Friday Introductions

 

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Hey friends!

Since I re-launched my blog in late 2017 after taking a year long break I figured now would be a great time to introduce myself to my new and old followers.

For starters, my name is Hayley, hence Life of Hayley. If I had to categorize my blog I would say that it is a “Lifestyle Blog”. I love to share my favorite products, books, travel, and most recently, wedding planning. Not only do I love blogging, but I also love reading other people’s blogs. I am also looking for new bloggers to follow!

I began this blog in November 2013 right when I was turning 20 as a way to document all of the things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. It’s been four years and I am so proud with how far I have come! I will be 25 next fall and I feel more than ready. I have accomplished far more than I ever thought possible and am in love with the way my life is turning out.

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My biggest accomplishment was studying abroad in London in 2015. I was SO scared to move to London for a semester but it turned out to be the best decision. I made life-long friends and cherish the memories that I made along the way. London will always feel like home!

I graduated from college in April 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. I majored in Electronic Business Marketing and minored in General and International Business. After I graduated, I began looking for a full-time job in my field. I ended up accepting a position at a financial company in September 2016. I expected to like the job but never expected to fall in love with it! I love my company, my co-workers, and the work that I am doing every day. I really feel like I am making an impact on my community and our client’s lives.

Wedding Planning - Wedding Pictures

On August 19th, 2017 I married my boyfriend of six years, Brett. Our wedding day went by so quickly but it turned out better than we could have ever imagined! We got married at a Lake where I spent most of my summers growing up. We were surronded with all of our favorite people; our friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone who joined us had made an impact on our lives in some way. It was so special to start our married lives with all of the people who we love the most.

Brett and I went on a two week Honeymoon in London directly following the wedding. It was just like coming home. Brett proposed to me in London so the city holds a special place in both of our hearts.

Now I am just enjoying life with Brett and our cat, Lucy. We live in a cute little apartment and love spending time with our friends playing trivia or old PS2 games. I love tea, The Crown, Harry Potter, and reading. I’m an introvert who greatly values my alone time. I am also a Target addict and a wannabe interior designer.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I hope you stay awhile!

 

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Book Review – I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives

I Will Always Write Back Book Review by Caitlin Alfirenka & Martin Ganda

 

Hey friends,

I am back with my first book review of 2018! One of my New Years resolutions is to read more so I figured I’d start out the year with a review of my favorite book of 2017, I will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives. I can honestly say that this book changed my way of thinking and made me reflect on the changes that I can make in order to give back to my community and make an impact.

This book was a recommendation on one of Jansen’s (Everyday Reading) blog posts. I was initially drawn to the book because one of my co-workers is from Zimbabwe and I have always enjoyed hearing his stories about growing up. He talked about the reason he went into Finance was because of the Financial crisis that occurred while he was growing up in Zimbabwe. He came to America to learn all he could with the goal of going home one day and using his experiences in finance to make a positive impact. This book goes into detail about the same Financial crisis that my co-worker experienced.

 

I will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alfirenka & Martin Ganda

 

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka with Liz Welch

 

The New York Times bestselling true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place.

Martin was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter. There were only ten letters, and fifty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.

That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends –and better people–through their long-distance exchange. Their story will inspire you to look beyond your own life and wonder about the world at large and your place in it.

 

Martin was from a small village in Zimbabwe. He greatly valued his education but his family struggled to pay for his schooling. Caitlin was your normal 12 year old from Pennsylvania. Her troubles included boys, clothes, and friends. They started writing letters to each other because of a school assignment.

It took a while for Caitlin to realize just how hard Martin’s life was becoming. His worries were vastly different than his. She would send gifts, $20 here and there, that would feed Martin’s family and send him to school. The books spans years and details the daily struggles, and what Martin had to overcome in order to get his education and take care of his family.

I read this whole book in under 24 hours. I could not put it down and I could not go to sleep until I knew that everything was okay. “Wow” is the only word that comes to mind when I think about the experience I had while reading. It was thought provoking, emotional, and I was honestly cheering Caitlin and Martin on as I read. I felt invested in the outcome of the book.

As an American, I know I am lucky. I am lucky to have grown up with a roof over my head, food in the cupboards, two parents with jobs, and a free public education. It is very easy to take all of these things for granted. We see the news and hear about the troubling times in other countries but we may never have to directly deal with any of these issues. This book puts everything into prospective.

I could say so much more but I will just leave you with this:

One letter changed Caitlin and Martin’s life. One book changed mine.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

 

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Our Engagement Pictures – 10.27.2016

Engagement Pictures - Planning Your Engagement Pictures

 

Hello again,

Since I took a year off of blogging I missed out on sharing a lot of big life moments. Brett and I spent a lot of 2016 and 2017 planning our August 19th wedding. One of the many steps in wedding planning was getting our engagement pictures taken.

I was so anxious to pick the perfect wedding photographer. I am very happy to share that our wedding photographers (and videographer) were beyond amazing. Josh, our lead photographer, really took the time to get to know us and our style. Our engagement and wedding pictures turned out better than we could have ever imagined!! If you are getting married in Michigan, I would be more than happy to share the company that we worked with!

Today I’ll share some of my favorite engagement pictures. I plan on posting more wedding related content over the course of this next year so please let me know if there’s anything you would like to see.

We decided to have our engagement pictures taken at the University that we graduated from. We spent the majority of our relationship in college together so it felt very fitting to have our engagement pictures taken there. Plus, the campus is so beautiful in the fall!

As you can see, Brett and I have so much fun together and have a hard time remaining serious for long. I think our engagement pictures really capture our relationship and personalities.

Thanks for reading!

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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!

 

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Coming Out of Retirement

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For the last year or so I have considered myself to be a “retired blogger.” Blogging was something that I just didn’t have time for and I honestly had lost the desire to keep writing about myself. I felt like no one cared and that I couldn’t compete with all the other bloggers out there. I thought maybe I would come out of “retirement” one day with guns blazing and this new amazingly re-branded website. And maybe that will still happen one day but for today I will just try to do the best that I can.

The reason I want to start writing again is simple. I am about to turn 24 and I started this blog as a way to document the 25 things I wanted to do before turning 25. With my 25th year quickly approaching I figured it was time to kick my booty in gear and get this list done.

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So, here I am. A lot has changed since my last post and maybe I’ll write about all of that one day. For starters, I graduated from college, started a career, moved into my first adult apartment, and got married! Life has been very exciting for me and I am happy to start blogging again!

 

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I’m Graduating!!

Hello again!

I won’t make any excuses as to why I haven’t blogged since October. But I do apologize and I promise that I have been very busy! I was blogging over on Adventures of Hayley all last semester for my Internet Marketing class. If you want to read about my travel adventures please visit!

I have big news though:

I’M GRADUATING ON APRIL 30TH!!!

I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s in Business Administration. My major is Electronic Business Marketing with minors in General and International Business.

It seems like just yesterday I was moving into my freshman year dorm and signing up for my very first college classes. Now I’m sitting here applying for “big girl” jobs and getting ready to graduate! College goes by so fast. I’m not exactly sad to see it go; I’m just trying to figure out my next move from here.

I’ve shared my class schedule on the blog before and it’s always cool to be able to look back at it in the future. So here are the classes I am taking this semester:

  • Advanced Internet Marketing
  • Consumer Behavior
  • International Marketing
  • Urban Politics in the U.S.

Those are the final four classes that I have to take in order to graduate! I seriously cannot believe that I am about to reach such a huge milestone in my life! I almost want time to slow down a little so that I can enjoy these final couple of months. But at the same time, I am ready to start my adult life and find a job that makes me really happy.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I will be back again soon with another post!

Is anyone else graduating this semester?

P.S. My laptop is broken so I’m not able to post any pictures 😦