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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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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6 Migraine Essentials

Migraine Essentials

I never thought that I would be blogging about my migraines.  I started getting them when I was young and I felt really alone in my struggle but since I started blogging I’ve found so many who can relate to my story. I hate that there are so many men and women struggling with migraines but it does help me to know that I’m not alone and there are a few things that can help.

Over the years I have come up with a list of essentials that I use when I have a migraine or in order to prevent migraines. My number one tip is to always stay hydrated. Everyone has their own migraines triggers but dehydration seems to be a very common one. I drink a ton of water everyday in order to make sure that I am hydrated. Being hydrated is the number one rule for me for my migraine prevention.

Here are six essentials that I have found work for me when I have a migraine.

  1. Headache Hat – This is basically an ice pack that wraps around your head and has velcro straps so that you can adjust the pressure. Basically it’s the best invention ever. You can buy one on Amazon for $40 and it’s worth every penny. I am also known to tie ice packs around my head with a scarf. It’s not the best look but it works!
  2. Electrolyte water or supplement – Like I said, hydration is key. But when I get a migraine I don’t want to do anything and that includes drinking water. I always keep a big bottle of electrolyte water in the fridge along with a Gatorade so that I can quickly hydrate during a migraine. You can also buy electrolyte packets to add to normal water.
  3. Blackout curtains – I am very sensitive to light on a normal day to day basis. When I have a migraine my sensitivity is even worse. We have blackout curtains in our bedroom so that no matter what time of day it is I can curl up in bed and try to rest. I also sleep on the couch in the basement when I’m in a lot of pain because it’s dark, cold, comfy, and quiet.
  4. Caffeine – This is a tricky one and can kind of work differently for everyone. I don’t drink coffee and the tea I do drink has very little caffeine. When I have a migraine I like to grab a coke/pepsi for a quick dose of caffeine. I have found the Excedrin Migraine doesn’t work for me and this method does.
  5. Ice roller – My neck tends to get really stiff during a migraine. I had physical therapy for my migraines so I know a few stretches that can help. But what helps more is having this ice roller ready to go in the freezer to roll over my neck and forehead. It feels so nice!
  6. Comfy Clothes – This sounds ridiculous but when I have a migraine I am looking for something to provide comfort. Putting on my favorite pair of pajamas or sweatpants automatically makes me feel better. Comfy clothes don’t make the pain go away but they make it feel more bearable than being in pain and wearing jeans, for example.

What are your migraine essentials?

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Photo by Annie Spratt 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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What Are The Sunday Scaries?

What are the sunday scaries?

I love Saturdays but Sundays tend to be the most stressful day of the week for me. I try to relax Saturday and then cram way too many activities into Sunday. I hate starting my week off on a bad foot so I do everything that I possibly can on Sunday to prepare myself for the busy week ahead. This includes grocery shopping, deep cleaning, changing the bedding, and doing ALL the laundry. I also like to have Sunday night dinner with my family which means about an hour of driving added in.

I don’t know about you but nothing stresses me out more than a dirty house. My house is never 100% clean and most of the time it’s pure chaos. I love to re-organize our bedroom and closets which means that I usually have a few random piles throughout the house that need to be cleaned up. Our dog Oscar also likes to de-fluff all of his toys so we have tufts of stuffing floating about the house.

I saw the term “Sunday Scaries” somewhere on social media and I finally had a phrase for my Sunday stress. It seems like I’m not the only one who finds Sundays to be overwhelming and emotional. I love my job but I’m never quite ready to go back Monday morning and it’s even harder if I don’t get all my chores done on Sunday.

Keeping a clean house with a husband, dog, and cat is not easy. I know it will be even harder to maintain when we have kids so I’m trying to enjoy this time in our life where it’s just us. I dream of an organized, beautifully decorated house.

Do Sundays stress you out too?

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

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IKEA Haul – January 2019

IKEA Haul Jan 2019

One of my greatest loves in this world is IKEA. You can ask my eighth grade best friend and she’d tell you of my great love story with IKEA. I think my love of home-ware comes from years of playing The Sims. I didn’t care much for playing with the Sims themselves but I did love building and decorating their homes. Was anyone else obsessed with The Sims when they were younger? Or now?

One of my favorite parts of being a homeowner is decorating our house. I love finding my personal style and adding touches of our personalities throughout our home. IKEA has made it easy to furnish our home on a budget. One day when we have more time and money I’m sure we will re-decorate but for now I’m really happy with how our house is turning out.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity of introducing two of our guys friends to the wonders of IKEA. So please picture me with three guys traveling two hours to IKEA to shop for home décor. 3 out of the 4 of us loved IKEA. Brett still hates shopping.

This is probably my smallest IKEA haul ever but my mom, sister, and I were just there a few months ago so I stocked up then. This time I mainly focused on home organization to help me get our house back in order after the holidays. We have a built in floor to ceiling cabinet in our bathroom that was in desperate need of re-organizing.

What I Bought

  • FEJKA artificial plant – This was in the 75% off winter clearance section and was a last minute purchase. I had seen it throughout the store but wasn’t quite sure if I needed it. Our bedroom has pops of purple throughout so I think this will look really good on a nightstand or dresser. Plus it will look good all winter, not just Christmas.
  • DRÖNA box – I bought two of these for the shelves in my closet. They work great for storing t-shirts, pajamas, swimsuits, etc. We also have one of these boxes in our basement for video games, in our dining room for dog and cat necessities, and another one for out of season decor.
  • SKUBB box set of 6 – These are my absolute favorite IKEA product and this trip they were on sale for only $1.99! I bought two sets and have already used them in the drawers in our bathroom to store makeup, nail polish, hair products, and various other bathroom products. I have at least 4 other sets of these boxes organizing our dressers, pantry, and closets.
  • SKUBB storage case – We don’t have a traditional linen closet so we have been storing our extra bedding in our upstairs bedroom’s closet. I bought two of these storage cases to use under the bed in our master bedroom to store our extra bedding and Brett’s out of season clothing. I’ve already set one up and I’m loving it so far!
  • DOKUMENT letter tray – I bought this in white on sale for $5.99 to organize our bills and other important papers on our desk. I wanted something simple to organize our mail into since I HATE paper.
  • GREJIG shoe rack – I saw this in the closet section and knew that it would be perfect to organize bathroom products. I set it up on Sunday and it works perfectly to make everything more accessible in our bathroom cabinet.
  • KOPPLA 6 way adapter plug – I always like to have an extra one of these on hand because you never know when you’ll need it. We have very few outlets in our 1941 house so we have to be creative with how we use them.
  • LURVIG pet waste bags – I buy a package of these every time we go to IKEA. I attach the below bag container to Oscar’s leash for walks and all of our other adventures together.
  • LURVIG pet waste bag dispenser – I already have one of these on Oscar’s leash to store the pet waste bags but it’s starting to tear so I wanted to have a backup for when it does.
  • UPPHETTA french press – I don’t drink coffee but Brett does and he’s wanted a french press for awhile. I highly doubt he will use this on a daily basis but it will be nice for lazy Sunday brunches when we have extra time to enjoy our morning.
  • HEAT trivet – I think this is the third pack of these that we’ve bought in the past few years. I love these to protect our counters and dining room table from hot dishes of food. We’ve entertained a lot since buying our house so it’s nice to have a stash of these for dinner parties.

Like I said before, this is our smallest IKEA haul to date but we got several great items to help organize and simplify our home. Let me know if you have any tips for keeping your house organized! I’m currently reading Marie Kondo’s Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up and am hoping to put some of her tips into use.

Have you been to IKEA? What’s your favorite IKEA product?

Thanks for reading!

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