Southern Belle in Training

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

December 27, 2017

2017: Highlights From My Year.

      It's already that time of the year again! One of my favorite parts about the month of December is writing my annual end-of-the-year recap posts. A couple years ago I started doing two year end posts. One recapping the year in blogging, and one recapping the year in my personal life. I like to keep the two separate as I feel like that would be one really long yearly recap if I didn't- ha! Anyways, let's get into my personal life recap of 2017:

 2017 Accomplishments:
     If you've been reading here for the past year in any capacity, my two biggest accomplishments of 2017 seem a bit like beating a dead horse at this point to announce them again... but nonetheless they were graduating broadcasting school and beginning my first full-time job in the radio industry! OH- and leaving behind the city/state that I went to college in and loved dearly, to head back north of the Mason-Dixon line and take up residence in Burlington, Vermont, for my new job. And one more- moving into my first-ever solo apartment. So I guess four big things did happen for me this year!

      A weekend in February 2017 was my final job interview for my current position, and also my first trip to Burlington. I was very quiet about the trip when it was happening (as it all came together last minute, and I didn't want to jinx anything), and I didn't really announce that I had been in Vermont and been interviewing to many of my close friends, classmates, and even some family members until after my job contract was signed and I was back in Charlotte. Anyways, here is the very first picture ever taken of me in my future home last February!

     I sadly don't have any pictures from my broadcasting school graduation, as that happened about six weeks after I moved to Vermont (I Skyped in for the ceremony!). I did write a blog post all about my experiences at broadcasting school, what I learned there, and who I'd recommend to go to broadcasting school, which I published on the day of my class's graduation: you can check out the post here!

     Here's a picture from my very first week of working in radio here in Vermont. It has been quite an eye-opening first eight months in the industry! There have been really fun days, really not-so-fun days, but all in all I have learned SO MUCH about radio, my voice, the science behind the success of songs, promotions, radio events, and so much more. If there was a word that defined 2017 in terms of my career: it would be "learning." I have tried this year to soak up as much knowledge as possible!! I am frequently asking my coworkers questions about radio and their positions, and I love learning new things all the time at work. 😊

     2017 Travels:

     As ya'll know, one of my biggest passions in life is travel and visiting new places. 2017 was a memorable year for my travels and vacations! I went on some of my favorite trips ever this year, but at the same time, many months went by where I didn't venture to far from (my new) home, due to starting my job. Here is the year in my travel:

     My first trip of 2017 was my job interview trip to Burlington, which I wrote a bit more about in the section above! I barely took any photos during that weekend, but the above picture is a memorable one... my first true taste of Vermont cheese during dinner! (BIG NEWS: I have a Radio Job + I'M MOVING!!!!)

     In March, my mom and I headed off on the trip of a lifetime! Our 12 day tour of Italy was a combined college and broadcasting school graduation present and a celebration of my new job. It was the most amazing time, and the tour that we traveled with visited Rome, Florence and Venice! I wrote many blog posts this spring all about our trip, and just this month I finally finished a travel vlog, which I'll be sharing this week! (4 Places to Visit in Rome From the Lizzie McGuire Movie)


    One of my best friends from North Carolina and my roommate from last year, Ciera, came to visit me in Vermont this summer! We did an overnight trip to Montreal during my day off and it was SO wonderful!! We originally went up there to see a concert, which was sadly cancelled at the last minute, but we still had lots of fun. The new highlight was visiting Montreal's incredible Botanical Garden, which is ranked as one of the best in North America. I only wish we could have stayed north of the border a little longer! (Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Montreal)

     Living back in New England means that for the first time in several years I'm in driving distance to my home state and hometown! I was able to make two very quick 48 hour trips home to Maine this summer, and actually got to play tourist at home, which was fun and different! On my second trip home I got to have dinner with three of my best friends from Maine (Tim and Jules are high school friends, and Katie {blond} is my childhood bestie}), and it was so nice to catch up with everyone before Tim and Katie began grad school and I headed back to Vermont again for work! (Maine Travel Guide: Best Hidden Gems for Shopping)

     And finally, I just got back a few weeks ago from my very first blogging press trip! Kylie from Dress in Sparkles and I spent the most lovely long weekend this December visiting Georgetown, KY, and attending many of their festive holiday events. (Kentucky Garden in the Snow...)

Other 2017 Memories:

     My last four months in Charlotte were a stressful time to be honest. Job searching was stressful and time consuming during January and February, I was tying up a lot of loose ends in March and the beginning of April. But I still found time to make some precious memories before the big move! Since moving to Vermont, life has mostly been focused on work, and also working on my blog outside of my regular job. Definitely a different lifestyle then I had in the past! But I've still tried to find time to have fun up here as well. 

     My 2017 began at the New Year's Eve Southern Skyline Ball in Charlotte with two of my best friends from college, Mary and Caroline! It was such a fun event and way to ring in 2017- I'm sad I can't be there for the 2018 event! 

     I interned for my broadcasting school from August 2016-March 2017 doing the school's social media and helping the faculty give weekly tours to prospective students. I was so passionate about broadcasting school and it was so much fun to be both a student and an intern!! Broadcasting school runs on a different calendar than regular university and graduations happen three times a year. Even though I ended up missing my own graduation, I worked at the January graduation! I'm pictured here with the two directors of the Charlotte campus, and my friend Ryan, who is a video instructor. 

     My roommate Ciera, our friend Priyanka, and Cara from Caralina Style and I had a really fun Galentine's day lunch during Valentine's weekend last year! 

     Also in February, I attended an annual Police Charity Ball with my sweet broadcasting school friend Jana and her family! It was such a fun girls' weekend getting all dressed up and dancing the night away for a good cause!

    My ADPi sister Perrin was married about a week before I moved from North Carolina to Vermont! It is crazy how well the timing worked out with all of that, and I could still properly fulfill my bridesmaid duties. This was my first time being in a wedding party and it was so much fun. I was so honored be apart of Perrin's big day. Pictured above are the three ADPi's in Perrin's bridal party.

     I had the most special going away party with my favorite Charlotte girls at one of my favorite Charlotte places, City Lights Rooftop! Honestly this night was one of my favorites of the year. (You can read more about it here!) 

     Moving over to Vermont memories now starting in April... since I moved my life has had a much different pace, so the highlights are a bit out of order time-wise, but I still wanted to share a few!

     One thing that I was nervous for about my move was finding a new blog photographer. Deeana in Charlotte was not only a wonderful photographer, but had also become a dear friend! I was so blessed here in Vermont to find TWO wonderful photographers to help with my creative visions for Southern Belle in Training- Melissa and Amanda. 😊

     If you've been following my post-move update posts here in Vermont this year, then you know one of the harder parts about my move here was starting the process of making new friends and building a new social life. A true blessing in my life this year was having not one, but five of my sweet girlfriends visit me between April and November here in Vermont!! Three sweet friends from Maine and two from North Carolina- a picture from each visit is shared above. Jules, my best friend from high school, came up the weekend that I moved to Vermont after my parents headed home, to help me finish unpacking my new apartment. If that isn't the love of a best friend- what is y'all?! 

     I knew I would miss the Charlotte blogging community SO much with moving- but amazingly I found two sweet blogger friends here in Vermont! Niki from Nicholle Sophia (I am wearing my old radio event uniform in our picture above- hence my neon green shirt!) and Rebecca from Caravan Sonnet are such blessings to me, and it has still been fun to have some sort of a blogging "community" here, even if it is much different!

     A random highlight from this summer- I got to see a 90s concert that came to do a show Vermont's largest state fair! TLC was the headliner and those ladies were AMAZING live! I finally had an excuse to wear my t-shirt from my favorite 90s nightclub in Charlotte! 

      And something I don't have any pictures of- after a couple months of searching I finally found my new church home in Vermont! Finding a church was something I was worried about, especially after I didn't click so well with the first few I visited. (I wrote a blog post about this back in May!) In June, I finally found the little church that I call home! I've had opportunities this year to get involved with the church through joining a bible study group, and volunteering with one of my new friends for some hospitality ministry opportunities. Have a church community is SO, so important- especially if you're new to an area and feeling disconnected in other areas of your life, so I've been very thankful for this!

     And there you have it- my 2017 for my life outside the blog! 2017 definitely was a year of ups and downs, and was FULL of learning, growth, and new experiences. I am so very excited for 2018, and all of the promise and excitement that it holds. I'm already excited to write this post next year- haha!

     Stay tuned later this week for my blogging highlights of the year!

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese



  1. I love, love, love these types of posts-it's so fun to look back on an entire year! You had a huge year with so many changes, but you handled everything with grace, which is one of my most favorite things about reading your blog! Best wishes for a wonderful 2018 with just as much fun and excitement :)

    xoxo, SS

  2. Yay!! I loved reliving your year with you. I'm so proud of all that you accomplished and stepping out on your own :) You are a beautiful light and keeping shining into the new year! :)

  3. I love seeing people's year recaps and it seems like you had an amazing year! So awesome to relive it with you. I'm excited for your 2018!

  4. You definitely experienced some changes but I know it was a necessary year for you (if that makes any sense). I can't wait to see how 2018 unfolds for you.

  5. Wow, 2017 is definitely going to be one to remember for you. So many good memories! Your friends are too sweet to have gone and visited you!

  6. This year sounds like it was an amazing one for you! I'm super jealous of your amazing travels. Cheers to making more memories next year!

  7. You've had such a fabulous year, and you should be so proud of everything you've accomplished! I know the move is a little tough right now, but your awesome career opportunity in Vermont is going to pay off so much in the long run! Best wishes for a great 2018!

  8. It looks like you've really had an amazing year! Love reading about other bloggers' accomplishments, travel stories, and memories. It's something so special! Can't wait to see what you do in 2018!

    xo, Taylor || Generation Tay (

  9. Ah I love this! It looks like you had a pretty good 2017! Cheers!

  10. I love that polka dot dress from your going away party. So cute :)

    -xo, Azanique |

  11. Congrats! Sounds like you had a great year

  12. I love reading these! You've had such a big year. I love that you said your word for the year in your career was "learning" I think that should always be our word! Always learning and growing and making ourselves better! I also am obsessed with that pic of you in Rome. So pretty! Cheers to 2018!

    Kayla |

  13. Love seeing all of the pictures from your year! It's awesome to see that you were able to travel to some really great and fun places!

    Katie |

  14. You really worked hard in 2017! Congratulations on meeting those two major goals! Getting your dream job is something most people never have!


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