Southern Belle in Training

Affordable Fashion // Attainable Travels // Authentic Living

March 21, 2019

PACKING GUIDE: Early Spring Weekend in Nashville.

     Today after work I'm leaving for a weekend trip to Nashville with my parents! This will be my first trip to Music City. Everyone I know who has been there has loved it, so it's safe to say Nashville has been very hyped up for me! I'm excited to experience it for myself. I thought that I would share this packing guide in today's post so that y'all could preview my suitcase! 

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March 20, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.



{I had a great time attending the Hometown Charlottesville Grand Gala this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

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



Ramblings:
  • Blue light glasses: I got my first pair (these)! I had been researching them for awhile, and was planning to buy some soon as I've started getting migraines again. I think it's due to the fact that my new radio studio has an extra computer monitor (from three to four), and looking at screens that early in the morning makes me prone to more migraines. I ended up getting contacted by DIFF to do a sponsored Instagram Story for a big sale that they're having this week, and one of the glasses that I was able to select was a blue light glasses style! That's what I went with, and I've been wearing them for computer work since Monday. I don't feel like two days is long enough to make a decision on if I like them or not, but I'm hoping for the best!! I did do some research about them and saw that scientifically, blue light glasses don't really "protect" your eyes, but a lot of people who wear them regularly for computer work say they have less of a chance of getting migraines while wearing them (which is why I got them). Let me know if y'all would like me to do a blog post review on these once it's been a little while! 
  • Borrowing a bridesmaids dress: As pictured above, I went to a Black Tie charity gala with some of my coworkers this weekend. I had originally bought a dress for the event, but after showing pictures of it to my mom and some friends, I decided against wearing it. Ideally I wanted to just return that one and not spend money on another dress- and that's exactly what I was able to do! I borrowed a bridesmaid dress from my friend Eden, and it ended up being perfect. It got me thinking that should I have more formal occasions this year, I'm going to ask more friends if they have bridesmaid dresses I can wear. What a cheap and great way to get more use out of something that's probably just sitting in a girl's closet! 
  • Delilah goes to the vet: Last Thursday, I had to take Delilah to the vet. She was diagnosed with a UTI. 😢 Fortunately it was caught at a good time- the vet thinks it'll be treated easily with medicine. But it was so tough to see her at the vet. They had to draw her blood as well as give her a shot- I think watching it I was doing worse than she was. I have no idea how parents can do okay when they bring sick children to the doctor, I was almost a wreck and she's just my cat!

Weekend Recaps:
  • Last weekend: I went to barre class Saturday morning, and then headed to the library to get some blog work done! Saturday evening was the Hometown Charlottesville Grand Gala, which benefitted The Center (Charlottesville's senior center). My company was a media sponsor, so I attended with coworkers! (My friend Alicia was my plus one.) On Sunday, I went to church, shot photos for a fun campaign that will be on the blog soon, and ended the day with my friend Amy's baby shower! Her sister Emily planned it, and did a wonderful job! 
  • This weekend: Headed to Nashville, TN with my parents! It is my first time visiting- send any last minute recommendations my way. 😊

Purchases: Anyone else feel like they had a ton of birthdays and showers to buy gifts for this month? No fun shopping for me this week- just gifts for those with occasions to celebrate. Hoping to do some shopping in Nashville though!


Wishlist:
  • This little ruffled dress is adorable, and comes in both baby pink and black!
  • Kate from Lonestar Southern shared this darling pink dress on her blog last week- it's so cute! I don't currently have an occasion to wear this for, but I'm still tempted to get it.
  • Is it bad to share a third dress in a row? Haha! I love the beautiful blue color and pretty pattern on this one.
  • This is such a cute peplum striped shirt! 
  • If you're looking for a comfortable but cute spring sandal, this would be it! This brand makes the comfiest sandals (I wore them exclusively when I used to work in retail). 

Recipe of the week: The Best Burger Recipe from Our Savory Life. I had a craving for burgers a few days ago (which I don't often make at home). I used this recipe to season the ground beef! I did omit the Worcestershire sauce because I'm not crazy about the taste of that in meat, but I used the seasonings and butter as this recipe directs! They were so tasty that I ate them just as patties- no bun or cheese needed.

Song of the week: Dancing With a Stranger by Sam Smith ft. Normani. Get this- I'm not really a fan of other music by Sam Smith or Fifth Harmony/Normani. But this song? LOVE! These two sound great together. 

Favorite blog posts this week:
  • Diary of a Debutante - Love these tips from Stephanie to have a more relaxing bath time experience!
  • A Mix of Min - Mindy shared a heartfelt blog post about how she developed her interest in running- I loved reading!
  • I'm Fixin to Blog - Meghan shared her ultimate North Carolina bucket list! I enjoyed reminiscing on some of these things that I've done, and look forward to hopefully doing more someday.
On the blog this week:


    God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese 



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March 19, 2019

My Current Daily Routine.

     I always love reading daily routine or "day in my life" posts from other bloggers, so I thought sharing my own current weekday schedule would be a fun way to wrap up my March Tuesday blog post series on routines! Since I became a morning radio host at the end of last year, my weekday routine as changed a lot. I realize that I don't have a normal schedule at all, but I think now that I'm a few months into it I'm pretty settled and able to make the most of it!

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March 18, 2019

ONE YEAR in Charlottesville - Reflecting on My First Year.

    One.Year.In.CHARLOTTESVILLE!!! Wow. I feel like a year ago today I blinked... and then woke up and here we are. 365 days of being a Virginian. 365 days since I became a Southern Belle in Training for the second time. 365 days of true joy, and peace in my heart and soul. Obviously today's blog post had to be a tribute to my first year in the city that I'm glad to call my home! 


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March 15, 2019

Early Spring PR Packages Review.

     It's been far too long since I've done a PR package review on the blog! Over the last month, I've received some wonderful spring mailers from brands that I love, so I wanted to share and review them for you today! Here's my usual disclaimer about PR reviews if you haven't read one of these posts before: nothing that I'm featuring here today is sponsored! I simply like to share and review the packages that I get sent by brands for blogging. 😊


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March 13, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.




{Loved finally getting to see Evelyn Henson's Confetti Hearts Wall mural while in Charlotte this weekend! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}
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March 12, 2019

How I Got Back into Fitness + Weekly Gym Routine.

    For my March Tuesday blog post series, we're talking all things routines! Last week, I shared my daily makeup routine for work and church. Today, I'm sharing the current fitness routine that I've had in place since September, and how I started finding different workouts that work for me!


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March 11, 2019

NYFW 2019: Colorful NYC Mural + Would I Go To NYFW Again Soon?

     Finishing my final outfit post from last month's New York trip on a very colorful note! Sharing my last outfit with you today, as well as my thoughts on if I'm going to Fashion Week again soon.


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March 7, 2019

NYFW 2019 Travel Diary: Days 2 + 3

     I can't believe this is one of my last posts from NYFW! I've had so much fun recapping this trip and all of the Fashion Week events over the last few weeks. I'll be sharing the last outfit that I wore in Monday's post, and for today I'll be recapping what I did during the second and third days of NYFW!


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March 6, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.




{Signs of spring in Charlottesville, even though the weather is still freezing! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

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


Ramblings:

  • Moving prep: My current apartment lease ends at the end of summer, and I'm 99% sure I'll be MOVING! Don't worry- not out of Charlottesville though. 😊My rent will be increasing a bit if I were to re-sign a lease in my current place, so I've started looking around at other apartments in Charlottesville. I'm also planning to move back in with a roommate or roommates (after what will be two and a half years of living alone when this current lease ends). While it will be a big change in my living situation coming at the end of summer, I'm also excited for what's ahead, and thankful that I've started looking at other apartments really early, to make it as stress-free as possible! I'm sure I'll do a longer blog post on this once it gets closer to moving time. 
  • Best Easter decorations ever: This is hands-down the best thing I found online this week! Interior designer Jennifer Houghton of Turtle Creek Lane goes all out with Easter decorations in her family's beautiful home! Southern Living made a video about her gorgeous decor style that I absolutely adored watching. I just put up a few Easter decorations in my place- I hope someday I can do some over-the-top decor for my favorite holiday too! 
  • Stuck train: Did you hear about this news story from last week? Passengers and crew on an Amtrak train going from Washington state to California were stranded for almost two days in rural Oregon after serious snow blocked the train from continuing on. How terrifying for them! Thankfully the train was finally able to start moving again and everyone was accounted for safely, but I'm just shocked that a news story like this didn't make bigger national news last week? I just think it's odd that the Kardashian drama made bigger national news than something serious like this- but I'm so glad everyone who was on board is okay! Hopefully Amtrak can do something serious to compensate the passengers and crew. 

Weekend recaps:
  • Last weekend: Nothing too exciting happened, but I felt very productive at the end of it! I got my grocery shopping done early and out of the way on Friday afternoon (might have to keep doing that instead of Sunday evenings!). On Saturday I went to barre class, toured a few apartments, and then I had a few friends and my radio co-host Marc over on Saturday night for fondue. On Sunday I went to church, got another workout in at the gym, and then spent the afternoon at the library with a friend, prepping blog posts for the week ahead. 
  • This weekend: Headed out of town for a girls' trip with seven friends from Charlottesville, and I am so excited about it!! I also took next Monday off of work to rest and recoup after getting back Sunday night, which will be much needed I'm sure.

Purchases: Another week of just buying gifts! This spring I have a lot of birthdays, as well as some showers to buy for.  


Wishlist: 

Recipe of the week: German Cheddar and Beer Fondue from Rachael Ray. I made this on Saturday night for my friends, and it was great!! I've made straight cheddar fondue before, but since this one used two types of cheese, I think it was even better. Plus- I trust any recipe of Rachael Ray! 😊


Song of the week: Inima Nebuna by DJ Project ft. Mira. Y'all know that outside of my day job in radio, I actually listen to a lot of international music in my free time! Eastern European pop is my favorite, and thanks to Spotify I just recently discovered Romanian group DJ Project. This new song of theirs featuring Mira (another Romanian artist) is really good! 


Favorite blog posts of the week:
  • Olivia Rink - Olivia shared a very heartfelt post called "Confessions of a Workaholic," and I felt like I could relate so much to it! 
  • Brighton The Day - Bright talked about productive things to do on Sunday afternoons to set yourself up for a productive week- I definitely tried a couple this weekend. 
  • Extra Petite - Jean styled two classic and chic business casual looks with tights- perfect for the winter/spring transition season. 

On the blog this week:

     God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese 
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March 5, 2019

My Daily Makeup Routine!

    This blog post has been a long time coming... as in I should've posted something like this years ago! Better late than never, right? Today I'm sharing my daily makeup routine, which is what I do for work everyday, and church on Sundays. My Tuesday blog post series for March focuses on different types of routines, and I thought this would be a fun one to start with, since it's been so requested over the years! I apologize in advance for the million photos in this post, but I wanted to really show the detail of how I apply everything.



    This routine takes me 15 minutes to do each morning. It's definitely a little bit longer than a very basic five minute face routine (with just essentials like concealer and mascara) - but I feel my best each day if I spend a little extra time on my makeup in the mornings! I usually start doing my makeup at 3:45 am before work- if I'm able to do this that early in the day, I promise it's not that hard! 🙂                                                             
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March 4, 2019

Affordable & Glamorous Sequin Outfit.

     Even though Fashion Week is associated with expensive designer clothing pieces, I didn't let that deter me from my favorite affordable retailers when I was packing my outfits! Today's blog post features my very favorite outfit that I wore for NYFW, and you won't believe the price point.
     ALSO- sharing a fun spring themed Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post that I'm participating in with some other bloggers, don't miss your chance to enter!

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February 27, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.


{A spring themed Sunday Best outfit for church this past weekend! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

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


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February 26, 2019

What I Wore to Work: February 2019

       February was a fun month with work outfits! After I got back from Fashion Week, I was really inspired to start dressing in outfits that truly reflect my style and personality for work. Earlier this winter, I feel like I got a little too into the fact that I work in a casual environment, and got into a boring habit of wearing jeans, a sweater, and boots every single day. This month I wanted to change that! I love more business casual or dressy type work outfits, and I started incorporating those a few days a week, which has made my heart so happy! With warmer weather coming next month, I can't wait to pull out some favorite dresses again. 


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February 25, 2019

Best Winter Lilly Pulitzer Dress + Lilly Store on Madison Ave!

     Today's outfit was definitely in my top three favorites that I wore at NYFW! I am obsessed with this gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer dress from Pink Colony- and I knew that I had to save it for our shopping day in the Upper East Side.


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February 21, 2019

NYFW 2019 Travel Diary: Day 1.

     Two weeks ago today, I was boarding a plane bound for New York City and my very first NYFW! Today I'm so excited to begin my in-depth recaps of the shows that I attended, as well as fun NYC things that Gentry and I did. Our first day, Friday February 8th, was our busiest day, so today's post will just focus on recapping that!

     In case you've missed it, I've already shared a full post all about my Friday outfit, and I've also shared why I went to NYFW, my NYFW vlog, and a post that breaks down where to find show and event invites (especially if you have a smaller blog following!). 


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February 20, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.


{Celebrated Galentine's over the weekend with the sweetest Charlottesville friends! Follow me on social media @miss_alk} 

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



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February 19, 2019

NYFW: WHERE To Get Invites to Shows & Parties as a "Small Blogger"

     Happy Tuesday! Tuesdays on the blog means that I share weekly posts all related to a monthly topic- and this month I'm dedicated my Tuesday series to some more specific topics related to NYFW! During the first Tuesday of the month, I shared the reasons why I decided to go to NYFW. Last Tuesday, I shared the vlog from the trip! And this week, I'm talking all about how you can go to NYFW as a smaller blogger, and still get great fashion show and event invites.



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February 18, 2019

Edgy Lilly Pulitzer Look for NYFW.

    The color black and the brand Lilly Pulitzer probably aren't two things that you associate together, right? When I hear "Lilly Pulitzer," I immediately think of palm trees, flamingos, and the brightest hues- and I especially think of varying shades of pink! But surprise surprise, the Lilly Pulitzer brand is always mixing things up a little bit, and after today's blog post you might positively associate the color black with Lilly as well!

     Gentry and I were so happy to team up with Pink Colony, a Lilly Pulitzer specialty boutique in Stowe, VT. I first connected with store owner Jessica and the Pink Colony team when I lived in Vermont! (You might remember this blog post that I did with the store!) I've loved following along with the growth of the store in the months following, and it was so much fun to partner with Pink Colony for Fashion Week. Kind of like how the color black isn't usually associated with Lilly, NYFW probably isn't either! But Gentry and I are both huge Lilly girls, and we wanted to change that. 😉 If you truly love your Lilly Pulitzer, I guarantee you can find a Lilly clothing item to work for any type of fashion situation!

    You'll notice in today's photos that I have two different hairstyles- we took photos both before and after our hair appointments at Palms Salon! (Side note: I highly recommend Palms Salon for a blow out or other hairstyle if you're in NYC!)



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February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day! Here Are My Favorite Relationship Posts...

     Happy Valentine's Day, friends! Whether you're single, dating, engaged, married, or even getting over a recent heartbreak... I still hope that today is a great day for you. Eat something sweet, and wear something pink and red and/or with hearts!! Tell someone that you love them- even if that's a friend or family member!

     I feel really lucky that 2018 (shortly after moving to Virginia) was around the time that I got into the most positive mindset of my life about being single. I stopped playing the comparison game against friends who were dating, engaged, or married, and have instead tried to make a genuine effort to have a heart of thankfulness for my current state of life each and every day. With that said- that hasn't not always been the case for me! In college, I struggled so much with being single, and I had a few rough Valentine's Days in those years. In college (I think especially if you live on campus like I did), it sometimes feels like a world of its own, and it can start to seem like everyone around you is doing something that you're not. For me,  it always seemed like everyone else on my small campus had a Valentine or was in a relationship. (Obviously this wasn't the case- but I'd throw these giant pity parties where it would seem that way!) Basically, I really struggled with contentment in singleness in my college years, and I so wish that 24 year old me could have said something to 18 or 19 year old me about finding joy during that season of life, even without a boyfriend!

     Anyways- here on the blog I enjoy writing about dating and singleness with my ongoing Relationship Monday blog series. I don't have a certain Monday of each month that I post these... I just kind of share them when I feel inspired! I wasn't able to get up any new relationship content for today on the blog, so I thought that instead I'd share a round-up of five of my favorite relationship related blog posts from years past!!




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February 13, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.



{Airport picture before heading off to NYFW last week! Follow me on Instagram at miss_alk!}

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


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February 12, 2019

NYFW 2019: My New York Fashion Week VLOG!

     I'M BACK FROM NYFW!!! Caps lock totally needed, because what a weekend!


{Preview of a special blog collaboration with Pink Colony!! More to come soon} 


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February 7, 2019

#CatMom: Finding Delilah's Food + Fun With an Indoor Cat.

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


     Many of you know that I adopted a sweet rescue kitty named Delilah back in the fall! She has brought so much joy to my life since coming home with me, but there's also a lot that goes into being a cat mom that I didn't realize before I got her. Today I'll be sharing a few ideas for how to have fun with an indoor cat (keeping games and toys exciting for them), and first I'll also be chatting a bit about how I made the decision to change Delilah's food and start feeding her Purina® Pro Plan® Savor®





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February 5, 2019

NYFW 2019: Why I Decided To Go + Preview My Outfits!

     Happy Tuesday! It's the first Tuesday of February, which means time to debut my latest Tuesday blog post series. I originally shared that this month's series would be all about routines (fitness routine, daily makeup routine, etc), BUT at the last minute I decided to shift those posts over to March! I'm headed to New York Fashion Week (NYFW) this month, and it'll be the first time I'm officially getting to attend! In addition to recapping the outfits that I will be wearing and the shows and events that Gentry and I are attending, I wanted to share more "behind the scenes" content with y'all as well, which is what I'll be sharing on Tuesdays this month! To kick things off today, I'm sharing why I decided to go in the first place, and a special preview of a few of the outfits you'll catch me sporting!



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February 4, 2019

Winter / Spring 2019 Travel Plans!

     Happy Monday! As January came to a close last week, it hit me that I spent the entire month of January right here in Charlottesville. I didn't have any trips this month- not even a weekend overnight! Since moving to Virginia almost a year ago, I've had much more freedom and flexibility for travel. I used to work weekends at my previous job, so it was was almost impossible for me to get away, unless it was a brief vacation planned very far in advance. I currently have a lot more ability to travel, and you bet I do every chance I get!

     It was kind of nice to spend the whole first month of the year at home, but I'm more than ready to head out of town in the next couple months for some fun adventures!! I haven't always been in the best in the past on the blog with sharing where I'm traveling before it happens, so let's mix that up today. Here are the places I'm traveling to in February, March and early April of this year!


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

{This suitcase isn't available anymore, but this is the brand it's from!}


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January 31, 2019

What I Wore to Work: January 2019.

   Time to start something new on the blog! I've been sharing my weekday work outfits on Instagram Stories almost daily for over a year now. I figured that it's about time that I share these on the blog as well, so it'll be easy for y'all to find them and use them for your own outfit inspo! These are all 100% the outfits that I wear weekdays to my job- nothing here is styled "just for the 'Gram". 😊 I work as a radio host, and the radio station dress code for on-air personalities is very casual. I wish some days that I could wear a dressy pantsuit and heels to work, but that would look very out of place amongst my coworkers, haha! 

    I wear jeans to work usually four out of five weekdays in the coldest months  (like January). The other day of the week I'll wear workout clothes and plan to go to the gym right after work (I don't think any of those looks are pictured), or on the other hand I'll dress up more with a skirt and dress with tights. But lots of jeans outfits this month!

     A lot of what I wear to work are older pieces that have been in my closet for awhile, some things I've had as long as a few years! I typically feature all newer clothing items in my dedicated outfit blog posts, and my everyday outfits are things I've had for much longer! Anyways, because most of the things I'm wearing here are older, I won't be posting links under each outfit. Instead, in today's post and monthly work outfit posts going forward, I'll share my five top items of the month at the end of the post! 

    Okay now that the long intro is done, here are the outfits I wore to work this month:

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January 30, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.



{Virginia winery weekends are my favorite weekends! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

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


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January 29, 2019

CHARLOTTESVILLE APARTMENT TOUR: Bedroom

    Wrapping up my Charlottesville apartment tour series today with my favorite room- my bedroom!

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January 28, 2019

Finding the Joy in Winter Fashion.


     Happy Monday! Being honest for a second? This month I've been finding myself feeling pretty uninspired fashion-wise. January has been a brutally cold month here in Virginia, and by this time in the winter, I find it's usually hard to stay creative with fashion. I'm challenging myself for the rest of the cold weather to step it up with my outfits, and still enjoy the looks that I put together!


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January 24, 2019

Best Books I Read in 2018.

    2018 was the year that I really prioritized my love of reading! I read 48 books in 2018, and tracked them all on Goodreads. A suggested blog post topic by a few friends was that I review the very best books that I read in 2018! I feel like out of the 48 books that I read last year, a lot of them were "eh." Not the worst books, but not something I'd necessarily go out of my way to recommend to someone either. But there were a few stand-outs! Two fiction trilogies, and a non-fiction book on travel. Today on the blog, I'm review the best books I read in 2018 (everything that I gave five stars to on Goodreads)!


Photo by Kate Greer

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


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January 23, 2019

Midweek Ramblings.


{I've recently discovered that Virginia wineries are just as fun in the winter as they are in other months- and they're less busy in winter!}

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


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January 22, 2019

CHARLOTTESVILLE APARTMENT TOUR: Bathroom.

     I've been having so much fun sharing the different rooms of my apartment for my Tuesday blog post series this month!! Today we're tackling the smallest room (which actually isn't actually all that small): my bathroom! 






Photography by Meredith Sledge


    Similar with the living room and dining room/kitchen posts that I've shared, just about all of my decor in the bathroom is either from discount stores or is something older that I've had for awhile, so I don't have any exact product links for you! If you're curious where something is from, feel free to comment on this post or email me. 😊


     This apartment has the biggest bathroom that I've ever had! The amount of storage I have in here is crazy. I have way more cabinets then I need for storing bathroom things, so I actually keep some random household items in bathroom storage as well. Other than the floral towels pictured above, I didn't buy any new bathroom decor when I moved to this apartment! I think that whenever I do move next, it might be time to upgrade some things (like the shower curtain and mats), but for now everything was still in good shape. I love having bright accent colors for the bathroom decor- I feel like this room definitely personifies a bachelorette pad! If your bathroom doesn't currently have a lot of decor, I encourage you to try incorporating some bright colors in there! I do my hair and makeup for work each morning in here, and seeing all of the colors and fun decor always starts my day off on a happy note. 

     I guess that's about all that I have to say for the bathroom- this part of the apartment tour is very straightforward! You can check out the previous apartment tour posts; living room, updated living room with couch, and kitchen/dining room in the meantime. Next week will be the final post of January's Tuesday series, and I'll be finishing the apartment tour by sharing my bedroom! 

    Last week was pretty busy for me, so I took last Wednesday off from sharing my weekly Midweek Ramblings. I posted a poll on Instagram Stories asking if y'all would prefer if I switched them to one Monthly Ramblings post instead of doing them each Wednesday... and amazingly a lot of y'all voted to keep them each week! So Midweek Ramblings is here to stay for the time being, and returns tomorrow. 🙂



     God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese
     
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January 21, 2019

Back to Basics with Outfit Posts.

     Happy Monday! I can't believe this is my first true outfit post of 2019. Sharing a classic look that I wore for a weekend shopping day a few weeks ago, and also some thoughts on my blog's fashion content going forward.






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




     Let's start with some blogging thoughts! A couple years ago, I would say that about 75% of my blog posts were fashion or outfit related, so this is definitely a big shift. In 2018, I celebrated my 6th blogiversary, and around that same time I made the shift from calling my blog a lifestyle blog instead of a fashion blog. Fashion is a component of my blog that I definitely want to continue writing about, but I no longer want it to be the focus. To me, my travel and faith/personal posts are just as important as style content- all of those three things together are what makes my blog unique! 

    Anyways, with the difference in how I'm classifying my blog, there are going to be a few changes this year to how I share fashion content on the blog. To start, I'll be working less regularly with blog photographers. I'm definitely not eliminating professional photography from my blog by any means, but I want to be more selective in using photographers. I'll probably just continue using them for sponsored collaborations and some travel content, rather than everyday outfits. I've had a DSLR camera for years, and I actually really do enjoy having friends snap my pictures on it and editing them myself! There's just something about that whole process that seems more "real." It seems like with each month that goes by, a lot of fashion Instagram accounts and blogs get more and more staged and fake, especially in terms of photography. I want to stay authentic as possible, and for me that means starting to do more blog photography on my own camera again. 😊

    As far as the outfits go that I wear on the blog, I'm done buying stuff just for blog photos! The outfits that you see this year will be exclusively real outfits that I have worn in real life, or will be wearing soon. It'll still include a wide range of everything from casual to dressy looks, but I'll only be featuring stuff that I actually wear. I've definitely fallen trap in the past of buying clothing or accessories solely because I think they would look cute on the blog or Instagram... and then I never wear them again! That just seems so materialistic and wasteful to me now. 


    Alright- now that all that's out of the way, let's get to today's outfit details! My mom got me this light pink sweater for Christmas. It is currently on sale! It's very soft and light, and the perfect type of sweater to layer over a button up shirt. I also pulled out one of my older favorite purses for this look- OG Southern Belle in Training readers probably remember when I was obsessed with this bag for a good couple years in college! 😉 I wore this outfit a few weekends ago for a shopping day in Richmond. One of the largest shopping districts in Richmond, Short Pump, is just under an hour away from Charlottesville, so it makes for an easy weekend day trip. I love visiting bigger cities, so I'm usually in Richmond at least once every month or two!


     I hope that you're having a great Monday and start to the week so far! Last week was busier than usual for me (each weekday I had plans every afternoon or evening), so I'm hoping this week will be a little more relaxing. 





     God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese
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January 17, 2019

How I Got a Couch + How I Buy Used Furniture!

     During the whole month of January, I'm sharing bits and pieces of my Charlottesville apartment tour here on Tuesdays. Last week, I shared my living room! The pictures in that blog post were taken before I got my first couch, so in today's blog post I wanted to share a little living room update, and chat a little bit about how I've accumulated used furniture. 






Photography by Kate Greer

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     Since I bought my couch, the pillows, and the coffee table ottoman used- I sadly don't have a lot of details for y'all about what stores they were originally from. 😉But what I can tell you is the amazing story about how I got this furniture set! It was totally a God thing- and I don't say that lightly! I had wanted a couch of my own since I first moved from North Carolina to Vermont, almost two years ago. (My former roommate brought the couch to my Charlotte apartment!) Once it was clear to me that I wouldn't be in Vermont longterm, I decided to postpone getting a couch until I was living somewhere that I saw myself more longterm. After I settled into Charlottesville, I knew that I wanted to be here awhile, and that this was the place that I finally wanted to invest in some more furniture! 

    The only caveat? Couches aren't cheap - and that's an understatement! A good, comfortable couch is most definitely an investment purchase, and I just wasn't in a financial place to make that type of brand new purchase this year. Sure there are cheap couches you can find for a few hundred, but I wanted a couch that really fit my style, and that I'd want to keep around for awhile, not just a starter piece of furniture that I'd want to upgrade from.

    Here's where the God thing part comes in! When I first moved to Charlottesville in the spring, I was able to reconnect with one of my sorority sisters, who had been living/working here already. She ended up moving out-of-state this fall... and was kind enough to let me know that she was selling a lot of furniture from her apartment! She offered me her couch, the coordinating pillows, and the coffee table ottoman for an incredible price that totally fit my budget! I was absolutely ecstatic- her couch is such a beautiful color, and is exactly the type of furniture piece that I would've been saving up to by new for a lot more money. Now that I have this beautiful furniture set in my apartment, I feel like my living room feels finished and "real"! As you can see in one of the photos above, Delilah also loves the couch. I think she thinks I bought it just for her! 😉

     This isn't the first time that I've gotten used furniture from a friend at a very reasonable price (or for free!). The desk that I use for my blog office and my dining set I also acclimated this way, as well as some other random home decor pieces! I will be honest- I think that buying used furniture from things like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace could be a bit of a gamble. Not saying that you can't sometimes find good things, but there is always a risk with buying something used from a total stranger. But when you purchase or receive free furniture from someone that you already know, you can trust the quality of it (or that they will be honest with you if the quality isn't the greatest, so you really know what you're getting). I've been really lucky in that during the last couple years, I've known a lot of people who have moved around. It's obviously very expensive to move furniture, so sometimes it's more economical for someone to sell or giveaway large furniture and home decor pieces. And that's worked out very well for me!


    I'd love to hear if you have any experiences with used furniture from friends and family! Or if you've taken the plunge and bought something used online from Craigslist or another place. Details on my outfit are below. (I realized after the fact that my skirt kinda matches the couch in these photos- lol!)





     God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese 
     
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January 15, 2019

CHARLOTTESVILLE APARTMENT TOUR: Kitchen & Dining Room.

    I'm continuing my apartment tour in today's blog post! Last Tuesday, I showed my living room, and today we'll be moving over to the kitchen and dining room tours.






  Photography by Meredith Sledge


     Here is my little kitchen and dining room! I was so excited that my apartment here in Charlottesville had a specific open dining room area. I had a dining room spot in my first apartment in Charlotte, but my Vermont apartment had a mostly open floor plan, so I had the dining table at the edge of my living room. The dining room in my current apartment obviously isn't huge,  but it does have more than enough room for my table and chairs, and a few decorative pieces as well.

     Since these photos were taken, one of my dining chairs actually broke. This weekend I'm planning to go to At Home to look for two new dining chairs. As y'all know, I am obsessed with At Home and most of my home decor comes from that store! The two gorgeous paintings in my dining room are from there (of course!). I absolutely fell in love when I saw these two paintings- they reminded me so much of Lilly Pulitzer's bright and colorful designs!

    My apartment kitchen is very small, as you can see from the pictures above. The size has been an adjustment to get used to, as my kitchen in my Vermont apartment was about twice the size! But I do love the white cabinets, and how bright it is from all of the apartment natural light. Hopefully my next place will have a little more counter space, but I'm able to make do with what I have here!


     You can check out last week's post, my Charlottesville apartment living room, in this blog post! Next Tuesday we will be continuing the apartment tour.


     Midweek Ramblings will be coming up for your Wednesday tomorrow, as always! Thanks so much for reading, and hope you're having a good week so far.


    God Bless,


    xoxo Annaliese 


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