend day trip. I love visiting bigger cities, so I'm usually in Richmond at least once every month or two!

     I hope that you're having a great Monday and start to the week so far! Last week was busier than usual for me (each weekday I had plans every afternoon or evening), so I'm hoping this week will be a little more relaxing. 

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese
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