My Legendary 25th Birthday!

John Legend, 25th Birthday

Hey friends!

My 25th birthday was at the end of October and yes I know this post is super late but I really wanted to share it with you!

Birthdays are always so special and this one was even more important because of this blog. Life of Hayley began as a way for me to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. I started blogging right after my 20th birthday and it really evolved from there into a hobby that I love.

I had been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading my 25th birthday for the past couple of months. I wasn’t worried about reaching my goals that I set for myself when I was 20. In fact, I haven’t been worried about those goals in years. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and all I have accomplished in the past five years. I’m looking forward to the next five!

So let’s talk about why this birthday was so Legendary with a capital L.

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Have you heard of John Legend? Well, my work throws some pretty sweet parties and for their 20th Anniversary Gala they invited John Legend as the surprise musical guest and the Gala happened to fall on my birthday! Which meant that I got to get all dressed up in black tie apparel, get my hair and makeup done, and spend the evening eating, drinking, and singing along to John Legend with Brett and my favorite co-workers. Talk about Legendary!

I couldn’t think of a better way to start my 25th year!

Thanks so much for reading!

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2019: First Quarter Goals

2019 Goals. New Years Resolutions. 2019 1st Quarter Goals

The time is finally here to start planning my goals for 2019. The past year flew by and I’m not sad to see it go. January always feels like a fresh start and this year I could really use a clean slate.

My goals for the first three months of 2019 are below and I encourage you to set goals for yourself too! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; setting quarterly goals instead of annual ones has been a game changer for me! I started setting quarterly goals at the end of 2017 and continued through all of 2018. I actually found myself looking back on my goals more often and completing them!

  1. Get a professional haircut. It’s incredibly sad that this is my first goal but the truth is that I HATE getting my hair cut. The whole process takes way too long and I’m rarely 100% satisfied with the results. I have super thick, wavy hair and most hairstylists don’t seem to know how to handle it. I like to joke that my hair is allergic to water because the second it gets wet it goes crazy and refuses to untangle. I have tried every product imaginable to tame the beast but I’ve summed it up to be #thickhairproblems. Do you have any hair products that you swear by?
  2. Travel at least twice. After our trip to Europe in October I was exhausted and traveling was the last thing I wanted to do. But Brett loves to travel and deep down I do too. I don’t want my love of adventures to be another thing my headaches take away from me. Brett and I want to take at least two small trips during Q1 including a trip to Florida to visit his Grandpa. The other trip will likely be a super spontaneous weekend trip so stayed tuned for the details!
  3. Commit to the blog. I have said this over and over before but have never stuck to it. I love blogging and in 2019 I want to focus more on doing the things that I love. Over the past 5 years the blogging community has embraced me and this has become my safe place away from everything else. I want 2019 to be the best year ever for Life of Hayley!
  4. Read three books and write reviews. One of the best things that 2018 brought me was my love of books. So far I have partially read two books that I am loving. I enjoy writing book reviews so hopefully I will find three books that I love to review!
  5. Meal plan and prep for the week ahead. I’ll admit that I haven’t cooked a real meal in a long time. My Crock pot and I became really good friends in 2018 because I had no energy or desire to cook. I’m kinda sick of the standard Crock pot meals though and am ready to start eating healthier and meal planning. Before our wedding in 2017 I was the Queen of meal prep. I’m hoping to at least get to Princess level in 2019.
  6. Make healthy living a top priority. I almost titled this goal as “making weight loss a priority” but then I re-evaluated my mind-set. This goal isn’t all about the number on the scale. I know that I need to lose weight but I also know my negative relationship with my body image. For me, the focus has to be on eating healthier and exercising and not the number on the scale.

In addition to setting quarterly goals I also wanted to choose a word to capture my goals for 2019. It took me longer than I care to admit to find a word that completely covers everything that I want to accomplish this year.

The word I picked is confidence.

Confidence in my ability to fight the demons that I am facing. Confidence in myself to be the best person that I can be. Confidence in my body as I look in the mirror everyday. Confidence as I stand in front of my co-workers with the knowledge that I can do my job well. Confidence that I am moving in the right direction.

Confidence in me.

What are your goals for 2019? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading!

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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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Image via Unsplash

 

 

The Key To A Successful Marriage

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Happy Thursday!

I got some good advice this weekend from a family member and I thought that I’d take a quick second to share it with you:

The key to a successful marriage is communication.

This seems simple and I’ve heard it many times before from other people but it really stuck with me when my cousin said it.

We were talking about marriage and the difficulties that sometimes arise. My husband, Brett, works pretty strange hours because he works in event management. He has to work any night or weekend event that he is in charge of. Because of his job we don’t get to spend a ton of time together and he misses most family events.

I work a normal 8-5 Monday-Friday job which means that Brett and I really don’t see each other a lot during the week. It’s hard to communicate besides a series of text messages that are exchanged throughout the day. But no matter what we do communicate with each other. I always know what’s going on with him, if he’s having a  good day or bad day, and what his hours for that day are.

Communication is the lifeline that holds us together. We may not be together but he at least knows that I care and am interested in what’s going on in his life.

While it is important to have the regular day to day communication it is equally important to communicate about any challenges and goals for the future. We are always talking about our short and long term goals.

We have only been married for a year (on August 19th!) but I can already tell that communication can make or break a relationship. I never want to get to the point where Brett is no longer my best friend.

What do you think is the key to a successful relationship?

Thanks for reading!

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2018: Third Quarter Goals

2018 Third Quarter Goals

Goooood morning and Happy Monday!

I can’t believe that we are already half way through 2018! This year is going by so quickly and now that summer is here I would really like time to slow down a bit 🙂

You may be wondering why I do quarter goals instead of monthly or annual goals if you haven’t read my first and second goal posts. I really like to give myself extra time to complete goals so monthly goals are out of the question. However, a year is too much time to concentrate on my goals so splitting them into four parts makes them more manageable!

The second quarter of 2018 proved to be a very trying time for me. I learned a lot but I am happy to leave the events in the past. I’m ready to have a fresh start in third quarter!

  1. Finish unpacking. Yes, we moved in March and yes, we still have a few boxes to unpack. I’d love to go into fourth quarter with an unpacked house with fully built furniture. Moving is hard and I feel like we will never run out of things to do but we are loving being homeowners!
  2. Teach Oscar some basic commands. Oscar can already sit pretty well and is on his way to being fully potty trained. I would love to focus on his leash walking skills, stay, shake, and getting him to fully recognize his name.
  3. Create some work-life balance. Ugh, this is so hard for me but I really need to learn to put myself first! I have been so stressed at work and it’s not good for me or my co-workers. I have been trying to leave on time, take lunches, and get up from my desk instead of being locked up all day.
  4. Finish up all of our remaining wedding items. This includes picking up our wedding video from the videographer, writing vender reviews, finishing our wedding album, writing some wedding related blog posts, and thanking the many people who helped make our day special again.
  5. Go on a date with Brett. I can’t remember the last time Brett and I truly went on a date just the two of us. I would love to see a movie, go to dinner, or grab ice cream and just chat. We have both been so busy and I honestly miss him! Some nights we have to stay up late talking because we haven’t been able to spend any time together and we have a lot to catch up on.
  6. Start planning our next adventure. I miss traveling and I am longing to get out of the country for a bit. Our honeymoon in London was SO fun and I constantly think about it. Brett and I have so much fun traveling together and right now he works for an airline so we fly stand-by for free. We need to take advantage of these benefits and get away!

These are just a few of the things that I am hoping to accomplish over the next couple of months! I know 2018 will be over before we know it so it’s time to really kick my booty into gear!

Thanks for reading!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

Image via 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