March 15, 2018

Lilly Pulitzer Spring Styles with Pink Colony.

     Today's post is the second part of my spring fashion collaboration with Pink Colony, Vermont's largest Lilly Pulitzer specialty boutique! Last week's post focused on Lilly outfits that are perfect to wear to a casual workplace. Today's blog post will showcase some classic Lilly Pulitzer styles that everyone knows and loves- spring dresses! I know that y'all are loving Lilly's Luxletic line just as much as I am, so I'm also sharing a few new Luxletic pieces as well. 😊

Spring 2018 Lilly Pulitzer Styles

  Today's post is in collaboration with Pink Colony. This post also contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training!

Photography by Amanda Rose Photography

     *Look #1: Bright Lula Dress

     I fell in love with this gorgeous dress! This is about as Annaliese of a Lilly print as you can get. The Catch the Wave print reminds me a lot of my all-time favorite Lilly print, Let's Cha Cha. This is the cutest little spring dress that could be dressed up or down for all types of occasions. I loved the way that I styled it here and thought this could have made a darling Easter look. There was another dress I ended up taking home that I fell in love with just a little more than this one- but the Lula dress and Catch the Wave print definitely have a bit of my heart! 

      *Look #2: Wrap Dress

     I fell in love with this dress after seeing it on the Pink Colony Instagram account, and I couldn't wait to see it in person. I thought this would for sure be coming home with me- I mean just look at the vibrant floral print on it! I think this dress though is a great example of why trying on Lilly items in a store is so important (rather than waiting until it goes Final Sale during an After Party Sale). I still think it's a gorgeous dress- but I actually didn't love the way that it fit my body specifically! It was a bit lower cut than I felt comfortable with for the type of dress that it is. (Jessica, who owns Pink Colony, and I were joking that this dress is about a "sexy" as Lilly gets - haha!) I think this dress would be gorgeous and a little bit more modest on a different body type (you can kind of see that on the way the model wears it on the Lilly website), but it wasn't my personal favorite. Again it goes back to why it's great to try on Lilly before purchasing if you can!! I still love this gorgeous print though.

     *Look #3: Zipper Shift Dress

     I thought this dress was gorgeous!! Wouldn't this be perfect to wear to spring weddings or semi-formal events?! The front has a zipper, and at first I wasn't sure I'd feel about that, but I actually loved it! I think the zipper and gold detailing added such a unique twist. Jessica told me that this dress made her think of my style, and since it's such a gorgeous dress I was so flattered by that! I ended up taking home these KEP Designs Large Pom Earrings in gold, as I think they'll match so many things in my closet. I loved them with the Jane Shift Dress! 

     *Look #4: Spring Luxletic 

      And finally, a spring Luxletic look from Lilly! Last year I purchased my first pair of Luxletic leggings and kind of fell in love with them! Not only do they feature gorgeous Lilly prints, but they're also insanely comfortable, and perfect for everything from working out to casual weekend outfits. Pink Colony always has a full assortment of the latest Luxletic pieces, as well as cute accessories like water bottles to match! 

      In a few weeks I'll share with y'all the gorgeous new dress that I took home from my spring visit to Pink Colony!! Please make sure to stay tuned on my Instagram TODAY for a fun giveaway with Pink Colony. 

     In other news- I'll be taking a mini blogging break through next Wednesday in honor of my move and starting my new job, but I'll still be posting on Instagram in the mean time!! I can't believe moving weekend is finally here.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 

March 14, 2018

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

NYC Skyline from Plane

{Flying over NYC a few weeks ago on my way to Virginia for my job interview trip! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

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

  • Vermont goodbyes: This past week and weekend I said goodbyes to my Vermont friends! Last weekend was my last Sunday at my church here, which was really bittersweet. I did truly love my church here, and it was one of the few places in Vermont that I felt at home. There aren't many bloggers in Vermont/Upstate NY, but I think I got to meet all of the ones there are!! Check out my girls Niki from Nicholle Sophia, Ronica from Relatably Roni and Rebecca from Caravan Sonnet- I will miss them all so much. The great part about blogging is it will be easy to keep up with them and read their blogs from Virginia. πŸ˜‰
  • BEST new podcast: I finally got caught up on all of my favorite podcasts episodes while packing, and wanted something new to listen to this weekend. One of the hosts of my favorite weekly podcast, Good Christian Fun, recommended a new podcast from The Onion as a fun listen, and I'm so glad I gave it a try!! A Very Fatal Murder is a satirical podcast that spoofs popular true crime podcasts like Serial, S-Town and Up and Vanished. I don't want to spoil anything, but if you're a fan of the true crime genre this needs to be a MUST LISTEN for you. The episodes are short (under 15 minutes each) so you can listen to it in a whole afternoon. I was laughing so hard at some of them it was hard for me to focus on my packing! I listened to S-Town at this time last year when I was packing to move to Vermont, so it seemed even more perfect a year later to be essentially listening to a spoof of that one when I was packing again. 
  • Reminder that: I MOVE to Virginia this Friday!!!! (Provided that the weather stays okay of course.) It still doesn't feel real that I'll be calling the south my home again... ah! I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait! 

  • My friend Ronica and I went to the amazing Quartier Dix30 shopping center (check out this blog post about it) outside of Montreal on Monday- I had to make use of my enhanced license one more time before the move!! As expected, it was a great day of shopping. I was so excited to find a cheaper dupe of this classic white top! I was going to make the splurge buy the Nordstrom version, as it is a versatile piece and would match a lot of things in my closet. However- I'm ALWAYS up for a good dupe, and I found almost the same top for half the price at a Canadian store at Dix30! Win! 
  • I also bought some new distressed jeans at Zara. This year I discovered my love of Zara jeans (they are the BEST and under $100!), and I wanted to get another pair before moving! 
  • I've been loving the neck scarf trend for awhile, and finally wanted to get one for spring! The one I purchased looks similar to this

  • My friend Rachel wore this floral blouse on a try-on session on her Instagram Stories and I kind of fell in love with it- how bright and cute is it for spring! 
  • Nordstrom is price-matching some of the classic Jack Rogers styles right now up to almost 50% off!! (At least they were at the time I wrote this part of the blog post two days prior... I'll try and update it today if it's changed.
  • I'm going to try and write a blog post soon about the wishlist that I have for home decor and furniture pieces for my new apartment, but this is something I definitely need to get soon! I had to get rid of my old one of these because it was falling apart (I'd had it since college and it had survived a few moves), so it's time for a new and hopefully cuter one. 

Recipe of the week: No cooking for me again this week as my kitchen is all packed up, so here's another favorite throwback recipe of mine from my Pinterest boards! Try these Banana Cinnamon Muffins from Betty Crocker. I love homemade muffins and normally make them at least once a week, and this recipe is delicious if you like banana baked goods! 

Song of the week: All of the Stars by Kendrick Lamar ft. SZA. This song definitely makes the cut for the road trip Spotify playlist! It was just starting to get some radio airplay at my former radio station in Vermont, and I thought it was really catchy. I think this is my favorite song yet that SZA is a featured artist on. 

On the blog this week:

     Stay tuned tomorrow for the second part of my spring collaboration with Pink Colony- I'll be sharing some beautiful Lilly Pulitzer dresses, and there will be a giveaway on my Instagram! I'll then be taking a mini blogging break for the beginning part of next week while my dad and I drive to Virginia and move me into my new apartment- but I'll be back again next week with Midweek Ramblings! πŸ™‚

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 


March 13, 2018

10 Things I Won't Miss About Living in Vermont.

     Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post entitled "Charlotte NC: 10 Things I'll Miss the Most About Living Here." A full year later- and most of those things still hold up for Charlotte! The city that I went to college in (and stayed for one year after) will always hold a very special place in my heart. Now as I prepare to move out of Vermont and head back to the South... I realize how not bittersweet this move is in comparison, and how truly happy I am to be getting the heck out of here!  Many of you know that I haven't really enjoyed Vermont culture or found that I've acclimated well here, and I am so happy to be going back South. Vermont is truly a very unique place.... it's super different even from my home state of Maine (even though Maine is just four hours away!). I thought it would be fun to reprise last year's post in honor of my move this week... but instead of 10 Things I'll Miss... I'm sharing 10 Things I WON'T Miss! I've found during my time living here that the Vermont lifestyle is kind of idolized in media portrayals and in reality is very different- so this might open your eyes a bit to what it's like in the Green Mountain state if you've never been here!

     1. The lack of cities and population in general: Shortly after I accepted my job last year, I was Googling resources about moving to Vermont. The "Move Here" page on begins by saying "It's true, Vermont is not for everyone. We're not known for high rises and an all-night club scene." I remember reading this line a year ago and thinking "Uh oh... how small is this place that I'm moving to?" Spoiler alert: MUCH smaller than I properly anticipated!
     The entire state of Vermont had an estimated population of just under 625,000 residents in 2016. The entire state! For comparison, Charlotte had a population of almost 850,000 in 2016 just within the city limits, and almost 2 million within the greater metro and surrounding counties. YIKES! That's a huge difference. I knew Vermont was going to be smaller and slower paced, but I had no idea how much of a shock it would be until I actually arrived. I am definitely a city girl and need to be in a place near large metro areas... and that just is not Vermont. I love cities because it's great to be living in a place where you feel like there is always something going on, and to me looking out over a skyline is magical. Burlington is actually the smallest biggest city in a state in the country. It really is more like a glorified large town. There is one interstate exit for Burlington. ONE! Have you ever heard of a biggest city in a state with one interstate exit?!
     Sometimes when I think back on how much I struggled in my first several months here to make friends and develop a social life outside of work, I have to remind myself of what I was dealing with. Burlington just isn't that big! 2017 was actually the first year since 2013 that Vermont saw a gain in population in census data... that means from 2013-2016 the state lost population, either to death (mainly from the elderly) or residents moving out-of-state.

     2. Terrible retail options: Being a fashion blogger, I definitely have a fond appreciation for retail. I will add onto this by saying that unlike some fashion enthusiasts who prefer to shop exclusively online, I still love the in-store retail experience. Maybe it's because I worked in retail for several years myself, maybe it's because I still love the thrill of finding a gem on the sale rack or falling in  love with a new style on a mannequin, but a day at a good mall or shopping center will always beat an online shopping experience for me. Anyways, Vermont is NOT the state for retail experiences. The "largest mall" in the state, University Mall, is a JOKE. There are so many vacant stores in the mall that there is a permanent craft fair exhibition set up in one of them. You can find all sorts of local "goodies" there... like birdhouses made out of repurposed maple syrup bottles. (I wish I was making this up...) Something else that's happened in the UMall in the months I've been in Vermont is that the South Burlington Public Library has moved into another vacant store space. Don't get me wrong, I love libraries. I also love malls. But do the two things belong together?! HECK NO!!!
     There was another mall called Burlington Town Center in Downtown Burlington, but it is currently 95% shut down for serious renovations. When it opens in a couple of years it will be beautiful and probably full of semi-decent shopping, however I will not be here to see that day. Since I moved, everything closed in Burlington Town Center to make way for the redevelopment project- so Vermont said goodbye for now to the Francesca's, Abercrombie, LOFT, Macy's, and many more stores!
     Up until Fall 2018, Vermont could (not so proudly) call itself the only state in the nation that didn't have Target. The first Target is coming to Vermont in October, but until then the only way to get to a Target is either to drive almost three hours to one in Albany, NY or Manchester, NH- OR to take the ferry boat across Lake Champlain to the one in Plattsburgh, NY (still almost an hour long trip with the driving!). I wrote about what it's like to venture to Plattsburgh to shop as a Vermonter in this blog post.
     This all goes to say.... I am VERY READY to be able to make a short drive to Target (sans boat) at my leisure again, and have access to all of my favorite stores at my fingertips! If you're looking for great shopping experiences- Vermont is not your state!

     3. A state of bedroom communities: I've shared on the blog before that I became a morning person during my year in Vermont. While all in all I think this was a positive lifestyle change and I have grown to love mornings, I kind of became an early bird without a choice. Vermont is an entire state of bedroom communities. Minus some things geared for college kids that live here to go toUVM and a couple other schools  in the area (which is a nighttime scene I wanted no part of obviously), there is non-existent nightlife and things to do after like 7 pm in Vermont. Your nighttime options are going to the movies, a few weird bars downtown which are mostly full of 18 year olds with fake IDs or sketchy older people... and well, that's it! People aren't really into going out at night, especially in the colder months. When my hours at work switched this fall and I started getting out of work at 7 instead of 4:30, whatever chance I had at a weeknight social life was 100% shot. Back in Charlotte, I didn't really do super exciting things on weeknights, but it wasn't uncommon to go to a friend's apartment to hangout, or to go run and get fast food late at night. That just like wasn't apart of my life here in Vermont! I'd come home from work, make dinner, watch TV, go to bed, and do it all over again on both weeknights and weekends.

     4. EXPENSIVE living costs: Oh my goodness... it is so expensive to live in Vermont!! You are paying Boston prices without getting a Boston quality of life or Boston amenities. When I first accepted my job, I genuinely thought for awhile that I'd have to live in an extended stay hotel on the outskirts of town for awhile when I first got here, because it seemed hopeless to find a safe and comfortable apartment (sans roommate) in my price range. I finally did find a very nice apartment, but it was a lot more money than I'd wanted to be paying for rent. And despite the high cost it still didn't have some of the amenities that my Charlotte apartment had either- like pools or a tennis court! (And I definitely didn't live in a luxury apartment complex in Charlotte.) It's not just rent that's high in Vermont either. For those that do decide to buy property here, the housing market is exorbitant, and property taxes are high. Scratch that- all taxes are high in Vermont! There is a high tax called "Meals and Rooms" (for dining out and lodging), and gas is also very expensive here! Another thing that's a lot of money in Vermont are driving associated costs. Not only are snow tires a necessity, but getting a Vermont license was more than double the cost of my North Carolina one, and annual car inspections here cost four times what they did back home in Maine. So this is not a cheap state to call home, and I wish I had done more research about that before accepting my job.

     5. Depressing for dating: I got the BIGGEST kick out of the fact that so many holiday Hallmark movies are love stories set in Vermont, and also that the Bachelor spin-off show Bachelor Winter Games was set in Vermont this year. (Although in that show's defense, it was filmed about three hours from where I lived- so maybe Southern Vermont is where it's at?) I won't go into too much detail on this one, but this is NOT THE PLACE to find love if you're a single girl like myself. By this fall, it became evidently clear to me that if I stayed in Vermont long-term... I better start praying to have a miraculous healing from my cat allergies because #CatLady was the future that awaited me in this place....
     However- if you are looking for dating app matches who list "organic farmer" or "aspiring musician" in their bio- this is definitely the place for you!! Lots and lots of men to choose from!  (In my defense, my Christian faith is very important to me and where I'm looking for someone who shares that, I knew that dating options would already be more limited in a more secular area like Burlington. But even taking faith out of the equation hypothetically.... still TERRIBLE guy options! Lol.)

     6. The priciest airport: Travel is another one of my huge passions, and it's something that I crave getting to do every few months. I didn't realize until I finally got to Vermont how far away Vermont is from everything. There is only one commercial airport in the state. Let's just say that growing up in Maine, I always thought the Portland airport was the smallest airport ever. I WAS WRONG!!! The Burlington International Airport is the tiniest "biggest" airport, and it is exorbitantly expensive to fly anywhere. When I traveled to Indiana for New Year's... it was over $500!!! And that was for not-direct flights, booked months and months in advance. Had I traveled over the same dates but flown out of a larger airport like Manchester or Boston in New England, I could have saved between $200-300. It sadly didn't make sense for me to drive the long distance to those airports (in the winter) for such a brief weekend trip, but that price difference made me angry and is INSANE!!!! (I don't even want to tell y'all what the cost was for my last-minute booked interview flight to Virginia from Vermont....) Where travel is such a love and passion for me, it's important that I live in a place with a variety of airports to choose from, and a place where travel just isn't so expensive or hard to come by!

     7. The severe lack of chain restaurants: I can't help this, and I own it. I love me some chain restaurants, and there's several that I'm very loyal to. Don't get me wrong- I don't exclusively eat out or eat fast food (I love to cook, and I also enjoy trying local restaurants when I travel) but I definitely appreciate my favorite national restaurants for when the cravings hit. If you move to Vermont, expect to say your forever goodbyes to Chick Fil A, Dairy Queen, Waffle House, Sonic, Krispy Kreme, (and two of my Carolinas favorites, Bojangles and Cookout). Sit-down chain restaurants are limited here as well. There are a few chains in the South Burlington/Williston area, but a lot of my favorites didn't make it up here, like On the Border, Macaroni Grill, Maggiano's, P.F. Chang's... and the love of my food life, The Cheesecake Factory. Out of all of these.... Dairy Queen is probably the one I have missed the most!! Nothing like a Blizzard, y'all.

     8. Worst highway driving: Vermont's Interstate 89 has to be the worst interstate I've ever driven on- ever. I have always enjoyed highway driving, ever since I first learned to drive in high school. A lot of my friends were scared of highway driving when they first got their licenses, but it was always my favorite! When I moved to Charlotte, I actually really liked having major city interstates to drive on. I'm weird I know. Anyways, I-89 up here has almost killed my joy and love for the American Interstate System. In the Burlington corridor (if you can even call it that... remember that earlier in this post I taught you that Burlington, the largest city in the state, only has one highway exit!), the speed limit on I-89 for several miles is 55. 55!!! And the cops will pull you over for going 60+! They are always hanging out in the median, just waiting. Clearly because Vermont is so boring and has no major crimes or anything exciting going on, so catching drivers cruising down the highway at 65 mph is a priority.
      Once you're out of Burlington either north or south, the speed limit on I-89 does increase, but the driving conditions get low-key terrifying. There is NOTHING on this highway. It goes to 10-20 miles between exits. And there is NOTHING between exits. Sometimes you may see a farm on the side of the road if you're luck- that's it!! It's just trees, trees, more trees, maybe some mountains, maybe a river, and TREES. No cities, no town, and no billboards because Vermont is one of four states (my home state of Maine included) that they're illegal! A lot of stretches on I-89 also have little to no cell phone service because it runs through such secluded parts of the state. It's TERRIFYING. Once you cross from VT into NH there is a decent sized town on the border, and then it becomes New Hampshire nothing-ness for a lot of miles again.
     A lot of people have asked me why I didn't try and go home to Maine more while I lived in Vermont. Part of it was due to my insane work schedule, but part of it was due to the fact that making the drive from Vermont to Maine solo on I-89 terrified me! Like what if something every happened to my car on one of the stretches that was 15 miles between exits?! And again- this is coming from someone who genuinely enjoys interstate road trips.... but not here!! I'll just say thank goodness Vermont didn't have tolls. It did have that going for it I suppose!

     9. The not-hot summers: I'm not going to list Vermont winter as one of my list items because everyone knows Vermont winter is snowy and cold. That's not an earth shattering fact or a surprise... and that was something I knew when I moved here. However- something I was not expecting was how not-hot Vermont summer's are. It barely got out of the 70s at all last year! The midwest is also known for having brutal cold and snow-filled winters, but many midwestern states also have very hot summers so they at least get a true summer season. Vermont does NOT. Pretty sure it only hit over 90 degrees for five days in 2017? Most of summer was in the 60s and 70s... and after a few years in North Carolina that is April weather to this girl- not July weather!!!

     10. Burlington parking costs: You can see my frustration with this illustrated in one of the photos above- lol! Burlington, like many other cities around the country, has very limited free parking. There are a couple public garages (TBH I was amazed Vermont had parking garages), some lots, and many meters throughout downtown. My gripe about paying for parking in Burlington is that Burlington isn't like a city at all and really is like a glorified large town, so there is nothing there worth paying for parking! Sure, it was annoying to pay for parking in Uptown Charlotte, but Charlotte is a real city and when I'd go to dinner in Uptown with friends, it felt like a real night out on the town, and worth it to spend a few dollars to park and treat yourself. There is nothing city-like feeling about Burlington... so why on earth should I pay Charlotte parking costs to go there?! Some of the lots are truly ridiculous in what they charge. Once when my parents were visiting, I changed my mind on a restaurant I wanted to take them to because the lot closest to it was charging so much that day!
     Some good news related to Burlington parking: all the city meters are free on Sundays, so that is a plus. And a couple of the garages are free for the first two hours, so if you have quick business to do downtown and keep track of your time, you don't have to pay. But still very annoying!!


     Thank you for making it through this list of grievances about my time in Vermont!! You might be wondering with all these things that I won't miss- if there's anything that I will miss. The answer is yes! I will definitely miss going for nature walks at my favorite trail in Vermont, the Colchester Causeway. This summer I was walking there as much as 3-4x weekly! (The photos for this blog post were shot on the trail there!)

     I will also miss a few wonderful friends that I have made here in Vermont. I have truly met some incredible people here. It was very hard to make friends when I first moved to Vermont, and figure out how to have a social life with my weird and crazy work schedule, especially since I worked both Saturdays and Sundays for my first five months here. Around the holidays, it finally hit me one day that I finally had made a few good friends here, and that was an amazing revelation to have! Although I am SO EXCITED to be leaving for Virginia, I will treasure the friendships I did make during this year, and I have no doubts I will keep in touch with everyone. I might even expect a couple Vermont visitors to Virginia in the next year or two!

     I can't believe that I'm just a few days away from moving day- eeeek!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese


March 12, 2018

Vermont Bachelorette Pad Tour: Blog Office

     You didn't think I'd move out of Vermont before finishing my apartment tour with y'all, did you? πŸ˜‰In fact, I saved the two best parts of the tour for last: my blog office area and bedroom! In today's post I'll be sharing Southern Belle in Training's first-ever office space.

Southern Belle in Training - Blog Office Tour

Pink and Gold Gallery Wall Inspo

Girly Home Office

Fashion Blogger Office Space

Fashion Blogger Desk Inspiration

Southern Belle in Training - Home Office Tour

Chic Home Office - Pink and Gold

Photography by Amanda Rose Photography

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

Blog Office Details: Desk {old, similar here} // Chair // Lamp {mine not online, very similar linked for under $20!} // Flamingo Jewelry Dish // Love Picture Holder // Polka Dot Frame // Mug // Pop Fizz Clink Wall Art {mine not online, very similar linked} // Other Wall Art // Candle // 

Outfit Details: Jumper c/o // Sweater {sold out, similar} // Necklace {old, similar} // Shoes // Lipstick c/o //

     Welcome to my blog office! Or should I properly say, the blog office portion of my living/dining room. My Vermont apartment had a very open and large living and dining room, and quite honestly I didn't know what to do with a space like that when I first moved in, as I didn't have much large furniture! My bedroom was smaller than the one that I had in Charlotte, so I knew that if I wanted to finally have a blogging desk/office space, it would go in apart of my living room. Since I didn't have a couch in this apartment (I had plush chairs instead) this ended up working spatially quite well!

     My desk was generously given to me a couple years ago by a friend who was moving in Charlotte and didn't need it anymore, and I built the rest of this little area over time around the desk. (Pro tip for getting furniture on the cheap or for free: if a friend or family member is moving, see if they're getting rid of any furniture pieces for free, especially if it was a college or first apartment! A lot of the stuff I have now is hand-me-downs from friends in Charlotte who had moved before I did.) Anyways, I wanted my blog desk area to reflect the colors of my current website/branding: which are black, gold and pink. I was so excited when I found this pink acrylic chair right before I left Charlotte last year- it's actually very comfortable to sit in too!

     Ironically- I rarely ended up doing blog work at this desk while living in my Vermont apartment! When I did blog work at home, I almost always worked at my dining table (usually while eating). I'm hoping in my new apartment in Virginia to set up this desk area again and actually start doing more work at the space I have set aside for Southern Belle in Training!

     Out of all of my desk decor, the thing I have to recommend the most is this package of gallery wall art. I've talked about this before on the blog but I have to share again! Most of my gallery wall art comes from a big book of prints from me and my BIG ideas. The book contains art prints of all sizes and colors, and you just cut out and frame the ones you want to use! I think this would make an amazing graduation or housewarming gift for someone. I received my book of wall art in a PR package years ago and clearly I'm still using a lot of the prints today! I might even buy a different book with more prints for my new apartment.

     Thanks so much for checking out my apartment blog office area! You can also check out these other posts from my Vermont apartment tour:

      I can't believe that it's only a couple days now until the move!! Stay tuned to my Instagram Stories @miss_alk for behind-the-scenes updates this week.

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

March 9, 2018

Lilly Pulitzer Casual Workwear Looks with Pink Colony.

     Earlier this week on the blog I announced my upcoming move and new job in Virginia! A new job means the perfect chance to update the workwear section of my closet. I've touched on this a little bit in my Radio 101 blog posts, but my industry is a bit unique in terms of attire for the office in that it's very casual. At my former station in Vermont, I wore jeans to work all winter long (ripped jeans are allowed too!), and shorts were allowed for both male and female staff members for work in the summer- both for events and in-studio. I never want to show up for work looking like I just rolled out of bed- I always try to do my hair and makeup for work. But at the same time, I don't work in an industry where wearing a suit and heels is appropriate... that would be way overdressed! I honestly dress for work very similarly now to how I did for college classes.

     It's a known fact here on the blog that my love fore Lilly Pulitzer runs deep! While the Lilly brand is often associated with their classic bright shift dresses, their clothing line carries tons of pieces- many that are work appropriate for both business casual work environments and more casual workplaces like a radio station! I had the chance to partner again Vermont's largest specialty Lilly boutique, Pink Colony, on a couple of fun posts for this month. Today's post is all about styling Lilly Pulitzer for a radio station work environment, or other types of casual office jobs. I worked with Pink Colony back in January for the most recent Lilly After Party Sale, so I was so excited to do another fun collaboration!

Photography by Amanda Rose Photography

Today's post is in collaboration with Pink Colony. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training!

     *Look #1: Navy Skort + Leslie Silk Top

     As I mentioned above, my workplace in Vermont allowed employees to wear shorts to work in the summer months. I tried not to wear them too often (usually just for outdoor events), but had I owned this cute Lilly Pulitzer Madison Skort this summer I definitely would have worn it to work! Since it's a skort there are built in shorts which gives it an extra modesty factor, which would make me feel comfortable wearing it in the casual radio work environment. I love it paired with the Leslie Silk Top! The Leslie is similar to Lilly's classic Elsa,  but has fun details on the back (which you can see pictured), and a slight v-neck in the front. I would probably wear this outfit with flats or sandals for work instead of pumps, but I thought it looked cute with pumps too!

     *Look #2: Cowl Neck Pullover + Black Pants

Belinda Pullover // Kelly Pant // KEP Designs Large Pom Earrings // Ski VT Clutch // Shoes {similar} 

     This outfit is literally the perfect example of something I'd wear to my job as a radio personality in the fall or spring months! This Belinda Pullover from Lilly Pulitzer is both casual yet put together, and I love how you can wear it regularly, or off-the-shoulder. I styled this look with these fun KEP Designs Large Pom Earrings- I ended up loving them so much that I took them home with me! A big fun pair of gold studs are very versatile and I know I'll be wearing these earrings a lot both for work and play. 

     *Look #3: Florin Reversible Tank for Work

Florin Tank // Luanna Cardigan // Alessia Dinner Pant // Earrings c/o // Purse {similar} // Shoes {similar} 

     I love the new Lilly Pulitzer Florin tank!! I had seen this on the Lilly website prior to my visit to Pink Colony, and it was great to try it on in person. This is such a versatile piece, and I adore the fact that it's reversible! The plain navy side would be ideal to wear to the office, for both casual and more formal workplaces. I loved pairing it here with the Bridget Cardigan. Hot pink and fuchsia are hues that Lilly does very well- and this cardigan is no exception!! 

  *Look #4: Florin Reversible Tank for Happy Hour: 

Florin Tank // Alessia Dinner Pant // Caught Up Necklace // Earrings c/o // Pumps //

     How fun and convenient is this?! The same tank that was office appropriate in the last set of photos can be turned inside out and is suddenly perfect for Happy Hour or a dinner date after work! I am loving this fun Via Amor print- while I didn't take home the Florin Tank I did end up taking home something else in the print. Just can't get enough of those cute hot pink flamingos! I also had fun styling the Caught Up Necklace for this look. I feel like this necklace is very different for Lilly's typical jewelry style- but I liked it! Side note: I wasn't too crazy about the fit of the Alessia pant, I personally prefer the Lilly Pulitzer Kelly pant. But that's the great thing about getting to try Lilly on in person, you can really see which fits you like the best! πŸ™‚

     *Look #5: Classy Navy Dress

     Is this classy number not the quintessential winter or early spring dress? It's a bit different in style and color from traditional Lilly dresses, but it's still very ladylike and gorgeous on! I love the bell sleeve detail. This dress would be great for anything ranging from a dressier workplace, a business meeting or job interview (I wish I'd had this for my interview trip to Virginia!), church, or occasions that fall in the winter months like bridal or baby showers. 


     Thank you so much for reading today's workwear style guide with Pink Colony!! Please stay tuned next week on the blog for a second spring collaboration with the store featuring some classic spring Lilly dresses AND a giveaway on my Instagram! πŸ™‚If you liked any of the Lilly items in today's post, you can shop in-store at Pink Colony if you're in Vermont, or via phone or the Pink Colony website if you're out of state. Jessica and her staff would love to help you find some new Lilly for spring wherever you are!

     Have a great weekend! My weekend plans are continuing with packing and saying more goodbyes to some of the friends I've made here in Vermont.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 

March 8, 2018

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Purchases (on a Thursday!).

Spring 2018 Lilly Pulitzer Love

{A sneak peek of a fun spring project coming to the blog soon with Vermont's Lilly Pulitzer destination, Pink Colony! Follow me on social media @miss_alk!}

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

  • The news is OUT: Thank you all so much for your kind comments and congratulatory messages the past two days since I shared my big news about my new job and upcoming move! It was seriously so hard for me to keep all of that quiet for the past couple weeks after everything was finalized. It is traditional in radio jobs not to announce your next move until you've finished on-air at your previous station, so I wanted to honor that. I am SO UNBELIEVABLY excited as y'all can probably imagine. If you didn't catch yesterday and Tuesday's blog posts... click here
  • Trip home fail: For the second time now I have failed at making a trip home to Maine! I wasn't able to get home for Christmas this year due to questionable weather over the holidays. I was planning to be home Wednesday-Saturday of this week as my last visit for many months before the move.... but just in time for that a big Nor'Easter storm decided to hit and bring lots of snow to New England! I'm staying put here in Vermont to be safe. I feel like now every time I say I'm going to Maine something weather-wise jinxes it- lol! 
  • Moving blog post: Since I'll have now done two big out-of-state moves in two years, I'll be writing a detailed blog post in April that will be a complete guide to moving out-of-state! My question for y'all: would it be most helpful as a resource for you if I broke this into a mini series of a few posts? I'm thinking one post about packing specifically, a post about non-packing related moving tasks (like address changes, booking a moving truck, switching utilities, etc), and lastly one about settling into your new home and city? Or would you prefer one BIG post with all the info? Please let me know! I'm excited to blog about all of this and share everything my parents and I have learned last year and this year with y'all.

Purchases: No fun purchases again this week with the move coming up (moving out-of-state is $$$$ y'all!), but I am so excited to soon be living in a city and state that has actual locations of all of my favorite stores again!! Charlottesville has some really great shopping options and my wallet isn't even ready....


  • For any spring or summer brides-to-be... wouldn't this be the most darling bridal shower dress? It could be your "something blue" and also has beautiful white lace! 
  • This is the cutest white top for spring which would easily transition from the office to happy hour!
  • Lately I have been wanting to add more wrap dresses to my closet with starting my new job soon- they are such a classy style and you can wear them for many occasions! This gorgeous wrap dress is an online exclusive and it's perfect for spring. It's more of an investment piece- but those are needed sometimes!
  • I am so excited to decorate my new apartment, and looking for a few pieces of decor that showcase Virginia pride to buy this spring. This cute wall print is under $10 and would be such a fun way to show state pride for my new home! 
  • My favorite type of sweatshirts to wear are crewnecks. I love to wear them for weekend shifts at work, or for running errands. This one is my favorite fit and has a unique tassel detail- perfect for weekend athleisure looks! 

Recipe of the week: My kitchen is already more than 50% packed up and I'm hoping that number will be 100% but this time next week, so I won't be doing any cooking for a bit! Over the next few weeks of Midweek Ramblings, I'll be sharing throwbacks to some favorite recipes from my Pinterest boards that I have made often in Vermont and Charlotte. This week's is Garlic Honey Glazed Salmon from Sally's Baking Addiction. I actually never made this in Vermont but this was one of my favorites when I lived in Charlotte- I need to make this again soon after I move! It's the easiest salmon recipe and definitely a go-to recipe if I had company coming for dinner.

Song of the week: Dearly Departed by Aaron Carter. Fun fact: Aaron Carter released a comeback album around this time last year! It didn't really receive much chart success or radio airplay, but despite that there were some surprisingly great songs on the album. Aaron has a completely different sound than he did with his childhood music- he has kind of Justin Beiber vibes now. Anyways, I rediscovered his newer album on Spotify this past week and have been listening to the song Dearly Departed a lot, it's so catchy! 

On the blog this week:

     Enjoy the rest of your week! Stay tuned tomorrow for a special Friday post - it's another collaboration with my friends at Pink Colony

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

March 7, 2018

Big Life Update Part 2: HELLO VIRGINIA!!!

     Thank you so much to everyone for the kind words on yesterday's blog post and social media announcement! As promised, today's blog post is part two, and will go much more in depth with this big news and life update. I decided to write this post in Q&A style- hopefully this covers anything you might be wondering about my upcoming move, but if not, feel free to ask more questions!

     What was my original plan for staying in Vermont?  When I first accepted my job in Vermont (ironically it was a year ago before to the day of when I was offered my job in Virginia!), I was hoping to be here two years. Two years is a good length of time in general to be at a first job, and really the ideal timeframe for staying at one in the broadcasting industry. I kind of knew from the get-go that I didn't see myself in New England long-term ever again (Sorry mom and dad... not ever planning on moving home to Maine!), but my first job offer happened to come from Vermont so I made the best of it and prepped myself for two years here.
     Without going into a lot of detail on the blog, it became evidently clear to me this fall that I was only supposed to be here for a year. Some of those reasons you might already know if you've followed my post-move updates for the last year and read my blog posts about struggling for many months to make friends and fit in here. And some of the reasons I never talked about on the blog... some work related things. I'm not getting into it now, but with each month that went by, it became clearer and clearer to me that after the holidays I needed to start planning for my 2018 future to include a move out of Vermont.
    One "breaking point" that comes to mind about when I really knew I had to make plans to try to move move was actually when I was en route for my trip to Kentucky in December. I had a layover at the Charlotte airport. When the plane touched down on the runway in Charlotte... I immediately started bawling. This was technically my first time on Southern ground since I'd moved, and knowing that I was back in the city that I'd loved for so long (even just because of a 40 minute layover) was too much for me to handle. (I seriously feel bad for the person who was sitting next to me on the plane- they probably thought I was so weird!) Anyways, that cry-fest on the runway was kind of a come-to-Jesus moment for me regarding my future in Vermont.
    My friend (and former blog photographer) Deeana gave me the book Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin for Christmas. It's a novel (I'll be including my review of it in my next book reviews post!), anyways this quote from it really stuck out to me. It's from the main character, Ellen, who had recently left her home in NYC to move to Atlanta. Kind of the opposite of me- moving North to South and missing the North. Anyways, Ellen's thoughts about her move read "I've made a mistake in leaving (New York). A big mistake. The kind of mistake that brews resentment and dangerous fissures. The kind of resentment that makes your heart ache." After reading that part of the book this winter I was like "WOW. This!!! All of this. This is everything I've felt since I moved to Vermont!"

      When did I start applying to jobs? Right after the holidays! I was in in Vermont for Christmas this year (as some questionable weather prevented me from getting home to Maine), and then a few days later I headed to Indiana to spend a few days with a friend from high school. I pretty much started applying to jobs right after I got back from that trip. My lease in Vermont ends March 31st, and ideally I wanted to be moving right around the time that ended (and amazingly- that's pretty much exactly how it worked out!).

     Did I know that I wanted to go back down South or was I open to other places? While it's no shock to anyone that I have missed Charlotte dearly this year, when you work in a field like broadcasting and are new in your career, you have to move for the job and often don't get too much say about where geographically opportunities are available. My heart always longed to be back in the South, but I had fully prepared myself to live somewhere else for a few more years. I knew that the main goal was getting out of Vermont, and I truly believed I'd be happy in a lot of other places. In January, I had phone interviews at a few stations all over the place- none of them in the South actually! All would have been great career opportunities, and I really tried to make myself ready to make a move to a different region of the country. However, I didn't feel God's peace about any of these phone interviews or potential opportunities. I was actually crazy nervous. I also was still praying constantly for job posting that I was qualified for to open in the South. When I had the initial phone interview for my new job in Virginia, the nerves weren't there and everything just felt right. It felt even more right during my interview trip to Charlottesville!

     Why do I want to be back in the South so badly? Well, pretty much because "Southern Belle in Vermont" is a terrible name for rebranding my blog! Lol... 😊 (But really though...) Okay in all seriousness, this will be a longer answer. I'm a New England girl, born and raised in a small Maine coastal town. Being close to my parents and pretty grounded in high school, I think it surprised a lot of people when I started expressing serious interest in going to college so far from home in North Carolina several years ago. Heck- it even surprised myself a bit! But as soon as the plane my dad and I were on in February 2012 (for my first college visit in NC) touched the runway in Charlotte... I felt like I had come home. Seriously! From the second I had my first taste of the Carolinas- I knew that's where I was meant to be. Not all parts of my college years were easy of course (is anyone's?), but the one thing that continued to ring true was my love of Southern culture. It broke my heart a little bit last year when I realized that I wasn't getting any job offers in my industry in the Carolinas or the South in general, but I did what I had to do and was willing to make a move to begin my radio career. And I did that!! And have toughed out a lot this year. But I'm ready to GO HOME!!!!
      Another reason that being back in the South is important to me was to be closer to my friends. I think I've done a good job at staying close with everyone long distance (I blogged about that a couple weeks ago!), but the more months that went by the more I missed my people. Most of my closest friends are getting rooted in Charlotte, and I ideally wanted to be in driving distance. I already have one wedding on the calendar in North Carolina for this summer and I knew that in years to come there will only be more weddings and bachelorette parties and bridal showers and housewarming parties and baby showers (!!)... and I wanted to be there for all of that. In person! Not via Facetime.
     Charlottesville to Charlotte is the same distance as my hometown in Maine was to Burlington... so crazy how God worked that out!

Cute Moving Announcement Photo

     Did I want to (or try to) move back to Charlotte, North Carolina specifically? While I would have been open to moving back to Charlotte if the right radio job presented itself during this winter when I was job searching, I always felt in my heart like God would lead me back to the South... but not Charlotte right away. I'm very open to eventually settling down in Charlotte- it's the most wonderful city. But I didn't feel in my heart like it was my time to return there yet. Career-wise, Charlotte is a major media market meaning that even if there were job openings at stations there during my timeline, I might still not have been qualified yet. I really had it in my heart that I wanted to be in driving distance to Charlotte/North Carolina but not living there specifically... and that's exactly what has happened!
     As soon as I interviewed at a station in a city that literally had "Charlotte" in the name... I took that as a great sign! πŸ™‚

     When did I know I didn't want to keep working in CHR (Top 40) radio? Around the time that I started applying for jobs (after the holidays), I did a lot of thinking about where I wanted the direction of my life to go. Both career-wise and personal-wise. I've never personally felt called by God to work in Christian radio. Christian radio is a great thing (I have one of the Vermont Christian stations on my car presets!), but it's a very specific industry, and I've never personally felt it's my life mission to work in it. That could change in the future... but for now it's something I appreciate as a consumer of radio but don't want to work in. Anyways, the station that I primarily work for here in Vermont rebranded in August, from a traditional Top 40 radio format, to a Rhythmic CHR station, which in radio terms means we play more hip-hop and urban music. Don't get me wrong.... I love me some hip-hop. I'm a huge Drake and Migos fan and will probably always be, and their songs definitely aren't all clean. However, as the months went on, I started to realize that while I enjoy listening to hip-hop, I don't enjoy working for a station that plays that type of music. There's a whole lifestyle that goes along with the messages in those songs, and a lot of the entertainment articles that I was talking about during my shows went against everything that I believe morally. It's one thing for me to like a hip-hop song and listen to it on Spotify at the gym... but it's another thing to work for a job that directly promote the lifestyles of the artists. That I wasn't okay with anymore. I kind of hit my breaking point when the song "Gucci Gang" by Lil Pump started getting airplay on our station this winter. I wasn't familiar with Lil Pump and after doing some research about him so that I'd be prepped for my shows, I was quite frankly absolutely disgusted by his song lyrics, his tweets, and everything he sadly represents as a 17 year old teenager who has somehow found fame. I didn't want to be working for a station that played music like that!
     I started really realizing that AC or Hot AC radio (true pop radio or a soft rock format... think stations that play the Delilah show) or Country would be a better fit for my next job, given my revelations about how my faith and morals play into my day job. Both of these types of stations are generally speaking more family friendly, and I felt like the radio personality lifestyle that goes along with these jobs would better fit who I am as a person. I actually did interview for a Top 40 job this winter (one of the ones that didn't work out), but in my heart I was really hoping for a shift in music direction. And of course, God came through on that!
    (And please don't take what I said above as me bashing urban music/hip-hop! Couldn't be further from that... and trust me when I say most of my workout playlist is hip-hop. It was just something I didn't feel comfortable working in for my full-time job.)

     What is my new job exactly? I will be working as an Afternoon Drive radio personality for a country station in the Charlottesville, VA media market! Minus the fact that I'm switching radio formats- not too much about my actual schedule is changing. I've been doing Afternoons in Vermont since August, so I'm used to the schedule. It took some getting used to at first- but I've found that I love having my mornings to myself, and it works out very well since I have mornings to work on everything related to Southern Belle in Training (photoshoots, emails, conference calls, etc).

     Am I nervous about anything related to the move? Honestly.... I don't have many of the same anxieties that I had about moving to Vermont! I credit that all to feeling God's peace with every part of this next step in my life and career. Of course, moving out-of-state is always a big task, both the physical act of the move and the before and after. I have a ton of stuff to do before the move and will have a lot after, so I guess I'm nervous about staying on top of all of the adulting tasks? But overall I'm not too worried! I've been mentally preparing for this for many months. One thing that I'm definitely not looking forward to is my third DMV trip in 2 years.... BUT it means I won't have a Vermont license/plates anymore, so actually that's a positive! My new job does have a few responsibilities that my former one didn't have, but I feel confident and ready to learn.

     What's the plan for Southern Belle in Training? I shared my latest blogging update last week when I recapped February's annual reader survey! In that post I spoke a bit about my blogging goals for the rest of the year. My goal is to continue posting four days a week, M-Th, upon moving to Virginia. I might be able to squeeze in a Friday or weekend post here and there, but I think four days a week is a great goal while acclimating to my new job, and also trying to dedicate more time to a new social life and getting involved in the community. I've already scheduled my first photoshoot in Virginia, and I can't wait to discover tons of beautiful new places to shoot fashion posts at! Travel blogging is something that I wanted to expand upon in 2018- however with starting most new jobs, radio or not, time off is limited for the first six months. That's honestly okay (I really want to focus my next six months on discovering my new home!), and hopefully I can pick back up with travel content around the holidays. Overall, I couldn't be more thrilled to be bringing Southern Belle in Training BACK to the SOUTH!

Fun Moving Announcement Photo idea

     Thank you so much for sharing this happy news with me this week! Since yesterday was my last day of work, I was actually supposed to head home to Maine to visit my family and friends there for the rest of the week. Unfortunately a Nor'Easter storm is headed to New England today and will hit Maine especially badly with snow, so I'm sticking it out here in Vermont with packing and moving prep- hopefully that's the right choice!

    I'll still be trying to blog at least 3x weekly during the moving process, and of course you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @miss_alk for more updates during this exciting time! And since this post went up on a Wednesday, Midweek Ramblings will be up tomorrow (Thursday!).

      God Bless,

       xoxo Annaliese