Southern Belle in Training

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

December 31, 2019

2019: Blogging Highlights + Favorite Outfits.

     It's time for my annual last blog post of the year on Southern Belle in Training! If you missed part one of my year in review, check it out here. I always share the year recap for my personal life first, and then conclude with the year in blogging, which we're doing today!


December 30, 2019

2019 in Review: Highlights From My Year.

     Time for one of my very favorite posts of the year on Southern Belle in Training!! I do two year-end recaps: one focused on my personal life (that's what you're reading today!), and one focused on the year in blogging (that will be live tomorrow). The blogging one is more for y'all, whereas this post is more for me. 😊 My life has had a lot of big changes since I started writing these yearly recaps a few years ago, and these are the blog posts that I come back to the most to look at- kind of a unique blessing that so many of the big (and small!) moments of my life each year are easy to be referenced when I'm feeling nostalgic.

     Anyways- let's get into it: 2019 in my life!!


December 27, 2019

What I Wore to Work: December 2019.

     It's been so much fun sharing my radio work outfits with you all year long! I can't believe this is my last round-up of 2019. Excited to keep this series going in 2020 as each month's post is usually a hit! Overall December was an unseasonably mild month in Charlottesville, so I didn't pull out quite as many winter sweaters and boots as I expected to, but there was still a lot of variety in my workwear this month between the warm and cold days. If you're new to these posts- I link every outfit on my so if you're curious about any of them you can find all the details there.


December 26, 2019

Radio 101: One Year as a Morning Show Host Q&A!

     One year ago today was a day that I will never forget and a highlight of my career: my first day as a morning show host! It was the best belated Christmas gift ever last year, and a dream come true. I finished undergrad in 2016 and broadcasting school in 2017- I never would have thought that just a year and a half after starting my first full-time radio job I'd get to have my dream time slot of doing mornings!

     A couple years ago, I used to love sharing fairly frequent blog posts about working radio, in a blog series that I call Radio 101. However, I think today's post might be my first and only directly about my job in 2019! I really wanted this year to be a time to settle in to my new job and focus first and foremost of getting used to my new schedule, and being the best morning show host I could be.  Being so immersed each day at work meant that I didn't really feel like diving into work related topics on the blog in my free time! But now that the first year is behind me, I'm ready to get back into it on Southern Belle in Training in 2020. I consider it a great honor to get to share my career with y'all!

      I thought the best way to celebrate our show's birthday today and to get back into my Radio 101 posts was to do a morning radio themed Q&A! Y'all sent me great questions via Instagram- I'm answering them all today.


December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve Outfit Idea.

     Merry Christmas Eve! 🎄Keeping things short and sweet on the blog today, but I wanted to share this cute red dress with you. I know that red is traditionally a December color for fashion, but I think this dress could also brighten up some January and February outfits in the winter months to come!


December 23, 2019

HUGE Holiday PR Package Unboxing!

     Wow- this post is super overdue!! I normally try to write four PR package unboxing posts a year (one for each season), but somehow time got away from me and I haven't written one since last summer. Time to change that!! 
    If you're new to these posts, this is my chance to review the packages and mail that I receive as PR from brands. Brands (especially beauty companies) love to send bloggers free gifts in hope of a positive review. I am not in a paid collaboration with any of the brands featured today- it's my choice to share these products I've received with you, as well as an honest review!


December 20, 2019

Christmas Decor 2019.

    How are we already less than a week out from Christmas? As per usual, December has absolutely flown by. I have a different fake tree this year than I've used for the past few years, so I wanted to be sure to snap a few photos of this year's tree and decor before the season ended for the blog! I plan to share a tour of my whole new apartment on here in January.


December 16, 2019

RISE AND SHINE: How to Become a Morning Person from a Morning Show Host.

     I'm not a Kardashian fan, but I couldn't resist the Kylie Jenner reference for the title of this post haha! I'm just a week and a half shy of my one year anniversary of being a morning radio host. Work-wise it's been an incredible year full of learning, but the biggest challenge of the year has nothing to do with actually being on-air or relating to my co-host. The toughest part has definitely been my schedule. Over the past year, I've completely changed my lifestyle to accommodate my crazy work hours. I've gone from being the biggest night owl in the world back in college, to liking mornings in my first couple years after school, to training myself to wake up well before the sun for life as a morning show host! 

     I try to be a pretty humble person and there's not a lot of things that I'd say I'm an "expert" on, but I'd say I'm pretty well qualified to give advice about waking up early and becoming a morning person. Some of my Charlottesville girlfriends were recently asking my advice on this, and I figured it would make a great blog post topic!


December 13, 2019

How I Paid Off My Student Loans.

     One of my resolutions for the year 2019 was the finish paying off my remaining student loan debt. My initial goal was to have it paid by the end of the year, then that goal got moved up to before my birthday (early September)... but I ended up becoming debt free in mid-July 2019!! 

      Everyone's journey with paying off school looks very different- I have friends with 10x the amount of debt that I had, and friends whose parents paid for their entire education or who had full ride scholarships. Knowing that everyone's situation is super different, I still wanted to share my own story in hopes it might encourage someone! Even if you don't have school loan debt, maybe my story could still inspire you with another type of debt (like credit card debt or car payments).


December 11, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{A festive Christmas manicure from Rituals Salon & Spa! Use my code Annaliese20 for $20 off services there this season! And follow me on Instagram @miss_alk} 

December 9, 2019

Purse Review: Why I Love My Barrington Gifts St. Anne Tote!

    If you follow other bloggers (especially other preppy bloggers), chances are you have seen others style and share about Barrington Gifts totes before. I found out about Barrington Gifts from other bloggers years ago! I was immediately captivated by how classic their tote styles are, and I loved the fact that they could be so customized. I've now been using my first Barrington Gifts St. Anne tote for about a month, and I'm excited to share a full review of this bag with y'all today!


December 5, 2019

50 Holiday Gifts from Belk Under $50 + GIVEAWAY!

     Today's blog post is sponsored by Belk. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!

     When I think about all of the marvelous things that I discovered about the South when I moved to North Carolina years ago as a college freshman, a favorite thing on that list would definitely be Belk. They are the the quintessential Southern department store! They carry so many fantastic brands, offer amazing sales throughout the year, and I love the fact that they're headquartered in my favorite city of Charlotte. I've been a loyal Belk shopper for years, so it's truly a dream come true to partner with them here on the blog! Their Charlottesville store has a beautiful new mural, so I'll be sharing a bit about that, a bunch of great gift ideas for men and women under $50, and the details of the Instagram giveaway I'm currently doing for a Belk gift card!


December 4, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{I had fun going out for drinks and dinner at a new-to-me restaurant while I was home in Maine for Thanksgiving! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

December 3, 2019

Guess Where My Entire Outfit is From! (& a great Cyber Week Sale!)

     Cyber Monday may have officially been yesterday, but a lot of the best deals and sales are still continuing into this week. The dress, coat, shoes, purse and earrings I'm wearing are all from the same retailer, and they currently have thousands of items marked down for their extended Cyber Monday sale, which is continuing today. Ready to learn where this outfit is from?


December 2, 2019

What I Bought on Black Friday!

     Happy Monday! It can definitely be tough to get back in the swing of things on a Monday after a holiday long weekend, but fortunately today is Cyber Monday, so that should make things a little bit better! 😉I'm excited to be sharing some of my Black Friday purchases from this year with y'all today- these retailers are all still doing sales today, so if you are interested in these items or something similar it's probably still very discounted!


November 28, 2019

Black Friday 2019: HUGE Sale List + What I'm Buying!

     Happy Thanksgiving!! I had thought I'd be finishing this post this evening and getting it up for you tomorrow bright and early, but due to some changes in my travel plans it's actually getting up now. Early shopping anyone? 😉


November 27, 2019

What I Wore to Work: November 2019.

     It's the day before Thanksgiving- we've almost made it through this half week! Or if you happen to have the whole week off from work, I hope you're enjoying some rest and vacation already! 😊 Normally I share Midweek Ramblings posts on Wednesdays, but I wanted to be sure to get my November work wear on the blog before Thanksgiving and the start of December, so that's what I'm sharing today. October was still a pretty warm month in Charlottesville, so I feel like this was the first month that I truly dove into all fall fashion with my work outfits! 


November 25, 2019

Holiday Party Season Ready with Babbleboxx!

     Today's post is sponsored by Babbleboxx. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!

     Eeeek- it's almost holiday party season! Definitely one of the best parts about this time of year. As excited as I am for a few days off for Thanksgiving this week, knowing that holiday parties are coming up in December is already making me excited for what's ahead! My company actually hasn't picked the date or location for our annual party yet, but I'm already excited to know when and where so I can start outfit planning. I know that I'll have at least a few other get-togethers with friends too!  

     Babbleboxx recently gifted me with this fun Party Me Pretty box, filled with essentials that would get any girl holiday party ready. Some of these products have already become my new favorites for the season ahead!! I can't wait to share everything with you. 


November 21, 2019

Neutral Thanksgiving Outfit + My Thanksgiving Plans!

     In the spirit of November, let's chat Thanksgiving! I think this outfit would be perfect to wear for a Thanksgiving meal, and there's a high chance I might be wearing something similar next Thursday. I also wanted to share my Thanksgiving plans for this year with y'all, since they changed a few weeks ago!


November 20, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{Spent my Monday afternoon in the best way- winery hopping! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

November 18, 2019

GIFT GUIDE: Best Etsy Shops to Buy From.

     Kicking off this year's gift guides series with one that I'm especially excited about! Etsy is of course a great place to find really unique gifts that you wouldn't find in typical retailers, and it's a win-win as you're also supporting a small business in the process! However, Etsy can sometimes be kind of hit or miss with the customer service policies of a specific shop. Especially if it's a newer shop or one without a lot of reviews yet, you might not know what to expect!

    For my first gift guide of 2019, I'm sharing some fun Etsy shop items that I personally own, or have gifted to others for holidays past! 


November 14, 2019

How Jazzercise is Helping Me Staying Fit When Traveling.

     Today's blog post is sponsored by Jazzercise. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Southern Belle in Training!     

Over the past year, I've enjoyed developing a fitness routine and prioritizing it in my weekly schedule. The one area that I was struggling with though was staying motivated with working out when I travel. I'm a huge enthusiast of weekend trips- so I'm usually out of town about one weekend a month (sometimes more!). Thanks to Jazzercise On Demand, it's now much easier for me to keep up with fitness when I'm on the go, and I can't wait to share more about it with you today!


November 13, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{Got my hair done this week at Rituals Salon and Spa! My dress can be found here- use code alk315 for 15% off! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

November 12, 2019

Virginia Winery Review: 12 Ridges Vineyard.

     12 Ridges is a brand new Virginia vineyard that opened less than three months ago! It is one of the most unique ones that I've yet to visit, and I am already dreaming about my next visit back. I'm excited to share more about the perfect fall afternoon I had at 12 Ridges today!


November 11, 2019

Why I Don't Use Instagram on Sundays.

     Confession time: I've been taking a weekly break from Instagram for the last year and a half or so, and it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made! 


November 7, 2019

You Need This Chinoiserie Dress!

      Ever since I got this dress in the mail a few weeks ago, I have been dying to share it with y'all on the blog! The price point on it is amazing, and I am obsessed with the print of the fabric. Blue and white always makes for a classic outfit!


November 6, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{Hiking at Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina this past weekend with my friend Liane! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

November 4, 2019

Indoor Activities I Love in Fall/Winter.

     This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TeaProudly #CollectiveBias #FallForBenefitsTea


October 31, 2019

The Purrfect Couples Costume... For You and Your Cat!

Happy Halloween!! I've been anxiously awaiting share my costume for this year with y'all... because it features my cat Delilah! Truly the purrfect couples costume, right? 


October 29, 2019

What I Wore to Work: October 2019.

     It's already nearing the end of October, which means time to share this month's work outfits! This was an interesting month for what I wore M-F. First and foremost because the Virginia weather is so unpredictable at this time of year. We had about a solid week earlier in the month of record breaking heat in the mid-90s, but then it has seriously cooled down as the month went on. I re-wore some favorite summer outfits one last time, and also began wearing more fall clothes!

     All of these outfits are linked individually on my LiketoKnow.It page! Thanks for reading!


October 28, 2019

Midi Skirt with Sneakers: The 2019 Trend I'm On Board With.

     The older I get, I feel like the less likely I am to try certain trends. In high school and college, I was all about it. I knew that I loved wearing bright colors and fun prints, but I didn't have much of a sense of my personal style yet aside from that.  Now I'm pretty selective about trying new trends- I don't feel pressured anymore to try ones that aren't something I'd wear if they weren't "in." Today's post though features one big 2019 trend that I'm glad I have finally come around and embraced: midi skirts with sneakers!


October 24, 2019

I Tried Beautycounter: My Unbiased and Honest Review!

     If you've been hearing a lot of buzz about a skincare and makeup brand called Beautycounter, and are curious what the hype is, today's blog post will break down everything for you! I'm not a Beautycounter consultant myself, nor am I being paid to share positive reviews (I was gifted these products but this isn't a sponsored collaboration!). I just wanted to test out these products that have been getting a lot of hype, and after testing them write a truly honest blog post review- which is exactly what's here in today's blog post!


October 23, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{Went to my first UVA football game on Saturday! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

October 21, 2019

Signs It Might Be Time to Leave Your Job.

     I am so fortunate to currently have a job that I dreamed about as a little girl: being a radio host. That dream got a bit more specific once I entered broadcasting school after college, when I specifically wanted to be a morning radio host. At age 24, that dream came true! I've been a morning show co-host for almost a whole year, and my job is just as fun and enjoyable as I always hoped it would be.
     However, my start in the radio world was far from being my dream job. Things got so bad at my first full-time radio job that I actually considered quitting broadcasting altogether, and moving back home with my parents temporarily to figure out my life and find some other sort of full time job. Yikes!! I am so thankful that I gave radio another chance with a different station and company (and never had to move back home 😅), but I sure did come close to giving everything up, because I was in such a bad spot. My feelings of desperation were all due to the fact that my first job was such a miserable experience, for a variety of reasons. Today I'm going to share some observations and warnings from my first job that helped me make the decision to leave and find a new one! While the radio industry can be very specific and unique, a lot of the things I was dealing with could happen in a variety of jobs, so I hope this post will be applicable to those in all different industries!


October 17, 2019

Life Changes I've Made for My Faith.

     Despite the fact that my Christian faith is one of the biggest parts of my life, I don't often write about faith topics in depth on the blog. I often let my insecurities get the best of me in this area of life, and tell myself that I'm unqualified to speak so publicly on Christian topics. I also know that a lot of you who read here don't share my religious views- and I always want Southern Belle in Training to be a place where all feel welcomed (and hopefully I can share my faith with you in a loving and not pushy way). Anyways, the idea to do this blog post has been on my heart for a good few months now, so I'm finally pushing through my nerves and just doing it! This is a pretty personal post but hopefully it'll make you think and maybe consider some things about your own faith journey.


October 16, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{Had to grab a slice of my favorite cheesecake while in Richmond this weekend! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

October 15, 2019

Charleston SC Travel Diary - Part 2

     Last week I shared my own Travel Diary from my recent Charleston trip! Today I'm turning things over to my friend Priyanka, who was my travel companion. Since I was in Charleston for a friend's wedding, those festivities kept me pretty busy and I didn't get to explore as much as Priyanka did. Since she got to see more of Charleston than I did on this trip, I wanted her to be able to share her additional travel recommendations with y'all! In addition to some of the more popular touristy spots, Priyanka also discovered a lot that was off the beaten path. She kindly wrote up this awesome recap and also sent over some photos she took- so I'm sharing that as the second part of my Charleston Travel Diary today!


October 14, 2019

FALL HAUL: Amazon + J. Crew Factory Try-On.

     Mondays are better with a little virtual shopping, right? The number one thing that I was requested to do more of on my blog from my last reader survey was to do more try-on hauls! To be perfectly honest- I don't always love watching when other bloggers share these on their Instagram Stories. I'd personally rather read a blog post seeing photos of an outfit all styled rather than dressing room like videos of it. That's just me though! 😊Clearly y'all really do enjoy these. I'll never be the type of blogger who shares them weekly (or goodness forbid daily haha!), but my goal is to do some every couple months for y'all. 

     I've recently done a good bit of shopping at Amazon and J. Crew Factory (with one item from Walmart as well), so I wanted to share everything for y'all for easy fall shopping! I tried to make sure most of my purchases over the last month were versatile picks that could be styled many different ways for fall and winter. I think I did pretty well, and I think y'all will like these items too! 

    My sizing info: I am a size 4/6 (depends on clothing brand), 28 in jeans, and my height is 5'7. I normally wear a 9 in women's shoes but both pairs featured today I went down to an 8.5


October 10, 2019

Wearing Lilly Pulitzer in Charleston.

     After Labor Day, I generally put away some of my warmest weather Lilly Pulitzer pieces. It often stays warm here in the South well into October, but I prefer to start wearing things that are in slightly more fall colors than a lot of my bright and neon colored Lilly. My recent trip to Charleston was a few weeks after Labor Day, but I broke my own rule and brought along one of my new shift dresses from the recent After Party Sale!


October 8, 2019

Afternoon at Glenmore Country Club.

    I've lived in Charlottesville for a year and a half now, and I still feel like there are so many new-to-me places to be discovered. For a fairly small city, Charlottesville and Albemarle County sure have a lot to offer! I recently made my first visit to a local country club. My friend Tyler is the Events Manager for Glenmore Country Club, and she invited me out one afternoon a few weeks ago to take some blog photos at her favorite spots indoors and outdoors around the club! I'm finally sharing these photos with you today, and I especially love the dress I wore. 


October 7, 2019

Charleston SC Travel Diary - Part 1.

     I'm so excited to be sharing more about my recent long weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina! Charleston is an extremely popular tourist destination- not only with the Southern states that are fairly close by, but with visitors from all over the US and the world! This historic and beautiful Southern city has a lot of unique attractions and world class food- and I was so excited to explore. The main reason for my trip was to attend my friend Eddrinia's wedding, but I still had a lot of fun seeing (and eating) my way through Charleston when I wasn't at the wedding events! Prior to this, I had been to Charleston once before for The Blog Societies conference in 2016, but I didn't get to explore much on that trip.

    I'm doing this post Travel Diary style instead of Travel Guide because a.) I feel like there are many bloggers or travel experts that are way more qualified to share in depth about Charleston than I am, and b.) it was mainly a personal vacation and not a blog content trip. But with that said I still wanted to share some of the photos I took and my favorite spots visited. 😊


October 3, 2019

The Most Awkward Situation I've Ever Had as a Blogger.

     I celebrated 7 years of blogging last month, and in that time-frame there have been so many incredible moments and memories that I've had. I've been lucky enough to partner with so many wonderful brands and companies over the years, and even formed long-lasting business relationships with a few. It's only natural though that there have also been some blog opportunities that didn't turn about to be as positive as I envisioned. A couple weeks ago I had to deal with an unexpected awkward situation with a blogging collaboration, so I wanted to share today how I handled it! And share one of my favorite outfits that I wore on my Charleston trip last week as well. 


October 2, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{At Foxfield this past weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

October 1, 2019

One Year of Being a Cat Mom!

    One year ago today, I adopted my cat Delilah, and got to bring her home! October 1st is her "Gotcha" day, and I figured a full year of cat ownership finally deserved a dedicated post all about Delilah and being a pet mom. Stay tuned as well for tons of adorable photos- I take so many cute photos of her each day that it was honestly hard to narrow it down to just favorites!


September 30, 2019

What I Wore to Work: September 2019.

     It's the last day of September, so it's time yet again to share my work outfits from the month! September ended up being a very hot month in Virginia overall, so I was still re-wearing a lot of favorite summer work outfits. Also a disclaimer in advance that this month only has about half the amount of work OOTDs that I usually share! The first week of the month my mirror was still completely packed in bubble wrap from moving, and then I had a couple days off of work for my Charleston trip as well.

     If you're new to my workwear posts- instead of linking below each photo, I have all of these outfits shared on my page! Just check that out if you're curious about anything. 


September 29, 2019

Renter Friendly Apartment Decor: How I Added a Polka Dot Border Wall.

     Happy Sunday!! I asked on Instagram Stories yesterday if y'all would rather see this post today or at the end of next week (since I don't usually do blog posts on the weekends). The answer was overwhelmingly to post it today, so here we go! I'm so excited to be sharing a review and tutorial for using these renter-friendly wall decals, and more info about the Etsy shop that sells them!

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


September 26, 2019

Colorful and Preppy Early Fall Look + Summer Bucket List Recap.

     It definitely doesn't feel like the first week of fall in Virginia this week- as the temperatures have been back in the mid-high 80s. A couple weeks ago we had a little taste of fall weather though- it got all the way down to the low 70s. Today I wanted to share this outfit that I wore during those cooler days, and I also wanted to recap my summer bucket list for this year- I was curious to see how many goals I accomplished!


September 25, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.

{In Charleston this weekend with my friend Priyanka! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}
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