Southern Belle in Training

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

December 31, 2020

2020 in Review: Blogging Highlights + Favorite Outfits.

     For my final blog post of the year, let's recap all things Southern Belle in Training! I'll be sharing my favorite outfits, readers' and my favorite blog posts, top selling items, and more. If you missed it, I recapped 2020 in my personal life outside of blogging in Monday's blog post


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December 30, 2020

2020 NYE Outfit Fail.

      Although I have no plans for New Year's Eve this year, I still wanted to dress up in a pretty and sparkly outfit at home to celebrate the end of 2020. But in true fashion for this year, there was a bit of a mishap with the outfit I was hoping to wear at home. Fortunately, I got these outfit pictures before that happened, so I can at least share what I planned to wear with you today! 

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December 29, 2020

What I Wore to Work: December 2020

      It's my last month of work outfits for 2020! I feel I should start off this month's post by saying I feel very grateful to still have had a reason to share work outfits with you from March until now. I've continued going into work at the radio station this whole year during the pandemic. While there have been moments of anxiety with still physically going to work (especially this month when we saw our first positive cases at work), overall I think it was very good for my mental health to still physically leave my apartment M-F for work rather than working from home. 

     This month I definitely dressed down a little more often than I normally do for work (a lot of jeans and sweaters thrown together) but I still tried to look presentable! In January I'm hoping to style more of my favorite winter dresses and skirts with tights for work outfits. I also included the ugly sweater outfit that I wore on Christmas Eve morning!

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December 28, 2020

2020 in Review: Highlights From My Year.

     It's finally the last week of the year that I've been ready to say goodbye to since March. As tough as 2020 was, there were still moments of joy and blessings in every season, month and week. Let's recap 2020 in my personal life outside of the blog! (As always, I'll be sharing a separate blog focused year-end recap post later this week.) 


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December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020!

     From my little Charlottesville, VA household to yours...

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December 23, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{I can't believe this is my last Midweek Ramblings for 2020! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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December 21, 2020

Oh, The Places I Didn't Go (in 2020)!

      Can you believe that my word of the year for 2020 was "wander"? HAHA right! Boy, God must've had a good laugh when I picked that as my 2020 mantra. 😊2020 was the year I had the most PTO I'd ever had in my career thus far, my first year without any student loans, and I had just moved into an apartment with a roommate again in 2019, so I was saving money each month on my living expenses compared to the last couple years. All this to say- I was ready to TRAVEL! And travel I did, for February at least. After March... well, you know the rest!


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December 18, 2020

Barrington Gifts St. Anne Tote vs. Savannah Tote: Which Is Better?

     Over the past year, I have become a big fan of Barrington Gifts bags! They sell many items in their online boutique from luggage to accessories for him and her to diaper bags, but I feel their signature item and what they're best known for are their monogrammed and customized totes. And when it comes to Barrington totes, it really breaks down to two styles: the St. Anne and the Savannah. Today I'm comparing and contrasting both, and sharing why both are wonderful bags in their own right, yet also a little different from each other! There is an amazing Barrington promo happening right now, so I wanted to get this post up ASAP so you can take advantage.

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December 15, 2020

Home for the Holidays: Christmas Tree + Decor 2020.

     I can't believe it's already that time of year when I share my apartment Christmas decor on the blog! 2020 was the slowest year in some ways, and the fastest year in other ways. It seems like yesterday that I was sharing last year's version of this blog post. In past years, I've sometimes dressed up when sharing my apartment Christmas decor (I definitely did in 2017!). This year it only seemed fitting though to share this post while wearing festive pajamas... it is 2020 after all, and I've never spent more time at home. Welcome to our apartment!

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December 11, 2020

10 Socially Distanced or Virtual Experience Gift Ideas.

     Gift giving is my love language- I get so excited to find the perfect Christmas gift (or birthday gift) for someone I love, and see them enjoy receiving it. I've had a little bit of a change in my gift giving habits over the past few years though. I've started becoming a big fan of giving experience gifts instead of just material things! I love treating someone to a special experience that they probably wouldn't do for themselves otherwise. 

     Obviously not all traditional experience gifts are possible in 2020 with the pandemic, but there are still a lot of socially distanced or virtual experience gift ideas that would be unique, fun and memorable! I'm sharing 10 ideas in today's blog post:


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December 9, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 

 

{Delilah always loves being in the living room once the Christmas decoration are up! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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December 8, 2020

Untraditional Thanksgiving Menu: Our Thanksgiving Brunch

      I know that it's already been a few weeks since Thanksgiving and we are well into the Christmas season already, but I still wanted to get a post up about my menu for this Thanksgiving. Save this to use as inspiration for a future year, or maybe you'll even want to incorporate a recipe or two from here for your Christmas meals!

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December 7, 2020

Designer Diaries: Olivia Rubin Cardigan

     Last month, I purchased my very first designer clothing piece! While I do have a couple of lower-priced designer shoes and bags, I'd never had a clothing item that could be considered designer before. I am so excited about the gorgeous sweater that I ended up getting from Olivia Rubin, so wanted to write a full review of it! If you're new to my occasional Designer Diaries series, it's where I review purchases that are big splurges and share if I think they're worth it or not. It is rare that I get fashion items that are very expensive, and I try to be very thoughtful about those purchases, which is why I like to review them after using them here on the blog!

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December 4, 2020

Lilly Pulitzer Holiday 2020: Try-On + Sizing Guide! πŸ’–πŸŒ΄

     It's been a couple months too long since I've brightened up my blog and Instagram with some Lilly Pulitzer! I typically share most of my Lilly content in the spring and summer months (since it's when I'm wearing the most Lilly, and summer ends with an After Party Sale), but this year I think the holidays definitely need some more pink and green! In past years, I haven't been as into Lilly's holiday and winter collections. But this year that all changed! I was excited a couple weekends ago to spend an afternoon at Lilly Pulitzer River Road in Richmond shooting a dressing room try-on of all the gorgeous new arrivals.

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December 2, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{Surprise!! I got a haircut this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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November 30, 2020

What I Wore to Work: November 2020

      Time again to recap what I wore to work over the past month! 2020 has been a bummer year in many aspects, but one thing that has been a huge positive is the incredible weather we've had in Central Virginia all year. From a very mild winter to a gorgeous spring, to a warm and sunny summer and a radiant fall, we've been very lucky. This November was the warmest by far since I've lived here! Thanksgiving Day last week hit the low 70s, and it remained mild for most of the month. I didn't even have to pull out tights yet for the days I wore skirts and dresses. And be sure to scroll to the end- you'll get to see the first work outfit with my new haircut!

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November 28, 2020

5 Things in My Closet from Shopbop + Cyber Weekend Sale Details

     The Cyber Weekend sales continue! Today I'm sharing a few favorite picks from my own closet that are currently part of the Shopbop Black Friday Sale (which continues this weekend). 

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November 27, 2020

BLACK FRIDAY / CYBER WEEKEND SALES 2020

    It's finally my favorite shopping day of the year! Happy Black Friday!! I haven't missed a Black Friday of shopping in-person since I was 13... that's 13 consecutive years I think?! But things will look a bit different for me this year. 

     Instead of waking up bright and early and rushing to the stores, I'm waiting until late afternoon or evening to go out and just hit a couple places. I'll be wearing not only my mask, but also my face shield! And if there are crowds at the places I'm planning to visit later, I'm planning to just leave and come back home. Safety first. πŸ˜“But thankfully online Black Friday shopping and Cyber Weekend deals are not cancelled in 2020! 

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November 25, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{One of my favorite Charlottesville views at Reynard-Florence Winery this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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November 23, 2020

How to Enjoy The Holidays When You're Alone.

      You don't need me to tell you that the holiday season in 2020 will be looking very different for a lot of people. This might be the very first time that you aren't able to travel to or host family and loved ones for special celebrations. In some ways, I consider myself a little bit of an expert on spending holidays away from home, since I've lived out-of-state since 2012. But with that said- this year will still look different even for me because of the changes with COVID, I thought it might be helpful as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach to still share some of my tips for having a great holiday even when you aren't traveling/hosting or being with loved ones!


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November 20, 2020

2020 Gift Guides: BOOKS FOR HER

     Wrapping up (ha- pun not intended!) Gift Guide Week with one dedicated to one of my very favorite things to both give and receive: books! I think giving a book to a friend, family member or significant other is always a wonderful choice. 

     Typically, I think a non-fiction book or cookbook is the best way to go for a gift, versus fiction. I tend to read 99% of my fiction from the library or a cheap local used bookstore, it's rare that I buy a fiction book brand new at full price. But I have been lucky with fiction and read some truly wonderful novels in the past couple years, so I did include two of them that I think would appeal to a lot of readers in this guide.


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November 19, 2020

2020 Gift Guides: FOR HIM

     Gift Guide Week continues today- let's chat gifts for all the guys! Dads, brothers and brothers-in-law, guy friends, and boyfriends.  For today- I did want to share a mix of a few things that I've bought my dad in past years, and a few fun items that I'd buy for a significant other if I was seeing someone right now.      

     So funny story about today's guide. For the past few years, I haven't done a dedicated men's guide. Why you ask? Well- I don't feel very qualified to do so! πŸ˜‚ I've only bought a Christmas gift for a romantic interest for once in my life. (One Christmas out of 26 of them... yes that's sad I know! #ForeverSingle) I don't have any brothers or brother-in-laws, and my guy friends and I don't typically do Christmas gifts. So that just leaves my dad! And he's an interesting one to buy for. He's not a fan of any sports (for real), and also isn't into some of the typical guy pastimes like hunting or fishing. So I always have to get a little more creative when thinking of what to get my dad. Some of my favorite gifts I've bought him have actually been experience gifts- I'll have a separate blog post on those ideas coming soon. 


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November 18, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{Enjoying cider donuts at an apple orchard this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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November 16, 2020

2020 Gift Guides: FOR HER

    Welcome to Southern Belle in Training's first 2020 Gift Guide: Gifts for Her! I'm officially making this Gift Guide Week on the blog. πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ„Instead of breaking things down into very specific and separate gift guides for friends, sisters, moms, etc... I decided to keep it simple and just do all of my recommendations into this one: Gifts for Her! These 20 gifts are at a variety of price points ($10-200), and there's all different types of things featured, so there is bound to be something in the mix that a woman in your life would enjoy receiving this year. 

    Stay tuned later this week for Gifts for Him, and a Book Gift Guide for Her as well! Next week or the week after I'm also planning to share a Virtual and Experience Gift Guide which I'm excited about as well.


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November 11, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{Pretty street scenes from Richmond this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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November 10, 2020

Unsponsored + Unbiased Hello Fresh Review!

     It's here- my unsponsored and unbiased review of Hello Fresh, the meal kit service that I've been enjoying using for the past two months! I never thought I would be this excited about using a meal kit, but here we are. I am still planning to try out a few of Hello Fresh's competitors like Home Chef, Blue Apron, etc this winter and write a larger blog post comparing and contrasting several of them, but some of you messaged me on Instagram saying you still really wanted to see a dedicated Hello Fresh review first. So here we go! Spoiler alert: I love it!


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November 5, 2020

Monticello Wine Trail: Glass House Winery

     I am so excited to finally bring you a full review on one of my very favorite Charlottesville wineries! Glass House is not only an incredibly unique and beautiful place to visit, but the wines are phenomenal as well. It's a must-visit in my opinion if you're coming to Charlottesville! 

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November 2, 2020

Random Things On My Amazon Wishlist.

      Happy Monday! I was going through my Amazon Wishlist last week while searching for items to start listing for gift guides and also things to put on my own Christmas list for my parents this year. Taking a deep dive through my general Wishlist made me realize how random the items are that I save for later on Amazon! Everything from fashion and jewelry to books to miscellaneous household items. Since my Wishlist is so random, I thought it might be fun to highlight some of the things on there! Some of these I'll be adding to my Christmas list, some I'll probably buy myself next year, and some I'll probably realize that I will never actually need and won't order.  

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October 31, 2020

Easy DIY Halloween Costume: Genie in a Bottle!

     "If you wanna be with me, Baby there's a price to pay, I'm a Genie in a Bottle..." There's been a lot of things cancelled in 2020, but Halloween costumes didn't have to be! I'm excited to share the couples' costume that I did this week with my radio co-host Marc: Genie in a (2020 Corona) Bottle

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October 30, 2020

What I Wore to Work: October 2020.

     Fall is just flying on by this year, it's already time to share my October work outfits! This month started off chillier than normal, but then we had one last pretty warm week in the middle of the month. I officially switched over my closet and shoes from spring/summer to fall/winter this month, and dare I say I'm actually starting to look forward to wearing sweaters and tights again soon? But for now- enjoy this month's fall looks! All of these are linked on my LiketoKnow.it page as always.

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October 29, 2020

Why Sending Cards Means So Much To Me.

      I am excited to be partnering with Hallmark today to share with you why the act of sending a greeting card in the mail means so much to me! I am a huge card enthusiast (and basically have been since I was old enough to write), so this partnership is truly a dream. 

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October 28, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{A happy selfie after I voted early last week! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk} 
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October 26, 2020

My Best & Worst Parts of 2020 + Favorite Fall Dress

      A couple weekends ago, I was doing a patio dinner outdoors with a few friends (something that has still been few and far between for me since March). My friend Lily asked all of us at the dinner if we could reflect and share on what had been the best thing and worst thing about 2020 for us personally. Her question honestly took a little longer to answer than I thought, but I ended up enjoying reflecting on my answer, and also listening to what my friends had to say as well. I asked this same question to all of you on Instagram Stories last week, and I thought it would make a great blog post topic as well!

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October 23, 2020

Blogging FAQ: Why I Still Use Blogger Instead of Wordpress.

      Welcome back to Blogging FAQ! Today's blog post is all about why I love using Blogger, which is the Google-owned platform that I have always run this blog on. Hopefully this might be helpful to any of you who are considering starting a blog and looking at different platforms right now!

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October 21, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

{Throwback to hiking a few weeks ago near Winchester, VA! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

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October 19, 2020

10 BEST Drugstore Beauty Buys: Things I Keep Repurchasing.

     I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that drugstore beauty products can be really hit or miss. On one hand, it is so great to find an affordable beauty product that exceeds your expectations and works well the first time your try it for your skin or hair. On the other hand, there can be a lot of flops with cheaper products, and it can be frustrating to keep trying various $5-10 items that don't work- that's when you start thinking maybe it would've been better to just splurge on a prestige brand item that would work the first time. Today, I'm sharing my holy grail favorite 10 drugstore beauty products! These are the affordable favorites that I've fallen in love with using.

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October 14, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.


{I made these tasty muffins for a Sunday breakfast treat this weekend- recipe is linked in this post. Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk!}
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October 13, 2020

My (Super Early) Current Weekday Morning Routine.

     This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CleanHealthyBold

     Once people find out that my day job is working as a morning radio host, the follow-up question is almost always, "How do you wake up so early on weekdays?" Fair question! Once people get over their shock at hearing that my alarm goes off at 3:30am five days a week, they're often curious what my weekday morning routine looks like. Do I spend a couple hours before work getting a workout in and cooking a full breakfast? Do I roll out of bed five minutes before I have to leave the house and wear my pajamas to the radio studio? Somewhere in between? I'm breaking it all down today for you, and also talking about some items that make the super early mornings easier, like LISTERINE® Ready! Tabs™ Chewable Tablets!



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October 12, 2020

I Found It! (The Perfect Shirtdress, That Is)

     As the title of this blog post says, the hunt is over! I've been searching for a basic but chic shirtdress to have a closet staple for the last two or three years, and I'm so excited to finally share this one with you today.  



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October 9, 2020

TRAVEL GUIDE: Weekend in Winchester, VA

      Thrilled today to share the perfect Mid-Atlantic fall weekend destination with you: the charming town of Winchester, Virginia. Located right off Interstate 81, just south of the West Virginia state line, Winchester is somewhere I've passed through more times that I can count. But I had never actually stopped and explored until last month! Spoiler alert: Winchester is a darling town and I wish I'd done a rest stop or two here in years passed, or taken the time to do a full weekend here. Luckily- it was better late than never for me to visit!


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October 7, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{Sweet Delilah resting and recovering this past weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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October 5, 2020

Fall Dress in a Sunflower Field 🌻

      No better way to kick off a new week then with a field of sunflowers, right?! 🌻I'll be sharing a full Travel Guide for my recent weekend in Winchester, VA later this week. For now I wanted to give you a little preview in the form of a lot of bold blooms on a cloudy day! 

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October 1, 2020

Two Years Since Getting Delilah!

      October 1st, 2018: the day my household grew by four little paws! Two years ago today I became a cat mom and adopted my cat from a local rescue. I don't know her exact birthday, but she is now about four years old. I am celebrating all things Delilah in today's post! 

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September 30, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{The most delicious dessert to finish off a great meal in Winchester this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}
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September 29, 2020

Lilly Pulitzer Fall 2020: Try-On + Sizing Guide!

      One of my favorite types of blog posts to share are Lilly Pulitzer sizing try-ons! Lilly is always coming out with new styles, so I like to learn my best sizing for everything so I can better shop sales when they happen. And I love sharing what I learn with all of you, since I know lots of you are also Lilly fans, and some of you don't live near any stores that sell Lilly.

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September 28, 2020

What I Wore to Work: September 2020

     Time already to share September's work outfits! This was the coldest September that I can remember in Charlottesville so far. Typically this is still a very warm month, and it isn't until late October that it starts getting cold steadily. Not the case this year! The first week was hot and humid as normal, but since the second week of the month it's been unusually chilly, with highs many days only reaching the 60s and lows at night much colder. You'll see some of my outfits still have more summery vibes, and then there's a big shift to warmer fall outfits!

     As always- find outfit details for every look on my LikeToKnow.It page. (You don't need the app to use LTK on a computer!)         

  

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September 24, 2020

Family Photos 2020.

      Last month, my parents and I did something together that was very overdue. We had professional family photos taken for the first time since... wait for it...2007! We just got the final photos back this week, so sadly they weren't ready yet when I wrote my recap blog post for this trip home. But that just means they needed their own blog post, which you're getting today! 😊

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September 23, 2020

Midweek Ramblings.

 


{A snap from a fun Instagram campaign a few weeks ago! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

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September 22, 2020

Travel Diary: Maine's Prettiest Views at Quill Hill.

     This summer, I found what I'm pretty certain is the most stunning mountain view in my home state of Maine. I'm going to go so far as to even say this might be the prettiest view in the whole state- mountains or not! And that's coming from someone who is in love with the gorgeous beaches and ocean coastline in Maine. Please allow me to introduce you to the heaven on earth that is Quill Hill! 

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September 21, 2020

Lessons From A Birthday Identity Crisis.

     Let's start this week off with a confession: I woke up on my birthday a few weeks ago having a full blown identity crisis. It was unexpected in the moment for sure! But I'm thankful for the reflections that it's lead me to have since- and I wanted to share a few with you today. 


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