Southern Belle in Training

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

June 6, 2023

{Monthly} Midweek Ramblings.

May 2023:

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Highs of the Month:
  • Getting to do one of the most fun and special Instagram collaborations of my entire blogging career!! Ryan got to be in the photos with me, and it was the first time I've ever gotten to include him in a brand collaboration. See the posts HERE and HERE on my Instagram!
  • My favorite college roommate, Caroline, getting to visit me in Virginia Beach! We hadn't seen each other in three and a half years- so wild! We don't get to catch up too often anymore but when we do it's like no time at all has passed since our college days. It's really special to have friendships that are like that. The older I get, the less I take things like that for granted in life.
  • The chance to get all dressed up for an evening and get to emcee a local gala and auction. The event benefitted St. Jude Children's Hospital, which my radio station does a lot of fundraising and events for. I was so honored that the St. Jude Virginia team asked my boss and I to help with this event! A local bridal store, Ava Clara Couture Bridal, gave me the most beautiful formal dress to wear for the event and I felt so chic and confident in it. The event raised over $80,000 for the kids at St. Jude! 

Lows of the Month:
  • Hitting my (high) health insurance deductible for the year on May 12th (!!!). I know I have sounded like a broken record in my last few Monthly Ramblings posts about all of my medical bills, but it really has been a lot all to deal with in such a short amount of time. I had a ton of dental expenses that insurance didn't cover last year in 2022, so I started out 2023 with very little money left in my HSA from all of that. That means I've had to pay a lot of this year's medical bills this year completely out of pocket, since my HSA was pretty low still at the start of the year. Woof!! Not fun.
  • On the health note, I still had a ton of health-related anxiety this month. It felt out of control at times and started to affect me physically. Part of that was the financial stress of hitting my deductible so early in the year, and part was stress due to my hip bursitis still not being healed yet, and about the other unrelated medical issue that I'll need a follow-up screening for in June. 
  • Having a canceled flight on May 30th to the Dominican Republic and losing the first day of vacation with my dad! I was really looking forward to this trip and it was very needed with everything that's been going on in my day-to-day life, so losing a whole day of the trip was a bummer. 

May Weekend Recaps:
  • 5th-7th - My mom was here visiting through Monday, May 8th! We went for a walk at the Norfolk Botanical Garden with Ryan on Friday in the late afternoon, and then went to dinner after. On Saturday, I took my mom to Ocean View Beach in Norfolk (pictured above!), and then that evening we went out to dinner at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront with Ryan's parents so she could finally meet them. On Sunday, we took a day trip to the cute town of Smithfield, which is about an hour west of Virginia Beach. We had lunch at a great local restaurant, did some window shopping, and checked out the Isle of Wight County Museum there. 
  • 12th-14th - My favorite college roommate Caroline came to visit! We hadn't seen each other in close to three and a half years. We've both had many life changes in that time period, but getting to finally see her was like no time at all had passed. We went to the beach to watch the sunset on Friday evening which was lovely. I had a work event up in Yorktown, VA on Saturday morning which Caroline tagged along with me too. We then explored Downtown Yorktown a bit before heading back to Virginia Beach. We had dinner on Saturday night at Luce, one of my favorite restaurants! On Sunday, Caroline joined Ryan and I for church before heading home. Ryan and I then went out to an early dinner with his parents for Mother's Day.
  • 19th-21st - On Friday I had my last session of PT for my hip bursitis. (Last for the time being! I'm still having issues, so I need to go back to the orthopedic doctor in June.) Friday night I got to start the new season of Selling Sunset on Netflix! On Saturday morning, I went to a coffee shop meet-up with some 20s/30s somethings from church. Saturday night was fun, I got to emcee a local gala and auction for work that benefitted St. Jude Children's Hospital! It was a fun but late night. On Sunday I slept in, and then Ryan and I went to a Norfolk Tides baseball game with a big group from Junior League. 
  • 26th-28th - Memorial Day Weekend! I had to work on Sunday, so I didn't go out of town for the long weekend this year. On Friday, I worked on a furniture painting project after work with Ryan's mom at his parents' house. On Saturday morning, Ryan and I went to breakfast at a fun new local spot (thanks to a blog opportunity!). That afternoon we went to our friends' Luke and Emily's engagement party! We got to see some other friends there, and it was a great time. Saturday evening, we got to see some of Ryan's cousins that were in town for the long weekend. On Sunday, I went to church and then had to work at a country concert in Norfolk. On Monday, Ryan's mom and I finished our furniture painting project and then Ryan and I went out geocaching (our new hobby!) in Chesapeake. I then spent the evening finishing packing for the vacation that I was supposed to leave for the next morning...but my flight for the next morning got canceled as I was going to bed! 😆 Woof.

May Purchases:
  • Ryan got me a Lilly Pulitzer gift card for our anniversary last month, and I used it during a weekend that Lilly had a fun free gift with purchase. My first purchase was this bright and fun midi skirt
  • I also got this beautiful Lilly themed picture frame! I rarely buy Lilly items full price (I wait for the sales twice a year or buy a lot at consignment stores) so it was a treat to get two brand-new items at full price thanks to the gift card.
  • I found a cute new-with-tags LOFT navy floral mini skirt at my favorite local consignment store! It's from last season, but this one from another retailer is very similar!
  • I've been on the hunt for the perfect flowy long-sleeved white beach cover-up for this season. I've bought a few online and returned them after trying on and them not quite being what I envisioned. I finally found the perfect one- and it's under $30!!
  • Another item that my closet has been in need of to wear with summer shorts and skirts is a white tank bodysuit. This one that I ordered is very comfortable and slimming to wear!

May Blog Posts:

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese


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