The Importance of Practicing Self-Care

The Importance of Practicing Self-Care
Hello, my friends!

I have spent the past few weekends learning how to practice self-care. I have never given myself enough time to truly focus on making myself happy. I am always in a rush and when I do have any down time I like to spend it reading or relaxing on the couch. Relaxing is important but I never felt better afterward.

In one of my last posts I talked about my weight gain. What I didn’t really mention were all of the negative things that I brought upon myself because of the weight gain. I hated the way that I looked and the way my clothes fit. I thought punishing myself by squeezing into my old clothes would motivate me to lose weight. Instead I just felt terrible all of the time. My confidence, especially at work, was at an all time low.

A couple of weekends ago I finally had had enough. My mom, sister, and I drove to the outlet mall and I bought all new work pants and jeans. I had no idea how much of an impact those purchases would have on my self esteem. It felt good to not look like I was squished into my pants. I wouldn’t say I felt confident but I did feel better.

The next weekend I decided to spend an hour getting my haircut and eyebrows waxed. It felt so good. I have such thick hair and it grows at such a fast pace. I usually only get my haircut every six months but it was making me unhappy so I decided to change it. You still won’t catch me styling it in any way but at least I can brush it!

Spending a little time on self care is SO important and I am just now realizing that. I have never ever made the time to put myself first. I deserve to be happy and shouldn’t punish myself for the fact that I’ve gained weight.

Do you have any tips for practicing self-care? I’d love to hear them!

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

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The Royal Wedding With The Royal We

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Hey there!

I am back with another book review for all of my bookworm friends out there. You may or may not already know that reading is one of my all time favorite pastimes. If I find a book that I really like I will not put it down until it’s finished.

My favorite book series of all time is Harry Potter. I thought I would never find another book that I could read multiple times without getting bored until I found The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. These two hilarious ladies run the website Go Fug Yourself. Heather and Jessica are actually in London right now to celebrate the Royal Wedding!

Brett bought me this book for Christmas a couple of years ago and I have read it at least 6 times since then. This is a big book but I still got through it in a little over one day because I could not put it down. After I finished it the first time I immediately read it again because it was just that good. I also took it on our honeymoon in London and loved visiting many of the places in the book. We even went to Windsor Castle and walked through the chapel where Meghan and Harry are getting married. So cool!

With the Royal Wedding coming up on Saturday (or today if you’re in the UK!) it is the perfect time to dig into this book that is based very loosely on Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationship. I know that I will be re-reading The Royal We in celebration! I may or may not be drinking a cup of tea in my Royal Wedding cup as well (Homegoods for the win!)

The Royal Wedding, Royal We, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry


The Royal We
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it’s adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall – and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne.

Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she’s had to give up for true love… and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break

 

Bex Porter is an American studying abroad in England who meets and eventually falls in love with the boy across the hall, Nick. This book follows the story of Bex and Nick from the moment they met to their wedding day. If they make it to the wedding that is. 😉

The words flow easily and make this story feel so real. I am still hoping for a sequel! You can tell that Heather and Jessica put a ton of research into this book.

This book is not exactly a true story like I mentioned before. But it does shed a lot of light on customs of the Royal Family and life in England. I studied abroad in London and could relate to many of Bex’s feelings from the first few chapters. Missing home, missing my sister, not quite understanding all of the British customs, etc.

Ever since I read this book I feel like I have a different perspective when it comes to Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. They are always in the spotlight and I can’t even imagine how hard it is to constantly be criticized and talked about. I have a lot of respect for these two women.

It also makes me think about the Royal Wedding. I can’t imagine how much pressure is on Meghan as she prepares for her wedding day. I will be sending lots of positive thoughts her way and hope that she can enjoy her day with Prince Harry!

I honestly love this book so much and would go as far to call it my favorite book! I keep looking for other like it but none even come close.

What are your favorite books? Will you be celebrating the Royal Wedding?

Thanks so much for reading!

 
Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

Things That Make Me Happy

Things That Make Me Happy
Hellllloooo!

Life of Hayley has been a little depressing as of late. I was talking to my husband, Brett, the other night and he said I should make a list of the things that make me happy so when I’m down I can read the list. So here goes nothing!

By the way, this list is not in any kind of order.

  • Our cat, Lucy
  • Summer nights by the bonfire
  • Hanging out with Brett
  • Being at the Lake surrounded by family
  • My parent’s dog, Megan
  • Shopping with my mom and sister
  • British candy
  • Road trips
  • A clean car
  • Freshly baked cookies
  • A completed to-do list
  • Sunday afternoon naps
  • Getting a good deal (on anything)
  • Summer in Michigan
  • My grandma’s banana bread and zucchini cake
  • Traveling (especially around Europe)
  • A good ol’ cup of tea
  • Reading before bed
  • Helping someone when they need it
  • Writing (this blog, a book, who knows?)
  • Boat rides
  • Walking the dog
  • Toddlers
  • Nice people
  • An unexpected “Thank You”
  • Weddings
  • A clean house
  • Fresh sheets
  • Weekends
  • New skin care
  • A full tank of gas
  • Clothes that I feel comfortable in
  • An empty e-mail inbox
  • Coke Slushies
  • FroYo
  • Putting my pajamas on after work
  • Christmas Eve
  • Fireworks
  • Summer car rides with music blaring
  • Home
  • Ikea
  • Reading book reviews
  • Brunch
  • Fresh flowers
  • London, England
  • Our wedding video
  • Collecting vintage tea cups
  • Harry Potter!
  • Art Shows
  • People watching
  • Puppies
  • Trader Joe’s
  • 90’s music
  • Sunflowers
  • Sour candy
  • Friends
  • Going to the beach
  • Camping

That was easier than I thought it would be! I could go on and on but I won’t bore you with the details. Making a list of my favorite things actually did make me feel so much better! Next time I’m feeling down I will come back and read through this to remember my happiness.

And as the saying goes – “It’s a bad day, not a bad life”

Thanks for reading! What are your favorite things?

 
Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Photo by Aleksandr Eremin on Unsplash

I’ve Gained Weight

I've Gained Weight

Hey guys,

I’m back with another post. This may be the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to write but as you can tell from the title….

I’ve gained weight.

That one sentence makes me want to crawl back in bed and not come out for a very long time. I have a very negative relationship with food and weight that makes this topic hard for me to discuss.

The truth is that I am at the highest weight I have ever been. My clothes don’t fit, my skin is stretched out and uncomfortable, and I feel sluggish all the time. I have started my “weight loss journey” at least three times over the past 6 months but it’s hard and I quit because I don’t see any results. The number on the scale just keep growing and growing so I have stopped looking all together.

I can remember a time when stepping on the scale was the highlight of my day. The numbers kept dropping and I was so proud of myself. I thought being in the double digits would be the best thing that would ever happen to me. Luckily for me, I never quite made it to that extreme.

It’s been several years since I was at my lowest weight. I don’t remember consciously making the decision to lose weight all of those years ago. I was just anxious and didn’t ever feel hungry. I started college and gained the typical “freshman 15” which put me back at a healthy weight.

Over the years I have gained and lost weight. When I studied abroad in London I gained about 20 pounds which I was able to lose easily when I came home. I stayed at pretty much the same weight until I got married. I went a bit crazy during the honeymoon and ate whatever I wanted. Since coming back in early September I continued to eat anything and everything. It felt great not having to think about fitting myself into my wedding dress.

I did not realize how big I had gotten until my clothes stopped fitting me all together. When I look in the mirror I can see that I’ve gained weight but I had no idea how much I had actually gained. I went to the doctor and saw the number on the scale and had a small panic moment. I could not believe that this was my reality.

Now I can’t seem to lose the weight. I eat healthy and work out but the numbers on the scale keep getting bigger. I’m not sure if there’s a reason, like hormones or medication, or if I need to try something different. I usually shed a few pounds each summer because my activity level goes up and I eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

This post isn’t about telling you that I have started some crazy new healthy lifestyle. In fact, I am still trying to find the best diet and workout routine that will work for me and my body.

I really just wanted to share my story as someone who has a negative relationship with food. I am trying my best to lose weight in a healthy way and stop any crash dieting that can be harmful to my body.  I know that this journey will take some time and I want to do what is best for me, both physically and mentally.

Let me know if you have any tips or tricks for having a healthy lifestyle! And as always, thanks so much for reading!

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

An Honest Life Update

Anxiety, goodnight
Hello, hello

I can’t sleep so I thought I’d hop on the blog and talk about what’s keeping me awake.

For starters, Brett is off on a boy’s trip to Oregon with his friends and it’s storming in Michigan. He’s tracking the weather from his trip but I’m still missing his constant stream of commentary every time it thunders. I’m having a really hard time sleeping without him even though I am enjoying having all the blankets to myself.

I’m also having some extreme anxiety about work. We are very understaffed at work which has lead me to working many long hours. I am fine putting in a lot of work because I know I am making an impact on our client’s lives but lately I cannot seem to catch up. The work keeps on piling up and even though I am working at a crazy fast pace I still can’t get everything done.

I am a perfectionist which is why I am good at my job. I like to take my time and make sure that everything is correct which is hard to do when I am cramming so many tasks into each day. I keep getting angry at myself that I can’t get more work done. I am physically and mentally exhausted by the time I walk to my car at the end of the day.

Today I also found out that I made a huge mistake back in July of 2017. Everyone keeps telling me that it’ll be okay but the problem is that I can’t even remember making the mistake. I’ve been so busy, angry, and frustrated that I haven’t had the time to dwell on anything.

So now I’m sitting in bed thinking about work and wishing that I had brought home my work laptop so I could get a jumpstart on my to-do list for tomorrow.

Does anyone know the definition of work-life balance? Because clearly I do not.

Tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be better. I want to point out that I do love my job. It’s just busy season and I am still covering a maternity leave. It will get better. I will survive. My team is amazing and I am grateful for this job.

Wish me luck as I try to get some sleep tonight.

Goodnight, my friends! Let me know if you have any tips for falling asleep or anxiety.

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

2018: Second Quarter Goals

2018 Second Quarter Goals
Hello there!

I didn’t think this post was going to happen but here we are. What’s new with you? Are you crushing your 2018 goals?

I am back with another quarterly goal list and I just wanted to mention how first quarter went for me.

The first three months of 2018 went by so quickly. January was a blur of excitement, anxiety, and many, many tears. February featured the birth of my co-worker’s baby which means three months of maternity leave for her. In other words, I am swamped at work but thriving. I am learning every day and my team is simply amazing. March feels like it didn’t even happen. March meant long hours, lots of meals at my desk, and an overflowing calendar. In other words, tax season. It’s been a rough three months but I am grateful every day for the opportunities that have been thrown my way.

We are almost one month down for the first quarter. I still can’t believe how fast this year is going! Can time just please slow down a bit?!

So, here are a few of the things I am hoping to accomplish during what is left of the second quarter.

  1. Create healthy habits. What does a healthy lifestyle look like for me? I am still trying to figure this out but I will not stop until I have the answers that I am looking for. I don’t like what I see in the mirror and I am going to change that. Baby steps are needed but little by little I will get to where I want to be.
  2. Family First. My grandparents are back from Arizona which means that summer is right around the corner. I want to spend as much time as I can with my family. I want to go camping, spend days at the lake, and just enjoy as much time as I can with the people that I love most.
  3. Make our house a home. If you didn’t read my last post, Brett and I bought a house and moved in last month! We are so excited to decorate and really turn this house into our own home. We have dreamed of this for so long and still can’t believe that this is our reality. This is the beginning of another chapter in our story.
  4. Me Time. I find myself putting other people first a lot of the time. I often forget to take care of myself. I want to find time to do things that help myself like get a haircut and buy some clothes that will flatter my new, curvier figure. I have spent so much time the last couple of months being really negative about my body so I need to spend some time on making myself better from the inside out.
  5. Blogging. Is this still a thing? Does Life of Hayley even exist or matter? It’s time to figure it out. Maybe I will never be full time writer or have the most pin worthy posts but sharing pieces of my story impacts my life is a positive way. I need to figure out a way to make this blog work. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 🙂
  6. Get my head in the game. A huge thing that is holding me back is my health. I mentioned in a recent post that my headaches and migraines have been getting worse. It’s miserable. I have an appointment with my neurologist in mid May. I am hoping to discuss some next steps with him that could improve my quality of life. Right now I feel like I am just trying to make it through each day in one piece.

Wow, I had a lot to say. I sometimes forget how much I love having an outlet for all of these thoughts that usually just bounce around in my head.

I would love to hear from you so please comment below with questions, words of encouragement, or just a simple “hello”. I love to hear from you.

As always, thank you so much for reading. Hopefully I will be back soon with more. 🙂

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

We Bought Our First House!

Buying Your First House, We bought our first house

 

Hey, hey.

In my last post I mentioned that I had some exciting news to share! So here we go….

*Drum Roll*

Brett and I bought our first house!

In my first quarter goals I wrote about looking for our first house but I never expected to make an offer, have the offer accepted, and move in all before the end of March. I would say that we are lucky but it wasn’t all luck. We worked SO hard to be able to buy this house. It took a lot of dedication and teamwork to be able to afford a house at our age. We are grateful to continue our story together in our first house!

Here’s the story of our first house:

In early January I found a house online that I loved right away. Brett was a little hesitant but agreed to go look. We weren’t really looking to buy right away since we just signed a new lease in December. We saw the house, Brett fell in love, but someone else put in an offer and it got accepted. The house changed to pending.

Fast forward two weeks and the house came back on the market. We went again to look but I still had some anxiety about making an offer. We slept on it and the next morning had our realtor put in our offer. Right off the bat we knew that the house needed a new roof so we planned for that expense in our offer.

24 hours later and we still hadn’t heard from the sellers. It turns out another couple made a similar offer so the seller’s realtor asked us for our best and final offer. At this point Brett and I are both kind of over the house. We put in our final offer and pretty much knew we aren’t going to get the house.

I can remember sitting on the couch the night we made our final offer. I was browsing Zillow on my laptop when I came across this adorable 1941 Cape Cod in our dream neighborhood. It felt like fate.

The next morning we got the news that our offer on the first house did not get accepted. It was a weird feeling because I did really like that house and could imagine us living there for a long time. I was also happy because I wanted to see that Cape Cod that I found on Zillow. I texted the MLS number to our realtor right away.

48 hours later I hurried to the Cape Cod after work for our viewing. We brought my parents, sister, and our friend to help us make the decision. Right away Brett and I both knew that this was the house for us. There was no anxiety or second thoughts. We made an offer right away.

3 hours later the sellers accepted our offer and we broke out a bottle of wine to celebrate! We closed on March 5th and officially moved in on March 10th. Brett and I are overjoyed with the house.

We still have a lot of things to do and boxes to unpack but the house is coming along perfectly. We have already hosted a few cookouts on our back deck and have enjoyed many walks in our new neighborhood. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our little family.

This is the beginning of a new chapter in the Life of Hayley (and Brett) and I could not be any more excited. I will try to share some pictures along the way but for now it is mostly half unpacked boxes and empty walls.

Thanks for reading!

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley