Five on Friday #18

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It’s finally Friday and I couldn’t be happier! This week was so busy for me, mostly because it was the end of the month and end of the first quarter so work was incredibly crazy. I’m happy to be busy though because I’m not feeling bored while quarantined.

Without further ado, here are five random things for your Friday morning.

  1. I received my spring FabFitFun box a couple of months ago but I just started using the Gravity weighted sleep mask that was in my box. I think many people were disappointed with this product because we have seen a few eye masks from FabFitFun already. However, I am a big fan of eye masks because they are really helpful when I have migraines and need to block out all the light. I’ve been sleeping with this one this week and the weight is so comforting! It sounds weird but wearing this eye mask is soothing and I fall asleep really quickly!
  2. This was my first full week of being quarantined and I think it went really well. I have my normal work setup at home so it’s not super difficult for me. We have a great phone system that allows us to work remotely and have video conferences easily so that hasn’t been an issue at all. How are things going for you?
  3. I’ve been loving cooking dinner lately! I’m trying to be more creative with meals now that we are exclusively eating at home. I got a few Keto cookbooks for Christmas from my mom this year so I’ve been using those in addition to just making recipes up as I go. My favorite Keto cookbook is this one by Amy Ramos which is usually under $10 on Amazon!
  4. If you knew me in real life you’d know that I pretty much always have a Sparkling Ice water in my hand. I’ve loved them for years and drink at least one a day. I don’t eat sugar so these are my sweet treat and a great substitute for soft drinks. When I was visiting my sister in New Hampshire I tried the Sparking Ice + Caffeine waters and they were a game changer! I don’t drink coffee but every once in awhile I need a little caffeine. I can’t buy them at any stores around me but I did find them on Amazon. The Blue Raspberry is my favorite!
  5. I have been loving watching YouTube lately. For three years Brett and I only owned one TV which was fine by me but I got used to not ever watching the TV so instead I’d watch YouTube. I like to play videos when I’m cooking, cleaning, writing, etc. I recently discovered Jen Chapin and I love her grocery hauls, meal prep, and day in the life videos. She really inspires me to create a healthy work-life balance.

I usually share my weekend plans in these posts but these days I have nothing going on. I have to admit, I am enjoying my one-on-one time with Brett. It feels like everyday is a date while we are eating our meals together and watching movies. I’m really glad to have some time to just spend with him.

Do you have any plans for this weekend? What are you loving lately?

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Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

2020: First Quarter Goals Recap

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I think we all can agree that the first quarter of 2020 didn’t turn out exactly the way we expected it to. I already threw out my 2020 goals for my professional life but these personal first quarter goals still seem relevant and I want to keep track of how I did.

You can read my full 2020 Q1 goals post here.

  1. Take better care of myself. I think I did okay at taking care of myself but I’ve never been good at it. I always tend to put others first and that really hurts my mental and emotional state. Q1 was really stressful and I didn’t make time for friends or prioritizing “me” time. I’ll try to learn from this and do better the rest of the year.
  2. Spend less time on my phone. I stayed really busy in Q1 so that helped keep my screen time low. However, I did watch a lot of YouTube videos and listen to music and podcasts which I count as phone time.
  3. Listen to more podcasts. I was hoping to listen to a ton of podcasts at work in Q1 but this was before I started my new role which didn’t leave any time for podcasts. It’s hard to listen to anything while training in a new role so I failed at this one but that’s okay.
  4. Focus on learning and growing at work. Ugh. It’s so funny that I added this as a goal! I went into 2020 feeling so confident about my job and ready to take on the world. I have to laugh at how hard that got thrown back in my face. I learned a lot but I feel a lot less confident and happy in my role. I’m questioning everything and wondering if maybe it’s time for a change of career. We will see how the rest of 2020 goes career wise.
  5. Finish 3 months of Keto. I successfully did keto for about 10 weeks and lost 15 pounds! I have fallen off the wagon a little due to the pandemic and being unable to have access to meat and vegetables the way I used to. We are trying to eat from our pantry and freezer but I’m still super mindful about what I’m eating and feel really good! I’m looking forward to continuing with the ketogenic lifestyle.
  6. Spend more time tidying and less time cleaning. Yes! I am counting this as a success! My house will never be perfect but I feel really good about the amount of time I spent cleaning this quarter. I used to spend the whole weekend deep cleaning my house and it was so stressful. This quarter I focused on tidying as I went so I could relax more on Saturday and Sunday.
  7. Schedule all of my annual health appointments. I failed at this but I had my reasons! First of all, I felt like I couldn’t leave work the way I used to because I was training on such a tight schedule. Then I finally made my appointments for after my sister’s wedding and we came home and Michigan shut down so all of my appointments were cancelled and re-scheduled. I’ll try again in Q2.

I’m not beating myself up about the failure of Q1 and I hope that the rest of 2020 is better. We are living through such a weird time right now and we just have to give ourselves some grace. Things are not going to go according to plan and we have to accept that.

Setting quarterly goals has never been about being so strict with myself that I can’t enjoy life. I set these goals knowing that I will have to be flexible and just go with the flow. I want a good balance of accountability and flexibility.

How were the first three months of 2020 for you? Did you set any goals for yourself?

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Love in the Time of Quarantine

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A few years ago my family lost someone very important to them unexpectantly. The loss came out of nowhere and we carried our grief for a long time. I had so many regrets swirling around inside of me about what I wish I would have said to this person. How I wished that they knew that I cared about them and believed in them. But it was too late and I couldn’t say any of those things.

From this loss I learned a really important lesson. Always say how you feel and always say “I love you”.

Brett and I have been together for almost nine years, married for almost three. He’s my person but sometimes he’s also the person who annoys me most in the world. Our marriage isn’t perfect but I learned the hard way to always, always say “I love you.”

Every morning when I leave for work I make sure it’s the last thing I say to him. That’s how we end every single phone call. He texts me that he’s leaving work and I text right back “Drive safe. I love you!” Those are the last words I hear before falling asleep every night. Even if we are mad at each other we always make sure to say “I love you” and mean it.

My family has always been very loving. Every phone call with my mom or my sister ends with “I luhhhh you, boo boo”. There will never be a question on if we loved each other or not.

In these scary times I think it is especially important to let people know how you feel about them. I am very aware of this and try not to take any day together or conversation for granted. We might not be able to leave our homes right now but we can still call, text, or facetime our loved ones and check in on them.

Have you told someone that you loved them today?

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How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

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Book reviews are some of my favorite posts to read and write. I love finding new books to add to my reading list based on the suggestions of other people. This is actually my first book review of 2020 even though I have read a few other books. The whole time I was reading How to Stop Time by Matt Haig I was thinking that I would without a doubt give this book 5 stars if I did a review.

Summary:

Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages—and for the ages—about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

Review:

I originally bought the Kindle version of How to Stop Time in December but didn’t start reading it until March. I bought it during a Kindle sale and then forgot about it and I’m sad it took me this long to read it! Once I started I could not put it down. I needed to figure out how it was going to end.

I loved the different periods of time that were featured in this book. I feel like the author did a lot of research but I’m not an expert so some things may have been historically inaccurate. However, Tom meets so many figures from history that we all know about and it’s really interesting to see how his character develops over the centuries with the different roles he has to play in order to fit in.

One moment in this book really stood out to me though. In Tom’s first life he falls in love with a woman named Rose. I don’t want to spoil it but this is the time of the plague in Europe. This setting feels very similar to what we are currently going through with this pandemic. The thought of these similar situations has weighed heavily on my heart and my mind.

Favorite Quotes:

“Whenever I see someone reading a book, especially if it is someone I don’t expect, I feel civilisation has become a little safer.”

“People you love never die. That is what Omai had said, all those years ago. And he was right. They don’t die. Not completely. They live in your mind, the way they always lived inside you. You keep their light alive. If you remember them well enough, they can still guide you, like the shine of long-extinguished stars could guide ships in unfamiliar waters.”

“This is so often the way with life. You spend so much time waiting for something – a person, a feeling, a piece of information – that you can’t quite absorb it when it is in front of you. The hole is so used to being a hole it doesn’t know how to close itself.”

“And yet we had done what so often happened in the proud history of geographic discovery. We had found paradise. And then we had set it on fire.”

“Everything in life is uncertain. That is how you know you are existing in the world, the uncertainty. Of course, this is why we sometimes want to return to the past, because we know it, or think we do. It’s a song we’ve heard.”

My Rating: 5 Stars

I loved this book! Every page, every life, every story had so much meaning. I feel like I learned a lot about life and how to make the most out of bad situations which is incredibly important right now. How to Stop Time has been added to my top 10 books of all time that I’ve read. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to re-reading it again this week.

Have you read any good books lately? I think I’ll be reading a lot more now that I can’t leave my house.

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Five on Friday #17

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It’s finally Friday!

It has been such a long time since my last blog post and I have a million reasons why I haven’t been on here since. Today is my first day working 80% from home due to the Corona virus. I’ve mentioned before that I work in finance so you can imagine how scary and challenging the past couple of weeks have been as we have all watched the stock market tank.

I will still be going into work every day for about an hour and a half. Only a few other people will be there including security and our executive leaders. I am considered an essential role and there are a few responsibilities that I’m unable to do at home. I will complete those responsibilities in the office and work from home the rest of the day.

I’m sure we all have a lot on our minds so here’s five random things to lighten your Friday.

  1. My sister got married on March 7th in Maine! My family was able to fly out and be with her for 6 days to celebrate her wedding. It was a small gathering on the Naval base and I was honored to stand next to her as her Matron of Honor. I’ll share pictures soon!
  2. I got my Spring 2020 FabFitFun box and it was full of some really great products. I am became a FFF member as a birthday gift to myself and I have loved all of the boxes so far! My favorite product in this box was the packing cubes! I already used them for my trip to Maine.
  3. I fell off of the Keto wagon a bit during our trip for the wedding. I did really good up until the last day when I really just wanted some fish and chips and ice cream. I’m trying to get back on track but I’m still having lingering sugar cravings and headaches.
  4. Is anyone else looking forward to a chill weekend at home? We are always busy so it will be nice to just spend some time with Brett.
  5. I read an amazing book this week called How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. I haven’t been super into reading lately but this book was addicting. It’s about a man who has a condition were he ages very slowly. The concept isn’t new but this book takes your through what was going on in history during his life. It was very interesting!

How are you feeling with this pandemic? Do you have any plans this weekend while you are social distancing?

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Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash

The Body Image Struggle

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When I was in high school I dated this guy who was really tall and skinny. One day someone asked me “does it bother you that you weigh more than your boyfriend?”. The thought had never even crossed my mind before that moment and looking back there’s no way that I weighed more than him. However, that one question haunted me and I made it my mission to be smaller than this boyfriend.

I don’t want to get into all of the details about this point in my life but it’s been 11 years and I still think about this question all the time. The question sent me into a spiral of body image issues that I still haven’t been able to fully recover from. 11 years ago I lost 20 pounds very quickly and still hated the way I looked. I basically starved myself and still couldn’t look in the mirror.

I think that body image is an issue that most people struggle with. I gained a lot of weight a couple of years ago but have worked really hard to remind myself that my weight is not a measure of my worth. Most days I do pretty good but some days I’m taken back to when I was 15 and someone compared me to my boyfriend.

On Saturday I went shopping for my Matron of Honor dress for my sister’s wedding. I’ve lost about 12 pounds in the past 6 weeks by eating healthy and moving my body. I’ve tried to keep this health journey really positive but the sight of me in a bridesmaid dress sent me back to a really dark place and I’ve had a hard time pulling myself out of it.

I’ve made so much progress in my body image journey but this proves that I still have work to do. I need to make decisions based on what’s best for my body and not the number on the scale or the image that I see in the mirror.

11 years ago I was asked a question that dramatically changed my outlook on life. Let this be a reminder that the words you say matter.

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Six Years of Blogging!

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November 21st, 2019 marked six years since I began writing Life of Hayley! I can’t believe that this incredible journey began with one badly written post that I typed up in my sophomore dorm room.

I had just turned 20 when I decided that I wanted to blog “for real”. I had a blog the year before for my freshman English class and I loved it! I’ve always been a writer and had given some serious thought to being a journalism major in college but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Having a blog has fulfilled my love of writing and has given me something to be truly passionate about.

I’ve come a long way in six years. I’ve learned to embrace being an introvert and all of the awkward things that come along with it. I’ve made some great internet friends and have enjoyed following along with their journeys. I’ve graduated from college, found a job, and have gotten married! I’ve lived in London and traveled all over.

The one constant thing in my life over these six years has been this. Sitting down and typing out my thoughts and feelings for anyone to read. Writing has been my therapy and you have been my friends.

Thank you all for an amazing six years! I’m looking forward to many more to come.

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Photo by Sagar Patil on Unsplash