Southern Belle in Training

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

December 31, 2021

2021 in Review: Blogging Highlights + Favorite Outfits

      Time for my final blog post of 2021! I always like to end each year by recapping the past 12 months in blogging. (If you missed it- I shared my 2021 for my personal life outside of blogging earlier this week!) I can't believe I've been blogging here at Southern Belle in Training for almost 9.5 years- next year in 2022 will bring the big 10 year blogiversary!! 

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     2021 was an interesting year for my personal style. I did the least amount of shopping that I've ever done in my adult life, and I also purged the most items from my closet that I ever have in a calendar year. Part of my excessive purging was because I did a big move this year, but part of it was also just feeling uninspired by parts of my wardrobe and accessories, and not feeling the need to hold on to them. To be honest, I've still been feeling uninspired by a lot of my closet lately. I don't feel like a lot of the outfits I wore this year (whether for the blog and Instagram or just for normal life) were that exciting. For the most part, I also really cut down on shopping fast fashion brands this year.

    I also shared the least amount of fashion and outfit posts on the blog that I ever have. A lot of months in 2021 I only shared one outfit post on here. I'm not sure if that's because I felt uninspired with my closet for a lot of this year, or if it's just because my interests with blogging are moving away from fashion. Anyways- here are my favorite outfits that I posted for each month of the year on Southern Belle in Training!













Readers' Favorite Posts of 2021

  1. LILLY PULITZER AFTER PARTY SALE: Winter 2021 Sale Dates + Lilly Try-On and Sizing Guides - For the past few years, a Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale post was my most-read post of the year! I love that y'all love Lilly Pulitzer as much as me.
  2. Travel Diary: Is Virginia Beach Off-Season Worth It? - This blog post cracks me up as I wrote and published this post a few months before I applied to my job in Virginia Beach and knew I'd be moving here! I guess writing this was foreshadowing what was to come later in my year.
  3. LILLY PULITZER AFTER PARTY SALE: Fall 2021 Sale Dates + Lilly Try-On and Sizing Guides - More Lilly Pulitzer content!
  4. How to Make ImPRESS Nails Last Longer! - I'm so happy to see one of my blog posts about ImPRESS nails got so much web traffic this year. I've been using ImPRESS nails for over two years now, and I'm still obsessed with this amazing drugstore nail product. 
  5. Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2021: Try-On + Sizing Guide - And another Lilly Pulitzer post coming in to the top five- love it! 

My Favorite Posts of 2021
  1. TRAVEL GUIDE: Ultimate Richmond VA Guide - This might be the Travel Guide that I'm most proud of writing in all my years of blogging! I spent a lot of time exploring Richmond during the 3.5 years that I lived in Charlottesville, and I was so glad to finally compile all of my favorite spots into one massive blog post. I really believe Richmond is one of the most underrated and awesome US cities.
  2. One Year Since March 2020 - Everything I Remember - Here's a blog post that I honestly wrote solely for myself and my own memories (but I did get a few DMs that some of you loved reading it too!). As the one year anniversary of the pandemic approached in 2021, I realized I didn't want to forget all of the thoughts and feelings that I had in March 2020 when things were just beginning. If I ever have children or grandchildren someday, I wanted to be able to accurately tell them what it was like to be a 20-something living through the start of an unprecedented pandemic! So that's how this blog post came to be. 
  3. I Love Leasing: Why I Leased Again + A Mistake to Avoid - I'm actually shocked this post wasn't in my top five most trafficked posts by readers this year, as I got so much positive feedback after I published this one! This was the top post listed as a favorite in my 2021 blog reader survey. I'll never be someone who claims to know a lot about cars, but I am so glad to be able to have shared the tips and tricks that I have learned from leasing instead of buying.
  4. Happiest in Lilly - This blog post was a dream come true! I was gifted a couple dresses from Lilly Pulitzer this spring to style and share. My absolutely dream blogging collaboration!! 
  5. TRAVEL GUIDE: Ultimate Charlottesville VA Guide - My other big Travel Guide of the year! I get asked pretty frequently for Charlottesville recommendations, so it is great to finally have them all written out so I can easily send to people who ask. I can't believe I didn't publish this until after my 3.5 years of living in Charlottesville had come to an end- ha! Good things are worth the wait I guess?

Top Selling Items (My top 5 items are all Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale items again!)

Top Retailers

2022 Blogging Goals
      This is going to sound so bad... but I really don't have many specific blogging goals this year! I have a couple of income goals I'd like to hit (one for sponsored content and one for affiliate links), but that's about it. While I still love blogging as a side hustle and have no intentions of stopping, I also don't feel like I'm as rigid about it anymore as I was a couple years ago? If that makes sense?
      After almost 10 years, blogging is still a fun and creative outlet for me, which I'm so thankful for. And I want to keep it that way! If something blogging-related isn't fun, I don't want to do it. That might mean continuing to say no to certain sponsored opportunities, or not doing things that a lot of other bloggers are doing if I don't like doing them (like this year, when I stopped doing Christmas gift guides because I didn't really enjoy putting them together). 

      I hope in 2022 that I can still share fashion I love, travel that inspires me, and bits and pieces of my life, career, faith and interests with you all! And hopefully continue making a side hustle income along with doing all of that. That's my goal for 2022. 😊

      Thank you so much for reading my blog this year!! Have a wonderful New Year's- talk to y'all in 2022!

Blogging Highlights posts from years passed:
2015 // 2016 // 2017 // 2018 // 2019 // 2020 // 

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 



  1. I feel the same way about blogging! I realized that if it’s doesn’t bring me joy… NOPE! This is meant to be fun and creative so that’s what it will be in 2022!

  2. Glad to have followed along with you this year!


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