A Halloween-Themed Pocket Letter

Halloween Pocket Letter

BOO! Halloween is right around the corner! Which means it is the perfect time to bust out some of my more spoooOOOoooky craft supplies. Here’s a Halloween-themed pocket letter I recently whipped up.

Some of the stickers and the washi tape at the bottom were purchased from Blitsy this year (I couldn’t resist!), but the rest of the stuff I had in my stash. My favorite part about making themed pocked letters is going through my craft drawers to pull out anything I think is “on theme.” I usually don’t end up using everything but the process of picking out materials is a really calming activity for some reason.

Now, to tuck some goodies in the back and mail it off to brighten someone’s day.

WANNA SWAP? 

Maybe I’ll even throw in some fun-size candy bars

P.S. A pocket letter inspired by children’s book illustrations!

Advertisements

mid-week round-up

crocodile in the grass

What’s up? How’s everyone doing? My birthday was on Friday and I had a wonderful weekend of celebrating. It finally felt like TRUE Fall so all celebrations were appropriately autumnal — read: apple orchard visits, pumpkin pie baking, grilled brats, and Oktoberfest beers. Hope y’all are enjoying the season as much as I am! Now, here are a few links I found for your enjoyment…

What the daughter of a psychic learned from her mom.

Serious #HomeGoals (and it’s in Alabama!).

Related: Empty House Tour

I’ll take one of each, please!

Retail workers are more vulnerable than ever.

The ghosts of the glacier.

Thinking ahead to Christmas pocket letters.

Related: A Spring-Themed Pocket Letter

The love story that upended the Texas prison system.

She was 16. He was 25. Should marrying a child be allowed? 

Related: An (Un)arranged Marriage

High school students are tackling Kentucky’s mental health crisis.

Steve Carell aged like a fine wine. 🙂

Myth busting Banksy.

This chocolate bark sounds yummy.

and episode 6 of Uncovered the Podcast (featuring a popular Lady Gaga conspiracy theory and info about a cult lead by 90’s hunk Andrew Keegan!)

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and The 5 Things That Turned Me Into a Shower Lover.

P.P.S. If you love my weekly links and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE.

Podcast Recommendation: Getting Curious

getting curious podcast recommendation

If you, like pretty much everyone in the world EVER, greedily binge watched Queer Eye in a manner of days (or a singular day…no judgement here), then you’re already acquainted with Jonathan Van Ness in all his quirky glory…

YAS HENNY! 

…But did you know he has a podcast?

Getting Curious is a weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan is curious about. He invites experts in their respective fields to come on the show and give him a crash course in whatever it is they know best. I love that premise, don’t you? Life-long learning, baby! From scientists to CEOs, actresses and authors to his QE cast-mates…the questions are many and the answers are entertaining and educational.

Definitely check this one out if you haven’t already. I listened to a bunch of epis on my recent drive back from Lexington and was so grateful for the binge-worthy, thought provoking material that just kept comin’!

Have you listened to Getting Curious? What are your go-to podcasts these days?

P.S. JVN’s podcast is doubly inspiring to me because I have a tiny baby podcast (she’s only 6 epis old!) that I co-host with my bff Katie. CLICK HERE to check it out. xoxo

Day of the Girl at BLUME!

meet blume day of the girl malala fund

Just wanted to quickly pop on to let you guys know about a company I love, supporting a cause I ALSO love.

Blume offers safe, sustainable period products and lets you build a customizable box with everything you need to make your time of the month more bearable. You start with the base box that works for you. Choose your products, add-ons, and the frequency. They take care of the rest.

And the Malala Fund is an international, non-profit organization that fights for girls’ education. It was founded by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and her father, Ziauddin.

[You can read more about Malala’s story in THIS POST.]

Today, Blume is donating ALL profits to the Malala Fund in honor of Day of the Girl, so head over to www.meetblume.com to help make a difference. Boxes start at $11/month (and I especially love their PMS oil). 

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? Friday is my birthday!!! I’ve requested Cincinnati chili for dinner, and I think we’ll try to hit up an apple orchard/pumpkin patch situation this weekend. (Has anyone ever made a pumpkin pie with an actual pumpkin? Chet wants to give it a go but it seems rather daunting, lol.) Happy MY birthday to all of you, and here are a few links for your perusal…

Remember the ’80s, when men preferred Hanes and could legally rape their wives?

How to dress like a celebrity.

On my Christmas wishlist.

Are cities making animals smarter?

These would be cute in a kitchen or breakfast nook.

Learning to live small (in a dumpster).

Misty Copeland is pirouetting her way to Disney fame.

An off-the-grid London community is protesting Heathrow’s third runway.

Lost Appalachian burial customs.

A novel about a missing girl and a Serial-like podcast seeking answers.

The simple requests of the McDonald’s anti-sexual harassment protests.

The rise of Catherine de’ Medici.

and episode 5 of Uncovered the Podcast (featuring theories about Avril Lavigne’s clone and my favorite Elvis sightings!)

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Books To Read if You’re in Search of a History Lesson and Jacket Potatoes.

P.P.S. If you love my weekly links and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE.

Getting Control of Debt

getting control of debt

When I look back on my spending habits in my early 20’s…I cringe. I was living above my means — going out to eat and putting the meal on a credit card (what?!) — and I didn’t know the first thing about making a budget.

Suffice it say I came out of that season of life with a nice lil chunk of consumer debt. …and then proceeded to ignore said debt for several more years, paying the minimum, treading financial water, and hoping for that magical day when my balance would say ZERO.

But, dear reader, my debts didn’t *magically* disappear. (Surprise, surprise-right?) Eventually, I got my butt into gear and started making moves. Getting debt-free was a lot of work, I won’t lie. But it was also one of the most rewarding feelings when everything was all said and done.

I’m here to tell you, managing debt doesn’t have to interrupt your life in a bad way. If you know that you are on top of paying the people that you owe money to, then you can recognize that there is light at the end of the tunnel…and keep going. But you HAVE TO GET STARTED! 

[RELATED: I have a whole series on BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET if you’re looking to downsize your spending habits while getting out of debt!]

Most people forget that their credit rating can play a big part in their future, so when they dive head first into credit cards and don’t think clearly about them, that’s when the trouble begins. It can lead to bad credit which can really impact financial decisions down the line. However, with the help of unsecured credit cards for bad credit, you could find yourself getting out of debt while rebuilding your credit worthiness at the same time. So, how can you get out of a hole of debt and start climbing the wall to financial freedom? Below, you’ll find some of my favorite tips for managing debt:

Keep To Your Payments. Every month, you need to get your bills paid on time. It sounds like a given: without paying the electricity, you’re going to lose power. But late payments can make it extremely hard for you to pay off debt, considering you usually will have to pay a late fee with each payment you miss. Set up a system for reminders (with due dates and amounts) on your phone or Google calendar. 

Always Pay Something. Regardless of how much you owe and to whom, you need to always pay at least the minimum amount on your debts. Paying something means you are willing to clear the debt and even the smallest of payment can help to shrink debt. Speaking to creditors is essential. If you can’t make the right repayment, call them up and make a plan. 

Prioritize Your Debts. If you have more than one debt, rank them in order of importance. Paying off your loans and credit cards is important, but paying those with the highest interest first is usually the best option. From there, rank them in order of how much you have left.

Pay The Current First. There are two types of debts: those you are currently managing (and are in good standing with), and those from the past . It’s always better to keep paying the debts that keep you in good standing, so that you can build up a trust rating with your creditors. Old creditors will continue collections attempts on accounts, but try to concentrate on making payments where you can and with the most urgent debts first.

Emergency Savings Count. When you’re on a budget, it’s hard to imagine having savings. However, an emergency savings account is going to make a huge difference to the little expenses that come up without warning. Work toward a very small fund to fall back on when you need it the most and go from there. Even having a small envelope of cash tucked in your drawer to help with stretching to the next pay day when you have more month than money can make a difference to you when you’re paying off debt.

Budget, Budget, Budget. Above everything else, you need to learn to budget. Make a list of all your regular expenses each month and how much you earn. Then look at how much you can spend on debt based on what’s left. Paying debts while keeping up with bills doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go without, you just have to be much more strategic.

Look For Help. The internet is a goldmine when it comes to handy resources to help you get out of debt, cut your spending, and learn to budget. Take an afternoon and just surf around the internet gathering information. Find helpful blogs and YouTube channels that you can follow for inspiration and information while you’re on this journey. Additionally, there may be some free community resources in your area but you’ll never know unless you look! Local nonprofits, libraries, and universities are a great place to start.

But I want to hear from you! How do you feel about debt management? What’s your go-to financial tip? 

Painting Party with Date Night In Box

If there is one thing I love, it’s a craft project. Whether it be a pocket letter, a way to display polaroids, or some holiday decor; busting out the washi tape or a glue gun is my idea of self-care! And what better way to double the fun than get Chet in on the action, too.

We recently received our very first Date Night In Box and the theme was *drumroll please* “Painted With Love.” How fun is that?!

Before the box even came in the mail, I got an email with  links to a printable invitation and a personalized music playlist. They really cover ALL the details!

But as soon as I took this puppy out of the mailbox, I was even MORE impressed. The packaging was so adorable and really stuck with the whole painting theme–pantone, water-color REALNESS! Both the printable invitation and the box itself really invoked the idea of a paint and wine class, something I’ve always wanted to do as a date but never got around to. Now our own personal version was showing up at my door! What luck!!

The box came equipped with everything we needed to make our painting date a reality. Tucked inside were a couple canvases, paint and paintbrushes, and other supplies to make the night a success!

There was also a newsletter which had a bunch of recipes to take the date to the next level with a dinner, along with suggestions for movies that would follow the artistic theme of the night…

…as well as a “Colors of Love” quiz to keep the fun conversations flowing.

I LOVE when all parts of an evening are on-theme…so satisfying, LOL!

And the best part? I didn’t have to do any of the planning! Everything I needed to create this meaningful and memorable date night was right at my fingertips.

Interested in enjoying a monthly date night from the comfort of your own home? Consider a subscription to Date Night In Boxes. Every month features a new theme for you and your partner to enjoy! 

My Julie/Julia Theory

Have you ever read the book Julie and Julia: My Years of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell? Or seen the movie version starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep?

In it, the eponymous Julie embarks on a daring project. She vows to prepare ALL 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” She then sets up a blog to document her successes and failures along the way that becomes wildly popular as her audience becomes increasingly invested in the project.

It’s a great book (and a great movie!) and ever since reading it years ago…I’ve had this theory. My Julie/Julia Theory, if you will.

I believe EVERYONE has a Julie/Julia project inside of them. Some sort of challenge they could take on and be uniquely suited for. Some journey folks would follow and find fascinating.

What do you think? WHAT WOULD YOURS BE?

Would you snap a pic of every building on the historic register in your town? Knit 100 little projects? Read all the books on the Rory Gilmore reading list?

Kind of a fun thought exercise, huh? The possibilities are endless!

While your Julie/Julia challenge may never happen…figuring out what it would be is a fun way to help identify your passions, blog niche, or a hobby worth investing in. And, if nothing else, is a neat topic of conversation for a Friday afternoon! (Go ahead…go ask your friends/co-workers what they would do!!)

What would your Julie/Julia challenge be? Do you have any fun thought experiments or theories we could explore on this lovely afternoon? Spill the beans below! 

P.S. If you enjoyed this content and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE.

List 8: In My Bag

I started a LIST SERIES in Summer 2018 and decided to keep adding to it here and there. 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! Enjoy…

What’s in my bag(s)…

Here’s what I had handy on a recent trek to Ohio. Since I was traveling by car I packed clothes and toiletries in a suitcase, but I also brought along my Tom Bihn Synapse 19 and Side Effect.

In my Synapse 19–

In my Side Effect–

  • phone (+charger)
  • battery bank
  • minimalist wallet w/ all my various cards
  • pen
  • Sharpie
  • Yu-Be lip balm
  • tampon
  • 2 random gift cards I want to use up
  • sunglasses

Tell me what you keep in YOUR bag(s) in the comments below! xoxo

[And in case you’re curious…

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

LIST 7]

11 Ways to Sneak in Healthy Habits When You’re Traveling

11 ways to sneak in healthy habits when you're traveling*This post may contain affiliate links.

Do you travel a lot? When I was in college, competing for our school’s speech team, I traveled a TON. It was a very busy season of my life; jumping on a bus, plane, or 15 passenger van to show up at tournaments all across the country. It was an amazing experience and certainly a privilege.

But here’s the thing…with all that travel, came some unexpected consequences. I got sick. Like…a lot. If I could go back in time, putting a HUGE emphasis on healthy travel would be the first change I’d make!

Whether you’re jet-setting for business or pleasure, nothing can spoil travels quicker than getting ill. Read on to discover 11 tips that will help to keep you in tip-top shape while traveling…

Eat whole foods – While it is easy to prioritize budget and speed when picking up meals on the go (read: FAST FOOD), opting for whole foods will make you feel a WHOLE lot better. My favorite way to make this happen for myself while traveling is to grab meals from the deli section of grocery stores. The prices are reasonable and, since you’re already in the store, you can pick up some other yummy and healthier options for munching–like fresh fruits and veg, yogurt, salami, etc. 

Don’t forget your skincare routine – When you’re on the go it can be tempting to cut out important parts of your routine for more sleep (or more fun!). All you need is 10 minutes, so set some time aside and give your skin some love! Don’t forget sunscreen if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors. And if you plan on taking a dip in the hotel pool (or nearby body of water), make sure you know how to clean ears properly and take the time to do so. 

Eat fish – If you’re hitting up a nice, sit-down restaurant consider ordering fish with loads of veggies! Not only does it taste good, but it provides a healthy boost of Omega 3, which is good for your skin and digestion. Not to mention all the vitamin-rich micronutrients in the vegetables. 

Fill up the tub – Hotel air can get super dry, especially if your stay is in the winter months when the heaters are pumping. There are some great travel humidifiers out there (check out this one!) but a simpler option is to fill up the tub with water before you go to bed. 

Drinks lots and lots and LOTS of water – And sticking with that water theme…HYDRATION! Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink water like it’s going out of style. Try to keep caffeinated drinks to a minimum, maybe just your morning cup of joe, and then opt for water the rest of the day. 

Wash your hands frequently – If you are traveling, you are no doubt going to be in a LOT of public places…sometimes in super close quarters. Make sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before you eat. A good idea is to carry around your own hand sanitizer, in case a bathroom isn’t readily available. 

Snack on fresh fruit – Fruit is such an awesome and portable snack! Plus, they’re good for you, low in calories, and will contribute to your hydration efforts. Pick some up whenever you can…oh, and pro-tip: grab a few pieces from that hotel breakfast bar and snack on ’em later–no one will notice. 

Relax – Being “on” for way more hours a day then you’re used to can be exhausting! Find a few moments in your day where you can unwind and catch your breath. Maybe this is taking 10 minutes to meditate before you get dressed in the morning or coming back to your Airbnb 30 minutes before everyone else leaves the bar so you can watch some tv with your phone on airplane mode. 

Be clever with your alcohol – This is not to say you can’t drink, but be smart about it. Alcohol is dehydrating so if you don’t want to reverse all that great work you’ve been doing on this front, then make sure you drink a glass of water in between each drink. Try not to mix drinks too much. And, if you intend on having a long night out, go for something low in alcohol content, or have something slightly watered down, such as a white wine spritzer. After all, nothing is worse than boarding a flight hungover.

Take your vitamins – You may think those 7-day pill cases are just for old people but hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it! Divvy up your medications and vitamins and then set a dang alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to take ’em. I also like to bring emergen-c packets and herbal teas. 

Take advantage of the hotel gym – If you are staying in a hotel, take advantage of their gym facilities. Most hotels have a gym with at least a treadmill and a bike. Go sweat it out for a little bit and get those endorphins pumping. You’ll feel better and sleep better, too. Alternatively, pop a yoga video on your laptop and do a little downward dog in your room. Or go for a jog! A great way to check out the city while also getting in a workout. 

How do YOU stay healthy while traveling? Share your tips & tricks below!

P.S. Wanna up your travel game even MORE? Here are the products I recommend.
P.P.S. If you enjoyed this content and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE.