Southern Belle in Training

Affordable Fashion // Attainable Travels // Authentic Living

November 29, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.





{Getting glam for the holidays for a recent Instagram campaign, and a sneak peek of my tree! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}



Ramblings:
  • Back to the gym: This weekend, I read the most encouraging blog post by Julia from Gal Meets Glam, all about getting back into a fitness routine. Working out consistently is something that I've struggled with since graduating college, but especially so in the last few months! This post was the exact motivation that I needed, and since reading it I've been to the gym three times! Sometimes when I get out of the habit of working out, I psych myself out about going back to the gym, but a brief, 30 minute work-out and some stretches is nothing to be scared about. One of my New Year's Resolutions for 2018 is to (finally) run a 5k, so here's to getting an early head start on that!
  • No more babysitting: I was an after-school nanny for most of college, and also used to babysit for other families in Charlotte on the weekends. Nannying was honestly pretty great.... until I got a HORRIBLE case of head lice during my senior year of college. I was pretty quiet about that on the blog when it happened (for obvious reason, I mean, lice are GROSS). Where I have really long hair and didn't want to cut it, the lice were extremely difficult and expensive to get rid of it. Not a fun time. Well, I babysat for a coworker of mine last weekend.... I found out at work on Monday morning that the child that I watched has a bad case of head lice. 😢 I spent my whole Monday night doing a preventative treatment on my head, and washing my towels and sheets. If y'all want to send any good vibes or prayers my way that I don't get the lice, I would so appreciate it! Lice are seriously horrific to deal with, the type of thing I wouldn't wish on an enemy. (The only thing worse is bed bugs... which I have also had in the past! Yuck!) I think it's safe to say now that my babysitting days are done for good.
  • Newest obsession: This past weekend I watched three Hallmark movies! I don't go to the movie theatre very often and before now I rarely watch any type of movies (I'm more of a TV person), but this season I just can't get enough of Hallmark movies. They're super predictable and very corny, but I love them! I have yet though to watch a Lifetime movie. I want to know- do y'all have a preference between the two channels? Should I give Lifetime movies a try too? 


Purchases:
  • Excited to share some things I purchased on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Most of my shopping this year was online. First- I purchased a new Popsocket for my phone! Funny story about the one that I've had on my phone until now: I got it for free in a PR gift this summer for blogging. It was promoting America's Next Top Model so that's what the Popsocket says on it.... but the irony is I've never seen that show! Everyone kept asking me if I was like a super fan, so I was like okay, time get this thing off and to get something new! I really like the new one that I got, it would make a great stocking stuffer. 
  • How fun is this velvet top? It's taken me a little while to get into the velvet trend- I think I just had to find the right way to wear it. I can't wait to pack this for my first holiday trip...  which is next week ah!
  • I can't wait to stay cozy in these all winter long when I'm at home! 
  • My favorite purchase this year... I've been wanting these shoes for YEARS! Seriously! But I could never justify paying full price. They were marked down for a Black Friday sale and I also had a couple gift cards to use, so I got them for under $50!! 



Wishlist:
  • This festive plaid top is absolutely gorgeous for the holidays! It was between this one and the velvet one (that I did purchase), and I went with the velvet. Hopefully I made the right decision- haha!
  • This retailer seriously makes the most chic tweed blazers and other pieces. I tried one on last year in-store during Black Friday and fell in love! Someday when I live back in a bigger city and have more of a reason to dress up more frequently, I'll buy one at last. 
  • Another plaid item that I'm in love with for the holiday season- this amazing skirt!
  • UGGS are a staple for New England winters, I had three pairs in high school!! The two pairs that I have now are both super old, and while they're still in good shape, I would love to have a new pair for Vermont winter. How cute is this style?



Recipe of the week:
  • Italian Herb and Cheese Meatballs from Pinterest! I haven't made these since when I lived in Charlotte, and goodness I forgot how amazing these are! No frozen meatball even comes close, and honestly I think these are way better than most at chain restaurants as well. They're super easy to make and absolutely delicious. I made them to accompany pasta with homemade sauce. 


Song of the week: 
  • All My Love by Cash Cash ft. Connor Maynard. This week's song pick is actually one that neither of the radio stations that I work for are playing! When I'm in the car, I usually listen to other radio stations. Partly because I think it makes me better at my job to hear what the competition is doing, and partly because when I listen to the same playlist at work for six hours six days a week... I like to listen to other things in the car! Haha. Anyways, one of the more "independent" radio stations in Vermont plays some Top 40 music,  but they also play a lot of EDM and Dance music, which is fun. I discovered this song on their station, and I love it! You might know Cash Cash from their big song with Bebe Rexha a few years ago, "Take Me Home."


On the blog this week:


      God Bless,



      xoxo Annaliese 
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November 28, 2017

"Hallmark Christmas Movie" Outfit + My Favorite Weekly Podcasts!

     Funny story about how this blog post title came about: I have to give credit for the title of today's blog post to Nicholle from Nicholle Sophia. We had dinner after work the same day that these photos were taken, and she said that I looked dressed straight out of a Hallmark Holiday movie (which I took as a big compliment 😉). So there you go- blog post title born! Read on to find out more about my new favorite holiday casual outfit (my cozy turtleneck sweater is under $30!), and in today's post I'm also sharing my 4 favorite weekly podcasts that I keep up with on the reg!


Hallmark Christmas Movie Inspired outfit

Preppy new england winter outfit

How to style a Houndstooth coat

Winter Southern Belle style

Best white sweater under $30

Favorite white sweater under $30


Photography by Amanda Rose Photography


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





      This cable knit turtleneck is seriously my new favorite sweater for this holiday season. The ways that you can wear it are endless- it's such as essential basic piece! I had fun dressing it up for this outfit with pumps and statement jewelry, but it could just as easily be dressed down with snow boots and leggings for a cold and casual winter day. It's under $30 and seriously a must-buy!! I know I'll be getting a lot more use out of it, and this is definitely not the last time you'll be seeing it on the blog!


      I'm also loving my gorgeous pink DIFF sunglasses! You might have seen on Instagram that I got to work with DIFF to promote their fantastic Cyber Monday sale which was yesterday. Unfortunately that specific sale is over now, but I think a pair of DIFF sunglasses would make a great Christmas gift for someone in your life (or for you!). These were actually the first pair of "nice" sunglasses that I've ever owned... for real, I've never had a pair worth over $20 before now!! I'm taking such good care of these though- I love them! 😊


   
      Now let's chat about something that I've gotten really into in 2017: podcasts!! In a blog post a few weeks ago, I shared three of my favorite shorter series ones (meaning that they're a full story told in under 10 episodes). I think a short series podcast would be especially perfect to listen to on holiday travels, and also a great introduction to podcasts if you're unfamiliar with them in general. Although I enjoy getting into a series podcasts from time to time, I also have a few weekly podcasts that I really look forward to hearing new episodes from each week. These aren't a specific series and don't tell a certain story, but each one is still on a certain theme or topic. Two of them I've been listening to since the very beginning, and two I pick and choose episodes from on certain weeks that interest me specifically. I personally usually listen to podcasts in the mornings before work, since I don't go into my day job until later in the day (read my morning schedule here). Let's get to it:



     1. Good Christian Fun: Instead of saving the best for last, let's jump into the best FIRST! Good Christian Fun is absolutely the best podcast that I've ever heard. Each episode leaves me with both a lot to think about in terms of faith and Christian pop culture, and also has me laughing to the point of tears (seriously- every episode!). This podcast is hosted by Kevin T. Porter and Caroline Ely, and in each episode they highlight, review and debate something different from (the weird world of) Christian pop culture: everything from albums to movies to books, etc. A lot of the things they review are throwback items to the 90s and early 2000s, and as someone who grew up in church and attending youth group, this podcast brings back SO many memories!! Another thing that I love about the podcast is that it's something that can be enjoyed both by those of the faith and also those not (a lot of the podcast guests actually aren't Christians!). Seriously- I don't think Kevin and Caroline know how grateful I am to them for the endless laughs and entertainment that they provide me with each week. I hope this podcast goes forever and ever!


     2. Help! I Suck At Dating with Dean Unglert: This is the other podcast that I listen to each and every week. Hosted by Dean Unglert of Rachel's season of The Bachlorette, this one as you probably guessed from the title is a dating and relationships based podcast! I really liked Dean on Rachel's season, however I don't watch Bachelor in Paradise so I didn't get a chance to see him on that show. From what I've gathered from entertainment news and also Dean's own take on the season on his podcast, he didn't act too great with a couple of the girls on Paradise, which is what inspired him to learn from his mistakes and start this podcast. Each week tackles a different topic related to dating, and some of them get very specific with issues related to dating in the 21st century (like dating apps, etc). Dean also has a variety of guests on each episode, everyone from other Bachelor/ette contestants, his ex-girlfriends, to love experts! While I don't agree with all of the topics and advice given out on this podcast (ahem... the sexting episode...), overall I think this podcast is quite fun, and seriously, props to Dean for trying to get better at dating!


     3. The Reality Steve Podcast: For all my Bachelor and Bachelorette fans out there: you are missing out soooooo much if you don't follow Reality Steve and get into the spoilers of the show! Reality Steve (real name: Steve Carbone) is a full-time blogger who makes his living spoiling each season of The Bachelor and blogging about television news. I should add on that his website and social media posts are absolutely hilarious, and usually have me laughing out loud! I started watching The Bachelor shows with Brad's second season in 2010, and I learned about the spoilers I'm pretty sure in 2011 or 2012, so I've been a loyal RS fan for many years. I've tried to get so many of my friends and my mom as well on board with him, but so many people refuse to get into the spoilers. I tell you though- once you read them for one season you can't stop!! It is amazing what he does.
      Anyways, Steve's podcast doesn't so much cover spoilers of the upcoming Bachelor season, but instead he interviews past Bachelor/ette contestants, and sometimes even season leads! It is so cool to get such an insider perspective about what happens on the show. These podcast interviews are a lot like his writing, and each episode is hilarious to listen to. There have been some seasons that I haven't watched, so I don't listen to each week's episode (if it's with someone that I'm not familiar with from the show for example!). But if it is with a contestant that I knew and loved, I know it'll be a treat to tune in! A few of my favorite interviews include Courtney Robertson, Ben Flajnik, DeAnna Stagliano, Amanda Stanton and Sharleen Joynt.


     4. The Skinny Confidential Him and Her: This lifestyle podcast is hosted by blogger Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential blog, and her husband Michael Bosstick. I love how this husband/wife duo does a podcast together, and it's so fun to see Lauryn and Michael's chemistry and humor together on their podcast! The Skinny Confidential Him and Her podcast is a lot like Lauryn's blog; it covers a big variety of lifestyle topics, and different guests are brought on to assist with those topics. Kind of like with The Reality Steve podcast, I only listen to the episodes with guests or topics that interest me, but when I do tune in, I always love the episode!! A few of my favorite episodes include Lauryn and Michael's love story (which they recorded right before their wedding last year!), interview with actress Ashley Tisdale, and interview with fellow blogger Julie Solomon.



   
     Are there any podcasts that you listen to regularly? Have you heard any of these before?



     Hope that you're having a great week so far! Thanks for reading!






     God Bless,



     xoxo Annaliese


   
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November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday: Best Sales + What I'm Ordering Today.

      It's time for Black Friday part two! If the shopping crowds and crazy mall scene isn't your thing, then this is YOUR day! I'm more of a Black Friday girl than Cyber Monday, but this year being in Vermont and living far away from many of my favorite stores, I'm feeling ready to embrace the fun of Cyber Monday as well! 


     I'm sharing a big list of the best Cyber Monday deals below (it's an even bigger list than my Black Friday one was!), and also the stores that I'm planning to make purchases from today! Stay tuned to Midweek Ramblings on Wednesday to see what all I purchased on Black Friday/Cyber Monday this year. 😊




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




*Cyber Monday Sales 2017:



    *Abercrombie & Fitch - 50% off everything + free shipping. No code. Ends 11/27.





     *Ann Taylor - 50% off everything + free shipping. Use code BESTMONDAY. Ends 11/27. 






     *Anthropologie - 30% off everything. No code. Ends 11/27. 





     *ASOS - 20% off everything. Use code WIN20. Ends 11/28.





     *Banana Republic - 50% off all regular priced items. No code. Ends 11/27.





     *Charming Charlie - 25% off everything and free shipping. No code. Ends 11/27. 





     *Chicwish - Extra 15% off orders $70+. Use code CBM15. Ends 11/27.





     *DIFF - Save between 30-50% off your sunglass purchases. No code. Ends 11/27.






     *Draper James - 25% off entire website. Use code MERRY. Ends 11/28.






     *DSW - 20% off everything. Use code BLKFRI20. Ends 11/27.





     *Express - Take 50% off everything + free shipping. No code. Ends 11/28.





     *J. Crew - Take 40% off everything. Use code THANKU. Ends 11/26.





     *J. Crew Factory - Take 50-60% off everything. No code. Ends 11/26. 






     *Kendra Scott - Take 20% off everything. Use code YELLOW20. Ends 11/27.





     *Lauren James - Select items between 70-80% off. No code. Ends 11/24. 






     *Lisi Lerch - Take 30% off everything + $5 shipping. No code. Ends 11/27.





     *LOFT - Take 50% off everything.





     *New York & Company - Entire website on sale + free shipping. Ends 11/27. 





     *Nordstrom - Extra 20% off selected sale items. No code. Ends 11/27.






     *Shein - Savings up to 90% off on select items. Use code LIS10 for $10 off purchases $79+. Ends 11/27. 





     *Tory Burch - Take 30% off orders $250+. Use code THANKS. Ends 11/27. 








Today I'm ordering:

      
      *Holiday fashion goodies from J. Crew Factory! I can't get enough of their collection for this season. J. Crew + Factory can be kind of hit or miss stores for me- sometimes I love their collection for a season, other times not so much. This year's holiday items are definitely a WIN though - I want everything!



      *Gifts for friends from Etsy! Gift giving is my top love language, and I love trying to buy very personal and thoughtful gifts for each of my good friends at the holidays. Etsy always has the most unique and fun items for the friends that seem to have everything! I have a few things saved that I have been excited to order. (And it's so convenient for out-of-state friends, as I can have everything mailed right to them!)



       *Finishing ordering parents' Christmas gifts! After that, I'll be all done my holiday shopping, before December even begins, yay!




     Happy Cyber Monday!! I can't wait to share what I purchased during Black Friday and today in Wednesday's post.



     God Bless,



     xoxo Annaliese



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November 25, 2017

My Closet Favorites - ON SALE THIS WEEKEND!

     Welcome to my second Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Cyber Week post! Yesterday I shared a more general round-up of sales and discount codes from my favorite retailers, so today's post will be a bit more specific! Today I'm highlighting some of my favorite outfits from blog posts from this summer and fall, in which the items that I'm wearing are currently ON SALE with the great Cyber Weekend sales! I asked on Insta Stories if y'all were interested in seeing this type of post and the response was an overwhelming yes. 😊 As a fashion blogger who definitely is on a budget, I re-wear all of my outfits (I never buy things just to "blog them") and everything that I'm sharing in today's post are things that I really do love having in my closet, so hopefully you might as well!




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



Dress c/o - use code BLK15 today for 15% off


     This was one of my favorite outfits from this fall that I wore on Southern Belle in Training! I especially love the way this violet floral dress paired with these purple OTK boots (The boots are not on sale for Black Friday- but original price they're already under $40 so still a great deal!). This dress is perfect for both spring and fall, so I can't wait to get a lot of use out of it again in a few months. 








      Lauren James is one of my favorite preppy brands, and they're having a fantastic Black Friday sale that extends through this weekend! I scooped up this vest during their big Pink Friday summer sale, and I couldn't wait to wear it this fall. Vests like these are preppy wardrobe staples! 





Dress c/o - use code BLK15 today for 15% off


     This was one of my favorite blog photoshoots from this summer, and I just love this dress! I wish I had more occasions to wear it this summer in Vermont, hopefully 2018 will bring more chances! It would be a lovely option for a spring or summer bridal or baby shower, a graduation, or wedding (depending on the dress code). It's a very well-lined dress, and I couldn't get over the quality! Take advantage of the great sale on this right now! 





Bag on sale - also take 30% off purchases $250+ with code THANKS


      Ever since getting this Tory Burch bag for my birthday, I have been just obsessed with it! It's the ideal work tote, and also definitely fashionable enough to take out for non-work activities (unlike my previous work bag). It is marked down quite well right now!! This would make an excellent Christmas gift. The Tory Burch website unfortunately is sold out of this bag in the color I have it in, but they do have it in some other colors still! 





Coat c/ouse code BLK15 today for 15% off


      You guys seemed to love this coat from Monday's blog post! It's from one of my favorite online retailers also part of the Black Friday sale! I just love a good statement coat for the holidays especially. 





Riding boots on sale - also take 30% off purchases $250+ with code THANKS


     My love for Tory Burch riding boots is pretty big!! They've been a favorite NSale purchase of mine in the last few years. 😊 You can find them on sale right now in both black and brown from Tory Burch directly, and be sure to use code THANKS this weekend as well! 







     Another Lauren James favorite of mine are their sweet tee's! They're great to wear on weekends, for running errands, and I wore them a lot to work this summer, especially for my weekend on-air shifts (which are even more casual than weekdays). You can't find a cuter t-shirt than one from Lauren James! This macaron shirt is in stock, just not in the white color sadly, but you can find it in other colors! And they have tons of other adorable ones on sale too. 



      Thanks so much for reading- hope that y'all are enjoying your holiday weekend! I had to work today (as normal) and I'm also dog sitting right now, so it's a busy weekend for me. But I am definitely happy that the start of the holiday season is here!! 



      Stay tuned for a Cyber Monday post coming on Monday!



      God Bless,



      xoxo Annaliese 




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November 24, 2017

BLACK FRIDAY SALES 2017!!!

     Here we go! It's one of my favorite days of the year! Whether you're out and about at the malls today, or shopping from the comforts of your own home, I wish that the shopping odds ever be in your favor! Read on to find my biggest round-up ever of Black Friday sales, and some of my favorite items in my closet that are currently marked down:




Photo by Deeana Kourtney Photography


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




*Black Friday Sales 2017 


     *Ann Taylor - 50% off everything. Use code THANKFUL. Ends 11/24. 




     *ASOS - 20% off everything. Use code WIN20. Ends 11/30.




     *Charming Charlie - BOGO everything and free shipping. No code. Ends 11/24. 




     *Chicwish - Extra 15% off orders $70+. Use code BLK15. Ends 11/25.




     *DIFF - Save between 30-50% off your sunglass purchases. No code. Ends 11/27.




     *Express - Take 50% off everything + free shipping. No code. Ends 11/24.




     *Franco Sarto - Take 25% off + free shipping. Use code FRANCOBFRIDAY25. Ends 11/26.




     *J. Crew - Take 40% off everything. Use code THANKU. Ends 11/26.




     *J. Crew Factory - Take 50-60% off everything. No code. Ends 11/26. 




     *Lauren James - Select items between 70-80% off. No code. Ends 11/24. 




     *Lilly Pulitzer - Free gifts with purchase! While supplies last.




     *LOFT - Take 50% off everything.




     *Nordstrom - Extra 20% off selected sale items. No code. Ends 11/26.




     *Tory Burch - Take 30% off orders $250+. Use code THANKS. Ends 11/27. 



     

      I'm keeping today's sale round-up very short and sweet- I'll be back with a more detailed blog post in a couple days for Cyber Monday with even more deals, discount codes, my favorite picks and sharing some of my weekend purchases!! 



     Happy Black Friday! 



     God Bless,




     xoxo Annaliese 


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November 23, 2017

My Thanksgiving Un-Traditions.

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! (Or as I think we should all say, Happy Black Friday Eve!) I wanted to share a different type of post on the holiday this year, and talk a little bit about what I call my Thanksgiving "Un-Traditions." 


My Thanksgiving Un-Traditions






     #NoShameinMyGame: I'm actually pretty vocal about the fact that Thanksgiving isn't one of my favorite holidays. It has nothing to do with the meaning behind the day- I'm all about showing thankfulness and gratitude, and I do like the reminder that the holiday provides everyone with! My disliking it has more has to do with the traditions. I'm in the big minority of poeple in that minus stuffing (which I only like in small amounts), I really kind of hate all traditional Thanksgiving foods! I always feel awful and ungrateful and most Thanksgiving dinners since I barely eat anything... especially since it's a day all about being thankful for food! Haha. But it's true- I'm just not into traditional Thanksgiving foods. I'm also not a fan of football, and so many Thanksgiving celebrations revolve around watching "the big game." And lastly, November is one of my least favorite months of the year. Everything outdoors is dried up and dying, and it's usually very cold, especially here in New England. And Thanksgiving travel... don't even get me started on it! Thanksgiving weekend consistently seems to rank as the busiest time of the year for air and road travel, even beating out Christmas and Memorial Day weekends. No thanks!!!


      Now that I've shared everything that I don't like about Thanksgiving, of course there are a few things that I do like as well. In college, Thanksgiving was always a much needed long weekend during the fall semester! (This year in the working world it's just one day off and not a full long weekend, but still, a random Thursday off!) It is the day before Black Friday, which is one of my FAVORITE days of the year, and the month of November's saving grace. Thanksgiving also symbolizes the true start of the Christmas season! And of course, it is a great reminder to take some time and reflect on all the things in life to be thankful for- the real reason for the day!


     My most favorite holiday is Easter, and second of course would be Christmas. These are the holidays that I like the celebrate the most, and Christmas is the one that I always *have* to celebrate with my parents, as I'm sure many of you as well feel you must celebrate with your family! Since I went to college out-of-state, Thanksgiving unintentionally became "my" holiday starting back in 2012. Since then, I've only gone home to Maine for one Thanksgiving, and quite honestly, I don't ever plan to do so again in the near future at least! I've actually started to become a little bit fond of Thanksgiving because of the experiences that I've been able to create for myself on the holiday during the past few years. Each year has brought a totally new type of celebration that keeps things interesting, and although I still don't enjoy eating Thanksgiving turkey... I now sort of look forward to Thanksgiving as my own special holiday, where new friends temporarily become family, and the tradition is not to have a tradition. 😊


     2012: High Point, NC, with a friend from my freshman year of college at my first university. Black Friday: Hanes Mall in Winston Salem, NC


     2013: Home to Maine. Black Friday: The Maine Mall, South Portland, ME


     2014: Thanksgiving breakfast at IHOP, and Thanksgiving dinner and a bible trivia tournament in Charlotte with a college classmate and her family. Black Friday: SouthPark Mall and Concord Mills, Charlotte, NC


     2015: Pennsylvania for the long weekend with a former college roommate. Black Friday: Philadelphia Premium Outlets and King of Prussia Mall.


     2016: Attended Charlotte's Thanksgiving parade, and then had Thanksgiving dinner with my roommate Ciera's extended family that live outside of the city. I was still working in retail at this time last year, so I had to work on Thanksgiving night! Black Friday: SouthPark Mall, Charlotte NC.

   

      As you can see, I've gotten the chance to do some very different things over the last five years! I'm always grateful for those who have opened their homes to me back in Charlotte and elsewhere and let me spend Thanksgiving day with their families. I do think it's very fun to get to see how other families celebrate the day, and be exposed to new traditions! 


     Today, I'm dog-sitting for a coworker over all weekend, so I'll begin my day with Skippy. Then I'm looking forward to having Thanksgiving dinner with some people in my bible study at church! My friend Anna and I both aren't traveling home this year, so it was so nice of other members of our bible study to invite us for the holiday! After dinner, the agenda is to have a night of holiday crafting and DIYs planned, so I'm really looking forward to that! Anna and I both have to work tomorrow, so we decided to go shopping together on Black Friday night instead of early that morning (like I have in most years past!). I'm not too worried about it- as long as I hit a mall at some point on Black Friday- that's good enough for me this year in Vermont! Haha. 



     Someday, when I have a larger apartment or home of my own, I would love to host a Friendsgiving dinner on Thanksgiving for people like me who live and work out-of-state and aren't able to get home for the holiday! My fun twist on it is that each year I'd like to take a different type of ethnic cuisine, and make that the culinary theme of the year, since I don't like most of the traditional Thanksgiving foods. Like do Mexican one year, Indian the next, then Chinese... etc etc. Wouldn't that be fun?! I think so at least! 😊



     Thanks so much for reading about my Thanksgiving "Un-Traditions!" Are you big on spending the day with family and doing annual traditions, or are you like me and do you try different things each year for Thanksgiving? I'd love to hear!



     Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale posts are on the way- starting tomorrow! Stay tuned!



     God Bless,



     xoxo Annaliese



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November 22, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.




{One of my favorite looks from Instagram recently! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}


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




     
Ramblings:
  • We're back: I took last week off from Midweek Ramblings, to share my latest Radio 101 blog post. I also didn't have a lot of exciting things happen last week to share about (lol), and most importantly, I wanted to take a week off to reformat how I do these posts a bit. I can't believe that I've been writing Midweek Ramblings for over two years now, and every time that I do some sort of reader survey or feedback, y'all always say that you still really enjoy these simple little posts!! It felt time to give it a refresh again though, so I've added a couple new features: recipe of the week and song of the week. I cook all the time in my free time and I am always trying new recipes, and I work in radio so obviously I listen to a lot of new music at work. I think adding these features will give Midweek Ramblings a little bit of needed spice- haha! 
  • Getting out there: Be proud of me y'all- I actually went out this weekend, and really made an effort with making new friends!! If you've been reading my post-move updates and the recent post that I wrote about making friends after an out-of-state move, you know that it hasn't been the easiest for me here in Vermont. November is month seven for me here, and at the start of the month I honestly felt like not much had changed since my first few weeks here! But in the last couple weeks, I was introduced to a big friend group that one of my girlfriends from church knows, and I've now hung out with them a few times! It feels so great to be meeting more people and starting to have a small social life again. Making friends in a new place definitely isn't an instant process, but I'm excited to see if things continue to get better this winter! 
  • Thanksgiving weekend: I'm here in Burlington this weekend! I only am off on Thanksgiving Day, so that wasn't enough time to travel home to Maine (or to anywhere really). I have a fun post planned for tomorrow all about what I'm doing for Thanksgiving this year and what I've done in past years, but as for the rest of the weekend, I'm actually kind of looking forward to having a normal, mellow weekend! December is a BUSY month for me this year- filled with lots of travel and holiday fun, so I'm kind of excited to embrace the "calm before the storm"! I'm also dog-sitting for a coworker starting today, so that should be fun!
  • Vermont Black Friday: If you've been reading here awhile, you know that Black Friday is one of my favorite days of the year. This is actually my 10th (!!!) year in a row of Black Friday shopping. It will also be the most mellow year in a long time! I have to work in the morning and afternoon on that day, so I won't be shopping until that night. Vermont's shopping options are also pretty limited (more about that in this post), so honestly there aren't that many stores that I have to hit this year. It will definitely be more of a Cyber Monday year for me this year, but of course I still have to shop somewhat on Black Friday for tradition's sake! 


Purchases:
  • I always take a couple weeks off from personal purchases in the beginning of November, to get my bank account ready for Black Friday! The only thing that I've bought lately is a new teasing brush for my hair, but so far I like it more than the comb that I was using before.


Wishlist:
  • Hoping to stock up on lots of Bath and Body Works candles on Black Friday!! I don't have any specific scents that I look for- part of the joy of that shopping experience is smelling *ALL* the candles about 10 times before making my selections.
  • This chenille sweater is really cute and comes in a few colors (I LOVE the green for the holidays!). It's from a retailer that we actually do have in Vermont, and I'm hoping it will be nicely marked down on Friday! 
  • I had a skirt similar to this a few years ago which unfortunately doesn't fit anymore, but I loved the style of it!! This skirt looks almost identical, and is so classy for winter. 
  • I'm running low on my new favorite bronzer, so I need to purchase some more for sure! (The big debate of course is whether I order online from Ulta, the beauty store I prefer, or purchase in-store on Black Friday from Vermont's little Sephora in JC Penney. Hmmmm.)
  • I bought OTK boots from this retailer two years ago on Black Friday for just $20! I still have them and for $20 boots, they've held up well. This is this year's version, and if they're in stock and on sale this weekend, I might get another pair! 
  • This is such a good basic item to have on hand for winter, and I can almost guarantee it will be marked down for a great sale this weekend!


Recipe of the week:
  • Red Lobster Copycat Garlic Cheddar Biscuits from Pinterest! SO good!!! I love Red Lobster, and of course their biscuits make the restaurant experience. However, their biscuits can be a bit salty/greasy. This recipe was so easy to make, is lower in salt, and is completely homemade, so you know everything that's in it! I added minced garlic cloves instead of garlic powder for extra flavor. 


Song of the week:
  • Bomba by Aggro Santos. He's a Brazilian rapper and this song is starting to get airplay on a few rhythmic leaning stations here in the US, the main station that I work for in Vermont being one of them! I am so happy that Latin pop is making a comeback this year, thanks to the success of Despacito. Bomba is a super fun song- you can't hear it and not want to start dancing! (Warning: the music video I linked is a bit on the racy side. I couldn't find a lyrics-only video for the song. But it's a great song and I recommend adding it on Spotify for sure!)


On the blog this week:

     Thanks so much for reading. Enjoy the start of the long weekend! (Or normal weekend if you're working some of it like I am!)



     God Bless,



     xoxo Annaliese 
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November 21, 2017

Vermont Bachelorette Pad Tour: Bright & Cozy Living Room.

      Welcome to the much-awaited Vermont apartment-tour series on the blog!! I was originally planning to wait and begin these posts in January or February, as I thought it would make for great blog content when the temperatures in Vermont get really too cold to do much fashion content. But I decided I'll still do most of the apartment tour then, but why not start one part of it now? 😊 In just a couple of weeks, I'll be sharing my Christmas-themed apartment tour, which includes my tree and all of this year's decorations, so get excited for that too!


Living Room on Budget

Bachelorette Pad Living Room

Vermont Apartment Tour

Bright + Colorful Living Room on Budget

Cozy Weekend outfit



Photography by Amanda Rose Photography


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Living room: Chairs - from my mom's house, similar here // Poufs - from my mom's house, similar here // Rug - Home Goods, similar here // Painting - At Home, found the same print here! // Pillows - At Home, very similar on sale here // Mirror - Home Goods, Similar Here // 




      Welcome to the cozy part of my living room! My Vermont apartment is a one bedroom, and minus the bedroom and bathroom which do have their own doors, the rest of it is very studio-like and super open. My apartment last year in Charlotte wasn't that large either, but the living room, dining room, and kitchen all felt very separate based on how it was designed spatially. My apartment now is much more open, so when I got here it was a bit of a challenge for me to figure out how to differentiate different parts of the biggest room! I wanted to have a dining area, a blog office area, and also a cozy living room area. It took a bit of figuring things out, but I have everything set up now in a way that I like. Also- you can probably see here that my living area has a lot of natural light!! That's honestly my favorite thing about this new apartment. Natural light is huge to me, especially after four years of living in dark artificially lit dorms in college!


      At some point this winter I'm going to do some home posts more centered around decorating and furnishing a home on a tight budget, but for now I'll just say that furnishing a home or apartment is not cheap, especially after an out-of-state move! Where I know that Vermont isn't my forever home, I didn't feel pressured to have this place be "perfect," but I still wanted it to be bright, fun, and a Bachelorette Pad that I enjoyed living in! One sacrifice that I knew I had to make was not having a couch. In my former apartment, my roommate brought our couch, so she took that with her after our lease ended. Couches are super expensive, and I didn't really have the money to buy a solid, comfortable one at the time that I moved. Plus- a couch would be a huge hassle to move whenever I leave Vermont! I am so grateful that my mom gave me these orange chairs and cute floral pouf ottomans for my Vermont apartment. They're from the TV room at my home in Maine, so I was very familiar with them! (I will probably give them back to my mom when I move next and finally get my couch, but I was so grateful to have them now! 😊) Honestly- orange has never been one of my favorite colors, but I ended up loving how these chairs look in my apartment. I think they add such a fun and modern touch, and the poufs just make them! So tip if you're looking to furnish an apartment on a budget and you live alone: fancier chairs and ottomans might be cheaper (and easier for moving) than a couch!


      You might recognize the accent pillows from my bedroom tour from my Charlotte apartment! I switched up my bedroom with different pillows when I moved up here, and I thought my old bedroom pillows looked amazing on the orange chairs. My favorite thing in the cozy part of my living room is the pineapple art print above the chairs. (I found it online here if you're interested in it for your own home!) I found it at At Home (my favorite Southern store that I lost access to post-move) a couple weeks before the move, and immediately fell in love with it. I decided to wait a few days to think about it, since it was quite expensive for an At Home purchase (I have other art from there that was under $10 for comparison!). But I couldn't stop thinking about it all that week! I went back to the store, and there was only one left. Meant to be!! You know you really love something if you take a week to think about it and can't stop! Pineapples are the Southern symbol for hospitality, so I love having little touches of them throughout my apartment.


     Across from my chairs (which you can kind of see the reflection of in the mirror) is my TV and its stand, and also my clothing rack. I'll definitely show what that side of the room looks like when I do my full apartment tour this winter! I actually rarely sit in my chairs when I watch TV, usually I just use them for blog work (especially catching up on Instagram!), and reading, like I'm pictured here! When I watch TV, I love to cuddle up on the floor with the poufs for pillows and a bunch of fuzzy blankets. #noshame #whynot



      Lastly- the outfit that I'm wearing is the perfect example of what I wear during cozy days at home! I foresee a lot of those happening this winter, haha! I just love this cardigan especially. It's definitely super casual, but also warm and perfect for layering! And how cute is this graphic-t? Graphic-t's aren't my usual style... but this is an adorable shirt, and it's from my mom! (She surprised me with it in a recent package! So cute.)



      I've linked similar home items to what I have in this section of my living room! Thanks so much for reading, and stay tuned for Midweek Ramblings tomorrow!








     God Bless,




     xoxo Annaliese


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