3 Tips for Brides-To-Be

3 tips for brides to-be

Planning a wedding can be incredibly overwhelming. For one thing, there’s a TON of wedding advice online detailing all the things a bride “must” do. And then there’s a whole host of other folks IRL who will happily weigh in with their opinions.

How many traditions can there be for ONE day? Do we have to complete every DIY from that “Happily ever after…” Pinterest board? Why does everyone want to make this about THEM!? AAAAH!

It’s enough to make a gal wanna call the whole thing off and head for the courthouse! But I believe everyone can plan the wedding of their dreams . Sometimes it just takes a little bit of strategizing…

So, for all my brides-to-be out there, here are my 3 favorite tips to help you cut through all the noise: 

  • Use traditions as a gentle guide not a do-or-die road map. You can have that walk-down-the-aisle moment of your childhood fantasies without needing to be escorted by a parent. You can cut your cake or not. Your first dance can be in the midst of your ceremony. Talk to your partner about what traditions are important to you, which you’d rather skip, and if there’s room for adaptation. You get to create your own version of the day. 

 

  • Choose three financial priorities. If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, figure out your priorities before diving in with checkbook in tow. Once you’ve picked your big three, you’ll have a clearer picture of what elements you feel ok splurging on and which you can DIY. For example, music didn’t rank in our top three priorities so we went for an mp3 player plugged into a rented speaker to jam our reception playlist. However, if it ranks in yours, you may want to hire a professional DJ or a local string quartet. I wanted a bouquet made by a local florist but if this detail is something you’d rather save on then, by all means, hit up that Pinterest board girlfriend. 

 

  • Find ways to involve family and friends that go beyond a wedding party. Sure you may want to have your nearest and dearest standing beside you as you proclaim your love, but I’m guessing these folks have a fair few talents besides looking pretty in pictures. The pieces of your big day will hold so much more sentimentality if they were constructed by the people who love you.  Ask them to do a reading or MC or braid your hair or help you pick out table runners. If folks in your life are chiming in with a whole bunch of opinions, they’re likely coming from a good place–they might just be unsure of how to help. Give them a role to fill!

 

At the end of the day, wedding’s will never go completely as planned. There will be some detail that completely slips your mind…a last minute change or addition you didn’t plan for. But by choosing meaningful traditions, spending on the details most important to you (and saving on all the rest), and getting your nearest and dearest involved–your big day is sure to be a beautiful success!

This post was sponsored by BBBGEM, a custom jewelry store whose white gold wedding bands, morganite wedding sets, and rose gold moissanite engagement rings are nothing short of stunning. Thanks for supporting the brands that support FINDING DELIGHT! xoxo

(Photo above: Sur La Lune Photography)

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List 5: Weekend Goals

A new series in which I share lists which I hope will help you to get to know me better. Why? Because I started this blog what feels like forever ago and there’s bound to be some new faces peering in once and awhile! So these posts are kinda like an introduction (or a reintroduction for those who’ve been with me since the jump!). A nice to meet ya, so glad you stopped by, now STAY AWHILE! Why lists? Because I love making ’em! (+ it’s the summer and I can give myself some grace when it comes to not posting overly-elaborate blog posts.)

madison al sur la lune photography

This is the last weekend before my professor-husband’s Fall semester starts. We plan to make the most of it!

Weekend goals…

Take a bunch of photos for social media.

Finish a book or two.

Explore Decatur, AL.

Spend some time in water.

Try a new restaurant.

Work on a new side hustle project.

Send out cards to a few pen pals.

Laugh a bunch!

Note: I’ve been tracking my days on the Daylio app for a little over a month now. (Have you ever used this app?) Something that always seems to be present when I rank a day as being “THE BEST”? Doing anything new — going somewhere I’ve never been, trying a new food, starting a new book, etc. etc. Trying to set my weekend goals accordingly! (I guess I love an adventure!!)

Tell me what you plan to do this weekend in the comments below! xoxo
(Photo above: Sur La Lune Photography)

[And in case you’re curious…

LIST 1
LIST 2 
LIST 3
LIST 4]

mid-week round-up

What have you been up to, my loves? Over the weekend, Chet and I drove around some nearby areas we’d yet to explore and enjoyed lunch on the Tennessee River. The weather was so beautiful and it was so nice to get out and it explore. There are so many little hidden gems to see and do! Now I’ve got work projects on the brain until next weekend. *le sigh* But hopefully squeezing in a bit of yard work, too! Hope y’all are having a wonderful week, and here are a few things I’ve rounded up for ya…

These lunch ladies stole half a million dollars!

Learning how to dress in your 30’s as a woman

Related: My Latest Le Tote

This Brooklyn apartment was inspired by movies from the 1990’s.

You don’t owe anyone an interaction.

Check out CreativeLive’s 50 Basics Under $50.

On Irishness, immigration, and race.

Related: Maeve in America by Maeve Higgins

How to deliver a pep talk that’s actually motivating.

The best coming-of-age movies.

Do you think these work?

Don’t let the title scare you away!

After the mosquitoes went away.

What stretching actually does to your body.

From now, through September, BLUME is offering 25% off ALL orders (including subscriptions) with coupon code BACK2SCHOOL.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 9 Activities to Break Up the Day When You’re Working From Home and A Social Media Manager Shares a Day in Her Life.

10 Tiny Changes You Can Make to Help Save the Planet (& MONEY!)

save the planet and money too

Friends, let’s talk about a few tiny lifestyle changes I think everyone should make. 

What do you say? Do you want to do something (that’s like, totally easy!) on behalf of Mother Earth? Do you want to save money in the process???

Kind of a no-brainer, right? Here are 10 things that are so tiny you could totally implement them all at once (or maybe already have but need a gentle reminder to get back on track and/or recommit)…

The Power of Power Strips

Utilize power strips so you can switch off power to appliances and chargers when they’re not in use.

Put Your Laptop to Bed

Why should your laptop be awake when you’re asleep?! Help your computer catch some much needed zzz’s by switching it off overnight.

Shop the Bulk Bins for Snacks

Snack foods have a ton of unnecessary packaging. Grab a reusable container and hit up the bulk food section at your local market. A great earth saving snack option? Popcorn! Microwave popcorn bags are often lined with harmful chemicals. So go the old fashioned route with bulk kernels, a pan, and some oil.

Go Flexitarian

Did you know it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef? Find ways to limit your meat consumption. You can start by choosing one meat-free day a week and work your way up from there. I recommend checking out this cookbook.

Eco-Friendly Periods

There are some pretty great options when it comes to waste-free menstruation. Period panties! Menstrual cups!

Say “No” to Flea Collars

If you’re a pet owner you know sometimes fleas happen — but flea collars don’t need to. Not only do they not biodegrade, but they’re also loaded with carcinogens. Try a topical treatment instead. Or give these homeopathic remedies a go.

Recycle Gift Wrap

Get your creative juices flowing when you give gifts by wrapping them in recycled materials. You could use cloth, newspapers, or even keep a box of wrapping paper you’ve received. More ideas here.

Bring Your Bags

Here’s an obvious one — reusable shopping bags. (flip & tumble is my go-to. They even have a wine bag!) Make sure to have your own bags in tow whenever you hit up a store!

Toss in a “Dryer Buddy”

Ditch the dryer sheets and toss in a dryer buddy instead. Add a drop or two of essential oils to your buddy if you’re after softness AND a scent boost.

Cold Cycles are So Hot Right Now

As in they’re so in! Wash those clothes cold, henny.

Ok folks, 10 tiny changes. The Earth will thank you! PLUS — You’ll be paying for less power, packaging, pads, meat, plastic, wrapping paper, and hot water…SOOOO…

What do you have to lose?! Start saving the planet (& money) today!!!

Have you made these changes already? If not, what’s holding you back? Let’s talk implementation in the comments below!

3 Things That Can Ruin Moving Day (If You Let Them!)

3 things that can ruin your moving day*This post may contain affiliate links.*

It’s a bittersweet feeling when something familiar comes to an end. The transition from elementary school to the challenges of junior high, the last episode of a long running TV show, and even the end of a really, really good book can all provoke powerful emotions in us.

Moving from an old home to a new one is no different. No matter how much you love the prospect of your new home and neighborhood, it’s normal to feel more than a little apprehensive.

As much as you might be looking forward to making memories in your new home, meeting your new neighbors or facing the challenges of your new job, it’s more than likely that you’ll experience a few jitters about moving day. I know I did when we moved from South Florida to Alabama earlier this Summer. 

After all, a lot can go wrong. (I’ve moved enough times to know that firsthand!) But if you face potential risks head on and take steps to counter them ahead of time, you can look forward to a stress free and exciting moving day…

Bad movers –

Quite possibly the biggest threat to a harmonious move are bad movers. Whether they steal your possessions and claim they got “lost in transit” or simply don’t take proper care with your beloved fine china, your precious collectibles or your beautifully varnished mahogany wardrobe — a bad mover can make the already stressful experience of moving nightmarish. Do your research. Check out mybekins.com as an example. You should look for a company that is well established with years of experience and offers a solution that’s tailored to your personal needs. 

The weather –

Weather can make an easy move harder and a hard move intolerable, so it’s vital that you take steps to prepare for all the possibilities:

  • Hot weather means that you’ll get tired faster as you lift, carry and move heavy items from your home to the truck and back again and may put you at risk of heat stroke if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Do your best to take breaks and always stay hydrated.
  • Cold weather on the other hand can tighten your muscles and increase your risk of pulled muscles, sprains, slips and trips. You may feel goofy but a quick warm-up routine can go a long way to keeping your body safe during a cold-weather move. 
  • Rain can lead to problems on the road, reduced visibility and water damage to your possessions. I don’t really have any specific advice here other than to BE CAREFUL and take it as slow as needed to stay safe. It seems like every single time I move it decides to rain!

Improper organization –

Finally, a lack of organization can make moving day into an exercise in pandemonium. If your move is to go smoothly a good deal of planning and prep work needs to be in place before you even load your first box into the back of your car. Measure doorways and furniture in advance, ensure your moving truck has proper access to your building and make sure that your items are packed safely and properly. Write up a schedule for the big day and don’t be afraid to come equipped with Plans B, C, and even D! Things are bound to go wrong but prior preparation prevents poor performance! 

I’m curious – Do you have a nightmare moving day story you’d like to share below? Let’s learn from each other’s mistakes!

P.S. After you move, here are 8 tips for settling into a new home!

This one small thing helped curb my procrastination…

Dearest reader – I must confess something to you. My whole life I have fallen victim to a pretty bad habit. PROCRASTINATION. I just love putting stuff off. Maybe you do too? Well today I thought I’d share something that has helped me drastically reduce my procrastination practice…

how to stop procrastinating

I started timing myself. Doing, like…all types of things. Things I didn’t want to do. (Like chores and lengthy email responses to clients.) Things I did want to do. (Like read a couple chapters of a book.) Stuff for work and stuff for this very blog.

I would start the timer. Do the task. Stop the timer.

Ok, ok. I know that sounds a little quirky…or maybe downright weird. Maybe you’re picturing me at my desk dressed like a high school gym teacher with an old school stop watch hanging around my neck. Well, a) phones and computers have timers so no need for a stop watch, and b) STAY WITH ME…

When I decided I wanted to curb my procrastination, I tried to identify what was causing me to put stuff off in the first place. And I found that usually it was because, in my brain, whatever I needed to do would just take too long. It would be a whole thing…an ORDEAL.

“Why start now? What if I can’t finish?”
“I’ll just edit this copy tomorrow when I have more time…”
“Oof, do a load of laundry?! That’s gonna have to wait until the weekend.”

For whatever reason, my conception of time was on the long side.  Like, for EVERYTHING. Mostly for things that didn’t sound appealing…but sometimes for things that did! (I’m lookin’ at YOU self-care!)

So I thought – “Let’s nip this temporal uncertainty in the bud once and for all!”

How long did it actually take to do the dishes and compile monthly analytics reports for clients and post fun Instagram stories? *Spoiler alert* Way less time than I initially thought! Suddenly there was less of a foreboding excuse looming nearby when I needed to get something done. I didn’t need to wait for that mythical 3 hour chunk of free-time later in the week. I had 10 minutes NOW.

how to stop procrastinating

Recently, I was doing some work for a client as I waited for a flight in the Lexington airport (free WiFi yay!). The gate agent came on the PA and announced that boarding was about to begin. A quick wave of panic washed over me because I still needed to create and schedule an email to go out to my client’s email list. My brain immediately tried to shift the work to later. “I’ll just have to buy WiFi at my layover airport, ” I thought. When I realized…WAIT. I know this will take me twenty minutes, at most! I’m in boarding Section 4… Let’s DO THIS!

Because I KNEW I could get it done in the allotted amount of time, I had no reason to procrastinate. I just banged it out and boarded the plane when I was done. (And subsequently spent my whole layover reading an awesome novel!)

Will this work for everyone? Maybe not. Your procrastination might be caused by a completely different thought-spiral than mine. But just in case you find yourself pushing things back in your calendar (and back…and back again…)–GIVE IT A TRY! The results may surprise you. Now, go be productive! You’ve got time.

How do you deal with procrastination? Tell us in the comments!

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

 

List 4: Today’s Playlist

A new series in which I share lists which I hope will help you to get to know me better. Why? Because I started this blog what feels like forever ago and there’s bound to be some new faces peering in once and awhile! So these posts are kinda like an introduction (or a reintroduction for those who’ve been with me since the jump!). A nice to meet ya, so glad you stopped by, now STAY AWHILE! Why lists? Because I love making ’em! (+ it’s the summer and I can give myself some grace when it comes to not posting overly-elaborate blog posts.)

today's playlist finding delight

Today’s playlist…

Laughing With by Regina Spektor
You Don’t Know Me by Ben Folds
New Rules by Dua Lipa
Junk-Drawer Sorrow by Frontier Ruckus
Level Up by Ciara
Want Some More by Nicki Minaj
Wildflower by Dutchkid
Shout by The Isley Brothers
Partition by Beyonce
Tee Pees 1-12 by Father John Misty
Feel Like Dancin’ by RuPaul
Come and Get Your Love by Redbone
Stronger Than Me by Amy Winehouse
Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis
Back to You by Selena Gomez
Missing U by Robyn

and forever and always,
any and all songs from Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers’ VAN SESSIONS.

Plus the podcasts —
Household Name
Call Your Girlfriend
and Trillbilly Worker’s Party

Note: I have about a million podcasts in my subscription feed but I’m HORRIBLE at finding new music…I just listen to the same stuff over and over again (or to whatever’s on the radio #FMLover4Lyfe), so…

Tell me what music you’re listening to in the comments below! I’ll be sure and add it to my playlist tomorrow. xoxo 

[And in case you’re curious…

LIST 1
LIST 2 
LIST 3]

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this Wednesday? Is it feeling like a classic “hump day” to you too? (Certainly not helping anything that it’s storming where I am!) Oh weekend, where ARE you already? Anywho, hope the rest of your week flies by, and in case you feel like sneaking in some cheeky reading when you *should* be working…I got ya covered…

Ido Portal teaches famous athletes how to use their bodies in entirely new ways. But is it all snake oil?

Here’s what it looks like when you write a book as if it’s a TV show.

Related: Binge-Worthy TV Shows

17 real-life would-you-rathers.

On repeat. (Also, very into the choreography in the video.)

Peace, love and photo editing. Get your pics groovin’ in no time with PicMonkey.

How people in 50 different countries find their zen.

Related: The Power of Self-Care

This soap is freaking adorable!

These planners are the hit if you’re headed back to school soon.

Related: A fun planner hack!

This story made my jaw drop…

…then I listened to this podcast, which told a similar tale, and was like WHAT THE WHAT?

Why must we force female superheroes to wear terrible red wigs?

Page-turner alert!

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Coffee Date! and What’s Your Favorite Podcast?

Our Cotton Anniversary Couch (+ a 2nd Anniversary Gift Idea Round-Up)

cotton anniversary couch

Hey friends! Chet and I recently celebrated our SECOND YEAR of marriage and we marked the occasion with a….couch?! That’s right, in honor of our 2nd anniversary we replaced our old (and very worn) Ikea number and got the absolute BABE of a sofa pictured above. I mean it IS fabric and there’s probably some cotton in there somewhere, right? (IDK I’m not a textile expert or anything.)

I’m still a far way off from the entryway of my dreams as you can see above, but I just had to share this lil home decor update anyways. So in love with this couch, you guys!

[Related: Check out all my posts about our wedding HERE.]

couch leg on the corner of a rug(Please disregard the staple that was left behind from the packaging which I carelessly forgot to remove because I was too excited but thankfully got rid of before it impaled anyone’s ankles, AHEM!)

I also gifted Chet with a pair of shoes and he got me 5 lovely hosta seedlings that we planted in our backyard along the house. Year 2 was pretty terrific!

Now, in honor of this marriage milestone, I thought I’d round-up a few “Cotton Anniversary” gift ideas. (Just in case you’re not buying the whole couch as cotton option, lol!)

 

2nd Anniversary Gift Ideas:

Pajamas,
Neck Tie or Scarf,
Bathrobes,
Apron,
Hammock,
Plant Hanger,
Throw Blanket,
Table Cloth and Napkins,
Decorative Pillows,
Bed Sheets,
or Your Wedding Vows Printed on Cotton Paper.

Have you celebrated any fun milestones lately? How did you mark the occasion? 

Act Locally: 5 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Neighborhood

how to make a difference in your neighborhood*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Have you ever heard the phrase THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY? I’m a big believer in the idea that making changes on a global scale can (and should) start close to home. Do you agree?

Because we moved this summer, I have a whole new town to get to know. And with that, comes some responsibility.

I want to make a difference at this NEW local level…but how do I get started? 

You might be in a similar boat. Lately, I’ve been brainstorming ways I can “act locally” to make a difference in my new community. So I thought I’d share some of my ideas and I hope you’ll share yours in the comments below!

5 ways to make a difference in your neighborhood…

Support a Local Nonprofit

Do your research about local nonprofits who are working to make your community a better place. If you find one that supports a cause close to your heart, look into ways you can support the organization. Send in a donation or volunteer your time. Be sure to sign up for their mailing lists (or add them on social media) so you can stay in the know about their upcoming events and new ways to participate/show your support!

Volunteer Your Time

Along with volunteering for those nonprofits, you could also volunteer your time to help a local community service. There might be quite a few in your neighborhood that can’t afford to employ full-time staff and rely on the help of volunteers. Think: Staffing for your local library’s book sale, eating lunch with students at the neighborhood elementary school, or maintaining the walking trail at the park up the street. Whether you can offer an hour of your time or an entire day, the community will be grateful for your service.

Work FOR the Community, Not Just IN It

Re-frame your professional relationship with your neighborhood. Your community shouldn’t just be a location. Consider ways you can make the community a better place through your work. Network with other local businesses and professionals and brainstorm ways to lift up this place you all call HOME.

If you’re looking for a new career or are just starting out — there are lots of jobs and careers that focus on helping your community and the people who reside their. Social work, teaching, working in healthcare, and first-responders are all great options to explore. 

[Related: Wilfrid Laurier University now offers an online master of social work that you can work towards at home. Check it out!]

Be a Good Neighbor

Like it or not, you are in a relationship with your neighbors. So it’s best to do what you can to make that relationship a good one. Respect their property (and, honestly, their view of your property; ie. don’t leave your outdoor space lookin’ like a hot mess!), help them out when you can (without expecting anything in return), and treat them how you’d like to be treated (as in, don’t mow your lawn at 6am on a Saturday if you don’t wanna listen to their loud music at 1am on a Thursday–ya dig?). Also, check in on elderly neighbors and keep an eye on kiddos playing outside. It takes a village and all that.

Take Care of the Environment

No one likes a litter-bug! If your local area has a litter problem, consider organizing a clean-up or litter pick. Round up a few of those neighbors (who all love you thanks to the tips mentioned above) and head out with the aim of clearing up some of the mess. You could also lead the charge on setting up a community compost. Composting not only transforms waste into soil (which you could use for a community garden!), but it also cuts greenhouse gas emissions from the breakdown of organic matter in landfills. 

Other ideas for taking care of the environment in your ‘hood:
* Grow or make your own food and organize swaps with your neighbors.
* Advocate to make your community more walkable and bikeable.
* Shop local and join a CSA.
* Plant trees.
* Keep your lawn-care eco-friendly.
* Team up with local officials to create more green spaces (or preserve those that already exist).

Alright babes. What would you add? I’m all ears. How do you make a difference in YOUR neighborhood? What are the ways you act locally to impact the world? Tell us!