Southern Belle in Training

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

February 1, 2024

{Monthly} Midweek Ramblings: January 2024

 January 2024:

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Highs of the Month:
  • SO many highs this month!! Where do I even begin? It's going to be so hard to narrow it down to three highs. The first and biggest one: we booked our three biggest things for our wedding this month!! We have a wedding date, church, reception venue and photographer all booked! I am also beyond thrilled to share that I will be a 2024 bride! That's right, we are getting married later this year
  • Another gigantic wedding related high: the unexpected way that I found my wedding dress for an incredible deal! Check out the full story in this Wedding Wednesday post if you missed it. 
  • A wonderful weekend in Charlotte, NC, and the fact that it was Ryan's first trip to Charlotte! He finally got to meet some of my longtime friends there and see the city that means so much to me. 

Lows of the Month:
  • On the other hand, it's hard for me to think of three lows for the month because this was such a great January. 😜 One would be that we still haven't finalized our wedding guest list yet, and there's still been some more tough convos about that this month. I wish I had an unlimited budget and could invite like 300+ people- ha! The bigger the better if finances weren't a concern.
  • I had to get new tires for my car this month, which is always a large expense that isn't fun. (But I will say- I had phenomenal service at Discount Tire which made the experience less painful! Good customer service is everything!)
  • Also money related- it was a low month for me with blogging income. Blogging isn't my full-time job, and I don't rely on the money I make from blogging for my daily living expenses or bills, but it is "fun" money that I use for things like travel, shopping, and the costs of keeping this blog up and running. I usually do pretty well with affiliate links in January for some big post-holiday sales, but that just wasn't the case this year. Not much I can do about it, but a little bit of a bummer to see lower numbers than the last couple of Januarys. 

January Weekend Recaps:
  • 5th-7th - We had a quiet Friday night at home, and then on Saturday morning we left for a quick 24 hour trip to Raleigh, NC! Ryan's big Christmas surprise from me this year was hotel and tickets for the St. Louis Blues / Caroline Hurricanes game on January 6th. (Ryan is from St. Louis and is a big Blues fan!) We started our weekend at the Crabtree Mall in Raleigh. I don't love the malls that we have in our area, so it was nice to go to a larger mall that also had some stores that we don't have here. We had dinner at Brio, an upscale Italian chain that we also don't have in Virginia Beach. We then went to the hockey game on Saturday night. This was my first-ever professional sports game, and I had a blast! We left early to beat traffic, but the Blues did win! On Sunday morning, we did a little geocaching near downtown Raleigh, and then we headed to the awesome North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which is a great free science museum. It was a great little weekend away!
  • 12th - 14th - We had a fun double date with my friend Bri and her husband at a new Italian restaurant on Friday evening. On Saturday we had a wedding venue tour!! And then we spent some time discussing wedding related things with Ryan's parents at their house. On Sunday, I went to see a matinee performance of Shen Yun, the popular traveling Chinese dance group. My ticket was my Christmas gift from my parents. It was an incredible show, and I had a wonderful time!!
  • 19th-21st - Another great weekend! I met my friend Kelly-Anne for a matinee movie on Friday afternoon. We saw Anyone But You and it definitely exceeded my expectations- it was so funny! On Saturday, I had a work event with my radio station at an RV dealership about an hour away. That evening, I got tires put on my car and also ran some other errands. Sunday was such a good day. Ryan and I became members of our church during one of the morning services! We can get married there easily now that we are officially members. Ryan's mom and I then went to attend a local bridal expo, and that's where I unexpectedly found my wedding dress! After all of that excitement, I met up with my friends Amanda and Tracy for a fun Sunday evening Happy Hour at The Porch, which is one of my favorite local places for cocktails. 
  • 26th - 28th - We were in Charlotte, NC for the weekend!! It was my first time spending more than 24 hours there in about 4ish years! And Ryan's first time ever visiting Charlotte. While the weather wasn't great for the whole weekend, it was still a fun trip. A great mix of showing Ryan some of my favorite spots just the two of us and meeting up with some of my close girlfriends! I want to write a little travel diary post about our weekend soon if I have the time.

January Purchases:
  • After not buying anything for myself in December, this was a big shopping month. But it was all things that I either had a gift card for, or a defined need for. Let's get right to it! First up: I scored these shorts for this summer season when they were extra marked down. I got them for under $15! They fit TTS.
  • I've been looking for a new pair of light wash jeans that weren't too expensive for quite a while. I got these in January and they're great!! Affordable, comfortable and flattering. They also fit TTS!
  • A fun little purchase to refresh my hair accessory drawer: these crystal and pearl hairclips!
  • I had three fun dress purchases this month! First up, I got an incredible deal on this pink cocktail dress- I was able to combine some promo codes and get it for under $20!! I love that it is a little sexy without being revealing or showing too much skin. I
  • Next dress: my cohost Cash and I are emceeing a fancy charity gala in March that I knew I needed a dress for. I found an incredible deal on a silver and purple sequined dress at my local Ross Dress for Less for $40!!! 😱 I have found some great apartment decor things at Ross, but rarely luck out for clothing finds there. So I was excited to find this formal dress! I can't find the exact dress online, but this one and this one are sort of similar.
  • And my final January dress purchase: this elegant dark blue dress! I plan to wear it to at least one of the weddings I'm attending in 2024. Honestly, I might wear it to two weddings! (We have multiple weddings this year.) It's back up to full price as of the time that I'm writing this blog post, but I was able to find it on sale last week and combine promo codes and get it for 50% off!! Can't wait for it to arrive. 
  • I've wanted these running shorts in the pink color for months now, and I finally used a gift card that I got for Christmas to order them. They were described as being Lululemon short dupes, and they're super comfy and flattering. 

January Blog Posts: 

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese


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