Southern Belle in Training

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

July 31, 2018

Monticello Wine Trail: Afton Mountain Vineyards

     One of my favorite things about moving to Central Virginia is being smack in the middle of Virginia wineries. Seriously.... this part of the state can be summed up as wineries on wineries on wineries! Some of the more prestigious vineyards are members of the Monticello Wine Trail association, and it's one of my goals as a Virginia resident to visit all 30+ of these wineries. (So far I've been to seven wineries, and six are members of the Monticello Wine Trail!) I've previously shared a review of Keswick Vineyards, and in today's post we're taking a trip to Afton Mountain Vineyards!

Outfit details in this blog post

L to R: Eden, Darian, Kelly and me! These are a few of my sweet friends from community group (bible study) at church.

L to R: Kelly, Darian, Eden, Abigail and me. Love these ladies- wineries are definitely a lot more fun with girlfriends!

I first went to Afton Mountain Vineyards in April shortly after moving- here's a shot from that day! 

      The slogan for Afton Mountain Vineyards is "Grapes Don't Grow in Ugly Places" - and I think that's a fitting way to describe the beautiful and unique scenery at this winery!  Afton Mountain Vineyards is located in neighboring Nelson County, in the fittingly named village of Afton. It's about 30ish minutes to get there from downtown Charlottesville. You do have to drive either up or down a very steep and narrow mountain road (depending on where you're coming from) to access Afton Mountain Vineyards, so this probably wouldn't be the best choice winery to visit in the case of inclement weather. However- both of my visits have been on beautiful sunshine-filled days, so driving to the vineyard up and down the mountain roads was no problem! 

     My first visit to Afton Mountain Vineyards was just a few weeks after I moved to Charlottesville- when my friend Alicia from Alicia Tenise and her boyfriend took me out for a full day of winery visits. We did the tasting at Afton in their tasting room, which included several of their most popular reds and whites. Tastings at Afton Mountain Vineyards are $10. During my second and more recent visit, my girlfriends and I went to Afton for the afternoon to celebrate our friend Darian's birthday. We purchased a couple of bottles of wine from the tasting room, and then took the afternoon to enjoy the vineyard and wine at our own pace (and of course take photos!). 

     I've now been to six wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail, as well as the annual Taste of Monticello Wine Festival, held each spring in downtown Charlottesville. (I've also been to one additional winery not on the Trail.) When I moved to Charlottesville a few months ago, I wasn't really a wine drinker and knew nothing about wine. I've been enjoying developing a taste for it, and learning about the different varieties of wine that grow at each vineyard! I also enjoy the fact that generally speaking, winery visits are a responsible social drinking experience and everyone acts mindfully... no one that I know wants to get wasted at a winery out in the country or mountains on a Sunday afternoon for example! I can't wait to keep checking our more local vineyards in months to come.

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese

July 30, 2018

Tassel T-Shirt Outfit + My Blog's Mission Statement.

     Last week I shared and styled a sundress from Shein that was a total win- and today I have another great Shein find for y'all! It's the most adorable top, and it's so perfect for late summer. Also chatting a bit about my blog's mission statement, and looking for your feedback!

Charlottesville VA Mural

Tassel Top Tassel Earrings

How to Make a Mission Statement for your Blog

Charlottesville Virginia Mural

Polka Dot Mural

Pink Striped Top - Cute Summer Outfit

Photography by Kate Greer

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

     How cute is this striped tassel top?! Definitely another Shein win. I ordered an M, and it has a nice and loose relaxed fit on me. It's a great way to add a pop of fun to my late summer work outfits. I wore this exact look to work a couple weeks ago, and it was the type of outfit that brightened my entire day. For hair talk- I've recently started doing my messy buns a bit differently than I used to, and I love this end result! Plus- it's truly one of the most simple hairstyles. I found this type of messy bun tutorial through Emily at The Sweetest Thing in this blog post of hers!

     So- I'd love y'all's feedback on something! I never formally introduced this, but a few months ago I created Southern Belle in Training's first mission statement. I figured that with my six year blogiversary coming in September, it was about time to do this! I have this listed on my Instagram, Twitter, and my blog's About page. My personal mission with this blog is to provide content that is "Affordable Fashion // Attainable Travel // Authentic Living." The first two are kind of self-explanatory- for "Affordable Fashion" I strive to feature outfits on my blog with affordable pieces, and I also enjoy regularly showing how I re-style things from my closet. A love of fashion can encourage someone to pursue materialism- but I want my blog and style to show that doesn't have to be the case! You can love clothes and all things girly and stick to a budget and not buy into every single trend. "Attainable Travel" is along the same lines. I love to travel and discover new places, but in my young 20s I know that I don't have unlimited funds to go on luxurious and exotic vacations. I want to show y'all how you can discover new places in your own state or region, and how when I do take bigger trips, I do them while being financially smart. 

      The last part of the mission statement, "Authentic Living" - is the part that I'm still trying to figure out how to fairly represent in my blog posts and social media. This would comprise the posts on Southern Belle in Training that aren't fashion or travel related. Posts about my faith, career, and relationships.  You might have read my Grocery Store Wars posts from this spring and summer- that's a perfect example of this topic. In my real life, I love grocery shopping and always have (every since I was little!). It's a mundane everyday thing that actually brings me a lot of joy, so I wanted to share that on my blog, even though it has nothing to do with fashion or travel. Another blog post series under this category would be my Relationship Monday posts where I talk about dating and singleness. The last time that I wrote one of these I lived in Vermont (and a lot of them were written back when I still lived in North Carolina!), but it's a blog post series that I'd really like to start doing more often on Mondays again. My heart really lies in writing longer blog posts about personal topics. I am finally at a place in my life where I'm loving being single, but it took years to get myself in that mindset! I want to share more about relationship-based topics, and especially how my faith and morals play into how I view dating (and someday marriage). 

     Anyways- now that I have formally shared my blog's mission statement, I want to know what you think!! Do you like my style of sharing fashion and travel content? Would you like to see more posts each week in the "Authentic Living" category? What past posts on Southern Belle in Training have you loved or found notable? If you want to give your thoughts on any of those questions- leave me a comment on this post! 😊

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

July 26, 2018

Chicwish Summer Dresses Try-On Session!

     Chicwish has become one of my favorite online retailers in the past year! I've had the opportunity to receive different clothing through their blogger program, and I think it's safe to say now that dresses are one of my favorite things that they sell. They have such cute unique and stylish dresses on their website, with some styles looking really different from things that you'd find at mall stores! I thought it would be fun in today's blog post to share a try-on session with my latest Chicwish package- three dresses and one skirt/top set!

Chicwish Dresses Review

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

      I am not one of those bloggers that frequently do "try-on stories" on Instagram by posting selfies or selfie videos of me trying on clothing- either at home or at a store dressing room. Personal opinion- I like to watch interesting and funny Instagram Stories and I don't have a ton of extra time each day just to watch someone try on clothing in live time, lol! But with that said, I think that sometimes taking casual iPhone snaps of outfits is a good way to see how they "really" look- rather than styled and professional blog photos. So I thought I'd try doing a try-on session here on the blog instead of Instagram!! Win win? 😊 (Also forgive me if a couple of the dresses look slightly wrinkled- I was going to steam them but ran out of time with taking these pictures before work! For size reference: I am wearing a M in all items. I am typically a size S, but Chicwish tends to run small. (However I'll discuss how the specific sizing is on each outfit under each set of photos! 

    I realized after reading multiple bloggers' outfit posts this spring and summer about white dresses that I actually didn't have a white dress currently in my closet!! Little black dresses are definitely closet staple, but I think little white dresses are as well. This dress ended up being so super cute and darling in person- however the sizing is way off. I got a M in everything with this order- and this dress is very small in the bust area. In general, I'd say this garment fits more like a S, and the chest area is definitely more like an XS. Body talk for a second: I'm not like *huge* up top, but I'm not flat chested either. I also have broad shoulders for my frame. The top half of this dress was very tight- so tight that a button popped when I tried it on! I can't even imagine how small the smaller sizes are. Final verdict: it's super cute, but unfortunately the sizing is very weird.

     Evergreen Fairyland Wrapped Maxi Dress in White c/o

     This pretty and summery dress makes me think *TROPICAL VACATION ASAP*- haha! I love the print of the fabric- it's unique and cute! For sizing- this probably runs more like a standard S, which is how Chicwish dresses often run, so the M fit me fine. It truly is a wrap dress- it looked like an open bathrobe when I first put it on! The only issue I have was with the chest area. No matter how tight I tied the dress- it's still quite low cut and shows a good deal of cleavage. I tried to hide some of the cleavage with the angles I took these photos... but it's definitely on the sexy side. I'd be fine wearing this on vacation or for like a special summer evening event, but I would never wear this to work or church, since it is a bit low cut. Final verdict: M fits me, and I love the pattern of the fabric! It's a keeper for certain events.

      A Story in Blue Stripe Off-Shoulder Top and Skirt Set c/o

     I think the matching shirt and skirt or shorts trend is kind of fun, and I don't own that many matching sets! This one looked absolutely adorable on the Chicwish website, so I was excited to receive it. Unfortunately, the sizing was a bit off with it. I ordered my standard Chicwish M. Surprisingly with this- the top fit fine!! However, the skirt runs super tiny, I actually had a tough time getting the skirt on just to take this photo! I'd say the skirt fits like an XS or size 0. Final verdict: very cute and trendy look, but the difference in sizing between top and bottom makes it tough to wear.

     Ecstatic Stripe Embroidered Sleeveless Dress in Red c/o

     Please excuse the prominent wrinkles in the dress from shipping- but this is my favorite of the four items!! This actually fits like a true M. It is just a tad loose on me, but feels very comfortable. The embroidery is darling, and is also on the back of the dress! This will be perfect to wear for everything from work to church to date nights for the rest of summer. Final verdict: Loving this cute dress! The M actually fits like an M (To refresh, I typically wear size S from other brands, but Chicwish tends to run small.)

     Here's the link for the shoes that I'm wearing in these pictures, and my nail polish can be found here! Please let me know in the comments if you liked seeing a blog post try-on session, and if you want to see more of them in the future! You can also shop each of these outfits below:

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

July 25, 2018

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{My outfit for my college friend Michelle's wedding this past weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

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


  • The funniest news article: This crazy article has been going around Facebook and social media for the past couple weeks, but every time I see the headline I start laughing out loud!! I'll just let the headline speak for itself: "Nude man at Planet Fitness: thought it was a 'judgement free zone' Police Say."  2018 is a TIME my friends!! Hahaha. You have to read it!! I promise it'll make your day with the absurdity.
  • Pigeon blog post: So I posted a poll on Instagram stories last week asking if y'all would enjoy seeing a full post here on Southern Belle in Training dedicated to pictures and stories about the pigeon family that live on my apartment balcony. I'm starting to work on that for either later this week or next week!! I can't believe how much I've grown to love these birds over the past three months. At the wedding I went to this weekend, I showed everyone at my dinner table pictures of them like they're my pets- lol! 
  • First movie premiere: So last week I had a first! I went to see Mama Mia 2 on premiere night. I'm honestly not a big movie person, and I had actually never seen a movie on premiere night before! It was so much fun though. I liked the original Mama Mia, but I think the second one is EVEN BETTER. Seeing it on the big screen was perfect- I definitely recommend going to see this in the theatre!

Weekend Recaps:
  • Last weekend: I had a whirlwind but wonderful 24 hour trip back to North Carolina for my college friend Michelle's wedding! She and her husband wed at a beautiful venue on a lake near Greensboro. It was all around a beautiful day, and it was so much fun seeing her and my other college friends! I met Michelle at Gardner-Webb, the school I went to freshman year, so some of the people I saw at the wedding I hadn't seen in five years since I transferred! 
  • This weekend: I have a TON of cleaning and organization to do around my apartment! It's not really dirty, just super cluttered right now. The weekend won't be all chores though- I have a date on Saturday and Sunday will be church! 

  • Fun fact about my discount shopping habits: I am a HUGE fan of discount store chain Ross. I got really into shopping there a few years ago in Charlotte. I think their prices are some of the lowest for discount store chains (much better than TJ Maxx / Marshall's)- and I've found some gems there over the years. Charlottesville doesn't have a Ross, but I stopped at one on the way back from the wedding I went to this weekend! I found all sorts of goodies for my apartment:
  • The softest blanket for my bed for under $20- similar to this one!
  • A new towel set! Mine has the cutest floral print (similar to these)- super girly and I love it. I really needed new bath towels.
  • A cute picture frame that kind of looks like this one.
  • New velvet hangers in a pretty aqua color- I exclusively use velvet hangers in my closet!

  • This dress has such pretty retro vibes!
  • If I were to make another purchase from the NSale- it would be these boots. So chic and able to be dressed up or down! 
  • Y'all know that I have a soft spot in my heart for cute pink dresses. This one is giving me all the heart eyes- it's selling out in a lot of sizes so go go go! 
  • Going off on the pink theme... this Tory Burch crossbody pink purse is on sale right now! It would be the cutest weekend bag.
  • These are such a fun twist on hoop earrings- still classic enough to wear with everything, but also different and fun.

Recipe of the week: Crispy Black Bean and Rice Burritos from Brunch Time Baker. This has been a favorite recipe of mine for awhile!! I love finding tasty vegetarian recipes- I'm definitely not a vegetarian, but meat-free things are much cheaper to cook. This burritos are DELICIOUS! And the recipe makes enough of the black bean and corn mixture to feed me for awhile. 

Song of the week: Answerphone by Banx & Ranx + Ella Eyre. Y'all know from past songs of the week that I have a soft spot in my heart for anything that sounds like European dance / club music. Banx & Ranx are actually a Canadian music duo, but their sound is very Europop. I am obsessed with this song and I've been listening to it when working out a lot!

On the blog this week: 

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 


July 24, 2018

Elegant Blue Sundress + 4 Books I've Read Lately.

     I wear and review clothes regularly from Shein on my blog. (If you're unfamiliar, Shein is an online fast fashion retailer, similar to Forever 21.) With Shein's very low prices, sometimes items I get are great, and sometimes they're not so great. We have a win today though! The dress that I'm wearing in today's post was one of the best Shein items I've ever gotten, and I'm so excited to share it with y'all. It's also been awhile since I've shared book reviews, so I thought I'd let y'all know a few things I've read lately.

Cute Blue Sundress

Blue Eyelet Sundress

Best Shein Purchase

Brunette Curls Blue Dress

Shein Blue Eyelet Sundress

Photography by Kate Greer

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

      This pretty blue eyelet dress has stolen my heart. It's definitely a clothing item from Shein where the quality of the dress is better than the low price point- or at least I think so! I typically size up with Shein purchases- I'm wearing a M and it fit me pretty well. Just a tad loose on me- but the flowy look works with this dress. I can't wait to wear this again and again during the rest of summer!! I think the fabric and style makes it a tad too summery for it to be a fall transition piece, but you bet I'll be wearing this up until Labor Day Weekend.  

     I haven't shared any book reviews on the blog in awhile- the last post I did was a massive book review reading list a couple months ago! Don't worry- I've still been reading regularly since then. Unfortunately, a lot of the books I've read this summer I haven't been crazy about, but there have been a few that weren't bad. Sharing four books I've read lately for you: 

     *The Identicals by Elin Hilerbrand: This is such a great summer read! The Identicals tells the story of two adult identical twin sisters, who each live on a different island in Massachusetts. Their parents had a messy divorce when they were growing up- one sister went to live with their father in Martha's Vineyard, and the other with their mother in Nantucket. Sisters Harper and Tabitha have a pretty estranged and complicated relationship at the beginning of the book. Things take a turn when after a series of events, Harper goes to live in Nantucket, and Tabitha comes to Martha's Vineyard. This book was a fun read, and of course featured some family and dating drama. I also enjoyed the vivid depictions of summer on the coast in New England- it made me miss my hometown in Maine a little bit! 
     ***3/5 stars

     *Settle for More by Megyn Kelly: Back in Vermont, I developed a new weekday morning tradition. I'm sure many of you share it with me as well- it's watching TODAY on NBC, followed by Megyn Kelly's new NBC show. I never used to watch Fox News back when Megyn had her show on that network, so I wasn't too familiar with her journalism until starting to watch her new NBC show last year. I really enjoy her interviewing style and a lot of the guests that she has on the show, so when I saw her autobiography at my local library a couple months ago, I knew it would be a good read. I did enjoy it overall! Some chapters were a little longer/tougher to get through than others, but I loved learning about Megyn's upbringing and her law career, and how she got into TV news later in her career. 
     ***3/5 stars

     *The Wild Zone by Joy Fielding: If you've been following my other book review posts, you know that I've gotten really into Joy Fielding's books this year! She writes unique suspense novels, and they just about always have a huge plot twist or surprise near the end. I enjoyed The Wild Zone! It tells the story of a woman caught in an abusive marriage, and how she met a few men at a bar one night, and then things spiraled out of control for everyone involved. It should be stated that this book has graphic descriptions of verbal and physical abuse in it- so if you're sensitive to reading about that, I wouldn't recommend this book. However- I thought it was still a good read, and in typical Joy Fielding fashion, I didn't see the ending coming AT ALL.
     ****4/5 stars

     *Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch: I mentioned above that while I have been reading a lot this summer, a lot of the books haven't been that great or noticeable. I picked up Girls in Trucks because it was on display at my local library, and the cover art interested me, and gave me an idea of what I thought the book would be about (the inner cover described it as being about a South Carolina debutante and her coming of age). What it actually was like couldn't have been more different. I don't usually stick with reading books that I dislike by halfway through, but I guess I kept holding out hope this would get better. The answer is nope. This book was written in an extremely confusing way, and kept leaping forward between the past and present in each chapter, but in a complicated way. It's poorly written, and I didn't like the ending. A lot of loose ends are never tied up in the book. Definitely don't recommend this one- goes to show sometimes judging a book by the cover doesn't work! 
     *1/5 stars

      I hope that y'all are having a great week so far! It's a rainy one here in Virginia, but I'm hoping that the summer sunshine will return soon.


      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 


July 23, 2018

NORDSTROM SALE 2018: Home Decor Picks.

     The giveaway in today's post is sponsored by Lili Allesandra. This post also contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!

Photo by Amanda Rose Photography - {from my bedroom tour in my Vermont apartment in this blog post}

     Happy Monday Friends! I am back in Charlottesville after a whirlwind weekend at a college friend's wedding in North Carolina. Keeping today's post right to the point while I get back on schedule today! One Nordstrom Sale category that I haven't covered yet this year on the blog is the home decor and home goods that are part of the sale!! To be honest- I feel like I forget each year that Nordstrom has such an extensive home department. They have a whole range of fun items marked down in this year's NSale, so I wanted to highlight a few picks if you're in the market for new home decor right now. There's also a lot of luxurious bedding and pillows included in the NSale this year, thanks to Lili Alessandra!

1. Lili Allesandra pillow // 2. Cutting board // 3. Bar cart // 4. Wine rack // 5. Tissue box // 6. Lili Allesandra bedding // 7. Kitchen stool // 8. Candles // 9. Wine glasses

     Again- there is so much good home stuff in this year's NSale! These are just a few picks that caught my eye especially when browsing. Another reason to shop for home decor during the NSale isn't just to treat yourself or spruce up your home... but to pre-buy presents! A lot of these items would make awesome Christmas, housewarming or bridal shower gifts

     Now let's get right to the fun part of today's post! I've teamed up with Lili Allesandra and several great bloggers to bring you a fabulous Nordstrom gift card giveaway!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese

July 19, 2018

NORDSTROM SALE 2018: My Three Purchases Styled!

     Yes- you read this post title correctly! I'm a fashion blogger... and I only purchased three items from this year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! That's right- I didn't blow my whole shopping budget for 2018 or go into debt shopping this sale, haha. 😉I'm proud of the self-control I exercised during this year's NSale, and I'm really happy with the three items that I now own. Check out today's look to see how it all styled together!

NSale 2018

The Corner UVA - Charlottesville Photoshoot

My 2018 Nordstrom Sale Purchases

NSale Fall Outfit

NSale Barefoot Dreams cardigan review

Fall Fashion Grey Cardigan

Photography by Kate Greer 

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

     Here you have it friends- my purchases styled! (One of them you can't see pictured- the Natori Feathers Contour Bra. But I am wearing it here and I have been wearing it a lot since I got it- it's very comfortable!) I'm absolutely obsessed with the Barefoot Dreams cardigan and this Caslon striped shirt. 

      Let's talk about the cardigan first. I am so glad I decided to spluge on a Barefoot Dreams cardigan in this year's NSale! One thing that you may or may not know about me is that I'm a bathrobe enthusiast. No- seriously! I have a ton of bathrobes in all different lengths and fabrics- but my favorite ones in my closet are the fuzzy and warm ones.  This cardigan literally feels like a bathrobe- except it's of course appropriate to wear out of your house. WIN WIN. This will sell out fast when the NSale opens to the public tomorrow, and I highly recommend it! I ordered size XS/S.

     I'm also loving this simple but cute striped long sleeve top! It comes in a variety of colors in the NSale in both striped and printed options. I am already thinking of endless ways to style this come fall and winter- with skirts and tights and a statement necklace, or dressed down with leggings and sneakers for a weekend look. There's so many options. It's under $20- which is a great price both for Nordstrom and also just for such a staple piece! I ordered size S and I liked the fit.

     So there you have it- my 2018 NSale purchases. I'm proud of myself for really sticking with a budget in this year's sale, and I know I'll be using and wearing all three of my purchases often. I can totally justify making a spluge on something if I will wear it all the time- like with the Barefoot Dreams cardigan!

      With the sale opening to the public tomorrow- I'm so curious as to what you'll be buying!! Did you also shop the sale Early Access? Or are you planning to after tomorrow? Or just avoiding it in general this year? You can check out my 2018 NSale guide to my favorite brands included in the sale in this post, and some NSale beauty picks as well in this post!

     Happy Shopping!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese




July 18, 2018

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{Fun with my girlfriends at Afton Mountain Winery this past weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

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

  • Nordstrom Sale 2018: If you follow a lot of fashion bloggers, I'm sure you're well aware that the 2018 Nordstrom Sale is underway! I do personally enjoy shopping the sale, as I've shared in other blog posts. It's a great way to get designer merchandise at a good discount, and also a good time to stock up on fall basics. Personally- I love reading every blogger's post about the sale, to see what items everyone purchased! However, for my own shopping habits I make a point to not overspend each year- only buying things that I really love and will use a lot. I'm curious what your thoughts are on the sale, especially in regards to bloggers promoting it? I have another big NSale blog post coming up tomorrow and another one next Monday, but after that I won't be covering it too much.
  • 5k prep: In Monday's blog post, I did a "check-in" with progress that I've made of New Year's Resolutions. One goal for 2018 that I haven't done well with since moving to Virginia was getting good enough with running to run a 5k. Writing that blog post totally re-motivated me, and over the weekend I found an easy-ish treadmill 5k training plan! So far I've stuck with it... it's four weeks long, so wish me luck that I'll make it and be able to finally cross this resolution off! 
  • Organization inspiration: Olivia Rink is one of my favorite bloggers to follow on Instagram (stop what you're doing right now and follow her if you haven't!), and this past week I remembered how much I love her blog as well! She shared this blog post last week about how she organizes her bathroom and jewelry collection... #GOALS y'all! I thought I was fairly organized at home until I read this! 

     Weekend Recaps: 
  • Last weekend: Y'all- I think last weekend was the best weekend of my summer, SERIOUSLY!!! It pretty much started Thursday night and ended on Sunday. Last Thursday I went to a fun happy hour mix and mingle type event with my church's 20s/30s people, and there were other young professional aged people there from tons of other Charlottesville churches. I think over 100 people went- it was amazing! Friday night I had a work event, and friends came out to support me at that which was so sweet. Saturday's agenda was heading to a winery to celebrate a girlfriend's birthday in the afternoon, and then that night was a pool party! The pool party info was sent out to pretty much everyone who went to the Charlottesville churches mixer on Thursday, so a TON of people came! It was so much fun. Sunday the fun didn't stop... church in the morning and then everyone from my church did a river tubing trip in the afternoon! It was my first time tubing, and I got to cross that off my bucket list! I ended my Sunday with grocery shopping and Netflix. What a PERFECT and FUN weekend! Sorry this recap is so long- didn't want to leave anything I did out. 🙂
  • This weekend: I am headed back to my beloved Tar Heel state (NC!!!) for the first time since I moved in April 2017! (Not counting a 45 minute layover I had in Charlotte in December...) I will be going to a wedding for a college friend, and one of my very best friends is a bridesmaid, and we are staying together Saturday night which will be so fun. Unfortunately I don't have time to visit Charlotte on this quick trip, but just knowing I'll be spending the night in North Carolina makes my heart SO HAPPY!!!! (Can you tell I've missed it?)


  • The NSale is underway, and my purchases have arrived! Looking forward to styling them for y'all soon. I was good this year and only purchased three things that I actually could really use in my wardrobe, and would wear often. I'm proud of myself haha!! #selfcontrol
  • My first purchase was the Natori Feathers Underwire bra. I'd seen a lot of other bloggers rave about how comfortable this is over the past couple years, so I figured I'd give it a try. In the past I've always pretty much just been a diehard Victoria's Secret shopper for undergarments, but I am glad I tried this bra! It is indeed very comfortable, and wears well under clothing.
  • My splurge purchase in this year's sale was this Barefoot Dreams cardigan. When I saw that this was over $100 full price, and marked down to $76 in the sale, I was like "Almost $80 for a CARDIGAN?!" However- the heavy AC at work has been a problem for me this summer, and since I'm cold now every weekday, I figured I'd splurge and try it. Y'ALL- this is the COMFIEST and SOFTEST cardigan ever!! I am already thinking I'll ask for another for Christmas. 
  • I also purchased this striped shirt- a fall and winter staple that I know I'll get a ton of use out oft!  


     Recipe of the week: Raspberry Coconut Muffins from Taste of Lizzie T. These are some of the tastiest muffins I've ever made and remain a favorite breakfast recipe of mine! I made them last week and was reminded how delicious they are. 

      Song of the week: Summer Fever by Little Big Town. Hands down this is one of my top new country songs for 2018- if not my favorite of all so far! SO catchy and the perfect summer anthem (and it sounds more pop than country!).  

     On the blog this week:

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

July 17, 2018

Summer PR Packages Review + Nordstrom Sale Beauty Picks!

Happy Saturday! Popping in today to share my latest PR beauty package unboxing and reviews, as well as some fun beauty picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. If you're looking for more NSale content- you can check out my first Nordstrom Sale post from Thursday!

     The little disclaimer that I always share before PR beauty package posts is that this isn't sponsored in any way! These are just the "gifts" that I receive from some beauty brands every couple months- and all my reviews about them are honest and my own. 🙂    

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     A double dose from one of my favorites, IT Cosmetics, will get today's beauty package reviews started! I first got into using products from IT Cosmetics a couple years ago, and my love for their products has only increased with time. IT also sends really generous influencer packages out throughout the year, and I'm excited to share what I got in both of these! The first one, which came to me in late spring, was a cute makeup bag filled with travel sample sized items of a lot of their best sellers, like the CC Cream, Bye Bye Makeup removing balm, and the Brow Power pencil! There were also a few new goodies that I hadn't tried before. 

     The second package is what they sent for the 4th of July! I love the star shaped makeup brush... is it totally terrible that I was most excited for the patriotic fanny pack? I totally wore that all day on July 4th and the following weekend on a DC day trip- ha! 

     Next up are a few things I received from a totally new-to-me beauty brand! I'd heard of Buxom Cosmetics before and seen it sold at Sephora, but had never tried any of their products. I received the lash mascara and two shades of the SexySmoky kohl eyeliners. I've now been testing all the products for a few weeks before writing this blog post, so I could really give y'all an honest review. Unfortunately- the mascara isn't my favorite. It's not necessarily a "bad mascara," it just gives lashes a super natural look. I prefer clumpier and bolder mascaras since I like a heavier lash look for everyday, so it wasn't my favorite for my makeup style. But if you prefer more natural lashes, this could be a good one to check out!
     I do like the kohl eyeliners, especially in shade. I recently stopped wearing liquid winged eyeliner everyday, and have switched to a lighter brown eyeliner (and not winged) for weekday and church makeup looks. This one is great!

     The last beauty related post I'll be sharing today is from one of my favs- Avon! I feel like I say this every single time I write one of these posts, but they send the most generous influencer gifts. The latest package that I received had several of their face masks to try, and they also sent the softest towel and a fun personalized terrycloth headband- perfect to use with the masks for a night of pampering! Doing a face mask is one of my favorite ways to de-stress, so I cannot wait to keep trying all of the new ones they sent.

     And one last package that's not beauty related. Had to share my latest earrings I received from Sugarfix by Baublebar of course! If you aren't familiar with Sugarfix, it's the Target exclusive Baublebar jewelry line- everything is super cute and very reasonably priced. Loving both of these beaded earrings from my latest Sugarfix package- I wore the red ones on July 4th for watching fireworks!

     Lastly- I wanted to share a some beauty picks from this year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! The sale goes public on Friday- if you're not a cardholder or just haven't shopped yet, this week is a great time to start picking out things you'd like to purchase. In full transparency- I actually didn't make any beauty purchases from this year's sale. However, several of my favorite brands and products are included, as well as items I'd love to try in the future:

     Midweek Ramblings is coming up tomorrow on the blog!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

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