Hey there, friends! I hope you had a nice weekend!
Every now and then, I love to do these question and answer posts because they’re fun and it allows me to connect with you guys! Here are the questions I pulled from the Instagram post that I asked y’all to comment on. I gave y’all over 24 hours to submit questions and I did have to cut it off because there were so many but I got to as many as I could!
I’m planning a trip to Venice, Siena, and Rome this summer! IS there something you would say I MUST fit into the plans?
I’ve never been to Siena but I would definitely recommend visiting the island of Burano while you’re in Venice. It’s a fun little day trip and fairly affordable to get there. In Rome, I’d recommend getting up before sunrise one morning and just going to whatever monument speaks to you or you find to be the most beautiful – for me, it was the Trevi Fountain – and just go there before the crowds to enjoy it quietly for yourself. Or, maybe even just walk around the city before everyone else wakes up. You can always go back to your hotel and take a little catnap later in the day. That might not be appealing to everyone but, for me, it was SO enjoyable. Read more about that morning experience in THIS post.
I’m visiting family in Jacksonville in May. Any cute shops or boutiques I can go to?
Yeah! I love Tootsies in Ponte Vedra and Rosie True in Jacksonville Beach and San Marco. Five Points has a whole strip of vintage and antique boutiques that I love and lots of new restaurants!
Can you share some advice for those of us who want to follow in your footsteps with a blog / Instagram account?
I have five main pieces of advice for people who want to be a blogger:
• Do it for the right reasons: I could see how there could be a draw for young women to want to start blogs because of the items that they see bloggers wear in their posts. I could see how the thought of ‘well, if blogging allows them to afford that and allows them to travel there … I want to start a blog!’ And, honestly, if that’s your motivation … you will not be able to sustain it because there’s no passion or drive keeping you going. Blogging is hard work. It takes dedication and a love for why you started.
• Have fun: Blogging is a really really fun job and I think you’re audience will be able to tell when you really love it!
•Know that it takes time: Yes, there are bloggers out there who start out, things are kind of slow or gradual for awhile and then BOOM … they grow like crazy. But that’s just not the norm, if I’m honest. So, just know that growth takes time. Don’t make growth your focus. Make creating GOOD content that is useful and attractive to your audience your focus.
• Be yourself: Don’t look at other bloggers and think you can be them. They are the only ones that can do them the way they do themselves. YOU can only do YOU, so DO THAT.
• Keep your eyes in your own lane: It happens. That comparison thing … where you look at another influencer and you’re like UGH. I want her hair. I want her kind of engagement. I want the filters she has on her photos on mine. Keep your eyes in YOUR OWN LANE … and figure out what YOUR style is in all the areas of blogging … your writing style, your photography style, your overall aesthetic, your voice, etc. It will help you stand out more.
I pulled this from my Blogging FAQ post that I did last year! Be sure to check it out if you’re an aspiring blogger! You can also find more insight into blogging by entering the search term ‘blogging’ in the search bar in the right hand sidebar! 🙂
Do you have any advice or stories about dating?
For now, I think I’ll keep dating stories to myself until I feel like I have some that I feel are worth sharing but, I will say … dating isn’t fun, hah! I find it hard to meet new people because I work for myself and am a bit of a homebody but do my best to utilize dating app’s. My advice is to let people go when you KNOW you don’t see a future with them. The older I’ve gotten, the more respect I have for the person sitting across from me and the more respect I have for my time. I’m 32. I’m ready to find my person so if I’m wasting my time with the wrong person … that doesn’t really set me up to find that person any quicker, you know? So, that would be my advice! That … and be yourself! Duh!
What would the engagement ring of your dreams look like if budget wasn’t an issue?
Do you spray tan? If so, how do you get it to last? Do you have any suggestions for keeping it looking natural? Also, how often do you get them?
I do. I go to Sol Us Tanning in Jacksonville Beach. I usually get a Level 2 with the prep and clear post spray. I like their spray tans because they look super natural. To keep it even and last longer, I use this tanning mousse. The application mitt is HERE. I will get spray tans once or twice a month. Honestly, not that often.
Are you still a practicing nurse?
No. I stepped away from the nursing profession in January of 2015! Wow. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years. It really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.
Why did you leave nursing?
I started Sequins & Things on a whim, for fun, while I was working as a nurse. I didn’t have any expectations or ideas on where it would go, what it would turn into, etc. I started it to fulfill a need for a creative outlet for myself and to supply the people who were following me on Instagram with a place to go for all of my outfit details. [LIKEtoKNOW.it didn’t exist back then] Eventually, the blog started to generate an income and I was consistently working on it on my days away from the hospital and, during this growth period, I realized that there was a huge difference in my level of enjoyment in passion between my two professions. As much as I considered it an honor to be a nurse, and I wouldn’t have wanted to of started anywhere else, there was a passion driving the blog that just wasn’t in me for nursing. So, once I was able to support myself with the earnings of the blog, I decided to walk away from nursing. I felt like I would always be able to go back to nursing if I ever wanted to or the blogging journey fizzled, but … I wouldn’t get a second chance to continue growing the blog in the way that I could at that time.
Read my goodbye letter to nursing HERE.
Do you regret leaving nursing? Do you see yourself ever going back to the nursing profession?
I don’t have any regrets leaving the nursing profession. It afforded me so many humbling experiences, a beautiful perspectives on life and countless opportunities to grow as a professional. My decision to leave has allowed me to share more of myself and my interests with my readers. When I left nursing it was very much all ‘sequins’ because it was all I had time to do … go shoot outfits that I personally styled and loved … and, in the last three years, I’ve been able to stay true to that while also incorporating more of the ‘things’ aspect like, home decor, travel, beauty, etc.
I had a pretty cool experience on my way to turn in my two-weeks notice that I’m not sure I’ve ever shared before on my blog so I’ll share it now. It’s important to know that, at this point, I had gone down to part-time so I think it had been over a week since my last shift. As I was driving to go speak with my manager, my stomach was in knots and I was starting to get really nervous. I knew she was going to be supportive. She knew about the blog and was seeing the growth it was experiencing. I had always been really respectful of my role as a nurse when I was there and was intentional about not working on blog stuff while taking care of patients … obviously. But, still … it was going to be a hard conversation to have so I was nervous, in addition to not knowing if this was really the right decision and I was going to be able to support myself financially. As I’m wrestling with these uneasy feelings, I drove past a billboard that I always have to pass on my way to the hospital. Typically, this billboard was changed every week and had a funny quote on it. I always got a kick out of them. But, the quote on the billboard was different on this particular day. It read:
“Do not worry about tomorrow. God is already there.”
I started crying. I’m sorry but that was totally a God wink! The billboard, in all the times I had driven past it, which had been MANY, never says anything spiritual on it … ever! It was so reassuring and exactly what I needed in that moment. So, I just knew that this desire to move on to a new professional chapter was ordained by God and that, even if I failed, that He wanted me to obey this pull that I knew was coming from Him.
And, when it comes to whether I’d go back …. never say never! I think it’d be difficult. I probably still have all of my skills but I’d have to relearn stuff – for sure! Three years is a long time and I like to think I remember a lot but … there would definitely be a level of fear in the knowledge I have potentially lost having not been in the thick of the medical field in a while. My hope is that – if I’m not doing the blog – that I’m doing something that inspires other people and allows me to uplift and encourage or help people in some way, shape or form. So, who knows what my future holds but I’m okay with whatever it is as long as I’m of service and having fun!
What is an example of your daily diet?
It’s always different but here is an example of what I ate today:
Breakfast: Honey Nut Cheerios with strawberries & coffee
Snack: Nature Valley Granola Bar
Lunch: Turkey sandwich on wheat bread, swiss cheese, mayo, spicy mustard, with arugula and pepper + potato chips and San Pellegrino Lemon
Dinner: Leftover breaded chicken with lemon pepper and capers, mashed potatoes and broccolini
I’m not the healthiest eater but I do try and indulge in moderation.
I’m taking my kids to Disney World in April! What should I wear?
I’d recommend something loose-fitting and comfortable. Here are some options:
Would you ever consider going on The Bachelor? I know you love that show and you would definitely be the most sane girl there. I would totally root for you!
Confession: I actually applied for Ben Higgins season. I didn’t make a video though. Ha, I think that’s the ticket. Honestly, I think it’d be fun and an interesting experience although I would be legitimately TERRIFIED.
What do you think the cutest / most fun neighborhood or area to stay in in London?
This is a tough question to answer. It’s hard to say which area is the most fun because I think ‘fun’ can mean something different to everyone. I guess the same goes for cute but, I’d say if you want a quintessential ‘London’ feel, I’d go with South Kensington. If you want something colorful, I’d say Primrose Hill or Notting Hill. I usually stay in Earl’s Court, a 10-minute walk from South Kensington but has it’s own tube stop that has service to the District and Piccadilly lines, because it’s familiar to me. It’s not ‘lively’ per se. It has a lot of chains but … it’s a quiet neighborhood, which I like, and I know where to go out and eat and all of that so it doesn’t matter so much to me that I stay somewhere with a lot going on. If you want to stay somewhere with LOTS going on, you could stay somewhere in Soho. That’s the busiest area of the city. Hope that helps!
Did you go to Purdue for nursing school? I’ve seen you wear a Purdue tee before and have always been curious because I love in Indiana, so just wondering what your connection to Purdue is?
No, I went to the University of North Florida for my Nursing degree. My connection to Purdue and that t-shirt is a bit random. When I was in college, I was in a sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and later became involved in the Panhellenic Council as the Panhellenic President. For those who were not in a Greek organization in college, the Panhellenic Council was the council that governed the operations within the sororities on campus and put on Sorority Recruitment each year. During my time on Panhellenic, I worked closely with my two Greek advisors, a male and a female. The female had just moved down to Jacksonville from Illinois and had gone to Purdue for undergrad. Toward the end of my term, I had learned I got into nursing school and Kelly, my Greek advisor, who knew how hard I had worked to get in, came back from her visit at home in Illinois with a Purdue Nursing tee just as a congrats gift. Some may think she should have gotten me a UNF Nursing tee but, honestly, the Purdue Nursing tee always makes me think of her so I think it was a smart move. She was so fun to work alongside and was one of many reasons why I love being involved in Greek Life in college.
Would you ever consider selling some of your clothes like other bloggers do?
I do! I have another Instagram account called @shopalysonhaley! My assistant, Justine, runs it so be sure to follow to check out some of the items we post on there. I know in the next few weeks, we’re going to be announcing when there will be a lot of my designer items that will be posted. So, definitely stay tuned for that!
Will you be hiring anytime soon and would you consider hiring someone who isn’t local?
I will be hiring soon for a new position that Justine and I have been developing for awhile. For this position, I will be able to consider those who are interested that are not local. I’ll likely share more on IG stories in the next few weeks 🙂 My goal is to have someone in the position before I start my travels again at the end of April.
What travel wallet do you use?
What’s your favorite food to cook?
What do you use to edit your photos? Also, how do you take your photos when you are by yourself?
I use a variety of photo editing app’s like VSCO, Color Story, and Snapseed!
I’m planning a trip to London and Paris in May. I need your travel tips, what to pack and what not to pack list. And I need all of your recommendations on where to shop, eat, and site see!
Oh wow. If you guys have followed my blog for awhile, you know there’s no way for me to answer this in a few sentences. I’m detail-oriented and I’m also working on travel diaries for both places currently so stay tuned for those BUT … I do have some posts to refer you to for the time being:
- Take a peek at my What To Pack for Venice, Florence and Rome from last year. I’d recommend packing similarly to that packing guide, but I’d also add in a cardigan for the mornings and evenings and maybe substitute one of the pairs of shorts for a pair of jeans.
- I also recommend taking a look at my Ten Must-Have Packing Items for International Travel before you go.
- Be sure to check out the London Restaurants post I did a few months back, as well! There are over 50 restaurants in there throughout the whole city.
Again, Paris Travel Diary is coming up in a few weeks and more London content is on the way, as well!
For sizing reference, what size clothing do you wear?
In tops, I usually wear an XS but if an XXS is available, I size down because that usually means the garment runs big.
In bottoms, I wear either a 24 or 00. If a 23 is available in a pair of jeans, I order that size because that usually means that the garment runs big.
In dresses, I wear a 00. If petite sizing is available, I typically purchase the smallest petite size.
In shoes, I wear a 6.5.
Alright, that was fun! If you submitted a question that I didn’t answer, I do apologize. I pulled all of these questions at one time and, since it was quite a few, I just kind of tabled the rest. I do apologize but will put the rest of the questions in a pool for future Q&A posts! 🙂
I also promised y’all Easter dress options so here are those:
Thanks so much for stopping by today, lovelies! xo.
Thanks to everyone who entered the $100 VISA gift card giveaway. Five winners will be chosen. One from each blog post that was shared last week within the comments left on the post. All winners will be chosen at random thanks to a random number generator. Please email me through the contact page to claim your prize and be sure to include your email address so I can confirm you are the winner!