FOLLOW ME FOR A DAY WITH OLAY

what do bloggers do

“So … what exactly do you do all day?”

If you’re a blogger, you’re no stranger to hearing and answering this question. And, if you’re a blog reader, you’re likely guilty of wondering it, maybe even asking it … and, honestly, you shouldn’t ever feel ashamed for either. I totally understand where the curiosity stems from. The digital marketing industry is very new and, while we showcase the ‘highlight reel’ of our job on social media, it leaves a huge question mark about what the back-end of it all looks like. 

From receiving ten packages on our doorstep almost daily to traveling on a whim, us bloggers do a really good job of making it seem like we have an easy job. It’s no surprise that you are confused about what our job really entails. I think we forget how ambiguous it seemed to us at first, too, and how surprised we were when we started piecing together how it all worked through the experience of watching our blog grow. 

That’s why I thought it would be fun to have y’all “follow me for a day” in today’s post in order to give you a little more insight into what my work day looks like, because what I CAN say about blogging is it’s busy! There is a lot to get done and, being that there is no limit to where this job can take us on a daily basis, I’m excited to partner with Olay to also share the importance of incorporating a product with SPF into your daily skin routine to protect you against incidental sun exposure. I’ll be sharing the one I’m currently using that I love, love, love and highly recommend!

Now, before we get started, I will say, every blogger runs their blog differently and at different capacities so, my reality and ‘behind-the-scenes’ is probably much different than almost every other blogger. But regardless, this is a job I am thankful to have, a job I love doing, and I’m so happy to help you understand what I do even just a little better!

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I won’t lie. I am a sloowww mover in the morning. It typically takes me about 30 minutes to get up and get going [my new mattress topper isn’t helping the situation], so I like to set my alarm for 6:30 to give myself that extra time to wake up and hit snooze a couple of times before rolling over and saying good morning to Fish! After our morning snuggle sesh, it’s rise & shine! I feed him first thing and, after making sure he has plenty of water, I grab the remote to turn the morning news on. I can honestly say that having Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and the rest of the TODAY show gang on the TV while I’m getting my day started is one of my favorite morning guilty pleasures. The other thing I try to do, especially if I have a SUPER busy day ahead, is make my bed first thing. For whatever reason, it makes me feel super motivated about all that is to come!

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After I’m up and Fish is taken care of, I head in to the bathroom to brush my teeth, take a quick shower and perform my morning skin routine, which y’all read all about a couple weeks ago. At the end of that post, I mentioned that my morning skin routine was missing something VERY important, which was a moisturizer with SPF to give my skin that much-needed armor against the high chance of incidental sun exposure that I’ll experience throughout my day.  

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Growing up in Florida, I’ve seen what it looks like later on in life when you don’t protect your skin. We all need to be wearing SPF every day, no matter what you’re doing and no matter what the weather forecast looks like. Pay close attention to the photo’s within this post and you’ll notice just how often we experience it (most of the time, without any of us realizing it) and, therefore how important it is to protect yourself. With all that said, when it came down to the options I was trying, there was really only one that I was impressed with and that is Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30. What drew me to it was the fact that I needed a morning skin moisturizer that wouldn’t make my skin even more oily throughout the day, and this one is lightweight moisturizer AND has SPF in it so it was just what I was looking for. Aside from that, it smells absolutely amazing for a product that has SPF in it. I was shocked. I highly recommend it!

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I typically do my morning ‘get clean’ routine in under 15 minutes and, once it’s complete, I call Fish out into the living room to get him excited about going outside for his morning walk. It really doesn’t take much. He’s a little sun dog. He loves being outside in the sun. Isn’t his harness the cutest little thing? Ha! I love the colors!

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Being that Fish gravitates toward the sun, I always have to be sure to bring sunglasses with me and, yes, I do go outside in long sleeve shirts and pants in the mornings – when that’s what I wear to bed! It’s typically not TOO hot that early in the morning, and it’s never a bad thing to protect your skin from sun exposure, as I’ve already mentioned!

I know when Fish is done with his business when he does one of two things: dilly-dally’s outside, sniffing everything endlessly OR stands firm in one spot. Either way, I end up carrying him inside. Dachshund’s are a funny breed, I tell ya!

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I have a meeting scheduled with my assistant, Justine, at 9:00am at one of our local coffee shops so, now it’s time to get ready! 

BACK END INFO: My assistant and I meet twice a week, on Monday’s & Friday’s. However, last week, we met on Thursday because she was going out of town for a wedding and it just happened to be the day we were shooting the photo’s for this post. On Monday’s, we meet at my apartment. On Friday’s, or in this case Thursday, we meet at a coffee shop to switch things up a bit!

I do my morning skin routine first thing, before I take Fish outside, as to give those morning skin routine products time to soak in to my skin and so it’s ready for makeup by the time I get back inside. There’s a method to the madness! For sake of time, I won’t go through my makeup routine but, if that’s something you’d like to see from me, let me know in the comments below so I can gauge whether to add to my list of post ideas! After my makeup is complete, I do my hair, which typically doesn’t take more than 10-15 minutes depending on how dirty my hair is. The dirtier the hair, the easier it is to style and curl. More on that in THIS post. 

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Next, I head in to the living room to get my work bag packed up. I tend to work from my living room when I’m at home, especially at the bar area, so my work items are typically stacked on the counter. In terms of what work bag I use, it tends to be a toss up between my tried and true beige Longchamp or the newly added Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM. I try to make myself use the Neverfull so that the handles break in more but … some days I just grab the Longchamp out of comfort, especially if I’m juggling a lot of items, like I will be today.

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Once that is packed up and ready to go, I get packages ready to hand over to my assistant to take to the post office.

BACK END INFO >> I’m constantly trying out new brands that I’ve never heard of before in hopes of discovering a great one to share with you all but, often that means purchasing multiple sizes in the same garment to see how the fit is. So, for accounting purposes, it’s really important that I stay on top of orders, trying things on and returning items that don’t work as quickly as possible so that my books aren’t all out of whack and hard to figure out at the end of the month. Plus … who likes clutter? I live in a small apartment so I surely can NOT deal with boxes everywhere for long.

Typically, this is a task that I do on Sunday nights so that the boxes are packed up and ready for Justine to take home from our Monday morning meeting [which is always at my apartment] but, again, last week was a little different. I had to ship an item back to an online retailer I recently partnered with by a certain date that would pass if we waited until Monday.

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Packing up an online order return to a major retailer due to items not fitting or working for whatever reason requires a little extra time and concentration. The easiest way for me, being that I’m a very visual person, is to keep a CLOTHING file for every month of the year in my office’s filing cabinets. In each of those are the receipts from all the orders I place online, and these receipts must include the images of the items I purchase. There’s always at least ONE item that I return from every order so, when I’m ready to pack the return, I pull the order from the JUNE file [or whatever month it was ordered] and go through the receipt one product at a time, marking the ones I’m returning on the receipt and making sure each one of those is accounted for in the box. Once that is done and the return form is filled out, I tape it up and apply the return label! When I get a confirmation receipt of the return, I print those and place those in a smaller manilla envelope within that month folder so I have record of all return receipts … again, for accounting purposes. 

*There could be a MUCH easier way to do this. I would NOT be surprised if there is but for some reason … this way makes me feel like I’m on top of things and I have a good paper trail if I need it. Although it does end up taking up quite a bit of space. Any experienced business owners, I’m willing to hear your suggestions, hah!*

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Now, I’m ready to head over to my meeting so I put my shoes on, remind Fish to protect the house while I’m gone and head out! This morning was a balancing act getting to the car but, after years of packing up my car for photo shoots, it was nothing!

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As a business owner, every expense needs to be accounted for and there needs to be proof of it in case we’re audited so, before heading to my meeting, I account for the mileage I’m starting at so I know how much gas to write off later on. 

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As you can probably tell from these photos, our summer mornings in Florida tend to be super bright, so this is just one of the many instances throughout the day where I’m thankful to have found the Olay Regenerist Cream with SPF I mentioned earlier! 

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During the first few minutes upon arriving to our meeting venue, I go inside to order some breakfast and a cold brew. I don’t like to waste any time so, while I’m waiting in line, I log in to Facebook and Twitter to put together my blog post promotions for those two social media outlets, as well as ensure that my blog post was generated into my blog’s Bloglovin’ page.

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Justine and I’s meetings are becoming shorter and shorter, especially on Friday’s, because we have passed the point of establishing & creating the necessary processes within the business that she will be responsible for. She is fully aware of what I expect from her and every time we meet, we go through the different projects she’s working on and she gives me an update. She saves any and all questions for our meeting, unless absolutely necessary, as to minimize my distractions during the week. She’s a go-getter, super organized, a problem solver, not afraid to share ideas and extremely efficient in getting things done. She has completely taken over my @ShopAlysonHaley Instagram, and created an organized inventory of everything that is available for sale as well as an accounting record of it all. She is responsible for organizing any travel venture I go on and handles all the communication involved in getting it planned. She has created, and sends out, a weekly newsletter for you all to subscribe to in case you’d like a weekly wrap-up of the week’s posts as well as the top weekend sale’s you need to know about! Anytime there is a huge campaign in the pipeline … she is the one that figures out logistics, planning out a schedule and coordinating things between my photographers so that I can focus on researching & buying for the campaign and figuring out the best creative way to share it with you all!

As time goes on, and as she gets even swifter at the tasks she is getting used to doing for me, I’ll likely add more responsibilities for her to help me with. It is my hope that, over time, this will allow us both to take S&T to a whole new level! Her and I are working on something really big right now and it’ll definitely mean that she’ll be taking on some new things that will be so helpful!

* I gave y’all a lot of insight into her so y’all have an idea as to what an assistant would help a blogger with [the possibilities are, really, endless and up to the blogger’s strengths and weaknesses, what they’d prefer to delegate, etc.] and for any blogger who may be reading who is looking to add a person to their team. Hiring someone with these types of personality traits for an assistant position is SO important. I can’t stress it enough! *

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Before my assistant and I part ways, I ask her to take an Instagram photo for me so I have it later to edit & post! You might remember THIS photo from last week? Check out the photo of that photo being taken below to see what it looks like if you just happened to be walking by. Ha, pretty odd, huh? Meh. If I stood any other way, you wouldn’t be able to see how cute the sleeves on this top are 😉

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BACK END INFO >> You might remember me mentioning that every day is different, and so is every week, really. Most weeks, Justine and I will schedule a time slot for us to shoot Instagram content for the week ahead because I learned, over time, that, as much as I’d like for photo’s to be taken and shared in real time, it’s just not always possible. Some days, I’ll wear something I love and wanted to share but the lighting is really bad when I have an opportunity to take a photo or it’s straight up pouring down rain. Other times, I notice something I bought recently went on sale or is starting to sell out of sizes but I don’t have any good photo’s to let you guys know about it. So, in order to give you all the best view of the items I have recently purchased, as well as notify you appropriately with quality content about sale or restock alerts, Justine and I will take them ahead of time. It’s kind of like The Tonight Show. It would be nice if they did it live, but you just never know what the guest is going to say on a live show! So, in order for the producers to capture the best show and showcase the guests in their best light, it’s taped during the day and edited before it goes live at night. That’s the only analogy I can think of and hopefully it makes sense!

Last week was crazy, though, between doctor’s appointments and shooting almost every day so we decided to just let that go until this week or next.

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After we finish up with our Instagram photo, I decided to head back in to the coffee shop to work there for a few hours before heading back home for lunch. Being that I mostly work from home, Justine takes care of 95% off my errands and I’m an introverted homebody … I could easily isolate myself if I didn’t make it a point to put myself in situations where I’m around people. This is my way of doing that. I can still be quiet and productive but I also have LIFE going on around me. 

During this time, I don’t necessarily follow a particular structure but I tend to start by mind dumping and putting a to-do list down on paper, then prioritizing what needs to happen first, second, third, etc. I remember last week, when we shot this, I was really behind on emails because of how much time I had spent at doctor’s appointments [no regrets! they needed to happen!], shooting for collaborations and on writing my blog posts, organizing the photos and optimizing the post for SEO. So, I know that during this two-hour time block, I dedicated most of it to getting my email inbox pretty again. For years, my email inbox was a scary place and it still can be sometimes, but now that I let my email manager completely reorganize it … it’s absolutely beautiful and I am obsessed with trying really hard to keep it that way. So, I will file each email that either needs my attention or falls under a certain file, into its appropriate folder and respond to the most important ones first, which usually involves reviewing / signing contracts, negotiating the terms of a partnership, discussing changes in a legal contract or researching companies that reach out in regard to collaborating to assess whether it’d be a good fit, etc. 

The other thing I spent time doing was buying product. With a 4th of July trip up to Charleston on the horizon, I knew I was going to need some festive Americana attire to pack for the weekend as well as items to share with you all beforehand to get you ready for the weekend, as well! So, I perused my favorite online retailers for the cutest garb. Some of it has already been featured here on the blog as well as on Instagram, but there are quite a few other things that I am anxious to wear and share throughout the holiday weekend!

After I wrap up a productive couple of hours, I’m ready to head home, eat some lunch then keep the work day going!

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It almost never fails that I come home to packages on my doorstep. My UPS lady is my adult version of Santa Claus. Since I order online every other day or so, I typically never know what I’m going to discover when I open up the package. As I mentioned earlier, it’s important that I stay on top of my packages, however, whether or not I unpack them right away just depends on what is going on, if other things take priority and also how many boxes there are and how many items are in each. Even though I don’t like packages to go 24 hours without being opened, unpacked, organized and broken down … it can be an incredible time suck during the day to try on multiple garments from an order so I typically leave this task for later in the evening, after I’ve planned out my social media.

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Lately, I’ve been working through lunches to catch up from traveling a bunch but, I do think it’s important to slow yourself down and give yourself a mental break. Last week, I definitely needed to keep myself in check because I was started to get burned out. Opting for a chapter or two in a good book, instead, is always the better alternative, even if it means not getting AS much stuff done. I hate that I sometimes have to relearn this but, when I do, I’m always a little more motivated and my mind a little more clear because it got to take a break from the to-do list! 

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The next couple of hours involve a variety of work tasks: phone conference with a brand, being distracted by how cute Fish is, relocating to the couch to continue assessing how social media posts are doing, answering questions asked on Instagram and in blog comments, making note of important dates to remember, reviewing contracts of recent collaborations to ensure all requirements were fulfilled, filing receipts handed over to me by my assistant, accounting for those purchases in my accounting spreadsheet and, hopefully, starting to put together the next day’s blog post!

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I want to point out here how working next to a window, as I often do throughout my day, is another example of incidental sun exposure. Just because you are indoors does not mean you’re not getting sun, so the application of SPF every morning is so important! 

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I have to wrap up administration work now to start planning and prepping the outfits that I’ll be shooting today with Miguel. Up until recently, I would plan and prep these looks then pack up all associated jewelry and makeup items, shoes and handbags, lug them all down to my car and head over to where Miguel lives to shoot them all. This is the reality for a lot of bloggers who don’t have their husband or a family member shoot for them and, I mean … you gotta do what you gotta do but it really is SO exhausting and time-consuming. I’m an overpacker, too,  so Lord knows that didn’t help but, after talking about it with Miguel one day a few months ago, he graciously agreed to give me a break and drive over to my side of town from now on. It has been SO helpful and he said he actually really enjoys the drive.

So, now … the process includes hanging any garments that are new and have yet to be styled for the blog or Instagram on a clothing rack then, I decide what looks are priority to shoot based on current or upcoming sales, holidays, collaboration campaign dates, what I think / know girls would want to see styled, etc. Once I’ve made those decisions, I check stock on every item that will be included in a look across multiple online retailers to ensure there are plenty of inventory available online. 

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From there, I pull the jewelry and shoes that will go with each garment, check the stock of those items then, finally, make sure that the garments are ready to be photographed. If they are wrinkled, I pull out my trusty steamer to get the looking fresh and beautiful, then prioritize which outfits need to be shot when. Finally, I change into my first outfit and freshen up my makeup just before he arrives. 

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Miguel and I shot three out of five days last week. I had so many collaborations that got pushed to the end of the month and, due to late product shipment, our shoots weren’t able to be shot in bulk on one day as we had originally hoped. 

On this day, we shot three looks. They’re not all featured here for sake of time and space but I definitely think it’s super fun to give y’all a behind-the-scenes look at our shoot! Miguel does his very best to shoot me in indirect sunlight but this is another time my morning SPF application comes in handy! 

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While Miguel is figuring out where he wants me for the shoot … it’s typical for me to take an outfit selfie to add to my Instagram photo queue in the meantime. For anyone who has ever wondered how I take those photos and whether a selfie stick is involved or not … the above photo answers that question for ya! It’s pretty simple but, I’ve also been doing it for years so with practice comes expertise! 

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Miguel and I have worked together since S&T’s very first shoot. He’s always super collaborative and ready to try something different or new to get a variety of shots and, of course, we have developed a system that works best for us when it comes to shooting. Because we’ve shot together for so long, our shoots are typically pretty quick and comfortable.

** BOTH of these outfits will be on the blog next week **

We are typically able to shoot 5 or so looks into a 2-hour time slot, but Miguel also acts as a photography mentor to me so, we filled up the rest of our time together on this day going over different things that he noticed about my travel photo’s, how I can improve when I am behind the camera, etc. I find it to be a sweet little luxury to have such talented photographers on my team but, one of my goals is learning how to be a good resource for myself in capturing great shots when I don’t have them with me  [i.e. travel].

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When I shoot a lot of looks and especially when I don’t allot myself enough time to prep for them, my apartment is a disaster area when we’re done. Handbags, sunglasses, shoes and clothes are strewn everywhere! One of the first things I do when I get done with late afternoon shoots is feed Fish so I can put things away while he is eating his dinner. Once I’m done tidying up, which I try to do in overdrive because I despise clutter, Fish is typically ready to go outside.

**I also typically take him out when I get home from my meeting but, again, due to space and time in this post, I cut certain things! Don’t worry! He does get enough outside time!**

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I’m always dodging those sun rays, hah … Fish, sunglasses and SPF are seriously my best friends on a daily basis. Can you tell? All of them, together, provide me with all the love and support I need to get through the day 😉

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Next up is one of my favorite times of day … changing into comfortable clothes, getting dinner started, pouring my long awaited glass of white wine, and Skyping with Ben before he goes to bed over in London! [Not pictured! Sorry! Ha!] This isn’t necessarily our ideal time to Skype, especially his, being that it’s 11:30-midnight there, but we both have to make sacrifices to make our long-distance romance work and those sacrifices look different for both of us. On some days, later Skype sessions is one of his sacrifices but, we both agree that it’s worth it. 🙂

For dinner tonight, I have a Sicilian pizza on the menu! My roommate usually makes it home by 7:00 but, on this night last week, one of our friends had an extreme allergic reaction to peanut butter, which she had never been sensitive to before so she was with her at the hospital making sure she was okay. That’s the kind of friend we all need in our lives, am I right? Thankful for that one!

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I spend the next hour eating dinner, doing any dishes that need to be done, putting clean ones away, editing Instagram photos, planning my posts, taking off my makeup and performing my nightly skin routine. It’s a busy hour to say the least but it actually feels a little less hectic than the rest of the day has. It’s one of the hours that I feel like I’m ‘unwinding’ from work.

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I spend the rest of the evening catching up with my roommate, putting out the trash and any broken down boxes to be picked up, watching recorded shows that we are behind on, posting to Instagram and starting laundry, if needed. This is also when I would try on any clothes from any large orders I received that day. 

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I usually turn the bed back and crawl in around 11:00. This is when I typically really settle in to working on upcoming posts because there are the fewest amount of distractions. I’ve always worked a little bit better at night but, I will say … over the past year, it has been harder and harder for me to stay up as late as I used to. 

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And, that’s my day, y’all! I end up turning out the light and snuggling up with Fish in the comfiest bed on the planet around 12:30-1:00, and that has been the perfect end to all the busy day’s I’ve had since turning my blog into a full-time business venture!

What you can’t see or feel in this post is the pressure of deadlines and collaboration requirements but, what job doesn’t have that in some capacity or another? That’s actually my hope for this post … not that you’ll feel those stressful feelings but that you’ll be able to see that blogging is actually a job, just like your job … it’s just a little different in what it involves. Sure, we have the flexibility to make our own hours and travel on a whim, but there are many days where we are juggling so many hats and tasks [i.e.: buyer, stylist, editorial calendar planner, marketing professional, accountant, social media manager, writer, model /mannequin, publicist, intern, product tester, etc.], just like you, hustling through that long to do list. And, at the end of the day, I’m just thankful that my job involves me sharing my life, style and authentic self with you all while also helping brands that I personally love achieve their marketing goals when those organic opprotunities present themselves. 

 Another hope of mine is that, through this post, you’ll realize or be reminded of how strong the likelihood of incidental sun exposure is in our daily lives and the importance of protecting our skin from the sun. Again, I highly, highly encourage you  to incorporate SPF into your DAILY morning skin routine. Again, I’ve been using Olay Regenerist Cream with SPF and find it to be a great product!

Be sure to leave any comments or questions about what blogging looks like on a daily basis or how you can better protect your skin from the sun below and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible! I hope y’all are getting excited for a long holiday weekend! I know I am! I am clocking out of the office at 12:00 tomorrow! Can’t wait! Have a great day, y’all! Appreciate you stopping by so, so much!! xo.

Also … if you live in Jacksonville, my flowers are from Liz Stewart Floral Design at the beach! I always LOVE their selection!

SHOP THIS POST

OLAY REGENERIST MICRO-SCULPTING CREAM WITH SPF 30 | SEE WIDGETS WITHIN THE POST FOR ALL OTHER PRODUCT INFORMATION

PHOTO CREDIT: KAYLEE LABOR PHOTOGRAPHY

THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY OLAY. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SUPPORTING THE BRANDS THAT LOVE & SUPPORT S&T!
XO.

LOVE THESE POSTS? YOU'LL LOVE THESE TOO!

100 thoughts on “FOLLOW ME FOR A DAY WITH OLAY

  1. Meg says:

    Found this post from your recent IG live video. (Isn’t it funny how you can get sucked into the life of someone you don’t “know” through IG?! ) Anyway, back to this post, LOVE it! It’s so great to hear about the back end work it takes to be a blogger. You put in a lot of time and it really shows! You’ve built an amazing brand and following. Congratulations on your success, hard work pays off <3

  2. Hi there!
    I’m new to your blog (found you on IG through LIKETOKNOW.IT or ootdsubmit, can’t rememeber) and started browsing around. This was probably the best “A Day in the life” post I’ve ever read!!! It was so incredibly inspiring, and it made me so happy reading it! Loved the part about you reminding your dog to watch the house, SO CUTE!! I’m going to bookmark this page.

    I have a new-found appreciation for bloggers, and all the work that goes into it! You really did a great job of explaining it all and the back end reasons for certain things. You’re incredible and I’m so happy to be following along!! 🙂

    I hope you continued success on your awesome business venture!!

    Lisa
    http://www.theeverydayelevated.com

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Oh wow! Lisa! You made my morning! What a sweet comment! Thank you SO MUCH. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. It was a labor of love putting it all together but have loved hearing people’s feedback on my everyday work life. Your support is everything to me 🙂 xo.

  3. Caitlyn says:

    What kind of planner do you use to stay organized??

  4. Miss Louie says:

    BEST POST EVERRRR!!!! I’m a fashion YouTuber and while I related to several things in this post, I also became EXTREMELY inspired and motived by your INCREDIBLE work ethic!!!! Omg, I took so many helpful tips and processes from your advice. I feel like I took a crash course in how to better manage my business. I am so grateful of the time and effort you put into this detailed post. I’ve followed you for about a year and a half now, and I just love you inside and out! Keep up the amazing work!!! -Erica

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Aw, thank you, Erica! Your comment brought the biggest smile to my face! xo.

  5. Clarissa says:

    Loved this post so much, super detailed and honest! I’m just starting out as a fashion and beauty blogger and was wondering what to do when the clothes aren’t current. I have tons of awesome clothes and accessories that I’m excited to share and shoot, but they from a few (or several) seasons ago. What do I do when I can’t afford to continuously buy new clothes every week?
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated in my new venture!

    -Clarissa

  6. I loved this post, but all those shoes in the closet not organized gave me anxiety. Ha Ha Loved it all.

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Haha! That was right before I donated a bunch and gave a bunch to my assistant to post on http://www.instagram.com/shopalysonhaley hah! It gave me anxiety, too! xo.

  7. Loved this post! Being a blogger myself I love seeing the day in a life post of fellow bloggers I love. Quick question, do you have a link to the charger you’re using that’s connected to your computer? That seems like a super handy tool to have.

    xo

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hey Jasmine! That is actually a small external hard drive. You can get them on Amazon 🙂

  8. Victoria says:

    This was so much fun to read. It’s posts like this that make you one of my all time favorite bloggers. I loved getting an inside look at what a full time blogger does. It really is a business, and requires the same amount of time, attention, and love that any business venture requires.

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Aw thank you, Victoria! I’m so glad you enjoy visiting Sequins & Things and feel blessed to be considered a favorite of yours! 🙂

  9. backporchsocial says:

    Loved your post and have been looking for a good moisturizer/SPF option- most are so heavy, I’ll have to try this one next! As a southern girl, I loooove staying out in the sun but after some melanoma scares I use sunscreen daily now. Just started blogging and your post is very encouraging & gave me some great ideas of how to organize my blogging time while I still spend most of my day working full-time as an accountant! Thanks!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      I’m the SAME way about laying out! I LOVE being in the sun but it really is SO bad for your skin! I wish I had taken it seriously earlier because I definitely have sun spots on my face. And, keep going, girl! Those accounting skills will certainly help you as a blogger!

  10. Nicole says:

    I love your black and white curtains! I’ve seen them in a few posts now. Where are they from?

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Nicole! You can purchase my curtains here: http://bit.ly/29hS7jw

  11. Such a wonderful read. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      You are so welcome! xo.

  12. Whitney says:

    Excellent post! Where did you get the print by your entrance that says “I found my life when I laid it down”? That is one of my favorite quotes in life!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi there! I got the sign from an Etsy shop called House of Belonging! I absolutely LOVE my signs from her. Her and her team do an excellent job putting them together and shipping them out! Worth the wait! 🙂

  13. Mandy Nicole says:

    Loving this post Haley! So much thought and insight. Thanks for sharing your SPF recommendations. I’m defiantly going to give this product a shot. FYI: I hope you fit the occasional nap is your days…phew girl, you have my tired following you for a day!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hey Mandy! Glad you’re going got give Olay Regenerist cream a try! I’ve been loving it. I definitely do fit naps in to my days when I can. EVERY day doesn’t look like this although there are some days during the week that do. For example, if I’m not shooting. I’ll take a little nap around 3 then Skype with Ben around 4:00 or 4:30ish before getting back to work for awhile. 🙂

  14. Absolutely loved this post! It’s so fun to see how bloggers organize their time, especially since we get tiny glimpses on Snapchat and other social media outlets! Question for you as a fellow blogger – what are your guidelines around writing off blogging expenses for taxes? You mentioned your clothing orders, and was curious how you determine which items fall in “business” versus “personal” (since the lines can often get blurred as a blogger). Loving these “behind-the-scenes” style posts lately! 🙂

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hey Lindsey! I’d personally save this question for your accountant, only because everyone kind of does it differently. I know my accountant finds it justifiable to write off certain things that I’ve heard others don’t write off, and vice versa. So, it just depends! It definitely seems like a blurry line, for sure!

  15. Becca says:

    Loved this post! Fun read! It really shows how blogger’s busy a day can be. I also enjoy how you’re having readers vote on the Friday Five. What a clever way to make sure you are posting content readers want to see.

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Becca! Thank you so much! Yes, I looove using Snapchat to get reader feedback. It’s so fun getting instant responses from y’all! Hope you’re following along 🙂

  16. Kelsey says:

    I love how in post of these photos you have a massive smile on your face, shows that you really love what you do!
    The sticky beak in me loved seeing what you do in a typical day! xo

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Aww thanks, Kelsey! I do love what I do! Exhausted after most days but #worthit! 🙂 xo.

  17. Ryann says:

    I love how you went into great detail in this post. 🙂 You are one of my favorite bloggers 🙂 I also love your Instagram photos as well. What app on your phone do you use to edit your Instagram pictures they always look so good. 🙂

    Ryann

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Thanks so much, Ryann! That means so much to me! I use different photo app’s for different things depending on how the photo looks but some of my favorite photo app’s are Snapseed, VSCO, PicTapGo, etc.

  18. ashby rhea says:

    I love this post, how fun! I’m just curious what planner you use?

    xoxo, ashbyrhea
    http://www.ashbyrhea.com/

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      I’ve been using a little planner I got in London by Cath Kidston, but recently got two planners to try out that appealed to me … a BIG Kate Spade one for 2017 and one by Rifle Paper Co. that you see in this post. I’m weird about planners and am still trying to decide which one I want to keep.

  19. ashby rhea says:

    I love this post! I’m just curious though, what planner do you use? I’m OBSESSED with planners and yours is TOO cute! I would love to know what planner you use to make it all work!

  20. Christa says:

    I don’t see a link to shop for the blue and white rug – where is it from?

  21. Natalie says:

    This is my favorite post you have done so far! I love how detailed and personal you were. I recently started blogging, and it is hard work. Harder than people realize. I absolutely love blogging and am so glad I started! Even though I haven’t been blogging for a long time, I would love to make it my job one day. Oh, and by the way, Fish is SO cute!

    xo, Natalie

    http://www.forallthingspinkandpretty.com

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Natalie! I’m so glad you liked it!! Enjoy your blogging adventure! It’s the only way you’ll keep going 🙂 And, thank you! Fish is clearly my little wingman behind-the-scenes haha 😉

  22. sh says:

    Where are your pink sweats and striped tee from?

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi there! It’s all linked within the post for you to easily shop them! xo.

  23. Thank you for sharing! I loved this post. It definitely helps me see the daily routine. I just started my blog in April but hope to one day make it my full time job. How long would you say it took you to make a living out of it from when you started the blog?

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hey Michelle! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! I hope you’re having so much fun on your new blogging adventure! In regard to your question, I blogged for almost a year before monetizing it and once I started monetizing, it took me a little over a year to go full-time but I wouldn’t say that is standard because everyone’s blog grows at different speeds depending on how much content you’re putting out there and whether or not it’s quality content or not. It also depends on your audience and how they respond to your content, as well. xo.

  24. Kara says:

    I really enjoy your blogs. What kind of steamer do you have?

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Kara! Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoy it! My steamer can be found here: http://bit.ly/29eKX1I

  25. Kara Morgan says:

    What kind of steamer do you have?

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Kara! My steamer can be found here: http://bit.ly/29eKX1I

  26. Claire says:

    Alyson, thanks SO much for answering my question with so much detail- it was definitely very helpful and I completely understand the privacy issue of course. Truthfully, I don’t follow many blogs anymore but found your Instagram first through a Pinterest post and really enjoy your content, honesty and style. Thank you, enjoy the 4th!

  27. Lee says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Blogging is time consuming even with a full time job, I can’t imagine at your level the attention to detail you have to have.
    xo, Lee
    http://www.wineandcouture.com

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Lee! OMG, I know! I did it as a nurse for awhile and there are just some thing you can’t get done with the time that you have after work. But props to you and keep going! It’ll pay off! xo.

  28. Cortney says:

    Loving your blog more and more each day – I swear! Also, any chance you know where that white+blue vase in your bedroom is from? I need it. 😉

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Cortney, thank you so much for your comment! It brought such a huge smile to my face! The blue & white vase is sold out unfortunately. I look for it frequently and am never able to find it! It’s one of my favorites. If I ever find it, I’ll post it on social media! xo.

  29. Alison says:

    I absolutely loved this post. Thank you for being so open. I like getting a glimpse into other people’s lifestyle.

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      You’re welcome!! xo.

  30. Eleanor says:

    Amazing post! Been following you for years and I am so impressed with how much work goes in behind the scenes. Your blog is fantastic so the hard work is paying off!! Kudos to you.. wish I could leave my 9-5 job and pursue the same thing. 🙂

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Aw, thank you so much Eleanor! Makes me so happy that you’re enjoying what I’m sharing! xo.

  31. Madeline says:

    Amazing post! I loved how detailed it was, you gave such great in site on what being a full time blogger is really like!

    xoxo Madeline | http://www.theblackbarcode.com

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Thanks, Madeline! xo.

  32. Meredith says:

    Alyson, you are so inspiring! I read this start to finish and definitely my favorite post so far. You mentioned you wouldn’t get into details on your makeup routine but to comment if we want to see so … this is me commenting! Would love to learn your secrets so I can use them myself. Please share and keep up the awesome work. We love you!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Aw, Meredith! It makes me so happy to know you enjoyed it so much! I will definitely put some effort into getting a makeup routine done for you guys. Can’t say when. I have a REALLY busy month ahead but I will do my best to get it up by the end of July ! 🙂 xo.

  33. Michelle says:

    This was an interesting and fun post to read. It is obvious the amount of time you put into this and the rest of your blog!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Thanks, Michelle! Glad you enjoyed it! xo.

  34. Shelby says:

    This is one of my favorite blog posts I’ve EVER read on any blog. Such a great look into a full-time blogger’s life. LOVED it. Thank you! You’ve also inspired me to start waking up earlier and making every hour valuable!

    xo, Shelby
    http://www.prettyinthepines.com

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Shelby … first of all, you have one of my favorite names EVER. (Thanks to Steel Magnolias) Secondly, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading your comment. Meant so very much to me! Glad you enjoyed seeing what it’s like behind the scenes. 🙂 xo.

  35. Courtney says:

    Hi!
    I found this post interesting! Thanks for sharing! When do you exercise?

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Courtney! I don’t currently have a good workout regimen. I definitely need to make the time to exercise a few days a week! I’ve been saying that a lot lately. I think it’ll be a good way to take a break from work and take care of myself!

  36. laurajaneatelier says:

    What a cool post!!
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

  37. Nancy says:

    Loved this post!! Just starting to blog and soaking up as much info as I can.. Dreaming that one day it will become my full time job!!

  38. Nicci says:

    What an incredibly awesome detailed post! Thanks for sharing what your day looks like…I know I’ve often wondered what full-time bloggers do all day (you are busy!) 😊😥 I’d love to see how you organize your accessories…it looks like you have a cool stand where you keep them all. Also, where do you buy your flowers, because they are BEAUTIFUL! 💓🌸🏵🌹

  39. Claire says:

    This may be too personal of a question and if so I apologize, however, you mentioned having an assistant and it looks like a regular photographer. I assume those folks need to be paid for their services- how do bloggers handle that? Are they salaried or hourly rates and is there a ballpark range of what they make? How do you get to the point where you have enough income to afford a staff? Great post, it was really neat to get some insight!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Claire! I haven’t brought anyone on full-time yet because, although I’m really busy, I still have a fear that I don’t have enough work for someone 40 hours a week EVERY week. Maybe I do, but I’m nervous to take that plunge, I guess, because if I’m wrong it involves another person’s income and security. It also involves paying the government fee’s, etc.

      So, my team consists of amazing people who do contract work for me. My assistant works about 20-30 hours a week for me and she also has a few other clients that she does work for, as well as a wedding planning business. She’s pretty much a rockstar. Her and I have decided a monthly rate makes the most sense for us but I have paid a previous assistant hourly. She is a very logical thinker and has an incredible way of projecting how much time certain responsibilities and tasks will take her. She gives me an idea as to what that looks like, hour wise, based on what my needs are from her, and she gives me a monthly rate. At the end of the month she provides me with a detailed account of her hours and she’s always spot on. In terms of what that amount is that an assistant is to get paid is should depend on a number of factors: experience, what you can afford to spend, references, etc.

      And, then, my photographers both run their own photography businesses and I pay them per outfit or per lifestyle post that is shot. That’s typically how blog photographers work. Some go by the hour. They typically determine their own rate. It was a weird thing for Miguel and I to figure out at first because neither one of us knew what was normal but as you network with other bloggers and blog photographers, it’ll be easy for you to determine what makes sense.

      Out of respect for all of the people that help make S&T what it is, I am going to refrain from stating numbers but this is one of the reasons why making genuine, legitimate friends within the blogging industry is so helpful and important. You can’t do it without the support of others who are fighting the same fight. Well, maybe you can … but it helps to have others who ‘get it’. 🙂

      It definitely takes time for bloggers to be able to get to the point where they can pay people. When I first started my blog, I didn’t even know a blog could make money. Miguel had JUST started his photography business, so we basically just bartered. I linked to him on my blog and he took my photo’s for free. Great imagery helps, for one! It also takes a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. It takes patience, a strong presence on social media, and extensive googling what to do and how to do different things when it comes to website management and design. It building a strong foundation of followers who support you, like you and enjoy coming to see what you’re sharing. Once you’ve started there and built up your social media account and your blog following, you could start to incorporate affiliate links to generate an income. I say that it should all go in that order, rather than trying to monetize right off the bat because, I think it’s important to first establish whether your blog is a passion of yours before trying to make it your job.

      Hope this helped a bit! xo.

  40. Natali says:

    Such a great idea for a post! I’m so glad that you made it so long with lots of photos and good text, I have truly enjoyed a day in life with you by going through this post. 🙂

    http://www.lartoffashion.com

  41. Amy sutton says:

    What a great post, thanks so much for sharing! I’ve read your blog for years now and find your authenticity very refreshing!

  42. Camille says:

    I knew full-time bloggers were busy but it still seems like a really fun day!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Absolutely! 🙂

  43. Viola says:

    Thanks for sharing your day!

  44. what kind and color is the pink lipstick you are putting on!

  45. DeborahYanni says:

    My favorite post from you so far! I love how deep and detailed you were with all of the information and as usual your photos are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing all of this.

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Deborah! You’re welcome! Happy to hear you liked it so much! xo.

  46. Rebecca G. says:

    Loved reading this and all the detail you put into it! Do you find it easier for all the accounting stuff to mail all your returns back instead of going in the store if possible? When you say all your receipts have pictures, do you print pictures of each item after you have placed the order?

    Would love to see a makeup tutorial! You always looks flawless!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Rebecca! I have an accountant that sends everything in for me! And my online orders {from like Revolve, ASOS, Nordstrom, Shopbop, etc.} are the ones that have photo’s of each item I purchased on them, and I print them from my account within each website once the order has been placed and then check it against my statement for accounting purposes at the end of the month. Receipts from stores don’t have photo’s. Sorry if that was confusing! xo.

  47. Rachel says:

    What a busy day! Making sure to apply some sort of sunscreen is so important because we’re all constantly prone to the UV rays. On the other hand, blogging is so much work! I recently started keeping files for blogging related purchases, transportation costs, etc. so that when the time comes that I can full-time blog, I have these things already written down!

    Rachel / http://www.seashellsandsparkles.com

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hey Rachel! Yes, get a head start now! That’s what my Dad told me before I even realized what my blog was becoming! You’ve got the right idea 🙂 xo.

  48. Lydia says:

    Enjoyed your post. Thank you for giving us a behind-the-scenes look into your daily life. I’m thankful for you and your career. You have given me the confidence to put together an outfit on my own that I feel good about. I actually enjoy shopping now!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Aww, Lydia. That makes me so happy to hear that I’ve helped you. That’s seriously why I do this and what I’m here for! xo.

  49. Amy says:

    Ok! So I have never completely understood the draw to all these blogs! I found you on Instagram through liketoknowit and I have just recently started stalking… I mean checking out… your blog on the daily! What you do is so fun! I could never be as organized as you! Very cool post 😊

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hahaha Amy, your post cracked me up and made me smile! Thank you so much. I’m glad you’re enjoying S&T 🙂

  50. Tara says:

    Loved this post! So interesting! Would love to see your makeup regimen. Have fun in Charleston, one of my favorite cities!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Thanks, Tara! Will definitely plan on putting that makeup post together for y’all in the next month or so!

  51. Lindsey Reid says:

    Reading this post just made my day! It’s amazing that you have turned this into a legitimate business but still get to express your creativity through fashion. Do you do any blogging workshops in FL?

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Lindsey! I’m so glad you liked reading this post 🙂 I wish I could provide workshops – I just never really thought about it. It takes a lot of coordination and promotion and my schedule is pretty much full at this point. But I feel like there are tons of resources about blogging online these days! xo.

  52. Kadie says:

    Wow! I so appreciate this post. I feel like when other bloggers do these sorts of post they just say, “9-5 work on my blog.” I love that you have honest details! Thanks, girl!!

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hey Kadie! Blogging is definitely not a 9-5. I seriously wonder how many hours a week I work sometimes. It has to be between 65-80. That’s pretty typical of an entrepreneur though! xo.

  53. sara McCallum says:

    What a fantastic post!! Thank you. It was really fun to read. Would love for you to do your makeup post xoxo

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Thanks, Sara! xo.

  54. Deb says:

    This was awesome! Where do you change your clothes between shoots? That’s such a pain! Haha I totally respect all you do and I know how much work it is. Thanks for the post. Xo

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hi Deb! Miguel typically meets me at my apartment, waits outside while I change in between looks! But, for the first few years, I definitely changed in my car!

  55. Lauren says:

    Loved this post! Would definitely like to see a makeup tutorial post 🙂

    1. AlysonHaley says:

      Hey Lauren! Glad you enjoyed it! Noted re: the makeup post! 🙂 xo.

  56. Absolutely loved this post! It’s my dream to be able to take my blog full-time someday just like you did with yours, so it was so fun to see this insider look into your work schedule!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  57. Melissa says:

    This was such a fun post!!

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