Southern Belle in Training

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

January 9, 2024

{Monthly} Midweek Ramblings: December 2023

 December 2023:

Highs of the Month:
  • The whole first weekend of December was a high! I hosted my third annual Favorite Things Christmas party, and this was also the first time that I'd really gotten to see friends since getting engaged, which made it extra special! The following night. I hosted the recorded televised broadcast of the Virginia Beach Christmas Parade for the third year in a row for work. Ryan and two couples we are friends with come to watch the parade and cheer me on, and we all went out to eat after at a local dive bar spot. It was such a great weekend all around!
  • Another annual tradition from December: it was the third year that I met my dear friend Caroline and her mom and sister in Colonial Williamsburg for a Christmas brunch! Unfortunately, we didn't have great weather this year, but we made the best of it and still had a fun and special time together! I love this special tradition of ours.
  • Starting a new tradition of making monkey bread and a delicious breakfast spread at home with Ryan on Christmas morning. I forgot how delicious and easy monkey bread is! I used this recipe.

Lows of the Month: 
  • My car lease comes up in April 2024, and in December I started test driving some new cars from the same brand and getting quotes for new leases. The leasing rates are exponentially higher than when I signed for my current lease in 2021. The monthly payments are too much of a jump from what I pay currently (especially with wedding planning this year and saving for the wedding). So, it looks like this spring I'll be starting the process to buy out my car. I have loved leasing so much and would still like to lease again someday, but now is just not the time unfortunately. Such a bummer! 
  • Starting to work on our wedding guest list and realizing that some friends will likely have to be cut for budget limitations. I hate excluding people in anything in life, so I know as these guest list plans continue this winter it will be tough for me at times. The not-so-fun side of wedding planning.
  • An unexpected and hurtful friendship situation that didn't have resolution. 

December Weekend Recaps:
  • 1st-3rd - A really busy weekend, but one of my favorite weekends of the year! I hosted my annual Favorite Things party with lots of local girlfriends on Friday night. On Saturday, Ryan and I went to our church life group meeting, and then that evening was the Virginia Beach Christmas Parade (I host the TV broadcast for work!). Two of our couple friends came this year and we all went out to a local dive bar spot after. On Sunday, I went for a beach walk and ice cream with my friend Emily! It was super warm on Sunday and it was so nice to be outside and talk wedding stuff together. 
  • 8th-10th - Friday was a long double shift workday for me, as I had to go back to work that evening for the conclusion of our station's annual Radiothon for St. Jude. This year we raised over $220,000+ for kids with cancer- amazing! On Saturday morning, Ryan and I got in a quick 9-hole round of golf with our friends Alton and Carly. Saturday afternoon, I helped set up for my coworker Lynnie's baby shower with two of our other coworkers! We set up decorations and then helped run games during the party. Sunday, I drove up to Williamsburg to meet Caroline and her family for our annual Christmas Brunch! 
  • 15th - 17th - Ryan and I went to our church life group (bible study) meeting on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon, I went to Norfolk to meet up with my friend Sara Sullivan. We grabbed drinks at a coffee shop and went for a long walk around the Ghent neighborhood in Norfolk. I loved seeing some of the historic homes there all decorated for Christmas. On Sunday, we went to church in the morning. I then went to Afternoon Tea with my friend Amanda to celebrate her birthday! It was a very rainy and cold day, so I stayed home and inside for the rest of the day after that. 
  • 22nd-24th - Christmas weekend! I got gifts for Ryan and his family wrapped on Friday after work. On Saturday morning, I was finally free to go to a weekend Jazzercise class! We then met my aunt and uncle for lunch at a favorite local seafood spot, Waterman's. They were visiting for the afternoon from North Carolina. We then did a little beach walk with them, and then they came over to our apartment after. On Saturday evening, I worked on my wedding Pinterest board and making some old school collages for more wedding inspiration. On Sunday, we had a busy day of attending two church services! Our church had normal Sunday morning service, as well as a Christmas Eve service. After the evening service, we went to see the charming Virginia Beach 43rd St. Christmas lights with Ryan's parents.
  • 29th-31st - A very quiet New Year's Weekend at home! Knowing that we'd be out of town for two weekends in January and also jumping into wedding planning in January, we didn't want to do much at all over New Year's this year. I also ended up not feeling great for part of it (luckily though that didn't turn into any serious sickness!). I did get a few workout classes in though, and did a lot of cleaning around the apartment, blog work, and wedding planning prep before a busy January.

December Purchases:
  • Believe it or not, I actually didn't buy any clothes or beauty products for myself in December! It was an expensive month of Christmas gift shopping this year. The only thing I did buy for myself last month was a kitchen item. I shared the story about this on Instagram. I have been starting to do some wedding registry item research online, and I ended up finding the most perfect blue and white kitchen utensil holder! I knew it would coordinate so well with our blue and white sugar jar that I keep near our coffee and tea area in the kitchen. I started getting worried that this item might sell out by the time people are actually buying us wedding gifts, so I bought it on the spot! 😂 I'm so glad I did though, it looks great in my kitchen and coordinates with everything much better than my old black cooking utensil holder. 

December Blog Posts:

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