2018: The Good, Bad, and The Ugly

2018 re-cap

 

Hey friends!

2019 is here but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2018. I had a conversation with some friends awhile ago about how 2018 had not been that great of a year for me. It was a year of struggling. Struggling with work, pain, and loneliness. Struggling with trying to find myself, accepting who I am, and trying to figure out what healthy means to me.

In this post I am sharing a list of things I did in 2018. It’s easy to look at this list and see only the positive things. I had Brett read it before posting because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming off as braggy. Here’s the thing to remember though, I accomplished a lot this year between my personal and professional life but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I had a headache or migraine every single day in 2018.

So when you look at this and every other blogger’s 2018 re-cap I urge you to remember that it’s not perfect all the time. I urge you to not compare your list with other’s. Because my list looks perfect but I can assure you that it’s not.

Without further ado here’s my list of what my life consisted of in 2018.

In 2018 I….

  • Celebrated 5 years of blogging
  • Bought a house
  • Adopted Oscar from the animal shelter
  • Got promoted
  • Crossed Rome off of my travel Bucketlist
  • Traveled to Paris for the third time
  • Celebrated one year of marriage with Brett
  • Surpassed my goal of reading 12 books in a year
  • Found a new Neurologist
  • Saw John Legend perform a private concert at my work party on the same day as my 25th birthday
  • Started a “House Fund” to save for building a new bathroom and re-doing our driveway
  • Spent a weekend in Traverse City with friends
  • Fell in love with decorating our house
  • Celebrated two years at my job
  • Helped my parents pick out a new puppy
  • Celebrated eight years of kitten motherhood
  • Turned 25 and reflected on my 25 before 25 list
  • Covered a three month long maternity leave at work
  • Started a new medicine that made me insanely sick
  • Stopped taking said medicine and started feeling much better
  • Lost 10 pounds
  • Focused more on self-love and less on the scale
  • Struggled with finding work-life balance
  • Fell in love with reading again
  • Spent more time with family
  • Struggled a lot with feeling sad and lonely
  • Accepted my introvert tendencies and tried to learn how to work with them instead of against them
  • Found a wonderful and supportive group of blogger friends
  • Went to countless airshows with Brett
  • Traveled around Michigan and other nearby states
  • Came to the conclusion that life really is better with a dog
  • Started blogging regularly (for the most part!)
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Like I mentioned before, it’s easy to look at this list and only see the good. But 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life. I learned valuable lessons and tried to share my life with others in a positive way. I never want to be the person on social media who someone compares their life to.

My 2019 1st Quarter goals will be up soon. I’m going to continue doing quarterly goals instead of yearly goals because I really do think that they work better for me.

What are your goals for 2019? And how do you feel 2018 went for you?

Thanks for reading!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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2018: Fourth Quarter Goals

2018 goals

Hey friends!

Woah… this year has gone by so quickly! I can’t believe it’s already time for another set of quarterly goals. This is the final quarter of 2018 and I really need to make every second count. So far it has been an exciting and challenging year. I’m looking forward to 2019 but I’m not quite ready for 2018 to be over yet.

Third quarter was probably my favorite so far this year! We slowed down a bit at work so I got to enjoy more time off and normal work hours. Brett and I traveled a lot and spent time with our family and friends. I got a lot done in the last three months so I feel good about going into the final months of 2018.

  1. Pass a certification class. I’m in the process of taking a class for work and the certification test is in December. If I pass I will earn my very first finance certification. My goal is to pass the first time which means I really need to get to studying!
  2. Write 2 blog posts per week. It’s time I make blogging more of a priority. I want to grow this space going into 2019. It’s been almost 5 years since I started this blog and I’ve only recently started to take it seriously. I’d love to create a content calendar and some sort of schedule.
  3. Do a complete wardrobe refresh. I am in desperate need of new clothes for the fall and winter seasons. I need jeans, sweaters, jackets, and boots to get me through the upcoming colder weather. I made a Thred-Up order so I’m hoping that some of those items will work out.
  4. Explore Rome with Brett. I am SO excited to be visiting Rome in October! I have wanted to travel to Rome since I was a young girl watching the Lizzie McGuire Movie and I finally get to go. I’m going to try not to worry too much about my diet and just enjoy my time in Italy.
  5. Live it up for my 25th Birthday! I have been talking about my 25th birthday for a while now. This whole blog started as a way to capture my life from 20 to 25. My work is having their 20th Anniversary Gala on my birthday so I’m excited to wear a fancy dress and celebrate with my co-workers and Brett.
  6. Celebrate 5 years of blogging! I’m turning 25 which means Life of Hayley is turning 5! The past five years flew by and I’m excited to share my blogging highlights with you in November. I have captured most of my adult life on this blog and that makes me incredibly proud and happy.
  7. Put 50% of my holiday bonus into our savings account. My work is awesome and gives out holiday bonuses every year as profit sharing. I feel so lucky each time I receive a bonus and always save the majority of it for future purchases. We added my 2017 bonus to our down payment this year for our house!

Interested in the rest of my quarterly 2018 goals? Check out these posts! Q1, Q2, Q3.

Thanks for reading!

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Our Wedding Playlist – 100+ Must Play Wedding Songs

100+ Wedding Playlist Songs

Hey friends,

We are headed to a friend’s wedding this weekend so in honor of that I thought I would share our wedding playlist!

Music has always been my thing. I used to love making CDs of all of my favorite songs for my friends and family. Every single road trip or event had it’s own playlist and I would spend hours planning the order of each song.

Our wedding was the highlight of my playlist-creating career and I dedicated hours planning each and every song that I wanted to be played. I wanted the music before the ceremony to be very touching but still fun. We really didn’t want a super serious wedding but wanted every second to be heartfelt.

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I have a super clear memory of standing at the end of the path and watching through the trees as Brett walked my grandmas and our moms down the aisle. He couldn’t see me but I could see him. He had the biggest smile on his face! Then I watched as each member of our wedding party left ahead of me and my dad. I had so many butterflies!

When it was my turn to walk down the aisle with my dad I felt so lucky. My dad had foot surgery the week before the wedding so I knew he was in pain but he acted like there was no place he would rather be. I went into my marriage with no seconds thoughts, no cold feet.

I hope this list helps you plan the perfect songs for your big day!

Pre-Ceremony:

  • White Dress – Ben Rector
  • Lucky – Jason Mraz, Colbie Calliat
  • This – Darius Rucker
  • Grow Old With Me – John Lennon
  • Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  • Everything – Michael Buble
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys

Ceremony:

  • Parent’s Entrance w/ Brett: I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
  • Bridal Party Entrance: Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Bride’s Entrance: Forever Like That – Ben Rector

Recessional:

  • Waiting – Green Day
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers

Wedding Party Entrance:

  • I’ll Be there for you – The Rembrandts

First Dance:

  • Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Father-Daughter Dance:

  • Wildflowers -Tom Petty

Mother-Son Dance:

  • Forever Young – Rod Stewart

Mom and Dad Dance (25th Wedding Anniversary):

  • Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

Cake Cutting:

  • Good Life – One Republic

Bouquet Toss:

  • Where Them Girls At – David Guetta

Garter Toss:

  • The Boys Are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy

Must Play:

  • Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  • What I Like About You – The Romantics
  • Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  • Drink Up – Train
  • First Date – Blink 182
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • American Girl – Tom Petty
  • Closing Time – Semisonic
  • Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  • Cheap Thrills – Sia
  • YMCA – The Village People
  • Love Shack – B-52s
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
  • Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  • Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
  • (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) – Beastie Boys
  • All Summer Long – Kid Rock
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
  • Wanted – Hunter Hayes
  • Yeah! – Usher
  • God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  • Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
  • Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
  • Starships – Nicki Manaj
  • The Nights – Avvici
  • Lighters – ft. Bruno Mars
  • Old Time Rockin Roll – Bob Seeger
  • Closer – Chainsmokers
  • Shut up and Dance – Walk the moon
  • Tik Tok – Ke$ha
  • Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO
  • Timber – Pitbull/Ke$ha
  • Something Just like This – Chainsmokers and Coldplay
  • Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  • Wannabe – Spice Girls
  • Bye Bye Bye –NSYNC
  • Oops!… I did it Again – Britney Spears
  • Fancy – Iggy
  • Piano Man – Billy Joel
  • Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
  • I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes
  • Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
  • Lean On Me – Bill Withers
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Africa – Toto
  • Only Time – Enya
  • Kyrie – Mister Mister
  • It’s Tricky – Run DMC
  • Hey Ya – Outkast
  • Cupid’s Shuffle
  • Chicken dance
  • Cha Cha Slide
  • Once In A Lifetime – Landon Austin
  • Forever Like That – Ben Rector
  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
  • Best Day of my Life – American Authors
  • Brand New – Ben Rector

Last Song:

  • Good Riddance (Time of your Life) – Green Day

We also had our DJ play requests during the reception which was a lot of fun! If you can, take the time to meet with your DJ in person before the wedding to talk about your music taste and how you want the reception to feel. I found this meeting very helpful!

Let me know if there are any songs that you would add to your wedding playlist!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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I Was Nominated for the Liebster Award!

liebsteraward

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend!

My good friend Tiffany from Beutiflee nominated me for the Liebster Award! If you haven’t heard of Tiffany be sure to check out her blog! She posts the most beautiful and inspiring blog posts that I always love reading!

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. You get nominated for it, then you nominate others. It is fun idea and is perfect for beginner (and expert) bloggers to connect with other people in the blogging community.

The Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

Tiffany’s Questions:

  1. What is your favorite comfort foods?
    My favorite comfort food is Qdoba chicken quesadillas with Dr. Pepper. So unhealthy but delicious! I also love Culver’s chocolate custard with peanut butter syrup and peanut butter cups. Yummmmmm
  2. Where are you from?
    I am from a small town in Southwest Michigan.
  3. What was the last adventurous thing you did?
    The last adventurous thing I did was fly stand-by to New York to visit my sister. We had to fly to Connecticut and drive because we didn’t make the flight to Albany!
  4. What’s the last movie you’ve seen?
    The last movie I watched was To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix. It was amazing! You can read my review of the book here.
  5. What do you enjoy most about the summer?
    I thing I enjoy most about summer is visiting my Grandparents at the lake. I love spending time catching up with them.
  6. What’s one goal(s) you reached so far for 2018?
    Buying a house and adopting a puppy!!
  7. What’s your favorite sports?
    Fun Fact – I am terrible at sports!! I was in the marching band though which totally counts as a sport!
  8. Where’s waldo? (LOL!)
    Hmmmmmm……. he’s probably off on another adventure 🙂
  9. What’s your favorite book to read, thus far?
    My favorite books are all of the Harry Potter books but I also love the Royal We!
  10. How many pets do you have?
    1 cat (Lucy) and 1 dog (Oscar)
  11. Can’t think of anymore questions! (LOL!)

Random Facts About Me:

  1. I have a “Holiday Tree” in my cubicle at work that I decorate for each season with my co-workers.
  2. I hate having a messy kitchen. The rest of my house can be a disaster but my kitchen must be clean.
  3. I’m afraid of mowing the lawn. My dad told me about a puppy being ran over by a lawn mower when I was little and it scared me for life. I really need to face this fear.
  4. I really hate driving in the winter.
  5. I love to travel but I am also a homebody.
  6. I have always wanted to learn how to do calligraphy
  7. I love planning events!
  8. I love home décor but I hate changing around the decorations in my house. Once I get a room the way I want it I don’t change it except for holidays.
  9. Speaking of home décor, we had a ton of dachshund decorations before we adopted Oscar. I have always thought that doxies are adorable!
  10. I only drink water 98% of the time. I will occasionally drink a glass of wine, a coke slushie, or tea.
  11. London is my favorite city to visit! I studied abroad there in 2015 and visited again in 2017 for our honeymoon. I can’t wait to go back!!

My Nominations:

Cup of Maggie
Cheeky Intuition
With Every Good Wish!
Reading Under The Blankie
Maddy’s Digital Diary
The Abiding Tourist
Rosie Culture
Chanelle Hayley
Life with Lauren Blog
Strikeouts + Sprinkles
Rejoicing In Hope

My Questions:

  1. What genre of music would you play if you had your own radio station?
  2. What’s your favorite place that you have ever visited?
  3. What is one thing that you cannot live without?
  4. Do you consider yourself to be more introverted or extroverted? Or a combination of both?
  5. What is your dream job?
  6. What is the first thing that you would do if you won the lottery?
  7. What is your favorite food?
  8. What are three words that best describe you?
  9. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  10. Why do you blog?
  11. What is the number one destination on your bucket list?

I always love reading these posts and I hope you do too! Thanks so much for reading and thanks again to Tiffany for the nomination!

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Summer 2018 – What I Read

summer 2018 reading list

Hellloooo!

I keep talking about books and reading on the blog. I have always loved reading but just didn’t have the time in college to read for fun. After graduating I really wanted to get back into reading and this summer I was able to fall back in love with books. I’ve been sharing a few book reviews but I wanted to share the whole list of books that I read this summer.

Just a side note, please let me know if you’d like full reviews on any of these books. I did review To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and 99 Days if you want more information on those. I have a hard time finishing books that I don’t like so I can honestly say that I would recommend every one of these.

  1. Empty Mansions – Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.
  2. Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch
  3. 99 Days – Katie Cotugno
  4. 9 Days and 9 Nights – Katie Cotugno
  5. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
  6. P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han
  7. Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han
  8. I See London, I See France – Sarah Mlynowski
  9. Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum
  10. Wanderlost – Jen Malone
  11. My Life Next Door – Huntley Fitzpatrick
  12. The Boy Most Likely To – Huntley Fitzpatrick

I think this is pretty good considering my goal was to read 1 book per month! I started a few other books but didn’t like them so I didn’t finish reading them.

What were your favorite books that you read this summer?

Thanks for reading!

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Recharging the “Introvert Battery”

Introvert Recharge

Happy Friday!

I don’t know about you but I am exhausted! I have been going nonstop lately and I am in desperate need of a break.

“What’s an introvert battery?” you ask. Great question! I don’t know if this a real term but it’s something I use to explain how I feel. If I know I’m going to be in social situations I spend some time alone to recharge my “battery” before needing to talk and interact with people. After I’m done interacting I go home and sit to recharge myself for the next outing. Being social takes all of my energy sometimes.

I’ve talked many times about being an introvert and one of my most prominent introvert tendencies is the need for alone time. I have had very little alone time as of late and need to recharge my battery. By recharge I mean not be around people for awhile.

I hate being “on” all of the time and I need to switch myself “off” for a while. I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately just because I feel so overwhelmed right now. It’s so hard to explain this to people who don’t experience the same feelings of anxiety towards social situations. Brett tries really hard to understand but he loves being around people so he struggles to realize that I can’t do as much as he can.

Sometimes I wish I could have a personality transfer because these periods of my life suck. It makes me feel selfish and ungrateful when I have to say no to friends and family that want to see me. But if I don’t recharge soon I will crash. I’ve crashed a few times before and it’s not fun and I end up feeling guilty about it for days. Our wedding day took a full introvert battery and I crashed at the end of the night because I was so overwhelmed and exhausted.

Do you ever feel this way too?

Thanks for reading!

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Dealing With Bad Roommates in College

Dealing With Bad Roommates in College

Hey, friends!

I had way too many bad roommates in college. By sophomore year I thought that I deserved to finally have a good roommate. But fate played a cruel trick on me and made sophomore year ten times worse than freshman.

My freshman year ended with me choosing to live in the same dorm for the next year. I picked a room right down the hall from where I lived and threw myself into the roommate pool. My university had us take surveys to match us with a roommate and I answered very honestly.

I found out my match about a month before move in. I e-mailed her right away to introduce myself but never heard back. I couldn’t find anything out about her on social media but I am a pro internet searcher so right before we moved in I was able to find her. Turns out, she didn’t go by her actual name and instead went by a “stage name”.

Let’s call roommate “P” for the sake of the story. P had already moved into our room when I got there. Our dorm was pretty cool because we had two rooms. The first room had to be walked through to get to the second. P picked the room in the back.

I have no idea how long she had lived there when I moved in but the room was disgusting by the time I moved in. There was trash everywhere and it smelled horrible! My mom and I tried to introduce ourselves but she didn’t move from her bed or acknowledge us. I thought it would get better.

I moved all of my stuff in and got settled. P slept during the day and hardly left the room. I wondered if she went to any classes. I swear she slept with her eyes open too. There was a door separating our rooms but she refused to shut it even when I wanted to change or sleep. At night she’d blare her TV which was against the same wall as my bed. I tried to ask her to turn it down or shut the door but she was super rude about it and I hate confrontation.

My mom works at my university but I hated using her for anything. I didn’t want any special treatment. I went straight to the hall director and he explained to me that I had to stay in that room for two full weeks before I could petition to move rooms. I was devastated.

The more I stayed in the room the more I felt unsafe. I couldn’t sleep, study, or relax in that room. I tried to talk to my RA who came to our room to mediate but it was a joke. My RA actually seemed scared of P and the mediation only made things worse for me.

The hall director gave me two options after my two weeks were up. 1. Move to a single room and pay an extra $2,500 per semester or 2. Choose the only remaining room needing a roommate. I chose the roommate.

This post is already super long so please let me know if you want to hear about Roommate #2. Let’s just say that she was the exact opposite of me in every single way.

I don’t want this post to be negative or to scare you away from having a roommate. I know a ton of people who met their best friends in college and I wish that was true for me. Take the chance on a roommate! Even if it turns out bad then at least you tried and had the experience of living with a roommate

If you are about to start your freshman year I really urge you to take a chance and say yes to new opportunities. You honestly never know when something great will happen and it’s better to put yourself out there then regret not doing anything.

If you are in a bad situation make sure you ask for help. I wish P and I could have resolved our issues but she really didn’t want anything to do with me and that’s okay. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s a life lesson that I needed to learn. It’s not okay to treat someone the way she treated me and I’m usually not a quitter. But in this case, I needed to remove myself from the situation in order to feel safe.

Just remember that you never know what someone else is going through. I try not to think too negatively about P because I have no idea what was going on in her life at the time. It was still no excuse to treat me the way that she did but I still wish her the best.

Let me know what your roommate experiences were like!

Thanks for reading!

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