Southern Belle in Training

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

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. 😓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! 😂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

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


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}

March 9, 2020

Vera Bradley x New Hope Girls.

     Starting off this new week by sharing my first spring outfit of 2020, and introducing y'all to some cute bags for a great cause. Happy Monday!


March 6, 2020

Travel Diary: NYC Girls' Trip on a Budget.

     Last weekend, a group of my Charlottesville girlfriends and I enjoyed the best weekend in New York City! I've been to NYC tons of times before, but with the exception of NYFW last year with my friend Gentry, it's always just been with my parents. This was my first time in NYC for a group girls' trip, and it was even more fun than I than I expected!


March 4, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Loved this gorgeous decorated door I found in SoHo this past weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

March 3, 2020

🌴Shopbop Sale Picks for Spring Break.

      If you read my weekly Wednesday Midweek Ramblings posts on the blog, you might have noticed that the "Purchases" section of those posts has been a little smaller each week in 2020. While I'm not doing a shopping fast or specifically trying to not purchase new items, I have found myself recently wanting to be more mindful about the things I am purchasing. I still like cheap fast fashion brands for very trendy items, but as I get further into my 20s and adulthood I'm realizing that I definitely do want to be investing more money into staple pieces, that I can take care of well and wear for years to come.

     Shopbop is a great online retail destination for those more splurge-worthy and designer pieces! I've followed my favorite bloggers posting their Shopbop Spring Sale picks for years, but I always assumed that everything on the website was out of my budget. Turns out that's not the case! While Shopbop does carry some exclusive designer lines that are at very high price points, they also have tons of items on their website for under $200, and a lot for under $100 and $50 as well! Shopbop also carries a great selection of some of my favorite brands like Madwell and Tory Burch. 

     The Shopbop Spring Sale is running now through Monday, March 9th at 4am EST. Save 15% on your purchases $200+, 20% on purchases $500+, and 25% off on purchases $800+, by using code SPRING. If you've been craving a new designer purse or a really nice swimsuit for the warmer months- now would be the time to get that and save. Minus the Tory Burch Miller sandals, everything I'm sharing today is under $200, and cheaper with the sale currently going on! I am headed on a warm weather spring trip in a couple weeks, hence the Spring Break theme of my picks. One more thing to note about Shopbop- they also offer free shipping and free returns! 


February 29, 2020

What I Wore to Work: February 2020.

     Happy Leap Day! January was an unusually warm month here in Virginia. I thought for sure that February would be when the cold air (and maybe even snow) arrived... but nope! Overall this month has remained really warm in Virginia. I don't ever remember it being mild enough last year to wear skirts and dresses without tights in January or February... but I have been able to do that multiple times this year. No complaints! 
     As always, I share outfit details to all of these directly on my page! Be sure to follow me on the app for updates on my workwear each week. 


February 27, 2020

Ultimate NYC Bucket List: Best Things I've Done + Things I Want To Do

     New York City is the US city that I've visited the most times as a tourist, and probably the place I've spent the most time in that's not somewhere I've lived! My family went every 1-2 years for vacations pretty much until I went to college. My dad is originally from nearby Long Island, and he has some extended family that still lives in NYC as well. The town in Maine that I grew up in is only about 6ish hours away, so it was an easy and accessible destination for family trips when I was growing up, and even some still now into adulthood!

     If you're on the East Coast, NYC is a super accessible city. When I would make trips with my parents while growing up, we've done it all transportation-wise. My dad has driven us several times, and we've also done trains, busses, and flights! In the times that I've visited since I've moved to the South, I always fly to NYC, but the other options are technically still there as well. 

     In honor of the fact that I'll be up there this weekend, I thought it would be fun to finally share an NYC bucket list! I'm sharing 10 of my favorite things that I've already visited or gotten to experience, as well as 10 that are still on my list for future trips. And a few throwback photos too of favorite NYC trips past!


February 26, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Stopped at a beach at home in Maine this weekend before my grandma's birthday party- a little overdressed for the ocean but I went with it! 😉 Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


February 24, 2020

Winter Q&A.

     Happy Monday friends! I'm halfway through a two week whirlwind period- I took Friday off work and was gone for a quick trip home to Maine, and then I have this Friday off as well and will be out of town again! I love to travel, but don't typically like to be gone back-to-back weekends, especially when the weekdays in between are extra busy. But I'm trying to stay positive and thankful to have had the opportunity to take some trips this month, and I'm really excited for what's on the agenda for this weekend! Last week I was only able to publish two blog posts with all the craziness, and this week might be the same. Going to try my best to get three up, but if it's only two again that's okay too. 😊

     Anyways- I like to do Q&A posts a couple times a year on the blog, so I thought today would be a great time to share an updated one! Y'all asked some really fun questions over on Instagram Stories- some of them I answered there as well and some I just wanted to save to answer in this blog post. 


February 20, 2020

My Favorite Richmond Activity: Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson Hotel.

     A couple weeks ago, I had the most wonderful weekend stay at the beautiful Jefferson Hotel in nearby Richmond! You can read my full review of the hotel here, but there was one aspect to my stay that was extra special, so I thought it deserved its own blog post. And that would be the delightful experience that is Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson Hotel!


February 17, 2020

Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2020: Try-On + Sizing Info!

     One of my 2020 goals for the blog is to bring y'all more Lilly Pulitzer style content throughout the whole year. I do cover the twice a year After Party Sales pretty heavily on the blog, which y'all seem to respond really well to (at least according to my blog's analytics!). While the After Party Sales are so much fun and a great time to get the most bang for your buck with Lilly, there's lots happening with Lilly Pulitzer throughout the rest of the year too. 

    I had the chance last week to go into the local Lilly Pulitzer store right here in Charlottesville to shoot a try-on session for y'all with their new Valentine's and Spring collections! This stuff is good y'all! I loved just about everything I tried on. Even if you're not in the market for new Lilly right now, it's a good idea to start making a mental note of styles you like so you'll be prepared in a few months for the next After Party Sale!

    We are so lucky here in Charlottesville to have a company owned Lilly Pulitzer store! It's located conveniently in Barracks Road Shopping Center, and the store staff is all super sweet and ready to help you find whatever Lilly items your heart desires. Another fun perk of shopping at a company-owned Lilly store is that each store has at least one dressing room that pays homage to the city that the store is in! I had the privilege of using the Charlottesville themed dressing room for this try-on- you can spot some iconic Charlottesville landmarks like the University of Virginia, Monticello, and more on the walls behind me!


February 14, 2020

Fancy Valentine's Date Outfit.

     At the beginning of the week, I shared a fun and casual Valentine's look on the blog... today on the 14th itself we're turning up the heat this this chic red dress! Wouldn't this be the cutest thing to wear for a fancy Valentine's date night? 


February 13, 2020

HOTEL REVIEW: Richmond's History & Luxury at The Jefferson Hotel.

     Richmond is one of the cities that was truly love at first sight for me. From my very first time visiting almost two years ago to now, I continue to become more enthralled with it each time I'm in the area. It's the perfect sized city in my opinion- not too big, and not too small. It's filled with history and culture and the most charming neighborhoods, and also has a lot of city-like amenities that Charlottesville doesn't have. Have I convinced you yet that Richmond has a piece of my heart?

    I had the opportunity this month to enjoy a luxurious girls' weekend at the historic Jefferson Hotel in Downtown Richmond! The incredible experience that my friend Emily and I had during our stay at the hotel made me appreciate this charming city even more, and I'm thrilled to share more about it with you on the blog today!

    Winter can be a dreary time of year, even in the South. I promise that a brief stay at the luxurious Jefferson Hotel will be the exact pick-you-up that you're craving! 

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

February 12, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Strolling through The Fan District in Richmond this past weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

February 10, 2020

Red + Pink Because It's Valentine's Week!! 💗❤️

     Happy Monday! I'm kicking off the week of love on the blog with an outfit with lots of pops of pink!


February 6, 2020

5 Charlottesville Wineries to Visit in Winter.

     I've become quite the fan of visiting local wineries since I moved to Virginia a couple years ago! While I do think my absolute favorite time of year to visit wineries is in the summer (I love seeing all the grapes growing on the vines!), they are still fun to visit year round. Checking out Charlottesville area wineries in winter also has some advantages- namely the fact that it's not tourist season so they're not nearly as busy in the colder months! Winery visits from December-March are more of a cozy and intimate experience, which is still fun and special in a different way.

     Today I'm sharing five local wineries that I think are more ideal to check out in the winter months! I'm highlighting these five wineries for two main reasons: 1) they're all easy to drive to. Some wineries on the Monticello Wine trail are definitely off the beaten path (think long and winding dirt roads with no cell service), and winter just isn't the best season to attempt getting to some of those. The ones I'm featuring today are all located just off main roads and are easily accessible in all seasons. 2) They all have good sized indoor tasting rooms. On days when the weather is too cold to be outside, you don't want to be cooped up in a tiny tasting room at a winery that mainly has outdoor seating. These five all have fairly large and very cozy indoor spaces for guests to enjoy!


February 5, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{I don't often wear all black and white or neutral outfits,  but really digging this one that I wore a couple weekends ago! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


February 4, 2020

Lilly Pulitzer Winter After Party Sale Haul!

     I'm doing a little try-on session and sizing review of my Winter  Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale purchases today! The APS is definitely one of my favorite things about January- I just hate that the weather is too cold to usually start wearing what I bought right away. I love the pieces I got in this sale, and I'm very excited for warmer weather to wear them! 


February 3, 2020

Relationship Monday: 3 Things to Remember When You've Been Ghosted.

    Ghosting. It has to be one of the most popular dating terms of recent years. The official dictionary definition is to "end a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all forms of communication."  Sadly I think it's a safe assumption that most millennials that are actively dating (or I guess really anyone dating) in the last few years has experienced this a time or two.

      I unfortunately went through it again myself just a few months ago. Once the feelings of surprise and hurt had started to fade, it dawned on me that this might make a great Relationship Monday topic for the blog! I've written before about finding contentment with singleness, using dating apps as a Christian, awkward first dates, and many more relevant topics. But I haven't chatted on here about ghosting before- that's changing today!


January 31, 2020

What I Wore to Work: January 2020.

     Time to share my first work outfits post of 2020! While January is usually the coldest month of the year in Virginia, this year it's been surprisingly mild! We have had a few chilly days, but it's been balanced with several days in the upper 50s and even into the mid 60s, which has made me enjoy work outfits this month more than I did last winter. 
     All of today's outfits are linked on my page on the app, and as always I'm sharing a few fashion favorites from the month at the end of the post!

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

January 30, 2020

Best Richmond VA Hair Salon: My Experience at Rituals Salon & Spa.

     For the past few months, I've been on a journey... a hair coloring journey that is! My 25th birthday was in September, and I decided a great way to celebrate my quarter of a century would be to change up my naturally dark hair. Later in the fall, I was looking to continue going lighter with my hair, but I was also in the market for a new salon, as I wasn't in love with the first one I went to. It was perfect timing that Rituals Salon & Spa in the Richmond area reached out to me at this time! I've now been a client at Rituals for about three and a half months, and I'm excited to share a full review of my experiences and their services with you today. Make sure to read all the way to the end of the post as I have a discount code to share with fellow Virginians (or anyone if you happen to be in the Richmond area!). 

     I was gifted some complimentary hair and spa services in exchange for today's review- but all opinions of Rituals Salon & Spa are honest and my own.


January 29, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Delilah hanging out with me while I finished watching Cheer on Netflix! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

January 27, 2020

Charlottesville Apartment Tour: Before/After Pictures of My New Place!

     I'm excited to finally share the before and after shots of my new Charlottesville apartment on the blog today! I suppose "new apartment" is a loose term... I moved in during Labor Day Weekend which was already several months ago, and this apartment is much older than my previous one. 😂But either way- it's still my newest home! 


January 24, 2020

My 2020 New Years' Resolutions.

     I know I'm sharing a post with "New Years' Resolutions" in the title about three weeks after the start of 2020... whoops! In full honesty, I've found that I have a much better success rate of completing my resolutions when I don't start them in January 1st, but end up taking the first 2-3 weeks of the year to really brainstorm my goals and visions, instead of rushing coming up with them. Today I'm taking a look back at last year's resolutions, and also sharing the ones I have for 2020!


January 22, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{I still love wineries just as much in the winter! Loved going to Pippin Hill last Friday. Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

January 20, 2020

The Best Books I Read in 2019.

     In 2019 I completed my resolution of reading 52 books- one book per week! I read a good mix of fiction and non-fiction throughout the year. A few of the books I read were awful, a lot were decent, and some were absolutely wonderful- the type of books that stay with you and that you can't help but recommend to everyone you know.


January 16, 2020

3 Travel "Firsts" I'm Excited For in 2020.

     I feel so lucky to already have several fun trips on the calendar for 2020 that I know I'll love creating blog content for, but my 2020 travels actually don't begin until next month! For the second year in a row, I'm staying put here in Virginia for the whole month of January, which I actually don't really mind. I feel like the first month of the year is a great time to reflect and reset, and the cold weather that this month usually brings makes me want to stay in on weekends and be a homebody! But I'm super excited for traveling to pick up starting in February.

     I'll be heading to both domestic and international destinations- one of them being my fingers are crossed that my mom and I will be all good with rescheduling our Spain trip for late spring! Anyways, with travel arrangements already being made for upcoming plans, I thought for today's post it would be fun to share three travel "firsts" that I'll be experience in the first half of 2020!


January 15, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Throwing diamonds this past weekend for my first Bid Day on the sorority advisor side! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk!}

January 14, 2020

My Best Purchases of 2019.

     2019 was a great year for me in terms of discovering new products to make my life easier or better! Just about everything featured here are things that I'm using on a weekly, if not daily basis! I truly love each and every one of these things, and hopefully you will also. In past best purchases of the year posts I number the items randomly, but this time I did it in order of how much I love the items! So #1 is my favorite purchase of the year, #2 is second favorite, etc. But with that said- I really do love everything on the list!


January 11, 2020

The Country Guest House: A Lighthearted Winter Read.

     This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx on behalf of Harper Collins.

     One of my favorite hobbies is reading, and I feel like the two seasons that I doing enjoy it the most are summer and winter! Summer because of the opportunity for reading by the pool (I literally do this almost every sunny weekday afternoon from May-September), and winter because I can get all cozy at home with blankets and tea and warm up with a good book.

     In 2019, I set a New Year's resolution to read 52 books. I'm thrilled to share with y'all that I did in fact complete it; I finished my final book of the year on December 30th. I'll be doing another blog post soon with all of my favorite reads of the year and sharing my tips for accomplishing such a large reading goal, but for today I wanted to share a review of book number 52 for me in 2019- which was a brand new novel, The Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr.


January 9, 2020

A Shiny Start to 2020 + My Word of the Year!

     This past December ended up being busier for me than I anticipated, so sadly I wasn't able to share my favorite glam holiday look with y'all until today- a little over a week after New Year's. Whoops! Hopefully you'll excuse my lateness on that (and the fact there are Christmas trees in the background of these photos...). Anyways I still wanted to share this cute sequin dress with y'all as it could still be appropriate for other types of glamorous winter events besides just NYE. I'm also sharing my 2020 word of the year today!


January 8, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Took down the Christmas decor this week and these coffee table books in my living room are getting me excited for Valentine's! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

January 7, 2020

LILLY PULITZER AFTER PARTY SALE: Items Still Available + My Purchases!

     Today is the second and final day of the Winter 2020 Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale! Did anyone else shop their little heart out online yesterday morning? 😉 I bought a few more items than I was planning to this time around, but I truly love Lilly so I know that I'll get a lot of use out of everything!
    If you didn't get a chance to shop yesterday, the After Party Sale is continuing today both in-store and online! I am amazed at how many items from yesterday are still in stock in all sizes online. The After Party Sale does end at 11:59pm tonight- so now is your last chance to buy! There are a lot of pieces in the APS this time that are perfect for winter, and of course tons of Lilly that you could buy now and save for when it's warmer. 


January 6, 2020

LILLY PULITZER AFTER PARTY SALE: 5 Lilly Unexpected Favorite Purchases.

     Happy First Day of the Winter 2020 After Party Sale!! 🎉Who is ready to shop at 8am this morning when the sale queue opens? (If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about- see this blog post!) 

     I'll be updating this post later today with my sale picks once the website opens and I can link them, but until then I wanted to do something different on the blog today for this After Party Sale. I'm sharing my five most unexpected favorite Lilly Pulitzer purchases from over the years. Obviously Lilly is known for their classic and colorful shift dresses, but they also make so much more apparel and accessories as well! Some of the items I'm highlighting today are older and the exact thing might still not be in stock, but I'll try linking a very similar other option instead if that's the case.


January 4, 2020

LILLY PULITZER AFTER PARTY SALE: Winter 2020 In-Store Try-On + My Shopping List!

     Happy Winter 2020 After Party Sale!! The in-store preview events kicked off at Lilly Pulitzer stores this morning, and of course the online sale will be debuting at 8am on Monday. I stopped by my local Lilly Pulitzer store in Charlottesville this weekend to do a try-on with some items! You can also see the video version of this on my Instagram in a little IGTV video.


January 2, 2020

LILLY PULITZER AFTER PARTY SALE: Winter 2020 Sale Dates + My Past Favorite Lilly Blog Posts!

     If you're in a little bit of a slump following the end of the holiday season- some good news came out today that might just cheer you up! The Winter 2020 Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale dates have been announced! Let's just say my agenda for the next week or so just got a lot sunnier. 😊 Normally when the APS sale dates are announced I write a detailed blog post sharing sale FAQs- but I figured for this time around I would share instead a round-up of my past favorite Lilly Pulitzer content, as I have a lot of it!!

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