House Updates – Year One

Buying Your First House, We bought our first house

In March we celebrated one year in our house. We went from renting a two bedroom apartment to owning a three bedroom 1941 cape cod in the cutest neighborhood. You can read the full post about buying our home here but to summarize it was love at first sight. Brett and I walked in and knew right away that this house was meant for us. One year later and we still feel that way and are so grateful to live here.

Over the past year we have made a couple of updates to the house and plan on making a few more in the near future. The first thing that needed updated was the garage. We have a detached one car garage with a carport. When we moved in the garage door was original to the garage but someone had added an electronic opener at some point. The garage door was too heavy though so it snapped the springs and was unable to open with the electric opener. I wish I would have taken a picture with the old garage door but you can see the new one below.

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Part of the reason we wanted to buy a house was so that I could park in a garage in the winter. In order to make this dream a reality we bought a new garage door and opener. My dad and uncle graciously installed both which was no easy task.

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Before I could park in the garage a workbench needed to be removed to make room for my car. My dad had the idea to turn the old workbench into an outdoor bar! He cut the bench to make it hit at the end of the carport and added a small patio for chairs. For my birthday my dad built four bar stools. We bought outdoor lights and hung up metal signs that we collected on the side of the garage. Now the carport is a cool hang out area and bar for when we have friends and family over.

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There was a concrete slab at the end of our garage where a shed used to stand. My dad designed and built another shed to fit on the slab with a door into our garage. The shed is used to store our lawn mowers and other outdoor necessities. He built shelves on the inside and an area for firewood and chairs to be stored on the outside. He also re-roofed the garage while building the shed.

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We made a small minor updates inside the house but nothing major yet. The main things we hope to accomplish in the next couple of years are building a second bathroom, re-doing our driveway, and replacing the kitchen floor. The interior of the house was recently re-painted and we love the colors so that makes things easy for us!

A big shout out to my dad for making all of these things happen! I have a vision and he always creates a plan and gets things done!

Overall, we are so happy with our purchase and look forward to many more years here!

Have you been working on any house projects lately?

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Five on Friday #9

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Congratulations! You made it to Friday!

It’s been an interesting week. I was really sick last weekend with a nasty cold and it’s hung around pretty much all week. I feel better but still not 100% like myself.

  1. A quick migraine update for those who have followed my journey so far. Things haven’t been great. I’ve head a few more migraines than normal and they are really intense and painful. My neurologist will be upping my medication dosage next month so I’m hoping that will help. For now I’m just taking things day by day.
  2. I’m going to my cousin’s baby shower on Saturday with my mom and grandma. She announced her pregnancy on Christmas and we are very excited to celebrate the baby’s upcoming arrival as a family.
  3. On Sunday we are celebrating Mother’s Day at my grandparent’s house. It’ll be nice to have two family days in a row this weekend! Are you celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend?
  4. I’ve been reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on the Kindle app and I love it so far! I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on it so I put off reading it because I thought I wouldn’t like it. But so far so good. Have you read any good books lately?
  5. I have been feeling really boring lately. Brett has so many things he’s interested in but I feel like my interests are only work, my dog, and blogging. I want to find something else that I’m passionate about.

Do you have any big plans this weekend?

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Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

April According to my iPhone

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April went by so fast! This month we were busy at work finishing up everything before the notorious tax day. My department is always pretty crazy during tax season and this year was no different.

April was also the start of our annual walking challenge at work. The challenge this year is to reach 10,000 steps every day. The team that finishes the challenge with the most points gets an extra vacation day or additional wellness dollars! Extra vacation day for me, please! Oscar is happy about the walking challenge because it means he gets to go for extra walks to help me reach my step goal.

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My bosses bought our team some games this year to play on chill Friday afternoons. One of the games is this giant Jenga set. We usually have 4:01s on Friday after the stock market closes where we unwind by playing a few games of Jenga together. Work hard, play hard. It’s all about balance afterall!

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As always, I spent a ton of time cuddling with my fur babies. Oscar is our dachshund mix and Lucy is our cat. I love how much they love each other too!

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I was heartbroken to watch the Notre Dame fire in Paris. I watched pretty much the whole thing live and felt devastated. I love history and am very lucky to have been able to visit the Notre Dame a few times already. This isn’t necessarily about a building or a church, it’s about living history. Everyone has their own opinions but I’m sad for the people of Paris and am hopeful to be able to see Notre Dame restored at some point.

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Brett has been traveling a ton for work. When he was in Atlanta for a week I made sure to FaceTime him every night so we could catch up and he could talk to Lucy and Oscar.

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Oscar’s first Easter with our family! He was probably living on the streets last year at this time which is really sad to think about. We love our rescue pup so much!

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Here’s a little look into our Easter decor. We hosted Easter dinner for Brett’s family. We used the dining room table (pictured below) to display the food and setup another table in our living room to eat. It turned out great! This was our second Easter in our home.

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Please note that I successfully cooked my first ham! Also note the Easter basket with the two pink eggs. My sister in law did her twin gender reveal on Easter! They are having twin girls and I could not be more excited! Baby shower planning is now in full swing!

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Our best friend graduated from college last weekend! We threw him a surprise graduation party in our backyard and invited all our friends and his family. He thought he was coming over so that I could drive everyone to dinner (professional DD!) but instead he found everyone waiting in our backyard ready to celebrate! It did snow a couple hours after this picture was taken. Michigan is unpredictable!

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I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned it on the blog but my parent’s adopted a dachshund puppy named Bruno in December. He’s a brindle like Oscar and they are best friends. Oscar is on the left and Bruno is on the right! My dad brings Bruno over to our house a lot for puppy play dates!

April was a super busy and super fun month! Looking back at all of these pictures makes me feel like a lot happened in only 30 days. I’m looking forward to the things to come in May including my cousin’s baby shower, Memorial Day weekend, lots and lots of dog walks, and (hopefully) the start of summer weather.

How was your April?

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Five on Friday #8

Five on Friday

Happy Friyay!

I hope that you had a great week and are looking forward to an even better weekend! Because it was the first full week of the month I was super busy preparing client statements and doing account maintenance. The weather is finally getting better in Michigan so I’ve been taking Oscar for walks and it’s motivating me to do more after work. All in all, things are starting to look up!

  1. I bought an Apple Watch last weekend for my work’s upcoming walking challenge. I really love the Apple Watch so far but I still need to figure out how to work a few things! I am hoping that having this watch and doing the walking challenge will help motivate me to continue pushing myself towards my healthy lifestyle goal.
  2. It might finally be nice enough out this weekend to start doing yard work! It also might rain and I will not be raking leaves in the rain haha.
  3. My sister in law is having twins in July or August! They have been trying for the last few years to have a baby and they announced at Christmas that they are expecting twins! I am preparing for the babies in the best way I know how – reading! I’ve read all the articles and blogs on twins that I can find. I’ve been shopping and planning the shower. I seriously can’t wait to hold those little miracles.
  4. I watched the movie Seven with Brett and our friend last week. It was the creepiest movie that I have ever seen and I can’t stop thinking about it. UGH! Have you seen it?
  5. I know I’m behind on the times but I finally started using the Kindle App on my iPhone! I’ve already read two books and know that this will help me increase my reading! I’m really going to miss paper books though so I know that I won’t be reading everything on Kindle. I’m always looking for book recommendations so please let me know if you have any!

How was your week? Do you have any plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Farsai Chaikulngamdee on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019: Second Quarter Goals

Setting goals for 2019

I always enjoy starting a new quarter. Doing quarterly goals really challenges me to accomplish my goal list in a timely fashion. I feel like I accomplish way more this way! I can’t believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2019! I really enjoyed Q1 and am looking forward to a productive and fun Q2.

In case you are new to Life of Hayley, every quarter I set a few new goals for myself. I do this instead of your typical New Years Resolutions and find myself actually accomplishing the goals I set for myself instead of getting to December and realizing I never did anything. This also allows me to set goals throughout the year that are relevant and specific to the time of year.

I hope this inspires you to set some quarterly goals of your own!

  1. Create a self-care routine. I am so bad at self-care. It always feels like such a waste of time when I have a million other important things that need my attention. This quarter I want to focus on myself and creating a self-care routine that I enjoy.
  2. Learn two new recipes to add to our dinner rotation. I hate cooking and am usually happy to eat the same things over and over again. But I have been doing the same dinner rotations for over two years now and I really need to switch things up. I have several cookbooks and I love Pinterest so I’m sure it will be easy to find two new recipes to try!
  3. Start planning out our summer schedule. Summers are always crazy for us! Brett is a huge airshow fan and helps organize a couple in our area. Pretty much every weekend in the summer is spent at airshows. I also want to be able to spend time with family and friends too which has been difficult in the past. We have decided that I’m going to step away from the airshows this year and let Brett go to most of them alone. This means that we will have to carefully plan our time so we still have some weekends together.
  4. Finish my spring cleaning projects. I love organizing my house and spring feels like the perfect time to finish all the little projects that I have been putting off all year like organizing the storage room and cleaning out my car. I love the feeling of a clean and organized house! Plus, this is a great opportunity to re-decorate. You can find my spring cleaning list here.
  5. Get a quote to have our driveway re-done. We were going to build a new bathroom this year in our basement but decided to save money and do it next year. Instead of the building the bathroom we have decided to see how much it would be to have our driveway re-done. We bought our house in the winter so we weren’t really able to see how bad the driveway was. Hopefully getting it re-done is within our budget for the year!
  6. Go shopping and do a spring wardrobe refresh! I wear the same outfits to work every week and it’s gotten really old. I don’t feel great in what I have been wearing and my confidence suffers because of that. I think buying a couple of new pieces to add in will really help! Plus, I am hoping to shed a few more pounds and know that I will need new work pants soon.

I am looking forward to crushing these goals over the next few months! The weather is finally starting to warm up in Michigan and I can almost feel summer approaching! If you didn’t know, summer in Michigan is the most amazing thing ever (I am not biased at all). I can’t wait to spend my days at the lake surrounded by my family.

Do you have any goals that you want to accomplish this quarter?

You can check out my Q1 goals here!

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Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

 

2019 Spring Cleaning List

2019 Spring Cleaning List

We moved into our house in March of 2018 so this is technically our second spring. Last spring we were still trying to unpack and organize our belongings so I didn’t really do any spring cleaning. Plus, the previous owners of our house left it spotless when they moved out. I did a little cleaning before we unpacked but for the most part everything was ready to go.

This year I am already in the process of deep cleaning everything and re-organizing. My house isn’t clean all the time but I do love having everything super organized. I’d love to be one of those people with a clean house all the time.

I’ve been working on my spring cleaning list so I thought it would be fun to share and maybe give you some inspiration for your own spring cleaning!

  1. Clean out and vacuum both Cars
  2. Clean out the garage & shed
  3. Organize the main level guest room aka my “closet” room
  4. Clean out the storage room in the basement
  5. Rake the leaves in the backyard and bag them for spring pickup day
  6. Deep clean the basement entertainment area
  7. Paint both dressers and the desk
  8. Deep clean fridge/freezer
  9. Organize upstairs closet
  10. Organize the coat/cleaning closet
  11. Organize the pantry
  12. Sort items in the dining room hutch
  13. Organize and clean out the kitchen cabinets
  14. Move the furniture and sweep, mop, or vacuum underneath

Will you be doing any spring cleaning this year?

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Photo by Andy Fitzsimon on Unsplash

2019: First Quarter Goals Recap

setting goals for 2019

In January I posted about my goals for the first quarter of 2019. The first three months have flown by and I am about to post my second quarter goals next week. Today I thought I would share how I did with my goals for the first quarter.

  1. Get a professional haircut. Guys! I hate getting my haircut so this still hasn’t happened. I still have this weekend though so I’ll try to force myself to get it cut. Do it for the blog!! I know I’ll feel better after I do.
  2. Travel at least twice. This was an easy one! We took a quick trip to visit Brett’s grandpa in Florida in January and then took a few days in February to visit my grandparent’s in Arizona.
  3. Commit to the blog. I give myself a 70% with this goal. I was pretty consistent with posting but never was able to reach my view goal that I always have in my head. If you read my blogging tips post you would know that I try not to take blogging too seriously so I won’t be hard myself and will consider this goal accomplished.
  4. Read three books and write reviews. YES! I read Meet Cute, All The Bright Places, and Top Ten and was able to write reviews for all three. I also read Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven but haven’t posted the review for it yet. Stay tuned!
  5. Meal plan and prep for the week ahead. I did okay with meal planning and prep. I went to the grocery store and made sure I had work lunches packed 90% of the time. I learned a couple of new recipes that I am loving and stopped relying on my crock pot so much. I still have some work to do with this but I plan on continuing what I have been doing in Q2.
  6. Make healthy living a top priority. Why is this so hard? UGH. I am getting better though. I’ve been losing a couple of pounds a week and have stopped snacking so much in between meals. I think about my goals often and try to be gentle with myself. Healthy living has been my priority and will continue to be throughout the rest of the year.

Stay tuned for my second quarter goals next week! Do you have any goals for the next few months?

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