Southern Belle in Training

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

September 6, 2017

My 5th Blogiversary + 23rd Birthday!

     Happy 5th Birthday Southern Belle in Training!!! And happy 23rd birthday to me!! (Yes- I really did start this blog on my 18th birthday - haha!) Ahhh- I have been waiting to share this photos and this post with y'all for some time now, so excited to finally do so today. 

     To celebrate- I wanted to share 23 different lists of five - since I'm turning 23 and the blog is turning 5! I thought it would be a fun twist on a "get to know me" post. Some of the lists are blogging related, some are personal, and some are just fun! This post doesn't dig too deeply into blogging lessons I've learned in five years or blogging tips... but please feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me if these are posts that you'd like to see this fall! 

     For an outfit to celebrate five years of blogging, I knew I wanted something that screamed "Southern Belle." Even though I don't currently live in the south, when I started my blog as a freshman in college, I was so infatuated with traditional southern fashion and culture, and I still am! This Lauren James Seersucker dress and matching headband seemed perfect to me! The complete outfit is linked at the bottom of the post. 

Photography by Melissa Lynn Studios

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1. Five of my favorite stores:

  1. Anywhere that sells Lilly Pulitzer
  2. At Home
  3. Hobby Lobby
  4. Zara 
  5. Ann Taylor

2. Five early 2000's one-hit-wonders that I am OBSESSED with still:

  1. Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65
  2. It Feels So Good by Sonique
  3. Better Off Alone by Alice DeeJay
  4. Hit 'Em Upstyle (Oops!) by Blu Cantrell
  5. Around the World (La La La La La) by ATC

3. Five things that a lot of people love that I do not like and think are extremely overrated:

  1. NFL Football
  2. Sam Hunt's music
  3. Thanksgiving food 
  4. Old Navy
  5. American Horror Story

4. Five fashion bloggers I've been following for years:

  1. Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls
  2. Mckenna from McKenna Bleu 
  3. Rachel from Something Delightful
  4. Brighton from Brighton the Day
  5. Jean from Extra Petite

5. Five fashion bloggers I've started following this year (and love):
  1. Nicole from What Nicole Wore
  2. Peyton from Love n' Labels
  3. Nicholle from Nicholle Sophia
  4. Kim from Color & Chic
  5. Gentry from Girl Meets Bow

6. Five lifestyle bloggers I love:

  1. Stephanie from Stephanie Drenka
  2. Bailey from Becoming Bailey
  3. April from Smidge of This
  4. Jordyn from The Fairy Princess Diaries
  5. Katie from Honeystuck 

7. Five past travel destinations in the US that I would go back to:
  1. Las Vegas
  2. New York City
  3. Myrtle Beach
  4. Albuquerque, NM
  5. Chicago
  6. (BONUS: Charlotte, NC #Duh)

8. Five places in the US I haven't visited yet but very much want to:
  1. Miami
  2. Yellowstone National Park (ID, MT and WY)
  3. 4 Corners (Where AZ, NM, NV and UT all meet)
  4. Atlantic City
  5. Savannah 

9. Five countries I want to visit:
  1. Panama
  2. Thailand
  3. Vietnam
  4. Singapore
  5. India

10. Five movies I can watch over and over without getting tired of them:
  1. The Lizzie McGuire Movie
  2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  3. Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Bollywood Movie)
  4. Popstar 
  5. Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl (Bollywood Movie)

11. As promised....five of the worst dates I've ever been on: 
  1. A first date for pizza with someone from Tinder, who upon finding out that I wanted to work in radio... criticized my career aspirations and asked bluntly "Why I didn't want to work in sports PR?" 
  2. A coffee date with someone from Bumble on a day when I was going through one of the most painful things that I've ever dealt with in my personal life. Should have cancelled the date, felt bad to cancel last minute.... date not surprisingly did not go well. 
  3. A movie date in high school gone AWKWARD. Will leave at that.
  4. Coming in as a tie for my two worst dates ever.... the first would be during my freshman year of college when I was attending first university. I was invited on a double date by a guy who was roommates with the boyfriend of the girl who at the time was my best friend. I had been hanging out with him for a few weeks. We went bowling and to see a midnight movie premiere. He wanted NOTHING to do with me during the movie, and pushed my head off his shoulder when I tried to cozy up. The next day, the guy sent his roommate (my friend's boyfriend) over to my room... to end things with me! He couldn't even do it himself! Sooo embarrassing and awkward.
  5. The second worst date ever would be a date in Vermont shortly after I moved here (a set-up by a coworker)... where the guy talked a lot about planning his roommate's Bachelor party, and asked me if I had any strip club recommendations in New England. He also told me several times that he "hated all radio." 

12. Five of my favorite memories from being an active collegiate member in Alpha Delta Pi:
  1. My Bid Day
  2. Representing both my chapter and Alpha Delta Pi on a national scale with my internship at the 2015 Fraternity Communications Conference in Louisville, KY
  3. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and leading a bible study for my sisters during my junior year (I served as Chaplain of my chapter for two years)
  4. Mall trips over the years with Jess, my Big Diamond sister, and one of my best shopping buddies while I was in college. (Usually Hilary Duff was blasted in the car during these outings!)
  5. My senior year Black Diamond Formal

13. Five of my regular orders from various fast food establishments (don't look to me if you're a health nut):
  1. McDonald's (Rarely go here, but it's one of the few fast food restaurants and the only one on this list in Vermont): plain cheeseburger, small fries, and an apple pie.
  2. Chick Fil A: BREAKFAST is the best meal there... and I alternate between the Chicken Biscuit (RIP to the Spicy Chicken Biscuit) and the four count Chicken Minis. I always ask for fries instead of hashbrowns- most locations will make them for you during breakfast hours! And finish it off with a French Vanilla iced coffee. On rough mornings in college, sometimes I would get both the minis and the biscuit.....
  3. Bojangles: one plain biscuit and one small order of fries. #health
  4. Dairy Queen: a small sundae with chocolate ice cream, marshmallow and chopped nuts OR a small sundae with twist ice cream, marshmallow and rainbow sprinkles OR a cookie dough blizzard OR a chocolate malt shake. DQ has a plethora of delicious options! 
  5. Steak n' Shake: plain cheeseburger or plain hotdog, fries with parmesan garlic seasoning added, and a chocolate malt shake. If it's a drive-through run, just the chocolate malt shake. 

14. Five of my favorite splurge purchases in my wardrobe:

  1. Both pairs of my Tory Burch riding boots.
  2. My J. Crew winter peacoat.
  3. My David Yurman crossover ring (there is a special story behind this purchase also). 
  4. My Lilly Pulitzer college graduation dress.
  5. My first Kate Spade wallet (which I saved up for with babysitting money in college!). 

15. Five of the most popular blog posts of all time on Southern Belle in Training (in order):

16. Five of my personal favorite posts on Southern Belle in Training (no particular order): 

  1. Sparkling into 2017. (December 2016 - Sharing a bit about the most painful situation of my life to date.)
  2. OOTD: Minty Maxi. (July 2014 - one of my earliest fashion collabs and still a favorite to look back on!)
  3. My Color of the Year. (May 2016 - This was my first post working with Deeana from Deeana Kourtney Photography, and it really began a new chapter in blogging for me!)
  4. An Open Letter to My Ex-Best Friend. (May 2015 - This had been on my heart to write since I started blogging way back in 2012. So glad I finally wrote this post. Sometimes high school wounds are very hard to get over.)
  5. BIG NEWS: I Have a Radio Job + I'm Moving!!! (March 2017 - This was a secret I had to keep for several weeks as the details were being worked out with my new job in Vermont, so it was such a joy to finally share this news!)

17.  Five of my all-time favorite (off-air) TV shows that I have seen in entirety: 

  1. 7th Heaven
  2. That 70s Show
  3. Hart of Dixie
  4. How I Met Your Mother
  5. Parks and Recreation    

18. Five of my favorite bible verses: 
  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (favorite verses!)
  2. Jeremiah 29:11
  3. John 3:16
  4. Psalm 23:4
  5. Pslam 19:1

19. Five things I'm most proud of myself for: 
  1. Not losing my Christian faith in college.
  2. My credit score.
  3. Paying my own way loan-free through broadcasting school, and working two jobs while in broadcasting school (and blogging!) to help with that.
  4. Sticking it out and not leaving my study abroad experience in France (summer 2015) early, even though a lot of things kept going wrong. 
  5. Taking a huge leap of faith and moving to Vermont to follow my dream career. 

20. Five personal bucket list items I hope to accomplish in the next five years:
  1. Become a "mom" to a rabbit, dog... or BOTH!
  2. Run a 5k
  3. Be a maid of honor
  4. Bring a significant other on trips to both my homes: Maine and Charlotte
  5. Become a member of a church

21. Five powerful women who are a few of my role models:
  1. Nationally syndicated radio host Delilah
  2. Political commentator Tomi Lahren
  3. Pastor and author Heather Lindsey 
  4. Actress Blake Lively
  5. Actress Beverley Mitchell

22. Five types of places I'm generally speaking always down to visit:
  1. Beach
  2. Botanical Garden
  3. Downtown of a city
  4. Mall
  5. Nail Salon

23. Five things I like about Vermont (I feel like I often complain about my new home... so best to end on a positive note!):
  1. The fact that delicious cheese and maple syrup are the two food products generally associated with the state. Yum and yum. 
  2. The natural beauty of Lake Champlain.
  3. The proximity to Canada/Montreal.
  4. The local restaurants I've discovered. 
  5. The fall season... which is only just beginning, but I've been told is pretty much the best in the country! 

     Thank you all for reading, and for making this the best five years ever!! I never would have dreamed that my little hobby outside of college classes would become a second job, my creative passion, the subject of my capstone project for graduation, a resume builder, a finder of many friendships, and truly one of my favorite things about my life right now.

     Now I'm off to work to celebrate my 23rd birthday the best way that I know how- being ON-AIR! 😊

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese (aka Charlotte XO on the radio!)


  1. Happy 23rd birthday and 5th year of blogging! I love your idea of 23 lists of 5 things!

  2. Happy Blogiversary and Birthday, Annaliese! Your lists are so fun and I loved learning more about you!


  3. Ahhh you have me craving Chick-fil-A now! 💕 Happy Blogiversary!

  4. Congrats and happy birthday! Love this list idea!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Happy birthday and congrats on your blogging anniversary! I totally agree - Chickfila has the best breakfast!

    Carrie |

  7. Happy 23rd Birthday Annalise! 23 was a life changing year for me, I hope it is all kinds of wonderful for you too, you are truly a Southern Belle wherever you are<3 Like you I find the NFL and Thanksgiving food WAY overrated. I'm also always down to go to a nail salon and would LOVE to visit Thailand. Let's plan a trip (;

  8. Girl, I loveee your dress! It looks amazing on you! Also, happy birthday and blogiversary!

  9. Happy Birthday!! & blogiversary! Love this dress on you.

  10. Happy birthday, A! LOVE all of those songs from the early 2000s too haha.

  11. Congrats and happy bday!

  12. Happy happy birthday and blogaversary :)
    xx Carly |

  13. Woohooo! Happy birthday to you and your blog!! Hope you have the best day and I loved getting to know you a bit more and reading about your terrible dates. lol
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  14. Great to read more about you! I did a jazz routine to 'All Around the World' back when I did ballet and now I can't get it out of my head haha.

  15. Love this post! Happy birthday and congrats on 5 years!

  16. I absolutely love this post so much! I hope your birthday was the best and I'm so happy to continue watching your blog grow :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  17. These photos are adorable and I love your list idea! So fun! Happy 23rd birthday and 5th blogiversary!

  18. What a neat idea for a blog post! Loved getting to know more about you! Hope you had a great birthday / blogiversary!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  19. Happy 5 years of blogging!!!! I'm so glad to have gotten to know you and so blessed to call you a friend!! If you ever want to visit Iowa/Minnesota and go shopping with me (PLEASE! I don't know what I'm doing with clothes!) you are more than welcome! :) PS I totally thought about you this past weekend when I was listening to 2000's pop radio with my sister and Britney Spears came on!

  20. Really enjoyed reading this post, especially your worst dates lol Hope you had a great birthday!

  21. You were looking awesome. You could throw a party to make the day more memorable with friends and family. You could hire an event planner to do the job for you. It would be more awesome to be.

  22. More often than not I don't make remarks on sites, yet I'd like to say this article truly constrained me to do as such. Truly pleasant post! best backlinks


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