Southern Belle in Training

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

January 10, 2023

{Monthly} Midweek Ramblings


December 2022:

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Highs of the Month:

  • Spending my first Christmas with Ryan and his family in Virginia Beach. While I enjoyed all of Christmas weekend, the real highlight was Ryan and I opening our gifts together privately on Christmas Eve, at my apartment after church. That was so special that it became one of my favorite memories of the year
  • Getting to meet up with my friend Caroline and her family in Williamsburg for our second annual Christmas brunch, and then meeting my friend Emily in Williamsburg the following weekend. Love being up there at Christmastime, and it's such a good meeting spot for Charlottesville and Richmond friends like them! 
  • Hosting my second annual Favorite Things Christmas Party for my local girlfriends at my apartment.

Lows of the Month:

  • Running out of 2022 PTO back in the summer (thanks to way exceeding my sick days for the year), which meant I wasn't able to take any additional days off work near Christmas (aside from the company holidays). I was definitely feeling a little burnt out with work by New Year's.
  • While in some ways I really enjoyed not traveling for Christmas and spending time at home in Virginia Beach, it was a little sad not to see my parents and best friend in Maine over Christmas this year.
  • Spending a little more than I wanted to spend on Christmas gifts this year. It didn't put me in debt or anything like that, but I won't make as much progress on my savings goals in January thanks to the higher-than-normal credit card bill from December. I need to do a better job next year at budgeting for everyone's Christmas gifts more in advance.

December Weekend Recaps:

  • 2nd-4th - December weekends kicked off for me in the most fun way: hosting my second annual Favorite Things Christmas Party on the first Friday night of the month! On Saturday night, my co-host Cash and I hosted the local recorded TV broadcast for the Virginia Beach Christmas Parade. I brought Ryan and his parents with me to watch the parade and our broadcast, and then the four of us went to dinner. Sunday was a fun one! Ryan and I went to church, and then I went with my friend Bea to a fun outdoor holiday market for the second year in a row. It's held at The Pinner House, a historic B&B in Suffolk, VA. We both got permanent bracelets from local jewelry vendor Of Great Value. I'm already excited to go again next year! 
  • 9th-11th - I had a fun holiday work event with the radio station on Saturday morning. On Saturday night, Ryan and I went to dinner at his parents' house with a few other family members. On Sunday, we went to church and then I headed to Williamsburg to meet my friend Caroline and her family for our second annual Christmas brunch
  • 16th-18th - On Friday night, we met another couple I'm friends with for a double date of looking at Christmas lights in a Virginia Beach neighborhood and then drinks at The Cavalier Hotel. On Saturday, I met a few girlfriends for brunch at a delicious new-to-me spot. That evening, Ryan and I joined the rest of his family for a ride on his uncle's boat to participate in a Christmas boat parade, which was very cool! On Sunday, I headed back to Williamsburg to meet my Charlottesville friend Emily for brunch. I hadn't seen her since March, so it was great to catch up in person. 
  • 23rd-25th - Christmas weekend! On Friday night, Ryan and I went to his parents' house for a pizza night and to watch some holiday themed Office episodes. Saturday was Christmas Eve Day! It was freezing (coldest Christmas Eve day in Hampton Roads area in 20 years), but we braved the cold and went to Top Golf for a bit with some of his family members. We then went to Moe's for lunch (new tradition?). Ryan's mom made a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner at their house for everyone. We then all went to an evening service at church following. Ryan then came over to my apartment after church, and we opened our Christmas gifts to each other! We spent all of Christmas day at Ryan's parents' house. We had breakfast together, opened more gifts, went for a beach walk, watched a Christmas movie, and had a late lunch. I then went home to Facetime my parents while opening a few gifts with them. I had a long weekend since Monday was observed as the Christmas holiday. On Monday, Ryan's mom took me and his brother's girlfriend for pedicures and lunch which was so nice! 
  • 30th-1st - Friday night, Ryan and I went out to dinner with his parents. It was great to spend a lot of time with his family in December, and really get to know them. I started New Year's Eve Day by going to a morning workout class at my gym. For New Year's Eve, Ryan and I went to dinner at The Melting Pot and got Crumbl cookies to take home for dessert! I was so lame and fell asleep around 10pm. But that worked out well, we went golfing together on New Year's Day and we were able to do an earlier tee time since I woke up pretty early.

December Purchases: 

  • Most of my December buys were Christmas gifts for Ryan, friends and family. But I did get a couple things for myself this month. I'm still obsessed with the permanent gold bracelet that I got from Of Great Value jewelry at The Pinner House holiday market!
  • Junior League hosted a shopping night at a local boutique called Polish in December. My first purchase of the evening was a pretty pair of fancy pearl and crystal earrings in a vine shape. I can't find them online, but these are similar!
  • My other purchase from Polish was the most darling pink feathered top! I wore it to my work Christmas party. The exact top I got isn't online, but this one is almost identical and it's cheaper! (And comes in multiple colors.)
  • My favorite pair of pajamas that I owned was a cute set from this pajama brand. I saw that a lot of their styles were on sale after Christmas, so I bought two more pairs! At full price they're more than I like to spend on pajamas, so I was glad to get a great deal. 

December Blog Posts:

     God Bless,


      xoxo Annaliese


1 comment

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