5 Things I’ve Learned After 5 Years of Blogging

5 things I've learned in 5 years of blogging

I am still in shock that I’ve been writing Life of Hayley for 5 years! This has been such a fun adventure and I hope to continue blogging for the foreseeable future.

One question I get asked is what are the things I have learned about blogging over the years. The blogging community is changing rapidly and it’s hard to keep up with all of the new influencers popping up every single day. I try not to take blogging too seriously which has helped me continue to love writing after all this time.

Here are five things that I have learned in my five years as a blogger:

  1. Not everyone needs or wants to be a professional blogger. I have no real desire to blog full time right now. I really enjoy having Life of Hayley be my hobby and because it’s not my full time job it’s okay if from time to time I need a break from it. If blogging was my full time job I would have to create a content calendar and stick to it. Some of my favorite posts are the random ones that I wrote when I was feeling inspired.
  2. The more time you put into your blog the more you get out of it. I have found that the more time and energy I put into a post the more views and comments it gets. The more I post the better my blog does but it’s important to remember that it’s not all about your blog stats! I blog because I love to and not because I like to see how many people are reading each day. I’d rather have one meaningful comment than one million page views.
  3. Being able to look back at your life is pretty cool. I’m terrible at keeping a journal and my memory isn’t the best. Being able to look back at blog posts over the last five years is really cool. I have been able to document my life and can see how much I have changed and how far I have come. I can be proud of my journey.
  4. You don’t have to be a web designer to have a nice blog design. When I was in high school I wanted to be a web designer so I took all of the web design/coding classes that my school had to offer. I am lucky to have a small amount of knowledge about web design but for the most part you really don’t have to have any prior knowledge to start a blog. WordPress is great because it has a ton of free themes and it’s easy to watch Youtube tutorials if you want to customize anything.
  5. Making connections is the best part of blogging. YOU are the reason I keep writing! All of my blogging friends and this community is what inspires me to keep telling my story. I love sharing my journey but I also love reading about your journey too.

What are your best blogging tips?

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

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Hello From Somewhere!

travel blog

Hi friends!

It’s the beginning of a new week and I have no idea where I am. I’m writing this post ahead of time because Brett and I are traveling this week. The goal is to make it to Europe, preferably Rome, but we will take a what we can get!

My husband, Brett, works for an airline which means that we get flight benefits to fly standby. We aren’t guaranteed a seat on the flight and a lot of times we get stuck places. But I guess that’s part of the adventure!

This week we are trying to make it to Rome and hopefully by the time you are reading this we have made it. If you want to know where we ended up make sure to follow me on Instagram (@lifeofhayleyblog). I’ll be posting to my stories as often as I can.

I am so excited for this new adventure with Brett and can’t wait to share my travels with you when I return.

Thanks so much for reading!

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Five On Friday #4

Five Things on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

Once again, I thought I’d share five things that have been on my mind this week. It has been an exhausting week between an aggressive headache and lots of responsibilities at work. Let’s just say that I am very excited for this weekend and my vacation next weekend. This is my first real vacation this year besides air shows and weddings so I’m super excited to relax a bit!

  1. October 2nd marked one year since Tom Petty passed away. Tom Petty was one of my absolute favorite artists and his death devastated the entire music industry. I celebrated his life all week long by listening to a Tom Petty playlist on repeat.
  2. This weekend we will be attending my cousin’s wedding! I have never been more excited for someone to get married (besides me, of course). They have been dating for 11 years and I’m looking forward to celebrating with them!
  3. Brett and I are getting ready for our long awaited European adventure next week! We are flying stand-by so I’m not exactly sure where we will end up but hopefully it will be Rome! If you want to see more about our trip make sure to follow me on Instagram (@lifeofhayleyblog). I am hoping to post there pretty regularly!
  4. My headaches seem to be immune to any sort of pain medication now. I am on day 10 of constant pain and all I want to do is sleep for the next one hundred years.
  5. I despise jeans but have been loving Old Navy’s jeans lately. I bought three pairs in the last couple of weeks and have been living in them. I prefer jeans that are super stretchy and comfortable and they have a lot of variety.

Also, a huge thank you to my friend Hunida for featuring me in her blog post yesterday! I always love reading her monthly favorite blog posts and was super surprised to see my blog featured! Thanks again!

Well, that’s all of this week! What’s on your mind today?

Thanks for reading!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Our Wedding Playlist – 100+ Must Play Wedding Songs

100+ Wedding Playlist Songs

Hey friends,

We are headed to a friend’s wedding this weekend so in honor of that I thought I would share our wedding playlist!

Music has always been my thing. I used to love making CDs of all of my favorite songs for my friends and family. Every single road trip or event had it’s own playlist and I would spend hours planning the order of each song.

Our wedding was the highlight of my playlist-creating career and I dedicated hours planning each and every song that I wanted to be played. I wanted the music before the ceremony to be very touching but still fun. We really didn’t want a super serious wedding but wanted every second to be heartfelt.

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I have a super clear memory of standing at the end of the path and watching through the trees as Brett walked my grandmas and our moms down the aisle. He couldn’t see me but I could see him. He had the biggest smile on his face! Then I watched as each member of our wedding party left ahead of me and my dad. I had so many butterflies!

When it was my turn to walk down the aisle with my dad I felt so lucky. My dad had foot surgery the week before the wedding so I knew he was in pain but he acted like there was no place he would rather be. I went into my marriage with no seconds thoughts, no cold feet.

I hope this list helps you plan the perfect songs for your big day!

Pre-Ceremony:

  • White Dress – Ben Rector
  • Lucky – Jason Mraz, Colbie Calliat
  • This – Darius Rucker
  • Grow Old With Me – John Lennon
  • Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  • Everything – Michael Buble
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys

Ceremony:

  • Parent’s Entrance w/ Brett: I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
  • Bridal Party Entrance: Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Bride’s Entrance: Forever Like That – Ben Rector

Recessional:

  • Waiting – Green Day
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers

Wedding Party Entrance:

  • I’ll Be there for you – The Rembrandts

First Dance:

  • Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Father-Daughter Dance:

  • Wildflowers -Tom Petty

Mother-Son Dance:

  • Forever Young – Rod Stewart

Mom and Dad Dance (25th Wedding Anniversary):

  • Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

Cake Cutting:

  • Good Life – One Republic

Bouquet Toss:

  • Where Them Girls At – David Guetta

Garter Toss:

  • The Boys Are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy

Must Play:

  • Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  • What I Like About You – The Romantics
  • Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  • Drink Up – Train
  • First Date – Blink 182
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • American Girl – Tom Petty
  • Closing Time – Semisonic
  • Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  • Cheap Thrills – Sia
  • YMCA – The Village People
  • Love Shack – B-52s
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
  • Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  • Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
  • (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) – Beastie Boys
  • All Summer Long – Kid Rock
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
  • Wanted – Hunter Hayes
  • Yeah! – Usher
  • God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  • Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
  • Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
  • Starships – Nicki Manaj
  • The Nights – Avvici
  • Lighters – ft. Bruno Mars
  • Old Time Rockin Roll – Bob Seeger
  • Closer – Chainsmokers
  • Shut up and Dance – Walk the moon
  • Tik Tok – Ke$ha
  • Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO
  • Timber – Pitbull/Ke$ha
  • Something Just like This – Chainsmokers and Coldplay
  • Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  • Wannabe – Spice Girls
  • Bye Bye Bye –NSYNC
  • Oops!… I did it Again – Britney Spears
  • Fancy – Iggy
  • Piano Man – Billy Joel
  • Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
  • I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes
  • Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
  • Lean On Me – Bill Withers
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Africa – Toto
  • Only Time – Enya
  • Kyrie – Mister Mister
  • It’s Tricky – Run DMC
  • Hey Ya – Outkast
  • Cupid’s Shuffle
  • Chicken dance
  • Cha Cha Slide
  • Once In A Lifetime – Landon Austin
  • Forever Like That – Ben Rector
  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
  • Best Day of my Life – American Authors
  • Brand New – Ben Rector

Last Song:

  • Good Riddance (Time of your Life) – Green Day

We also had our DJ play requests during the reception which was a lot of fun! If you can, take the time to meet with your DJ in person before the wedding to talk about your music taste and how you want the reception to feel. I found this meeting very helpful!

Let me know if there are any songs that you would add to your wedding playlist!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Five On Friday

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Happy Friday!!

I am SO ready for the weekend even though it’s going to be crazy busy. I thought it would be fun to share five things that I’m loving or looking forward to this weekend!

  1. Tonight we are celebrating my dad’s retirement! He technically retired in May but my sister was in New York so we wanted to wait until she got home for the party.
  2. I went grocery shopping on Wednesday so now I have lots of healthy foods ready to go for the weekend. I’m trying really hard to eat healthy and lose weight.
  3. On Saturday we are going to a balloon fest and Sunday we are going to an airshow. I also have a Bridal Shower on Saturday. It’s another busy weekend!
  4. I made a huge order from The Limited that should be coming any day now. I am trying to completely refresh my professional wardrobe and I’m hoping a lot of the items I ordered online will work out! The Limited is having a great sale right now if you are on the hunt for affordable pieces to add to your wardrobe.
  5. I will be reading Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum this weekend. I have heard some pretty good reviews about this book so I have high hopes! It’s another YA novel so it should be a quick and fun weekend read.

What are you up to this weekend? I’m trying to soak in every last minute of summer!

Wishing you all a great Friday and weekend! 🙂

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Dealing With Bad Roommates in College

Dealing With Bad Roommates in College

Hey, friends!

I had way too many bad roommates in college. By sophomore year I thought that I deserved to finally have a good roommate. But fate played a cruel trick on me and made sophomore year ten times worse than freshman.

My freshman year ended with me choosing to live in the same dorm for the next year. I picked a room right down the hall from where I lived and threw myself into the roommate pool. My university had us take surveys to match us with a roommate and I answered very honestly.

I found out my match about a month before move in. I e-mailed her right away to introduce myself but never heard back. I couldn’t find anything out about her on social media but I am a pro internet searcher so right before we moved in I was able to find her. Turns out, she didn’t go by her actual name and instead went by a “stage name”.

Let’s call roommate “P” for the sake of the story. P had already moved into our room when I got there. Our dorm was pretty cool because we had two rooms. The first room had to be walked through to get to the second. P picked the room in the back.

I have no idea how long she had lived there when I moved in but the room was disgusting by the time I moved in. There was trash everywhere and it smelled horrible! My mom and I tried to introduce ourselves but she didn’t move from her bed or acknowledge us. I thought it would get better.

I moved all of my stuff in and got settled. P slept during the day and hardly left the room. I wondered if she went to any classes. I swear she slept with her eyes open too. There was a door separating our rooms but she refused to shut it even when I wanted to change or sleep. At night she’d blare her TV which was against the same wall as my bed. I tried to ask her to turn it down or shut the door but she was super rude about it and I hate confrontation.

My mom works at my university but I hated using her for anything. I didn’t want any special treatment. I went straight to the hall director and he explained to me that I had to stay in that room for two full weeks before I could petition to move rooms. I was devastated.

The more I stayed in the room the more I felt unsafe. I couldn’t sleep, study, or relax in that room. I tried to talk to my RA who came to our room to mediate but it was a joke. My RA actually seemed scared of P and the mediation only made things worse for me.

The hall director gave me two options after my two weeks were up. 1. Move to a single room and pay an extra $2,500 per semester or 2. Choose the only remaining room needing a roommate. I chose the roommate.

This post is already super long so please let me know if you want to hear about Roommate #2. Let’s just say that she was the exact opposite of me in every single way.

I don’t want this post to be negative or to scare you away from having a roommate. I know a ton of people who met their best friends in college and I wish that was true for me. Take the chance on a roommate! Even if it turns out bad then at least you tried and had the experience of living with a roommate

If you are about to start your freshman year I really urge you to take a chance and say yes to new opportunities. You honestly never know when something great will happen and it’s better to put yourself out there then regret not doing anything.

If you are in a bad situation make sure you ask for help. I wish P and I could have resolved our issues but she really didn’t want anything to do with me and that’s okay. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s a life lesson that I needed to learn. It’s not okay to treat someone the way she treated me and I’m usually not a quitter. But in this case, I needed to remove myself from the situation in order to feel safe.

Just remember that you never know what someone else is going through. I try not to think too negatively about P because I have no idea what was going on in her life at the time. It was still no excuse to treat me the way that she did but I still wish her the best.

Let me know what your roommate experiences were like!

Thanks for reading!

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6 Things I Wish I Could Tell My High School Best Friend

6 Things I Wish I Could Tell High School Best Friend

Happy Monday!

I had a dream last night about my old high school best friends. Our group of friends fell apart my junior year and by the time we were seniors we barely talked at all. But at one point that group of girls meant everything to me.

In my dream, we were in my friend’s basement where we spent so many nights at. It felt so familiar. The strange thing was that my friend wanted nothing to do with me. I tried to talk to her but she kept walking away.

In real life this friend deleted me on Facebook and has avoided me in public when I know for a fact that she saw me. I made a list of the six things I wish I could tell her but know that I never will.

  1. I still think of you often and hope that you are well.
  2. I have no bad feelings towards you. In fact, I don’t even remember why we aren’t friends anymore. I think we just grew apart but I’m sorry if I did anything to hurt you.
  3. Our friendship meant so much to me. I’m glad I had you in my life even though it was only for a few years.
  4. I’m proud of you. From what I can see, it looks like you are living your best life. I used to know all your goals and aspirations and even though things have changed, it still looks like you have lived out your dreams.
  5. It really hurts that you deleted me on Facebook. I know it doesn’t matter but I feel like you just erased me from your life.
  6. I’m still here if you ever need to talk to anyone.

Friendships can be tricky and the older I get the more I realize this. I don’t think I’ll ever have a group of friends like my middle/high school group of girls. Things weren’t always perfect but I knew that they always had my back. So much time has passed that I don’t remember why we are no longer friends and the truth is that I don’t really care.

I do have two girls from elementary school that I am still friends with. Our friendship has stood the test of time and even though we are hundreds of miles apart I know we will be friends for the rest of our lives.

Are you still in contact with your high school friends?

Thanks so much for reading!

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