Southern Belle in Training

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

September 27, 2018

The Perfect Tourist Outfit Is...

     Last weekend I was in Washington DC for a quick 48-hour trip. DC is quickly becoming my favorite city to play tourist in on Saturdays and Sundays! There are endless fun things to do, and always something new to see. It's hard to get tired of visiting there! One thing I will say about DC is that it is a "go go go" type of town. This isn't the best tourist destination for a relaxing weekend, but instead it's one to check out if you like having a full itinerary and tons of stuff to do. Putting together outfits for being a busy weekend tourist can be challenging. Athletic clothing and sneakers might be the most comfortable to wear, but if you're anything like me, you still want to look cute and fashionable in all the photos you'll be taking. In today's post, I'm sharing the simple but chic outfit that I wore in DC last weekend!

     And here's a couple fun photos in front of the White House!!

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

      After this past weekend, I am convinced that jumpsuits are the ideal outfit choice for tourist activities! They're so easy to wear, and yet you look like you spent a lot more time getting ready. 😉I also get cold very easily, so I like the fact that most jumpsuits cover more of your legs than dresses. The only hassle with jumpsuits is of course that they're really annoying to take off if you have to go to the bathroom... but hey, I'll take that in exchange for how cute they look on! This orange floral jumpsuit is gorgeous, and I loved wearing it for a morning of sightseeing in DC. I ordered a size M, and it fit me perfectly. 

     I have fallen in love with visiting DC for weekend trips! The DMV (District, Maryland, Virginia) area has an exorbitant cost of living and a bit of a fast paced and intense lifestyle, so while I'm not sure I'd ever want to live and work there, it's the absolute best to visit on weekends!! Without traffic, I live just under two hours from some of the Virginia DC suburb towns (like Tyson's Corner, a big shopping district), and about two and a half hours from DC proper and the Maryland suburbs. It's a really easy drive to get up there from Charlottesville, and I intend to keep taking full advantage of this!

     The plethora of amazing free things to do in DC continues to blow my mind. In addition to all of the museums and attractions, there is world class shopping and dining. DC is such a beautiful city to visit as well; the architecture styles and unique charm of all the different areas is wonderful. My favorite DC weekend was still my first trip up last spring, when my friend Mercedes and I saw all things cherry blossoms! I also wrote a blog post after that weekend detailing some fun and free things to do in DC, which you can check out here. I'm planning another weekend in DC around the holidays to see the city all decorated, but truth be told I'm most excited for cherry blossoms in 2019! 

     Have a wonderful weekend! My mom is here visiting me in Virginia, and I'm looking forward to hopefully doing some exploring with her on Sunday after church. A new Relationship Monday is coming to the blog next week! 

    God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese


September 26, 2018

Midweek Ramblings.

{Outside of The White House this weekend with my DC friend, Mercedes! Follow me on social media @miss_alk} 

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

  • Inna Concert: I apologize for sounding super redundant if you watched my Instagram stories about this after I got home from DC, but y'all- I went to one of the best concerts ever on Saturday night! Since high school, I've loved Romanian pop artist Inna. I think I first found her through Pandora back in the day (she hasn't had a lot of success on US commercial radio- which I don't understand since she's amazing!). Anyways, she doesn't tour in the US often, but was doing a few shows this fall, and the one this past Saturday was in DC. It was at the Howard Theater, which is a very intimate venue. The show was incredible! Inna sounds even better live, and her concert was like one giant party. If you like Clean Bandit or Calvin Harris, you'd probably like Inna- her sound is very Europop/house music, and she has a beautiful voice. This September has been kind of a rough month for me, so attending this concert in DC with one of my dear friends was such a blessing! 
  • Fall TV: I get so hyped about fall TV that I dedicated my entire blog post on Monday to this topic! Have you watched any of the premieres yet? The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon both had fantastic episodes on Monday night- and it's a great week for fans of those shows, since both have new episodes again airing tomorrow night! Tonight I'm excited for season three of Star, and the premiere of A Million Little Things.
  • Two Headed Snake: In REALLY creepy Virginia news, a (LIVE!) two-headed snake was found in Virginia this week. I wouldn't consider myself to be super scared of snakes... but now that I know that poisonous ones with two heads are alive in this state... it's safe to say I'm a little worried. Yikes!

Weekend recaps:
  • Last weekend: I had a wonderful little weekend getaway to DC! This has now been my third trip there since I moved to Virginia- I think I'm going to try and keep going once a season. The main reason that I went up was for the Inna concert, but Mercedes and I still made time to tour the Capitol and Library of Congress on Saturday morning, and eat at my favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory! On the way back to Charlottesville on Sunday, I stopped to meet up with a friend of mine from my old retail job in college. All in all, a perfect weekend.
  • This weekend: My mom is here visiting me in Charlottesville right now! I have to work on Saturday (my usual radio schedule is M-F, but some Saturdays I do have to work), but hopefully Sunday after church I will get to do something fun with my mom. Maybe a winery visit?

  • Had to do some shopping at Zara while in DC- one of my very favorite stores! Zara is sadly really hard for me to link for y'all from their website (one of the main reasons I prefer to shop there in-store and not online!), but I've found similar items to what I got. First up is a gorgeous orange sweater dress- this one is very similar!
  • I also purchased a new pair of jeans. Zara jeans are my FAVORITE, and for under $100 the quality is great (many pairs are also under $50). If you have a store near you, take advantage of the great denim! (I wouldn't buy this online as their sizing can run weird from pair to pair.) 

  • A lot of bloggers are super excited this week about the launch of the Something Navy Collection at Nordstrom! This is my favorite piece from the collection.  
  • This is a great staple shirt for fall (pefect for layering) - it's on sale for under $20 right now! That's like NSale pricing.
  • Animal print is all the rage again this fall. These printed loafers are gorgeous! 
  • This Draper James dress needs to get in my closet ASAP.
  • This going-out dress comes in multiple colors, and is under $30! I think the style of it looks a lot more expensive than the price.

Recipe of the week: Crispy Black Bean and Rice Burritos from Gimme Delicious. I know I've shared this recipe before- but it's so easy and cheap to make! When I make this recipe, I love eating the burritos for dinners, and then I will take just the rice and corn/beans from this recipe to work for lunches! 

Song of the week: Yalla by Inna. Obviously sharing an Inna song this week since her concert was amazing! This is one of my favorite songs of hers, and I was so excited she did it at the show. 

On the blog this week:

     xoxo Annaliese  


September 25, 2018

The Closet Item I've Been Searching For.

     Fellow fashion lovers- I don't think there is anything better than finally finding the perfect version of something that you've been wanting to have in your closet! Today I'm sharing all about a beautiful tweed blazer that I found completely by chance. I'm also sharing some blog post ideas for the upcoming weeks- I've been feeling in a bit of a "same old, same old" rut for blog content over this month, and I'm ready to write some really fun posts! 

Pink Tweed Blazer

Preppy Fall Outfit

JustFab Suede Boots

Southern Belle in Training Blog

Fall Preppy Fashion

Photography by Meredith Sledge 

Today's post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training! 

Blazer {sold out, very similar here} // Top {under $20!} // Jeans // Boots c/o // Necklace {old, similar here} // Purse // Lip Gloss //

     For years now, I've wanted a tailored pink tweed blazer. This just seems like such a chic and versatile piece of clothing, and one that can get a lot of wear especially in the fall and spring months! I'd looked at some in stores occasionally over the last couple years, but all of the tweed blazers I found were either not a good fit, or too expensive for me to justify purchasing. I had faith that if I was patient, I'd eventually find the perfect one! 

     When I was back visiting Charlotte over Labor Day Weekend, I treated myself to an afternoon of solo shopping at SouthPark Mall. The Labor Day Sales were fantastic this year, and SouthPark has the best store selection in Charlotte. Ann Taylor has been one of my favorite retailers for a few years now, but I always prefer to shop there in-store rather than online. We don't have a store in Charlottesville, so I knew I had to visit the SouthPark store! Way in the back on the clearance rack, there was *one* beautiful pink tweed blazer hanging on a random rack. I quickly snatched it and took it to the dressing room, and it fit perfectly. I couldn't believe my luck- I'd finally found THE blazer! Even better, I found it for 70% off. Patience paid off, literally! Since I found this one on clearance, I unfortunately can't link it for y'all. This one is also from Ann Taylor and is very similar though! 

     I also want to give a quick shout-out to these cute faux suede boots that JustFab sent me to style. They arrived to me shortly after I found my dream blazer, so I knew I wanted to pair the two together! I love how this look turned out, and it will probably be on repeat for me at work this fall season.

    On a personal note- the month of September has been absolutely nuts for me! There's been a lot going on behind-the-scenes in my life that I'm still not able to share on the blog quite yet, but hopefully I can soon. My mind has been going a million miles a minute this month and hasn't been focused on Southern Belle in Training as much as it usually is. I'm hoping that October will bring the good news that I've been praying about, and that I'll be ready to tackle the rest of the fall blog content season in full force! A few upcoming blog post ideas that I have include an updated list of podcasts that I love, a big fall book reviews post, a post all about my US bucket list travel destinations, some honest thoughts about my personal experience with situation depression last year, and an October post for my Relationship Monday series! If you have any blog posts requests for the next month, let me know in the comments. 🙂

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

September 24, 2018

Fall TV Returns!! My 2018 Fall TV Guide.

     On average, if you ask someone what their favorite thing is about fall, they will probably say something along the lines of the chill in the air/foliage, the annual traditions like pumpkin carving or apple picking, or maybe the fact that it's college and NFL football season. My favorite thing about fall? None of the above! It's the return of fall TV! Summer is a wonderful season, but it sure is a long time to go without favorite shows. Tonight is the official kick-off for fall TV on the major networks, and there will be more premieres over the next couple weeks!

     Last September, I wrote a similar blog post to this one where I shared the returning shows that I was excited about, as well as new premieres that I was planning to watch. I love fall TV so much that I thought I'd make this post an annual tradition here on SBIT! You'll see from the list below that I prefer sitcoms the most, but there are a couple of dramas mixed in as well. Without further ado, let's talk TV:

Fall TV 2018 Guide

     Returning Shows:

     The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 9/24): Oh man- my heart is broken that this is the 12th and final season of The Big Bang Theory! This show will forever be one of my all-time favorites. Amazingly, I still think that it's just as funny and enjoyable as the early seasons, even though it's been on TV for so long! Last season ended with Amy and Sheldon's much awaited wedding, so I'm expecting the premiere to pick up from there. The Big Bang Theory is a show that you can just watch random episodes of, but a few years ago I watched all the early seasons consecutively, and I think it's so much better to do it that way! I hope that once this season finishes next year that it'll finally go on Netflix. 😊

     Star (Fox, 9/25): I'm really excited for Star's third season. I thought the second season was a bit rough at points, but I'm still sticking with this show. If you're unfamiliar with Star, it follows the story of three young women (one of them named Star) that move to Atlanta to pursue their dreams of becoming a successful singing group. It might sound like a light and fluffy show from that description, but there is a lot of heavy themes and plotlines in this show- everything from racism to domestic abuse to alcoholism, and much more. The trailer for the new season shows that Star is pregnant, so I'm interested to see how this plotline will develop around.

     Superstore (NBC, 10/4): If you've read any of my blog posts from the past month, this show should sound familiar to you... I love it so much that I CAN'T shut up about it!! I had seen a couple of random Superstore episodes over the last couple years, but the first three seasons finally went on demand with my cable provider this summer, so I started it at the beginning. Y'all... this show might just be in my top five best shows of all time now! I can't believe I'm saying this... but I think this show is funnier than The Big Bang Theory. (😱) Superstore follows the adventures of a group of employees at the fictional Cloud 9 superstore, and the funny situations that they get into. Most of the show is set inside of Cloud 9! The characters are absolutely fantastic in this show, and since I have worked in retail in the past I can relate to some of the situations that happen in the store! Season three ended with a hilarious cliffhanger, and I can't wait to see where the show picks up.

     Young Sheldon (CBS, 9/24): The Big Bang Theory has been so incredibly successful that last year CBS premiered a prequel to the show, which is set in the 1980s and shows how Big Bang main character and genius Sheldon Cooper grew up. I originally watched this show simply because I love Big Bang, but Young Sheldon is a delightful show in its own right! It is so fun to see Sheldon's backstory, and how he was a childhood genius attending high school as a nine year old. The cast that plays Sheldon's family is wonderful, and this show is both funny and feel-good at the same time! Even though Big Bang is ending this season, I hope Young Sheldon sticks around for awhile.

     New Shows:

     The Cool Kids (Fox, 9/28): This is a new comedy that follows a group of friends that are constantly breaking the rules and trying to have a little fun. The catch? They're living in a retirement community! I think this show sounds funny, and I'm looking forward to the premiere!

     Happy Together (CBS, 10/1): Claire and Peter are married and enjoy their normal, busy routine. Life gets turned upside-down when a music superstore has to hide out in their apartment! This is another sitcom that sounds like it could be hit or miss, but I'm curious about it.

     God Friended Me (CBS, 9/30): This show is described as an "uplifting drama" and is already getting some good reviews from TV critics. It follows self-proclaimed atheist and podcast host Miles, who is "friended" by God himself on his social media. Miles believes the whole thing is a hoax, but his life begins to change through the mysterious God account. When I first heard the summary of this show, I thought it sounded too absurd. But after reading some early reviews about it, I'm curious for the pilot now!

     Manifest (NBC, 9/24): I never got into the Lost phenomenon when that show was popular years ago, but this show kind of sounds like the new version of that! A plane filled with passengers goes missing for five years, yet no time has passed for the people on the plane. A mystery begins to unfold as the passengers begin life after the flight. I feel like this show will be a huge success, and I can't wait for the premiere this evening.

     A Million Little Things (ABC, 9/26): Confession time: I'm not a fan of This Is Us! I gave it a solid try during the first season, but couldn't keep up. A Million Little Things is being compared as ABC's version of a This Is Us type show, but I personally think this plot sounds a little better. It focuses on the stories of a group of adult friends who bond again over tragic circumstances, and the stories that bring them back together. Planning to give this one a try!

     The Neighborhood (CBS, 10/1): When a friendly Midwesterner and his family move to Los Angeles, they are in for quite a culture shock! They have an interesting time adjusting to their new neighborhood. After trying to hit it off with their new neighbors- will the Johnson family be able to make LA feel like home? Kind of like the other new CBS sitcom Happy Together, this show sounds hit or miss. But I do tend to like CBS sitcoms so hopefully it'll be good!

     I'm not expecting to keep up with all of these new shows, but hopefully I'll find one or two new ones to love after seeing all of the pilots! I also have to share that one other returning show that I can't wait for is the final season of Jane the Virgin, but that isn't returning until winter! I'll definitely be excited for that too.

    Are you as excited for fall TV as I am? Which new network shows are you planning to watch, or excited to see return? (Or are you pumped for a new show on Netflix or another streaming service?) Normally I share an outfit or fashion related post on Mondays on my blog, but since today is the start of the fall TV season that took precedence today! Outfit posts coming tomorrow and Thursday instead for this week.

    God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese



September 20, 2018

Early Fall PR Reviews + Great Jewelry Sale Happening now!

     Every few months, I love sharing and review the packages that I am lucky to receive as PR mail from brands! Usually my PR reviews that I share are mostly beauty and skincare products, but for today's post there is a whole variety of fun products from lots of brands! As always- no part of this blog post is sponsored- these are all gifts from brands that I've received and am choosing to share with y'all, and my reviews are 100% honest. 

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

     Later in today's post, I'm also sharing the details on a great jewelry sale, happening now through tomorrow! There aren't a lot of sales that I *heavily* promote on Southern Belle in Training each year, but I think this one is especially good, and I shopped it myself yesterday. Anyways- first let's do PR reviews! 😊

     Up first today are some beautiful earrings from Sugarfix. This is Baublebar's exclusive line for Target, and all pieces are usually under $20! I've been receiving PR mail from Sugarfix for awhile now, and I've really grown fond of their earrings. Each season, they come out with new styles in trending colors and materials, and everything is always so affordably priced. The two pairs that I recently received are both so cute, and each priced at $12.99 Not sure which are my favorites- these crystal hoops, or these pretty ones with resin.

     Time to talk beauty! I've raved in past PR reviews posts how much I love receiving packages from Avon. They are always so generous with what they send to bloggers, and have such creative themes and ideas for the their packages! Last month, I received a fun mailer that was themed all about glowing skin, in honor of the Skin So Soft Radiant Glow collection. I loved the adorable makeup bag that they sent, and I've already used it on weekend trips! The skincare products included the Illuminating Dry Oil Mist, and the Glow Skin Luminosity Polish. Thank you Avon for helping me take my summer glow into the fall!

     Let's talk earrings again! I received a very unique pair of statement earrings this month, from a jewelry company called Tuleste. They specialize in pom pom and feather earrings. I was sent a white pair, which I think would be perfect for brides-to-be, especially if you're looking for a unique accessory to wear to pre-wedding events! The best thing about my Tuleste earrings is how lightweight they are. They don't hurt my ears at all, which is great for a statement earring.

     Time to get organized- next up are some awesome planners! True story: I haven't regularly used a paper agenda since I was in broadcasting school (after undergrad) which was two years ago. I've shared before that I use iCal for my blog's editorial calendar, which has been the most convenient for me! However, I was recently starting to think that it might be nice to get a paper planner again, for things like work and my personal life. BlueSky must have read my mind- as they sent me TWO of their 2018-2019 planners! I especially love the cute leopard print on the larger one. I've started using one of them, and love it so far! It has a lot of space for me to write down my monthly and weekly commitments, but is still lightweight and simple. (P.S. the leopard print one is on major sale on Amazon right now!)

     Skincare goodies are next! I received a package from CeraVe and had the chance to try out some of their products that I hadn't used before. I've been using the facial cleanser daily for a few weeks now- I like it so far. I was also sent micellar water and makeup wipes- two useful things to to keep around! I'm always in need of makeup remover.

     I've always preferred using soap in the shower to body wash. I've had some experiences over the years with various body washes that have made me break out on my back after extended use, and I've never had that issue when I've just used soap. I've used different Dove beauty bars in the past and really liked them, but I hadn't tried the Anti Stress Micellar Bar before. Loving it so far- it's found a home in my shower caddy!

     Last but certainly not least, the most fun package of liquid lipsticks from Buxom Cosmetics! They sent me four shades of their VaVa Plump liquid lipsticks, in the most fun and bright shades. I did a giveaway on my Instagram a few weeks ago to win the same colors that I received! These will be so fun to wear into fall, and give pops of color to more neutral outfits.

    The PR products reviewed in this post are all linked below, if you'd like to shop any of them!

    Lastly, I wanted to share quickly about a great sale on jewelry that's happening this week through Friday! Over the last couple years, I've grown to love shopping at Baublebar for fun statement jewelry, as well as some more classic and delicate pieces! This week they had a Friends and Family sale, which is still going on through tomorrow! EVERYTHING on the website is 25% off- even new arrivals! Shipping is also free for orders over $25. I treated myself to several goodies, including this ring which was already on sale (I already own a similar ring that I love, so I wanted a second similar one!), and this darling monogrammed necklace. Below are some more of my favorite sale picks:

     Have a wonderful weekend! I am headed up to DC tomorrow evening and looking forward to a weekend in the big city with one of my dear friends.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

September 19, 2018

Midweek Ramblings.

{Checking out the beautiful views of Charlottesville last night at the Graduate Hotel's rooftop bar, Camp Ten Four!}

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

  • Camp Ten Four comes to Charlottesville: Last night I went to my first media event (on behalf of my blog) here in Charlottesville! This was also the first media event that I've been invited to since I left Charlotte, so I was extra excited. Some of you might remember that I had the chance to do a weekend stay at the Graduate Richmond hotel this summer! There is also a Graduate hotel right here in Charlottesville, and they just renovated their rooftop bar and restaurant. The new bar is called Camp Ten Four, and the menu and decor are themed like a sleep-away camp! I was so excited to be invited to the opening preview party for Camp Ten-Four, and I took my friend Alicia with me. The rooftop views of Charlottesville are beautiful- this would definitely be a fun spot to check out if you're visiting the area. As far as the new menu- my favorite item was the hushpuppies with maple butter, yum!
  • Hurricane Florence's funny meteorologist: It has been so sad to see all of the damage from Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas over the weekend. One funny story though to come out of the bad weather was of a Weather Channel meteorologist giving a very interesting live report... apparently the storm was much worse for him than for some people walking a few feet away. If you haven't seen the clip yet- you must, it's hilarious! 
  • Serial Season 3: The third season of the hit podcast Serial comes back this week! I was obsessed with the first season, although I listened to it a couple years after most people did. I didn't get into the second season, but I'm so excited for the third! This really is the OG True Crime podcast. If you haven't listened to the trailer for the new season yet, this article is a great summary about it! Speaking of podcasts- last year I shared a couple blog posts detailing some favorites, but since then I've found a lot of new podcasts. Would y'all like an updated post on that? 

Weekend recaps: 
  • Last weekend: All rain Saturday and Sunday thanks to Hurricane Florence! I stayed indoors for a lot of the weekend, and binge watched a lot of Superstore on demand. (I can't shut up about this show- I know!) On Saturday afternoon, I went to see A Simple Favor with some girlfriends. I didn't love the movie... but it's always fun to see Blake Lively on the big screen! Sunday morning I went to church, and then stayed in for the rest of the day. 
  • This weekend: Heading out of town- and hoping the weather will be better than last weekend! Looking forward to a girls' weekend with my friend Mercedes, who lives in Washington DC. We have some really fun plans in the works and it will me a much needed fun weekend.

  • No fun purchases this week, since the big Lilly sale was last week! 

  • I need some new jeans for fall! This brand is expensive, but I'm loving this pair for fall. 
  • If you have to dress up for work, a chic skirt like this one would be great for the office in cold weather!
  • I can always use more classy pairs of heels- perfect for church! I love the style of these pumps
  • I received a stunning coat for Christmas a few years ago in a different color. It's back for this winter- but in PINK!
  • If I had gotten to go to NYFW this year, I feel like this rainbow striped dress (paired with some killer heels!) would've been a great outfit. 

Recipe of the week: No Bake Icebox Cake from my blog.  This is an old recipe of my mom's that I love making! I shared the recipe in a blog post last summer. Typically this makes the ideal summer dessert, but last week I was craving it, so I made it again and devoured it! 

Song of the week: The Way I Am by Charlie Puth. CAN'T stop listening to this song!! So catchy- probably my favorite Charlie Puth song yet. A great one to belt out in the car!

On the blog this week:


September 17, 2018

Fall Transition Look + 3 Things I've Been Loving in September.

     Now that the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale is behind us, I'm officially making the transition to fall fashion on the blog today. This outfit is a great transition look for living in the South- it's fall colors and super trendy, but it won't make you too hot for the days that it's still in the 70s or 80s outside!

Trendy Fall Outfit

Mott & Bow Tshirt

Annaliese Southern Belle in Training

Black Tshirt fall outfit

Photography by Kate Greer

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

     I am really excited about how this outfit turned out, and I see myself repeating it a lot this fall. If you've been reading here awhile, you know that my favorite outfits in all seasons are ones with a lot of color, but sometimes I do wear darker colors or neutrals, and sometimes I even like it! 😉The gold jewelry that I've accessorized with here makes this outfit a little brighter. I've had my skirt since college, but plaid skirts are always trendy in the fall, so I've found an almost identical one here! My t-shirt is from Mott&Bow. They make premium denim, and just expanded into t-shirts as well. The shirt I'm wearing is called the Marcy. It's fitted very well and extremely comfortable to wear! A well-made, solid colored t-shirt that you'll get tons of wear out of in all seasons can be a worthwhile investment. 

     I've had my Tory Burch Parker tote (pictured) for just over a year now. Since I got mine, the Parker style has been discontinued, but they're selling the Robinson tote instead, which is very similar (and available in the same color as mine!). I'm curious if y'all would like a dedicated blog post review on this bag? I know that some bloggers do designer bag reviews, and I always find those interesting to read. Even though my exact bag isn't available anymore, the Robinson tote is really similar. This is my work bag, and it's served me very well for that! 

     Wrapping up today's outfit post with three things that I've been loving this month! September has been off to a rough start for me. I know that I've been teasing that on social media and in past blog posts without much detail... hopefully by October I'll have enough information to be able to share what's been going on in my life outside of blogging. Anyways, even though the past few weeks have brought a lot of anxiety into my life, I've been trying to make a conscious decision each day to choose joy and take delight in the little things. Here are three random things I've loved this month! 

     *Superstore (NBC TV show): I know I've mentioned this show in a few other blog posts already, but I gotta give it even more love. This is 100% the funniest and most relatable comedy that I've found in 2018. The show follows the work adventures of various employees at a fictional megastore called Cloud 9. I am obsessed with the show- I only wish I'd started watching this when it was new on TV a few years ago! I adore the characters especially, and since I've worked a retail job in the past, I can relate to some of the situations in the show. All of the jokes are just hilarious, and watching this show on demand has really been a bright spot for me these past few weeks.

      *Peppermint tea: I drink a cup of hot tea every afternoon at work in the 1pm hour, before I go on-air for my afternoon show! Up until recently, I'd usually pick something caffeinated for that afternoon boost, like Earl Grey or English Breakfast. Over the past few weeks, I've started bringing caffeine-free peppermint tea to enjoy at work. I've found that most days I'm find without the afternoon caffeine, and peppermint tea is just so delicious either sweetened or unsweetened! This type of tea leaves me feeling even more refreshed to conquer the busy part of my workday. 

     *SNS nails: I got bi-monthly gel manicures during last year when I lived in Vermont, and when I first moved to Virginia I tried SNS dip nails instead. I LOVED SNS manicures initially- it lasts longer than gel, and there aren't any UV rays involved! A couple months ago I let the SNS grow off my nails though and started painting my nails myself again- as much as I love going to the nail salon, it gets pricy, and that seemed like an easy way to cut my budget. Anyways, for my birthday weekend in Charlotte, I finally got an SNS manicure again, and now I'm hooked! These past couple weeks have been very stressful, but one thing that hasn't been is the beautiful color that is lasting so well on my nails. I think I'm hooked back into salon visits for now! 

     Before I go- a quick Hurricane Florence update! A few of you checked in with me last week as the hurricane neared the East Coast, and that was so sweet. Thankfully the path of the hurricane went away from Central Virginia, so while it was a rainy weekend here, there wasn't any life threatening damage in this area. I still stayed indoors for the majority of the weekend. I am still praying for those in the NC/SC coasts who ended up having a lot of damage- so sad to see the news coverage.

      Thank you so much for reading Southern Belle in Training today, and making this post apart of your Monday! I do appreciate everyone who reads here. No blog post tomorrow as I have some busy stuff going on at work- but I'll talk to you Wednesday for this week's Midweek Ramblings!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


September 13, 2018

My Summer 2018 Bucket List: Recap!

     Late this spring, I wrote out a bucket list for this summer, filled with goals of things to do locally in Virginia, and also some personal goals! I feel that sharing it publicly on my blog helped me feel more accountable to actually accomplishing them. I'm very happy with the end result, and though it would be fun to share a recap on the blog today!

How to Complete Bucket List Goals

    My Summer 2018 Bucket List:

      Personal Bucket List:

  • Try one new recipe a week - either a dinner, snack, or dessert recipe! (I haven't been as creative in my cooking since moving and want to step up my game again!) Nope. I didn't do a great job at being creative in my cooking this summer- and weeks that I did cook from scratch I went with old favorite recipes. I think in the fall/winter I cook more often, so looking forward to trying more new recipes soon! 
  • Find a new primary care doctor in Charlottesville and make an appointment, and make an appointment with my new dentist for a teeth cleaning. Yes to primary care doctor! No to dentist... definitely need to do that! 
  • Begin my 401k savings account once I become eligible through work (and if eligibility date is later in the year, put the money I would put into that into my remaining student loan during this summer!). Yes! Started a 401k this summer.
  • Work out three times a week - either at my apartment gym, playing tennis, or going for a long trail or neighborhood walk. Yes in June/July... not so much for August. That's when some stuff started going on behind the scenes for me, so I've been distracted for the past weeks and not really motivated to work out. Need to get back to it this fall! 
  • Find a new-to-me show to watch this summer on Netflix. Yes- but On Demand instead of Netflix. Superstore is hilarious!!!
  • Finish (re-watching for me) Season One of Hart of Dixie on Netflix with my friend Becca- we are watching together! Yes! We finished it right before Labor Day Weekend.
  • Read a minimum of three books each month. Yes! 
  • Call my grandma at least once a week. Yes! 
  • Host my housewarming tea party in my new apartment. Yes! Seems like forever ago now.
  • Host friends from out of town at least once a month at my apartment! Yes! For June and July. No for August.

     Charlottesville / Virginia Summer Bucket List:

  • Plan an overnight trip to see one of Virginia's beaches. Nope. Hopefully next summer.
  • Visit one new-to-me hiking trail somewhere in the mountains. Yes! I hiked Sugar Hollow Reservoir (about 30 minutes from Charlottesville) with friends on July 4th.
  • Find a local nature walking trail in Charlottesville for weekly walks. Yes... the Rivanna trail. However I only went a couple times this summer! 
  • Drive more of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nope. Hoping for fall. 
  • Visit 12 wineries (by the time summer is over) on the Monticello Wine Trail! Nope, but I did visit a few more wineries! Just not 12 yet.
  • Go to a polo match at King Family Vineyards. Yes! 
  • Go to Sunset Series at Carter's Mountain Orchard (Thursday night concert series). Yes!
  • Shop at Short Pump in Richmond (the nicer shopping district, similar to Charlotte's SouthPark). No but also yes? I did a shopping day in Richmond a few weeks ago, however it was mostly at a different mall in another part of the city. I did drive through ShortPump on the way home though, so I could say I've seen it! 
  • Go tubing on the James River. Yes! I went tubing both on the James River, and also the Rivanna here in Charlottesville.
  • Continue meeting weekly with my women's Community Group at my new church. Yes! And it just started meeting regularly again for fall. 
  • Continue participating in monthly service projects with my new church. Yes! I have great memories from the service events that happened this summer. 

     Out of a full list of 21 items, I successfully completed fourteen (and three additional list items about 50% completed)!! I am really proud of myself for making so many of my goals happen this summer. It's going to be a crazy fall with a lot going on, so I think I'm going to skip a fall bucket list for this year, but do one for this winter instead!! January/February can be slow months with a lot of time indoors, so hopefully that will motivate me to do more in those months. Eventually I'd finally like to do a 1001 in 101 too!

     Did you make a bucket list for this summer? How did it go? 

     Hurricane Florence is expected to hit Central Virginia tomorrow through this weekend... crossing my fingers that there won't be major power outages, so that I can still get a blog post up as normal on Monday! I'll try and keep y'all posted over the weekend with how Charlottesville area is doing.

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

September 12, 2018

Midweek Ramblings.

{It's the last day of the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale! This shift dress was included in this sale. Follow me on social media @miss_alk!}

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

  • Hurricane Florence: Please join me this week in praying for the coastal regions in the Carolinas and Virginia, as Hurricane Florence makes landfall. It has been scary earlier this week to read about all of the storm predictions. I am praying that it won't be as bad as expected, and that those who need to evacuate can do so safely and easily. Here in Central Virginia, we are expecting a lot of rain for this week and the weekend, and there could be flash flooding as well. 
  • Crazy Rich Asians Round 2: I loved this movie so much that I saw it a second time in theaters! That is the second time in my life that I've ever seen a movie twice on the big screen (pretty sure the only one I've ever done that with was Freaky Friday starring Lindsey Lohan- lol!). If you haven't seen it yet- GO SEE IT before it leaves theaters for good! I'm not a movie person at all... I normally see just a couple each year. But this is one of the best romantic comedies I've ever seen, and just a beautiful portrayal of Singapore!
  • Fall TV soon: This week I am furiously trying to finish seasons 2-3 of Superstore dn demand, and also season 1 of Dynasty on Netflix. Fall TV will be back before we know it, with some shows premiering in less than two weeks! Last year I wrote a whole post dedicated to Fall TV and my picks- I'm thinking of doing that again this year. (Lol at the fact that most of my new picks for last year were cancelled- hopefully I'll do better this year!)

Weekend recaps: 
  • Last weekend: On Friday evening, I had a very low-key birthday celebration with a few close friends here in Charlottesville. We went to Krispy Kreme for donuts, and then went to see Crazy Rich Asians (my second time!). I had a bunch of adulting things to take care of Saturday morning, and that ended up going into the later afternoon. I was feeling really sleepy by late Saturday afternoon/evening, so I actually took a surprise long nap! Sunday morning I went to church, and then headed off to the nearest Lilly Pulitzer store to shop the After Party Sale! A very mellow weekend.
  • This weekend: It's looking like we might get some heavy rain and bad weather this weekend after Hurricane Florence leaves the coast, so I don't have any big plans as of now! I got extra books at the library this weekend, so I think that will be occupying my time. 

  • Loved the Lilly After Party Sale this week/last weekend!! I shopped in-store this year instead of online. (The sale continues through 11:59 pm EST tonight!) I'm most excited about a beautiful new Elsa top that I scored!
  • I also bought these cute pool flip flops which will be great for next summer or Spring Break travel! 
  • I had to get another pair of Lilly's earbuds... my friend Niki gave them for me for Christmas and I love them! In case anything happens to my pair, I wanted a back up. 😉

  • This pretty top for under $50 is still available in the After Party Sale through tonight!! How cute. 
  • I've been thinking about this gorgeous dress since I saw it in-store in Charlotte a couple weekends ago. If I had a business casual dress code at my job, I'd snatch it up for sure!
  • I like the buttons and peplum detail on this cute little top! It's under $20 too.
  • I didn't go to NYFW this year, but if I did, I feel like this fun dress with a pair of white booties would be such a fierce look. 
  • Here's a basic but cute long sleeved-shirt for fall that could be dressed down for athleisure  looks. or dressed up and paired with a skirt!

Recipe of the week: Matzo Ball Soup from my blog. I love making different homemade soups, but I never feel like it in the summer months (especially since I moved back South). It was rainy and in the 60s here on Sunday, so I made my first soup of the fall season! It's my favorite Matzo Ball Soup- which I've shared my recipe for in this blog post! 

Song of the week: Drew Barrymore by Bryce Vine. I don't usually share super explicit songs for the Song of the week... but this one is just so catchy! Lol. Anyone else listening to this on repeat? I linked the radio edit version above. 

On the blog this week: 

      xoxo Annaliese  

September 11, 2018

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale: 50 Picks Under $50!!

     It's the second day of the end-of-summer After Party Sale! There are still a ton of things available today, and the best part is that you don't have to wait in the queue line anymore to shop, like you would've had to yesterday morning. Even though all sale items are marked between 30-70% in the sale, some things are still quite pricy even with the discounts. Let's face it: Lilly Pulitzer isn't the cheapest brand in the world (hence why most of my Lilly pieces come from the After Party Sale!). The GOOD news though: there are TONS of items in the sale marked down to under $50, and many under $25! And it's not just accessories...  there are dresses, tops, swimwear, shorts, skirts and more, all at amazing prices. In today's post, I've rounded up 50 picks under $50 that are still available!

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale: 50 Picks under $50

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training, especially during the After Party Sale!

     I'd love to hear if you've purchased anything in this current Lilly sale!! Let me know in the comments. 😊 I am tempted to shop again today for round two... but trying to stick to my budget (and remembering there will be another one this winter!). 

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


September 10, 2018

AFTER PARTY SALE IS ON!!! My Lilly Pulitzer Try-On + What I Bought!

     Today is the happiest Monday morning for fellow Lilly Pulitzer lovers!! The late summer (early fall?) edition of the twice-annual Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale begins TODAY at 8 am EST on Lilly's website. There was an early in-store preview event on Saturday and Sunday at Lilly Pulitzer stores and signature stores this weekend. Yesterday afternoon, I headed to my local Lilly store to check out some of the APS offerings- and I was thrilled with what I found! I took a ton of dressing room selfies to show y'all how the pieces in this sale fit me, and what I liked/disliked. I'm also sharing my picks for best finds in general for the After Party Sales.

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale Guide

{This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training- especially during the After Party Sale! 💗}

     This was my first time shopping the After Party Sale in-store, and I really enjoyed it. It was fun for me to get to try-on many of the pieces in the sale, and I'm glad that I now have updated sizing info for myself as well! The Lilly Pulitzer APS is final sale, so the more that you know your sizes, the easier the whole process will be. I visited my local Lilly store yesterday afternoon! A lot of the sale merchandise had already been purchased on Saturday (sadly I wasn't able to make it over that day), but there will still a lot of goodies to choose from in many sizes. Here's a look into what the sale racks looked like:

     I took a ton of dressing room selfies of things I tried on to show y'all! Excuse the weird lighting and my mediocre iPhone quality photos (iPhone 6 y'all 😉) - but here are some of the items in the sale! I will be re-updating this post after 8am EST to give direct product links to each outfit! 

     *Margot dress - size XS (Runs LARGE)

     *Essie top - I'm wearing a S but should've worn XS (Runs LARGE)
     *Colette skort - size 4 (Runs SMALL)

     *Tatum Cardigan - size S (Runs true to size)

     *Etta t-shirt - I'm wearing a S but should've worn an XS (Runs LARGE)
     *Adie shorts - size 4 (Runs SMALL)
     Ignore the fact these two prints don't match at all! Lol 😄

     *Tala Romper - size S (Runs true to size)

     *Elsa top - size S (Runs LARGE)
     *Kelly skinny pants - size 4 (Runs SMALL)

     *Elsa top - size S (Runs LARGE)
     *Buttercup shorts - size 6 but should've worn 4 (Runs true to size)

     *Mila shift dress - size 4 (Runs SMALL)

     What I Purchased In-Store:

     *Elsa top in Jet Stream (pictured!)

     *Earbuds in Catch the Wave (my friend Niki gave these to me for Christmas and I loved them so much I wanted a back-up pair!)

      Things I Always Look For During The APS: 

     My Online Sale Picks:     



     The Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale will be online through Wednesday, September 12th! It is still happening in stores today-Wednesday as well, so if you didn't make it to the sale preview this weekend, there's still time to go. And friendly reminder- Lilly is always free shipping for shopping online! (Sometimes shipping does take a few weeks with After Party Sale orders due to volume, but it's still free.) Also wanted to give an important reminder that if you are shopping today right when the sale opens, be prepared to wait awhile in the queue! Do NOT refresh your web browser or you will lose your queue number. It's tough to wait it out, but soon enough you'll be let in to shop, and there will still be tons of good stuff!! 

     More After Party Sale fun comes to the blog tomorrow! There aren't many sales that I *heavily* promote on my blog, but I am such a huge fan of Lilly Pulitzer and truly love shopping this sale. I really enjoy sharing everything APS related with y'all for both the end of summer and winter sale! 

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

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