Is there such a thing as the perfect vacation?

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

It’s mid-April as I write this, and for lots of us, now is the time to start thinking about an annual summer vacation. Yippee! It’s certainly an exciting prospect, with downtime from work, and the opportunity for some much needed R & R (either alone or with loved ones in tow). HOWEVER… for many, summer vacations induce anxiety. All manner of things can go wrong, and the idea of a “perfect” vacation is a lot to live up to.

Prep and plan as you might, your vacation may not go the way you expect it to…

  • The weather – torrential rain, wind, cold snaps – where was the sunshine you were hoping for?
  • Grumpy companions – you have taken them away for their holidays, but why do they insist on complaining all of the time?
  • Transportation  – missed or cancelled flights, car breakdowns, other people getting in your way…if only there was an easier way to transport yourself around the world.
  • Sickness – you really should have learned the lingo before choosing from the menu!

Sound familiar? Don’t worry; these problems are common to all of us. So, while it is difficult to attain absolute perfection, there are things you can do to improve your chances:

  • Do your research before travelling. Find out what the weather is going to be like at certain times of the year in your preferred location, and make sure you read reviews online about airlines, hotels, food places, etc. The better informed you are, the more likely you are to enjoy each aspect of your getaway.

 

  • Choose a destination you will all enjoy. Assuming you aren’t travelling alone, consider the needs of those travelling with you. While you won’t please everybody all of the time, you can still make compromises so that everyone has a good time. 

 

  • Read my top airport tipsI know, I know…Nothing irks me like that random dude in the security line who thinks because he flies twice a month for business he can start bossing everyone around. Everyone’s an expert, right? But if you’re planning on boarding a plane this year, give these tips a read!

 

  • Stick to your price range. You aren’t going to have a good time if you suddenly run out of money and find yourself with nothing to do, so budget carefully before jetting off somewhere. I think it helps to set a “before-you-go budget” (for flights, lodging, etc.) and a “spending budget” (your allowance while you’re there). 

 

  • Think about your accommodation. Whether you choose a luxury hotel like the Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel or a youth hostel off the beaten track like Hostal El Momento in Granada, make this a priority. It has to be within your budget, appropriate to your needs, and within reach of the sights you want to see while you’re away. Double-check that you’re booked in before arrival as well, just in case of a mix-up!

 

  • Don’t try and do everything while you’re away. With so many things to see and do, you will burn yourself out if you try and tick off everything on your itinerary. So, plan for downtime, only visit the places you are desperate to see and leave the remainder for your next holiday. 

 

  • Forget perfection. The higher your expectation, the more disappointment you will feel if something goes wrong. If you can go with the flow and enjoy the time you have, no matter the mishaps, the more enjoyable your holiday will be. I promise!

What do you think? Have I missed anything? Have you achieved the perfect vacation? TELL US YOUR SECRETS! 

P.S. A mini vacay to Delray Beach! 

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30 Days of Ballet Training

I don’t know if this will be interesting to anyone but, for the sake of accountability, I’m gonna blog about my current fitness challenge! You might know from this post and this one, that a) I love creating my own fitness challenges and b) I love pretending I’m a ballerina.

I love creating my own fitness challenges because I’m a self-proclaimed decisionphobe. Now what does that have to do with working out? Well, I LOVE exercising. The brain break it gives me during and those sweet, sweet endorphins after. But without a clear plan in place…I’ll often just skip exercising entirely. Making the decision about what to do and when to do it leaves me at an impasse. Because I know this about myself, I plan ahead and make all the decisions in one big batch!

I love pretending I’m a ballerina because ballet is something I’ve done since I was itty-bitty. In my experience, finding delight as an adult is often as easy as reflecting on what brought you joy as a child and doing THAT.

So with all that out of the way, let’s chat about my 30 days of ballet training!

The challenge is made up of 5 types of work-outs:

STRETCH – That’s an obvious one. Stretching.
STRENGTH – Less ballet inspired, more building strength in key areas NEEDED for ballet.
TRAIN – Ballet-inspired workout to train a specific body part or aspect of ballet.
CARDIO – Center work without breaks to get the heart-rate up.
BARRE – Also an obvious one. Barre work.

Here’s what the work-outs look like over the 30 days:

Week One

1 – STRETCH: Flexibility
2 – STRENGTH: Legs and Abs
3 – STRETCH & STRENGTH: Back
4 – STRENGTH: Back
5 – STRETCH: Total Body
6 – STRENGTH: Knees
7 – BARRE: Classical Ballet

Week Two

8 – TRAIN: Posture
9 – BARRE: Fitness (in athletic shoes)
10 – TRAIN: Extension
11 – CARDIO: Stamina Work
12 – STRENGTH: Arms
13 – STRETCH: Adagio Inspired
14 – BARRE: Floor

Week Three

15 – STRENGTH: Legs and Bum
16 – TRAIN: Arches
17 – BARRE: Classical and Fitness Combo
18 – TRAIN: Splits
19 – STRENGTH: Arms and Core
20 – TRAIN: Core
21 – BARRE: Fitness (in athletic shoes)

Week Four

22 – STRETCH: Yoga Inspired
23 – STRENGTH: Legs and Abs
24 – TRAIN: Neck and Arms
25 – STRETCH: Active Stretching
26 – TRAIN: Arms
27 – TRAIN: Abs
28 – STRETCH: Active Stretching

Bonus Days

29 – STRENGTH: Back
30 – CARDIO: Classical Center

I’m currently on Day 13 (and yes, my arms are sore from yesterday!) and am loving the training schedule so far. I’m already feeling stronger and more flexible. Shall I report back after Day 30?

If you’re interested in taking on a similar training schedule, I put together this 10-Day Ballet Challenge (using free online work-outs). Let me know if you try it out!

And if you suffer from decision fatigue, I can not recommend making your own fitness challenge enough. It works for all types of exercise and fitness levels! Need help getting started? Shoot me an email! I would LOVE to help you put one together. 🙂

What’s your favorite way to exercise? Have you ever tried a fitness challenge (either one that was already made or something you put together yourself)? 

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? Now that it’s full-blown, hot-as-heck Summer down here in South Florida, I’m planning to take all my work-related phone calls poolside for the rest of the season. Just the prospect makes the rest of the work-week sound so much more bearable. How are YOU making it through to the weekend? Hope the rest of your week is divine, and here are some links…

10 historical superstitions we carry on today.

Misunderstanding a female serial killer.

22 ambassadors recommend the one book to read before visiting their country.

This family is VERY committed to their karaoke rendition of “One Day More” from Les Mis.

Spend a day working with a paparazzi photographer.

8 books you need to read if you’re interested in cults. (and/or just finished binge watching Wild Wild Country like yours truly!)

I have a free class credit with Master Class and I’m thinking of enrolling in this one taught by Malcom Gladwell.

Absolutely in love with everything about this a-frame house. (When can I move in?)

From friendly mermaids to a fiery volcano, the mini-golf courses in Myrtle Beach have it all.

This ice cream shop is so good that Israelis sneak into Palestine to eat there.

The guy who can’t stop winning HQ trivia.

I’ve been itching to read this book. Anyone have a copy?

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Five Great Poetry Books! and Mini Vacay: Delray Beach!!!

Looking for a Second Income Source?

Y’all know I love ballin’ on a budget, right? Well, one of my favorite tips to give fellow budget ballers is, “DIVERSIFY YOUR INCOME STREAMS!” Luckily, there are lots of ways to achieve this. Read on to discover some of my favorite suggestions on how to earn extra money…

Freelance – There are so many options for freelancers today. All you need to do is a quick search online and you will find tons of websites designed for freelancers. Many of them work like this: Someone looking for a job to be completed will post a listing, and interested parties will make an application. If your application is accepted, you submit your work and the money will hit your bank or PayPal account. If you have skills that can be put to use over the web — such as writing, photography, or web design–this could be a great fit!

Start a blog – A blog won’t make you money overnight, but if you have something you are passionate about (a niche!), starting a blog is a great step towards generating income in the future. Once your blog is going, and you’ve built up an audience, there are a number of ways to make money — from sponsored posts to affiliate marketing.

Invest – Another way to make money is by investing. However, this is not something you should dive straight into. Take the time to read feedback, such as these thinkorswim reviews, which enlighten you to various brokers and investment products so that you are informed on the pros and cons. Before you can invest, you need to make sure you are aware of your attitude to risk and that you only invest within your means and your comfort levels.

Share economy – The share economy is booming…and for good reason! You could drive for Lyft, deliver Instacart orders, or rent out your spare room on Airbnb. But if these aren’t for you, there are other ways to earn a bit of cash while also helping out others. Evaluate what you have and consider if sharing might be of value to someone. For example, if you live in an area that is close to a lot of businesses, you could look into renting out your driveway.

Sell your belongings – Last but not least, it is likely that you have some stuff in your house that you aren’t particularly fond of anymore, nor do you need. You can sell these items online to make a little easy money. Need some inspiration? Check out this video — 


Looking for a second income source but not sure what would be a good fit? Let’s bounce around ideas in the comments! Or feel free to shoot me an email.

Do any of you have any “wins” when it comes to diversifying income streams that you’d like to share? If you do, drop ’em below! 

My Recipe for Self-Love

What you’ll need:

  1. SOLITUDE – Spending quality time alone is one of the number one ways we get to know ourselves. And you gotta know yourself before you can even think about loving yourself. When you’re away from the “busy” of everyday life and the external influences that shape you, you can express yourself however you like. So get creative!
  2. AFFIRMATION – When we repeat positive, encouraging messages to ourselves it can change the way that we feel. Toxic thoughts are bound to crop up — no matter who you are! So why not actively try to negate some of that negativity?
  3. INTENTION SETTING – If we never set a target, who is to blame when we miss the mark? Write down your intention for tomorrow, speak your intentions out loud, share your goals with loved ones. Clarifying what we want to achieve not only sets us up for success, but honors our path as something that is important and achievable.

 

And how it all comes together:

-Schedule some time for SOLITUDE. Spend this time getting to know yourself by brainstorming what you love about yourself in the present and what you’d like to improve on or accomplish in the future. You may want to write in a journal or meditate during this process.

-Begin a regular AFFIRMATION practice. Need help getting in the swing of things? Try a daily mirror affirmation for the next 7 days or check out my 30 day mantra challenge. Remember those things you love about yourself in the present? Start telling yourself.

-Now set yourself up for future successes, and new areas to affirm, by SETTING INTENTIONS. Start writing out a daily intention for the following day before you go to sleep at night. Not only will you sleep better, but you’ll start prioritizing based on your own needs and dreams. Self-love (with a dash of productivity) at it’s finest!

Want to go even bigger? Identify 3 intentions for the year to come. Write them out and post somewhere you’ll see every day. A constant reminder that your goals matter and are possible.

Do you utilize SOLITUDE, AFFIRMATIONS, or INTENTIONS to facilitate self-love? What does YOUR self-love recipe look like? Share the ingredients below! 

P.S. Interested in learning more about the power of positive affirmations? Check out my 4-part series on MANTRAS! 

 

The Foodie Instagram Accounts You Should Totally Follow

Way back in 2014, I wrote this post about why I love Instagram so much. Instagram is like a happy union between glossy magazine, family photo album, and public diary so it’s no wonder I still love scrolling through the app to this day!

With that in mind, I thought I’d do a little series shouting out some of the accounts I love to follow. Starting with a very controversial subject matter — FOOD. Secretly (well, not such a secret NOW), I LOVE the fact that there are folks out there who take pics of their meals. While I recognize the critique of the millennial snappin’ pics of her plate while her food gets cold is a valid one, the entertainment factor on my end is certainly enjoyable. (And if it brings the ‘grammer joy too then I say, “DO. YOU.”)

You Should Totally Follow —

amy__currie … for her Trader Joe’s hauls and serious commitment to Pizza Fridays.

beckyinbold … for the super simple Whole 30 meal ideas and hiker snacks.

chefdphillips … because she’s a Kentucky girl and she wrote an awesome cookbook.

honeysucklebeez … for the beautiful food styling and meal prep ideas for busy bees!

pinchofmar … for fresh fruit and veggie inspo and her realistic healthy meals.

100daysofrealfood … because real food is the BEST food and you gotta love a lunchbox snap!

Over to you! Leave your fave foodie follows in the comments below. Oh, and drop your IG handle as well. Mine is @BBerg1012 and I’d love to connect (even though my foodie IG game could use some work, lol). 

My 3 Wardrobe #LifeHacks for Unique Style on a Budget

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Creating your own unique style can be hard to do, especially when you’re on a budget.

For a lot of us out there, we have droves and droves of clothes piles, but still feel like we have nothing to wear. However, without the bank account to replace these tired duds, the idea of throwing ’em all out to start anew doesn’t seem in the cards. 

A massive wardrobe overhaul takes time and effort, not to mention some serious dough! So if you want to create a new and unique style on a budget, here’s the advice you’ve been looking for.

Don’t Be Afraid to Cut and Chop

When you’ve got some clothes stuck right at the back of your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in a very long time, it’s time to scoop them out and start restyling them for the current era. So whether you’ve got a pair of flared jeans you know wouldn’t be seen outside of 2008, or an old cardigan you know you wouldn’t even want your grandmother to wear, research ways to re-purpose.

Turn a tired tee into a comfortable dress. Cut the flares off of those jeans and re-hem them into the cropped, ankle-length style everyone’s been lovin’ this season. 

Shop Online

Shopping online offers you the variety and choice you won’t get when pounding the pavement. Not to mention, clicking around is WAY faster.

Check out vintage Etsy shops or vintage style pieces from ModCloth, whole shops dedicated to one kind of style or genre, or custom services like the one that can be found here. A few original pieces will go a long way when rebooting your style.

Focus on Accessories

Any tired and old wardrobe can be made to feel unique again with the addition of a new bag or pair of shoes. And a jewelry box is a lot cheaper to update than a whole closet. Invest in a few current accessory trends and you’ll be amazed at how refreshed your look will feel — especially when you pair these new pieces with classic wardrobe staples

Lately I’ve been loving Le Tote as a way to keep my accessories up-to-date without having to worry about what to buy. I just get a new accessory each time they send me a box, I wear it a few times, then send it back! [Click here for a free tote.]

But I want to hear from you! Do you have a ton of clothes but still find yourself wanting an updated style? How do you create a unique wardrobe on a budget? Tell us in the comments so we can learn from you!

P.S. Check out my 4 week plan to DITCH FAST FASHION!

 

mid-week round-up

What it do, baby-boos? Yesterday I brought back my favorite South Florida perk — the 2 p.m. break from work to to take a dip in the pool!!! Now I’m just struggle-bussin’ it through the last half of the work week when all I wanna do is drink boulevardiers, watch this docu-series on Netflix that everyone’s been raving about, and make pocket letters. Eeps! Weekend where are you??? Hope you’ve got some enticing weekend plans in mind, and here are a few links I found fascinating…

Why is there so much focus on no-platforming at elite universities, when hundreds of colleges across America regularly suppress speech?

Starting your day in a way that works for YOU.

Related: Don’t Hide Your Hustle – Lucy, Graphic Designer

The 33 most exciting new books of 2018.

The maternity care desert in Washington D.C.

A teenager told police all about his gang, MS-13. In return, he was slated for deportation and marked for death.

Gun fatalism is reasonable in a terrifying country.

Native American lacrosse teams reported racial abuse. Then their league expelled them.

Smashing guiding’s glass ceiling.

Related: On the Rooftop of the World

How women see how male authors see them.

As gentrification closes in, immigrants in Lincoln Heights see their American dream slipping away.

The weird true story of the rise and fall of the waterbed.

The most Instagrammed location in every state. (Summer road trip inspiration!!)

P.S. Follow me on Instagram. 

The one small thing I do every day to put myself in a good mood…

Years ago, I found myself in a bit of a rut. No matter how hard I tried life wasn’t turning out the way I had hoped and the pressure to turn things around started to feel like a black cloud rather than a rainbow of possibility.

Then one day, something changed.

I decided I would spend my drive to work (at a job I never expected to have) looking for things that would make me smile. A sweet old labrador lumbering down the sidewalk. A pair of siblings running to their bus stop. Weird license plates. Light hitting a puddle just so.

In the span of my 15 minute commute I went from grumpy to great! I continued to practice this exercise every day and was dumb-founded at the difference it made. Suddenly I was “finding delight” in the present moment instead of worrying about the future or what my life should look like.

Now, I still make time to seek out things I delight in every day. Whether this means looking out for things that make me smile when I’m stuck in Miami traffic (I clocked that burger graffiti pictured above while waiting at an intersection) or reading an article just for fun or asking myself “What will bring me joy today?” and then doing THAT. Just taking a few minutes to shift my perspective to the present moment works wonders. It’s the easiest, and simplest, way I know to turn my mood around!

So, I’d love to know — What made you smile today? If you’re still struggling for an answer, take a look around RIGHT NOW and look for something to delight in. What do you see? Thanks for sharing! 

Spruce Up Your Neutral Rental – Without Upsetting the Landlord!

When it comes to home decor, you can’t go wrong with light neutrals. Shades like light grey, beige, or even plain white can all bounce the light around making any space look bigger or brighter- plus the colors work with any style of decor. In my vast rental experience, landlords love painting their properties this way as it appeals to the most amount of tenants, allowing them to get people in and renting their places as quickly as possible. However, while there are great benefits to a neutral, blank canvas- it can feel very impersonal and can take a bit of sprucing up to make it feel like YOUR home.

Here are some of the ways you can liven up a rental without changing those neutral walls and flooring…

Add Wall Decoration

Landlords can be funny about their tenants putting holes in the walls, so it’s worth speaking to them first and getting permission. (If you’re not allowed to make holes, you can always use command hooks.) You could hang anything from a piece of art that you’ve carefully selected to a gallery wall made up of framed prints that you switch up every few months. Either way, wall decor is an easy way to add personality to a room without paint or wallpaper. Round out the look with a statement clock and a mirror, these will also break up the bland walls but they’re of course functional, too!

Choose Statement Furniture

When the rest of your decor is  plain, you have the freedom to be a bit more adventurous with other items and your furniture is one place you can go wild. How about choosing a statement coffee table, or upcycling your tv unit or sideboard for a unique look? A plain sofa might be best as it’s an investment piece that will need to stand the test of time. But pair it with a brightly colored or patterned chair or a funky footstool. Choose one or two key pieces to stand out and go with bold and unusual styles. A fantastic way to show off your personality!

Think About Lighting

Lighting is something that’s often overlooked and left as an afterthought when it comes to decor, but it shouldn’t be. Lighting is such an important element, and it’s another way you can inject a little extra personality into the room. It could be anything from a chandelier to an industrial looking fitting with exposed bulbs. And don’t forget to add lamps! If you purchase smart bulbs, you can adjust the brightness and warmth of any room’s glow right from your phone. Plus, colorful or interesting lamp bases, shades, or both can bring in a little extra something to a room that’s decorated in neutral colors.

Consider Accessories

Your accessories are what will bring the room together, show your style and allow your personality to come through. Add cozy cushions and throws to spruce up sofas, chairs and beds. Patterned or colored rugs to make floors feel more comfortable and to tie rooms together. Let your interests and hobbies shine through! Whether that includes a place to display your geode collection, a Viking axe hung on the wall, or a beautifully aquascaped aquarium! Don’t just choose things for the sake of it, instead have a good think about not only what will work well in the space but what really reflects YOU. Your home should be a curation of the things that you love. Just remember – it’s quality over quantity when it comes to things out on display.

Add Plants

Any home (whether a rental or not) will benefit from the addition of plants! Not only does the color and texture liven up a home but they’ve even been shown to boost mood. You could go with some larger standing varieties in pots, a few mini cactus, smaller plants on tables and desks, and hanging plants. If you’re bad at keeping plants alive, go for low maintenance varieties, or there’s even some rather realistic-looking faux varieties on the market these days. Vases of flowers are another option. You can buy bunches from supermarkets very cheaply, and they will brighten your home for days! Plus, it’s a fun way to treat yourself. 

How have you spruced up a neutral rental without upsetting your landlord?!