I’m having an “off day”. You know the kind of day I’m talking about…nothing is particularly bad but nothing is really getting a smile out of me either. I mean, when Ozzy Man Reviews fails to make me laugh I know that I am definitely “off”, hormonal or just tired and….possibly…..today….carb deprived. ūüôā Regardless, today is “eh”.

The morning was uneventful, the tasks monotonous and ordinary and after only about an hour of work in what I usually find to be my ridiculously happy and inspiring office I decided I needed to get out of the house.

So, now, I’m sitting at Scooters, at an outdoor table…staring at the landscaping that makes up a shopping complex I jokingly refer to as my “second home” – here’s to you Village Pointe! And….I still don’t feel any better. My instinct was to grab my phone, prettily arrange my iced coffee, my cute journal and open laptop to formulate an encouraging and cheerful Instagram post but, I changed my mind and opened this blog.

At this point….most of the people that “tune” into this blog are wondering why they are still reading…..and if you are, I appreciate it – depressssssing! But I do have a point.

I guess it has a lot to do with what I wrote about last week – about the wisdom that has come in my thirtieth year. It’s okay to have an off day. It’s even okay to have a really, really bad one.¬†We are all so consumed (at least I am) with making our weekends and even just our Tuesdays look like a perfect reality. Sometimes they are perfect, I don’t know about you, but I love opening up Facebook to find someone else having an absolutely wonderful day. But, how often do we log in just to say…..”wow, today has kind of sucked”? And those that do are not usually met with the sort of comments and “likes” that accompany a sunny, pretty, perky post.

So, this is me removing the filter, that pretty little filter I seem to add to every post and every picture almost robotically. Today isn’t my favorite….and for no real reason other than that sometimes life (no matter how good or bad) is exhausting. I am absolutely aware how lucky I am to have the life that I do….but, there is not a human being on this Earth that doesn’t sit down sometimes and think, eh….I don’t like this day. And this is me, telling you, for what it’s worth, it’s okay to remove your filter too.

And on that note, I want to say….and this is important so listen closely….it’s okay to know that someone, somewhere (or a lot of people, a lot of places) certainly have it ‘worse’ than you do at this very moment…but that doesn’t take away whatever weight you might be carrying this morning, this week, this month or even this year. Don’t ever let someone brush off your vulnerability as weakness or as unimportant as someone else’s pain, suffering or challenges.¬†

Now, no matter what kind of day you’re having….I’m going to leave you with what one of my favorite people always says to me…

“Be gentle with yourself.”

xoxo,Hayley

 

I went to the gym almost every day in the months before I turned 30, partly because I have been on a mission to get fit and slightly because I enjoyed bitterly typing in the numbers 2-9 when the elliptical would ask my age. I made a big deal of 30, unfortunately, the majority of my friends said “hello” & “goodbye” to 30 many….many years ago. ūüėČ So, while they were excited to celebrate me, the sympathy was in short supply.

Now…I’m only 2 months and 20 days into this 30-year-old adventure and I have to say, I like it…actually, I adore it. In my opinion, adoration, is one of the highest compliments you can pay to a person, a song, a dream, a hobby…and a life. It’s not just fondness, compatibility or even a strong love – it is all of those things combined. Adoration means that if one of those facets (liking, loving, wanting) fades…there is always another one to take it’s place. Adoration is consistent and all consuming. So, when I say I already¬†adore¬†my 30’s….well, that’s quite the statement.

I guess I can’t give an age….or a number, all of the credit. It just seems like my last decade has taught me quite a bit…some of it gut wrenching, some of it inspiring but most of it just necessary. And so I’ve found myself at a place in which so many things have fallen into place while so many other things haven’t….I figured, in an attempt to make everything make sense I would put together my initial thoughts on this whole “turning 30 thing”.

  1. People’s opinions matter so much less. I’m not a size 4, I like to drink and have fun but I like being in bed by 10pm sharp, I absolutely¬†adore my husband and I will brag about it every chance I get, I take wayyy too many selfies and I spend half of my time with my hair in a bun on top of my head (drives my husband nuts and not in the good way) but….whatever. This is who I am, this is what I look like, these are the things I like to do and this is the way I act. At some point in the last year when word trickled down to me that so and so said this or that person said that….I shrug, sometimes they’re wrong, a lot of times they’re right. I finally know who I am for better and for worse and it’s okay to be all of those things (good & bad).
  2. I’ve learned the art of saying “no”. I am certainly not an expert, but compared to several years ago I have learned to tell someone “no, I’m not up for that”. And it’s okay to cancel plans that I dread and it’s okay to not feel good and curl up in a blanket and take care of myself. I used to run myself ragged to make everyone around me happy…now, I assess who in my life deserves the effort, I make that effort as often as possible and as for the rest…well, I’ll be there…or I won’t. No apologies here.
  3. I’m brave and strong as shit. There was a time in my life when my illnesses would plague me and the world would seem like too much and I would settle down onto the floor in tears and decide that I must be one of the “weak” ones. And then one day, I risked absolutely everything to follow my heart and I endured every single heartbreak that followed only to find sheer bliss on the other end. Since then I’ve gone into health procedures and surgeries with a steadiness and determination some would envy and I’ve endured ailments (some that have lasted months) with strength and grace. The breakdowns that happened in between all of that bravery and determination weren’t/aren’t weakness, that was just me being human.
  4. ¬†People will let you down, some of them will be the very last person you expect that behavior from (I would know, I’ve been that person). It’s life. You can waste your time being shocked, upset, heartbroken and uneasy or you can except that people are people and everyone does what they need to do to protect themselves. While I will only truly rely on and trust a handful of people in my life (you guys know who are are) I will always expect the best from people….but when their best isn’t available I will offer them the grace and the forgiveness I haven’t always been offered. Humanity is imperfect, we were designed that way. I’m not encouraging anyone to expect the letdown, the worst….just, when it happens, remind yourself that you’ve let people down too.
  5. Finally, it’s all on you. I have the most loving family – immediate, extended and those amazing people I acquired by marriage – and my husband is…just the most incredible human being and his son…my stepson….he hugs and kisses me every time he leaves the room. But, even with all of that, my happiness depends entirely on me. I could have all of the love in the world pouring into my heart and if I’m not taking care of myself than it won’t matter…it won’t penetrate….and what’s worse, the love I try to give back won’t stick. It will be forced, empty….floating around the room without landing on anyone that I actually care about.

To put it simply….reaching this point in my life has been an incredible journey and a gift that many don’t get. And I guess it makes me encouraged and excited about what each year will bring as far as wisdom and happiness. All I can say is, when I was a little girl and I imagined my life at 30 (which seemed very, very far away)…this life has completely exceeded all expectations and I’m grateful for that.

Here’s to 30! And here’s to hoping for another healthy & happy 30 years!

xoxo,Hayley


Giveaway goodies!!!! Anyone who wants to order their starter kit from me this month…..I will send an oily gift basket which will include: 3 stress away & lavender bath bombs (color of your choice), lavender pillow and linen spray to help you drift of peacefully at night 😴😴, AND best of all a “motivation” roller blend that will encourage you to dominate your day, project, workout, etc.

1. Use this link to head over to the signup page: http://bit.do/hayleyawells

2. Sign up as a wholesale member (major savings!!!)

3. The member and enrolled ID should populate if not type this in 11122245

4. Pick your starter kit – the premium starter kit with the dewdrop is an excellent option.

5. Skip the essential reward points for now.

6. Confirm your order.

7. Change your life!!! AND THEN EARN YOUR FREEBIES!!

To find out more about my Essential Oil adventure and how you can change your life visit my Love, Bliss & Oils page here!

The truth? I’ve been avoiding this blog.¬†The list of things I have done instead of clicking “Publish” is endless and a little bit concerning.

This space scares me. It’s a summary of a girl I used to be, or at least the girl I thought I was and the life that went with it. A good life, just not the right one. A life that, sometimes, I have to convince myself even existed; full of memories that can only be relived in a fuzzy, unsure way. The transition from that life to this one was not smooth or fluid; it was full of sharp edges that other people as well as myself always¬†seemed to catch the end of.

To put it simply, the words on this blog remind me of my most intense battle: being me.

Every syllable of this blog prior to 2015 was dedicated to convincing anyone who might stumble across my words that everything, my whole life, was packaged up neatly with a pretty little bow.

A couple of months ago, I broke my nose. Maybe this seems like a random transition, but stay with me here.

Once the shock and hilarity of the whole situation had passed I was left with one swollen, slightly crooked nose and two very black eyes. I couldn’t do anything to cover it up, to make my face look like my face. Not to mention, just touching the area was extremely painful. So, for two weeks my face was void of all makeup – for anyone who knows me this is a major adjustment on its own – and it was bruised black & blue and then a sickly yellowish green before slowly disappearing, leaving my face as it found it. Those two weeks were…different. When I went out in public, people stared and not in a good way. I avoided mirrors. I was being beyond pouty and vain about something that would eventually heal, a temporary injury with the full knowledge that there are people out there dealing with horrendous illnesses and terrible battles. That only made me feel more miserable. To put it simply,¬†I didn’t handle it very well. Being stripped away of my image, of what I looked like without all of those things I relied on daily to “fix” my flaws.

But, my fiance came home every day and hugged me, kissed me and assured me I was still the love of his life. My friends were sympathetic but reminded me it would heal and told me, even if it was a white lie, that I was still beautiful. My family laughed at a situation that could only happen to me and made me laugh about it too.

I guess what I am trying to say is, this is what life was like for me for a really long time. That package, with the pretty little bow, was ripped open. And all of the mess, uncertainty, ugliness and disappointment was released from inside and I walked around with two very, very (figurative) black eyes. A lot of people didn’t like the unpackaged, less pretty version of my life and so they left – but I found it much less exhausting to be me, at both my best and my worst. Being a mess was a lot easier than pretending that I wasn’t one.

I owe a lot of that transition to Travis, my now fiance, the very first person in my life to see me completely – all of the good and every bit of the bad – and love me anyway. Also, a family, who I spent so many exhausting years trying to convince I had it all together…that I was a success….a rock – the person they could count on, they still loved me when they found out the truth. I make mistakes, lots of them. I think, maybe, they even loved me more. And the friends this transition brought into my life have been an epic blessing – its no longer a competition, a race, a battle to be the happiest, prettiest, most successful – instead its a circle of support, we all want each other to make it.

I’m going to come back to this blog, but this time, I’m going to make sure it is a reflection of who I am – not who I think other people want me to be.

It took 28 (almost 29) years to get here, to realize its okay to be a lot of sunshine mixed with a little bit of hurricane, to spend an entire day at home without ever actually putting on a pair of pants, to cry when things are sad or happy or overwhelming or for no good reason because….hormones, to eat an entire box of Mac n Cheese by myself and still have room for dessert. People will still love me if I forget to send a thank you note, a birthday card or I have to say no to a favor that was asked of me. It’s okay to miss a workout or not feel like doing that load of laundry or to keep the bed unmade for an entire week. The little snort at the end of my laugh is cute not embarrassing and if I want to wear something the rest of the world has deemed “out of style” I’m going to wear it, because I like it. Most of all, its okay to know what you want and its okay to do whatever you have to do to get it. I’ve learned to trust myself, to trust that I know what is best for me; you know when you have settled into the right life, with the right people because the littlest things bring happiness.

Waking up next to the person you love – knowing you’re the reason for the smile on their face, chatting openly and unabashedly with your best friends about some of those most embarrassing topics, a freshly mowed lawn, a perfectly cooked scallop, the love of a little boy who asks for nothing but some love back, folding clothes, drinking coffee, the flutter in my heart hearing the garage door open at the end of the day and knowing he’s home. This is life, this is contentment, this is me.

 

 

 

I’ve been terrified to write this. I’ve stared at the screen for several hours every week for many weeks willing the perfect words to escape my fingertips, willing the black letters¬†on a white screen to come together in such a way that everyone would understand. “Ooohhh,” they’d say, “that poor girl, she has always meant well, even when she destroyed people.”

Today, I realized, there is nothing I could write, no rhetoric that would make sense to everyone….no such thing as a blog post that could comfort all of those I may have hurt.

And maybe the effort seems pointless, damaging even….but the truth is, living in the past is trying to destroy¬†me. Living where all of the hurt we all caused each other has gone to die, where all of the bullets have settled amongst their wounds – that place bears no forgiveness from myself or anyone else.

“Learn to accept an apology you never got.” That’s the cliche, right? I can live with all of the apologies I never received, I find, though, that I struggle with the apologies I never distributed.

Right here, where I am in life, is absolutely imperfect. A large portion of the time is spent in absolute euphoria….but, a lot of the time it is sad, sometimes it is lonely, many¬†times its confusing and in very small moments it is unbearable….but it is, without a doubt, absolutely where I am supposed to be.

I cannot put into words what it feels like when you find the place where you belong. I had never in my previous 27 years found it and it was not for lack of trying. Every decision I made, every place I landed Рit was easy Рbut always wrong, I always felt at odds with my contentment.

I exist in a world I would have never created for myself and, somehow, it is everything I have ever wanted and needed. And yet, I am excruciatingly aware of all of the things and all of the people I have had to sacrifice for my own happiness, my own well being.

I won’t regret it. I haven’t yet and I never will. Even if this world is temporary it was worth every bit of anguish to be here for this precious amount of time.

I am deeply regretful that people had to suffer because it took me just a bit longer to find what I wanted, what I needed, what my own existence depended on. I was never one to leave destruction in my wake, but I was also never one to put my own needs before those around me.

I am sorry that it all happened at once. I am sorry that I couldn’t be everything I promised to all of the people in my life.

I hope this apology means forward progression, I hope it means I can leave it all behind, I hope that I means I can thrive. I guess most of all, I hope that all of those people who felt betrayed by my choices can wish me well.

I want the best for everyone I have ever loved and I can only hope they want the same for me.

 

 

I drink more coffee than a Gilmore.

(If you don’t get that reference…then you MUST park your butt on the couch and spend the next few weeks of your life watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.)

Anyway…as I was saying, I drink more coffee than a Gilmore. Which means, I know my coffee and I know a great cup from a good cup and a good cup from a bad cup.

So, when Gusto coffee emailed me and asked me to do a review of their coffee I was more than willing. When I went to their website to do a bit more research and discovered that Gusto Coffee is not only passionate about the quality of their coffee but also the integrity of where that coffee comes from I was hooked. Fair trade and high quality is there mission and I was incredibly impressed by both.

I only became more impressed when the product arrived. The packaging, the logo and the overall presentation was idyllic!

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I was even more thrilled to have the chance to prepare the coffee from it’s “whole bean” form. I never get to use my coffee grinder and I find that coffee from whole beans is so much fresher and more satisfying than when purchased already ground!

Gusto Coffee 1

Gusto Coffee 2

I was pleased to find that not only did the whole process feel exactly like making an amazing cup of coffee should feel it was also an AMAZING cup of coffee. The taste was rich without be overwhelming and the whole experience was extremely rewarding. When this bag is gone I am positive I will be purchasing more of this fantastic coffee!

This is the face of a happy coffee drinker!!

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Also, have to shout out the adorable “Like A Boss” coffee mug and my Jamberry nails. Find the mug here and the Jamberry nails here!

Header Photo

When I look back on my beauty regime¬†“fails” I always find myself focusing on my nails.

I’m so aware that rhymed. I can’t even help it.

But seriously…my nails only received special attention on very special occassions…prom, someone’s wedding or….when my mom offered to pay for my manicures.

As I have delved into the world of blogging and subsequently giving people beauty advice, I became brutally aware of all of my own beauty shortcomings.

Most importantly, my nails.

Unfortunately, my talent for brushing on the perfect eye shadow did NOT translate to slathering polish on my poorly cared for, cuticle consumed finger nails. And, so I took the usual Hayley approach…I dumped a bunch of money into the project. Spending $65-$75 every few weeks on a detailed shellac manicure that became less of a luxury and more of a chore.

And then one day I stumbled across Jamberry. I will admit that my previous experience with nail wraps was less than desirable – the application was time consuming and quite frequently ended with losing several of the wraps in my hair during a shampoo.

But, when a friend named Amy – who happens to be an independent Jamberry consultant insisted that I try the product to review, I couldn’t help but bite. Now, I’m hooked!

When the wraps arrived I was pleased to find that they were just as adorable in person as they appeared to be on the website. The only hard part is deciding which wraps to get, luckily, they are affordable enough you can choose several without breaking the bank

She insisted that I not only try out the wraps but also the mini dryer as well! Just to test out the effectiveness of the dryer I tried BOTH a blow dryer (which others had recommended if you did not have a mini dryer) and the mini dryer Jamberry sells. The mini dryer made all of the difference!! It made the entire process so much easier!

The official video gives you all of the application tips & tricks that you need!

The application is easy, quick and effective. These things don’t go anywhere until you want them too! And there are so many options and designs (and new ones keep on coming!!) that you can never get bored of your look.

Jamberry Review 1

Jamberry Review 3

Jamberry REview 2

The adorable pattern is MORE THAN getting me through the last half of this winter! And I can’t wait to pick out some more!

Want some wraps (and a mini dryer!) of your own?

Visit Amy’s Facebook Page and Website to order some now!

Humans…each of us, bring our own pasts and our own personalities into every relationship we encounter.

I bring fear, lots of it. Fear of abandonment, fear of loss, fear of watching a person slowly drift away. Truth be told that has been the story that accompanied every relationship I have ever known in one way or another. Even if the person came back…at some point, they left.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad for me….no, instead….I’m trying to make us all pause to understand one another. My fear of abandonment causes me to push before they leave. Not ideal…what if they were never going to leave? Not permanently anyway.

Others fear engulfment, entrapment, loss of self, loss of a dream or a goal, loss in general.

We humans exist in this life projecting our fears on the people who surround us…it is a fucking pinball machine…all of us and our fears bumping against each other.

Why do we even bother?

I think I know why.

Because when we survive it. A rift. A fight. A war. When we reunite with a lost friend, or hug someone after we fought and cried and screamed….or even when we find the strength to forgive those people who never asked for it…when we send prayers to those who never bothered to send them to us….when we’ve passed it, the relief that follows is euphoric. The staggered breath we breathe in is unlike any oxygen we’ve ever encountered. We feel cleansed.

Just my thoughts for the night.

Fun stuff soon.

xoxo.

Life is so fucking weird.

If there is one thing I learned in 2014…it’s that. Life is weird, and what’s worse? Is it, or God, or whatever higher power you might believe in is absolutely calling the shots. You are not really¬†in control of hardly anything.

Kind of a horrible feeling, amiright?

There is one thing, though…I feel like we have all been granted control of. Telling the people we care about…just how much we care about them while they are here, in our lives or on this planet.

I have always been an “I love you” girl. I grew up in a family that said it every time one of us exited a room. And I love that about myself. I love to tell people how much they matter, I love to make it clear to those in my life how important their presence is for my existence. But even with this sort of mentality…I forget. I forget how much a person might need to hear it. I take for granted the fact that someone should just know how much I love them.

This year I learned that you can’t predict the last time. You have absolutely no idea when the last time you talk to someone might be…people are separated every day; by death, by distance, by loss, by dreams, by goals, by choices.

So, today…tell them. All of those people that are still in your life, all of those souls that still circle your perimeter and matter….tell them so. Let them know.

Don’t play games with your significant other, don’t wait for your friend to reach out to you, don’t ignore your mom’s call while you’re on the phone with someone else…or right in the middle of your favorite TV show.

So, I guess this is my New Year’s Eve post…make your resolutions. Lose that weight, sleep more, read more, floss your teeth, but most of all…pick up the phone, take out a piece of paper, open a damn Facebook¬†message and make it a habit to tell the important people just how important they are. It is a privilege to have them in your life…act like it.

Here’s to 2015!

Home Office Makeover

You guys…this has been like 3 years in the making. Ever since I bought this house I stared at this perfect little space that was to be my very own office.

Unfortunately, I never made the time to really fix the thing up. The walls were tan…the carpet was tan…and the furniture was old. It was the least attractive room of the house…and yet, I expected to come there and find inspiration. I didn’t. As a matter of fact, I found myself creating makeshift workspaces in literally every other room in the house…JUST so I could avoid this room. So silly!

So, earlier this fall, when my life took a dramatically different direction I decided there was no better way to embrace the change and newly found independence than by finally creating the inspirational and creative space I’ve always wanted so much.

I am pleased to say…3 months later, I’m absolutely in love with the space I’ve created. I feel comfortable here, I feel capable, indestructible and motivated. It was my first real project on my own…I painted, put together the furniture, tackled some obstacles and setbacks…but, I did it on my own.

Okay, I’ll shut up and just show you!

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HOme Office 9

Home Office 1

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Totally photo happy…but I just can’t help it, I’m obsessed!!

Hopefully you’re feeling ridiculously inspired to redo an area of your house or your life that you’ve been putting off!!

Now, tell me…what’s your favorite addition to the office?? ūüôā

x,Hayley