Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Charlottesville, VA

July 3, 2020

4th of July Weekend 2020 - Sales to Shop!

     Happy 4th of July weekend! Yet another holiday coming and going during the pandemic... but we have no control over that. All we can do is celebrate America the best ways we know how this weekend (while being socially distanced from large groups and as safe as possible)! 

    It has been a tough first half of 2020 in the US, and not just because of COVID-19. There has been political turmoil for the election year, the horrific murder of George Floyd and the deserved outrage that followed, unemployment levels skyrocketing nationwide (I guess that one is due to COVID)... my point is things haven't been easy this year for a lot of reasons. There's still so much work for all of us to do going forward into the second half of the year! But with all that said, on this 4th of July weekend I am still so proud to be an American. We still have so many freedoms and rights here in this country that so many people in oppressive nations around the world would give their lives to have, and I don't ever want to take that for granted.

    I saw this mural when I was in Columbia, SC a few weeks ago, and I thought I would save the photo to post for this weekend. May God Bless America! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ


July 1, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Delilah's lazy summer is off to a great start! πŸ˜‚ Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


June 30, 2020

What I Wore to Work: June 2020 (+ Lilly Sale Picks!)

     Sharing all of June's work outfits today! LOTS of Lilly Pulitzer looks this month as National Wear Your Lilly Day was last week. 😊 Speaking of Lilly- sharing some picks for the sale that's still going on at the end of the post! 


June 29, 2020

Home Decor for Geography Lovers: Meet Honey + Hank.

     I am so excited to introduce you today to one of my new favorite small businesses: Honey + Hank! This brand is turning a love for American geography into the most gorgeous home decor items. 


June 26, 2020

Travel in the Time of Coronavirus.

     Travel content has been few and far between on my blog and Instagram since mid-March, because of an elephant in the room that starts with the letter C. I'm sure that a lot of you are in the same boat as me right now- itching for a change of scenery and a summer vacation outside of your city, but also a bit anxious and uncertain about what that could look like while being safe. The CDC guidelines and your state guidelines are an important place to start when it comes to travel plans, but what about day trips? In-state overnight trips at an Airbnb? Further road trips? Potentially flying? 

   I'm sharing thoughts on all things travel today: what trips I've had cancelled, the precautions I took for my Memorial Day Weekend trip, what trips I have coming up, and what I personally feel comfortable doing travel-wise for the rest of the year. 


June 24, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Giving away a pair of these gorgeous earrings on my Instagram here- you have until Friday to enter! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


June 22, 2020

National Wear Your Lilly Day 2020.

     Saturday was the first day of summer, and that also meant it was National Wear Your Lilly Day! COVID-19 might've cancelled a lot of things this year, but Lilly lovers coming together to wear their favorite brand wasn't one of them. πŸ˜‰


June 19, 2020

5 Reasons I Decided to Lease My New Car.

    Yesterday marked one month since I drove my new car home! My old car reached the end of its life last month- it got to the point where it was more expensive to fix it than the total value of the vehicle. After many conversations with my parents, coworkers and friends, a lot of Consumer Reports reading, several dealer visits and test drives... I officially became a lessee on May 18th, 2020. It's only been one month of leasing so far so I can't speak for how I'll feel about it in a year or two from now, but for the time being I've had a fantastic experience and believe this was 100% the right decision for where I am financially, my driving habits, and my general preferences on cars. If you're planning to get a new vehicle soon or in a bit of a pinch and getting one unexpectedly like I was, here's why I think you should consider a lease:


June 17, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Enjoying Polo at King Family Vineyards with some extra precautions this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

June 16, 2020

Blogging FAQ: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About + rewardStyle.

     You've seen it tagged in Instagram captions for years now, you've heard about the app and maybe even downloaded it yourself...but what exactly is! If you're not a blogger yourself or don't follow a ton of bloggers on Instagram, I can imagine that you might be kind of confused on what exactly is, how it works, and what it means for you as an Instagram follower or online shopper. I'm going to try to to break it all down and explain it as simply as I can.


June 12, 2020

5 Must-Watch Bollywood Movies for Americans.

     One thing you might not know about me? I'm a huge fan of Bollywood movies! Back in March and April when we were all staying home and running out of things to watch on TV, I first got the idea to do a blog post with some of my Bollywood recommendations. Time got away from me a bit and I'm publishing this a bit later than I thought I would, but better late than never right? Get ready to discover your new favorite film genre.


June 10, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{So glad to be back a winery with friends this weekend... first time in many months! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk} 

June 8, 2020

Results of My 2020 Blog Reader Survey!

     Last month, I held my annual blog reader survey. I've been doing these for a few years now, and every year I learn so much for the responses and insights! I also like to share the results publicly after the fact, and share some thoughts on blogging for the rest of the year head. Let's get to it!


June 6, 2020

My 2020 Socially Distanced Summer Bucket List.

     Hey Friends! This blog post was supposed to go live on Monday, but I took the rest of the work week off from new blog and IG content to honor everything going on right now. I used the time weekday afternoons that I normally spend working on my blog to instead be having some tough but meaningful conversations with dear friends about the current events, racism, politics, and more. I'm also excited for some library books about racism that I put on hold to come in for me.
    Anyways- I will definitely still be educating myself and having these tough conversations in the weeks and months to come (this week has truly changed some things for me), but it is time now to get back to business here on the blog! 😊

     This marks my third annual Summer Bucket List! I started publishing these on the blog in 2018, which was my first summer here in Virginia. The past two have been fun ways to challenge myself to make the most of this fleeting season, and to enjoy activities and experiences new and old that I wouldn't get to do at other times of the year.

    I wasn't sure if I should still make a list for this year, thanks to COVID-19. The truth is this summer will be looking a lot different than the last two. 😬 Even if some of the activities that I'd hoped to do this year won't be open or safe, that doesn't mean I should let this season go to waste! If anything, I want to be even more intentional with how I'm spending my time. Stay-at-home orders will be over and it will be safer to go out and explore certain types of local spots, but that doesn't mean social distancing and general safety are over as well. 

    So here we go- my third annual Summer Bucket List and first ever one created with social distancing in mind!


May 30, 2020

What I Wore to Work: May 2020.

     Happy Saturday! I don't typically post on the weekends, but I realized yesterday that I needed to get May's work outfits posted before June, and today's the last chance for me to do that. 

     May was an interesting month weather-wise in Charlottesville. You know the saying "April Showers Bring May Flowers?" Well, it was the opposite here this year. March and April were both beautiful and unseasonably warm months in Virginia. May on the other hand was quite rainy, and also cold! We had frost advisories in the overnight for several nights in the first half of the month, which is really weird for Virginia this late into spring. Unfortunately that cold weather wasn't great for our local wineries- many have lost significant amounts of their crop. 

    Anyways, weird weather or not- I did have fun as always with my work outfits this month! See my LikeToKnow.It page for more details on each individual outfit. 


May 28, 2020

Spring/Summer Try-On: Quarantine Shopping Purchases Vol. 2

     I know I'm definitely not alone in using online retail therapy as a way to cope and cheer up during this pandemic. I foresee my online purchases slowing down significantly for the rest of summer (scratch that- rest of 2020) now that I have a car payment each month, but for the past couple months I've been having a steady stream of packages arrive each week.

    I shared a try-on haul of my March and early April buys last month in this blog post, and today I'm sharing my more recent purchases from late April to now!


May 27, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{2020: the year of socially distanced patio dining! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

May 20, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Showing off my latest ImPRESS manicure from my new car!! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

May 18, 2020

Pink & Green Outfit: Day + Night.

     Nothing says "classic summer preppy outfit" to me like the color combination of pink and green! These two colors when worn together just make me so happy. Anyone else? 😊

    I purchased this retro looking green gingham shift dress a couple months ago, and I knew that when I styled it I wanted to add hot pink accessories. I came up with two different pink accessorized outfits... and I liked them both so much that I shot both for today's blog post! One is more of a daytime look, and the other I think would be cute for a fun evening out or a date night. So here's one of my new favorite dresses, styled two ways!


May 15, 2020

10 Best Recipes From My Quarantine Kitchen.

    If there's one thing I've been doing a lot more of while staying home, it's cooking and baking! I've loved both of these things for many years, but never in my life have I eaten this much at home and tried to rely as much as possible on my own culinary skills. Today I'm rounding up my 10 favorite recipes that I've made over the past two months! There's a mix of dinners and desserts- but one theme here is that most of these are comfort food items. With all the stress going on in the world, I've craved comfort food more than ever. Some of these recipes might not be the healthiest... but at least they're homemade right? πŸ˜‰

    The photo below is of my very first cheesecake, which I baked a few weeks ago. The irony of me sharing this photos is this is probably the worst thing that I made in the past two months, haha! I labored over it one Saturday morning, and when it was finally ready to eat I was so proud that I made my roommate Abigail take my picture with it. Turns out that it was nice looking on the outside but didn't taste good in the slightest. You will most definitely not find the recipe for it in today's post. Oh well! 


May 13, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Scenes from one of my favorite local parks in Charlottesville- social distancing makes me so thankful for outdoor spaces! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

May 11, 2020

5 Things I've Enjoyed While Staying Home.

     Happy Monday Friends! It is a happy Monday indeed, as the state of Virginia is set to slowly begin re-opening at the end of this week. While I know it will be quite awhile before things fully go back to normal, it does make me thrilled to know we are starting to move to that direction!

     In today's post, I wanted to share five things that I've been really enjoying during these past two months at home. Aside from going to work and occasional grocery store trips and walks in the park, I've spent just about all of this time in my apartment. I am looking so forward to spending less time home in the months to come, but also thankful for the things I did to pass the time.


May 8, 2020

No Bad Years.

      You don't need me to tell you that 2020 has been about as far from our expectations of it as we could have ever imagined. And as we move on through the weeks and months, it doesn't show any signs of being less weird anytime soon. In more ways than just COVID-19, 2020 seems like a bad year on paper. It's easy to go into a dark place mentally when thinking about all of the losses, cancellations, new restrictions, and fears that 2020 has brought. I know that I've certainly had my fair share of bad days during all of this. 

     But over the past few weeks, God has been teaching me something and put this message on my heart to share on my blog. He's been teaching me this lesson in the most interesting way- through the power of my own memory and self-reflection. I can't wait to share this with you today, and I hope it might help with your perspective as we move through this year. 


May 6, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Visiting the Virginia Safari Park was such a fun weekend activity! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

May 5, 2020

Lilly Pulitzer Face Masks on Etsy.

     If we have to wear masks, why not make them as cute and fashionable as possible, right? I'm rounding up some adorable face masks made from Lilly Pulitzer fabrics, and all of these are available for purchase now on Etsy! 


May 4, 2020

How I'm Using My Stimulus Check + Ideas For Yours.

     I had to wait a couple weeks longer then some of my friends did for theirs, but my stimulus check finally arrived last Thursday. In today's blog post, I thought I'd share what I'm using my check for, and a few extra ideas for other things you can do with them. And I'm also sharing a fun and preppy spring outfit! 


May 1, 2020

Surprise Lilly Pulitzer Spring Sale!

     Hi and happy Friday! Popping in with a very short blog post just to let you know that Lilly Pulitzer is having a new type of special online sale for this weekend, and if you're a Lilly fan this is one you don't want to miss!


April 30, 2020

What I Wore to Work: April 2020.

     April 2020: both the slowest and fastest month that's ever happened. Anyone else feel me? Each hour seemed to go by with the speed of a turtle... but at the same time it was one big blur and I can't believe it's April 30th! 
     I feel very lucky to still be employed at the end of this month. It's broken my heart to hear about so many people, both locally to me and around the country that have been furloughed or laid off. πŸ˜₯ Please know if that's you that I'm thinking of you and praying for you each day! Anyways, I am still going into work instead of doing the morning show from home. (About half of our staff is still coming in.) Fortunately I spend 90% of my workday in a studio, so aside from being with Marc for several hours a day, social distancing at work hasn't been hard. 
     I have still been dressing up as usual for work, it definitely helps me to feel some sense of normalcy! As always, details about everything I wore to work can be found on my page. Here are my April outfits:


April 29, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{I finally got to walk the campus of Darden, UVA's business school, last week! It's so beautiful. Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

April 28, 2020

Renting vs. Buying as a Single Woman.

     Today's blog post is a fun one, and hopefully it will be an informative one as well! One of my best friends, Ciera, is joining me to co-write this today. Every now and then on the blog I enjoy having friends help me write posts on a subject that they know a lot about, and Ciera was the perfect pick for this subject.

    I met Ciera during freshman orientation at the college that I went to freshman year, which was now almost eight (!!) years ago. Even though I transferred colleges sophomore year, we remained good friends for the rest of undergrad. Ciera moved to Charlotte after she got her first job, and we lived together as roommates for our first year post-grad. Upon the end of our year-long apartment lease, I moved to Vermont in April 2017 for my first radio job and began a lease on a one bedroom apartment. Ciera meanwhile stayed in Charlotte and bought her first HOUSE at the ripe age of 22! I was so excited that she closed on it just before I moved, so I was able to see it with her before I left for Vermont. 

     Since we parted ways as roommates three years ago, I've gone on to live in two more apartments here in Virginia, and have remained content as a renter during my 20s. Ciera ended up successfully selling her first home in Charlotte, and bought a new one in Texas when her job transferred here there in 2018. Renting has 100% been the right choice for my lifestyle since college, and buying has been 100% right for Ciera and her lifestyle. What we have in common is both of us are 25, four-ish years out of college, and single (Ciera has a boyfriend but I mean single in terms of not being married). Yet our living situations are very different.

    I'm going to share what I think are a few of the pros and cons for renting as a single 20-something, and then Ciera will share some pros and cons that she's experienced with home ownership. It can be tough as a single woman to have to figure out decisions for your housing and future on your own- we both know that firsthand! When you're married or in a serious live-in relationship, making a choice on housing is completely different as you most likely have two full-time incomes, with two people to take on the responsibility of whatever type of home you choose. It's very different when you're a single adult, which is why I wanted to write this blog post.


April 27, 2020

2020 Southern Belle in Training Reader Survey.

    Can you believe it's already that time of the year again? Time to share my annual reader survey for the blog + Instagram!


April 23, 2020

ImPRESS Nail Review - The Best Press-On Nails!

     Last October, my life was forever changed thanks to a beauty discovery! Okay- maybe saying "forever changed" is a slight exaggeration. πŸ˜‰But hey, it's been over six months now since I first tried ImPRESS nails and I'm still obsessed with them. I finally shared an IGTV tutorial for how I apply them this week, so I wanted to include some extra info to go along with that on the blog as well!


April 22, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Hanging with Delilah yesterday afternoon! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

April 20, 2020

Spring 2020 Try-On: Quarantine Shopping Purchases.

    I normally have very good self control with online shopping. However, my normal self control was definitely not showing up during the first few weeks of staying home for COVID-19. 😬The sales that my favorite retailers have been offering online have just been too good! Like, better than Black Friday prices. 

    A disclaimer before sharing all of these things: I know that things are very tough financially right now for a lot of folks between the mass layoffs, furloughs, and other employment hardships right now. I have been extremely lucky to still be employed. If I wasn't, I would 100% not be making these purchases right now. Please do not feel any pressure to buy more things during this time if this is your current situation. I'm sure this all goes without saying, but I wanted to give that disclaimer anyways!

    Everything that I've purchased in the last few weeks was all marked down under $50 at the time I purchased, with many things being under $25 as well! All of these items are things I expect to wear all the time this spring and summer. For me personally, I can justify making impulse purchases if they're 1) 50% off or more and 2) something that I will wear and use all the time, which I am excited to do with all of these. So excited to share with you everything that I've gotten! My sizing info is also listed on everything (and I wear a size 9 in women's shoes- all the pairs I got are true to size). 


April 16, 2020

TRAVEL GUIDE: Ultimate Guide to Kennebunk & Kennebunkport Maine.

    Welcome to my hometown region in Southern Maine! I'm excited to finally bring you this Travel Guide, which is quite honestly many years overdue. The Kennebunks is a charming region of Maine to plan a visit to, and I'm excited to share a local's perspective with you. I was born and raised in Kennebunk, and I lived there until moving away for college. Although I've never moved back home as an adult, my parents are still there so I do enjoy visits home a few times a year. Even though I know Kennebunk as my hometown, it could be a perfect summer vacation spot for you!


April 15, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Delilah had her hand at modeling on my Instagram for a pet product collaboration earlier this week! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

April 13, 2020

10 of My Unpopular Opinions.

     My blogger friends Nicole from What Nicole Wore and Cara from Caralina Style both shared blog post versions of the 10 Unpopular Things tag that started on Facebook a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed reading both their posts to see which of their list items I agreed and disagreed with. I thought thought it would be fun to make this a post on my blog too- I can't wait to see which of my list y'all agree and disagree with! 


April 10, 2020

5 Sales To Check Out This Weekend!

     How have I been getting through this time of social distancing while staying sane? Two words: online shopping. A lot of my usual monthly expenses are completely paused (gas, eating out, etc), so I've had some extra cash over the past few weeks. I am putting some of it away in savings, but it's also been fun to treat myself a little more than usual. And a lot of the online sales that have been happening have been really good! It is a little overwhelming on how many retailers are offering big discounts right now- so for today I just want to share five sales that are on my personal radar for this week. If there's any you've been shopping that I don't list- please share in the comments! 😊


April 8, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{The Easter bunny cake I made last weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk

April 6, 2020

Checking In...

     Hey Friends- happy Monday! Yes- I did say happy. 😊As stressful as these times are, I'm still trying to make it a good start to the week.

      I've been continuing doing my Wednesday Midweek Ramblings blog posts, where I share little weekly updates about how things have been going. But for today's blog post I wanted to get a little more in-depth then that- with how I'm really feeling and doing with everything going on. My radio co-host Marc also had a health scare last week where he thought he might be positive for COVID-19, and honestly I'm still processing all of the emotions with that, too! 


April 3, 2020

Four Easy DIY Lilly Pulitzer Craft Ideas!

     Calling all my Lilly lovers today! Lilly Pulitzer is a lot more than just a clothing brand to me- being a Lilly lover is honestly a lifestyle. πŸ˜‰I love incorporating touches of Lilly colors and prints into other aspects of my life aside from my closet. I have two Lilly Pulitzer keychains, a variety of Lilly cups, mugs and wine glasses, Lilly Pulitzer travel accessories... you get my point!

     Since we are all spending more time at home right now, I wanted to round up four easy DIY projects that I've made, inspired by Lilly Pulitzer! Three out of the four are creative ways to repurpose Lilly catalogs or mailers, and the final one is a painting project which is a bit more time consuming than the other three, but still easy to do overall. 


April 1, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Scenes from a socially distanced weekend outside at home! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

March 30, 2020

What I Wore to Work: March 2020.

    It's an understatement to say that a lot has changed since I shared my February work outfits about a month ago! Lots of you are now working from home, and some of you I'm sure sadly aren't working at all right now. πŸ˜“What crazy times!

     I have still been documenting my work outfits in March since I've still been going to work M-F. (On-air radio staff are considered essential personnel.) I've still been dressing the way I normally do on weekdays, and I hope that seeing these outfits might bring a little bit of normalcy to your Monday, which is why I'm still sharing! March has continued the trend of January and February for being unusually warm, so I've enjoyed wearing lots of spring looks this month. 


March 27, 2020

5 Life Lessons I Learned When I Lived in Vermont.

    This month marks two years since I moved from Vermont to Virginia!! (March 18th, 2018 to be exact.) Last year I celebrated my first move anniversary by sharing a detailed post on all things Charlottesville: things I loved about living here, things about the area that confused me, and how the first year had been for me from a work and personal standpoint. This year I wanted to do something different to celebrate year two! Instead of focusing on all things Charlottesville... I wanted to go back down memory lane to Vermont.

     I lived in Vermont for 11.5 months- I love to joke that I couldn't quite make it to the full one year mark! πŸ˜‚April 2017 to March 2018 was by far the most unique, trying, confusing, and lonely phase of my life to date. But with that said- it was also a time of reflection, growth, refinement, and some special happy moments as well. 11.5 months of high highs and some low lows!

     To commemorate two years since the move, today I wanted to share the five most prominent life lessons that I learned while living in Vermont:


March 25, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Saw the prettiest spring tree while out for a walk the other day! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk

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March 23, 2020

How To Design Color-Coded Statement Shelves.

     One of my favorite things about my current apartment is the color coded statement shelves that I've designed in the living room! I've never had bookcases be the center of a living room in past apartments, but now I'm obsessed and think I'll always do something similar with shelving in future apartments or homes that I have. Designing these shelves was a lot easier than I expected, and I'm excited to share more in today's post! 

    This post has been on my editorial calendar for quite some time, but seems even more appropriate now given social distancing and spending more time at home! This would be an easy project to stay busy with indoors.


March 20, 2020

BETTER than the NSale: The Best Picks from Nordstrom's Surprise Online Sale!

     While I do enjoy browsing and doing a little bit of shopping in the famous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale each summer, I'm pretty open about the fact that I do find it to overall by too hyped up by bloggers. Are there some decent deals to be found? Yes! But is the NSale life-changing or worth updating your entire wardrobe for? No.


March 18, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Social distancing = lots of Delilah cuddles in the near future. Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

March 17, 2020

101 in 1001: 6 Month Update

     A week ago marked six months since I started my first 101 in 1001 bucket list! If you missed my original post or are unfamiliar with the concept of 101 in 1001, they are categorized bucket lists with 101 items to complete in the next 1001 days (which is like 2.75 years). The concept was started by blogger Mackenzie of Design Darling, and I've seen tons of other bloggers do them over the years! I wanted to wait until I was in a place in life where I felt somewhat "settled" to do my first one, and my 25th birthday seemed like the perfect time to finally share a 101 in 1001.

     The past six months have gone by really quickly, and looking back now I'm amazed at how many items on this list I've already checked off! Some of them are also items that are in progress, and might be completed by the one year update in September. Time to share what I've done so far!


March 16, 2020

The $20 Spring Dress I Would've Worn on Vacation.

     This Monday is a very different one than I was expecting- and I'm sure I'm not alone in having a major change of plans! I ended up taking Thursday and Friday off from sharing new blog posts with all of the crazy news last week (it was a weird few days at work and blogging wasn't really my focus), but I'm ready to be back full force with new posts this week! 😊 It won't be the vacation content I was expecting to give you, but I'm doing the next best thing today: still styling a dress that I was going to wear on vacation!


March 11, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Enjoying the beautiful spring weather on Monday at Barboursville Winery- one of my favorites! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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