The Royal Wedding With The Royal We

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Hey there!

I am back with another book review for all of my bookworm friends out there. You may or may not already know that reading is one of my all time favorite pastimes. If I find a book that I really like I will not put it down until it’s finished.

My favorite book series of all time is Harry Potter. I thought I would never find another book that I could read multiple times without getting bored until I found The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. These two hilarious ladies run the website Go Fug Yourself. Heather and Jessica are actually in London right now to celebrate the Royal Wedding!

Brett bought me this book for Christmas a couple of years ago and I have read it at least 6 times since then. This is a big book but I still got through it in a little over one day because I could not put it down. After I finished it the first time I immediately read it again because it was just that good. I also took it on our honeymoon in London and loved visiting many of the places in the book. We even went to Windsor Castle and walked through the chapel where Meghan and Harry are getting married. So cool!

With the Royal Wedding coming up on Saturday (or today if you’re in the UK!) it is the perfect time to dig into this book that is based very loosely on Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationship. I know that I will be re-reading The Royal We in celebration! I may or may not be drinking a cup of tea in my Royal Wedding cup as well (Homegoods for the win!)

The Royal Wedding, Royal We, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry


The Royal We
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it’s adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall – and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne.

Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she’s had to give up for true love… and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break

 

Bex Porter is an American studying abroad in England who meets and eventually falls in love with the boy across the hall, Nick. This book follows the story of Bex and Nick from the moment they met to their wedding day. If they make it to the wedding that is. 😉

The words flow easily and make this story feel so real. I am still hoping for a sequel! You can tell that Heather and Jessica put a ton of research into this book.

This book is not exactly a true story like I mentioned before. But it does shed a lot of light on customs of the Royal Family and life in England. I studied abroad in London and could relate to many of Bex’s feelings from the first few chapters. Missing home, missing my sister, not quite understanding all of the British customs, etc.

Ever since I read this book I feel like I have a different perspective when it comes to Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. They are always in the spotlight and I can’t even imagine how hard it is to constantly be criticized and talked about. I have a lot of respect for these two women.

It also makes me think about the Royal Wedding. I can’t imagine how much pressure is on Meghan as she prepares for her wedding day. I will be sending lots of positive thoughts her way and hope that she can enjoy her day with Prince Harry!

I honestly love this book so much and would go as far to call it my favorite book! I keep looking for other like it but none even come close.

What are your favorite books? Will you be celebrating the Royal Wedding?

Thanks so much for reading!

 
Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

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Things That Make Me Happy

Things That Make Me Happy
Hellllloooo!

Life of Hayley has been a little depressing as of late. I was talking to my husband, Brett, the other night and he said I should make a list of the things that make me happy so when I’m down I can read the list. So here goes nothing!

By the way, this list is not in any kind of order.

  • Our cat, Lucy
  • Summer nights by the bonfire
  • Hanging out with Brett
  • Being at the Lake surrounded by family
  • My parent’s dog, Megan
  • Shopping with my mom and sister
  • British candy
  • Road trips
  • A clean car
  • Freshly baked cookies
  • A completed to-do list
  • Sunday afternoon naps
  • Getting a good deal (on anything)
  • Summer in Michigan
  • My grandma’s banana bread and zucchini cake
  • Traveling (especially around Europe)
  • A good ol’ cup of tea
  • Reading before bed
  • Helping someone when they need it
  • Writing (this blog, a book, who knows?)
  • Boat rides
  • Walking the dog
  • Toddlers
  • Nice people
  • An unexpected “Thank You”
  • Weddings
  • A clean house
  • Fresh sheets
  • Weekends
  • New skin care
  • A full tank of gas
  • Clothes that I feel comfortable in
  • An empty e-mail inbox
  • Coke Slushies
  • FroYo
  • Putting my pajamas on after work
  • Christmas Eve
  • Fireworks
  • Summer car rides with music blaring
  • Home
  • Ikea
  • Reading book reviews
  • Brunch
  • Fresh flowers
  • London, England
  • Our wedding video
  • Collecting vintage tea cups
  • Harry Potter!
  • Art Shows
  • People watching
  • Puppies
  • Trader Joe’s
  • 90’s music
  • Sunflowers
  • Sour candy
  • Friends
  • Going to the beach
  • Camping

That was easier than I thought it would be! I could go on and on but I won’t bore you with the details. Making a list of my favorite things actually did make me feel so much better! Next time I’m feeling down I will come back and read through this to remember my happiness.

And as the saying goes – “It’s a bad day, not a bad life”

Thanks for reading! What are your favorite things?

 
Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Photo by Aleksandr Eremin on Unsplash

I’ve Gained Weight

I've Gained Weight

Hey guys,

I’m back with another post. This may be the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to write but as you can tell from the title….

I’ve gained weight.

That one sentence makes me want to crawl back in bed and not come out for a very long time. I have a very negative relationship with food and weight that makes this topic hard for me to discuss.

The truth is that I am at the highest weight I have ever been. My clothes don’t fit, my skin is stretched out and uncomfortable, and I feel sluggish all the time. I have started my “weight loss journey” at least three times over the past 6 months but it’s hard and I quit because I don’t see any results. The number on the scale just keep growing and growing so I have stopped looking all together.

I can remember a time when stepping on the scale was the highlight of my day. The numbers kept dropping and I was so proud of myself. I thought being in the double digits would be the best thing that would ever happen to me. Luckily for me, I never quite made it to that extreme.

It’s been several years since I was at my lowest weight. I don’t remember consciously making the decision to lose weight all of those years ago. I was just anxious and didn’t ever feel hungry. I started college and gained the typical “freshman 15” which put me back at a healthy weight.

Over the years I have gained and lost weight. When I studied abroad in London I gained about 20 pounds which I was able to lose easily when I came home. I stayed at pretty much the same weight until I got married. I went a bit crazy during the honeymoon and ate whatever I wanted. Since coming back in early September I continued to eat anything and everything. It felt great not having to think about fitting myself into my wedding dress.

I did not realize how big I had gotten until my clothes stopped fitting me all together. When I look in the mirror I can see that I’ve gained weight but I had no idea how much I had actually gained. I went to the doctor and saw the number on the scale and had a small panic moment. I could not believe that this was my reality.

Now I can’t seem to lose the weight. I eat healthy and work out but the numbers on the scale keep getting bigger. I’m not sure if there’s a reason, like hormones or medication, or if I need to try something different. I usually shed a few pounds each summer because my activity level goes up and I eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

This post isn’t about telling you that I have started some crazy new healthy lifestyle. In fact, I am still trying to find the best diet and workout routine that will work for me and my body.

I really just wanted to share my story as someone who has a negative relationship with food. I am trying my best to lose weight in a healthy way and stop any crash dieting that can be harmful to my body.  I know that this journey will take some time and I want to do what is best for me, both physically and mentally.

Let me know if you have any tips or tricks for having a healthy lifestyle! And as always, thanks so much for reading!

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

7 Things To Do After Getting Engaged

7 Things to do after getting engaged - wedding planning

Hey friends,

Welcome to Wedding Wednesday!

I don’t know about you, but the second I got engaged I was overwhelmed. I think a huge part of my anxiety was the fact that was transitioning back from studying abroad in London to life in Michigan. There were so many changes happening in my life that I couldn’t even begin the think about wedding planning.

Not only that, but I also felt very lonely. I was missing my study abroad friends and I was actually dreading telling family and friends about my engagement. I wanted people to be genuinely happy for us.

Brett and I waited a whole month before announcing our engagement to people other than our parents, grandparents, siblings, and our closest friends. We wanted to have time to celebrate together before being bombarded with questions.

 

7 Things to do after you get engaged

Here are a few of my suggestions for what to do right after you get engaged:

  1. Take a second to just enjoy the moment. For this one moment, it’s just the two of you who know that you have decided to spend the rest of your lives together (unless other people are there to witness your engagement). When we got engaged, Brett took me on a walk and videotaped my reaction. I am so glad that I can look back on that moment forever. I will always be able to remember my reaction, his words, and how I felt after I said “Yes!”
  2. Decide who you want to tell first and when. It all depends on your relationships, but I would recommend telling your parents, family, and close friends before announcing your engagement to the whole world. I personally don’t think that there’s a right or wrong way to do this. However, some of my extended family seemed a bit put off that I didn’t personally tell them the news before announcing it on Facebook. Only you can decide what is right for the two of you.
  3. Be ready for lots of different opinions. I struggled with this. I wanted everyone to be as excited and happy as I was! Instead, I felt lonely and let the lack on enthusiasm bring me down. So please take my advice on this one, if you are happy that is all that matters.
  4. Decide on a timeline. When do you want to get married? If you want to plan a wedding for some day in the very near future you will need to start planning right away. If you are like me and have over two years to plan, you can just sit back and enjoy at first.
  5. Think about your wedding at a very high level. In the beginning, don’t think too much about all of the details. Start by figuring out the basics like date and budget. From there, all of the other details will get figured out.
  6. Start saving. Weddings are expensive so the earlier you can start saving the better. Talk to your parents or any other family members or friends that have expressed the desire to help out paying for wedding expenses.
  7. Have fun! Enjoy the fun of being engaged because it won’t last forever! One of my biggest regrets is that I hated planning my own wedding. I would love to help plan someone else’s in the future because wedding planning should be fun!

Even though we were engaged for over two years the time still went incredibly fast. Try to enjoy the process as much as you can because hopefully you will only need to do it once! My biggest tip is to just have fun with each other.

Remember that at the end of the day you will be married to the love of your life. Not everything will go as planned and that’s okay! Some of my favorite memories from my own wedding happened because something didn’t go as planned. Enjoy the ride.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you have any questions or ideas.

 

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Friday Introductions

 

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Hey friends!

Since I re-launched my blog in late 2017 after taking a year long break I figured now would be a great time to introduce myself to my new and old followers.

For starters, my name is Hayley, hence Life of Hayley. If I had to categorize my blog I would say that it is a “Lifestyle Blog”. I love to share my favorite products, books, travel, and most recently, wedding planning. Not only do I love blogging, but I also love reading other people’s blogs. I am also looking for new bloggers to follow!

I began this blog in November 2013 right when I was turning 20 as a way to document all of the things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. It’s been four years and I am so proud with how far I have come! I will be 25 next fall and I feel more than ready. I have accomplished far more than I ever thought possible and am in love with the way my life is turning out.

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My biggest accomplishment was studying abroad in London in 2015. I was SO scared to move to London for a semester but it turned out to be the best decision. I made life-long friends and cherish the memories that I made along the way. London will always feel like home!

I graduated from college in April 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. I majored in Electronic Business Marketing and minored in General and International Business. After I graduated, I began looking for a full-time job in my field. I ended up accepting a position at a financial company in September 2016. I expected to like the job but never expected to fall in love with it! I love my company, my co-workers, and the work that I am doing every day. I really feel like I am making an impact on my community and our client’s lives.

Wedding Planning - Wedding Pictures

On August 19th, 2017 I married my boyfriend of six years, Brett. Our wedding day went by so quickly but it turned out better than we could have ever imagined! We got married at a Lake where I spent most of my summers growing up. We were surronded with all of our favorite people; our friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone who joined us had made an impact on our lives in some way. It was so special to start our married lives with all of the people who we love the most.

Brett and I went on a two week Honeymoon in London directly following the wedding. It was just like coming home. Brett proposed to me in London so the city holds a special place in both of our hearts.

Now I am just enjoying life with Brett and our cat, Lucy. We live in a cute little apartment and love spending time with our friends playing trivia or old PS2 games. I love tea, The Crown, Harry Potter, and reading. I’m an introvert who greatly values my alone time. I am also a Target addict and a wannabe interior designer.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I hope you stay awhile!

 

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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!

 

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2018: First Quarter Goals

2018 First Quarter Goals

Hello again!

I am back with my goals for the first quarter of 2018! I like the idea of New Years resolutions. However, I have a hard time sticking to them because 365 days seems like a long time. I eventually forget my goals and by December I haven’t really accomplished anything.

That’s why I love setting quarterly goals. So much of what I do at work revolves around quarters so I have an easy time thinking this way. It’s a great way to break the year up into four manageable sections.

With that said, here are a few things that I am hoping to accomplish over the next couple of months:

  1. Pay Off One Credit Card. Brett and I are super lucky because I have no credit card debt and Brett has very little. We have been reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and it has given us the inspiration to start small and pay off our lowest balance credit card. I would love to go into 2019 with no credit card debt!
  2. Start House Hunting. I LOVE renting but the finance lover in me hates throwing our money away on something we don’t own. Brett and I sat down with a realtor this week and agreed to start taking baby steps towards purchasing our first home. We will start to look at houses in our price range and figure out what we like and dislike. We will shop around for different home loan lenders and find the best fit for us. We will not feel pressured into buying a house. We will buy when we are ready.
  3. Continue to make my health a priority. Guys, I have struggled for YEARS with migraines and daily headaches. I went almost two years with a constant headache and the pain has been debilitating. I made it a goal last quarter to really work with my Neurologist to find a solution that will work for me and my liver. The past month has been amazing. I still have headaches and the occasional migraine but the pain is finally manageable. I know I still have a long road ahead of me but this is the first time since 2011 that I have felt this good. *Knocks on wood*
  4. Being more productive after work. I am always exhausted after work. My days are stressful and I never feel like cooking or cleaning after work. I have made it my goal to meal plan and prep in order to make work nights easier. I will try to always go to bed with a clean kitchen, my lunch packed, and my outfit prepared for the next day.
  5. Focus on Healthy Living. I have gained a lot of weight since the wedding. I stopped eating healthy and working out. It was nice not to have to worry about fitting in an expensive wedding dress or looking good in pictures but it’s gotten bad. I am having a hard time looking in the mirror, fitting into my clothes, and having positive thoughts about myself. I just want to start eating healthier, walking more, and drinking more water. I don’t want to doing any extreme fad diet because they are bad for my mental health. I just want to respect my body again.
  6. Finish Our Wedding Thank You Notes. I am such a slacker and I hate myself for it. Writing all of these thank you notes stress me out. I am so grateful for everyone who helped us decorate, drive shuttle cars, and clean up after the wedding. I am thankful for everyone who brought us gifts or gave us money. It’s just so hard for me to convey how grateful I am in a note.

So there’s a few things that I am working on in the beginning of 2018. Financial freedom, healthy living, and future planning. It’s going to be a great year!

What are your goals for 2018?

Thanks for reading!

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Image via Unsplash