July Blog Schedule

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July is a super busy month for me and I think blogging will have to take more of a backseat in my life for awhile. I’ll still be reading but I don’t know how much time I’ll have to create content.

Brett and I flew into Maine on Monday to see my sister in New Hampshire. On Tuesday we drove from New Hampshire to Michigan. On Wednesday we got her settled in Michigan and today I returned to work after 6 days off. I am exhausted.

Work has been rough this year. When I originally started writing this post I wrote that things were finally starting to look up. I spoke too soon. I don’t want to go into details because I know I am extremely lucky to have a job right now. I’m feeling really burnt out and I can’t imagine doing this for the rest of my life but I have no idea what else I’d want to do. I’m just feeling very unsure about work at the moment.

Speaking of work, I am taking a class for work the last week of July. I started a 3 year designation course which is usually held at Notre Dame. This year it will be online and I have been studying hard but still feel really unprepared. I will be spending most of the rest of this month studying and preparing for the class and the exam.

My anxiety is really high right now as I figure out how to deal with all of the things that are going on in my life. I’m nervous for all of the changes that are taking place at work and I’m extremely anxious about my class/exam.

Hopefully I will be back in action in August but July will most likely be pretty quiet.

Do you have any plans in July?

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Five on Friday #17

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It’s finally Friday!

It has been such a long time since my last blog post and I have a million reasons why I haven’t been on here since. Today is my first day working 80% from home due to the Corona virus. I’ve mentioned before that I work in finance so you can imagine how scary and challenging the past couple of weeks have been as we have all watched the stock market tank.

I will still be going into work every day for about an hour and a half. Only a few other people will be there including security and our executive leaders. I am considered an essential role and there are a few responsibilities that I’m unable to do at home. I will complete those responsibilities in the office and work from home the rest of the day.

I’m sure we all have a lot on our minds so here’s five random things to lighten your Friday.

  1. My sister got married on March 7th in Maine! My family was able to fly out and be with her for 6 days to celebrate her wedding. It was a small gathering on the Naval base and I was honored to stand next to her as her Matron of Honor. I’ll share pictures soon!
  2. I got my Spring 2020 FabFitFun box and it was full of some really great products. I am became a FFF member as a birthday gift to myself and I have loved all of the boxes so far! My favorite product in this box was the packing cubes! I already used them for my trip to Maine.
  3. I fell off of the Keto wagon a bit during our trip for the wedding. I did really good up until the last day when I really just wanted some fish and chips and ice cream. I’m trying to get back on track but I’m still having lingering sugar cravings and headaches.
  4. Is anyone else looking forward to a chill weekend at home? We are always busy so it will be nice to just spend some time with Brett.
  5. I read an amazing book this week called How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. I haven’t been super into reading lately but this book was addicting. It’s about a man who has a condition were he ages very slowly. The concept isn’t new but this book takes your through what was going on in history during his life. It was very interesting!

How are you feeling with this pandemic? Do you have any plans this weekend while you are social distancing?

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Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash

A Year of Travel

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I love a good adventure. I love getting on a plane or in a car and heading to a new place to explore. I love hearing different languages, eating foreign foods, and seeing sites that I never even dreamed I’d be able to see.

Looking back on 2019 I have realized that I was actually able to travel quite a bit. I get really caught up in the whole work-life balance, 9-5 thing and vacation time is a huge stress for me. I want to be able to travel but I also have so many responsibilities that I don’t feel able to travel as much as I’d like to.

Let’s take a quick recap of my 2019 travel adventures.

Florida

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Arizona

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Oregon

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Florida

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Ohio

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New Hampshire

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Maine

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We didn’t get to travel quite as much as we wanted to but I did get to reunite with my study abroad friend in Oregon, visit my sister in New Hampshire, and go many weekend adventures. Brett and I spent a couple of weekends in Chicago and visited Cedar Point in Ohio.

I hope that 2020 is filled with so many more travels for us. One of our main goals before settling down and having a couple of kids is to travel as much as possible. We are hoping to have another big Europe trip this year!

Are there any places on your travel bucketlist? Did you go anywhere new in 2019?

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2019: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

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My first post of 2020, woohoo!

I wrote a 2018 reflection like this last year and it’s one of my favorites. 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life and it was tough for me to find positives to list. But it was also a reminder that it’s easy to find positives if you are looking for them.

In 2019 I tried to focus more on the positive things in my life and it ended up being a great year! Like I said last year, please don’t read this post and think that I have a perfect life. I really don’t but I try to make the best of what I do have.

In 2019 I…

  • Turned 26 and celebrated my golden birthday
  • Visited Florida (2), Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon
  • Fell in love with blogging again
  • Celebrated two years of marriage and eight total years with Brett
  • Reunited with my German BFF in Oregon
  • Tried a new migraine preventative and steroids to break my migraine cycle (they didn’t work)
  • Spent SO much time with my family
  • Prioritized my happiness for the first time
  • Learned to say “no”
  • Celebrated three years at my current job
  • Had a girls night with my work friends
  • Lost 15 pounds
  • Became an Aunt to two perfect twin girls
  • Went to my first NFL game
  • Painted and organized at my parent’s house
  • Read a lot of great books
  • Threw a baby shower for my sister in law
  • Celebrated the lives of Brett’s grandpa and my childhood friend
  • Went to Cedar Point
  • Had a date beach day with Brett

I’m looking forward to a great 2020! I’ll be posting my first quarter goals soon and a recap of the last couple of months of 2019.

How was your 2019?

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Life Is Good!

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I feel like I’ve been gone from the blogging world forever but in reality it’s only been a couple of weeks. I thought I would pop in to say that I’ve been busy living my life and have been neglecting blogging for great reasons!

In the past two weeks I’ve traveled to Illinois, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. I’ve gone to my first NFL game, visited my sister in her new home, and spent lots of time with my family. I’ve been living my life and loving every minute. I feel good!

I feel refreshed and ready to re-dedicate myself to this space. Sister time is good for my soul and it’s hard on me when she lives in a different state. She has moved so many times in the past couple of years and it’s good to see her more settled. I’m so proud of her!

I’m busy catching up on the posts that I have missed reading and have so many posts that I’m looking forward to writing and sharing with you.

How has your life been lately?

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Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

My 30 Before 30 List

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6 years ago I had the idea to create a blog to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. So Life of Hayley was born! I turned 26 on Saturday and  now it’s time to create my 30 before 30 list. Honestly so much changed in 5 years but it’s pretty cool to look back on what I thought would be important 5 years ago.

  1. Go to London (again!)
  2. Go on a road trip
  3. Start investing
  4. Pay off my car
  5. Create a workout routine
  6. Spend a whole day binge-watching a TV show
  7. Try to have a baby (maybe?)
  8. Go on a trip with my family
  9. Have a spa day
  10. Learn a new hobby
  11. Travel to a new country
  12. Work on making our marriage stronger
  13. Have a girls day
  14. Create a self care routine
  15. Celebrate TEN years of blogging!!!
  16. Have no credit card debt
  17. Get a promotion
  18. Find a hairstylist that I love
  19. Learn an everyday makeup routine
  20. Have a monthly date night
  21. Take family pictures!
  22. Meet a blogger friend in real life
  23. Focus on work-life balance
  24. Send birthday cards to friends and family via snail mail
  25. Learn to cook some new go-to recipes
  26. Create a Christmas tradition with our nieces
  27. Do something spontaneous
  28. Create a travel video
  29. Wake up earlier
  30. Find a personal style

What should I add to my 30 before 30 list?

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Photo by The Journal Garden | Vera Bitterer on Unsplash

2019: Fourth Quarter Goals

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I can’t believe that I’m already writing my last set of goals for 2019. This year has been crazy!

I can’t write this post without mentioning that one of my friends passed away last week. He was my classmate all through school and my freshman roommate’s boyfriend. Many of my college memories involve this sweet, funny boy who was always down to watch a movie, grab late night, or just hang out. He was hit by a car and passed away after being in ICU for two weeks. He was young and still had so much to offer to the world. Just a little reminder to not take anything or anyone for granted.

Now onto fourth quarter!

  1. Treat myself for my golden birthday. I love birthdays and this one will be super special because it’s my golden birthday. I’ve been wanting a new laptop for the past couple of years and I think I might just treat myself to one as a birthday present!
  2. Try not to over-indulge during the holiday season. I still have a weird relationship with food and sometimes I want to eat anything and everything in front of me. Holidays are hard because the food is plentiful and it’s easy to go crazy. I want to enjoy what I’m eating but not eat everything in sight. It’s all about balance!
  3. Buy new pajamas. This may sound crazy but every year I pick an item of clothing to stock up on during the after Thanksgiving and before Christmas deals. This year I want to get all new pajamas that I love and feel comfortable in. I’m so excited!
  4. Fight my migraines once and for all. These past few weeks of migraines have been terrible. I’ve been so sick and miserable and have wanted to give up so many times. I had a great appointment with my Neurologist and he offered some new ideas that I have been thinking about for the last week. Every day is a fight and every day I have the choice of how I want to deal with the pain. This quarter I’m going to try some new things and will not give in to the pain.
  5. Schedule some days off! I have ended up with 4.5 days of vacation time leftover. I’d love to go visit my sister in New Hampshire and take a day off for Brett’s birthday. December is crazy at work but I’d love to have some time off on Christmas Eve to spend with my family.
  6. Be more productive during the week. I’m crazy busy on the weekends with cleaning, laundry, and errands. I’d love to get more done during the week so that I don’t have to spend all my time cleaning and doing necessary things. I have plenty of time after work to get some of my chores done to make my weekend easier and more relaxing.

Do you have any goals for the last quarter? How are you doing on your News Years Resolutions?

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Labor Day Weekend In Cleveland, OH

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Labor Day weekend is always one of my favorites! I look forward to three days off to spend time with family and friends. As always, Brett wanted to go to another air show so we packed up the car and headed to Cleveland, Ohio for the weekend.

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Cleveland is about 4.5 hours away from where we live and is one of my favorite cities to visit! I grew up listening to Green Day, Tom Petty, AC/DC, and many more iconic bands and musicians so the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of my favorite travel destinations. I have been four times now, twice with my family and twice with Brett and it doesn’t get old!

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Most of the exhibits were new to me this time! Brett and I agreed that our favorite was The Garage where there was a live band playing and TV screens with instruments where you could learn to play a verse on the guitar, bass, drums, or keyboard. It was super cool and I was able to impress Brett with my ability to play Smoke on the Water from my guitar days in high school. It made me want to re-learn guitar!

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We spent most of Saturday at the Hall of Fame but wandered out around dinner time. I was starving! Brett let me choose where we would eat so I picked Shake Shack. This is one of my favorite burger places but we don’t have one near us so I always look for one when we are traveling. The cheese fries are my favorite!

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For dessert we went to Cathy’s Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches. I found Cathy’s by doing a Google search for ice cream in the area and I was SO impressed! You pick your cookie flavor, ice cream flavor, and a topping and they make your sandwich right in front of you! I chose M&M cookies with chocolate ice cream and chocolate chips. I wasn’t able to eat all of mine but it was so good and I highly recommend!

We walked around downtown before heading back to our hotel. We stayed at the Westin which was walking distance from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and every other place we wanted to go including the air show. We ended our Saturday night by watching Ten Things I Hate About You and Sweet Home Alabama on tv.

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Sunday was air show day so we grabbed Starbucks and walked to the airport for the Cleveland National Air Show. The weather wasn’t great so we ended up leaving a couple of hours early to drive home.

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However, we can’t go to Cleveland without eating at The Melt! Our friends introduced us to this restaurant a couple of years ago and we have been hooked ever since! They make the best and most unique grilled cheese sandwiches. I usually get Wake and Bacon but this time I tried The Dude Abides and it was delicious!

We got home around 8 pm on Sunday and pretty much went straight to bed. We both had Monday off of work so we headed out to the lake for a day with family! Overall, it was a great weekend and much needed.

How was your Labor Day weekend?

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How We Can Afford to Travel

How We Can Afford to Travel

Why does traveling have to be so expensive? And why do I love it so much?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s just something about traveling that brings out the best in me! I feel alive, happy, and ready to take on the world! That’s why Brett and I make a point to save up for our next adventures.

How can we afford to travel as often as we do?

  1. We have a travel fund. I work in finance and I’m a big advocate for having a budget and saving for items you want to purchase or trips you want to take. For that reason, Brett and I always have a travel fund and are saving for our next trip. We put a percentage of our paychecks into this account and save it up until we are ready to go on our next adventure. Even if we aren’t currently planning a trip we are still putting money away for travel.
  2. We make travel a priority. It’s super easy to get caught up in all of the other things life throws your way. Brett and I make traveling a priority. In 2019 we weren’t able to plan a big Europe trip like we had hoped but we still set aside time to travel to places in the United States instead. This way we saved money but were still able to visit some new places and make memories together.
  3. We travel on a budget. When we go on a trip we aren’t staying in the fanciest hotels or splurging on new clothes and accessories for our travels. During our planning process we are mapping out all possibilities of places to stay, eat, visit, etc. We set a budget and stick to it. I do like to splurge for once in a lifetime opportunities but we always plan for those ahead of time and make room in the budget.
  4. We compromise. Planning a trip with another person can be difficult. Brett and I take turns picking the places we want to go. I planned our Europe trip in 2018 so he’s planning our 2020 trip. We can’t go everywhere at once so we compromise and take turns. Luckily, we both want to go to many of the same places so this has been pretty easy!
  5. Brett’s Job. We have been incredibly blessed by Brett’s current job for an airline. This allows us to travel at a very discounted rate but we haven’t always had this perk and have traveled many times without it. Brett’s job has allowed us to go on a few trips that we wouldn’t have normally been able to go on without spending more time saving our money. We are super grateful and don’t take this blessing lightly. We know that we won’t have these opportunities for long so we always try to make the most of it! I do want to stress that it is possible to travel without breaking the bank even without these flight benefits!

It’s not always easy, but we are determined to travel as much as possible before we have children. Traveling is one of our top priorities right now and I can only imagine how much that will change in the next few years. For now, I’m constantly on Pinterest planning our next adventure.

Do you have any budgeting tips for traveling?

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Photo by Frank Vex on Unsplash

 

Five on Friday #13

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Welcome to Friday, friends! 🙂

This week was okay. I had Monday off to go to South Haven with Brett so I only had to work four days. A four day work week seems so much more enjoyable than five days. How was your week?

  1. Our local balloon festival is this weekend so Brett will be busy with that. I will be joining him for most of it but I’m also hoping to squeeze in some time to get chores done and spend time with family.
  2. Brett and I went to dinner on Tuesday night with my grandparents and parents. My parents are celebrating 27 years of marriage this month! I cherish all the time I can get with my grandma and grandpa.
  3. I’ve been in a reading rut lately. I’ve started a couple of books but nothing has stuck which is super disappointing. Have you read any good books lately?
  4. I’m starting to get sad that summer is almost over. I’m happiest when the sun is shining and I can spend all the time I want outside. I love fall but it’s too close to winter. I am pretty excited to switch up my home decor and drink some hot apple cider though! Are you ready for fall?
  5. I was doing really good with my health and wellness journey but I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit these last couple of weeks. I’m determined to re-group this upcoming week and get back on track! I’m planning on doing some serious meal prep on Sunday to get me ready for the week.

What are your plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash