Southern Belle in Training

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

June 28, 2018

Preppy 4th of July Outfit.

     Some holidays I manage to hit every year on the blog in terms of content and outfits based around them... and some just escape me. The 4th of July is weirdly one that usually blows right past me each year- it's already happened by the time I remember that I should have shared an outfit related to it! Luckily, I didn't let that happen this year. I'm sharing this simple and preppy 4th of July look in today's post, and also talking about my plans for the holiday this year; my first one in Virginia!

Preppy 4th of July Look

Patriotic Outfit Inspo 4th of July

Cute 4th of July Outfit

J.Crew 4th of July Outfit

Photography by Meredith Sledge 

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

Top {mine not online, very similar here} // Shorts // Shoes // Earrings // Gold Bracelet Stack // Rose Gold Bracelet // Ring // Lipstick // 

     I realized when putting this outfit together that while I have a plethora of white and bold blue items in my closet and accessories collections... solid red fashion items are something I'm lacking a little bit. I actually just ordered these red earrings (which I'm hoping will be here in time for the 4th next week!), but until then, I opted when styling this outfit for a bold red lipstick to make sure I had all three colors of the flag represented!

     I've been loyal to J. Crew Factory shorts for many years now- and this blue scalloped pair is no exception! They're so cute for all types of summer outfits, and of course absolutely perfect for the 4th of July. I paired them with this favorite tie-front white top, and fun blue statement earrings to finish off this preppy look. This outfit is simple, but definitely still patriotic for the 4th!

      What are your plans for the 4th of July this year? Do you have any traditions, or do something new each year? Since graduating college, I've done different things each 4th! Two years ago, I went to a fun pool party in Charlotte, and then watched the fireworks with friends in Tega Cay, SC. Last year I was in Vermont, and I had to work in the morning. Later that day, my friend Ciera flew in for her summer visit, and we spent the rest of the day at a state park on Lake Champlain (and then I think went to bed before any fireworks shows- lol!). This year, Ciera is coming back to visit me for the week of the 4th! Our friend Priyanka (also from Charlotte) is coming up with her, and I can't wait to have the girls here with me in Charlottesville for a few days. They're both arriving on the 4th, so I think we will keep things mellow that day, and try and check out one of the fireworks shows in Charlottesville that night! I'm still asking around of where the best place is to catch them here.


     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

June 27, 2018

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

Richmond VA Best Murals

{The cutest mural found in Carytown - a fun neighborhood in Richmond! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk} 

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

  • New summer makeup routine: A few days ago, I decided to switch up my daily makeup routine for the first time in a long time! For years now, I've worn black liquid eyeliner daily. I have liked a winged look, even for everyday-wear. This summer, I've really started noticing how much natural eye makeup looks are in, and I've started thinking my typical eyeliner look is a little harsh for southern summer heat in the daytime! It's been awhile since I've watched makeup tutorials on Youtube, but I checked out some new ones this week, for inspiration about bright daytime eyeshadow looks sans liquid eyeliner. So far I like what I've been trying! I seriously forgot how much inspiration there is to be found on Youtube.
  • Best airline snacks: I read this article this week as part of show prep at work, and I am still so intrigued by it. A writer for Mashable ranked all of the major US airlines from worst to best... based solely on the snacks and beverages they serve on board! If you also love to travel- you'll enjoy this read.
  • Fancy girls' night: This past weekend, I got to do something that I honestly should do more of. I got dressed up and went to a nice dinner with two of my sweet friends from church. Back in high school and college, I used to love planning dressy GNO's with my friends, but over the past couple years life often gets in the way of fun plans like that being made. So glad we made time for that this weekend, and I hope it becomes a monthly tradition with my new friends! 

Purchases: I'm entering the second week of a four week shopping fast, as I mentioned in last week's post! I'm trying to save up some money for big summer sales on the way, as well as some things I have going on this summer. Normally it's really easy for me to do a shopping fast, but this time has been harder than normal! This weekend I had to force myself to put back some cute 4th of July household decorations at a store... no fun shopping means no fun shopping, not just no new clothes!

  • A bold but cute red dress for summer! Wearing this would definitely make a color statement.
  • Such a fun top for a casual workplace in the summer. 
  • This plaid top with white jeans would make a fun 4th of July look- and the price isn't bad either.
  • Obsessed with these opal stud earrings. (I used to wish I was born in October instead of September so I could have opal as my birthstone instead)
  • A cute bow back romper for under $15!

Recipe of the week: Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken from Gimme Delicious. I used this cilantro lime marinade recipe and actually made it on baked drumsticks instead of grilled chicken breasts- but still very tasty! A fun and fairly easy weeknight dinner.

Song of the week: Whenever by Kriss Kross Amsterdam ft. Connor Maynard. This song just came out this week, and I'm already obsessed! If you're a fan of Whenever, Wherever by Shakira, you absolutely need to listen to this, because this song samples the original from Shakira in the chorus. 

On the blog this week:

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 

June 26, 2018

HOTEL GUIDE: Girls' Weekend at Graduate Richmond.

     Richmond, Virginia's beautiful capital, is just over an hour away from Charlottesville! I'd been hoping to explore there and get to know the city more since I moved to Virginia, but aside from flying out of the Richmond airport for Memorial Day Weekend and an April afternoon spent at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, I hadn't had this experience yet. I was absolutely delighted when Graduate Hotels reached out to me and invited me for a stay at their Richmond hotel- what a perfect opportunity to get to finally explore this city! My Charlotte blog photographer and good friend Deeana came up to Virginia for the weekend to enjoy the stay with me, and we had a fun girls' weekend at Graduate Richmond! I'm so excited to share my review of the hotel with y'all today.

Richmond Travel Guide: Best Hotel to Stay At in Richmond VA

Photography by Deeana Kourtney

Thank you to Graduate Hotels and Graduate Richmond for the complimentary stay and meals. All opinions in this post are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training!

     Graduate Hotels: 

     This was my first time staying at a Graduate hotel, and hopefully not my last! Graduate Hotels are a newer chain of boutique hotels; founded in 2014. Graduate Hotels are located exclusively in prominent college towns and cities across the US, and are typically within a few miles (or closer!) to a notable large university. There is even a Graduate hotel here in Charlottesville where I live- very close to UVA! The details and decor in the hotels strongly reflect the locations being near universities, which was so fun to see! A few of the details I enjoyed: a stack of cool faux textbooks as decor in our room, the room keys made to look like student ID cards, and there was a chalkboard wall near the lobby elevators with quotes on it about learning and school!

     There are actually eight new Graduate Hotel properties opening around the country between now and 2020- in even more college towns and cities. The next one opens in Bloomington, IN this fall- I wish it had been open when I visited here last winter to see one of my friends who is in grad school at IU! If you're like me and have friends currently in grad school all over the country (or maybe friends still in undergrad), Graduate Hotels could be a great option to assist with your travels for visiting friends.

Richmond Virginia Weekend Trip

     Hotel Location: 

     The Graduate Richmond is conveniently located in the same neighborhood as Virginia Commonwealth University, which I learned is one of the largest public universities in the state. The hotel is just a few minutes off I-64, which is also the interstate that runs through Charlottesville, so it was an easy drive for me to get to the hotel! Graduate Richmond is on the outskirts of downtown Richmond, and walkable to the center of downtown, and the James River. It's also just a few miles away from the charming neighborhoods of Carytown and the Fan District. The hotel is about a 20 minute drive (without traffic) from Richmond International Airport.

Best Hotel for Girls Weekend

     Rooms and Amenities: 

     Deeana and I stayed in a standard Queen-Queen room, and we both really enjoyed it! As I wrote above, I loved the fun touches of decor in the hotel room that played up the collegiate theme of the hotel. We also both loved the adorable dog artwork above each bed! I found my bed to be very comfortable, and I slept extremely well (which doesn't always happen in hotel rooms!). 

     Graduate Richmond has a fun lobby, with plenty of seating options for meals or lounging. There is also a game room off to the back side of the lobby, which guests are welcomed to use. During the night we stayed there, a private birthday party was actually happening in the game room area, which we could see from getting on the elevators. It was fun to see so many people celebrating in the hotel lobby- Graduate Richmond is definitely the type of hotel to bring people together! There is also a beautiful rooftop outdoor pool on the top floor, however we didn't bring swimsuits for this weekend, so that I hope I can come back an enjoy another time! 

     Something that I also want to mention is the amazing quality of service that we received during the weekend. Everyone from the front desk staff to the servers at the rooftop restaurant were just delightful. A high level of hospitality from staff definitely adds to the hotel experience! 

Graduate Hotel Richmond VA


     Graduate Richmond has two restaurants on-property. Brookfield is the cafe and bar located in the lobby, with a wide array of hours. Deeana and I enjoyed coffee and tea beverages there before departing the hotel on Sunday! 

     The real attraction at Graduate Richmond is their rooftop bar that overlooks the city. Byrd House is open nightly to hotel guests and the public alike, and if you happen to be visiting Richmond, definitely stop by here! I have long been obsessed with rooftop bars, so I was delighted to learn there was one right at the hotel, and it didn't disappoint! In addition to a full beverage menu at their bar, Byrd House also has food menu that features some casual but delicious options, such as veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, and a variety of appetizers. The speciality dessert at Byrd House is gourmet ice cream sandwiches: the flavor that they had the day we were there was Blueberry Donut and they were delicious. I was also very excited to see North Carolina soda favorite Cheerwine on the drink menu! 

     Things to do in Richmond: 

     I'm looking forward to putting together some more complete Richmond Travel Guides over the next year, as I continue to explore the city! But in the meantime, here are some things that I enjoyed checking out with Deeana, as well as a couple things that have been recommended to me by people in Charlottesville (which I haven't gotten to discover yet!): 

     *Walk downtown: Graduate Richmond is located at the edge of downtown, and it's an easy walk in! Deeana and I found Richmond's downtown to be safe, fairly clean, and very walkable. We didn't get to check out the state capital building, but that's on my list of things to do for a future trip!

     *See the James River and Browns Island: The massive James River runs right along downtown Richmond. Also a short walk from the hotel is a very cool park area by the riverside called Browns Island! You have to walk on a pedestrian bridge over a canal to access it. Charlottesville doesn't have any bodies of water in its downtown, and neither did Charlotte (when I lived there), so this was really cool to check out! 

     *Check out the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: My mom and I spent an afternoon checking this out when she came to visit in April! The VMFA is the largest art museum in the state, and it's free to the public!! (Yes- 100% free to visit.) The grounds are also beautiful- Deeana and I shot this outfit post in one of the museum gardens. It's a short drive from Graduate Richmond. 

     *Shop at Short Pump: Richmond's premiere shopping district is called Short Pump! (Think Lilly Pulitzer, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Kendra Scott, etc). It's actually located in the western part of the city, so it's just under an hour from Charlottesville. I sadly still have yet to visit here, but a Short Pump day trip is on my 2018 Summer Bucket List

     *Explore Carytown: Carytown is a cute neighborhood is just a few miles from downtown/Graduate Richmond, and is filled with charm and character! Lots of unique restaurants to be found, as well as some different types of shops. There are a lot of high-end consignment shops here, and Deeana and I enjoyed browsing some of them! We had lunch at the Galaxy Diner in Carytown- who doesn't love breakfast for lunch at a classic diner?! 

      Thank you again to Graduate Richmond for hosting us for this fun girls' weekend! This was my first time getting to see Deeana since I left Charlotte last year, and we had such a fun time. I have been so blessed with this blogging journey to become friends with most of my photographers. 😊I had such a great experience at this hotel that I'm already hoping to check at the Graduate Charlottesville (in my own backyard!) soon, and some of their other properties out-of-state as well!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


June 25, 2018

Southern Belle Garden Party Outfit.

     "Southern Belle in Training" is the name of my blog, but I feel like it's been a little while since I've posted what I think is a true Southern Belle type outfit. I think today's look definitely fits the bill, and I'm excited to share this beautiful dress in today's blog post. There's also a Nordstrom gift card giveaway with some other bloggers further in the post- Early Access for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is on the way soon!

Garden Party Outfit

Tea Party Outfit

Southern Belle Style

Southern Belle Dress - Feminine Fashion

Southern Belle Outfit

Photography by Deeana Kourtney 

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

Dress c/o // Heels // Necklace c/o {sold out, similar linked} // Bracelets c/o // Sunglasses c/o // Purse {old, similar here} // Lipstick // 

      What is a Southern Belle? According to Wikipedia (my favorite reference source), a Southern Belle is a "stock character representing a young woman of the American South's upper socioeconomic class." This description brings to mind pictures of 1800s Southern women in hoop skirts... I think we're way past that in terms of Southern Belles! To me, the modern Southern Belle is a woman who is put together, poised, and confident. Her fashion sense is feminine, bright, and classic. On a deeper level than fashion, the modern Southern Belle knows how to stick up for herself and is strong and independent, but also loving and nurturing. Her faith is the center of her life, and that plays out into how she loves and interacts with her family, friends and significant other. And most importantly... she LOVES living in the South and loves Southern culture! These are the attributes I think of in 2018 when I hear the words "Southern Belle," and I try and live them out myself through both my blog and my real life. 😊

     Now- onto the outfit! This dress from Chicwish makes me think "Southern Belle" every time that I see it! The bold red and pink flowers are so eye-catching and beautiful. It's made of a light enough material that you wouldn't sweat too much wearing it outside on a hot Southern day (it was about 90 when Deeana and I shot these photos!). It makes me think of all sorts of fun summer occasions like garden parties and tea parties. I paired the dress with classic pointed-toe nude pumps, a bold pink lipstick, and a coordinating necklace

      Switching gears now- did you know that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is just a few weeks away? If you've followed me or other fashion bloggers for a few years, you know that this is one of the biggest sales of the year, especially here in the blogging world! I make a conscious effort each July not to *over* promote it, but with that said it is a great sale, and I am excited for it this year! To get excited for the NSale, I've teamed up with a group of other bloggers to give one lucky person a $1,000 Nordstrom gift card to shop the sale!! Giveaway details are below: 

$1,000 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Giveaway featured by popular Houston fashion blogger, The Styled Fox

I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time to shop the Anniversary Sale!
Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and runs until 7/9. Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!
Void where prohibited. By entering the giveaway you acknowledge that you are agreeing to complete each task, which involves following, liking and subscribing to newsletter's.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

       God Bless,

       xoxo Annaliese 

June 21, 2018

National Wear Your Lilly Day 2018.

     It's one of my favorite non-official holidays of the year! Today is the first day of summer (real holiday), but June 21st is also National Wear Your Lilly Day, celebrated by Lilly Pulitzer fans everywhere. Out of all four seasons, summer is definitely the one that screams Lilly fashions and accessories. I always look forward each year on June 21st to wearing something Lilly, and sharing a Lilly Pulitzer look on my blog to celebrate!

National Wear Your Lilly Day

Blue Lilly Shift Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Shift Dress Style

Fashion Blogger Lilly Pulitzer

National Wear Your Lilly Day - Lilly Shift Dress

Lilly Pulitzer City Style

Photography by Deeana Kourtney - location: The Graduate Richmond hotel

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

     Lilly Pulitzer makes many different types of dress styles, and quite honestly I love them all! I own quite a few of the casual stretchy cotton dress styles, like the Sophie and Marlowe. However, any of the classic Lilly shifts will always have a special place in my heart. When I slip into a Lilly Pulitzer shift dress like the one that I'm wearing here, I instantly feel classy, put together, and confident. All of Lilly Pulitzer's unique prints make me so delighted to wear, and Lilly is just something that you feel happy in! This specific print is even more neon and vibrantly colored in person- I feel like the photos don't even do it full justice.

     I purchased the shift dress I'm wearing here in the After Party Sale that was at the end of last summer, but I hadn't really had a chance to wear it until recently (#WinterInVermontProbs). I know I'll be wearing this all summer long for dinners out, church, parties, and of course nights spent at rooftop bars, like I was last weekend in Richmond when these pictures were taken! 

     Something else that I love about Lilly Pulitzer is that their prints and clothing pieces don't really go out of style- they are always timeless for preppy fashion! I have some older Lilly pieces that I've found at thrift stores or have been given to me, and I love them just as much as newer Lilly that I've purchased myself. National Wear Your Lilly Day is so fun to celebrate each year, because you can wear one of the latest and greatest Lilly styles, or dig back into your closet and pull out an older Lilly gem! 

     A quick note about today's photoshoot location: these pictures were taken at the Byrd House, a stunning rooftop bar in Richmond, Virginia! It's located on top of the Graduate Richmond hotel, which I had the pleasure of staying at over the weekend for a girls' weekend with my friend Deeana! I'm looking forward to sharing more about my weekend and the hotel with y'all early next week.

     Today you can also feel free to check out some of my past National Wear Your Lilly Day blog posts from 2015 and 2017! Fellow Lilly lovers: are you celebrating today? Linking some of my favorite Lilly new arrivals below:

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 


June 20, 2018

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{A look at one of Richmond VA's highways by night! Loved getting to explore this city this weekend. Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk!}

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

  • Waking up extra early: I had an early morning event for work on Monday, so to prepare for that I tried going to bed early and waking up a lot earlier than normal for a few days leading up. I was very prepared for Monday, and have ended up loving the new weekday schedule so much that I think I'm going to try and make it stick! Previously, I was waking up around 7:30-8 am (still pretty early considering I don't leave for work most days until 10:30 am!), but lately I've been waking up between 6-6:15. It's very early, but I end up having so much extra time in the mornings, and feel so energized throughout my day! And then I have less trouble falling asleep at night. All around a win- I'm hoping to keep up the early schedule, at least on weekdays.
  • "Bad Chiller" Recap Show: I shared in last week's Midweek Ramblings that while most summers I do watch The Bachelorette, this year I just haven't been keeping up. However, one thing Bachelor related that I do keep up with religiously is Nick Viall's "Bad Chiller" Bachelorette recap show on Youtube, which also stars Dean Unglert and Jared Haibon. It is hilarious! The three guys play all characters on The Bachelorette this season (Becca included!), and they recreated the highlight moments from each week's episode. I laugh until I cry at most of these- I hope they continue this for Bachelor in Paradise! 
  • Summer bible study: Something that I'm excited about is that I just joined a summer bible study (we call them community groups) at my church here in Charlottesville! I had joined a 20 something women's community group shortly after I moved here, but that group is on break through the summer. I thought these next couple months would be a great time to keep getting to know people at my new church, and maybe study some different types of topics in the bible. The summer group I'm in is co-ed, and is focusing on racial relations in the American Christian church (both past and present), which I think is an excellent topic given some of the issues happening in our culture right now. The first meeting was on Sunday evening, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the summer. 


  • Lilly Pulitzer has brought back their S'well water bottle collaboration! I wasn't able to get one of these last time they did this, and I have all the heart eyes for the second edition of these. Truth be told- I don't even own a regular S'well bottle yet!
  • I'm always on the hunt for more cute summer tops that I can wear with jeans or skirts to work (my job is so casual that sometimes in the dead heat of summer, it does become hard to dress for!). This peplum striped tank is really fun!
  • A simple but chic striped summer sweater! This would also look great dressed up with a statement necklace. 
  • I have a pair of embroidered mules that I love and wear often, and I'd love another pair in a solid color! These metallic mules are so fun and come in many colors. 
  • This is SUCH a classy wrap top! Love the sleeve detailing and the color. 
  • My friend Nicole from What Nicole Wore shared these multicolored earrings and I absolutely love them!! They're so cute and fun, and I wish I had a pair to call mine too! 

Recipe of the week: Teriyaki Salmon from Damn Delicious. I've been trying to get better about trying more new recipes each week and falling out of "cooking ruts", and so far so good this week! I made this tasty salmon on Monday night- I don't cook fish for myself that often but this came out well! I omitted the Sriracha cream sauce and just did the teriyaki glaze. 

Song of the week: Bed by Nicki Minaj ft. Ariana Grande. Not the cleanest song or the best message... but it sure is catchy! This just dropped this week and it's been on repeat on my Spotify.  

On the blog this week:

     Thanks for reading!! Enjoy the rest of your week- summer is officially here as of tomorrow. And June 21st is also National Wear Your Lilly Day for Lilly Pulitzer fans... I'll have a special post up! 


     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 

June 19, 2018

Radio 101: Working in Country Radio vs. Top 40 Radio.

     Whew- it's been awhile since I've written one of these posts! But I'm excited to bring back Radio 101 to the blog today after an extended break. This is the series where I talk about all things related to my day job and career in radio broadcasting! Everything from sharing my personal experiences in radio, to answering some of your questions about radio stations (such as why you hear the same songs over and over on certain types of radio stations). The last time that I wrote a Radio 101 blog post was in November 2017, which is when I was still working at my former stations in Vermont, and also around the time that I began to strongly realize I'd be pursuing other employment opportunities in early 2018. Since I was at a place late last fall where I knew I'd be leaving former radio job, it felt weird to keep writing these posts on my blog at that time.

     Thankfully- a lot can happen in a few months, and now it's actually been three months since I moved to Virginia and started working in country radio! I'm still absolutely loving my new job, and also loving being on-air in Charlottesville. I am excited to be bringing back Radio 101 blog posts this summer! I love being able to integrate a bit about my career into the blog, and it's fun for me to hopefully share with people some things about radio that they didn't know! I love working in an industry that's literally apart of everyone's lives in some way or another. 

     I thought a fun way to reintroduce Radio 101 on the blog would be to share some thoughts about working in Country radio versus CHR radio (Contemporary Hit Radio - Top 40)! Obviously I'm still very new in the radio industry, and I only did work in CHR for just under a year. But I still have some observations that I've made between the two types of radio from both of my jobs, as well as some internships and job shadowing experiences that I had back in school! 

      Working in Country radio vs. CHR radio

  • CHR: The whole point of Top 40 radio is to play the top songs on the radio airplay and Billboard Hot 100 charts... over and over and over! Which can be great if you're a consumer of radio and enjoy listening to what's popular and new now.... but if you work in radio on the other hand, this is absolute torture. The most popular songs of all are played as often as twice an hour, and this gets real old real fast. Songs that are very successful on the charts and have a long run on Top 40 radio are played frequently for 10+ weeks... and if you're hearing these songs multiple times a day (for work) for that long, it gets old. I'm saying that as someone who genuinely does like pop music, too! 
  • Country: I've been working in country radio for three months now, and still have yet to really get "sick" of the music! (PRAISE!) Sure- there are some songs and artists that I definitely like more than others. But there is a lot more variety in what you can play in the type of country station I work for, as we aren't just playing only the same 10-20 new country songs. We heavily play 90s, and early and late 2000s country, as well as the new stuff. Other country stations do play more new music and less gold tracks (older songs are often called "golds"), but even with that, I still feel there's a little more variety in the country format than Top 40. No songs on the station I work for now play as often as once or twice an hour! The most I'll hear the same song is maybe twice during my workday (for one of the new songs that's high on the country charts). 

  • CHR: Top 40 radio is something that most people are very familiar with, but I think it's hard for a lot of millennials especially to stay really passionate about it. A lot of people do have a favorite CHR morning show (morning shows often thrive in this radio format), but other then that, I've found in people my age that I've talked to about radio that there isn't a ton of loyalty. Yes, people do call of course if there is a contest and sometimes request songs, but minus the morning shows, this type of radio doesn't seem to be something that a lot of people get truly "excited" about anymore if that makes sense, especially in smaller cities.
  • Country: My experience with country so far has been so different! The local listeners are SO passionate not only about the music we play, but about our station specifically! The phones absolutely blow up for all of our contests, whether we're giving away a huge prize, or something very small. My radio Facebook page for my new job has tons of friend requests most days, and a lot of the listeners like to talk to me on Facebook and send me the nicest messages! When our station has a local event, most times tons of listeners will come out to see my boss and I. It's the most amazing thing! Charlottesville is near a lot of smaller counties that are more rural / more fit the country lifestyle, so I think that also works to the advantage for doing this radio format in this area. 

  • CHR: In both radio formats, types of events will vary station to station and city to city! Both formats are also subject to the regular car dealership live broadcast event (something I've actually not had to do yet- haha!). But as a generality, it's not uncommon for CHR stations to do events associated with bars or nightclubs, as that's where a lot of their listening audience spends time on the weekends! I had a lot of work events last year at a waterfront bar in Burlington for example. In my personal life, I do very much enjoy going out on the weekends, however I don't feel like bars and nightclubs are the best environment to be working in, if that makes sense! 
  • Country: Lots more family friendly events!! Live broadcasts at local fairs, community events, etc. Just about every live broadcast that my boss or I do out in the Charlottesville community is marketed as something to "bring the family" to. We of course do broadcasts at places like restaurants, stores, or specific businesses as well, but my experience so far has been it's places that the whole family can enjoy coming out to, not businesses so much targeted specifically at millennials or college students. Both country and CHR radio stations also do a number of charitable events per year. My former station had a few charity partners in the local community, and my new station does as well. We actually have a charity event today! 

      Of course, I know I am only just a few months into my country radio career. I know I have so much to learn as this first year continues, and hopefully have many more years ahead of me! I have been having so much fun and learning so much at my new job so far. I'm really excited to be bringing back Radio 101 posts! For the next one: I'm thinking of writing a blog post walking y'all through the process of how radio commercials are produced. Would this be an interesting topic to you?

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

June 18, 2018

My Favorite Type of Place to Shoot Blog Photos At.

     Hello and happy Monday! I am fresh off of a great weekend overnight trip to the nearby beautiful city of Richmond, which I can't wait to share more about with you soon! I'm so excited as I was able to shoot a lot of new blog content in both Charlottesville and Richmond last week, and I can't wait to start blogging everything! I absolutely love today's casual but chic spring look, and I'm also chatting in today's post about why parking decks are my favorite place to take blog pictures at. Today's post is SUPER photo-heavy, but I'm sharing some old favorite blog post memories!

Feminine Chic Jeans Look

Pink Madewell Top Preppy Looks

Pink on Pink Top Purse

Hair Scarf Brunette Curls

Southern Belle in Training // Virginia Blogger

Parking Deck Photoshoot

Photography by Meredith Sledge

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     First things first as always: outfit talk! Madewell is actually a store that I don't usually shop at. While they do have some great classic basic pieces, I think their prices are very expensive for what they sell, and I think I can often find similar items for their signature pieces at other stores on sale for a fraction of the price. (Just being honest!) Anyways, I happened to stop by the Charlottesville store a couple weekends ago when my friend Ciera was visiting, and I'm so glad I did! They had a great sale on some spring tops, and I just loved this pink striped wrap top. Best of all- it was originally $72, marked down to $20, and that day in-store there was an additional discount so I purchased it for just $10!! What a savings, especially from a store like Madewell! Surprise sales like this are exactly why I still love browsing the clearance racks from time to time. I tried to go for some "Gal Meets Glam" vibes with this outfit, by adding in my favorite embroidered mules and a hair scarf. Do y'all think I channeled a little Julia Engel at all? 😊

     So this shoot was the first time that I've done parking deck pictures in Charlottesville! These were taken at the Water Street Garage, which is right by Downtown Mall if you know Charlottesville at all. (Essentially the biggest and main parking garage for the downtown area.) If you've followed me for awhile, you know that parking decks have been my favorite places to shoot at for years now! The obsession started my sophomore year of college in Charlotte.

     Here's something funny- one of my Charlottesville photographers, Meredith, (who I did today's photos with), and I actually met years ago! We had mutual friends through a Christian online ministry group called Delight & Be, and when my friend Shara (another Delight friend, who is from Maine!) came to visit me in Charlotte back in 2014, Meredith came down from Virginia to meet us and spend a few days hanging out with us in Charlotte. The three of us actually did some parking deck pictures way back then (you can check out one of those blog posts way in my archives here!), and that's kind of when my obsession with taking photos on parking decks began! I kept exploring decks all over Uptown Charlotte and beyond throughout my college years- although the Midtown Target parking deck of course was my favorite, and I frequently took blog photos there for a few years. Burlington Vermont wasn't really a "hot spot" for parking decks as it isn't a large city, but I did do a couple sets of blog photos during my year there on the Cherry Street parking deck downtown!

     So why do I like the tops of parking decks so much for photos? First and foremost, the views! They provide such a cool and unique look out over a city. Second, the top floor of a parking deck is generally speaking a more private and secluded place to shoot, especially on weekends if it's a deck that's mostly used during the workweek! Even if there is weekend traffic, generally speaking the cars usually stick to lower levels. Third, you can find beautiful lighting on them! With that being said... lighting can be finicky at certain times of day. It can be tough to shoot on some parking decks in the middle of the afternoon, depending on the positioning of the sun. But in the early mornings, evenings, and on cloudy days, you should be good to go, and light should be great!

     One thing to keep in mind is that not all parking decks are public or city owned. One of my close friends and I actually almost got in trouble for trespassing once for going to the top of the CPCC (community college) parking deck near Uptown Charlotte! The crazy thing was we weren't even there for blog photos or anything to do with my blog! It was one night in the winter during one semester of college, and we actually just wanted to watch the stars and the Charlotte skyline from a parking deck. (Literally the most innocent thing!) A security guard ended up finding our car up there while doing rounds and almost called the cops on us- it was kind of scary. And a lesson to me for using parking decks for my blog in the future to try and stick to the public ones!

     Here are a few favorite parking deck photos from North Carolina and Vermont throughout the years- these were taken in Charlotte and Greensboro NC, and Burlington, VT! I'm excited to hopefully discover more parking decks here in Charlottesville, and beyond in Virginia.

     And finally- a few blog memories from my favorite parking deck of all (and one of my favorite places in the whole wide world!) - the Midtown Target parking deck in Charlotte.

      Fellow blogger friends- do you also have a favorite spot that you keep returning to for blog photos?

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 
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