Southern Belle in Training

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

December 1, 2023

{Monthly} Midweek Ramblings: November 2023

November 2023:

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Highs of the Month:

  • Obviously getting engaged to the love of my life!! The best moment of my entire life. I had no idea we were getting engaged this month either, so it was also the surprise of my life! I haven't had time just yet to finish the full proposal story for a blog post, but hopefully soon. 
  • The most wonderful weekend trip to St. Pete, FL to visit my blogging friend Gentry and her family! It was such a fun and restful weekend with lots of good girl time. I thought it would be the absolute highlight of November....but now it's in the number two spot after getting engaged. 😉
  • So many friends acknowledging our engagement and sending us cards and gifts. Gift giving is my top love language, so being on the receiving end of so much love (after years of trying to do this for other friends who have hit this milestone) is just really special and nice.
  • I try to keep it to just three highs for each month- but this month truly had so many good things. I have to add a bonus high! I found out some exciting career news at the start of November, which I can hopefully share publicly sometime in early December! 

Lows of the Month:

  • After a wonderful four months pain-free, my hip bursitis came back for two weeks randomly in mid-November. Not only was it super annoying to have hip pain again, but it made me so nervous that it might be become a chronic issue for me. It finally went away this week after a lot of meds and resuming some of my PT exercises, but I'm just so nervous I'll always be dealing with this now. 
  • A gigantic health insurance hassle that I had to resolve. A doctor's office that I'm a patient of was dropped from in-network to out-of-network by my insurance. I had a pre-existing appointment at the end of November, and it was such a headache with my insurance to have to request an exemption for continuation of care for this. I was able to work it out, but geez! Insurance is just the worst. 
  • Already having some stressful conversations related to wedding planning. We aren't jumping into planning fully until 2024 / after the holidays, but already there have been a couple of tough convos. (From what I gather though from talking with married friends- this is totally normal! 😉)

November Weekend Recaps:

  • 3rd - 5th: A rare quiet weekend for me! It was so needed after so many weekends traveling in September in October. Ryan and I had a fun date night on Friday night by going to a Norfolk Admirals hockey game. They were playing the Maine Mariners, the minor league hockey team from my home state! We hit up Crumbl cookies after the game for a later evening treat to take home. I was very lazy on Saturday and spent a lot of time reading and watching the new season of Selling Sunset. We went to church on Sunday, and then started setting up Christmas decorations at home (since I'd be out of town the next weekend). 
  • 10th-12th: The best girls' weekend visiting my dear blogging friend Gentry in St. Pete, FL! I recapped our whole weekend in this blog post, but it was so much fun. We tried some cool local restaurants, had a spa day, and I got to visit my first Florida beach! It was so wonderful to see Gentry after almost five years since we had seen each other last. I am so glad I did this trip because Gentry was a friend that I really wanted to visit before I was engaged / wedding planning (and had to pass on as many weekend trips as I did this year for saving for a wedding). I had no idea I'd be getting engaged literally the next weekend! 😊
  • 17th-19th: On Friday afternoon, Ryan and I went for a walk at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (it's free entry November-March). On Saturday morning, I went to a workout class and then did groceries. I cooked dinner for Ryan and I at home, and then we did something totally random: we had a painting night!! I got out some of my old paint supplies from my closet and we each had fun being creative and making paintings. (So random because we have never done a craft project together before!) On Sunday, we went to church and then came home for a few hours where I took my time getting ready for our "Christmas card photos," which turned out to be my surprise proposal!!! 😍 I am so excited to share that full story on the blog soon. I got about two hours of sleep on Sunday night from the shock and excitement!
  • 24th-26th: Thanksgiving Weekend! On Friday morning I ran out to Bath & Body Works to stock up on soaps and hand sanitizer. I prefer to get those things in person so I can smell them, rather than order online. I then did some online shopping back at home before we got ready to leave for NC. We took a day trip to the Outer Banks (two hours south) to visit with Ryan's extended family who spent Thanksgiving Week down there. It was a beautiful day and we got to enjoy a nice beach walk and family time. On Saturday morning, I took Ryan's brother's girlfriend to a local outdoor Christmas market for Small Business Saturday. That evening, I went to the Miracle Christmas pop-up bar in Norfolk with Junior League friends. That was the first time I'd seen friends since getting engaged which was fun! On Sunday, I went to church and then chilled out at home the rest of the day (the weather was horrible). 

November Purchases:

  • Lots of purchases to share this month since Black Friday / Cyber Monday just hit! First and foremost- the dress that I ended up getting proposed to in! A random buy that ended up being such a great find. 
  • I actually ended up ordering the dress that I want to wear for our engagement photos next year on Black Friday, since it was pretty discounted! I don't want to share the exact dress now, but it's from this new-to-me brand!
  • I ordered this cute white top that I feel like I'll get a ton of use out of in the months to come with being engaged! 
  • Had to stock up on more of my all-time favorite everyday cardigans when they were marked down well for Black Friday.
  • I also got a matching shell to go with one of my new cardigans. I think this will get a ton of use.
  • I've long since wanted to order this mug whenever I got engaged, so it worked out so well to get engaged Black Friday week and have it be on sale.
  • I stocked up on my absolute favorite face moisturizer while it was on sale. It's a splurge at full price but so, so good!

November Blog Posts:

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese


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