Southern Belle in Training

Affordable Fashion // Attainable Travels // Authentic Living

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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.

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     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

January 17, 2019

How I Got a Couch + How I Buy Used Furniture!

     During the whole month of January, I'm sharing bits and pieces of my Charlottesville apartment tour here on Tuesdays. Last week, I shared my living room! The pictures in that blog post were taken before I got my first couch, so in today's blog post I wanted to share a little living room update, and chat a little bit about how I've accumulated used furniture. 

Photography by Kate Greer

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     Since I bought my couch, the pillows, and the coffee table ottoman used- I sadly don't have a lot of details for y'all about what stores they were originally from. 😉But what I can tell you is the amazing story about how I got this furniture set! It was totally a God thing- and I don't say that lightly! I had wanted a couch of my own since I first moved from North Carolina to Vermont, almost two years ago. (My former roommate brought the couch to my Charlotte apartment!) Once it was clear to me that I wouldn't be in Vermont longterm, I decided to postpone getting a couch until I was living somewhere that I saw myself more longterm. After I settled into Charlottesville, I knew that I wanted to be here awhile, and that this was the place that I finally wanted to invest in some more furniture! 

    The only caveat? Couches aren't cheap - and that's an understatement! A good, comfortable couch is most definitely an investment purchase, and I just wasn't in a financial place to make that type of brand new purchase this year. Sure there are cheap couches you can find for a few hundred, but I wanted a couch that really fit my style, and that I'd want to keep around for awhile, not just a starter piece of furniture that I'd want to upgrade from.

    Here's where the God thing part comes in! When I first moved to Charlottesville in the spring, I was able to reconnect with one of my sorority sisters, who had been living/working here already. She ended up moving out-of-state this fall... and was kind enough to let me know that she was selling a lot of furniture from her apartment! She offered me her couch, the coordinating pillows, and the coffee table ottoman for an incredible price that totally fit my budget! I was absolutely ecstatic- her couch is such a beautiful color, and is exactly the type of furniture piece that I would've been saving up to by new for a lot more money. Now that I have this beautiful furniture set in my apartment, I feel like my living room feels finished and "real"! As you can see in one of the photos above, Delilah also loves the couch. I think she thinks I bought it just for her! 😉

     This isn't the first time that I've gotten used furniture from a friend at a very reasonable price (or for free!). The desk that I use for my blog office and my dining set I also acclimated this way, as well as some other random home decor pieces! I will be honest- I think that buying used furniture from things like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace could be a bit of a gamble. Not saying that you can't sometimes find good things, but there is always a risk with buying something used from a total stranger. But when you purchase or receive free furniture from someone that you already know, you can trust the quality of it (or that they will be honest with you if the quality isn't the greatest, so you really know what you're getting). I've been really lucky in that during the last couple years, I've known a lot of people who have moved around. It's obviously very expensive to move furniture, so sometimes it's more economical for someone to sell or giveaway large furniture and home decor pieces. And that's worked out very well for me!

    I'd love to hear if you have any experiences with used furniture from friends and family! Or if you've taken the plunge and bought something used online from Craigslist or another place. Details on my outfit are below. (I realized after the fact that my skirt kinda matches the couch in these photos- lol!)

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 

January 15, 2019


    I'm continuing my apartment tour in today's blog post! Last Tuesday, I showed my living room, and today we'll be moving over to the kitchen and dining room tours.

  Photography by Meredith Sledge

     Here is my little kitchen and dining room! I was so excited that my apartment here in Charlottesville had a specific open dining room area. I had a dining room spot in my first apartment in Charlotte, but my Vermont apartment had a mostly open floor plan, so I had the dining table at the edge of my living room. The dining room in my current apartment obviously isn't huge,  but it does have more than enough room for my table and chairs, and a few decorative pieces as well.

     Since these photos were taken, one of my dining chairs actually broke. This weekend I'm planning to go to At Home to look for two new dining chairs. As y'all know, I am obsessed with At Home and most of my home decor comes from that store! The two gorgeous paintings in my dining room are from there (of course!). I absolutely fell in love when I saw these two paintings- they reminded me so much of Lilly Pulitzer's bright and colorful designs!

    My apartment kitchen is very small, as you can see from the pictures above. The size has been an adjustment to get used to, as my kitchen in my Vermont apartment was about twice the size! But I do love the white cabinets, and how bright it is from all of the apartment natural light. Hopefully my next place will have a little more counter space, but I'm able to make do with what I have here!

     You can check out last week's post, my Charlottesville apartment living room, in this blog post! Next Tuesday we will be continuing the apartment tour.

     Midweek Ramblings will be coming up for your Wednesday tomorrow, as always! Thanks so much for reading, and hope you're having a good week so far.

    God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese 

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