Southern Belle in Training

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

February 27, 2017

Easy and Chic Workwear Outfit.

All items in this outfit are restyled from my closet, similar picks linked for all:

     Another request that I received in my reader survey was to start sharing more workwear and business casual outfits. (Again y'all- just gonna say, if you're a blogger and haven't done a reader survey, do one ASAP! I learned SO much from it!) Anyways, I thought that this was a great suggestion, and here is a workwear inspired outfit today! 

      I'm at a very exciting place in life where I'm about to finish my education (for good!) and begin my career, so I'm beginning to think a lot about building my professional wardrobe. With that said, it can be costly to start building one! Definitely something that is easier to do over time than all at once. To help out my fellow new graduates who are also on a budget and just starting to build a work wardrobe, I wanted to show you that it's totally possible to create some work appropriate outfits with things that you already have. 

     The white and black striped top that I'm wearing is a closet staple for me! I wear it year round, styled many different ways (see it worn casually in this blog post!). I realized how easy it was for me to pair it with a red blazer and pencil skirt to dress it up. This skirt is also an item that I wear lots... you might recognize it from one of the more exciting outfits that I've worn on the blog- what I wore when I had the chance to attend a NYFW show last September! I challenge you to take a look in your closet and see what items you already own, and how you can pair things differently to make work outfits!

      I apologize that things have been a little quieter than usual on my blog and social media (although I have been trying my best to keep up with Instagram!). Those of you who are my real life friends/Facebook friends know the big news already... 😉 I'm still waiting a little bit longer to share what all is going on here on the blog. It's a BIG announcement, and I want to make sure that I'm able to announce it in the best way! There's also a lot going on behind-the-scenes with it.... so for the next month, blogging might not get to be my #1 priority. And in addition to that BIG thing, my mom and I are going on a super huge and very last minute international vacation! So much craziness happening right now. Anyways- I hope to be able to share everything soon! 

     xoxo Annaliese 


February 22, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{Follow my social media accounts @miss_alk!}


  • Big things coming soon! That's all I can say for right now.... but God is GOOD and BIG CHANGES are happening for me. ☺️ I'll share more as soon as I can!
  • In this week's weird news... I read a lot of entertainment and weird news headlines early on weekdays mornings as apart of the prep work I do for my morning radio internship. This week, one of the weirdest stories that I've read yet while interning came across my computer screen! This Nevada man says that he runs his own mini nation... say what? Read all about it here- this story fascinated me and I had to stop reading it so I could finish my work for the day, haha! 
  • Workshop! This weekend I have the really cool opportunity to teach a Social Media 101 workshop for other students (and even a few staff members) at my broadcasting school! I by no means call myself an expert in blogging or social media and I'm always looking to learn more about these platforms, but as many of my classmates are just beginning their journeys into the social media world, I am so excited to share with them some of the skills that I have picked up over the past few years with running my blog! If you have any links to articles or blog posts with great advice or tips with anything relate to social media, please leave them in a comment on this post or send them my way! I'd love to include a resource list for everyone coming to the workshop. I never thought that I'd have this type of opportunity in broadcasting school, so I'm really excited for it! 


  • The bridesmaids in the wedding that I'm in later this spring have to wear nude pumps with our dresses, and I figured it was time to upgrade to a fresh pair! My previous nude pumps are a few years old, and a shoe like this is such a wardrobe staple. These are the ones I went with- I found them in a department store on sale for 30% off! 
  • My lips have been exceptionally chapped this winter. I deal with chapped lips on the regular, but what I've been experiencing lately is pretty unreal. I've tried just about every variety of Chapstick and a lot of other drugstore lip products, but nothing was helping. While on a Target run, I spotted this lip product in a pharmacy aisle which I hadn't seen before, and I decided to give it a try. Y'ALL. GAME CHANGER. I haven't had chapped lips at all since I started using it a couple weeks ago! It's under $5 and I don't think I'll ever go without it again. 


  • Ugh y'all. Lots on my wishlist right now. This darling dress under $35 and absolutely the prettiest for spring. I might be ordering this ASAP.
  • These pretty floral heels have me dreaming about all of my favorite things about spring (and under $30!)
  • I'm rarely a fan of pleats in clothing pieces but this skirt might be changing my mind about that!
  • This jacket is on sale and I LOVE the green color.

     My question for y'all this week: what are you looking forward to in the month of March? And again- please share any links with me to your favorite social media resources! Have a great Wednesday!

     xoxo Annaliese

February 20, 2017

8 Best Affordable Lipsticks.

Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography

     My love for makeup runs almost as deep as my passion for fashion- true story! It dawned on me recently though that beauty isn't a topic that I blog about very often at all, and I'm hoping to change that. I'm not really sure why it's something I don't blog about often... maybe because when I'm looking for information about beauty products or a certain type of makeup tutorial it is something I'll definitely seek out, but on an average day I would personally rather read about fashion or lifestyle on someone else's blog. But it doesn't mean that I don't still love it- if that makes sense?! Haha. So here's to adding in more beauty posts on my blog!

    I thought a good place to start with the beauty posts would be with sharing about my tried and true lipsticks. There are certain beauty products that I prefer to splurge on, but in all honestly lip products are not one of them. (I do have one beloved Chanel lip gloss which I feel very fancy every time that I wear, but that's about the exception. 😉) There are so many great drugstore cosmetic brands, and I think that lip products are one of the best makeup items to buy at a drugstore price point. Of course not every affordable cosmetic brand makes great lipsticks- some aren't well pigmented, and some can really dry out your lips. But there are also some true winners that are both great on the lips and great for the wallet! As you can probably tell from the pictures, my favorite shades for daily wear are variations of muted berries and pinks. I do wear nudes, reds and bright shades for blog photos or special events sometimes, but the lipsticks that I'm sharing today are my favorites for everyday. 

    Revlon is usually my go-to brand for lipsticks. I've never partnered with Revlon on my blog... just an honest fan of their lipsticks! These lipsticks are available at Ulta, Target/Walmart and drugstores nationwide, and they're always bringing new colors into the line, as well as continuing to produce the favorite colors. Most of my favorite Revlon lipsticks are from the Super Lustrous line. I used to be a fan of the Colorburst Lip Butters as well (and featured one of my favorite shades, Berry Smoothie, from those in this post), but sadly the Lip Butters have been recently discontinued. But here are my favorites from the Super Lustrous lipstick line:

     *Demure (683) - This was my signature lipstick shade just about all through college! It's a warm peachy-pink, and has very much of a "pearl" finish to it. I wear this lipstick more than any other in my blog posts, but here's just one look at it!

    *Blushing Mauve (460) - A gorgeous shade- I would describe it as a "moody pink" if that makes any sense! It's a great shade to wear in winter/early spring especially as it's slightly cool toned.  I wore it in this post! 

     *Rosewine (225) - This is the perfect hint of red for everyday wear, without being so bold that it feels overpowering! It's a very warm shade. I don't wear on blog very often (not really sure why), but I did wear it here

     *Temptress (680) - Just a really pretty bright pink for everyday wear. Gorgeous color without being "too much." Looks great with a liner under it as well! I'm wearing it here (old blog post but some of the close up photos show the color well). 

     *Pink Velvet (423) - This is a very versatile lipstick that looks great with outfits in all seasons, and can easily go from day to night looks! I've recommended this one to friends before as one of my ultimate go to shades. It's a nice blend of pink and red. It looks great worn in this blog post! 

     And my favorite from the sadly discontined Colorburst Lip Butter line from Revlon: 

     *Berry Smoothie - The perfect warm berry shade for everyday wear. I loved the Lip Butter line because these lipsticks literally went on like butter!! Hopefully I'll find a dupe product for this soon. If you can still find this anywhere, here's me wearing it in a blog post. 

     Two other non-Revlon favorites that I wanted to share:  

     *essence Long Lasting Lipstick in Blush My Lips (c/o) - essence is my favorite drugstore makeup brand. When I do want to wear a very bold pink for an everyday look, this is usually the lipstick I reach for! It's a gorgeous deep pink, and has amazing staying power. The best part is that it's under $5! I'm wearing it here

     *Aveda nourish-mint lipstick in Sheer (c/o) - I've received some awesome PR packages from Aveda over the past several months, and my favorite package of all contained this lipstick, as well as another from the nourish-mint line. This one specifically is the ideal nude shade!! It's truly a "your lips but better" color. I wore it in this post! 

     I'm linking the adorable makeup bag shown in the pictures below as well! (A Christmas gift from my sweet college roommate, Caroline!) 

     Now I want to know - what are your favorite everyday lipsticks? Is there a drugstore brand that you're loyal to for lip products? Share away!

      Stay tuned for Midweek Ramblings and Recent Purchases on Wednesday! Lots of exciting things to come soon... both for the blog and my personal life. Can't wait to share more soon!

     xoxo Annaliese


February 16, 2017

Results of My First Reader Survey!


      Thanks so much to everyone who took my blog's first-ever reader survey a couple of weeks ago! The results were much more helpful, interesting, and heartwarming than I ever could have predicted. I'm just mad at myself that I haven't decided to do a reader survey sooner, but better late than never, right?!  I've already started making a few content changes since going over the results of the survey,  but I wanted to share everything with y'all. If you didn't get a chance to take the survey, feel free to leave some of your thoughts about the results, or my blog in general, in a comment on this post!

     *Almost 40% of you have been reading Southern Belle in Training for 2-3 years (OMG!). The rest of you were a huge mix in terms of how long you've been reading the blog... some of you have been around since the very beginning (4+ years), and some of you are newer followers. Either way, I'm so happy that each and every one of you are here!

     *Almost 70% of you read my blog either "every time there's a new post" or "a few times a week." This was amazing for me to hear!! Cliche as it may sound, it really does warm my heart that a lot of y'all enjoy my posts enough to pop in each time there's a new one.

      *When I asked which types of blog posts were y'all's absolute favorites to see, four categories that I write about took the lead by far! Fashion and OOTD posts won with almost 40% of you picking that answer, which I guess isn't too much of a surprise- since the main focus of my blog is affordable fashion and style! The other three categories which y'all like the best are any posts about "adulting" (like finances, apartment living, etc), college/sorority life posts, and my Wednesday Midweek Ramblings posts- which will return next week I promise!

     *I asked y'all's thoughts about adding in some new content to Southern Belle in Training, and I liked what I heard! For awhile now, I've been considering adding in blog posts about relationships and my future career in broadcasting.  87% of you are interested in relationships blog posts, and almost 60% are interested in learning more about broadcasting and radio! Since the survey ended, I've already begun a "Relationship Monday" series, and shared a couple of posts about dating/singleness (including one this week for Valentine's Day!). I'm also beginning to plan out how to integrate content about broadcasting and my career, and I'm getting really excited to do that later this year! I'm currently in the thick of finishing classes at broadcasting school over the next few weeks and I'm also knee deep in job applications, so I think these posts might be better to start once I can recap my educational journey and job search process in full - which will hopefully be sooner rather than later!

     I also asked for y'all to share some honest critiques of my blog, and any ways that you think I might be able to improve. I was actually thankful to receive this constructive criticism! Here a couple of great responses to this question:

     "I'd love to see an updated blog design that's easier to navigate & a little more modern (while still maintaining your personality!)" - Yes to this! This year actually marks two years since I rebranded my blog and switched to the current design and template that I have now. I'm actually hoping to switch over to Wordpress later this year or next, but that's unfortunately a costly thing to do (when done well), and while finishing up school and job searching I don't have the type of extra money to do that right now. But once I'm able to in the hopefully near future, this is something that I want to tackle!

     "I enjoy personal posts every now and then. I know it's best to be private (and for safety I agree)... But I like to get to "know" the bloggers I follow. It gives me a reason to keep coming back to read the blog." - I received several responses similar to this one, but I felt like this one specifically summed it up best. I'll definitely keep trying to add more personal content each month going forward! I hope y'all have been enjoying the Relationship Monday posts so far, and I'll be trying to see if I can find other ways to integrate personal content as well. 

     So thank you, thank you, thank you again to those of you who took the survey! I hope this post expressed how truly grateful I am for each one of you who took the time to share your feedback with me. Here's to this year being the best year yet for SBIT!

     On an unrelated note.... some big things are happening in my personal life this weekend. ☺️ I decided that I'll be taking a social media break this weekend while everything is figured out. I can't give away any details quite yet.... but I would appreciate any prayers! Hoping to share some news soon.

     xoxo Annaliese 

February 14, 2017

Dressing for Spring Weather in Winter.

     North Carolina weather is always unpredictable, but in the four and a half years that I've lived here now, I can never remember a winter like the one we're currently experiencing! December was our coldest month... many days I woke up to my car being frozen over. But after the New Year, it's been extremely mild! This past weekend, temperatures hit almost 80 degrees! What?! Next weekend again temperatures are due into the mid-high 70s. A huge years ago, we had one of the biggest Carolina snowstorms that I can remember over Valentine's week, and now it feels like late spring. Weather is a strange thing!

     Dressing for these summer-like winter temperatures is a bit strange, but it's given me the chance to break out some of my favorite spring clothes a little bit early, and I'll never complain about that! I'm absolutely obsessed with this pretty blue striped dress! It's under $25, and I love the sleeve and bow details. It's also very lightweight and just all around perfect for springtime. Unfortunately, it did just sell out. But luckily the same retailer has several other similar dresses- this one and the similar ones will all be linked below.

     Happy Valentine's Day to all of you! Single friends- be sure to check out yesterday's post if you haven't yet.


     xoxo Annaliese

February 11, 2017

Charlotte Girls: Last Call for Galentine's Giveaway!

     Hey Queen City (and surrounding area) friends! I've been sharing this on social media all week, but I just wanted to give y'all a reminder that I'm hosting super fun Galentine's themed giveaway on my Instagram currently. It ends tomorrow night, 2/15, so there is still time to enter! I'm co-hosting this giveaway along with Rachel from Queen City Chic, who is one of Charlotte's biggest local influencers. She partners all of the time with Charlotte area restaurants, boutiques, and lots more local businesses, and I so-admire her passion for the city and how she has been able to turn that into a blogging and social media endeavor.

     Rachel and I have put together a fun little Galentine's giveaway for all of our sweet Charlotte area gals who are following us! Three Charlotte businesses have generously agreed to be sponsors. You can enter the giveaway directly on this Instagram photo. If you're the winner, both you and a bestie will each win:

      *A beautiful handcrafted necklace from Mila Rose Jewelry (Rachel and I are each modeling them in these photos!)

     * A $10 gift card to Suarez bakery

     *A variety pack from Popbar (Pops pictured above - each variety pack will contain three gelatos, two sorbets and one yogurt pop.)

     Rachel and I had fun shooting the pictures for our giveaway all over Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. After taking some photos outside of the necklaces, we headed over to Popbar to enjoy a treat. Their storefront is currently all decked out for Valentine's, which was just perfect for our giveaway!

     I have previously written about Popbar in this blog post, and it's definitely one of my new favorite Charlotte spots to head to for a sweet treat. I've been recommending it to all of my friends! 

     Suarez Bakery is another fantastic Charlotte spot for tasty treats. I used to frequent there more than I should admit for midweek pick-me-ups when I was in college! Take a look at some of their special Valentine's goodies: 

     Rachel and I are hoping that all of our Charlotte area followers will enter this Galentine's giveaway! I sure wish that I could win it. 😉

      Speaking of Galentine's- I'm off to celebrate for a special Galentine's lunch with some of my girlfriends today! Hope that y'all are having a great weekend.

     xoxo Annaliese

February 10, 2017

The Best Choice for Wedding and Shower Invitations.

     My first year of post-grad life has brought so many different types of "firsts." My first apartment, first time "officially" moving out of state (technically I moved in 2012 for college... but I officially did all of the "legal" things like updating my license, switching insurance, etc this year!), first post-grad/paid internship, and many, many more smaller firsts as well. One of the most exciting firsts was getting asked to be in a wedding for the first time! On April 1st, I'm so thrilled to be a bridesmaid in my sorority sister Perrin's wedding. She and her fiancé are a wonderful couple, and I couldn't be more happy for their future together, and honored to be apart of their wedding! Two other sorority sisters are in the bridal party as well, and a bunch of my college friends will be at the wedding, so all in all it should be a blast. 

      The bridal party is split between the Charlotte area and other parts of the country. Since I'm one of the bridesmaids who is local, I'm looking forward to attending the pre-wedding festivities as well as the actual wedding weekend itself! Perrin's maid of honor and mom have planned a lovely bridal shower for her for this month, and some of us bridesmaids wanted to see how we could help as well. 

     Around this same time, I was conveniently introduced to Basic Invite! They're a premiere online retailer for invitations and stationery, and sell just about any type of invitation or announcement card that you could think of! Seriously- you name an occasion, and there's something for it on Basic Invite. For brides-to-be specifically, they can help to make the wedding planning process easier with their huge selection of cheap save the dates and cute wedding invitations

     Perrin had already ordered her wedding invitations, but her MOH was in need of wedding shower invitations! Luckily Basic Invite also has so many unique bridal shower invitations, so I was able to work with her MOH to select invitations that were perfect for the shower.  Navy is one of the central wedding colors, so we ultimately selected these fun striped invitations in navy and yellow. Basic Invite offers almost unlimited color options on all of their designs, and over 40 different colors of envelopes, so the customization options are just about endless! 

      If you're engaged yourself, or if you know a friend who is, be sure to share Basic Invite with them for all of their wedding event related invitation needs. There are designs to fit every wedding theme, and you'll definitely find something you love. Basic Invite also has lots of options for upcoming spring events like graduations, baptisms, bar mitzvahs and more. 

    xoxo Annaliese

      Today's post was sponsored by Basic Invite. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training! 

February 7, 2017

Trend Spin Link-Up: Winter Accessories.

     One of my favorite things to link-up with when I was just getting into blogging a few years ago was the Trend Spin Link-Up, hosted each week by Walking in Memphis in High Heels and The Fashion Canvas. I'm so excited today to be their co-host of the week! This week's theme is winter accessories. My number one belief regarding winter fashion is that it doesn't all have have to be dark and daunting. I obviously have a love of color, and I enjoy bringing that into my wardrobe during all times of the year! 

     This outfit was a lot of fun to put together, and minus the scarf it's 100% restyled! Everything has been on my blog before. As I've said before, one of my top tips for being a fashion blogger on a tighter budget is to invest in versatile pieces, continually shop in my own closet, and never stop challenging myself to put together new looks with favorite items! 

    Please join us this week in linking up below! The Trend Spin Link-Up is such a fun way to meet new bloggers and encourage each other as well. 

     And thanks to everyone who has taken my reader survey! I'll be going over it in tomorrow's post. But for now- today's the last day to take it if you haven't yet. I also have a fun Galentine's themed giveaway happening on my Instagram right now for reader friends in the Charlotte area- so be sure to check that out if you're local to the Queen City! 

    xoxo Annaliese


February 6, 2017

Relationship Monday: So...I'm Single.

     I've been absolutely LOVING reading y'all's repsonses to my blog's very first reader survey (there's still time to take it if you haven't! Take it here!!). I'll be going over the results and plans for moving forward in Wednesday's post, but something that has already stuck out to me so much is that y'all really want to see more personal blog posts, in addition to my fashion posts. So today kicks off the first post in a new Monday series: Relationship Mondays! I won't be sharing these posts every Monday, as I do still enjoy posting fashion content on the first day of the new week. But expect to see these posts on Mondays hopefully 1-2 days per month (with fashion posts on other days those weeks).


February 3, 2017

Ultimate Spring Break 2017 Shopping Guide!

     We might only be technically halfway through the winter season, but it's never too early to start thinking about Spring Break! Ah... Spring Break. The epitome of being a college student. I never went on any of the crazy stereotypical trips, but I still had a wonderful and memorable time each year. My freshman year of college I went home to Maine, and the latter three years my dad and I went on warm-weather vacations together. These ended up being some of my favorite college memories!

     If you're a current college student (or even a high school senior!), I'm sure that you've already started making your Spring Break plans. You might be headed on a beach road trip, setting sail on a cruise, or even jetting off somewhere international. And even if you're hanging around closer to home, hopefully a fun staycation is on your radar!

     Sadly this year since I'm a college grad, I won't be heading out on any Spring Break trips. My current focus is completing my broadcasting school courses and internship next month, and continuing my rapid-fire approach to job applications.  But hey- a girl can dream right?!

     Today I've rounded up a bunch of my top picks for Spring Break shoppers. The absolute cutest and best picks in swimwear, dresses and rompers, and various warm weather styles that are under $20. There's something here for every budget!




     Are you headed on any fun warm weather vacations soon? 

     And a reminder to take the first-ever Southern Belle in Training reader survey if you haven't yet! It'll be open until next Wednesday. I'm loving hearing y'all's feedback about my blog!

     xoxo Annaliese 

February 1, 2017

My First-Ever Reader Survey!


      I've been meaning to this this for a very long time, but I decided to make this one of my official 2017 blogging goals, and why not check it off early in the year?! It's time for my first-ever Southern Belle in Training reader survey! I've seen so many bloggers share these, and it always seems like people say that the results of these are extremely helpful and productive. I'm so curious to hear y'all's thoughts on my content and blog in general, so I'm so happy to be sharing this today!

     Thanks so much in advance to those of you who take the survey! I tried to make it as easy and quick as possible- it's only nine questions, and the answers to each one will really help me in planning future editorial content for my blog and social media. I want to make sure that I'm creating content that y'all want to see!

     Without further ado- HERE is my Southern Belle in Training Winter 2017 Reader Survey! It will be open for one week. Thanks so very much in advance to everyone who takes it!

     xoxo Annaliese
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