What It’s Like To Be An Introverted Blogger

Why I Struggle With Blogging - How To Survive When You Are An Introverted Blogger

Hey there,

Lately I have been asking myself a lot of questions:

Why do I struggle sharing my life with others?

Why am I so hesitant about telling people about my blog?

I obviously feel the need to share at least some of my life with the public, so why can’t I share it with people that I actually know?

The list goes on and on.

I am so tired of beating myself up over things that I can’t change or questions that I don’t have the answer to. I don’t know why I am the way that I am. All I know is that I struggle to make the changes that I feel I need to make.

I have said before that it is okay to be an Introvert. But it is SO hard living in world where everyone expects you to be an Extrovert.

As children we are forced to raise our hands in class because if we don’t the teacher will call us out in front of the class or we won’t receive any participation points. I always felt like I had to sit in the back of the classroom in order to be able to learn anything. Just because I am silent does not mean that I am not listening. In fact, when I am silent and not worried about being called on, I am actually learning so much more.

It is so important to understand the different types of personalities instead of trying to cram everyone into the same category. I, for one, am exhausted of people trying to tell me how to act or how to feel.

When you market yourself as a blogger, it seems to be assumed that you are outgoing and personable.

I struggle with blogging because I love the creative outlet but I hate being compared to everyone else. I hate trying so hard to fit in a box with everyone else when I feel so different.

I just need to keep reminding myself that it is okay to be an Introvert. And it is more than okay to be an Introverted blogger.

Does anyone else out there struggle with blogging?

Thanks for readings!

 

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7 Things To Do After Getting Engaged

7 Things to do after getting engaged - wedding planning

Hey friends,

Welcome to Wedding Wednesday!

I don’t know about you, but the second I got engaged I was overwhelmed. I think a huge part of my anxiety was the fact that was transitioning back from studying abroad in London to life in Michigan. There were so many changes happening in my life that I couldn’t even begin the think about wedding planning.

Not only that, but I also felt very lonely. I was missing my study abroad friends and I was actually dreading telling family and friends about my engagement. I wanted people to be genuinely happy for us.

Brett and I waited a whole month before announcing our engagement to people other than our parents, grandparents, siblings, and our closest friends. We wanted to have time to celebrate together before being bombarded with questions.

 

7 Things to do after you get engaged

Here are a few of my suggestions for what to do right after you get engaged:

  1. Take a second to just enjoy the moment. For this one moment, it’s just the two of you who know that you have decided to spend the rest of your lives together (unless other people are there to witness your engagement). When we got engaged, Brett took me on a walk and videotaped my reaction. I am so glad that I can look back on that moment forever. I will always be able to remember my reaction, his words, and how I felt after I said “Yes!”
  2. Decide who you want to tell first and when. It all depends on your relationships, but I would recommend telling your parents, family, and close friends before announcing your engagement to the whole world. I personally don’t think that there’s a right or wrong way to do this. However, some of my extended family seemed a bit put off that I didn’t personally tell them the news before announcing it on Facebook. Only you can decide what is right for the two of you.
  3. Be ready for lots of different opinions. I struggled with this. I wanted everyone to be as excited and happy as I was! Instead, I felt lonely and let the lack on enthusiasm bring me down. So please take my advice on this one, if you are happy that is all that matters.
  4. Decide on a timeline. When do you want to get married? If you want to plan a wedding for some day in the very near future you will need to start planning right away. If you are like me and have over two years to plan, you can just sit back and enjoy at first.
  5. Think about your wedding at a very high level. In the beginning, don’t think too much about all of the details. Start by figuring out the basics like date and budget. From there, all of the other details will get figured out.
  6. Start saving. Weddings are expensive so the earlier you can start saving the better. Talk to your parents or any other family members or friends that have expressed the desire to help out paying for wedding expenses.
  7. Have fun! Enjoy the fun of being engaged because it won’t last forever! One of my biggest regrets is that I hated planning my own wedding. I would love to help plan someone else’s in the future because wedding planning should be fun!

Even though we were engaged for over two years the time still went incredibly fast. Try to enjoy the process as much as you can because hopefully you will only need to do it once! My biggest tip is to just have fun with each other.

Remember that at the end of the day you will be married to the love of your life. Not everything will go as planned and that’s okay! Some of my favorite memories from my own wedding happened because something didn’t go as planned. Enjoy the ride.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you have any questions or ideas.

 

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Winter 2018 Skincare Favorites

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorite for Dry and Sensitive Skin

 

Hey friends!

I have been on a blogging kick lately. I just feel like I have so much that I want to share with the world for some reason. The topic that has been on the top of my mind this winter has been skincare.

Winter is Michigan can be brutal. It’s super cold and snowy and my skin is soooooooo dry. I also have very sensitive skin so I have to be super careful about what products I am using on my skin. I feel like I have tried a bit of everything and only a few products actually work.

 

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorite for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Lotions

  1. Trader Joe’s – A Midsummer Night’s Cream. Brett laughs every time he sees a bottle of this lotion, which is a lot because I have three bottles throughout our apartment and another bottle on my desk at work. This has been my favorite lotion for years. It never bothers my sensitive skin (I often get red rashes from lotions). This lotion is unscented, ph balanced, and contains a healthy dose of aloe. It’s not sticky or greasy and keeps my hands moisturized for hours. You also get a huge bottle for a very small price tag.
  2. CeraVe – Moisturizing Lotion. Brett bought me a bottle of this a few winters ago when I was still working in a restaurant. My hands were always so dry, cracked, and red. This particular lotion from CeraVe is unscented and great for people with sensitive skin!
  3. Kiehl’s – Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. My mom and sister bought me a bottle of this the week of my wedding as a pre-wedding gift. I used it on my wedding day all over my body and even brought it on the airplane to keep my skin moisturized on the long ride over to London. This lotion has become my favorite and I really need to buy another bottle. It was such a treat to receive this as a gift from my family as they know my insane struggle with my sensitive skin.
  4. Soap & Glory – The Righteous Butter. This has been one of my favorite lotions since I studied abroad in London in 2015. Soap & Glory was huge in the U.K. and just recently made their appearance in the U.S. I put this lotion on my hands ever night before bed and I wake up with silky smooth hands with zero irritation.

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorite for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Moisturizers, Serum, Toner

  1. Mario Badescue – Oil Free Moisturizer. I have been using this moisturizer constantly since 2014 and haven’t been disappointed! It is unscented and has ____ SPF which makes it great to use all year long. Before finding this product I had a really hard time finding a moisturizer that didn’t make my skin break out into a red, itchy mess.
  2. Yes to Coconut – Ultra Hydrating Facial Souffle Moisturizer. This was a recent Tj Maxx find that I decided to buy after reading a few promising online reviews. I wouldn’t say that this is the best moisturizer for people with sensitive skin because it is scented. However, this is great to us once a week as a pamper moisturizer. It is super hydrating and makes my skin feel brand new.
  3. The Body Shop – Vitamin E Night Serum. This is hands down my favorite skincare product. It has changed the texture of my skin and has made me feel so much more moisturized. One of my co-workers actually commented on how good my skin looked after a couple of weeks of using this! I put this on every night after I wash my face and wake up with smooth, hydrated, and happy skin.
  4. Clinque – Clarifying Lotion. I remember back in Middle School my mom bought me my first Clinque Skincare set. Since then I have used the brand on and off but have always loved every product that I have tried. Toner is an important part of my skincare routine and this one from Clinque is the best that I have found for winter. It is gentle, unscented, and great for combination/oily skin. I use this after washing my face twice per day.

 

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorites for Dry and Sensitive Sk

Lip Products

  1. Fizz & Bumble – Lip Scrub. I bought this on a whim at Ulta a couple of weeks before Christmas. My lips were so dry and chapped and I really wanted to find something that would help me get rid of all the pieces of flaking skin. This works wonders to relieve my lips of all the dry, uncomfortable bits and makes my lips feel so soft! Another bonus is that the sugar scrub tastes so good so it doesn’t matter if you get a little in your mouth.
  2. Kiehl’s – Lip Balm #1. Brett and I received samples of this lip balm on our flight over to London for our Honeymoon. This was only the second Kiehl’s product I had ever used and was blown away by the quality. This is a game changer for dry lips! I use it every single day and apply a healthy amount right before bed. A little goes a long way and the small sample bottle is still going strong. This stuff is a bit pricey but I know I need to force myself to buy the full size bottle!
  3. Nivea – A Kiss of Moisture. Another must have product for me. This stuff works great and I always have a few tubes laying around. I especially love Nivea because it reminds me of my Easter break adventures in Germany with my study abroad friends!
  4. Chapstick. My dad works at Pfizer so my family has always used Chapstick. I can pretty much guarantee that there will always be at least one tube in my purse at all times. I am a loyal Chapstick user because it never lets me down. Chapstick is super affordable and works amazing!

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorites for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Makeup

  1. Neutrogena – Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint. I wear very minimal makeup and only wear it during the work week. I like to look like I have put a bit of effort in my appearance but hate the feel of makeup. I honestly feel much better about myself when I’m not wearing makeup which is why I love this stuff so much. It evens out my skin tone and keeps my skin feeling super moisturized.
  2. Garnier – BB Cream. I love this BB Cream for the same reasons as the Neutrogena Hydrating Tint. This keeps my skin moisturized while evening out my skin tone. It is oil free and contains slicylic acid which is great for people struggling with keeping their skin acne free.

 

Extras

  1. WATER. Yes, in all capitals because water is that important. I’m not an expert but I know that our bodies are in a large percent made up of water. It is so important to keep our bodies hydrated which will lead to better skin. Go get yourself a 40 ounce water bottle and drink a couple of those per day. Your body will thank you.
  2. Humidifier. I bought Brett a humidifier for his birthday in November to help with his severe allergies and breathing problems. Not only is it a great fix for these things, it also works amazing for hydrating my skin. I wake up feeling so much mre refreshed.

 

I hope my suggestions help you find some new skincare favorites! Please let me know your favorite skincare products in the comments below.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

 

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P.S. One of my neighbors walked out while I was taking this pictures outside of our apartment and looked at me like I was crazy. To be fair, it was freezing cold outside.

 

2018: First Quarter Goals

2018 First Quarter Goals

Hello again!

I am back with my goals for the first quarter of 2018! I like the idea of New Years resolutions. However, I have a hard time sticking to them because 365 days seems like a long time. I eventually forget my goals and by December I haven’t really accomplished anything.

That’s why I love setting quarterly goals. So much of what I do at work revolves around quarters so I have an easy time thinking this way. It’s a great way to break the year up into four manageable sections.

With that said, here are a few things that I am hoping to accomplish over the next couple of months:

  1. Pay Off One Credit Card. Brett and I are super lucky because I have no credit card debt and Brett has very little. We have been reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and it has given us the inspiration to start small and pay off our lowest balance credit card. I would love to go into 2019 with no credit card debt!
  2. Start House Hunting. I LOVE renting but the finance lover in me hates throwing our money away on something we don’t own. Brett and I sat down with a realtor this week and agreed to start taking baby steps towards purchasing our first home. We will start to look at houses in our price range and figure out what we like and dislike. We will shop around for different home loan lenders and find the best fit for us. We will not feel pressured into buying a house. We will buy when we are ready.
  3. Continue to make my health a priority. Guys, I have struggled for YEARS with migraines and daily headaches. I went almost two years with a constant headache and the pain has been debilitating. I made it a goal last quarter to really work with my Neurologist to find a solution that will work for me and my liver. The past month has been amazing. I still have headaches and the occasional migraine but the pain is finally manageable. I know I still have a long road ahead of me but this is the first time since 2011 that I have felt this good. *Knocks on wood*
  4. Being more productive after work. I am always exhausted after work. My days are stressful and I never feel like cooking or cleaning after work. I have made it my goal to meal plan and prep in order to make work nights easier. I will try to always go to bed with a clean kitchen, my lunch packed, and my outfit prepared for the next day.
  5. Focus on Healthy Living. I have gained a lot of weight since the wedding. I stopped eating healthy and working out. It was nice not to have to worry about fitting in an expensive wedding dress or looking good in pictures but it’s gotten bad. I am having a hard time looking in the mirror, fitting into my clothes, and having positive thoughts about myself. I just want to start eating healthier, walking more, and drinking more water. I don’t want to doing any extreme fad diet because they are bad for my mental health. I just want to respect my body again.
  6. Finish Our Wedding Thank You Notes. I am such a slacker and I hate myself for it. Writing all of these thank you notes stress me out. I am so grateful for everyone who helped us decorate, drive shuttle cars, and clean up after the wedding. I am thankful for everyone who brought us gifts or gave us money. It’s just so hard for me to convey how grateful I am in a note.

So there’s a few things that I am working on in the beginning of 2018. Financial freedom, healthy living, and future planning. It’s going to be a great year!

What are your goals for 2018?

Thanks for reading!

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Image via Unsplash

Dancing Our Way Into 2018

2018

Hey Friends,

I am sitting on my couch, in my apartment, with my husband, cat, and best friend. We have played Just Dance, Mario Cart, Wii Sports, and Guitar Hero. The boys have made pizza, buffalo chicken, and countless other snacky foods while I have enjoyed a bottle of my favorite wine.

I am sitting here reflecting on how there is really no place I’d rather be. 2017 has been really good to me. I love my husband, our apartment, our friends, family, and cat. I have a job that challenges me every day. A job where I can imagine staying at until I retire and never growing bored.

I know that I am lucky. I am content. I am overjoyed with the prospect of another great year. And mostly, I am grateful. I am grateful for my family who encourage me and support me. I am grateful for my husband who makes me laugh and smile every single day. I am grateful for my friends, those new and old, who I can always count on. I am grateful every single day for the life I live.

So here’s to 2018! I hope this new year brings you everything that you need and hope for. Work hard, play hard, and always remain humble.

Love,
Hayley

Life of Hayley Instagram

Thred-Up: First Impressions

Thred-Up.jpg

 

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!

 

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*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

 

brooke-lark-203842

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!

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