March 27, 2017

Mint and Pink For Spring.

     Mint has always been one of my favorite colors for spring, and I love the way that today's look turned out! The blush accessories are a great finishing touch, and I'm also styling some new jewelry that I'm very excited about.







Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography


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






      I returned from my recent travels to find spring weather in full force here in Charlotte! Spring is my most favorite season, and I love the fashion that comes with it. As much as I love bright colors, pastels have their rightful place in my wardrobe as well, and this outfit definitely highlights that! I'm loving this mint and blush color combo paired with white jeans. So fresh and fun for this season! 


      I also wanted to quickly highlight the jewelry pieces that I'm wearing today! My tassel earrings are from the brand new Sugarfix by Baublebar line at Target. All of the pieces are inspired by the original Baublebar collection, but at an even cheaper price point. This cute pair that I'm wearing here is under $20! I actually won these earrings in an Instagram giveaway by my blogging friend Megan from Diamonds on Her Soul, and they were such a fun surprise to receive in the mail. I'll be sharing some of my other Sugarfix favorites below! 


     And lastly, some other new jewelry favorites are this darling bracelet set and layered necklace that I'm wearing here from Taudrey. I've worn Taudrey pieces before on my blog and always receive so many compliments on them! All of their jewelry is customizable,  so you know that whatever you order is special just for you! Both these bracelets and the necklace that I'm wearing here have little "A"'s on them for my initial. 😊 I also get so many compliments whenever I wear my Taudrey pieces, and if you're looking for a great destination for meaningful jewelry I definitely recommend them. 



     In other news, I can't believe that my final weeks here in Charlotte have begun. Cue the tears and panic- lol! Less than two weeks until my moving date, so packing is occupying most of my free time right now.


   Sugarfix by Baublebar favorites;





Taudrey favorites:






      God Bless,



      xoxo Annaliese 

      

March 23, 2017

Charlotte NC: 10 Things I'll Miss The Most About Living Here.



    I shared some big news at the beginning of March here on the blog- I'm moving in April to Vermont for a job opportunity! If you had told me six months ago I'd be doing that, I wouldn't have believed you! Up until this winter, I saw myself hopefully staying in Charlotte for at least a few more years. It is a great city, and I always thought that I would have more time there. But sometimes to pursue you dreams, you need to leave the place you love, and that is the case for my radio career right now! And at this point in my life, my career is my number one priority. So as I prepare over the next few weeks to move away from my beloved Queen City, I wanted to share the things that I'll miss the most about this special place! I hope those of you from Charlotte can relate to this list, and those of you not from here might fall in love a little bit just from reading this post- haha! 😉


     1. The location:  Charlotte is such a great location for travel. There's an easily accessible airport with flights to just about anywhere, and a plethora of interstate highways. And distance-wise, Charlotte is in such a convenient place on the East Coast! It's within a few hours of most notable Southern cities, and also still drivable from cities in further places like Orlando or Washington D.C..  It's also just about midway between the mountains and the ocean. I think the only thing that could make Charlotte more perfect is if there was a large water body or river in the city, but luckily beautiful Lake Norman is directly north of the city!


     2. The weather: The Queen City has what I think is the ideal geographic location in the South. It experiences all four seasons, with long summers, short winters, and extended springs and falls. I think few things are more beautiful than springtime in Charlotte, but really, all seasons are lovely here. It doesn't rain very often, and the few times that it does snow in the winter, there are essentially city-wide "snow days."


     3. The skyline: Oh, sweet beautiful skyline. How I love you! Seriously- I can be having the worst day in the world, and then find myself driving down a road that has great skyline views, and after one glance suddenly all seems right again. This will be one of the hardest things for me to leave. From the stunning new Uptown apartment buildings, to the impressive Bank of America building, which is one of the tallest buildings in the South, to the modern Duke Energy tower that lights up a different color every night to represent various causes (And a fun fact: the lights on the building are actually owned by Wells Fargo!).


     5: Forest Hill Church (SouthPark campus): I have been so blessed to attend a great church for the last three and a half years. When I first transferred colleges and moved to Charlotte, I was nervous about finding a church. I attended a great church at my first university and was involved with the college ministry there, and losing that community was hard. But after visiting a few different churches in Charlotte, I found my new church home! I attend Forest Hill Church, which is one of Charlotte's larger mega-churches with a few different locations (I attend SouthPark campus, which is the largest branch). However, what I love the most about Forest Hill is that even though thousands of people attend the various campuses, it manages to have an intimate and close-knit feeling in the services! Senior Pastor David Chadwick is absolutely incredible, and I learn a life lesson and something new about the bible every time I go to church, which is exactly how it should be. I can't say enough good things about Forest Hill, and I will probably still be tuning in for some services online after my move (you can live stream the weekend services from anywhere!).


     6. The urban radio stations: A fun fact about me that y'all might not know is that I listen to quite a bit of rap music, especially when driving in the car. Charlotte has three great urban radio stations, and they're usually what I have on when driving! There's just something about rap music that makes driving seem more fun, especially at times like rush hour! While urban radio is a format that I don't ever see myself working in, I do definitely appreciate it as a listener. Vermont sadly doesn't have any urban radio stations (the Top 40 station I'll be working at on weekdays in the closest thing), and I will miss my beloved 92.7 The Block and Streetz 103.3 back in the Queen City!


     7. Nova's Bakery (South End): I love a good local coffee shop, and while Charlotte has many to choose from, Nova's Bakery's South End location is by far my favorite. Fellow Charlotte blogger Morgan from How 2 Wear It first introduced me to this spot a couple years ago, and it's become one of my very favorite places in the city! I'm more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker, and Nova's offers two different chai lattes: a spiced chai and a vanilla chai. They're both absolutely divine- seriously, one sip of this drink and my day is instantly better. Nova's Bakery is also where I wrote most of my final Capstone project during senior year of college, so it will always be special to me for that reason. Nova's has a few different locations throughout Charlotte, but I'm loyal to the South End location!


     8. Target Midtown parking deck: This was one of the first spots in the city that I ever ventured to off campus from my university for blog photos, and I've always returned to it time and time again. Outside of my blog, it really is one of my Charlotte happy places! The Uptown views are so beautiful, and you're right above Target so #WinWin! A year or two ago, Target closed off the top level of their deck to cars, but now it's extra peaceful up there since you can only go up by elevator! Definitely a must-visit viewing spot for skyline photos if you're ever in Charlotte.


     9. City Lights Rooftop and the Sheraton/Le Meridien Hotels: I've gotten to do some really fun collaborations and attend many awesome events last year at both the Sheraton and Le Meridien hotels in Uptown. Le Meridien is also home to City Lights Rooftop, which is a rooftop bar with the most amazing panoramic views of Charlotte. In September, I did a fun staycation weekend to celebrate my 22nd birthday at Le Meridien- I would definitely recommend this hotel if you're visiting the area! I will definitely miss getting to attend all of the fun events that they host regularly there.


     10. SouthPark Mall (and the shopping options in general): SouthPark Mall is Charlotte's luxury mall. My university was a mere five minutes away from the mall, and I always joke that it's a miracle that I didn't go into debt living so close to SouthPark for three years! There are lots of high end retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch and David Yurman, but also some more moderately priced stores like Loft and H&M. A few of my SouthPark favorites are Ann Taylor and their Belk- it's one of the flagship Belk department stores, and it carries a lot of high end fashion and cosmetic brands, including Lilly Pulitzer!
And in general, Charlotte is an amazing city to shop in. There isn't a lot of shopping in Uptown Charlotte due to the way the city is zoned out (I actually studied this in a class I took my junior year of college!), but lots of neighborhoods around Charlotte have malls and other great shopping centers. The Charlotte Premium Outlets opened near the airport within the last couple years, and Concord Mills in another fantastic outlet mall just north of the city.



      I could keep this post going all day.... it was hard to limit myself to just 10 things! Charlotte has truly been the most amazing city to go to college and grow into an adult in. I can't say enough good things about the city itself.  The closer that it gets to my move date... the harder it is. But I know that a wonderful job and the beginning of my dream career awaits me in Vermont, and I'm ready to embrace the changes and new adventures ahead!


     In other news, I just got back to Charlotte yesterday from my Italy trip with my mom! What an incredible time we had! I have so much to recap on the blog, but it will take me a little while to go through all of the photos and plan out blog posts. Stay tuned for some new travel content soon!


     God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese

March 22, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.





{Window shopping in Rome! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

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




Ramblings: 
  • Headed home! I'm writing today's post en route from the airport in Venice! 😊 My mom and I have had a most amazing two weeks traveling throughout Italy, and before that we spent a few days in my new city in Vermont doing some apartment hunting. I was also home in Maine for a couple days, so all in all I've been away from Charlotte for almost three weeks! Since I'm moving very soon, I'm definitely ready to get back and begin my last few weeks there. It's bittersweet for sure.
  • Italy on the blog: I have SO much to share with y'all from our trip!! I shot one outfit post in each city that we visited, and am also planning to share a travel guide or recap post from each city. I'm also going to attempt my hand at making short vlogs for Rome and Venice, and lastly I also wanted to share a blog post about what it's like traveling internationally with a tour group! This was the second tour that my mom and I have done (both my parents and I did a tour through a different company to the UK in December 2013), and we are honestly big fans of them. Whew! Is that too many posts? What do you guys think?! 
  • Spotify Top Charts: This is random and some of you probably know this I'm sure, but one thing that I really enjoyed on this trip was something that I recently rediscovered on Spotify! Under their "Charts" section on either the app or your computer version, you can find Top 50 song charts not only for the US, but also for many other countries in the world! I really enjoyed listening to the Italy and France charts while we were here, and some of the Asian and Latin American countries' charts as well. It can be so fun to discover new music, especially while traveling! 
  • Funny Church Video: This video gave me the best laugh this week!! Back story: some of you know that I attended a Christian college during my freshman year. As apart of orientation week festivities, one afternoon's events included a "church fair," where local churches set up booths to advertise to students and try and get them to come to services. It was an interesting concept, but I actually found the church that I attended that year through this fair (and loved going there!). Anyways- this funny video is a parody that takes the concept of finding a church and compares it to HGTV. I got the biggest kick out of it and it reminded me of my freshman year experience!

Purchases:
  • First and foremost- I discovered a new favorite store in Italy!! This brand is absolutely the cutest, and I literally wanted to buy EVERYTHING. The good news: they have stores in tons of countries all over the world, and have four stores in the US! They also ship to the US! 
  • At my new favorite store I picked up so many goodies! My favorite purchases of all was this! It will be a staple piece in my closet for years to come. 
  • They also sold the most beautiful statement earrings. I picked up a couple pairs and these were my absolute favorites! 


Wishlist: 
  • How cute is this little top for springtime? The ruffle details add such a fun and feminine touch!
  • These adorable shoes were on a Midweek Ramblings post a few weeks ago.... but I'm still totally crushing on them! Does that mean I should pull the trigger and get them? 
  • I'm starting to plan out my apartment decor and furniture for my new place in Vermont which is probably the most exciting part about the move! The not-exciting and realistic part is that new furniture of course is very expensive, and I will be on a very tight budget for the first year of my career. But that isn't stopping me from furniture browsing, and I've fallen in love online with this pretty thing
  • I wrote earlier in this post about my new favorite clothing brand, which I discovered this past week in Italy! While shopping, I tried on the most darling blouse. I didn't end up buying it, but am seriously regretting it now! How cute is it?! 


     My question for y'all: what purchases have you made for spring so far? Thanks so much for reading as always. I can't wait to be back to blogging on my regular schedule now!



     God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese

March 20, 2017

Relationship Monday: What I Look For In A Guy.

     Welcome back to the next installment of my Relationship Monday series! If you missed the intro to these posts, 1-2x monthly going forward I'll be sharing blog posts about some topics that are a bit more nitty gritty than my fashion content. It's been on my heart for a long time to write about things related to relationships, so welcome to my Relationship Monday series! This is my chance to write about anything related to dating/singleness/guys, and especially how faith plays into all of this.





      This post was a more fun one to write: "What I Look For In A Guy." Like many other single young women I'm sure, it's taken awhile to find the balance between being proud of having high standards in looking for a dating partner, and also making sure that those standards stay realistic. Definitely a balance indeed! So here are some of the main qualities that I've looked for when going on dates with guys before, or meeting guys back in high school and college:


   
     1. Christian Faith: I have to be honest right upfront and say that I've both developed feelings for and gone on dates with a few guys in the past who didn't share my faith. My standards about this weren't always as strict as they are right now. While the bible is pretty clear about believers not marrying unbelievers, but I do think that sometimes couples can grow in faith together after relationship has started, or that sometimes God can use one person to bring another to Him. However, the last couple guys that I've had strong feelings for did share my faith, and that honestly has really changed my perspective on this. For me personally, when looking for a guy not only to date, but hopefully to marry and share a life with, I want his faith in God already to be established and a key aspect of his life. It doesn't have to be the exact same as mine... if he attends a different denomination of church or if we believe different things on certain issues, there could be room for compromise. But as long as his relationship in God is steady and evident in his life, that's number one!


      2. Sense of Humor: A close second to Christian faith is that I look for guys with a sense of humor! Humor is one of the greatest gifts in life, and I look for guys who not only make me laugh and smile, but also laugh at my jokes as well. The second one is especially important... I can have a very weird sense of humor, so I preferably don't want to be the only one laughing when I make a bad joke! It truly is such a great feeling though when you meet someone who is just on the same "wavelength" as you humor-wise.


     3. Financially Responsible: This might be something that I wouldn't have looked for in a guy as much when I was younger, but now that I'm at an age to see dating partners as potentially marriage partners, I look for different things. Finding a guy who is financially responsible is so important to me.  This doesn't mean they have to be wealthy by any means, but I would look to date someone who manages their money and debts well, and has a financial plan for the future. Obviously many people in their 20s are struggling a bit out of school, and a lot of people do have student loan debt or car payments. But I want to look for a guy who is similar to me in that he takes pride in having a high credit score, lives within his means, tithes to his church and/or a charity and enjoys a balance of both spending money both for fun and also saving for both emergencies and the future.


      4. A Love of Travel: This one isn't as much of a deal breaker as the top three, but one thing about me is that I do love to travel! Ideally, I would love to spend my life with someone who also had as much wanderlust as I do, and would prefer to budget for travel as opposed to other things. While I think shared travel between a couple is important, I also think girls/guys' friend trips each year should also be prioritized, and would hope to find someone who felt similarly.


     5. Physical Attraction: The lowest item most certainly on my list, but still important. Physical attraction is something that doesn't stand the test of time, and inner character is always more beautiful than how a person looks on the outside. However, you do have to be physically attracted to a guy for sparks to fly! Thinking back on guys that I've liked and dated it's a bit interested- I really don't have a "type" as far as looks go. Hair color, eye color, body type and even height... I've pretty much liked it all! To me the things like personality, faith, humor, and other qualities can make a guy seem more attractive, and are what initially makes me attracted to him. But that physical spark does have to be there too. I've gone on dates with some super nice guys before, but just haven't felt physical chemistry, and that's something that you can't force.


     It is really important to be at a place where you know yourself well enough to be aware of the top things that you're looking for in a dating or marriage partner! These are just the top five that I prioritize, and in the order that I do so. They've definitely taken me awhile to establish, but at this point in my life, I do feel fairly confident in them. Perhaps it would be fun if I surveyed some of my guys friends to write a follow-up to this post from a male's perspective!


     I'd love to know from you ladies (and any guys who might read this) what the things that you're looking for in a significant other are! Share with me in the comments.



     xoxo Annaliese

   

March 16, 2017

Palm Trees + Paisley Dress.








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






     I think one of the easiest fashion pieces to build an outfit around can be a patterned dress. A dress with a bold pattern can often speak for itself per say in terms of accessorizing or the rest of the outfit, and it's almost a "one and done" type look! I chose to pair this dress with my favorite fringe booties and a fun floppy hat. Until wearing this outfit, I kind of forgot how much I loved wearing floppy hats! I own a few but haven't worn them much recently. I think that'll be changing though! 


     So I have to share the background story on this beautiful location that these pictures were taken in! Despite the fact that Charlotte is a much warmer climate than where I'm about to be moving to, it still isn't quite warm enough for palm trees to flourish naturally. However, they can survive if they're planted in gardens or homes. There were actually some homes in the neighborhood near where I went to college that had little palmettos in the gardens, which gave everything such a southern feel! Anyways- this specific spot is the lakefront of the house of one of my broadcasting school classmates, Jana! She and her family live in Rock Hill, a suburb of Charlotte, right on Lake Wylie. Their lakefront is GORGEOUS, and as you can see they have palms flourishing on their property! Talk about a perfect photoshoot backdrop. Deeana and I kept saying that we felt like we were in South Florida for the day! 


    If you didn't know- my mom and I are in Italy right now on an amazing vacation!! Follow my social media @miss_alk for current updates... I can't wait to recap everything we've experienced on the blog when I get back to the US!






    xoxo Annaliese 




March 13, 2017

All About The New LiketoKnow.It App!

     I am a bit late to the party to announce this, but I wanted to share with y'all something exciting that happened in the fashion blogging world last week! Many bloggers already beat me in announcing this, but better late than never right?! LiketoKnow.it released their very own app last week! I wanted to briefly go over it today with y'all to everyone knows what it is and how to use it, as it's a really great app and will be helping to change the blogging and social media game!


      A lot of bloggers like myself use an affiliate program called LiketoKnow.it, which is a service provided by rewardStyle, to monetize our Instagram accounts. LTK lets bloggers link either the exact item or similar items that they're wearing in their Instagram photos, so that the content is easily shoppable to followers. If you're new to LTK, you might have recognized it before on Instagram photos if you've seen a blogger (myself or someone else!) post a photo with this at the end of the caption: @liketoknow.it http://liketk.it/2qDHD #liketkit. The link in the middle part of the LTK caption is specific to the products linked for that individual photo! 


     Prior to now, the main way that LTK worked was that if you were interested in learning the details behind what a blogger was wearing on Instagram, you would like their photo. If you were signed up with LTK (which I should note is a free service!), you would then soon after receive an email containing outfit details and shopping links to what they were wearing in the photo. A pretty cool concept, and those of you who have been blogging for awhile or reading blogs for many years are well familiar with it! However- it had one major flaw to it: people don't like getting lots of emails. I speak from experience- I'm totally one of those people! Even though I've been registered as an LTK user for years (even before getting accepted into rewardStyle and getting to publish posts to LTK is a blogger), I have long since turned off the emails feature. As much as I liked outfit info from my favorite bloggers, it was really starting to clutter my inbox! 


    But LiketoKnow.it has made a MAJOR change in the last week! They've launched their very own app! It has the coolest way to shop and find out what your favorite bloggers and influencers are wearing. Simply make sure you're registered for LiketoKnow.It (takes 5 minutes if you aren't!), download their new app, and then take a *screenshot* of any picture on Instagram or Snapchat that has the LTK logo in the bottom right corner. An example is below:






     Can you spot the LTK logo in the bottom right corner? Anytime you see a photo on Instagram or Snapchat from an influencer from now on with this logo, it means that all of you have to do is screenshot it, upload it into the LTK app, and BOOM! Ready to shop! No emails necessary. Of course- those of you who would like to receive emails with fashion content from LTK or already have been, no need to worry. This feature isn't going anywhere! Screenshots are just a new (and awesome!) feature to go along with LTK's new app. 


     Today's post has been prescheduled... if you keep up with me on social media then you know that my mom and I are currently on vacation in ITALY! 😄 I won't have much time off after I start my new job next month, so my mom wanted to treat me to a special vacation before that begins (and also to celebrate my graduation from broadcasting school!). I'll have lots to recap about Italy once I'm back, but for now keep up with me on my social media @miss_alk! 


     Below are some items that I packed for the trip:






     xoxo Annaliese 

     

March 8, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.





{Follow me on social media @miss_alk!}




Ramblings:

  • Thank YOU! Thank you all so much for sharing in my joy in Monday's big announcement blog post! I don't think that I've ever had such happy news to share on my blog, and reading all of y'all's kind comments and social media messages just made it even more special for me. My life is about to change in such a major way, and I couldn't be happier to have all of you along for the ride. In case you missed it: check out the post here
  • The importance of an emergency fund: This isn't a very exciting rambling, but it's a "real life one" and important to share. Since I'll soon be driving back up the East Coast for my big move, I brought my car in for an oil change this week. Well- it ended up being that I actually need a lot more car maintenance than just an oil change before being able to make such a big drive... like several hundred dollars worth! Thankfully, since my New Year's resolution for 2016 was to build up an emergency savings account, I will be able to pay off all of these unexpected expenses without worrying. I can't stress enough how important it is to have an emergency fund! My car has been running completely fine so I didn't even know that it had some internal issues. 
  • And we're off! And back to exciting news- my mom and I are headed off on the trip of a lifetime tomorrow! I am so excited to be going someplace new and exciting to celebrate the end of broadcasting school, to spend some time with my mom, and to enjoy a few adventures before the big move. Follow me on social media @miss_alk to keep up with our adventures! I do have a few blog posts prescheduled for the time that I'm away, so stay tuned for those as well.

Purchases:
  • This darling weekender bag will be accompanying me on my upcoming big trip, and how cute is it?! It's also under $40 and comes in a ton of fun prints! 
  • I tried to pack mostly practical fashion pieces for this trip, so that I can make a lot of outfits out of the same things and save luggage space. But I couldn't resist bringing one very fun and girly outfit (I am a fashion blogger after all!), and I found the most darling floral midi skirt that I knew I had to get for this trip! The one I purchased isn't online, but this one is very similar

Wishlist: 
  • I finally tried on a pair of these jeans that everyone in the blogging world goes nuts over at Nordstrom a couple weeks ago... I finally understand the hype! They're so comfortable! A little bit out of my budget with all of the moving expenses coming up in the next month.... but maybe they'll be a present to myself with my first big-girl job paycheck? 
  • Really hoping this set will be in this summer's After Party Sale... how adorable is this?! I saw in on a mannequin at SouthPark Mall in Charlotte and fell in love!


    I don't really have a specific question for y'all to conclude this post this week, but tell me something fun going on in your life!! I'd love to hear! 


     xoxo Annaliese 

March 6, 2017

BIG NEWS: I Have a Radio Job + I'm Moving!!!!










Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography



     It is my greatest honor to finally be able to share this joyful news with all of you! I feel like I have been sitting on the biggest secret for the past few weeks, but I wanted to make sure that everything was in place and 100% official before I announced it here. Today's blog post is a story of patience, determination, trusting in God's plan, and holding on to a very big dream, and I can't wait to share it all with you. I know that some of you are probably just reading to hear the nitty gritty details that this bold blog post title promised, so I'll get right to all of that first and foremost! And then if any of you want to stick around for a little more, the post will continue on below where I'm sharing the story of my first exposure to a radio station, and when I knew I wanted to be a radio personality when I grew up. But without further ado- let's jump in:



     *Let's recap first- what have I have been up to for the past year? Following my graduation from college in May 2016, I enrolled in broadcasting school. My broadcasting school is a 10-month program where students are intensively trained for a career in radio, television or video/audio production. While I am glad that I was able to learn more about TV and production during this year,  it was very clear from me early on in my time there that radio was going to be my career path. 
All students at my broadcasting school must complete an off-campus internship in their final months of schooling, and I began mine with a morning radio show here in Charlotte right after New Year's. Not even a couple weeks after starting my internship, I began applying to radio jobs across the country. For a number of reasons, as much as I love Charlotte as a city, I've been feeling like it's time to move away from here for a season of life. I also didn't know how long my job search would take, so that's why I wanted to begin early. And that's what lead to...


     *My first radio job: I am so pleased to share that beginning on April 17th, I will begin my dream career! I will be working as an on-air radio personality for not one, but TWO stations! On weekdays, you'll be able to hear me on a Top 40 station, and on weekends I'll be on-air for an AC (adult contemporary) station. This couldn't be a more ideal first radio job for me, as one decision that I struggled to think about in broadcasting school is if I wanted to pursue Top 40 radio or AC. I love and listen to both formats, and genuinely didn't know for awhile which I would rather work in. Well- now I don't have to decide! One of my favorites sayings is "win-win," and in the case of my job I think this is the ultimate win-win! And note I said "you'll be able to hear me..." - both stations broadcast online and have listening apps as well, so you don't have to be in my new city to tune in! But that brings me to...


     *Where I'm moving to: This wannabe Southern Belle is doing something she never thought she would do... moving OUT of the South and back to New England! If that doesn't prove how dedicated I am to my career and how much I love radio, I truly don't know what does. 😉 And no- I'm not moving home to Maine. I am actually moving to Burlington, Vermont! I have to stress- while I did want to leave Charlotte for the time being, at the same time I truly didn't see myself ever moving anywhere near New England again. But I also love everything about my new job, and in so many ways, this specific career opportunity is a God thing, and I know that Burlington is exactly where I'm supposed to be next. While I might not be excited for rough winters again, I am so excited for the adventures to come and discovering a new state and city! 


     *Is your blog name changing? This is the question everyone wants to know, haha! The answer is no, not at least for the first year I'm there. If Burlington and New England end up being a more permanent fit for me, or a place that I'm in longer than Charlotte, then you bet there will probably be a major blog rebranding in the the future! But at least not for the first year. Partly because I'm not sure if Vermont will be a season in my life or a permanent home, and partly because a blog rebranding and design is a big thing to undertake, not to mention expensive! Plus- "Southern Belle in Training" is a name that means a lot to me, and despite where I live, I will always be a Southern Belle in Training! I've fallen head over heels in love with Southern Culture, and I always hope to emulate characteristics of a modern Southern Belle, both on and off the air. 😊


     I was flown up to Burlington for my final interview for this position a few weekends ago, which was when I took a random social media break for a few days if any of you remember! I wanted to be completely present and focused on what all was to come while I was there, which ended up being a great decision. And speaking of trips to Burlington, my mom and I are here again right now! I wasn't able to find an apartment during my interview trip, so we came back for a few days to tour a lot more places. It seemed appropriate to finally blog about the big news while I'm here! 


      Lastly, I wanted to share the story about how I became interested in radio as a young girl. While my mind did change a few times in middle school and high school about what I wanted to be when I grew up (other possible careers included journalist and teacher), I always would come back to radio personality. Anyways- here's the story:


      My dad has a very deep and booming voice (I definitely get my loud voice from him!), and back in 2002, his company gave him the opportunity to record a radio spot for them at one of the local Maine radio stations. My dad would be spending the afternoon at the station recording the spot. Up until this point in time, I was quite the young radio enthusiast. By "radio enthusiast," I mean that I had a special radio ritual that took place most weekday afternoons. When I was six, my parents got me a pair of roller blades. As much as I enjoyed using them outdoors, I wanted to maximize my new toy to its full extent, so I used them indoors as well! Part of the basement in my house is unfinished, and most afternoons when I was six/seven years old, I used to head down to the unfinished part of the basement, but on my rollerblades, lift out my snazzy Philips boom box, unfold its radio antenna, and crank up the latest tunes on Maine's #1 leader for hit music, Q 97.9. And then I would skate laps around the basement, listening to my favorite radio hits and the afternoon DJ. (Mind you- the unfinished part of our basement was NOT large at all. They were very small laps. Haha!) Anyways, my afternoon basement roller skating radio fest kept me entertained for a long time, and when my dad had the opportunity for this commercial for his company, he asked if he could bring me along. The station said yes, and I was SO excited! 


     The day finally came to visit Q 97.9, and it was wonderful. My dad got to record the commercial, and while that was going on for him the afternoon DJ gave me a special tour of the station! A highlight of my tour was when I was shown where all of the new CDs were kept (does that prove how long ago this was?), and he told me I could pick one out to keep! If you're wondering what I chose, it was Enrique Inglesias's Escape, and I still have it to this day. (I'm also still an Enrique fan today! Ha.) They also told me I could pick out a song that would play later that hour, and I requested "One More Time" by Daft Punk. My dad and I later heard it as we were headed back home on the highway, and knowing that I had helped to pick that song gave me a feeling of happiness like I had never had before! Even at just seven years old, I knew in my heart that the feeling that I was experiencing right then as a consumer of radio, was what I wanted to give to people as my future career. I wanted to pick the songs and talk to the listeners (...or basement roller skaters, in my specific case). I wanted to have my voice be heard. I wanted to be a radio DJ! And here we are... about 15 years later, and the dream I never gave up on is finally coming true. 



     Thank you so much if you've made it to the end of this very long post! (And also a huge thank you to Deeana, my blog photographer, for the radio head shots! This photoshoot was definitely out of the norm for what we usually do, but still so fun!) A lot of changes will be coming in the next month in my life, but despite the huge move and new career, I hope to still keep things consistent here on Southern Belle in Training. I hope that y'all will be sticking by my side through what's to come, as I can't wait to bring my career and blog together! 



     "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11



     xoxo Annaliese 

March 3, 2017

The BEST Off-the-Shoulder Top For Spring!







Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography





     This outfit post is putting me in such a spring mood! Spring is my absolute favorite season- and I love just about everything associated with it, but especially spring fashion! The off-the-shoulder trend managed to last through the winter by sticking around on sweaters and dresses. I had my doubts about this at first, but I ended up getting down with it eventually (I styled an off-the-shoulder sweater in this post!). 


     But off-the-shoulder for spring... that is something that I can get much more on board with! As soon as I saw this beautiful pink ruffled OTS top, I knew it had to be mine! It's just so feminine and darling, and it's also very relaxed around the stomach area which makes it even more comfortable to wear. And the best part of all?! It's under $20!! What a steal for such a pretty top


     I probably say this about a lot of my photoshoots with Deeana, but I really loved these photos! We shot them in the downtown of Rock Hill, a charming small city in South Carolina, about 40 minutes south of Charlotte. Charlotte is an amazing city to blog in, and there are so many great spots to shoot in! But it is still fun to get out of the city sometimes, and discover all that the metro area has to offer as well, with great cities and towns in both North and South Carolina. Last month, Deeana and I also spent time shooting north of Charlotte in the cute town of Davidson. 


      I am so, so SO excited for Monday's blog post! It's a long one, but I'll be sharing the big news that I've been teasing for a few weeks! In other news, I leave tomorrow for two weeks of travels! I'll be going on an international trip with my mom, but first I have a trip related to my big news. And before all of that- one night at home in Maine. I can't wait to see a couple of my high school friends tomorrow night before all of the traveling fun kicks off! Be sure you're following me on social media @miss_alk to keep up with my upcoming adventures.






     xoxo Miss ALK

March 1, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.




{Follow me on social media @miss_alk!}



Ramblings: 
  • Taking a girls' weekend: I had the most wonderful girls' weekend with one of my classmates from broadcasting school, and it was so needed! My classmate Jana is moving in March to Florida for a job opportunity (yay Jana!), and before she leaves she invited me to spend a weekend with her family. They attend a local Police Ball in her home city every year, and she invited me to be her +1. I almost ended up canceling out on the weekend, as I'm feeling about 110% overwhelmed with the things going behind-the-scenes in my life right now. (I do hope to share what all is happening with that soon! Promise!!) Anyways, I ended up convincing myself to go despite the craziness of my life right now, and my goodness, what a fun weekend it was! I had a lovely time with Jana and her family at the Police Ball, and I realized that getting all dolled up for a night out and dancing in the company of new and old friends is the perfect cure to stress. Jana and I also had a blast doing pictures the next day (she needed some headshots done, so she booked a session with my photographer Deeana as well!), and all in all it was a perfect weekend. Y'all- make time for girls' weekends! They're important! 
  • Amazing Ross deals: I'll link some similar pieces in the Recent Purchases section of this post, but I scored some amazing deals at Ross this weekend! This store is normally very hit or or miss for me, and in the past I've had trouble finding clothes that I like there. But I wound up there this weekend, and was amazed by how many cute items they had! There were so many off the shoulder and lace-up tops and dresses, and many other fun trendy pieces as well. I ended up purchasing six things for under $70! I can't wait to wear my new finds on my upcoming vacation. If you have a Ross near you- give it a visit soon!
  • Finishing my last internship: This is my last week at my internship with a local morning radio show! I began right after New Years, and have been with them for about eight weeks. It was one of the shorter internships that I've ever had, but I still had the chance to learn a lot about radio production from it. I hope to be starting some career-related blog posts in the next month or two, and I'll definitely share more about this experience. I still can't believe that out of many years of various internship opportunities, I've finished the last one! Hello, adulthood- you're so very close!


Purchases:
  • As I mentioned above, I scored very well at Ross this weekend! One thing that I snatched up was the cutest striped dress with shoulder cut-outs. The colors (and price!) are similar to this one!
  • I have been in desperate need of some new sneakers for a long time, and I finally got the ones that I've been craving for such a long time! I am just loving my new sneakers
  • Another Ross score was a striped tunic top, and this one is very similar!
  • I ordered this top in the Nordstrom Winter Sale which ended last weekend. Who is already excited for the big NSale?!


Wishlist:
  • I'm still in desperate need of a new iPhone case (what else is new- haha!)... how cute is this one for spring! 
  • The prettiest pops of color can be found in this pencil skirt.
  • I'm basically always craving the newest arrivals, like this dress, from this favorite brand of mine.



      My question for y'all this week: have you had a fun girls' weekend recently? What all did you do?



     xoxo Annaliese