Southern Belle in Training

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

January 19, 2018

Winter 2018 Reader Q&A.

     I love doing Q&A posts here on the blog! Y'all always ask me the best questions, and I think this is such a fun way for me to share more about myself. I also love reading Q&A posts when other bloggers do them! They're just fun all around. My last one was in September so you can catch up on that here if you missed it! Thanks to everyone who DMd and emailed me these awesome questions!

Photo by Amanda Rose Photography

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My coat in the photo above is found here! 

      What is your favorite type of cheese? My girl Amy from Pastel n Pink always asking the TOUGH questions- haha! I had a huge sweet tooth growing up, and while I still have a fairly large one, I'd say my biggest food weakness is my CHEESE tooth. It's only gotten worse since I moved to Vermont, the dairy capital of the Northeast. I always know it's time to head to the grocery store if I've run out of cheese, true story. I love so many cheese and for different reasons (some area better to cook with, some are best to snack on), but I'll answer this question from a snacking perspective. My three favorite snacking cheeses that I generally rotate between are any type of sharp Cheddar, Havarti, and Muenster.

      What suggestions do you have for new bloggers to help gain followers and grow? This is a great question! It's funny, when I first read this I was like "I'm in no position to give advice about this!", and then the more I thought about it, I remembered I've been doing this whole blogging thing for 5+ years now. Wow! I guess I'm not a newbie anymore. While I'm definitely not the biggest or best blogger and I never will be, I've definitely learned some important things regarding the business of blogging in the last few years, and maybe now is the time to start sharing! I think this question would actually best be answered in a separate post or maybe even series about blogging, but to still answer it in some capacity: here's my number one tip to grow your blog and social following as a newer blogger. Be an active member of the blogging community! Befriend other bloggers, both those local in your community and also those online. Become active in blogger Facebook groups. Join some comment/like pods (yes, I'm a fan of these!). Network with other creatives like photographers too, I've learned so much from my photographer friends. The best benefit of this are the amazing relationships that you'll make, but the second plus is that you'll gain more followers and readers, and also learn a lot about blogging from networking with other bloggers!
      Again- this is my short answer. I think I'd like to write more about blogging tips in the coming months!

      How has your blog helped with being on-air in radio? Another great question! Y'all are killing it this time. The really short answer: SO MANY WAYS! Social media and blogging are becoming very integrated with the radio world, especially as radio continues to move into the digital space. Having an extensive prior knowledge of these things from Southern Belle in Training made it easy to write blog posts for our station website or do IG lives at radio events for example, as I've already had experience doing things like that. This is another question that I could write a more detailed blog post on- I might save it for my Radio 101 series, which will be back soon!

     What are your favorite TV shows? I am a huge TV buff and much prefer TV to movies. (And when I do watch a movie, it's usually a Lifetime or Hallmark channel one, haha!) I wrote a detailed blog post early this fall all about my picks for the Fall TV season, which you can check out here. I've still been watching all of the shows I wrote about in this post for the most part!! To answer your question more specifically:
     Favorite shows on TV now: The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Jane the Virgin, Great News, 9JKL, Star, The Mayor, The Bachelor(ette)
    Favorite shows off-air: 7th Heaven, That 70s Show, How I Met Your Mother, Hart of Dixie, Parks and Rec
     My all-time favorite show is That 70s Show, it's the only show I've seen more times than I can count on reruns and Netflix, and I still laugh hysterically at every episode and every joke. Kelso is my favorite character for comedic purposes, and I love how he and Jackie ended up together in real life. 😉

     Name a few places on your travel bucket list: I actually just blogged about this yesterday coincidentally! Check out my post here. (Spoiler alert: it's a lot of places!)

     When and how did you start your blog? I talk a bit about this on the About Me page of my blog! I'll give you the brief version of the story here. 😊 I actually started blogging in January 2011, during my junior year of high school. I had a personal writing blog called "Confessions of a Maine Teenager." (I cringe typing that name here now- lol!) My parents were really concerned back then about my privacy as a minor in the online world, so I didn't share photos of myself or blog under my name. I would sign my posts as "Miss ALK" - ALK is my initials, which is how my Instagram and later other social media handles were born! (I still signed my blog posts here on SBIT as Miss ALK for the first few years in tribute to my former blog!) Anyways, I stopped posting on my Confessions blog around the time that I graduated from high school, and took that summer between high school and college off to focus on my summer job and preparing to move to North Carolina. After I began college, I realized that I really missed the creative writing outlet that blogging brought, and since I'd always loved fashion, I thought it would be fun to start sharing pictures of the outfits that I put together each day for college classes on a new blog. So- I launched Southern Belle in Training on my birthday in 2012! The name honestly just came naturally to me, it seemed so fitting since I had just moved from Maine. I didn't start to monetize my blog until about a year after I started it. So I spent a long time just blogging in college solely because I enjoyed blogging! I've left up most of my old blog posts in the archives- sometimes I like to go back and read them just to see how far this blog has come!

     What are your go-to's for self-care? What a great question! While self-care is definitely important, I think the culture today has almost an unhealthy obsession with it. The premise of "self-care" can sometimes be used I think as an excuse for spending unnecessary money on things we don't really need or have the funds for. Sometimes it is also about spending too much of your time on mindless activities to divert from an actual problem in your life which needs to be addressed and is causing you stress. (See this article for more on that.) So anyways- while I think self-care is necessary and for sure has a place in our busy lives, it is a bit blown out of proportion in the culture today, with the whole #TreatYourself mentality. Just wanted to get that out there!
    With that said, since moving to Vermont, my favorite form of self-care is one that's super easy and costs nothing at all: SLEEP. I've started making it an absolute necessity that I get 8+ hours of sleep a night, and some weeknights I go to bed really early and get closer to 10 hours. Back in college and broadcasting school, many nights I was lucky to just have 6 hours of sleep! I'm really starting to reap the benefits of all of the extra sleep that I've been getting over the last several months. The chronic migraines that I've dealt with for the last few years have faded to becoming rare occurrences, rather than something to deal with weekly. I find that I'm very alert in the mornings, and also stay alert at work throughout my workday. (Knock on wood) I also haven't been sick once since I moved to Vermont! Not even a common cold. Every time some sort of sickness has gone around the radio station, I've avoided it. I seriously attribute that 100% to the fact that I sleep a lot and sleep helps your body better fight against illness!
      I also have one form of #TreatYourself self-care that I do partake in. My rant above wasn't to say that spending money on self-care is bad, it just shouldn't become an obsession. 😊 Around this time last year, I decided I wanted to quit nail biting once and for all, and I started getting acrylic nails and regular nail appointments. I ditched the acrylics after moving and now get gel manicures, which I like better (and they're cheaper!). It definitely has helped to curbed my bad nail biting habit, and I feel more prepared at work and with blogging to have nice nails. So this is my bi-weekly self-care splurge!

     Thanks again to everyone who sent these wonderful questions!! I hope to make my Q&A posts a seasonal thing in 2018, so look for another one in the springtime.

    Have a great start to your weekend! Friday- we made it! This is the first weekend in awhile where it's going to be warmer than negative temperatures here in Vermont. 30s and 40s... I'll take it!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese



  1. I always enjoy these, it's so fun getting to know a bit more about some of my favorite bloggers.

  2. I totally agree, sleep is the best thing you can do for yourself. Everything is worse when you're tired and nothing seems so bad after a good night's sleep!

  3. thanks for sharing these q&a!!! i love reading these and it seems like you get asked some seriously good questions! i started in high school too, although no where near as early as you haha :)

  4. I loved learning more about you! Also that jacket is STUNNING

  5. These are great questions and fun answers! I definitely echo your sentiment on a blogging community - those are great ways to grow your space + meet fun other bloggers (like yourself!)

  6. I'm a blogger whose currently in high school. From my perspective, the high school blogging niche is quite small. We're most of your readers on your former blog in high school or were they older?

  7. I love How I met your Mother too! I really need to go back and watch That 70s Show. I never watched it when it was on air and I've heard SO many good things. Yay for 8 hours (or more) of sleep every night. I definitely like to make sure I get enough sleep every night, it makes a HUGE difference in how well I work/think (and even treat other people).

  8. Sleep really is the best self care remedy! Thanks for sharing this.

  9. Awww, I especially love the questions you answered about blogging! I remembering finding you through pinterest!

  10. This was so fun to read! I Loved your answer on your blogging history! I had an embarrassing blog from my high school days too haha

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  11. This was such a treat to read, loved learning more about you!! I have a similar history with blogging, I had my first one at 14 and then my second at 17.

  12. I can't believe you started blogging in high school. That is so cool. Not sure I even knew what a blog was back then.

    xoxo, Paige

  13. omg I used to be straight up obsessed with Hart of Dixie when it was out

  14. I love reading Q&A type posts, they're so much fun! You definitely turned me on to Jane the Virgin and I started binge watching it on Netflix-it's so funny and good!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style


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