Southern Belle in Training

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

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! 

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My Best Purhases of 2021:

1. GreenLife 16 piece pots and pans set - Like most 20-somethings, since my very first apartment post-grad I've been using a random assortment of hand-me-down pots and pans from my mom and a couple cheap random ones from Walmart. As much as I do enjoy cooking and baking, there was something about using such old pots and pants in the kitchen that took away a little bit of the joy for me. I always though I'd finally get a matching set once I got married and could put it on a wedding registry. When I was preparing to move last year, it dawned on me that I didn't have to wait for a future wedding shower to have nice pots and pans! What a revelation- ha! While I probably would've bought these on my own, my parents kindly gifted them to me as a housewarming gift for my new Virginia Beach apartment! I had one ranodm GreenLife pot for the past few years and that I really liked, and I loved how all of their pot and pan sets came in fun colors. 

2. Nail wraps - I discovered my beloved ImPRESS press-on nails in 2019, and I still love those and use them often! Those will always probably by my favorite DIY nail option, as they have more of an acrylic feel to them. But 2021 was the year I first tried a few brands of nail polish wraps, and I really started to like those as well! I've actually found that my ImPRESS nails last the best if I alternate weeks between wearing them and then wearing nail polish wraps. So far I've tried two brands of nail polish wraps- Nails Mailed and Color Street. I liked Color Street a little better out of the two, but Nails Mailed isn't bad either. Soon I'm also planning to try Dashing Diva! If you don't like acrylic feeling nails and prefer something natural, you'd probably love nail wraps too. 

3. Blue and white tile contact paper - I'm not going to go into too much detail about this one since I have an entire blog post dedicated to it, which you can read here! 😊 This affordable contact paper helped to completely transform my apartment kitchen- I'm so glad I decided to try using this. 

4. Revlon Blow Dryer brush - I finally bought this very popular hair tool in 2021! Before getting it, I had seen so much hype for it. So many women said that using it literally gave them salon quality blow-outs. While I haven't necessarily seen salon level results with it, I do think it's a great blow dryer! It helps dry and straighten my hair much faster than what I was using before. I do like it a lot for the price point! I even got one for my mom for Christmas this year, after I used mine on her hair and she liked it.

5. David Yurman cable bracelet - My absolute favorite purchase of 2021 hands down! I had wanted a David Yurman cable bracelet since college, but this type of jewelry piece is definitely an investment purchase, so it was out of my budget for a few years. I decided in 2020 around the type I started job searching that I'd treat myself to one when I got a new job. The day in June 2021 I got to walk into Fink's Jewelers in Charlottesville and walk out with my bracelet was such a happy and proud moment for me! I have worn this bracelet literally everyday since buying it (excluding when I go to the beach). It is probably one of my most prized possessions now. I hope to get another one someday! 

6. Salon Grafix hairspray - Previously, I never had any drugstore hairsprays that I was super loyal to. I thought most of them either made my hair way too crunchy and strong, or weren't strong enough and didn't help hold a hairstyle very much. All that changed when I tried Salon Grafix hairspray. It's so affordable and I'm obsessed! Looking forward to using this for years to come. It's strong without being crunchy. 

7. Correlle 1 quart serving bowls - I have had one of these bowls all the way since college (it was part of my limited dorm room dishware collection), and really liked it. Last year in Charlottesville, my roommate accidently broke a few small porcelain bowls that I had while doing our dishes. Instead of having her replace the porcelain ones, I asked if instead she'd buy me a few more of these non-breakable Correlle bowls. Once I got more of them, I started using them all the time!! Seriously the best bowls. They're large in size, non-breakable, and lightweight. They also don't get too hot in the microwave. 

8. Free People Ariana top - One of my favorite clothing purchases of the year! It is such a fun, flirty and flattering going-out top. I liked the first one that I bought so much that I purchased a second in another print- something I don't do often! You can see one of the ones I have styled in this blog post

9. Lazy Susan for beauty products - Loving this organizational tool for my bathroom cabinet. It perfectly fits all of my hair products (including number six on this list!). I've seen similar things at more expensive retailers like The Container Store, but I think this is just so great for the price! 

10. Target denim shorts - My other favorite clothing item of the year! This honestly might be my second favorite purchase of 2021 after my David Yurman bracelet- that's how much I love these shorts. Christina from Carolina Charm raved about them for awhile, and I totally trust her recommendations so I decided to give them a try. Oh my goodness- these shorts are so much comfier and more flattering than pairs I've tried that cost 3-5x as much! I might buy a second pair for this summer since I wore my first pair so often. I did find them to run a little small- I went a size up and those fit great. 

     I'd love to hear about your favorite purchases of 2021 as well- let me know in the comments!

My Best Purchases posts from years passed:

2020 // 2019 // 2018 // 2017 // 

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese



  1. Adding those shorts to my cart! Those sound great!

  2. I love that you are still loving the backsplash! It makes such a difference, doesn't it?



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