Do you watch reality TV?

do you watch reality tv? SURVIVOR

This weekend, I was clicking around in Hulu (modern day channel surfing?) when I discovered…

34 seasons of Survivor and 29 seasons of The Amazing Race. WHAT?!? Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without stumbling upon this treasure trove.

My introduction to reality tv began in the late 90’s with Road Rules…and I’ve loved it ever since. I would say it’s one of my top guilty pleasures…but I honestly don’t feel that guilty about it. What about YOU? Do you watch reality tv?

A few of my recent favorites include:
The Challenge (I’ve seen every season. #NoShame)
Rupaul’s Drag Race
Sister Wives
Keeping Up With the Kardashians (I know, I know)
American Grit
Hell’s Kitchen (really any cooking competition…I’m not picky)

do you watch reality TV? ROAD RULES

and I used to love:
Real World and Road Rules (of course)
America’s Next Top Model
So You Think You Can Dance
Jersey Shore
The Hills
Naked and Afraid
Teen Mom

and, weirdly enough, one of my favorite things about living in Ireland in the early aughts was the DOPE reality tv. *shrugs* What can I say? I like what I like!

What about you? What reality tv shows do you like? Do you remember the first one you got really into? (Road Rules Northern Trail for me…I was also pretty obsessed with Survivor season 2, lol *ages self*) I’d love to hear your faves! Oh, and if you’re not from America, tell us what reality tv is like in YOUR country…

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mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? Today is my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday, Katie. 🙂 We’ll be celebrating her from afar today (and I’ll work on her present, it shall arrive late as per usual LOL). Hope everyone has a comfy-cozy rest of the week, and here are a few links for your Wednesday enjoyment…

How Maya Rudolph became the master of impressions.

An Australian model with Down Syndrome is changing the face of the industry.

This subscription box, featuring thrifted finds, looks interesting.

Candidates can use campaign funds for child care.

Disaster in the Alps.

Californians are opening their homes to asylum seekers.

The most popular recipe in every state, according to Google. (AL is broccoli salad?!)

Remember when gelly roll pens were the HIT!?

What Frasier’s apartment would look like in 2018.

Staycation romance.

IDK why but Garrett Watts’ laugh makes me so happy.

and here is episode 2 of Uncovered the Podcast. 😉

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — SMILE While You Work and Travel Journal: Los Angeles.

Great YouTube Channel for Practicing Spanish (lifelong learning FTW!)

You KNOW I’m a huge proponent of lifelong learning. Well, living in Miami these last few years offered an amazing perk in that department. I got to practice Spanish pretty much every day! Now that we’ve moved to Alabama, these daily conversations in my non-native tongue are one of the things I miss most!

While I’d love to explore other options, I know that YouTube is an amazing (and FREE) resource for language learning. I recently stumbled upon the Spanish language channel Superholly (and the accompanying Superholly English).

If you’re interested in working on your Spanish skills, I HIGHLY recommend checking out Holly’s videos.

I especially love this recent video about her upbringing across countries and languages…

(Here it is in English…)

…because my childhood also included learning foreign languages and living in foreign countries. 🙂 And I have my parents to thank for that, too.

I also really enjoyed binge watching this series about Nahuatl…

How do you practice foreign languages as an adult? Do you ever use YouTube for immersion purposes? I’d love to hear!

P.S. YouTube channels for travel inspo and lifelong ballerinas!

7 Things That Totally Changed My Air Travel Game

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Preparing for a flight is a bit like a puzzle. I love making sure all the pieces line up so I have everything I need (all in a carry-on, of course!) and that I have the best possible experience.

Lately, I’ve been struck by how a few key items have become integral in that process. The stuff that makes packing efficient, flights comfortable, and arrival stress-free. They are my tried-and-trues!

Wanna see what I consider to be my absolute essentials for traveling by plane? 

1. Tom Bihn Synapse 19

Tom Bihn’s website heralds this bag as “a supremely organized backpack” and I tend to agree. While it is the same size as your run-of-the-mill booksack, the genius lies in its design. There are all sorts of pockets and compartments that allow you to pack like a pro! This bag made one-bag travel a reality for me and I can’t imagine boarding a plane without it. In a recent Uber to the airport, my driver balked at my lack of luggage and I’d never felt so proud. All thanks to my Tom Bihn!!!

More here, here and here

 

NOMATIC packing cube2. Nomatic Compression Packing Cube

Since first discovering packing cubes, I’ve tried several kinds. However, after a few trips with this guy…I AM HOOKED. Everything smooshes down so small!

More here

 

3. Tom Bihn Side Effect

This is an awesome place to store all the little things you might need access to without having to sling a backpack off your back (See also: purse, lol). So it’s the perfect companion for my Synapse. You can also detach the strap and use it within your main bag to store items like cords, toiletries, or underwear. Then pop the strap on once you’ve reached your destination and *BAM* purse. Very versatile little piece. I actually have TWO!

More here.  

 

4. Hero Clip

This little doodad let’s you hang your bag, water bottle, hat, beach towel, etc. off of just about ANYTHING. Hang your backpack off of the nearest tree branch on a picnic. Hang your purse off the table at your favorite dive bar. Hang your water bottle off your exercise bike. Hang your day bag off your wheely suitcase as you whisk it through the airport. You get the idea… Oh, and my #1 use for mine? Hanging my Tom Bihn up in bathroom stalls. (TMI?)

More here

 

5. Tangle Teezer

Back when I traveled like every weekend for speech & debate, I would throw a big, plastic paddle brush in my suitcase and 9 times out of 10 it would be broken by the time I was back home. NO MORE!

More here

 

6. Yube Moisturizer

Yu-Be’s highly concentrated glycerin formula isn’t greasy. It just soaks right into the skin! It’s also enriched with Vitamin E and B2 to nourish and repair. Perfect for dealing with that dry cabin air.

More here

 

today's playlist finding delight7. Podcasts <- shameless plug HERE, lol

I love a good book while up in the air, but those hours in the airport are all about people watching. Podcasts let you do both! I’d love if you checked out mine but here are some other rad options!!

 

What products are your favorite when traveling by plane? 

P.S. CLICK HERE for my top air travel tips.

How to Make Time for Books

After a book binge on the topic of polygamy (I know…I’m weird), I’m currently reading Honeymoon in Purdah by Alison Wearing.

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

If the answer is nothing…that’s ok. I’m here to provide some gentle encouragement that if you want to start making more time for books, you CAN! With all the back-to-school vibes hanging out in the air, I totally believe now is a great time to recommit yourself to lifelong learning. Reading books is such an important part of that.

So, you’re on board. (Woohoo!) But how can we make more time for books in our busy, busy lives? Here are a few ideas…

1. Schedule Reading Time

I am one of those people who has lots of aspirations but not a lot of follow-through. (See also: this post.) So I can saaaaay I wanna finish a book a week, but if I don’t actually set aside dedicated time to do said reading…it’s probably not gonna happen. That rogue 30 minutes in my day will go *poof* and I’ll still be sitting at my computer clicking around on pointless stuff.

INSTEAD! I really study my planner (I use this one) for those free pockets of time and schedule in the stuff I want to do.

I’ve also written a post about how you can “set and forget” self-care that you can check out HERE. If hunting down reading time doesn’t sound like your bag, no worries! Pick a recurring time slot and stick to it.

2. Read Books You Like

This might be a no-brainer but I think it’s important to point out. If you want to make reading a habit that you’ll stick with, then you’ve gotta read books that interest you! After all, you want reading to be something you look forward to.

A great way to find MORE books you like is by talking about books. Share your favorite reads with friends and family and get their recommendations. I like to keep a list of book recommendations I’ve gathered from folks I know and cool reviews I come across on the internet.

Then, bring that book you like with you wherever you go! If you get stuck waiting somewhere you can pull out the book instead of your phone. It’s amazing how a random 10 minutes at the pharmacy here and a 15 minutes in a parking lot because you’re chronically early to stuff (just me?) there really starts to add up.

Oh and, NOTE: If you don’t end up liking a book? GUESS WHAT!? You don’t have to finish it! I had a weird aversion to ditching books until like really recently and I gotta say…this way is much better. Frees up a lot of time for the books you’re actually going to enjoy. So, there ya go–I grant you my permission, for what it is worth.

3. SHARE!

Sharing is WHAT? Accountability! 

I love, love, love posting about what I’m reading (and what I’ve just finished reading) on social media. I’m sure it’s not the most thrilling of content but it holds me accountable with my reading goals. (I also enjoy tracking my reading privately which you can read more about HERE.)

Other fun ways to share about books include joining a book club, reading a book with a friend, or tracking on the Goodreads app. Find what is fun for you!

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about kicking off an email-based book club in January 2019. Would anyone be interested in that!? Let me know below and subscribe to my email list so you’ll be in the loop!

Ok, over to you! How do you make time for books? Share your secrets (and stuff I missed) below. 

 

P.S. If you’re basically blind but also wanna double down on reading time by adding in a dose of self-care…you’ll have to wear your glasses over top of your face masks. It’s a LEWK! 🙂

DIY: Autumnal Bunting

autumnal bunting

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been giddy with excitement about the new season. So I decided to lean in and put up FALL DECOR! I started poking around in some boxes and remembered that most of my seasonal decor was heavily downsized in the move. But…NEVER FEAR. Where there is a will to give your home an autumnal makeover there is a WAY to give your home an autumnal makeover, mk?

SO…this is your semi-regular reminder from me to you that if you are a hoarder of craft supplies (*ahem*), it’s always best to evaluate your stash before hittin’ the stores. 

A little fabric, a little glue gun action, and a little leftover rope…and wam-bam, thank you MA’AM! An autumnal bunting was mine in less than 20 minutes flat.

To recreate something similar, all you’ll need is:

  • fabric
  • felt leaves (which you can cut out yourself or get a pack at the Dollar Tree)
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • rope, ribbon, or twine

To assemble, just:

  • cut your fabric into squares
  • fold the top of the fabric back and hot glue the edge down to create a little tube for your rope to string through
  • glue on the leaves
  • string the fabric squares along the rope
  • tie loops at the ends
  • and ENJOY…

Do you ever create seasonal decor with items you have on hand? How are YOU decorating for FALL? Thanks in advance for the inspiration! xoxo

P.S. Check out this post to learn how to make a ZERO COST, 30 SECOND fabric pumpkin! I’ll definitely be making a few of these, too!

mid-week round-up

finding delight mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week, babes? I’ve been riding the high of seeing a new project come to fruition! Our podcast went live on Sunday and it has been so fun to hear feedback. It has also been fun to feel my power season approaching. Down in mono-season South Florida, I had forgotten how much I LOVE early Fall. The other night we had stormy/chilly weather and I was practically giddy with candle lighting and chicken noodle soup eating. Hope you have a good Wednesday, and here are a few articles and links for you to peruse…

Hard words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read? 

I recently got an oil diffuser and have been loving geranium in my office and lavender for sleepy time…excited to learn more.

15 surprising things about parenting (50 children!) in Nepal.

Related: Here’s the nonprofit foundation in Nepal run by the supermom above!

Shaker cards! (Perfect addition to pocket letters.)

What’s going on with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce?

Fruits & vegetables as medicine.

One in five American teachers now works a second job.

Female janitors working the night shift take safety into their own hands.

What it was like to be a nurse and a woman of color in apartheid South Africa.

An oral history of the women who transformed Rolling Stone in the the mid-70s.

Vantablack aka the darkest color on earth.

Finally, EPISODE 1 of Uncovered the Podcast for your listening pleasure. 🙂

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Carol Rossetti’s Colorful Illustrations and 5 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Neighborhood.

3 Things to Remember When Your Blog Becomes a Side Hustle

3 things to remember when your blog is your side hustle[* This post may contain affiliate links — because my blog is my side hustle!! 😉 ]

Congratulations! Your blog has graduated from a fun hobby and creative outlet to something that is pulling in a bit of money on the side. This is an amazing development! But now what???

If you’ve decided to roll with it and turn your much-loved baby blog into a full-fledged side hustle, there are a few things to keep in mind.  Blogging can be a fun way to make some extra cash, but only if you’re prepared to put in a fair amount of work. While Finding Delight is by no means my full time job, I do consider it profitable enough to be included in the lil pie chart in my brain that is titled “work.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of resources out their for folks lookin’ to turn their lifestyle blog into the whole dang pie but not that many for those of us who are happy with keeping it at a good, hearty slice. 

With that in mind, here are a few things I wish I had implemented as soon as I decided to consider my blog a money-making side hustle…

Keep It Separate

First, successful blogging is just one chunk of your life. So it needs it’s own chunk of time! Schedule dedicated time for your blog that is separate from the hours you need for your main income source but also separate from your home life, too. It took me awhile to get a hang of this and I would often let blog stuff leak into both realms. My saving grace in this department was definitely my perfect planner. This thing lets me schedule my day down to the half hour–which might sound crazy to some! But if I can see where in the week I have “blog work” scheduled (always highlighted in a pretty pink!), I’m less likely to pop into WordPress when I should be working or email that company back when I’d rather be hanging out with my husband. 

Making Time For You

I think there’s a tendency among bloggers to stack their plates too high. When something that started out as a hobby becomes a part-time job, it can be hard to reconceptualize. It doesn’t feel like work. However, you might find that there is great potential and power in slowing down and allowing some time for yourself. Last week I didn’t put up a single blog post because I wanted to give my full attention to a new project I was really excited about. And that’s ok! Sure there are things I do, like affiliate linking, that allow my site to make money without me around. But for the most part, I just don’t worry about it anymore. Think about this time away from blogging as the space in which content can be born! You allow yourself time to read books, or play games (www.finalfantasyxvapp.com#home), or travel, or bake a cake…whatever it is that you enjoy…and then you’ll have these rich experiences and opinions to share with your readers later!

Know The Reader

If there is anything that means success in the literary world, it is the ability to know your readers well, inside and out. And the same goes for blogging – if you can make sure that you really have a strong grasp of your audience, then you will be able to provide enjoyable and useful content. This becomes a careful balance when your blog is a side-hustle. You might start to feel pulled in a lot of directions. I know I did. You want to create the content you enjoy creating…but also get paid to do so by brands. You want your friends and family to continue stopping by…but you also want to grow your audience to include new folk. I put new posts to the test with a series of questions:
(In order of importance)
Will I enjoy creating this?
Will the readers I currently have gain something from this?
Can I optimize or monetize in some way?
Could this encourage new folk to join my tribe?

Any blogging-as-side-hustle hopefuls out there? I’d love to hear your questions, challenges, or thoughts! ❤
And bloggers who already have this blogging-for-biz thing nailed down — What would you tell someone just starting out on this journey? xoxo

I have a podcast!!!

uncovered the podcast

Exciting news!!! My friend Katie and I have been talking about starting a podcast together FOR YEARS. And guess what? We finally did it! Our very first episode of Uncovered the Podcast went live yesterday.

So what is our podcast about? CELEBRITY MYSTERIES! Each week, we research the most curious situations involving famous folk…

  • Recent pop culture conundrums,
  • Solutions to the puzzles time (and fame) forgot. (We NEVER forget!), and
  • Celebrity conspiracy theories ranging from completely impossible to totally plausible.

…and then present our mystery to each other (and YOU!) along with theories, rumors, fun facts, and weird tidbits.

We’re not saying everything is true, we’re simply uncovering the possibilities.

In episode 1, Katie deep dove into the mysterious world of Dave J. to find out if Jon Benet Ramsey is alive and well and living as a pop music superstar and I explored the possibility that Jamie Lynn Spears’ teen pregnancy spawned a massive cover up by Nickelodeon executives.

Love celebrity gossip, conspiracy theories, unsolved mysteries, or just listening in on a fun chat between two besties? This might be the podcast for you!

It would mean the world to me if you gave our first epi a listen. (& let me know what you think!!)

We are available on iTunes, PodBean, and Castbox. Katie and I will be putting out new episodes every Sunday.

If you, like me, spend your Sundays knockin’ out chores and implementing self-care, then you know podcasts can be an integral part of that process! So, SUBSCRIBE to Uncovered and you’ll have something new waitin’ for you every Sunday! xoxo

P.S. As you might imagine, pictorial evidence is part of the fun when you’re covering celebrity mysteries. So we have an INSTAGRAM for all that jazz! Would love if you’d follow us there!!

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Do you love weird celebrity conspiracy theories as much as me and my co-host Katie? Let me know! 

List 7: Blog 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.)

PRE-P.S. This will be my last list in this summer series. HOWEVER, I’ve really enjoyed sharing a bit more about myself in this manner…SO – I’ll plan to keep adding lists here and there throughout the coming year. It just won’t be every Thursday. Hope you enjoy!

My blogging goals…

Continue to organically grow my readership and network.

Find more ways to meaningfully engage with other bloggers.

Reach out to more brands about collaborations.

Brainstorm (and keep track of) series ideas, not just post ideas.

Create an email onboarding sequence to send out when someone subscribes to my mailing list.

Start a Finding Delight book club.

Write an ebook!

Tell me a few of your blogging goals in the comments below! xoxo

[And in case you’re curious…

LIST 1
LIST 2 
LIST 3
LIST 4
LIST 5
LIST 6]