Sunshine Blogger Award

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A huge thank you to Becky for the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination! If you haven’t already, make sure you check out Becky’s blog!

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so that others can find them.
  • List the rules.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers for the award and ask them 11 new questions.

Becky’s Questions:

What’s your favorite outfit to wear?

  • My favorite outfit to wear is anything that’s super comfortable. I am a shorts and t-shirt kind of gal. I will for sure never be a fashion blogger!

If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be and why?

  • This may sound crazy but I’d love to meet my great-grandparents. I’ve heard so many stories from my parents and grandparents but I don’t have any memories of them and I have questions that I’d love to ask.

What skill would you like to master?

  •  I would love to master hand lettering. I love watching videos of other people writing and I find it so peaceful. If I’m stressed at work I usually doodle something on a sticky note and feel much better. I think hand lettering is super cool but much harder than it looks!

What’s your favorite quote?

  • My current favorite quote is “I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.” As a teenager I just wanted a partner. I craved the stability of having a set person that I could always rely on. I wanted a husband, a house, a dog, all of that. It’s not that I can’t be an independent woman, I just really wanted a stable, lasting relationship and this quote comes to mind so often when I think about my life right now.

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?

  • I could watch any of the Harry Potter movies a million times and never get sick of them!

What “old person” things do you do?

  • So many! I really love staying in on a Friday night to read a book on the couch even when everyone my age is going out.

If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?

  • This is a hard one! I think I’d pick Emma Stone. She’s funny and reminds me of my sister.

What artist or band do you always recommend when someone asks for a music recommendation?

  • Green Day has, and forever will be, my favorite band. I also love Tom Petty!

What’s one song that you can’t stand hearing?

  • My least favorite/hated song is “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy. I don’t like it at all and will turn off the radio if it ever comes on.

What do you do for fun?

  • Recently my favorite thing to do for fun is to play badminton in our backyard! I also love reading, walking my dog, and watching YouTube.

What’s your second favorite color?

  • My second favorite color is probably a light blue. I also really love grey but that’s too boring!

My Questions

  1. What’s the story behind your blog title?
  2. Where would you live if you could live anywhere?
  3. What’s your dream job?
  4. Why did you start blogging?
  5. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
  6. What’s your all time favorite book?
  7. What are three things that you can’t live without?
  8. What’s your favorite meal?
  9. What book/TV/movie character do you relate to most? Why?
  10. What quote do you live by?
  11. What’s the best thing that you’ve learned this year?

My Nominations

(That’s close enough to 11)

Thanks again to Becky for the nomination!

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It’s Okay to Take a Break

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4 years ago I quit blogging. I was a senior in college and the pressure felt overwhelming. I had been blogging for 3 years and nothing really came from it so I closed up shop and moved on with my life. I never forgot about blogging and constantly had the urge to write but I didn’t think I’d ever be here posting again.

I eventually forced myself out of blogging “retirement” because I needed a creative outlet. I realized that I was blogging for me, not for anyone else. It didn’t matter about stats or staying committed to my blogging schedule. All that mattered was that I enjoyed it.

The majority of us are maintaining a blog while holding down a full-time job. Blogging is a commitment but it’s also okay to take a break when you need it. I have found that stepping away from my blog and actually missing it gives me the inspiration to keep writing.

The urge to quit blogging still hits me every once in awhile when I have zero inspiration to write and feel like a complete failure. I want to give up when my life is too busy and putting my thoughts on the internet just makes me feel silly.

I’ve learned from being a “retired blogger” that it’s okay to take a break. Take a week, a month, or a year to gather your thoughts. Take some time for yourself and when you are ready to return your readers will still be here.

Have you ever quit or thought about quitting blogging?

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Photo by Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

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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2020: Second Quarter Goals Recap

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Holy cow! Q2 flew by so fast. I can’t believe we are over halfway done with 2020. I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a total shit show. Second quarter was not my favorite and I’m glad it’s over. In fact, I’m ready for 2020 to be over completely.

Here’s a quick recap of my goals for Q2. So many things happened and I don’t feel like I accomplished much looking back. But I’m giving myself grace and I know that everything is a challenge right now so I will try to not be so hard on myself.

  1. Finish some house projects. Brett and I aren’t great at doing house projects. I always have big plans and this was the perfect time to get stuff done but we didn’t get a ton of things checked off of our to do list.
  2. Learn 2 new recipes. I cooked a lot this quarter and even started my own garden! I am growing tons of herbs so I’ve been using those for recipes. I even perfected guacamole which is my favorite. I was able to learn more than 2 new recipes so I’m counting this as a win.
  3. Read 3 books and write reviews. I read more then 3 books but only wrote 1 review. I mostly read the textbook for the class I’m taking in July and didn’t have a ton of time for leisure reading. I did start reading the Harry Potter series again though!
  4. Stay home and stay safe. Staying home was really easy for me. 100% on this one.
  5. Spend at least 30 minutes outside everyday. Yes! I’m so glad I set this goal for myself. I spent a ton of time outside gardening, playing badminton, and walking the dog. Spending time outside was especially helpful for my mental health.

Even though Q2 was rough and the beginning of Q3 has been even harder I still want to be optimistic.

How has your year been so far? Are you finding it hard to accomplish your goals too?

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Five on Friday #21

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It’s finally Friday, friends!

It’s been a sad week but I’m going to continue to work on educating myself to be a better ally. I’ve ordered books, listened to podcasts, and have tried to be as educated as possible. History is happening right before our eyes and it’s easy to stay quiet and let it happen but it’s important to stay involved. Right now I am trying to listen and learn as much as possible.

Here are five random things for this Friday:

  1. Our stay at home order was lifted early this week. It was supposed to last until mid June so I was really surprised when it was lifted. We did have a 7 pm curfew for a few days because of the riots and looting. The protests in my city were mostly peaceful though. Were you able to attend any protests this week?
  2. I have a certification class and exam in July that I’ve been studying for. I’m really excited for the class even though it’s been moved to a virtual class format. Like I’ve said before, my background is not in finance so I feel like I still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of my knowledge of the financial industry. This is a huge step for me but I really need to focus!
  3. We actually have plans this weekend! We are going to hang out with some of Brett’s friends (while social distancing) in our backyard. The weather is supposed to be really nice and it’ll be good for my extrovert husband to spend some time with his friends. I think it’s been hard for him to not see his friends as much as he was used to.
  4. When I was planning our wedding I got really into hand-lettering as a hobby and stress relief. I still have so many pens and brush markers but haven’t really touched them in a couple of years. I started hand-lettering again last week and have been loving it! I keep extra paper in my desk drawer and whenever work is feeling too stressful I sketch something and it makes me feel much better. I used Creative Lettering and Beyond with these Sakura brush pens when I was learning.
  5. The mosquitoes are so bad this year! We are thinking about getting our backyard sprayed just so we are able to sit out. Have you ever had your yard sprayed for mosquitoes? Did you think it was worth it?

How was your week? What are your plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Niklas Veenhuis on Unsplash

Five on Friday #20

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Happy Friday, friends!

It’s been a pretty challenging week but I’m feeling energized and ready for the weekend! Our stay at home order in Michigan has been extended through June 12th so we are just hanging out at home but I am perfectly okay with that. I will never take time with my family for granted.

Here are five random things this Friday:

  1. I accidentally bought 5 tomato plants on Monday. I thought I was only buying 2 and it would be an easy way to start a container garden but there were actually 4 tomato plants in one of the containers. I have found gardening to be super relaxing so far. I have a little herb garden, my tomatoes, and some various flowers. I really think I needed a relaxing hobby to de-stress. Do you enjoy gardening?
  2. A couple of month’s ago Influenster sent me their Be Mine VoxBox which included the Live Clean Apple Cider Shampoo and Conditioner. I was skeptical but excited to find that they were 97% plant derived, cruelty free, and free from dye and parabens. They are also under $5 a piece on Amazon so they are super budget friendly! I’ve been using these products for about 2 months now and I really love them!
  3. For most of my life I have believed that credit cards were bad. I got my first one at 21 that had a $500 limit to take with me to study abroad. I just got my second credit card in 2017 which is the one that we mostly use for purchases. It has great cash back rewards and I’ve been trying to utilize those. I never buy anything that I couldn’t afford to buy with cash unless it’s a well-thought out and very necessary purchase. Because of that I am able to pay off my credit card each month. I have found that paying the balance every other Friday on my payday is super helpful instead of paying one lump sum at the end of the month. How do you feel about credit cards?
  4. I’ve started re-reading the Harry Potter series and I almost forgot just how much I love the books! Reading them reminds me of being a child and being so excited to go to bed every night just so my mom could read us another chapter of whatever Harry Potter book we were currently reading. I fell in love right away and they are still so comforting to me.
  5. On Wednesday night Brett and I went to my grandma’s house for dinner. That sounds anti-stay at home but we had a nice little social distancing dinner with her, my mom, and my dad. We sat in her garage 6 feet apart and caught up on life. My grandma lives alone so I think it was really good for her to be around people safely for a couple of hours.

How was your week? Do you have any plans this weekend?

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Photo by Max Eberlein on Unsplash

 

Meet My Husband & His Blog

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Over the past 6+ years I have mentioned Brett a million times but have never really introduced him. Brett and I have been together since 2011 so he’s been part of this blog since the very beginning and was my original fan and supporter.

Recently Brett decided to launch his own blog, Universe of Adventure, so I thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A with him. It’s still a work in progress but I know he’s worked really hard on it and it’s been a fun project for us to work on during quarantine.

I came up with some random questions to ask Brett and I thought I’d share his answers.

  1. How did we meet?
    “We met through a mutual friend that I did theater with. We started texting and went on our first date a couple weeks later.”
  2. What is your blog about?
    “My blog is about all of my interests. I chose the name Universe of Adventures because a universe can be broken up into different worlds. I will be blogging about beer, travel, amusement parks, weather, aviation, and sports.”
  3. Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?
    “100% an extrovert but I sometimes have introverted tendencies.”
  4. What is your dream vacation?
    “I would have to say Prague for the beer and the history.”
  5. What’s your favorite blog post that I have written?
    “Probably all the posts about the trips we have taken. All the way back to 2014 when we would visit my grandparents in Florida.”
  6. What was your major in college?
    “I was a double major in Aviation Science and Administration and Geography with a focus in Economic and Regional Geography.”
  7. What is your favorite part about being married?
    “Ummm…..having someone to share everything with and to create memories with.”
  8. What are 3 words that describe you?
    “Interesting, fun, and smart.”
  9. What’s the first thing you want to do after quarantine?
    “Travel but I might not be able to do that right away. So I want to just be able to leave the house and go to a bar or a restaurant. That would be really nice.”
  10. Where’s your favorite place that you have traveled to?
    “This is hard for me to choose because there are so many good places. If I had to narrow it down to my top 3 I’d say Florida, England, and Italy.”
  11. If we started a band, what would our band name be?
    *thinks hard and giggles to himself* “I honestly don’t know. I’ve never thought about it.”
  12. What’s your motto in life?
    “Take your life seriously but don’t forget to enjoy it. It’s okay to have fun.”

I hope you enjoyed meeting Brett! We had fun working on this post so let us know if you have any questions you’d like us to answer together!

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Six Years of Blogging!

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November 21st, 2019 marked six years since I began writing Life of Hayley! I can’t believe that this incredible journey began with one badly written post that I typed up in my sophomore dorm room.

I had just turned 20 when I decided that I wanted to blog “for real”. I had a blog the year before for my freshman English class and I loved it! I’ve always been a writer and had given some serious thought to being a journalism major in college but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Having a blog has fulfilled my love of writing and has given me something to be truly passionate about.

I’ve come a long way in six years. I’ve learned to embrace being an introvert and all of the awkward things that come along with it. I’ve made some great internet friends and have enjoyed following along with their journeys. I’ve graduated from college, found a job, and have gotten married! I’ve lived in London and traveled all over.

The one constant thing in my life over these six years has been this. Sitting down and typing out my thoughts and feelings for anyone to read. Writing has been my therapy and you have been my friends.

Thank you all for an amazing six years! I’m looking forward to many more to come.

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Photo by Sagar Patil on Unsplash

Living Life Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

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Last week was really hard. I went into 2020 feeling really confident and ready to take on the world. I was comfortable. But maybe I was too comfortable?

When I graduated from college I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I felt pressure to find the perfect job and be the girl boss that I had always dreamed of being. I applied for at least 20 jobs in under a month but it took me almost six months and countless interviews before I landed my current job.

The first year was hard and I wanted to quit so badly. I told myself to give it a year and spent my free time looking at job postings. I was miserable in my role and my boss knew it. I made a change and started a new role that I loved right away. I joined this badass team of women who worked hard and really cared about each other. I felt empowered and impactful in my role. I was comfortable.

Sometimes the best opportunities are outside of our comfort zones but we are afraid to make the leap. Last week I didn’t make a leap of faith. Instead I was pushed outside of my comfort zone in the worst way. I was asked to move back into my old role temporarily while our team adjusted to some other transitions.

I cried more tears than I’m willing to admit because I love my team and was so comfortable in my role that I didn’t want to leave. I had finally established myself as a leader and was prepared to have the best year. I saw all of my dreams and career goals crashing all around me and I panicked.

We aren’t meant to live safely inside of our comfort zones. There is so much life to live but we are too scared to see it. I had so many negative feelings about the job that I couldn’t cope with the thought of going back to it. I needed to leave my negative feelings behind me and move on in order to fully become the girl boss that I want to be.

It’s okay to be scared of the unknown and to feel trapped or anxious. It’s okay to want to stay where you feel comfortable. But it’s also good to do things that scare you. This job scares me but I’m going to put in the work and become an expert. I’m going to prove to myself that I can do hard things and make the best of bad circumstances.

My life isn’t over because my plan didn’t work out exactly the way I thought it would. I’m learning to live my life outside of my comfort zone. I’m taking it day by day and learning to trust myself and feel confident in my abilities.

You can tackle any challenges that you are facing. I believe in you.

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Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

Migraine Update: Keto Diet & Positive Thinking

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My migraines and headaches have progressively gotten worse over the past couple of years but I have gotten stronger. It’s easy to let my fear of a migraine or my day-to-day pain bring me down but I’ve decided that I am stronger than my migraines and I deserve to live a life worth living.

There is no cure for migraines. There’s no easy way out. I haven’t been able to find a medication that will magically take all of my pain away and leave me symptom free. Instead I have decide that I am mentally strong enough to withstand the pain. There are still many days where I don’t want to get out of bed and sleeping is the only thing that helps. And that’s okay.

I had an appointment with my neurologist last week and I was a bit disappointed at first. It’s easy to feel like all of my doctors have given up on me when they can’t find a way to help my migraines. In this case, I think my neurologist was trying to push me to make a decision that I wasn’t ready to make at the time. He wanted me to make the decision on how much I’m willing to put my body through in order to be pain free. He wasn’t doing this to be hurtful but wanted to have an honest conversation with me. He’s a good guy and a great doctor.

I needed to take a step back. We talked about Amiovig at my last appointment and I had been thinking about it since. I hadn’t decided if I was ready to make that leap. So instead I decided to take some time to take care of myself for once. I’ve had a little success with my current medication so I’ll keep taking it. I’ve had a lot of success with eating a low-carb, low-sugar diet so I’ll try that again.

This is my third time doing the Ketogenic diet. I know that tons of people say that it’s not healthy but both of my neurologists have suggested it to me. According to them, Keto was originally created to help people with Epilepsy and can help those with other neurological problems as well.

Losing weight is not my main concern. I just want a healthy and happy brain. Sugar has always been a huge trigger for my migraines so now I’m putting my health first and saying no to sugar.

I don’t know how sustainable Keto will be for me. I already have so much more energy, less brain fog, and I’m sleeping better. I did not experience the “Keto flu” and I’m making sure that I still eat enough calories and drink enough water. I’m cooking new recipes and meal prepping and planning. I feel really good.

I want to push myself to do Keto for at least three full months and am keeping notes about how my body feels. I’m hoping that eating a healthier diet and avoiding my known food triggers will help me. I want to do what’s best for my body and this feels right for now.

I’m still taking things one day at a time but every morning when I wake up I remind myself that I am worthy of having a good day. I won’t let migraines bring me down forever even when I do have my really bad days.

Have you tried the Keto diet? Let me know if you have any tips!

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Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash