Southern Belle in Training

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

December 31, 2022

2022 in Review: Highlights From My Year.

      Time once again to write my most favorite blog post of the year. This year's edition of the post is extra special, as 2022 was by far the best year of my life (so far). This year held so many precious memories and amazing experiences! Let's recap:


December 27, 2022

2022 Apartment Christmas Tree + Decor!

      I'm a bit belated in getting this year's apartment holiday decor blog post up, but even though it's late I couldn't skip the tradition to document it on my blog. Here are a few snaps from my second Christmas season in my little Virginia Beach apartment!


December 19, 2022

Stroll Through Colonial Williamsburg at Christmas.

      Williamsburg is one of America's most historic towns, and (without traffic) it's under an hour away from where I live! Christmastime in Williamsburg is especially charming. There's something special about a very classic and historic area being decked out for Christmas. Most of the buildings within Colonial Williamsburg participate in an annual wreath decorating contest. All of the materials and decorations for the wreaths have to be naturally sourced, and things that would've been around in the 1700s. So that means no Christmas lights, modern ornaments, or tinsel! Instead, you'll see lots of pinecones and sticks, fruit, shells, and more natural items. You can read more about the history of the wreath contest here!

     I had to share some festive photos with you from a recent day trip to Williamsburg a couple weekends ago. I feel extra lucky this season as I also got to go back to Williamsburg for another day trip this past weekend, so I got to see all of this twice! 


December 15, 2022

My Summer of Sickness: Why I'm Glad to Live Near Patient First Urgent Care.

This blog post is sponsored by Patient First Urgent Care. Thank you for supporting the brand partners that support Southern Belle in Training!

There's no doubt in my mind that 2022 has been the best year of my life. Honestly, I think it'll be a hard year to top this year in my future. But even in the best of years, there are some lows to balance out the highs. And for me, all of the lows of 2022 seemed to be of a medical nature. I feel thankful that none of the medical situations I had this year were anything life-threatening or too serious. I didn't have cancer or a chronic illness, and I didn't need any surgeries. (For that I am so, so thankful!) But even less serious medical related things can still be a pain to deal with and can be both time consuming and expensive. In 2022, I missed three and a half weeks of work between various illnesses and dental work. Woof!

       Let's recap my medical events of 2022. First up, I had my first-ever root canal in April, and the healing from it took longer than expected. I thought I'd be good to go within a few hours after the procedure, but I had a lot of swelling and pain and was out of work for a few days. (Root canal recovery + talking for a living at my day job = doesn't mix well.) Covid came for me at long last in September. I managed to dodge it for two and a half years, but it finally got me. I feel very thankful that I had a fairly mild case, but I still had to miss a week of work for my quarantine. But the worst medically related thing of 2022 for me? That would be the mysterious (non-Covid) respiratory infection that I had in the height of summer. In today's blog post, I'm going to tell you more about that experience, as well as how visiting a local Patient First Urgent Care Center a week into being sick finally helped start turning things around for me.


December 12, 2022

How to Host a Favorite Things Christmas Gift Swap Party.

       Last weekend, I hosted my 2nd annual Favorite Things Christmas Party. After sharing some snippets from it on IG Stories, I got several questions. So, I thought I'd write a blog post on how I do this party and why it is always so much fun! This is also a great type of holiday party to host if you live in a small space like I do. You don't need to have a giant entertaining space in your home to host a favorite things gift swap.


December 6, 2022

November 21, 2022

TRAVEL GUIDE: Charming and Historic Edenton, NC.

      This Travel Guide has been a long time coming, and I'm so excited it's finished! This might be a blog post that I revisit in years to come and update, based on continuing to visit regularly since I have extended family in the area. Welcome to what might be my favorite small town on earth: Edenton, NC!


November 9, 2022

HOTEL GUIDE: The Captain's Quarters & Granville Queen Inns in Historic Edenton, NC.

       Where do Southern small-town charm, rich local history, and a luxurious inn stay come together? At The Captain's Quarters and Granville Queen Inns in beautiful Edenton, NC! I'm excited to share my review of these two sister properties (owened by The Carolina Experience) with y'all today. Plus- stay tuned to the end of the post for a discount code for your future NC travels.


November 2, 2022

October 30, 2022

Easy DIY Halloween Couples Costume: Love is Blind

     Popping in just before Halloween to share a pop culturally trendy and very easy couples costume that I came up with: Love is Blind!


October 26, 2022

IRELAND TRAVEL GUIDE: What I Wore For a Week in Ireland.

     My mom and I spent a week in Ireland this past spring, and it's been fun to revisit all of my photos and memories to recap it here on the blog. I'm starting to work on a full Travel Guide blog post to recap all the places we went and stayed on our Insight Vacations tour. First though, I wanted to share a little recap of the outfits that I wore! I did a lot of Pinterest and travel blog browsing before our trip to find inspiration for my own Ireland outfits, so maybe what I wore can be a helpful resource for someone as well. 


October 18, 2022

HOTEL GUIDE: A Luxurious 24 Hour Stay at Ashford Castle in Ireland.

       In May 2022, my mom and I finally got to take a trip that we had patiently been waiting two and a half years for! We did the Irish Elegance tour with Insight Vacations and spent a full week exploring various regions of Ireland. I will be doing a full recap of our whole trip soon, but first I wanted to do a dedicated blog post for what was not only the best hotel of the trip, but one of the best hotels I've ever stayed at in my life. Spending 24 hours at Ashford Castle was a dream come true, and I am excited to share it with you!


October 5, 2022

{Monthly} Midweek Ramblings.

      Welcome to the first-edition of the reimagined Midweek Ramblings blog posts! For years, I shared a weekly update post on Wednesdays that would document things I was loving, watching, cooking, reading, buying, and more. Even though these blog posts were simple, they remained quite popular in page views over the years! It was also kind of nice for me to have a past record of what was going on in my day-to-day life each week for years. 

      Since coming back to blogging following my blogging break earlier this year, I knew that I really wanted to scale back on blog posts (to keep things enjoyable and fun). That means I just can't commit to a Midweek Ramblings post every single week anymore. But- the idea hit me recently, what about a Monthly Midweek Ramblings post? It might not be quite the same format as the old posts, and only once a month instead of weekly, but the thought of that did make me happy. So we are trying it! 😊

September 2022:


October 3, 2022

Kicking Off My Second 101 in 1001 List!

      I couldn't be more excited to share and begin my second-ever 101 in 1001 bucket list! I began my first list in September 2019, and it wrapped up this past summer. I was able to complete 43 out of 101 items, which I feel like wasn't bad for my first time doing this. (I also think Covid happening in the middle of it didn't help- a lot of the items on the list were off-limits in 2020!) By the way- you can see my first 101 in 1001 list and all of the updates over the years HERE!


September 20, 2022

My First 101 in 1001: Final Update

     This post is coming a few months late, but that's due to my blogging break this summer. Hopefully better late than never for my final update on my first-ever 101 in 1001 bucket list!! 


September 13, 2022

LILLY PULITZER SUNSHINE SALE: Day 2 Picks + Items I Own and Love On Sale

      It's the second day of the Fall Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale! I actually didn't up purchasing too much yesterday morning when the sale started, but luckily the fun continues with Lilly adding in new items today and tomorrow. One thing that I did notice yesterday though was how many items I already own and love are included in the sale this year. I wanted to give a shout-out to a few things I love and wear often that you might also want to add to your closet, and then close this post with some of the just released second day new arrivals!

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

September 8, 2022


      One of my favorite things about the month of September- Lilly Pulitzer sale time! The Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale is happening next week, and this time it's three days long! All the usual Lilly sale info is here below:

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

September 6, 2022

10 Years of Blogging + How I'll Be Changing Things With Blogging/Influencing.

       Today my birthday, and it's also Southern Belle in Training's 10th blogiversary! On September 6th, 2012 as a college freshman, I wrote the very first post on here. How crazy to think that Southern Belle in Training blog is still going a full decade later! (And that I'm not 18 anymore and as of today I'm 28... but that's another story. 😊) Since I am fresh off of my extended blogging break for the past few months, I thought the 10 year anniversary of my blog would be the perfect day to share some thoughts on where I see my blog going for the next decade, and some changes that I want to make to the way that I do blogging and influencing. I'm definitely not quitting blogging, but some things will be changing for me. 


September 1, 2022

Spring/Summer 2022 Recap: What I've Been Up To During My Blogging Break.

       Hi and happy September! I can't believe it's actually been over four months since I've talked to you here. When I announced my extended blogging break back in  April, part of me was unsure if I'd actually follow through with it. Blogging has been part of my daily and weekly routine for a whole decade. Even though I was burnt out and craving a long break to revaluate things, it also seemed kind of unfathomable that I'd actually stop blogging for so many months. But I did it! And... I'm so glad I did. 

      I'll have another post up next week with more thoughts on my break from blogging/influencing and what I see myself doing differently with all of it in the future. But for today, I wanted to recap this past spring and summer for you! I've been staying pretty busy, and it's definitely been a memorable past few months. 😊

     Also- I currently have COVID for the first time ever! I was so sad to have to cancel travel plans that I was supposed to leave for today. Getting back to the blog today is definitely something making me smile despite all that's going on.


April 29, 2022

My Sabbatical - I'm Taking a Break From Blogging!

       The title of this post says it all: I'm taking a hiatus from blogging / influencing for the next few months! 


April 21, 2022

Why I'm Glad I Joined Junior League - My New Member Year Recap.

       One of the biggest highlights of the past year for me has been joining my local chapter of Junior League! Junior League (JL) is a worldwide women's community service organization, and I had always wanted to get involved at some point in adulthood. Moving to Virginia Beach last summer seemed like the perfect time to finally join. I can say with certainty that joining Junior League Norfolk-Virginia Beach absolutely has 100% exceeded any expectations that I had about JL before joining!! It's been the most positive experience, and as my New Member year is coming to a close, I wanted to recap everything on the blog! 


April 19, 2022

Virginia Beach Apartment Tour: Gallery Wall

     Saved the last part of my Virginia Beach apartment tour for last... the massive gallery wall that I hung between the kitchen and living room! I love gallery walls and I've always wanted to do one that's this big. This apartment seemed like the time to finally go for it!



April 17, 2022

Lilly Pulitzer SURPRISE Sale 2022! 🌴🌸

     Fans of Lilly Pulitzer know that the brand typically does their big online sales twice a year, in January and September. Talk about an Easter surprise over this weekend to hear that Lilly is doing a surprise one-day Flash Sale, on Monday April 18th, 2022!! 😍


April 13, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.


{Beautiful blooms spotted in Alexandria, VA over this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

April 7, 2022

HOTEL GUIDE: Staying at The Greenbrier On a Budget.

      Staying at the iconic Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia has been on my bucket list since I was in college. This hotel is absolutely stunning inside and out, and steeped in rich culture and history. When I lived in Charlottesville, I was just a mere two hours away from The Greenbrier, so my desire to visit grew even stronger. The only problem? The Greenbrier is expensive, and was very out of my travel budget for a long time. In 2019, I wrote on my 101 in 1001 bucket list that I finally wanted to visit and stay at The Greenbrier. I was determined to make it happen in the first half of 2022, as my 101 in 1001 list wraps up this summer. I finally had the chance to visit and stay at The Greenbrier, and I'm excited to share all about it! 

     Since this post is focusing on how to enjoy The Greenbrier on a budget, I'll be highlighting the exact costs that I spent for the room, meals, and more! Hopefully that will be helpful. I will say though- my first Greenbrier experience was worth every penny, and I already can't wait to return someday. 


April 4, 2022

Virginia Beach Apartment Tour: Bedroom.

      Moving along with my Virginia Beach apartment tour today! So far I've shared my kitchen + bathroom, and the living room. Next up is my bedroom! 


March 30, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.


{Blending right in with the decor during my first visit to The Greenbrier Resort earlier this week! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


March 29, 2022

Virginia Beach Apartment Tour: Living Room

     Continuing on with my Virginia Beach apartment tour today! (I recently shared my apartment kitchen and bathroom in this post.) I really loved the living room layout that my room Abigail and I had in our shared Charlottesville apartment. I knew that the size of the living room would be smaller in my Virginia Beach apartment, but I was still determined to make things look similar, especially since I'd still be bringing my same couch, upholstered chair and TV stand. 


March 23, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.

{Soaked up all of the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains while I was in Charlottesville this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

March 17, 2022

Virginia Beach Apartment Tour: Kitchen + Bathroom.

     I'm excited to finally be sharing my Virginia Beach apartment tour with you! I've had so much fun turning this little one bedroom apartment into my ultimate bachelorette pad. I've probably had more fun decorating this apartment than anywhere else that I've lived. I love how everything has come together! I moved the majority of my furniture that I've had in past apartments with me to Virginia Beach, but I did add in a lot of new décor, and arranged some of my older pieces differently here.

     I'm starting off this apartment tour with some shots of my kitchen and bathroom. Soon I'll share the living room and bedroom with you!


March 11, 2022

Friday Fun Facts.

       I used to share "get to know me" blog posts a lot more frequently in years passed. It's been forever since I've shared something like that, so I thought this would be a fun way to close out this week here on the blog! I'm just sharing some fun and random facts about me. Maybe some of these you already knew, but I'm also guessing some you won't! 


March 9, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.

{Beautiful sights from a quick trip home to Maine last weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


March 8, 2022

Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2022 Dresses: Try-On + Sizing Guide! 🌴🌸

     It's been way too long since I've popped over to the Lilly Pulitzer River Road store in Richmond for a try-on session! I was in Richmond last weekend to meet up with a couple friends from Charlottesville, and knew that I had to squeeze in a Lilly Pulitzer store visit while I was up there. One of the many reasons that I love springtime is because it's the annual return of getting to wear most of my Lilly and brightly colored warm-weather clothing items again! So I'm always excited to see the Lilly Spring arrivals each year. 

      I didn't have quite as much time at the store as I usually do (due to a busy and full day in Richmond!), so I decided to focus this try-on just on dresses in the new collection. For sizing reference on this try-on: for my height I am just shy of 5"7, I have a 34C chest, and I typically wear a size 6 in clothing from most brands. If a brand uses letter sizing, I am sometimes a S and sometimes an M- just depends on the fit and the fabric of an item.


March 3, 2022

Using a Professional Home Organizer is WORTH IT! My Review of NEAT Method Virginia Beach.

      Last week, I had the chance to work with a local professional organizer to re-do two of the closets in my Virginia Beach apartment. I can't wait to show document the before/after photos and share more about the process with you! I worked with the NEAT Method Virginia Beach, and local owner Alayna, and had such a positive experience all-around.


March 2, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.


{Got to take a walk to Belle Isle in Richmond over the weekend- I always love stopping to take in the view from the pedestrian bridges! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


February 25, 2022

What I Wore to Work: February 2022.

       Oh goodness- I am feeling so over winter fashion and ready to full break into the spring section of my closet. It's felt like a very long winter in Virginia Beach. While this past week has brought some really nice mild temperatures, the first three weeks of February were all very cold for the most part. Winter fashion has never been my favorite, but this year I've been especially uninspired with winter clothes. I feel like next year I might have to really overhaul this part of my closet- ha! 

      Anyways, here are my work outfits (and one airport outfit) from February: 


February 23, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.


{Exploring the Atlanta History Center with my friend Cara this past weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


February 21, 2022

Which Nail Wraps Are Best? I Tried + Reviewed 3 Brands!

     I started doing my nails myself in 2019 to avoid costly trips to the salon. I was lucky to quickly find an at-home option that I loved: ImPRESS press-on nails. I still love using ImPRESS nails today, and they probably will always be my favorite DIY manicure option. (I've written two posts about ImPRESS- a review and tutorial here, and tips for making them last longer here!) Even though I'd found a great at-home option that I like for nails, I'm never opposed to still trying other new things. In the last couple years, the popularity of nail polish wraps has exploded, and I finally wanted to give those a try too! Over the past few months, I've been testing out three different brands of nail polish wraps, and I'm excited to share this review with you today.


February 17, 2022

Midweek Ramblings (on a Thursday!)


{Shopping in Downtown Edenton, NC this past weekend with my aunt and uncle! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

February 15, 2022

Best Amazon Jewelry Buys.

      A couple months ago, I decided to order a bunch of affordable costume jewelry on Amazon. Like most people these days, I've bought a lot of random items on Amazon over the years, but I had never really purchased any jewelry on there. I guess jewelry is usually something I prefer to buy more in-person? As I do with any fashion related Amazon purchases, I made sure to read the reviews on everything before buying. I was so pleasantly surprised that I loved five out of the six items that I got!! (I won't be sharing the sixth one that was a dud.) I'm sharing my five favorites with you today:


February 9, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.


{Where I spent as much of my weekend as possible- on the couch watching the new season of Sweet Magnolias! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


February 7, 2022

How to Make a Bachelorette Party *Extra Special* For the Bride-To-Be! 💍

      I am currently planning a bachelorette party for the first time! Last month, I reached out for some bachelorette planning advice on Instagram Stories, and wow did all of you former brides and former maids-of-honor deliver!! I received so much good advice that I wanted to round it all up and share it here on the blog, as I know I can't be the only person out there who is planning a bachelorette party for the first time and wanting to make it extra memorable for the bride-to-be.



February 3, 2022

Midweek Ramblings (on a Thursday!)


{Enjoying drinks at the beautiful Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach over the weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}

January 31, 2022

What I Wore to Work: January 2022

     Oh my gosh- was this month like the longest January ever for anyone else?! I honestly didn't think there would ever be a January longer than 2021, but I think this year might actually have it beat. After an unseasonably warm December, January in Virginia was both cold and snowy. Brrrr! I also knew more people than at any point in the pandemic who had COVID this past month, which kind of added another layer of uncertainty and frustration to the month. 

      Kind of continuing with how I felt at the end of last year, this month I still felt very "meh" about a lot of things in my closet, and a lot of the work outfits I put together this month. Winter fashion is just not my favorite- what can I say? The first outfit below with my snakeskin midi skirt is probably my favorite one that I wore this month.


January 28, 2022

My Best Purchases of 2021.

     Before January comes to an end, I wanted to be sure to publish my final 2021 recap post. I always look forward to rounding up my favorite new purchases from the past year. These are the items that I loved the most and used or wore the most in 2021! 


January 26, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.


{Enjoying a quiet Sunday livestreaming church from home this past weekend. Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk!}

January 24, 2022

The "Southern Belle in Training" Origin Story: How I Fell in Love With the Southeast.

      2022 is a milestone year for me in a few different ways. June will mark 10 years since I graduated from high school, and September will mark 10 years since I started this blog! (This year will also bring some smaller 10 year milestones: like it being 10 years since I joined Instagram as @miss_alk, 10 years since I got my belly button pierced, and 10 years since I made the mistake of perming my hair for the first and only time. Ha!) But my first milestone that turns 10 this year is one that happened in January 2012- probably right around this exact week. And that would be the day that I had the epiphany that I  needed to move to the South for college.


January 19, 2022

Midweek Ramblings.


{It was such an honor and joy to be part of Ciera and Patrick's engagement in Charlotte this weekend! Follow me on Instagram @miss_alk}


January 14, 2022

6 Months of Life in Virginia Beach: Update!

      Today marks six months since I moved to Virginia Beach! I wrote a pretty lengthy post-move update at the three month mark back in October. Today's post definitely won't be quite as long, but I am still excited to share a recap of the first half-year I've spent living and working in Hampton Roads!

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