July According to my iPhone

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July was another crazy busy month! I’m trying to enjoy every minute of summer but it’s going by way too quick. In July I got to celebrate the birth of my twin nieces, lots of birthdays, family time, and unfortunately, the death of Brett’s grandpa.

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My husband, Brett, works for an airline but he also works as a Media Director for a local airshow and balloon festival. The airshow takes place the week of the fourth so leading up to that I got to watch all of his news interviews on TV. He does such a great job!

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I don’t really care for airplanes but I do love seeing the hot air balloons! This picture was taken at one of the night balloon illumes. I especially love the American flag balloon!

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Next we celebrated the birth of my sister in law’s twins! Her and her husband had been trying for kids for at least 5 years before these little miracles were born. Ava and Elizabeth were born July 12th at 35 weeks. Their mom had been hospitalized since 31 weeks. Mom and babies are doing great! The girls got released from the NICU a few days ago and are home with their parents.

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Oscar got to come to work with me for the afternoon! He loved meeting my co-workers, getting lots of cuddles, and sitting on my lap while I worked. He’s such a good boy!

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Brett’s grandpa passed away on July 15th at 97 years old. Grandpa Ed was in the Army Air Force in WWII. We went down to Florida last week for his service and to clean out the house. He was buried with full military honors. Grandma Emma who passed away in 2017 was buried alongside him.

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We also had to say goodbye to Emma and Ed’s house in Florida. We spent four days cleaning everything out, organizing, and dividing all the belongings. I had a hard time leaving because I have so many great memories from our many trips to visit.

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These two were my favorite! Just look how sweet they were! I have so much love for both Ed and Emma and know that they loved me just as much. One of my favorite things about this trip was looking through the millions of pictures they had collected. Ed scrapbooked before scapbooking was cool! His scrapbook from WWII was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

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Brett’s Aunt from Tennessee is visiting this week. They had a family reunion on Sunday so she’s been staying at our house since. It’s kind of fun having our first real house guest!

July had many highs and lows. It was hard to lose Grandpa Ed but we gained two new lives at nearly the same time. We had prayed for Ava and Elizabeth for years and I can’t wait to pass on the stories of their amazing great-grandparents to them.

How was your July?

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Celebrating the Fourth of July!

Fourth of July 2019

Happy Fourth of July!

Today is a day to celebrate America and recognize all of the men and women who fought for our freedom and independence. It’s one of my favorite days of the year! Between barbecues, fireworks, and boat rides we should all take a moment to remember why we are celebrating today.

I will be celebrating at the lake with my family in the morning and early afternoon before heading out to the airshow to finish the day up with fireworks and airplanes. Brett is one of the most patriotic people that I have ever met so we will be celebrating America all week long.

I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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Photo by Justin Casey on Unsplash

 

 

USA Travel Bucketlist

USA Travel Bucketlist

I love to travel to Europe but never really take the time to travel around the United States. There are so many places to see in my own country but Europe is so exciting that I always choose to save our big trips for somewhere in Europe instead.

Today I’m sharing my United States Travel Bucketlist in hopes that it will inspire me to plan some trips within my own great country.

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Maine
  3. Boston, MA
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Hawaii
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Alaska
  9. Charleston, SC
  10. New York City
  11. Colorado
  12. Texas
  13. Salem, MA
  14. New Hampshire
  15. All of the National Parks

What’s on your bucketlist?

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Photo by Naomi August on Unsplash

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

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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