Southern Belle in Training

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

September 12, 2019

25th Birthday Recap!

    Last Friday, I turned 25! This year was my favorite birthday since turning 21- but I guess in full honesty, turning 21 will always be hard to top. πŸ˜‰ 25 is one of my lucky numbers so I've been excited for this birthday for a long time. Anyways, I normally share weekly recaps in my Midweek Ramblings posts on Wednesdays, but so much fun stuff happened with my birthday this year that I wanted to share it all in a separate recap blog post!

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     My birthday recap technically starts last Tuesday! My radio co-host Marc gave me his gift early. He bought me a video from the Cameo app of actress Beverly Mitchell from 7th Heaven wishing me a happy birthday! 7th Heaven is my all-time favorite TV show, and Beverley played Lucy, my favorite character (and the namesake of my car). I was freaking out! Such a creative gift and fun way to start birthday week.

    Next I have  a story from many months ago- honestly I can't remember if this conversation happened last winter or spring, that's how long ago it was! Anyways, I once mentioned to my Charlottesville friend group how it's my dream to have someone throw me a surprise party. The one and only surprise party that had ever been thrown for me was by my parents for my 8th grade graduation... but my dad messed up the time of the party and brought me two hours early. So yes- I was at the door to greet each and every guest for my own party! #fail #ThanksDad πŸ€¦πŸ»‍♀️My parents and I still laugh about that to this day.

     Side note: I have thrown people surprise parties before! Three times to be exact, and I love planning them. Want to know something crazy though? I'm not still friends with any of the people that I've thrown surprise parties for! As much as these are fun to plan- I'm kinda worried to ever throw someone one again... I don't really believe in jinxing myself but you have to admit there is an odd pattern here! πŸ˜‚

     Anyways.... I've always dreamed of having a real surprise party since the 8th grade graduation debacle! But obviously that's not something I can list on a bucket list, as the whole point of this is that it would be out of my control, haha. Somehow the topic of how I wanted a do-over surprise party came up with my friends many months ago, and they remembered this! In typical Type A Annaliese fashion, about six weeks ago I started making my own birthday party plans for this year, but little did I know my friends were finally planning me the surprise I dreamed of!

     Five of my closest Charlottesville girlfriends and I have a weekly dinner club , and my friend Lily was hosting last week's. All of us shared meal plans in our group text on Tuesday evening, and I didn't think anything of it! On Wednesday afternoon, I was busy hanging up artwork in my bedroom at the new apartment. I had on an old t-shirt and leggings, and was getting really sweaty as I kept putting nails in, hanging art, and repeating the process. I was pretty tired by the end of it, and almost decided to skip dinner! I have to go to bed so early for work each weeknight that it almost didn't seem worth it to go since I was already tired. But I hadn't seen my friend Lily in over a month, and I hate cancelling last minute so I forced myself to get up and find my car keys.

    Just as I was getting ready to leave, Lily texted our group chat that her roommate had a cute and single guy over who was joining us for dinner! I was intrigued (and asked his name so I could try and FB creep him before coming  πŸ˜‚), but I still kept on my old t-shirt and leggings. I just added a little concealer on my chin to cover the massive pimple colony that was forming. Off I went to dinner!

     Lily greeted me at the door and walked me to her dining room. The first thing I noticed were balloons in my favorite colors and pink and purple streamers... the first thing I thought is "These decorations can't all be for Lily's roommate's guy friend." 

     The decorations turned out to be for my surprise party!!! I still cannot believe my sweet friends remembered me mentioning it's my dream to have one and actually made it happen. I was in shock! All five of my dinner club besties were there, and they also invited a few other friends of mine from Charlottesville to come too! I was in absolute shock.  I didn't know how to react and process! And as for the "cute single boy" who was coming... total ploy! The reason Lily had said that was to try and get me to dress cute!! Of course the one time I show up looking like such a bum to weekly dinner... it's my own surprise party. Hahaha!! 🀣Thank goodness I did put the concealer on.

     Right after I came in, they had me sit down and my friend Eden played me a video that she coordinated in making with everyone else for my birthday. It was the sweetest, most precious thing ever- Eden and the other girls all made me videos wishing me a happy birthday, and they also got my parents and some other out-of-town friends to be in it as well! The best part in it was video that Eden got of Delilah (my cat) meowing- and she captioned it to say "Happy Birthday Mom!"

     My amazing friends got pizza from The College Inn, my favorite pizza spot in Cville. Abigail, my new roommate, had been asking me for my favorite pizza places a few days before and I didn't even suspect something was up! They also had a large cheese board with all sorts of my favorite Trader Joe's cheeses. They know me so well! And cupcakes of course too. 

     I was so in shock during everything that I barely took pictures! (Plus I knew how I looked lol!) So sadly I don't have a picture with everyone- Abigail and Courtney had to leave before the group shot was taken. But here are a couple! One with my sweet friend Courtney's baby girl Emily, and one with everyone else!

{L to R: Emily, Nadine, Mike, Lily, Meredith, Kelly and Eden. And me!}

     The surprise party was two days before my actual birthday- which was on Friday! (In case you missed it- my 7th blogiversary was also on Friday! I started my blog on my birthday in 2012.) My real birthday started with a busy but good day at work! Then right after work I headed to redeem my free Starbucks drink- I went with the pink drink since it was so hot outside that day. Next I had an exciting afternoon commitment which was my birthday gift to myself- coloring my hair for the first time!! I'm going to share a separate blog post all about that next week. Anyways, my hair appointment took a lot longer than I expected- I thought I would have time to run home and freshen up first, but I ended up walking in the door for my second birthday celebration with only five minutes to spare! 

    My second birthday party (aka the one Type A me planned awhile ago) was a Kendra Scott Color Bar Party!! I've been a big fan of Kendra Scott since college, when they put a store in Charlotte during my junior year. I went to my first Color Bar Party a few years ago when a blogger friend hosted one, and the idea has always been in the back of my head as a fun birthday party idea. Y'all- now that I've had my own, I can't recommend doing this enough! The Charlottesville Kendra Scott store went above and beyond! In addition to the Color Bar Party discount for everyone that attended (and the birthday month discount for me!), they provided a cake and delicious snacks free of charge, and had all of these awesome decorations set up and a Polaroid camera with film for us to play with in-store! It was absolutely the best experience! I don't currently work with Kendra Scott as a blogger (although I'd love to change that πŸ˜‰), but anyways my views are totally honest and nothing about this party was sponsored! 

     I made the Elora earrings in Magenta! I wear a lot of hot pink but I don't have a lot of jewelry in this color, which I wanted to change. (And my dress can be found here!)

     Here are my sweet friends who came to this party! Some were at Wednesday's party, and then a couple others were able to make it just to this one.

     We had the best time at Kendra Scott! I really want one of my other friends to do this for their birthday so I can attend another one soon. Also a quick note on the group photo above- this is one of the first times in my adult life that I've felt short! I am 5'7, but I didn't have time after my hair appointment to run home and put on the heels that I planned to wear. Everyone else wore heels so I finally got to experience being the short one, haha! 😝

     The last part of the night was heading home! I was really self-concious about having people over to our apartment as we were still deep in the unpacking phase and didn't have any art on the walls yet, but I'm so glad I sucked it up and still had everyone come by! It was wonderful. My roommate Abigail got me a Princess Cake from Albemarle Baking Company and it was delicious! This is a fluffy white cake with layers of fresh cream, and a marzipan frosting. Can't recommend this cake enough if you're local to Charlottesville. 

    The night ended by all of us playing this early 2000s music trivia game! I went to bed way too late for having worked that morning, but it was the best evening. And I had to be up bright and early the next day because... Lilly sale!! I was overjoyed that the After Party Sale begun on my birthday weekend. 

    Whew- this post took a lot longer to write than I thought! But there you have it- my whole 25th birthday recap. I didn't go on a big trip this year or have anything super crazy happen, but each memory was so precious and special, I wouldn't change a thing! (Except maybe my outfit for the surprise party....)

     Thanks for reading and celebrating with me!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 



  1. Happy Belated Birthday Annaliese! Sounds like you had a great weekend! πŸ˜€

  2. A friend threw me a surprise party my freshman year of high school and we stopped being friends a couple years after- you're not alone there!

  3. OMG how sweet of your friends for throwing a surprise party! I've never had one. Also, LOVE the Kendra Scott color bar. So fun. My Mother-In-Law won one at an auction one time and it was amazing.

  4. What a special and wonderful birthday celebration(s)!! So glad I was able to be a tiny part of it! You deserved to have the most wonderful one!!

  5. What a wonderful 25th birthday for you. All of it looked great, very happy for you. Of course, you deserved it. A belated happy birthday and anniversary for the blog! We love it and YOU!!

  6. Happy belated birthday! This makes me so happy that you have so many people around you who care for you so much to do something like that! It makes days like that always so special <3 Also, I love that hair color!


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