Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

December 28, 2016

2016: Highlights From My Year.

     Welcome to the first installment of my yearly recap posts! These are always some of my favorite blog posts to write each year. It's wonderful to get to reflect on all that the past year has brought- both the highs and the lows, and to be able to take the memories with me into the coming year.

     Today's post will highlight the biggest memories from my personal life in 2016. A lot of these are little memories and details which I often don't have time to share in blog posts or on my blog's social media, so I look forward to sharing many of these with y'all today!

2016 Accomplishments: 

     Quite obviously the biggest accomplishment of my year was graduating college! I graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in May, with a major in Journalism and Digital Media, and two minors in French and Sociology. I haven't really shared this on my blog until now- but it was a huge blessing that I was able to graduate on graduation day. The situation that I wrote about in this past Monday's blog post happened less than two weeks before my graduation, and almost prevented me from being able to finish my final exams. Luckily, I was able to finish everything on time and thus receive my diploma on graduation day, something which I am extremely thankful for! It just goes to show that you really can't take anything for granted!


     My parents, Aunt and Grandma (from my mom's family), and my two uncles from my dad's family all came to Charlotte to celebrate with me! The above picture was taken at the ceremony the day before graduation.

     Caroline! The best college suitemate (and blog photographer :-) ) ever! She will graduate in 2017 and I'm already so very proud. 

      My class at Queens was the first class in the history of the university that was able to decorate graduation caps! 

     A few weeks after graduation, my sweet photographer Deeana took college senior photos for me. My current roommate Ciera and my big sister in ADPi, Jess, also joined in on the fun. You can see the whole post from our photoshoot here

     My other big accomplishment from 2016 would be beginning broadcasting school! I haven't quite shared as much about that on my blog yet as I would have liked- but I do hope to be sharing more regular updates in 2017. I began broadcasting school in July 2016, and I will graduate from the program in May 2017. It's a very intense 10 months!! 

     I absolutely adore broadcasting school- not only because of the opportunities and education that it's giving me for my future career, but also because of the incredible people that I've met through the school. Something else that's been a huge blessing is that I've been interning for the school since August! I am the social media coordinator, and run the Facebook pages and Instagram not only for my campus, but as of this past month now for the other locations of the schools as well. It is a great honor to have this internship, and I love being both a student and also getting to work for the school as well. Since I do the social media, I spend most of my time taking pictures of the other students, but here's a snap of me in the campus radio studio from last month! 

    And lastly- although I don't have a photo of this accomplishment, 2016 was the year that I officially became an NC resident! Truth: I cried a few happy tears after leaving the DMV and seeing that I had a license at long last that finally said North Carolina. Something that I wasn't expecting however is that officially moving out of state had a few more steps to it than I anticipated- I'm planning to write a blog post about this in the next few months!

2016 Travels: 

     This year was the first year in a few that didn't bring any international travels, but that was okay after all of the adventures (good and bad) that studying abroad in 2015 brought. Instead, I got to re-visit three of my all-time favorite US destinations this year, and cross one new city off my bucket list as well. I also made two trips home to Maine- a very brief one in June, and I'm currently still home now for a little Christmas vacation.  

     Caroline, my dad and I enjoyed Disney World and Orlando for my final Spring Break of college! (Orlando Travel Guide post)

     My first time to Charleston for was The Blog Societies Conference in August (Conference recap post).

I spent my 22nd birthday weekend in Las Vegas with my roommate Ciera and our friend Priyanka (blog post recap here)

The week after Vegas, I was in NYC for a family reunion, and it coincided with September NYFW! I was lucky enough to get to attend a fashion presentation with other bloggers while I was there. (Blog post recap) 

Other 2016 Memories: 

     In no particular order, here are a few fond memories from the year that I don't want to forget! 

My final semester of college brought many fun weekend nights out on the town! Since graduating, I don't go out too often anymore, but I try not to be a grandma 100% of the time. ;-) 

In January was the annual senior class formal at Queens! I took my friend Ciera (who was one of my best friends at my former college, and is now my current roommate in my apartment) as my date, and we went with Jess, my Big. These were the girls that I later did my college senior photos with in the spring! While this formal itself was kind of a drag, we have really fun memories from later in the night!

Two of my sorority sisters, Hannah and Mary, helped me out with a special blog post collaboration in March! You can check out the post here

The graduating seniors in my sorority did a special photoshoot in April.

Also in April- my last sorority formal! I re-wore my senior prom dress which is pretty much my favorite dress of all time. (Blog post about my last formal)

Possibly the worst photo of me ever - but a sweet memory from my graduation day, and the last day that I lived with my senior year suitemate, Caroline! Caroline was the best college roommate ever, and I miss living with her each and every day! 

Later on graduation day- moving out of my dorm room! I lived on campus all four years of college, so this was a bittersweet goodbye.

....hello to my first apartment! Ciera and I had our housewarming party in June, complete with a Snapchat filter! (Blog post recap here)

Other fun summer memories: attending the opening party for City Lights and Craft City Social with Amy from Pastel N Pink.

Sadly I only went on one hike in 2016, and I'm hoping to go on many more next year! But it was a wonderful day trip and time spent with my dear friend Becca (one of my first friends at my former college). We visited South Mountains State Park!

Something that I didn't share too much about on the blog this year- my mom actually lived in NC for most of the summer! My mom is an artist, and this summer she enrolled in an artists program in another part of the state. It was her first time ever living outside of Maine, and it was cool to have her get to discover the South! I visited her twice, and she also came to see me in Charlotte a couple of times. 

A huge highlight of the year was that my best friend from blogging, Cara from Caralina Style, moved to Charlotte in the middle of summer!! But even before the move she had made several trips down earlier in the year, so we already had lots of fun adventures together. This is a snap from the 4th of July.

The main reason that I was in Vegas for my birthday weekend was to fulfill a lifelong dream/bucket list goal: to see Britney Spears perform! The above picture is an accurate depiction of my excitement. 

Britney was AMAZING (full blog post here)

Another big highlight of 2016: starting to work with Deeana for photography on my blog! She is an absolute sweetheart, and I'm so happy to have a photographer who is also my friend. 

Lastly, a few other fun broadcasting school pictures! When I decided to do broadcasting school after college, it was solely a career decision. I had no idea if I would make good friends there, but that wasn't why I was doing it, as I'd already had the traditional college experience. Well- I've been completely blown as everyone in broadcasting school, from fellow students to staff, are all the most incredible people!! I feel like I've gained more new friends than I can even count. :-) 

Some of the staff/interns in Fall 2016.

Halloween with the other students/staff! 

      Stay tuned for part two of my 2016 on Friday- that post will recap my favorite outfit posts of the year, and blogging accomplishments and goals! I promise that post won't be quite as long as this one... ;-) 

     Thanks so much for reading! 

     xoxo Miss ALK



  1. What a great 2016 you had! Post-Grad life is exciting and the possibilities are endless. Enjoy it! It goes by way too fast!!! :)

    Top Knots & Sweatpants

  2. Congratulations on graduating college and starting broadcasting school! Sounds like you had an amazing year :)

  3. Looks like you had a super fun year-- congrats on graduating!! It was so awesome to meet you at TBSCon- I hope I'll see you at next years'!

  4. Wow I just loved reading this! I looks like you had a year full of everything and so many wonderful memories! I can't wait to see what 2017 brings for you!

  5. It was so fun to see all your adventures this year! Here's to an even more amazing 2017!
    -Anna |

  6. Congrats on graduating - I did too! And broadcasting school sounds like SO MUCH fun!

  7. Broadcasting school sounds like such a blast and right up your alley. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings for you.

  8. I graduated this spring as well! I loved the senior pics with your sisters.

  9. Love reading a little summary of your year- looks like you had fun! And congrats on graduating, we graduated around the same time!

    xx, Jamie

  10. You have had quite a year! The TBS Conference was definitely a highlight since I got to meet blogger babes like yourself! I hope 2017 is an even better year!

    Greta |

  11. It sounds like you had an amazing year! Congrats on graduating! That's a huge and an amazing accomplishment! Can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for you!

  12. Congrats on graduation! I'll be walking the stage in May. It looks like you really had a great year (despite only going on one hike). Cheers to your 2017 adventures!

  13. Oh wow! I'm glad 2016 held so many positive memories for you :) Hopefully the momentum and excitement will carry over into 2017!

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  14. Hey, I know that girl in the yellow dress!! Hhaah, sounds like you had an amazing year and I am so glad we finally got a chance to meet! Here's to 2017 and new beginnings!!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  15. What a year! Happy New Year and I'm so glad we were able to meet in person in 2016!



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