September Playlist

Do you want to take a peek at what I’ve been listening to lately? I’ve shared my SEPTEMBER playlist  below!

Admittedly, I usually turn to podcasts when looking to fill moments of silence. But lately I’ve been trying to be a bit more balanced with what I pop into my earholes! It’s not that I don’t like music, it just takes so much work to find music I LOVE. Whereas listening to a podcast or NPR just feels like a sure thing. (Hello, yes…classic enneagram 9 here. Nice to meet ya!) 

So that’s all to say, I took a lot of care to select songs that resonated with me and I plan to jam to them all month! Maybe you’ll like ’em too! Give it a listen and let me know what you think. xoxo 

 

P.S. Pop any suggestions for my October playlist in the comments below. I’m slowly but surely expanding my repertoire beyond FM radio and old mix CD’s from a decade ago. Please and thanks!!

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The Best Souvenirs

Now that summer is coming to an end, and all the travel that goes along with it, I’d love to know…Did you pick up any fun souvenirs on vacations this year? 

When I was a kid, souvenirs felt like SUCH a necessity. Visiting kitschy shops at beaches, amusement parks, and roadside attractions felt like a cruel joke if I didn’t at least get to select ONE item to come home with me. The allure of some magnet with my name on it or a toy representative of the past day’s adventure too difficult to resist whining about.

Nowadays, souvenirs fall into that careful balance of knowing I don’t need any additional tchochkes cluttering my home, but also wanting to take out an insurance policy on fleeting travel memories. With that in mind, I’ve developed a few categories of purchases I employ when looking to commemorate a trip…

Little things to tuck in a memory box, like a postcard or patch, are a go-to of mine. Not a huge investment, so I feel ok that it’s only going to be admired in those days I’m feeling extra nostalgic and pull down the box to sift through my collection of random ephemera.

But I don’t mind splurging on a high-quality consumable. A bottle of wine local to the area that can be uncorked months later. A lotion with a scent to transport me back to our travels. A candle from a sweet seaside shop or a box of local chocolate from the corner store.

And speaking of chocolate, let’s go ahead and put cooking ingredients in a category all their own. Something like a beautiful bottle of local olive oil, whole bean coffee from a cafe you fell in love with, or a couple teeny tiny jars of spices that easily tuck in your backpack. I also love this as an option if you’re tasked with bringing back a goodie for a co-worker or family member. A friend of mine gifted me a little tin of paprika she bought on a trip to Hungary and I thought about her and her adventure every time I sprinkled it in a dish for months to come.

Finally, there’s what I consider the daily item. These I reserve for truly special trips. I want to be transported to those memories frequently, so something like a piece of jewelry or a scarf fits the bill. For a lower budget option, I would go for something like a coffee mug or a small print I can transport carefully home and frame. Basically an item that I can seamlessly incorporate into my daily life…not one that is emblazoned with the city or attraction I visited. Those seem like a good idea in the moment, but then get shoved to the back of a closet.

Which of these categories do you normally go for? Have your own strategy when it comes to souvenirs? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo

P.S. This would be a fun way to commemorate your trip once you’ve returned home!

Book Club: I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight Pt. 4

Books written by comedians is such a fun genre, don’t you think? They’re usually conversational, quick reads, and of course laugh-out-loud entertaining. So in honor of Margaret Cho, I thought it might be neat to share a few other books by comedians!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.

Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow

From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years—including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Harold Ramis, Seth Rogen, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

From the outrageously filthy and oddly innocent comedienne and star of the powerful 2015 film I Smile Back  comes a memoir—her first book—that is at once shockingly personal, surprisingly poignant, and still pee-in-your-pants funny.

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan 

Though he grew up in a large Irish-Catholic family, Jim was satisfied with the nomadic, nocturnal life of a standup comedian, and was content to be “that weird uncle who lives in an apartment by himself in New York that everyone in the family speculates about.” But all that changed when he married and found out his wife, Jeannie “is someone who gets pregnant looking at babies.”

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Which have you read? I’ve read Yes Please, Bossypants, and Dad is Fat, and the others are on my list! Do you like reading books by comedians? Let me know in the comments below!

Speaking of… If you haven’t read I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight yet, but it’s on your list, you can order it HERE or check it out from your local library. These posts will be here for you at any time — 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |

So, what’s next for our book club? Subscribe HERE to receive the full Finding Delight Reading List or stay tuned to the blog for PART 1 of a brand new book. 🙂

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

Book Club: I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight Pt. 3

Last week, we learned a bit more about Margaret Cho. I shared some of her career highs, as well as links to read/listen/watch her elsewhere. I hope you enjoyed checking those out.

Today, I’d like to do something a little different and provide you with a round-up videos to watch. Enjoy…

On Fresh Off the Boat

On her mother

On sex positivity and feminism

On “Christian” groups

On her vagina

Stay tuned for Part 4! xoxo

Where Was Your Wedding Ceremony?

Wedding ceremonies always make me think of this poem…

“Two Trees
A portion of your soul has been
entwined with mine
A gentle kind of togetherness, while
separately we stand.
As two trees deeply rooted in
separate plots of ground,
While their topmost branches
come together,
Forming a miracle of lace
against the heavens.” 
― Janet Miles, Images of Women in Transition

Can’t you see it? Two folks at the front, standing proud and tall like trees. Their love intertwining and shooting out far and wide!

If you’re married, I’d love to know – Where was your wedding ceremony?

If you’re not married, where do you picture a potential wedding taking place?

A church? Your backyard?

Here’s more on our wedding venue, if you’d like to see. (And here’s a link to all my wedding posts.) ❤

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 5!)

So excited to report that I completed this 5-week challenge!!!

Before embarking on this journey, I was feeling a little bit in a workout rut. I was doing my nightly exercise but they were nothing to write home about…or frankly, get excited about. I’m happy to say switching it up and trying out lots of different videos, styles, instructors, and channels was exactly what I needed.

If you’re feeling similarly, why not give it a try! You now have 35 workouts queued up and ready to go. OR you could create your own playlist with the videos that suit you best.

Tuesday:

A little back hygiene in the first few days of ANY work week is always a good thing for me.

Wednesday:

That kneel to squat with knee drive!? A doozy!

Thursday:

Ok, I will be returning to this channel. Usually overly motivational instructors annoy me but I was really feeling this guy.

Friday:

A quick but effective booty and thigh barre routine.

Saturday:

Couldn’t help myself with this one. So dorky but so fun. And if you REALLY commit you can feel like you’re in a scene from Mamma Mia!

Sunday:

And one more dance power walk for good measure. LOL!

Monday:

And to round things out, some Yin Yoga! My favorite way to really get in there with the stretches!

And that’s a wrap!

I’ll start slowly adding videos to a new playlist for a future challenge, but for now I’ve settled on a workout schedule going forward that looks a little something like this —
Monday – Yoga, Tuesday – any video from my playlist, Wednesday – Fitness Blender, Thursday – Yoga, Friday – a sweat set on Fitness Marshall, Saturday – Yoga, and Sunday – Walk + FemFusion

Do you have a favorite workout channel on YouTube?

Book Club: I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight Pt. 2

Let’s learn a bit more about the author of our current book club book, shall we? Margaret Cho is an American stand-up comedian and actress. She is best known for her stand-up routines in which she critiques current political and social problems.

For a complete run-down of her career highlights, I recommend checking out this IMDb bio HERE. There are just too many for me to cover in detail.

Her groundbreaking ABC sitcom, All-American Girl (1994), while short lived, was the first sitcom to feature an all Asian-American cast. The show was based on her own life and stand-up comedy act.

Later, her 1999 off Broadway one-woman show, I’m the One That I Want, toured nationally to great critical acclaim and was even turned into a book and feature film.

I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight is her second book and was released in 2005 alongside an audio reading, a DVD of a live taping of her Assassin tour, and a national book tour.

While she continues to earn accolades in both TV and comedy, her activism is also highly celebrated. She has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, Lamda Legal Defense, NGLTF, PFLAG, and many more for her work in promoting equal rights for all. She has received the First Amendment Award from the ACLU and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at LA Pride in 2011.

“If you say you’re not a feminist, you’re almost denying your own existence.
To be a feminist is to be alive.”

More from Margaret Cho —

Read:
I’m the One That I Want
Listen:
The Margaret Cho podcast
Watch:
Margaret Cho: Beautiful (FREE w/ Amazon Prime)

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Got any thoughts? Leave ’em below! And if you want exclusive book club content (incl. the full reading list and FREE printables) sent straight to your inbox — SIGN UP HERE

Part 3, coming soon!

The Purchase that Saved the Summer (+ a cocktail recipe)

When we moved to Alabama, I was so excited that we’d have a backyard. Coming from a big city, where it was starting to feel like we were living on top of our neighbors, I was excited for the extra space. Our first summer here, we hung out in the backyard a bit. Did some grilling, sat outside chatting with friends, even planted a few things. But the mosquitoes were pretty horrendous. In a true case of “the grass is always greener,” I started to miss our screened-in balcony in Miami.

But this summer we showed up with an action plan! We splurged on a pop-up tent (more like a pop-up gazebo…this thing is pretty huge) that offers a bit of protection from all the bugs. It’s proven to be the perfect place for eating dinner, reading a book on a lazy afternoon, and just CHILLING. We’ve even run an extension cord from our kitchen on a few occasions so we could hook up a box fan. Hello, GLAMPING!

Do you hang out outside in the summer? Do you have a porch, a stoop, or do you just head to the park? Let me know in the comments below.

Wherever you’re chilling, this drink would be the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing summer’s evening. Enjoy!

Cocktail Recipe:

Ingredients –
– 1 bottle of Prosecco 
– 1 cup Limoncello
– 1 cup raspberries, muddled & for garnish
– 2 lemons, for garnish

Instructions – 

At the bottom of a wine glass, muddle approximately 4-5 raspberries.

Fill each glass half way with Prosecco, then fill the remainder of the way with Limoncello.

Garnish with fresh sliced lemon and raspberries before serving.

P.S. Other summer faves are linked HERE.

Book Club: I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight Pt. 1

Hello, fellow bookworms! Today I’m unveiling Book #6 in the Finding Delight Book Club. I’ve been a reading machine in 2019 (wow, I like the sound of those rhymes), but I figured it was about time I posted another book club selection. If you’re new to this series, I’m reading 12 books and sharing about them with you here. I plan to post 4 times for each book. The current pick is I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight by Margaret Cho.

For the full book list CLICK HERE. I’d love to have you along for the ride!

“Haven’t we heard enough from these ancient white guys?”

Synopsis

With all her notorious, righteous comic rage, Margaret Cho lays out in no uncertain terms what’s wrong, what’s right, and what’s definitely worth fighting for.

From gay rights to racial equality to the right to choose, nothing is off limits for the comedian. She encourages her readers and army of loyal fans to stand up and speak out against those who want to keep free thinking liberals from ruining their “picture perfect” world.

Brutal, honest, and funny, I Have Chosen To Stay And Fight is everything you’d expect from one of the most woke comics of all time.

“My attitude toward peace does not depend on which war we are discussing. I think that words should do the work of bombs.”

Initial Thoughts

Ok, I’ll be honest. This is a book I slapped into this reading list without doing any research whatsoever. I was listening to old episodes of Jonathan Van Ness’s podcast and came across one with Margaret Cho. She just seemed so smart and witty and like someone who’d been fighting the good fight forever but had no plans of backing down any time soon. I knew I had to read something she’d written.

I hopped on Google, found this book, and typed it into my phone notes where I was storing a list of books to blog about. Next thing I knew this book was next up and I grabbed it off the shelves of the library. I flipped through it on the walk home —

I had no idea it came out in 2005. In fact, in bold on the inside of the jacket cover it says, “A survival guide to making it through to 2008 and a hilarious, kick-ass call-to-arms.” Wow, I thought, that’s a throw back.

But weirdly, it feels so familiar for our current political landscape. I hate to call it deja vu or a regression. Even though many of the themes Cho speaks out against in the book still linger. Instead, I found her words comforting. “I have chosen to stay and fight.” And keep fighting…

I also had no idea the book was arranged as a collection of essays. Which was a fun surprise. Most of the time they read more like slam poetry than article…which seems oddly appropriate for 2005 (at least that’s what I was into in 2005, lol). But while the writing is crass and honest and in-your-face, I wouldn’t necessarily call it “funny.” Not a disappointment, just unexpected. A choice for this particular book given the subject matter?

Maybe we’ll get to the bottom of that in our next post, when we discuss the author!

“In the darkest reaches of my imagination, it occurs to me that we are the heirs to the aftermath. We are the scavenger minority, picking at the carcass of civil rights, trying to get our measly share, so very far removed from the idea of fair …”

Read this is if you’re interested in: politics, comedians, things that haven’t changed since the early double aughts (😂).

Read this if you loved: I’m the One That I Want by Margaret Cho, I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C. Holland, Tragedy Queens edited by Leza Cantoral.

Keep a lookout for Part 2! I’ll be posting it soon.

And don’t forget — if you want the full reading list CLICK HERE. You’ll basically become a card-carrying member of the Finding Delight Book Club! ❤

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 4!)

workout wk4

What’s that you say? You’re ready for another week of at-home workouts courtesy of the interwebs? Well, I’ve got just the thing for you!

It is STILL super hot where I’m at, and I’m trying not to get down on myself so much for not getting outside much. It is just. so. stifling. (and humid and bright and BUGGY!) It’s weird that I used to think of these types of workouts as being a good resource to bust out in the dead of winter. But now that I’ve clocked quite a few years in the southern reaches of the U.S., I can say they are, without a doubt, my SUMMER WORKOUTS. Especially for the dog days we’re in right now.

Tuesday:

You may or may not know this about me, but Keaira LaShae is my workout QUEEN. I’ve discussed my favorite of her workouts HERE.

Wednesday:

Ok, indulge me for a moment. THIS is why I love YouTube so much. This is a great workout…and it was just hanging out on YouTube on this channel for Hennepin Healthcare. A channel with 4k subscribers and 9 workout videos randomly posted 3 years ago for some sort of weight loss program they were doing. No idea how I stumbled upon it but so glad I did! There are literally all sorts of gems like this just waiting to be found!!!

Thursday:

This is the third in a nice little trio of tough workouts this week…

Friday:

And this is the much needed relief! Also a nice way to end the week after a somewhat stressful work week.

Saturday:

Wow, amazing how easy this feels after the beginning of the week. Again, this instructor’s videos are so low-key…this time I realized it might be the houseplants?

Sunday:

Have I mentioned how much I hate bouncy cardio? And there’s been a lot more of it this week than I care for. But HALLELUJAH we have powered through!

Monday:

And one more appearance from our queen! Truly amazing how worked my abs felt after this and I GOT TO STAND THE WHOLE TIME (not a crunch in sight!).

Oh my goodness, I only have one more week to go!

P.S. Week 1 and Week 2 and Week 3 – in case ya wanna start from the beginning and catch up!