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.

5A3D261F-DF0B-47D3-B4F2-5FE102141732

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.

085

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.

084087

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.

092125IMG_3617

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?

Footer

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Book Review - The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Hi friends!

A couple of weeks ago I read The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith. I had read the first two chapters online and really wanted to know what ended up happening to Eden. I knew this would be different than the other books I have been reading recently.

I will start off my saying that I didn’t completely love this book. It was tough to read at times but the message is so important. After reading this I feel compelled to have others read it too. It may not end up being your favorite book but it might give you perspective and understanding of what other’s are feeling.

Here’s the description:

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, all while learning to embrace the power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

If you have been through high school you can probably relate to Eden in some ways. High school is about finding yourself and Eden lost her way for a reason that was completely out of her control.

The book follows Eden through her high school career and gets darker as time goes on. I was mad at her for not telling her mom right after it happened and it hurt watching their mother-daughter relationship falter as the years went on. I wanted her family to understand how she was feeling so badly but completely understand why she felt that she couldn’t say anything.

The Way I Used To Be was a powerful book with a strong female lead. I actually hurt for Eden and it opened up my eyes to how people feel in her situation. It may not be based on a true story but it shows the victim’s perspective after being raped.

Have you read any insightful books that changed your way of thinking?

Thanks for reading!

Footer

 

Falling In Love With Traverse City, MI

traverse city
Hey friends!

For those of you who don’t know, I live in the beautiful state of Michigan. Michigan is home of the Great Lakes, Detroit Tigers, Verner’s, Bell’s Brewery, and the most beautiful lakeside towns you can imagine. I love it here!

Last weekend we had the privilege to travel to Traverse City, Michigan for the wedding of one of Brett’s high school friends. I have been looking forward to this trip for months because I love weddings and I haven’t been to Traverse City since middle school. I have been dying to see this area of Michigan in the fall!

IMG_1996

We rented an airbnb on Lake Leelanau for the weekend with a group of friends and had a blast. The house was right on the lake so every morning we woke up to an amazing view. The weather wasn’t ideal but we still managed to have a great time!

We arrived on Friday at about 8 pm and headed straight downtown to meet up with friends at the Rare Bird. The wedding party came out to meet us after the rehearsal dinner which was a lot of fun. After a couple margaritas we headed to the airbnb for a night of rock band, tequila shots, and drinking games. I am the boring professional sober person of the group mostly because alcohol is a trigger for my migraines so I enjoyed watching the group.

FullSizeRender

We had a late start Saturday morning and didn’t roll out of the house until after 11. I spent some time by the lake while the house was still waking up and got to see the rowing team practice. After everyone was up and around we headed to lunch at Martha’s in Suttons Bay.

IMG_1978

After our lunch we drove to Black Star Farms for a little wine tasting. It was $7 for 5 tastings and you got to keep your glass. I wasn’t planning on drinking but I’ve never gone wine tasting before so I didn’t want to miss out on the experience.

Our bartender was really knowledgeable and was able to share a lot about the wines that we were trying. As someone who doesn’t drink a lot I really appreciated her attention to detail! I tried 5 sweet wines and my favorite was the late harvest Riesling!

IMG_1979

Once we had finished our tastings we headed out to the farm to have a quick look around. There was a wedding being setup and I can imagine that it was a beautiful wedding just based on the venue! Driving into the winery is a whole hilltop was filled with grapes. There are horses and sheep in pastures on the property and beautiful barns and buildings. It was super picturesque.

I was in dire need of a nap after the wine tasting so we headed to the airbnb for a quick nap before the wedding. I fell asleep quickly and woke up about 30 minutes later to start getting ready for the wedding.  I found my dress last minute a Kohl’s but ended up really liking it! I’m still having a hard time dressing my body after gaining weight but it’s starting to get a tiny bit easier.

IMG_1987

The wedding took place at Timberlee Hills which is a tubing resort in Traverse City. The ceremony was outside and I almost froze to death in the 50 degree chill. Thankfully, the ceremony was short but oh so sweet. I have never seen the groom so happy and the bride was beautiful!

IMG_1984

The reception was a lot of fun. I was the designated driver so I had a good time watching the boys dance and spill their beers all over the floor.  It was a great wedding and I wish the bride and groom and lifetime of love and happiness.

IMG_1993

We had to be out of the airbnb by 11 on Sunday morning so we woke up, showered, and headed back to Traverse City for breakfast. It was hard to leave the amazing airbnb behind but we have already made plans to come back in the summer when one of our friends graduates.

After breakfast at the Blue Heron 2 Café & Bakery we started the 3 hour journey home. I had a great time in Traverse City and wish that we could have stayed longer! Hopefully we will be back soon!

Have you ever been to Traverse City?

Thanks for reading!

Footer

P.S. Sorry for the crappy iPhone pictures! I’m hoping to get a new phone soon.

 

 

 

What It’s Like To Be An Introverted Blogger

Why I Struggle With Blogging - How To Survive When You Are An Introverted Blogger

Hey there,

Lately I have been asking myself a lot of questions:

Why do I struggle sharing my life with others?

Why am I so hesitant about telling people about my blog?

I obviously feel the need to share at least some of my life with the public, so why can’t I share it with people that I actually know?

The list goes on and on.

I am so tired of beating myself up over things that I can’t change or questions that I don’t have the answer to. I don’t know why I am the way that I am. All I know is that I struggle to make the changes that I feel I need to make.

I have said before that it is okay to be an Introvert. But it is SO hard living in world where everyone expects you to be an Extrovert.

As children we are forced to raise our hands in class because if we don’t the teacher will call us out in front of the class or we won’t receive any participation points. I always felt like I had to sit in the back of the classroom in order to be able to learn anything. Just because I am silent does not mean that I am not listening. In fact, when I am silent and not worried about being called on, I am actually learning so much more.

It is so important to understand the different types of personalities instead of trying to cram everyone into the same category. I, for one, am exhausted of people trying to tell me how to act or how to feel.

When you market yourself as a blogger, it seems to be assumed that you are outgoing and personable.

I struggle with blogging because I love the creative outlet but I hate being compared to everyone else. I hate trying so hard to fit in a box with everyone else when I feel so different.

I just need to keep reminding myself that it is okay to be an Introvert. And it is more than okay to be an Introverted blogger.

Does anyone else out there struggle with blogging?

Thanks for readings!

 

Footer

Image via Unsplash

 

 

 

Introducing Our Wedding Series

Wedding Planning Series - Planning Your Wedding, Step-By-Step Guide

 

Hey there!

I have been doing some serious blog post planning. 2018 is going to be a great year for Life of Hayley! I took a long look at the things I am interested in and the first thing that came to my mind was wedding planning.

Since wedding planning is still so fresh in my mind I thought I would do a blog series about all things wedding! I know not everyone is interested in this topic so I will be sure to post about a lot of other things too.

For this wedding series, I am thinking about breaking the posts up into two different categories:

 

  1. Wedding Planning. I spent SO much time on Pinterest and Google researching wedding planning as well as attending various wedding fairs. I figured that it would be fun to share some of my research in addition to my experiences during the wedding planning process. Posts could include dress shopping for the Bride and Bridesmaids, planning the ceremony (we wrote our ceremony ourselves), creating a wedding playlist, creating a guest list, etc.
  2. Our Wedding. I thought it would be fun to share all of the little moments leading up to our wedding in addition to our wedding day and honeymoon. The week leading up to our wedding was so much fun! I loved seeing everything come together and having all of our friends and family come to town to celebrate us. Maybe Brides-To-Be will be interested in reading about our wedding experiences but these posts will also be great for Brett and I to look back on one day.

 

Please let me know if there’s anything you would like me to talk about during this wedding series! I would love to know if you have any questions or concerns related to wedding planning. Brett and I were engaged for over two years so I had a lot of time to research wedding planning.

Thanks so much for reading and please stay tuned for more posts coming up soon!

 

Footer