2021: Second Quarter Goals

We are already halfway through Q2 but I still wanted to take a moment to share my goals for this quarter. By setting quarterly goals for myself I’m able to actually stick to the goals I set for myself better than if I set goals at the beginning of the year. So much can change in a year so this gives me the chance to re-evaluate every 3 months and set new goals or continue with previous goals if needed.

My goals for Q2 are:

  • Spend at least 30 minutes everyday doing something that I enjoy. I was originally just going to make a goal of spending 30 minutes outside everyday but I want to push myself more than just that. I want to dedicate time everyday to some sort of self-care. That could be taking a walk, reading a book, or working on my garden. Whatever it is I want to be in the mindset of setting this time aside for just me.
  • Work on my nighttime routine. I’ve really been focusing on doing things every night that relax me and set me up for success for the next day. Right now my routine is to log off of work, walk Oscar, make dinner, do the dishes, read Harry Potter while drinking tea, and then shower and go to bed. I try not to watch any tv Monday-Friday and to limit my screen time.
  • Be a positive change at work. I’ve complained about my job for long enough but haven’t done anything really to change the situation. I’m determined to be part of the positive changes that are going to happen on my team. I will be supportive of my teammates and will work hard to be an asset to my team. I also want to make sure that I’m not burning myself out anymore with super long workweeks. I deserve the vacation time that I’m always pushing my teammates to take too.
  • Be patient with myself. This year has been really hard mentally and I’ve brought a lot of it upon myself. I’ve been so hard on myself because I had a goal and I didn’t reach that goal. I feel like I’m drowning in my own expectations sometimes and I need to take a step back and be patient with myself. Good things take time.
  • Continue taking a break from social media. My life is so much better without the constant comparison game that is social media. I’ve eased back into it a bit but I really don’t miss it so I don’t see myself getting sucked completely back in.

You might notice that my goals aren’t that hard this quarter and that’s because I really am trying to cut myself some slack. I’m doing the very best that I can and that’s okay.

How are you doing? Do you have any goals this quarter/month/year?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Scotland Part 1: Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hello again!

As promised, here is part 1 of my amazing adventure in Scotland! I went on a trip sponsored by Regent’s through Proscenium Tours. The trip included our train tickets to and from Edinburgh, a charter bus in Scotland, breakfast, 2 nights at hostels, a tour guide, and admission to all of the attractions that we went to.

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The adventure started bright and early on Friday. I was smart and packed the night before so all I had to do was change into my pre-selected travel outfit and take my bags downstairs. I met a girl named Dani through Facebook and we decided to travel to Kings Cross together to catch the train to Edinburgh. On the short tube ride to Kings Cross we met another girl from Regent’s, Diana, and the three of us became fast friends. Before leaving Kings Cross we had to take a quick picture at Platform 9 ¾. OffToHogwarts

Off to Scotland!!

Off to Scotland!!

The train to Edinburgh was about 5 hours and actually went by pretty fast. Once in Edinburgh, all 39 of us from Regent’s stepped off the train and met our guide for the weekend, Graeme. He turned out to be the best tour guide. He had a strong Scottish accent and was sarcastic and hilarious as well as knowledgeable. Graeme took us to our hostel, SYHA Edinburgh Central, where we quickly dropped off our luggage before heading out for a walking tour of beautiful Edinburgh. Graeme showed us all of the sights as we walked down Royal Mile and taught us all of the history. We walked around for a couple of hours listening and learning as he spoke to us. I was surprised when he kept taking us to Harry Potter sights. 126 - Copy EdinburghCollage

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I knew that the story of Harry Potter was “born” in Edinburgh but I never expected to see so many important Harry Potter sights. It was amazing. We saw the hotel where JKR wrote the last HP book, the Elephant House aka the “birthplace” of Harry Potter, Tom Riddle’s grave where JKR got Voldemort’s real name, the castle that Hogwarts was inspired by, and many sites from the HP films. Needless to say, I was in Harry Potter heaven and basically freaking out the whole trip. I’m a nerd.

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We ended the tour at Edinburgh Castle. We didn’t go inside the castle because it wasn’t included in the price of the trip and it was already almost 6 pm so we wouldn’t have had much time before it closed. The view from the castle was amazing; you could see the whole city of Edinburgh.

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After the tour ended we walked around the town and stopped by little shops here and there. I picked up two cashmere and wool scarves and a cute little stuffed sheep ornament. After walking around for a while we decided to search for a place to eat. We all agreed that we wanted to try something new that we wouldn’t usually eat. Therefore, we ate at a nice Indian Restaurant. Our waiter was really nice and patient with us. He suggested that I try the chicken korma since I HATE spicy food. Diana and Dani both ordered and once our food came we all tried each other’s choices. I was brave and tried the spicy dishes and ended up with watery eyes while Dani and Diana laughed at me. Ha-ha it was a fun night.

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After we went back to the hostel and turned in early because we were leaving for the Highlands at 8:30 the next morning. It was a perfect and unforgettable first day in Scotland. I was amazed by the history and age of the city. The “new” part of Edinburgh is older than the United States!

Thanks again for reading! Has anyone else been to Edinburgh?

P.S. I leave for Paris in the morning!!!! I’m so excited 🙂

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Getting Lost and Finding Hogwarts

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Hello lovely blog friends!

I promised you a post about my first weekend in London so here it is!

My new friends, Alejandra, Andrea, and I decided to set out early on Saturday morning for the British Museum. The three of us always plan on getting up early but we all sleep in anyway. So we actually started the journey to the museum around noon. I went to the British Museum last time I was in London and absolutely loved it. I’m kind of a history nerd when it comes to museums.

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Saturday was the perfect day to go to a museum because it was cold and rainy, perfect museum weather in my opinion. Stepping into the center of the museum took my breath away even though I have seen it before. The whole room is glowing white with a high ceiling and circle theme. It is seriously so pretty!

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We walked around almost the whole museum before we decided to call it a day. We hit the main points of the museum but we still missed some parts. The museum itself is gigantic so it takes a while to get through the whole thing.

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After the museum we headed to Oxford Street to do a little shopping. The three of us got a little lost but met a nice British lady who helped us. We first headed to Primark because Alejandra and Andrea had never been there. The store is so huge and overwhelming but the prices are unbeatable. I found the cutest set of pug socks that reminded me of Megan there.

After that we kept walking down Oxford Street. Eventually we found Liberty which is a huge department store and Piccadilly Circus.

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We walked for what seemed like hours before we made our way back to Trafalgar Square. It was still early but we decided to take the tube back to Baker Street where we had a quick dinner at Pret A Manger before turning in for the night.

I woke up early on Sunday for the Harry Potter Tour that my university had organized for us. I didn’t know anyone on the trip but quickly made friends with a girl named Hannah. The beginning of our tour was through London where our tour guide took us to some of the famous scenes from the movies.

It seemed natural to start our tour at King’s Cross Station where we took pictures at Platform 9 ¾. So much fun was had by all.

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Then we stopped by “Diagon Alley” where we saw the Three Broomsticks.

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Diagon Alley!

The Three Broomsticks...which is sadly painted blue now

The Three Broomsticks…which is sadly painted blue now

Our tour guide also took us to the roof of a building to show us how London would look if we were able to ride brooms. This was one of my favorite parts of the tour because we were so close to St. Paul’s Cathedral and were able to see so much of London. The views were incredible!

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After that we had a quick lunch at Waggamama before finally heading to the Harry Potter Studios!!!!! We played some HP trivia on the way.

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Once we arrived at the HP Studios I was in Heaven. I don’t want to give anything away in case you haven’t been there but the beginning of the tour literally took my breath away.

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Being able to see behind the scenes of the Harry Potter world was incredible. Everyone who worked on making the movies was so dedicated and paid so much attention to all of the little details. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole way through the tour. It felt like I was stepping out of London and right into a Harry Potter book.

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I know it sounds silly but Harry Potter was such a big part of my childhood. I can remember my mom reading me and my sister the first book before we were able to read it ourselves. I grew up with the characters and they helped me through difficult times in my life. When you read a book you are able to escape for a while to another world and that’s what the Harry Potter books did for me.

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Going through the tour made my dreams of going to Hogwarts come true. It really brought the books to life before my eyes. I have so much respect for everyone who worked on making the books into a movie. It took a lot of work to make the magic happen and I am very grateful.

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Hannah and I walked through the studio and eventually made our way outside where we both bought a Butterbeer. We walked along Privet Drive and saw the house where Lily and James were killed and the Night Bus.

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At the end of the tour we walked into a dark room and found a huge model of Hogwarts. I almost started crying because it was so amazing. It literally made me feel like I was at Hogwarts in real life. I took so many pictures and never wanted to leave the room. I think I would still be there if the bus wasn’t going to leave me!

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Overall, my first weekend in London was simply amazing. I am looking forward to many more adventures!

Thanks for reading!

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Orientation Week Update

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Hello again! In my last post I started to explain orientation week here at Regent’s University London. I am loving life in London and have made so many great friendships in the past week. I was most nervous about making friends but it turned out fine and I made a lot of friends right away!

My new home, Reid Hall

My new home, Reid Hall

Tuesday was the second day of orientation. We had a quick lesson on academics and life in London before going on the “Marylebone Challenge.”  This challenge was very similar to the one we did in my last post but it was only in Marylebone which is the area where Regent’s is located within London. For this challenge we had to take pictures with things (birds, bridge, pizza menu, Sherlock Holmes’s Museum, etc.) and answer questions.

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My group for this challenge was really nice and we had fun wandering around the area. This challenge helped me understand my surroundings. The most important thing I figured out from this was where the nearest Waitrose was located! Waitrose is a grocery store where you can get basic necessities and food.

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Marylebone Challenge!

On Wednesday we only had a couple of introductory lectures in the morning so we headed out in the afternoon to Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and the London Eye for more pictures and exploring. It was a lot of fun and really made me feel like I was in London! There’s always something new to see or do here.

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Thursday was another day where we only had a couple of things going on in the morning for orientation. That night we decided to take the tube to the London Bridge area. It was an easy journey from Baker Street. It was raining so we quickly headed to London Bridge to get a picture with Tower Bridge in the background. Then we walked through Borough Market which was getting ready to close.

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After walking through the market we settled down in Caffe Nero for coffee. We had an amazing view of the River Thames and sat talking for a few hours. I have a great group of friends here and London! We talked about the places we want to go and the things we want to do in London. I couldn’t stop smiling. I am truly happy and thankful to be here!

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Friday was a busy day and started off at 9 a.m. with a lecture about how to make friends in the U.K. I honestly almost skipped it but I’m so glad that I didn’t. The speaker was so funny and really made us feel welcome at Regent’s University. The speaker also happens to be my professor for my Communication Across Cultures class!

After that we had one more lecture about academic success. Then it was time for the Fresher’s Fair which was a huge room full of booths with information. The booths consisted of people from the University and local businesses. We got a lot of free stuff and food which is always nice!

The last activity of orientation week was a “Pub Quiz.” This reminded me a lot of the trivia that I do back at home with my friends. Our group had so much fun, even though we lost. I really want to find a local pub to do a Pub Quiz again.

After the Pub Quiz Alejandra, Andrea, Anna, and I walked to Camden where Anna lives. Anna is German and Alejandra and Andrea are twins from Peru and were the first friends I made here. We walked to the Camden market which was a lot of fun. No one bought anything but we will probably go back there soon. It was a younger more modern area of London which was pretty cool. It was a cold night so we stopped at Costa for some hot chocolate and tea.

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That ended orientation week at Regent’s University! I had a lot of fun and made so many new friends! I love it here in London. My next post will be about my first weekend in London where we got lost and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour!!!!

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