Southern Belle in Training

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

July 10, 2018

Chai Latte Date - July 2018

     Break out a chai latte (or your favorite hot or iced beverage!) and join me for my latest life update post! I'm excited to share some more details and personal notes about life in Virginia. Happy four months to me in the most wonderful city and state!

     SUMMARY: Sweet summertime in Virginia.... oh my, so fun! So far it's been filled with lots of pool days, good wine, fellowship with my new church community, and visits from sweet friends from out-of-state. Two months ago, in my first Virginia Chai Latte post, I wrote that if my first two months here were so good, I could only imagine how much better life was going to keep getting. That is 100% true!! I am in such a sweet season of life right now- God is blessing me immensely each day.
     The only bad thing I've dealt with over the past couple months is my poor car. I drive an older vehicle (my first car from high school) and since I moved in March, it's had a lot of maintenance issues. Between March to now, I've spent over $1000 on fixing various things, and this past weekend in DC I damaged my back fender... so now back to the body shop! I'd love to save up for a new car, but with some of my other regular living expenses and a remaining school loan, it will be quite awhile before that can happen. #adulting
      Oh- one other thing that I can't remember if I shared on the blog. I finished paying off broadcasting school in May!! (If you're new here: I did a 10 month broadcasting school technical program in Charlotte after undergrad.) It's a huge financial weight of my shoulders to have that debt taken care of! Now just have to tackle the last bit of undergrad loans.

     HOME: LOVING my apartment!!! The complex has a really nice pool, and it's kind of become the gathering place for all of my friends from church to hang out at, on both weekdays and weekends! So so so much fun. I'm going to be sad this fall when it's too cold to keep hanging out there with people.
     Something else I've been loving the past couple months is having overnight guests! I've hosted friends from out-of-state three times in the last two months, and it's been a lot of fun. I am looking forward now to a few weekends of not having company, but already have a few visits on the calendar for fall!
     I'm starting to think about if I want to renew my lease next winter, or move in with a roommate or two to save money. I really do love living alone, but it isn't super cheap. More of my salary than I'd like goes to rent right now. If I had a roommate or two, I know I'd be able to say yes to a lot more costly social activities (and also pay off school debt faster and finally save for a new car!). So just something I'm thinking about.
     Normally I love watching TV at night after work, but I'm not watching many things this summer! Younger is the only summer show I've been keeping up with weekly. I'm sure when the weather gets cooler though I'll be ready to start watching all of my favorite fall shows again.

     WORK: Still enjoying my job! I do not take for granted at all that I both work in the industry that I dreamed of and went to school for, and on top of that work for a great radio company. I'm truly happy to go to work everyday- such a blessing! I've started taking on some new duties at work, such as helping our production director with some weekly tasks related to commercials. There are a few country concerts coming to Charlottesville this fall! Crossing my fingers I might be able to get tickets through work- that happened a couple times for shows at my old job. But if not- I'd definitely still like to go!

     FAITH: I mentioned this a little bit above, but this has been such a sweet time of life and God has truly blessed me! My faith is in a great place right now. I credit most of that to becoming involved with the most amazing church in Charlottesville. I've been blessed to go to good churches in past places that I've lived, but never have I ever found a church that I've connected with as much or found the best Christian community as the one that I attend now! Most of my friends that I've made in Charlottesville have been through church, and it's amazing! I'm also in a summer bible study through mid-August at my church- which has been a great way to connect even more.
     I am trying to remember and meditate on the fact that even though this is a sweet season, God will still be there and be present through difficult seasons in other parts of life. Overall 2016 and 2017 were very rough years for me- filled with a lot of growing up and even doubting God's plan at times. 2018 so far has been one huge blessing from Him, but I hope my faith will be as strong as it is now in the future when things aren't always as good.

     SOCIAL: Oh my gosh- so many fun things in the past couple months! I have made some of the best friends here in Virginia- and I'm still in shock at how quickly I've made friends here. This experience couldn't be more night and day different from Vermont! Most of the friends I've made are from church, but I've also connected with people through other means. I have plans with friends every single weekend, and some weeknights as well! Summer has been a blast, but I'm already getting excited for fall fun too. I joined a women's community group at my new church in late April- we are "on break" from our regular bible study meetings for the summer, but a lot of us have still been trying to hang out once a week on a weeknight to still have something to look forward to!

     ACTIVITIES: Lots of time spent at my day job and lots of time spent blogging on the side, as always! The main activity outside of work things that I've been up to the past couple months is spending time at the pool! I didn't have access to a pool in Vermont last summer, so I feel like I have an extra year's worth of pool days to make up for. I'm out there most weekends, and a couple weeknights too. I've also been trying to work out a few times a week, and have still been reading a lot. Summer is just a great time of year to enjoy a good book! With friends, I've been enjoying trying new restaurants, going to free concerts (there are SO MANY free concerts in the summer in Charlottesville- it's nuts!), a few weekend parties, and of course pool time.


  • Visited two more Central Virginia wineries (now I've been to 7!)- Knights Gambit and King Family. 
  • Had my first taste of Charlottesville nightlife downtown.
  • Attended three different Charlottesville free concert series with friends: Sunsets at Sentara (Wednesdays), Sunset Series at Carter's Mountain (Thursdays), and Fridays After Five (obviously Fridays)! 
  • Hiked to a hidden swimming hole and waterfalls. 
  • Spent my first holiday in Charlottesville- the 4th of July! (I was out of town for Easter and Memorial Day.)

     The next time I write one of these posts, I'll have finally been back to Charlotte to visit (!!!), and it will be just past my birthday and Southern Belle in Training's 6th blogiversary! Already looking forward to celebrating my first birthday in my new home state. 

     I took a break last week for the 4th of July, but Midweek Ramblings returns tomorrow! 

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


  1. I'm so, so happy to hear that you are happy in your new home friend and that you've already made so many great connections with your church community; I know how important your faith is to you!

  2. I've never been to Virginia but you make it sound like you are having a great couple first months there which is great!

  3. I'm so glad that you are enjoying yourself in Virgina and congrats on paying off broadcasting school, that is AMAZING!! Having that financial weight off your shoulders is always a freeing feeling :)

    Kristen |

  4. YAY for paying off graduate school! I'm so glad to hear everything is going well in Virginia- so proud of all the amazing things you have accomplished since I've known you!!


  5. I love reading so many positive things in one post. Life is loving you right now! All the best!

  6. I'm so glad to hear things are going well in Virginia! Congrats on paying off your school debt - such a great feeling!

  7. congrats on paying off debt. isn't it remarkable what a good feeling that is?!

  8. Your dress is gorgeous babe! I am so happy that you're loving your new home :)

    -xo, Azanique |

  9. I want more photos of that dress! It's so pretty. Sounds like you had a busy month checking those five off your list. Yay for debt pay off!! It's such a relief isn't it?

  10. I'm so glad you're happy in your new home and state! That's awesome you've met so many great people and you're connecting and making friends!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  11. Love this! Glad to hear you are settling in well and it sounds like you are having a great time! I hope you get those tickets!

  12. Free concerts are awesome :) Congrats on knocking out the debt!!! I drive an older car too, and it's always needing repairs. Maybe you can upgrade vehicles soon. Loved the update! Sounds like Virginia is starting to feel more and more like home!!!

  13. I'm so glad to hear you are enjoying Virginia!!!! Congrats on paying off broadcasting school!!!

  14. My dear you look darling the feature pic. I mean absolutely stunning. Also congrats on paying off your debt. That is so freaking amazing girlie!

  15. congrats on paying that off, that's amazing!

  16. How exciting that you've paid off your student loans-congratulations! I know that definitely takes a big burden off of your shoulders and frees that money up to go elsewhere in your budget!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  17. Congrats on paying off your loans! That’s so exciting!

  18. Being from Virginia, I absolutely love this post! Your dress is so very beautiful and very southern belle of you :)


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