Southern Belle in Training

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

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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     2020... what a year. And it isn't over yet! But enough of it has passed that I feel like I can analyze most of it. The best part of 2020 for me has been getting back into playing tennis regularly. I talked about that more in this blog post a few months ago, but it's now late October and I'm still playing once or twice a week! I played on the tennis team in middle school and also for one year in high school, and I took a tennis class as a gym credit in college. It's a sport that I've always loved, but in my adult life before this year I never prioritized playing. As soon as I heard this spring that tennis was ranked as a very low risk activity for COVID transmission, I knew I wanted to start playing again. I made a random post in a local Facebook group that I'm in back in May to see if anyone locally was interested in playing a couple times a week. I ended up finding six people who were! A few were previously friends of mine, and a couple folks I hadn't met before. 

     We have been playing tennis since early June now! Some weeks it's just me and one other person, sometimes the regulars bring their friends and roommates and we have enough people for two courts. Tennis has been so good for my mental health this year- it's one activity that still feels very "normal." I am planning to keep playing until it's too cold here to do so, but even so I'm hoping for a few warm days this winter!

     When I first thought about what the hardest part of 2020 was for me, my mind immediately went to all the cancelled travel plans I had (especially the two international trips). But the more I thought about it, I think the biggest loss of the year for me was being able to entertain in my apartment. I love showing hospitality to friends and family- I love having out-of-town guests stay with me for a weekend, having local friends over for weeknight dinners, and throwing parties and movie nights. Hosting brings me so much joy! I am lucky too that my roommate also enjoys having people over, our housewarming party last fall was actually a Halloween costume party as well and I think we managed to cram close to 40 people in our little place!

    Aside from just a couple people in our "bubbles" (which is basically my co-host, one of Abigail's coworkers, and our friend Emily), we haven't had anyone in our home since March. I really, really miss being able to entertain. My mom still hasn't even gotten to visit this apartment yet- it stinks she wasn't able to come down this year. I also had a lot of other friends I was hoping to have visit this summer and fall. And I miss throwing parties!! So much. That's such a big part of my personality, and it truly sucks that for seven months now, safety has had to come first. 

     One other highlight to come out of 2020, this fall specifically? This gorgeous fall dress that I'm wearing in these photos! I still can't believe a dress this pretty was right around $30! It also comes in several other colors. 😊

     Have a great start to your week! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese



  1. Isn't it interesting that good can come out of a terrible situation? While the virus has been awful for so many reasons, I do think all the extra time at home was enlightening to people. It brought out priorities, for sure. I feel exactly the same way you do. A lot of our travel plans were cancelled, but mostly I am so sad we haven't had friends over in months! It was something we did all the time, and miss terribly!

  2. I used to love playing tennis! My family would ride our bikes to the local community college and use their courts to plan tennis after dinner. One day I hope to get my husband and our son into after-dinner tennis matches!


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