Southern Belle in Training

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

November 8, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{On the ferry between Vermont and Upstate New York this past weekend! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

  • Christmas decorating! In my world, Christmas decorating begins promptly on November 1st! The Christmas season is already so short, and why make it any shorter by delaying putting up the beautiful decorations? For the second year in a row, I put up my tree the day after Halloween, and I'm so excited about it! My dad came to Vermont to visit this weekend, and he helped me decorate it on Sunday afternoon. Neither of my parents were in NC during the holiday season last year, so they've never seen my tree or apartment decorations before, so it was fun to have him help with that! I will say that despite working in radio (and for one station that goes 24/7 Christmas music before Thanksgiving), I'm actually not a big fan of holiday music... I usually don't like to hear that until right before Christmas. But the trees and decorations? BRING IT! Who else put up their Christmas decor this week or weekend? 
  • Operation Christmas Child boxes: Speaking of Christmas... I shared this on my Instagram Story over the weekend, but this week and next are a special time of year related to the Christmas season- it's Operation Christmas Child box time!! National Collection Week for 2017 is November 13-20. If you're unfamiliar with this program, it's a ministry of Samaritan's Purse, which is my favorite Christian charity (and also based in North Carolina so it's a little more dear to my heart!). Operation Christmas Child inspires individuals and families to pack shoe boxes filled with toys, school supplies and basic hygiene items that will go to either young girls or boys in impoverished areas all across the globe. After boxes are collected at a local church or other organization (my church here in Vermont is collecting), they are sent to one of eight Samaritan's Purse distribution centers across the country. There was one in Charlotte and I'm so sad I didn't get the chance to volunteer there before I moved! Then the boxes are sent out to their country of origin, and able to bless needy children all over the world, and Samaritan's Purse is also able to share the Gospel message to the children and their families who receive boxes. I can't say enough good things about this organization and this Christmas ministry- seriously!! There are over 4,000 box drop-off locations nationwide (most at churches), and Collection Week is next week, so you probably still have time to make one if this interests you!
  • ONE MONTH from today: I will be en route to my first holiday trip of the season, my first real trip out of New England since starting my job in April, my first travel blogging trip, and most importantly... a place that will give me the chance to enjoy Chick Fil A for the first time in EIGHT months! You can say I'm hoping these next four weeks will go by quickly! 😉

  • I shared this in last week's post, but I have to mention it again since I'm wearing it in the photo above. I ordered this leopard cardigan online last week, it arrived... and y'all this sweater completely blew my expectations! It is so soft and cozy and such a good deal for the price! I got a small, and it fits a little bit big and oversized (which I like for cozy cardigans, but I probably could have fit in the x-small also). 
  • My dad and I ventured across Lake Champlain to the New York side this weekend, which has overall better shopping than Burlington. I found these cute heels, which I know I'll get so much use out of! I needed some more closed-toed heels for the holiday season, as those look much better than open toed heels with tights. 
  • The main reason I wanted to go over to New York was to go to my very favorite store... HOBBY LOBBY! I needed a few more Christmas decorations for my tree and apartment, and as per usual Hobby Lobby fashion, I found everything I possibly needed and lots more that I didn't need. All of which I bought. I am already getting excited to for a Christmas apartment decor photoshoot for the blog! 

  • This is so exciting, but while at the mall in Plattsburgh I saw Kendra Scott jewelry in a store. That's the first time I've seen Kendra for sale since leaving Charlotte! Her jewelry was HUGE in the South, but it hasn't really become a thing up here yet. Seeing it all on display got me thinking about how I want to add some Kendra to my Christmas wishlist- I'm loving these earrings
  • I also saw these boots while out shopping, how fun are these for a night out? 
  • How cute would this dress be for fall date nights? It comes in a few colors, and I think they're all super cute. (At the time that I put this post together earlier in the week... it was on sale! Yay!)
  • As I mentioned above, I leave for my first holiday trip of the season in exactly a month! Although I already own a plethora of winter accessories, of course I can't help looking at pretty new scarves, like this gorgeous scarf, which is also under $20!

On the blog this week:

     Happy Wednesday! Enjoy the rest of your week!

    God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese


  1. I miss Hobby Lobby! It's seriously the best. I love your cardigan by the way --It's so cute!

  2. HobLob is one of my favorite stores too (so much so that i gave it a nickname, lol)! So exciting that your first big trip is coming up!

  3. i still have never been to a hobby lobby!! Happy you got to get your NY fix in and some shoes!

  4. I'm adding that cardi to my cart NOW!! Oh man...8 months without CFA. How have you survived?
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  5. That sweater is darling!!

  6. I'm so curious to know where you're going in a month haha. Love that leopard cardi as well!

  7. Oooh! I wanna know where you'll be heading on your holiday/travel blogging trip. Can't wait to read all about that a month from now. Also, I need to go to a Hobby Lobby. Store locations just started to pop up/open in my area and I haven't been to one yet.

  8. I love doing Operation Christmas Child so much-the boxes are so much fun to pack!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  9. I love that sweater you wore on the ferry! So cute! I am totally waiting for Kendra Scott to become popular in Minneapolis as well.

    xoxo, Paige

  10. That trips sounds very exciting! And I loved the leopard cardigan.

  11. I put up my tree yesterday. Alllll pink! Your sweater is adorable.

  12. I can't imagine going 8 months without CFA! Can't wait to hear where you're going on your trip!

  13. Glad you got some shopping done! And love your sweater!

  14. Your cardigan is super cute and I'm SO excited for Christmas decorating. I'm putting up my first tree ever!!!


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