USA: hidden gems you can’t miss, according to travel bloggers – Curlygirlabroad

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I am so happy to have had the chance to work with Emma from Curly Girl Abroad on her recent blog post! It was great to share a bit about where I’m from in Michigan.

Thanks again, Emma!

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When most people think about traveling to the USA, often cities and places like New York City, L.A., the Grand Canyon etc. come to mind. But what other places are worth visiting according to locals? I’ve asked five of my fellow bloggers to write a short piece on a hidden gem in the state they are living: Hocking Hills Ohio, Tampa Florida, Floyd Virginia, Kalamazoo Michigan, Baton Rouge Louisiana and Charlotte North Carolina. 

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Thred-Up: First Impressions

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Hello! I’m back with my first impressions of Thred-Up!

If you have never heard of Thred-Up, it is basically an online secondhand store. The website is organized by different categories (shirts, pants, shoes, etc.) but you can also search for the items or brands that you are looking for.

My mom, sister, and I love shopping secondhand, especially at our local Clothes Mentor. We usually find great deals on name brand clothing and a lot of times they are brand new with tags. I like to constantly refresh my wardrobe which would not be possible if I paid full price.

After watching Janssen’s (Everyday Reading) recent Instagram story of her Thred-Up haul I knew that I wanted to make an order. I had searched the website before but nothing ever stood out to me. A couple of weeks ago I looked before bed and a few things caught my eye. I couldn’t sleep that night and the next morning I woke up to an e-mail receipt from Thred-Up. I couldn’t really remember making the order but after looking at my purchases I was pleasantly surprised.

Like I mentioned, I have looked at Thred-Up several times before and could never find anything I wanted to buy and found the website to be a bit frustrating. However, after spending a little time I realized that I could filter the whole website to only show you my sizes. That feature is life changing and I ended up finding a ton of things that I liked in my size.

I have an ongoing list of clothing items that I would like to add to my closet. One of the main things I needed was pants for work. I was able to order three pairs of petite work pants. Two pairs I already owned in different colors. The Talbots pair was new for me but for only $11.99 I could not pass it up! Please see the below list of items:

  • The Limited – Grey Dress Pants: $19.99
  • Talbots – Navy Dress Pants: $11.99
  • Ann Taylor LOFT – Black Skirt: $19.99
  • Banana Republic Factory – Navy Dress Pants: $24.99
  • Ann Taylor Factory – Printed Corduroy Skirt: $5.99
  • Ellen Tracy – Printed Dress: $23.99
  • J. Crew Factory – Navy Sleeveless Peplum Shirt: $7.99
  • J. Crew Factory – Cream Lace Short Sleeve Shirt: $8.99
  • Gap – Navy Short Sleeve Shirt: $7.99
  • Columbia – Grey Jacket: $23.99
  • Gap – Charcoal Sweater: $16.99

Overall, I am super happy with my purchases! I really wasn’t expecting to like everything but I do. I am still waiting on the Banana Republic dress pants to arrive but I am hopeful that I will love them too! I will for sure be shopping on Thred-Up again. The best part of the whole thing was that I received 40% off (up to $50) for being a first time customer. So my order ended up being super affordable and everything was in really good condition.

Let me know if you have had any experiences with Thred-Up! Thanks for reading!

*This is an unsponsered post. All of the opinions expressed are 100% my own. The link provided is a referral link. If you use the link to make a purchase we will both get a $10 Thred-Up credit.

Cheers to Twenty-Four

 

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Hey, friends!

Today I turned 24! I started this blog for my 20th birthday which means I have officially been blogging (irregularly) for four years.

This blog started as a way to document the 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t keep track of my goals and accomplishments over the past four years. I stopped putting pressure on myself and really started to live. With that being said, here’s a list of 25 things that I’d like to accomplish before I turn 25.

  1. Buy a house (or condo!)
  2. Create an emergency fund
  3. Exercise regularly
  4. Kick the pop (soda) habit once and for all
  5. Invest more into my 401(k)
  6. Read at least 1 book per month
  7. Create photo albums for our wedding pictures
  8. Buy a new computer or laptop
  9. Start meal planning
  10. Blog more
  11. Spend more time with family and friends
  12. Start listening to podcasts
  13. Be more productive after work
  14. Consider going to grad school
  15. Go to more seminars for work
  16. Do something social with co-workers at least once per month
  17. Read a Dave Ramsey book
  18. Travel more!
  19. Have at least 1 date night per month
  20. Create an instagram for the blog
  21. Buy a pair of jeans that I actually like ( I HATE jean shopping, any recommendations?)
  22. Be healthy (mind and body)
  23. Work on getting my migraines in control
  24. Read all the Harry Potter books again
  25. Visit somewhere new with Brett

I don’t expect to finish this whole list in a year. You can see that they aren’t necessarily “serious” goals. I am completely in love with the way my life is right now and don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I want to continue enjoying life!

I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Birthday! Today I am working and then hopefully enjoying a relaxing evening with my family and friends.

Cheers to 24!

 

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

 

A big thank you to Caroline from Beyond This Fence for nominating me for the Liebster Award! This award was created as a way to discover and recognize new bloggers and welcome them to the blogging community. The official rules can be found here. I have read so many of these posts and am honored to receive the award myself! Caroline gave me the task of answering her 5 questions and telling 5 random facts about myself.

5 Questions:

  1. If you could eat dinner with one celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be?
    This questions is an easy one for me! I would want to eat dinner with Amelia Earhart. Not only to figure out what happened to her, but also because I admire her and everything that she represented.
  2. If you were to work at a radio station, what genre of music would you play?
    My music taste is quite eclectic. I would probably want to play a mix of Alternative music and 80s-90s music. My favorite bands are Green Day, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Blink 182, Sum 41, The Beastie Boys, etc. I also love a little old-school Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and Spice Girls!
  3. What are three foods you dislike?
    I absolutely hate onions! They actually make me sick so I avoid them at all costs. I also dislike cranberry flavored anything and Turkish Delight.
  4. Favorite piece of clothing to wear?
    My favorite piece of clothing to wear is an oversized crewneck sweatshirt that I bought in Ireland. It’s comfy and reminds me of one of my favorite trips.
  5. Do you believe in fate? Why/why not?
    I do believe in fate. I believe that everything happens for a reason even though we may not always know the reason at the time.

5 Random Facts:

  1. I don’t drink coffee. All of my co-workers think I’m crazy!
  2. I drive a Jeep named “Barbie”
  3. I love ice cream more than any other dessert. I would eat it every day if I could!
  4. My husband and I got married on our 6 year dating anniversary.
  5.  I read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 16 times in the 6th grade.

Rules:

Here are the rules for the nominees!

  1. Answer the following 5 questions below, and write a blog post including the link to the blog that nominated you
  2. Write 5 random facts about you
  3. Nominate 5 other blogs
  4. Ask any amount of questions your nominees have to answer.

Nominees:

  1. Rosie from Journey of a Lifestyle
  2. Ashley from The Pilot Wifestyle
  3. Madison from Café Cuento: Tales From An Old Soul
  4. Emma from CurlyGirlAbroad
  5. Nikki from Hope Floats

My Questions For You:

  1. What is the #1 destination on your travel bucketlist?
  2. What is your favorite song and why?
  3. What is the best advice you have ever received?
  4. What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?
  5. Why do you blog?

 

Thank you again to Caroline from Beyond This Fence for the nomination!

 

Wildflowers

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About 6 weeks ago I danced to my favorite Tom Petty song (Wildflowers) with my dad at my wedding. It was not the “typical” father-daughter dance but it meant something to both of us.

I remember being 17 and creating the playlist for my very first trip to Europe. I went through my parent’s music collection and found a few Tom Petty CDs. I of course knew of Tom Petty since both of my parents loved him. However, what struck me first was the resemblance of young Tom Petty to the pictures I had seen of my dad when he was young. They looked so similar!

From that moment on, I became a huge Tom Petty fan. Whoever rode in my car was stuck listening to CD after CD of his music. Songs like “American Girl”, “Wildflowers”, and “Learning To Fly” take me right back to sitting in the driver’s seat of my little red 1999 Mercury Mystique.

Brett broke the news of Tom Petty’s death to me on Monday. I was sitting at my desk at work and I was shocked. It was already a terrible day with the news of the Las Vegas shooting. His music gave me hope and comfort when I needed it the most and suddenly he was gone too.

When we found out he was still living (barely) I felt sad and hopeless. I knew he would never be the same. When word broke that he actually passed I felt numb. It was a bit better because it came as less of a shock this time.

When I see all of the pictures people are posting in tribute to Tom I can’t help but think of my dad. He doesn’t look anything like Tom Petty these days but I can’t help but see the similarities.

I hope Tom is somewhere among the wildflowers.

 

5 Tips for Post-Grad Success

5 Tips for Post Graduation Success

As a recent college graduate, I understand the highs and lows of post-grad life. Figuring out what your next step should be is a scary task. Let me start out by saying that everyone is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, it is always nice to know that someone out there understands what you are going through.

So, here are 5 tips that worked for me in achieving post-grad success:

Step 1: Figure out what you want. This sounds hard but it’s really actually pretty simple. Start off by asking yourself if you want to continue your education or look at starting your career? Or maybe you want to take a year off and travel? The decision is completely up to you! I really thought that I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree after graduation. I studied, took the GMAT, thought my world was ending, and moved on. Grad school is not the right decision for everyone and it’s perfectly okay if you decide to move on.

Step 2: LinkedIn. I was lucky enough to start my LinkedIn during my sophomore year at college for a class. If you don’t have a LinkedIn, join! It’s really easy to setup your account and start connecting with your classmates, friends, co-workers, professors, etc. LinkedIn is an amazing job search tool but you should start one even if you are not currently searching for a job. It’s a great place to document your achievements and goals.

Step 3: Give yourself a break! This was a huge thing for me. I was so hard on myself after graduation. I had this picture in my head of all of the amazing things I wanted to do and I felt as though I had failed. Take the time after graduation to do some soul-searching. It’s okay to move in with your parents and figure some things out. I took a couple of months to enjoy life before hopping into the work grind. This may be the last time in your life to be selfish by just enjoying a little down time.

Step 4: Figure out your professional life. Invest in clothing and accessories that make you feel and look like an adult. I never wear makeup and rarely put any thought into my outfits but it’s nice to have a nice outfit to wear to an interview that makes me feel confident. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on clothes, start out small and buy basics that you can build on.

Step 5: Breathe. Everything will be okay even though right now it feels like your life is a giant mess. Just breathe. You will fall down a few times but as long as you are able to build yourself back up, everything will be okay.

I hope this helps! I cannot describe how much I struggled after graduation. But after over a year, I am successful in a job that I absolutely love! It’s in a field that I never imagined I would enjoy but I do. So hang in there, friends!

 

Image via Unsplash.

The Reason Why I Quit Blogging

The Reason Why I Quit Blogging

Hello, friends! Today I thought that I would share the reason why I quit blogging for over a year.

I did mention back in the fall of 2015 that I was taking an Internet Marketing class that I had to start a blog for. So, Adventures of Hayley began and I hated every minute of it. The class was all about getting views, comments, and likes. I was obsessed with my blog stats and humiliated when I didn’t do well. My professor made us talk about our blogs in front of the class on a weekly basis and I hated comparing myself to others. I used to blog because I loved it but this project made me start to despise blogging.

Not only did I start to hate blogging, I also started to hate my major. I majored in Electronic Business Marketing. I thought that I wanted to go into Social Media Marketing after graduation. But as graduation quickly approached and my Internet Marketing class continued to depress me I realized that maybe I didn’t want to do what I thought. It was too late to change my major as I was about to graduate in spring so I just kept going.

After graduation I stopped blogging completely. I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life. I applied and interviewed for a few marketing positions but none of the prospects were very exciting. I eventually applied for a finance position on a whim and became very interested and invested in the position. After interviewing for three months, I finally started my new job in October of 2016.

After working for a while in finance I realized that I missed having a creative outlet.  I tried to start blogging again several times but it just didn’t feel right. I was also planning a wedding which took up most of my free time. Now that I am  a married woman I have once again found myself missing blogging.

So, that’s the story of why I quit blogging. I stopped focusing on the joy of blogging and only thought about the statistics. It’s okay to both enjoy the process of blogging and also enjoy watching your blog grow. But over my 4+ years of blogging I have encountered numerous roadblocks and have let myself get discouraged by them. I’d like to just enjoy the process of blogging from now on. I’d like to interact with other bloggers and re-join the amazing blogging community.

Thank you for reading!