Southern Belle in Training

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

March 21, 2023

RESTAURANT GUIDE: 5 Great Restaurants in Orlando, FL

       I just got back from a recent long weekend trip to Orlando. This was the first time I've been in Orlando and haven't visited Disney World at all. I was pleasantly surprised not only by how much there is to do in the area that isn't related to Disney, but also by how many great local restaurant options there are in the Orlando area! I felt like such a foodie on this trip, as it was one great meal after another! While there were some meals that were amazing standouts more than others, we didn't have any truly bad meals on this trip. 


March 15, 2023

TRAVEL GUIDE: Things To Do in Orlando, FL (That Aren't Disney)

      I am freshly back from a fun weekend in Orlando, FL! My boyfriend Ryan and I took a long weekend trip there in honor of his upcoming 30th birthday, which is next week. (We did the trip a little early as I'll be at a wedding over his actual birthday weekend.) We had an absolutely wonderful time!! I had a lot of fun planning the itinerary for this trip. I was pleased to find there is truly so much to do in the Orlando area that isn't related to Disney World! Orlando is a great weekend trip destination, even if you aren't visiting or staying at Disney. There's still so much great stuff to explore! 


March 7, 2023

February 27, 2023

Relationship Monday: 2 Resources That Finally Changed My Mindset on Dating.

       Long time, no Relationship Monday post! I used to share these a few times a year but haven't written one now for about two and a half years. A lot has changed between my last Relationship Monday post in Summer 2020 to now. I've moved cities and jobs, seen life pretty much go back to normal post-2020, made a lot of new friends and started my social life over again in my new city, and possibly most excitingly- I've been in a happy long-term dating relationship for almost a year! I haven't wanted to blog much about my relationship with Ryan in the first year. It's been kind of nice to keep a lot private and special for myself! Waiting so long to have something so good has made me want to soak it all up and treasure it. 

      But for now, at the very least I feel ready to write about the mindset change I had with dating at this time last year. Winter 2022 brought a wakeup call for me with how I viewed dating. And there are two specific resources that I can really credit for helping me change my mindset! If you've also been single for a long time and find yourself getting bitter about the current dating culture but do very much want to find love and a relationship, perhaps both of these things could be helpful to you as well! 

      I should also note- I am a Christian and very much believe in God's plans for our lives, including our love lives! But with that said, I do also believe that God gives us the tools we need to make things happen in our lives. It took me a long time to realize that for a lot of people, God doesn't just magically make the right dating partner appear in life at the right time. Sure- some people are lucky enough to have an amazing meet-cute situation straight out of a romantic comedy to meet their person. And that's great for them! But that is not the reality for most single people navigating dating as an adult post high school and post college. Dating is usually a good deal of work, even as a Christian. And that's okay! I have grown to hate the phrase that's something along the lines of "Love will happen when you least expect it and don't look for it." Uhh.... nope! That was actually the opposite for me. Love finally found me when I was actively dating and "looking for it" as much as I could. 



February 20, 2023

Travel Diary: Nashville, TN Bachelorette Weekend Itinerary 💍

      I recently got to plan my best friend Ciera's bachelorette trip in Nashville, TN! This was only the second bachelorette party that I've planned, and the first one that I've done that was a destination spot for all the guests. (Last year I planned my other best friend Julia's bachelorette weekend, but I was the only one guest traveled in for it, as we did it in Maine where Julia and everyone else invited lived.) 

      This was my third trip to Nashville, but first time going for a bachelorette party. Definitely a different vibe than my past trips for work and for a family vacation with my parents! I still need to get around to writing a full Nashville Travel Guide with recommendations from all my past trips for the blog at some point, but until then I just wanted to get up a little itinerary from the bachelorette trip while it's all fresh in my mind!


February 9, 2023

February 3, 2023

IRELAND TRAVEL GUIDE: Insight Vacations Irish Elegance Tour Recap.

      I'm excited to finally be recapping the full itinerary of the Ireland trip that my mom and I did in May 2022! We experienced two and a half years of cancellations for this trip, first from my mom having a medical emergency and then for the pandemic. May 2022 was finally our time! I've blogged so far about the nicest hotel that we stayed at in Ireland, a full guide to all of the other hotels we stayed at, and an outfit diary of what I wore on the trip. Now it's finally time to recap the trip in full! I was taking a break from blogging for most of last spring and summer, and as you can see, I'm still playing catch-up from some of the blog posts I wanted to write in 2022.

      We traveled with Insight Vacations for their Irish Elegance tour, and I'll be recapping all of it for you today!


February 2, 2023

HOTEL GUIDE: All the Hotels We Stayed at in Ireland

       Last spring, my mom and I finally got to take a much-awaited trip to Ireland! We had experienced two and a half years of trip cancellations, first from my mom having a medical emergency and then for the pandemic. May 2022 was finally our time! Now it's finally time to recap the trip in full! I was taking a break from blogging for most of last spring and summer, and as you can see, I'm still playing catch-up from some of the blog posts I wanted to write in 2022.

      I realized that my full Ireland Travel Guide blog post was going to be very long, so I did a poll on Instagram to ask if y'all would prefer one really long post, or two separate blog posts- one about hotels we stayed in on the trip and our tour itinerary day-by-day. More people voted for two posts, so that's what I'm doing. For today's first post, I'll be recapping and reviewing all four of the hotels that we stayed at in Ireland as part of our Insight Vacations Irish Elegance Tour. I'll be sure to link this post for anyone to refer back to when I share the tour itinerary later on! 


January 18, 2023

My 2023 Word of the Year.

      I've been picking a Word of the Year for the past several years, and it's always fun to watch the year go by and see how that word played into my experiences, goals, and memories of those 12 months. For 2023, I actually struggled a little bit with picking one! But I finally did make a selection, and I'm excited to share it today. 


January 13, 2023

The Best Books I Read in 2022.

       In 2022, I was able to read 45 books! That's the most I've read since 2019, when it was one of my resolutions to read 52 books (a book a week). I was shooting for 40 this year, but all of the time that I spent sick last summer gave me a ton of time to get ahead on reading, and I knocked out some extra titles thanks to that. 

       I would say that the majority of books that I read I rate at three or four stars. I am pretty picky with what books I will give my coveted five-star rating to. 2022 brought me a ton of three star reads, but also eight stand-out books that got my five-star rating! Here were my favorite books of the year:


January 10, 2023

January 6, 2023


      Happy Friday! It's also the second day of the Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale! I did my shopping yesterday, but of course had to pop back on today to see the new arrivals that Lilly saved to drop on the second day. Recapping all that for you in today's post! 


January 3, 2023

LILLY PULITZER SUNSHINE SALE: Winter 2023 Sale Dates! 🌴🌸

      Starting off a new year my favorite way... with Lilly Pulitzer sale news!! The next Sunshine Sale kicks off this Thursday! (Yes- starting midweek this time!)

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