May Unboxed: Beauty Box 5

Hi friends! I recently received my fourth box from Beauty Box 5 and would love to share the contents, if you’re game. In case you missed previous posts, Beauty Box 5 is a subscription service that sends 5 new beauty products straight to your doorstep each month.

The boxes are $12/month ($10 if you order quarterly and $9 if you pay for the whole year!) and are guaranteed to include at least $35 of product. The brands are a mix of drugstore tried & trues, innovative indie, and deluxe…and so far the majority of products included are full size. Oh, and did I mention FREE SHIPPING on U.S. subscriptions? Ka-ching!

Here’s everything that was included in the May box! 5 out of 5 of the products were full size (+ a mini bonus item!) for a total retail value of about  fifty buckaroos. Let’s take a look…

24 Hour Liquid Lipstick in RIOJA from Cougar Beauty (Retail: $12.99)

This is the perfect color to dress up a little black dress or a crisp white shirt tucked into jeans. The formula is long lasting and it smells amazing! The perfect addition to any date-night look.

 

 

Exfoliating Body Scrubber from Daily Concepts (Retail: $5.00)

This scrubber is a great addition to my once-a-week skin exfoliating routine. It buffs away roughness and cleanses deeply with dual textures. And I love that there’s a label that fades when it’s time to replace.

 

Jumbo Eye & Lip Pencil in GOLD from Nanacoco (Retail: $5.50)

Not sure I’m brave enough to incorporate a gold top-coat on my lips, but I love using metallics on my eyes (especially in summer)! This gold hue can be used as a shadow or on the waterline as a liner.

 

 

Bare Necessities Highlighting Pencil from Jelly Pong Pong (Retail: $17.95)

I’m excited to use this product on the inner and outer corners of my eye to make myself look a little more awake (<- sleepy morning hack FTW!).

 

 

Mongongo Lip Conditioner from Jersey Shore Cosmetics (Retail: $10.00)

Chapstick is a beach bag ESSENTIAL. And this one smells like coconuts! Perfect. I love the all natural ingredients in this lip conditioner, but I would love it a bit more with the addition of some SPF.

 

 

BONUS: Arnica Salve from De La Cruz

I wasn’t expecting a sixth item at all! Arnica Salve can be used for relief of bruises, minor burns, chapped skin and simple scratches. I wonder how it would do on mosquito bite scars? I’ll give it a go!

 

For sneak peeks and monthly product info, follow Beauty Box 5 on Instagram.

Overall, I love that Beauty Box 5 includes everyday essentials – like the exfoliating body scrubber and lip conditioner – alongside special occasion makeup. Which product would you be most excited to try out? Do you have a favorite makeup subscription service? I would totally recommend Beauty Box 5 (even if you’re product clueless like me!). 

*Note – This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Finding Delight.

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Photo Diary: Everglades Adventure

Chet and I went on a day-trip adventure into the everglades last week! On a whim, we decided to drive from our apartment in Miami to Everglades City and stop at anything that looked cool along the way. The drive is just under 2 hours and takes you through Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and protected land of the Miccosukee Tribe.

Below you’ll find pictures from the stops we took to and fro’ Everglades City. Above is an alligator just chilling on the side of the road. As they do.

Note: I didn’t snap any pics in Everglades City because the mosquitoes were HORRIBLE. We mostly toured from the comfort of the car. However, the town is ADORABLE and we had a delicious lunch HERE. I had a crab cake sandwich because a sign in the little town square told me that Everglades City is the stone crab capital of the world! It did not disappoint.

Hiking in South Florida? That’s right! We stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center in Big Cypress National Preserve and found it marks the Southern Terminus of the Florida Trail. It is one of the 11 National Scenic Trails in the U.S. (the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail are others) and runs from down here in the Everglades all the way to Fort Pickens in Pensacola Beach, FL. (About 1,100 miles.) Now I really want to thru-hike it!

The Miccosukee Indian Village had a surprising amount of tourists about for a random weekday morning. We perused the gift shop and checked out some of the attractions. (Still not sure how I feel about the dude in jorts below.) Curious for a non-touristy look into reservation life, we also went on a walk through an adjoining neighborhood. (No pictures out of respect for the real lives and real homes we encountered.) Needless to say it was an interesting wander and I’d love to learn more about this tribe.

We also stumbled upon THE SMALLEST POST OFFICE IN AMERICA! Apparently, the Ochopee post mark is much sought-after. People travel to this tiny office to mail themselves a card just to get the mark. Wish I’d known to bring along a post card!

Bugs! L: The size of my index finger. R: The size of my whole hand. Everglades wildlife ain’t playin’ around.

 

Unfortunately Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe, which was literally just chillin’ in the middle of nowhere, was closed for the day. But how fun does it look?! I really think this place is worthy of a return trip!

One thing you should know about me — I WILL stop a car to explore an abandoned building. RIP Everglades Kayak Tours.

Another nature center (not sure if it was on preserve land or the national park) with tons of info about wildlife and the history of the everglades. Below are a couple pictures taken on the back deck outside the center. They had this book for sale which I’m still kicking myself for not buying. Note the tannins in the water. (They make it look like sweet tea!)

Have you ever been in this part of Florida? What did you think? I already want to go back! (And retire to Everglades City…but maybe just in the winter because I’m a wuss about mosquitoes.) 

My 10-Day Ballet Challenge

I’m so excited to share this workout challenge with you guys! As I’ve talked about before on this blog, I’ve LOVED participating in various 30-day yoga challenges over the last couple years. I thought it might be fun to make a challenge of my own (using free online workouts of course) for another type of exercise I quite enjoy — BALLET!

It might sound strange, but those yoga challenges bring me a lot of joy. a) I don’t have to think about what workout  to complete on any given day. Anti-decision fatigue SCORE! b) Committing to something for a specified period of time, even to myself, means I’m way more likely to follow through. c) The results are usually pretty nice. 🙂 d) I love that yummy feeling you get after completing a challenge you set for yourself.

With those 4 joy-inducing items in mind, I added a 10-day ballet challenge to my FIND MORE DELIGHT LIST. And Monday I’m kicking things off! Here’s how things will shake down if you’re interested (or if you feel like tackling a ballet challenge of your own!!! plz dooo!)…

Day One

Adult Ballet Barre by Ballerinas by Night

Day Two

15min BALLET WORKOUT by Sarahs DayArms Exercises With Theraband by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Three

Pre Ballet Class Feet Strengthening Routine  Easy Ballet Barre Workout both by Kathryn Morgan

Day Four

Classical Ballet Barre with Centre by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Five

New York City Ballet Workout I designed by Peter Martins

Day Six

Arms Exercises with Theraband Relax & Stretch both by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Seven

Ballet Barre for Balance & Core by Kathryn Morgan

Day Eight

Beginners Ballet by PsycheTruth

Day Nine

Classical Full Ballet Barre by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Ten

New York City Ballet Workout II designed by Peter Martins

And there you have it! I’ll definitely let you know how it goes…Until then, WISH ME LUCK!

Have you ever done a workout challenge like this one (or the Yoga with Adriene 30 day challenges)? Love ’em or hate ’em? How do you stay motivated to exercise? Let me know! 

P.S. More Finding Delight posts on working out – Ballin’ on a Budget – Ditch the Gym Membership and Found! The Greatest Exercise Video Ever

mid-week round-up

Hey peeps! How have you been? Last week I took an adventure into the Everglades (tell ya more about it later this week!) and managed to get a trillion bug bites. And the last couple days I’ve been in full blown allergy mode so I’m basically itchy and sneezy. Wonderful, eh? Hope y’all are faring better as we slide into Summer, and here are a few links…

A family’s slave:  “She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.”

We can end police violence in America. Join Campaign Zero.

The surprising pattern behind color names around the world.

I have this bra in beige but now I really want it in blush!

Related: In Search of the Comfiest Bra

Recently discovered Melissa Voigt and I’ve been binge reading her blog posts!

This 90-year-old lady seduced and killed Nazis as a teenager.

The cutest zebra mug.

In honor of Mother’s Day last weekend, 25 famous women on their mothers.

The people behind “The Handmaid’s Tale” know they’re giving you nightmares.

Design your own “thinking of you” greeting card.

This Appalachia Life opens up about his first Mother’s Day without his mom.

10 years on, Amy Winehouse’s best-known songs still hurt and heal in equal measure.

P.S. Here are a few links from me you may have missed — Irresistible Me Review and Books to read if you’re in search of a history lesson…

DIY: Paper Flowers on Canvas with Home Made Luxe

I love craft tutorials. I love pinning neat DIY’s to my Pinterest boards. I love watching YouTube videos where the creator whips up a clever craft. And sometimes I love hauling my butt to the craft store, loading up on supplies, and parking myself in front of a project.

But here’s the thing. I’ve pinned so many projects to Pinterest that sometimes I’m not sure where to begin. The nearest craft store to me is basically a nightmare. A lot of my craft supplies get bought, used for one project, and the extras sit in my closet for months on end.

So when I heard about Home Made Luxe I was anxious to give them a try! Home Made Luxe is a monthly subscription box containing all the materials you need to make a beautiful home decor project. No need to fight my way down the crowded aisles at my local Michael’s. No need to scour my Pinterest board for the perfect craft. Everything just shows up in a box, including detailed step by step instructions and a link to video instructions as well. Score!

craft

Let’s see how I fared with my May box from Home Made Luxe…

All the supplies and instructions arrived neatly packaged (and even included a handwritten note just for me!). The May box included everything I needed to create a trio of paper flowers on gold painted canvases. As I put mine together, I thought it might be fun to give you a little tutorial on how to make your own! But without your very own Home Made Luxe subscription you’ll have to scavenge the supplies on your own. 😉

What you’ll need: 

The picture above shows you everything my box included (+my cat’s butt) –

  • Heavy cardstock
  • 3 8×8 canvases
  • Gold paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paper flower templates
  • Glue Sticks
  • and a paper drop cloth

Not included in the box but also needed –

  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Pencil

and how it all comes together: 

Step one. I applied a first coat of gold paint to my canvases.

Step two. I used the provided paper flower templates to trace and cut out the petals and center of my flowers. Each flower needs one center and about seven petals of each size.

Step three. Second coat of gold!

Here’s everything I needed to start constructing my paper flowers – 3 centers + 21 large petals + 21 medium petals + 21 small petals. Note: This is the part of the project that takes the most time…or maybe just feels like it takes the most time because it’s the most boring. Luckily, I was watching the Netflix reboot of Anne of Green Gables as I traced and cut. 

Step four. I used a glue stick to roll back the edges of each petal and then cut a slit about halfway up.

Step five. With the curled parts facing back, I overlapped one side of the slit on top of the other and glued in place with my glue gun.

Step six. Flower assembly time! I glued the large petals together at their sides to form a circle. Next, I glued the circle center in the middle. Then I glued the medium and small petals down by their ends to form a layered effect.

Step seven. To make stamen for the center (or is it the stigma?), I used half a sheet of cardstock, folded it in half and cut down the fold, creating a comb pattern. I made six of these “combs” in total and glued them shut.

Step eight. I rolled them up (2 combs per flower), gluing as I rolled, to create these.

Step nine. These I glued in the center of the paper flowers.

Step ten. And finally, I glued the completed paper flowers on the center of the gold canvases! My trio of paper flowers on gold canvases was complete. 🙂

Now to decide how to style them. They’re such a fun statement piece hanging on a wall!

And I love how this one looks as a centerpiece on a shelf. Ultimately, I’d like to hang them all side-by-side in my bedroom. Such a fun 3-D pop!

If you’d like to try Home Made Luxe, and I so encourage you to do so, you can purchase a subscription HERE. If you’re like me, you love to craft but don’t always have the time to gather supplies…or your indecisiveness about WHAT to craft leaves you project-less altogether. Home Made Luxe solves this conundrum! It truly is Pinterest delivered to your doorstep.

What do you think? Do you love making crafts and DIY’s? Would you ever try a subscription service to facilitate the hobby. I gotta say…so far I’m pretty into it!

craft

7 YouTube Channels to Check Out For Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration

Thinking of starting a capsule wardrobe? Might be a fun weekend activity if you’re in the spring-cleaning mood or have recently been bit by the minimalism bug. These YouTube channels have videos which may provide some inspiration…

1. My Green Closet – Capsule Wardrobes | Project 333 playlist

2. Mademoiselle – The Minimal Wardrobe playlist

3. The Anna Edit – Style/Capsule Wardrobe playlist

4. Light by Coco – Capsule Wardrobe playlist

5. Miss Louie – Lookbooks playlist

6. Jenn Rogers – My Capsule Collection playlist

7. Bookish & Belle – Fashion & Style playlist

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Thinking of starting one? Where do you find minimalist fashion inspiration? I’d love to know!!

P.S. My 50 Piece All-Season Capsule Wardrobe.

Don’t Hide Your Hustle: Emily, Career Coach

Welcome to Don’t Hide Your Hustle, a new series on Finding Delight that explores the myriad of ways to make a living in 2017. I’m asking folks to share how they hustle over the course of one work-day (which usually extends far beyond a 9 – 5 situation).

Today, I present you with Emily’s story. Emily blogs about all things career over on cultivitae.com. After a whole lotta long days, she turned her career coaching side-hustle into a full-time gig and now travels the world by day and works by night (thanks to wifi and time zone differences). Let’s check out her hustle!

DHYH Emily

Hi, everyone! My name is Emily Liou and I am the founder of CultiVitae, a career coaching company that helps millennials in transition reach their career goals. I started CultiVitae (which means Cultivate Your Life, a play on words from Curriculum Vitae) because I wanted to empower the underemployed and help others navigate through one of the largest aspects in our lives: career!

When I was in college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I just chugged along and eventually graduated while thinking the world was going to be my oyster! That thought quickly faded in my first sales job when I realized selling expensive undergraduate programs for an online university wasn’t my jam. I could have really used a career coach back then but didn’t realize they existed.

Luckily, I fell into recruiting shortly thereafter. As a recruiter and HR professional, I was able to be on the other end of the interview table for once and that was so enlightening. I recruited for Fortune 500 giants to Silicon Valley startups and saw firsthand what companies were looking for – but most importantly – not looking for.

One of the things I wanted to do as a recruiter was give advice and feedback to everyone who wasn’t given an offer or an interview. But I couldn’t. It wasn’t my job and we were trained to give a politically correct canned response. Fast forward six years later, I started to consult on the side. From giving free career advice to my friends to eventually building a following out of trusted referrals, CutiVitae was born. (Here’s an article I wrote an article about the 5 steps I took to turn my hobby into an online business.) In my first year, I helped over 150 professionals all over the world figure out how to conquer their dream jobs! It is extremely rewarding and my favorite job yet! Here’s a day in my life…

Friday

1:35 pm – Just landed in the Keflavik airport in Iceland! One of my favorite things about owning my own business is the freedom to work anywhere with reliable wifi connection and a laptop. Because of this, I can take advantage of cheap air flights. $300 round trip ticket sale from LAX to KEF? Yes, please! I can’t wait to blog about my adventures over on my travel blog Happynfull.

2:00 pm – Just got my luggage and bought a bus ticket to take me to the city Reykjavik (thank goodness for autocomplete). 

2:05 pm – Stepping outside of the airport terminal… what is this white fluffy stuff falling from the sky? Oh my goodness it’s snow! My SoCal/Arizona background can’t contain my excitement. This is the first time I’ve seen snow falling from the sky!

2:15 pm – As we take off from the airport, I can’t help but stare outside my bus window and look at all of the beautiful snow pile on the ground. The terrain out here is so beautiful with so much open farmland. I admire the hairy horses and sheep, and take mental snapshots of the rocks that are stacked on top of one another for what seems miles and miles.

2:30 pm – Just realized this bus has wifi! Woohoo. I thank T-Mobile again for giving me free international data. I boot up my email and see I have 3 new client meetings scheduled and questions from 2 clients about their job search strategy needs. I respond to each of them just in the knick of time as I hear the bus driver shout out we have arrived at my stop.

3:00 pm – I check into my Airbnb. I admire the Scandinavian design. Everything here is bought from Ikea but I love the simple, clean lines. I am admiring the kitchen when I realize our host was gracious enough to stock us up with fresh ground coffee beans and a French press. Woohoo! I know I will be depleting this fast.

3:30 pm – My fiancé and I are starving. We decide to explore the town a little in search of food. It stopped snowing but since we’re cold, a restaurant called Noodle Station catches our eyes as we see people slurping noodle soup through the window. I order a Vegetarian noodle soup dish because the meat is $6 more and I already feel like $10 for a bowl is expensive.

4:30 pm – We head to the Tourist Centre and chat up a nice man who says he is off shift but would be happy to help us. What customer service! 🙂 We tell him how many days we are here and he looks up the weather conditions and helps us plan our itinerary. Apparently, 3 of the days are going to be rain/snow so those are good city/museum days (and also working inside the Airbnb or a coffee shop). There are 3 days of sunshine so I plan on taking full advantage of the good weather. I look at my calendar and rearrange my schedule to plan accordingly. Luckily, my calls are already pre-scheduled on the bad weather condition days.

5:00 pm – We decide to explore for a few more hours just to get the lay of the land. I find a bookstore and am inspired by the design and layout. It reminds me I need to update my social media and I snap a photo for Instagram.

 6:30 pm – Tired from our flight and the cold, we head back to our Airbnb. One of my biggest goals this week is to rebrand my website. My graphic designer just sent me back my logos so I update my website with the new colors to match. 

7:30 pm – Website looks a lot cleaner now! I quickly save before I lose all of my edits. Next on my list is compiling my weekly newsletter. I send out to my subscribers every Sunday. I just received 23 new subscribers so I’m happy about that and want to make sure I deliver the most useful content!

8:30 pm – Happy with my newsletter, I decide to tackle a client’s resume. I put on my Spotify playlist and the first song that comes up is Ryan Leslie’s “Gibberish”. I am so productive when I’m in my groove. 

9:30 pm – Woohoo! Finished the resume edits. I email it over and realize I have 5 unread emails. I respond to these, too. I’ve learned I’m most productive by limiting the amount of times I open my email each day, but when I do open them up, I respond in chunks. 0 unread messages is my favorite thing! Well, only after receiving messages. If it were always at 0 I’d be discouraged. Keep the emails coming! 🙂

10:00 pm – The flight was exhausting and I didn’t sleep well. I decide it’s best to shower and get ready for bed as we have an early departure tomorrow for a tour taking us to the Golden Circle to see waterfalls, geysers, and a national park.

Saturday

4:00 am – Oh no. Jetlag. I can’t seem to sleep so I decide it’s a good idea to work on a client’s resume. It’s actually quite a therapeutic thing. This time, I put on Light’s acoustic album hoping it will help me sleep.

5:00 am – Very much still awake. I decide to work on another client’s LinkedIn profile audit.

5:30 am – Woohoo! Just finished. OK. I really should go to bed.

7:30 am – Waking up very excited as today is our 7 hour tour to explore Iceland! Feeling good that I got out several clients’ requests so I can focus on photographing this beautiful country for the rest of the day.

Thanks so much for sharing your hustle, Emily! Do you guys have any questions for her? Do any of you hustle while traveling the globe?  

P.S. Are you a hustler willing to share your story? Let’s chat! I would love to know how you’re making money while following your dreams in 2017. Shoot me an email — ebeth.berger@gmail.com. Thanks!

mid-week round-up

How have you been, friends? I spent the weekend sleeping in + eating brunch + wandering around Coconut Grove + buying way too much local food. (Oh and I finally watched this movie! So good.) I did not spend the weekend doing laundry + cleaning my apartment. Whoops! Kinda don’t care. Sometimes you just need to do YOU for a weekend, ya know. Ok, here’s a few links for your enjoyment…

On spring-cleaning your life (not just your house).

Related: How I did with my April resolutions.

Block people and pretend they died.

I did a sheet mask last night and now I want to impulse order a million on Amazon.

An eye-opening text convo reveals the reality of everyday abuse.

One fifth of American students wear school uniforms. Do they level the playing field or just further marginalize poor kids?

Forty-nine straight hours inside Trump’s Washington hotel.

So, is Gwyneth Paltrow a modern-day snake-oil saleswoman?

Related: Maybe so, but her food IS good.

He convinced former CIA operatives he was one of them. Was he an impostor?

A paper flower replica of your wedding bouquet would be the sweetest 1st year anniversary present EVER! *HINT, HINT!* 

Help deliver a truck to the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project.

Living by the Girl Scout law, even without a home.

I’m ordering this shirt and this one to wear all summer long!

Savannah Eats: Where + What

As promised, today I thought I’d tell ya about some of the food we ate on our recent trip to Savannah, GA. We were in town for the wedding of our dear friends so we were completely spoiled by meals at the restaurants selected by the bride & groom. Savannah has some pretty delicious offerings (and many restaurants boast beautiful views of the river or are located in gorgeously historic buildings) so if you’re planning a trip you’re in for a treat! But even if you don’t have a trip to Savannah on the horizon, I couldn’t help but include some budget-friendly meals that will work for general travel as well.

Savannah Specific — 

Lizzy’s Tequila Bar & Grill – We kicked off the weekend by enjoying dinner with the soon-to-be newlyweds. This restaurant is right along the river and had the perfect festive atmosphere to get celebrations started. Afterwards, we nabbed a drink at O’Connell’s Irish Pub which we were pretty convinced was haunted but the bartender would not play along.

HITCH – Before a night at the bars for the bachelor/bachelorette party, we fueled up with dishes that took a modern twist on Southern favorites. I had the chicken pancakes — thin and crispy peppered pancakes with fried chicken, chili aoli, and strawberry salsa. 2 thumbs up!

B. Matthew’s – After rehearsing the ceremony we scampered over to B. Matthew’s for the rehearsal dinner. This place had such a cool, historic vibe — exposed brick & beams, fireplaces, and a bar that looked straight out of the turn of the century. We dined in an upstairs room (with a private bar) that felt equal parts intimate and grand. Perfect for a gathering of the couple’s closest family and friends!

Vic’s on the River – And finally, the wedding reception itself was at a beautiful venue overlooking the river. The light from the setting sun pouring in the huge windows cast such a warm and romantic glow on the newlyweds. We dined on pork tacos, crawfish beignets, and a shrimp and grits bar (!). And topped it all off with two types of cupcakes baked by my mother especially for the occasion. My mom is a pro at baking wedding cupcakes. (She’s made cupcakes for my brother’s wedding and mine!) But this was the first time they got a “feed each other a bite and smash it in the face” MOMENT.

General Travel —

I wouldn’t be me without offering you some insight into how I keep travel affordable.

AirBNB Cuisine – One of my favorite benefits of staying in an AirBNB is that they come equipped with a kitchen. Why not take advantage of this and bring along food for at least some meals? I’m totally the girl who brings oatmeal and nut butter with me wherever I go so I was set on breakfast every morning. We also had sandwich fixin’s, baby carrots & hummus, chips, and cookies for quick lunches in between wedding-related errands and late night munchies.

Whole Foods – If you’re looking for a place to stock up on necessities, I’m a big fan of seeking out a Whole Foods. It’s a great place to double down and nab that soap you forgot to pack, a 12 pack of La Croix (because hydration), and ALSO treat yourself to a fairly inexpensive lunch. When you know you’re gonna indulge at dinnertime, Whole Foods comes through in the clutch with tons of healthy options for brekky, brunch, or lunch. Balance, people!

Have you ever been to Savannah, GA? What were your favorite dining experiences while there? Do you have any tips for cost-effective eating when on the road? Share below!! 

April Resolutions — How Did I Do?

Happy May, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out past months HERE.) Here’s how I did in April…

April Resolution #1. Spring clean my closets and drawers. 

I don’t know what it is but every Spring I get this terrible, insatiable urge to THROW EVERYTHING I OWN AWAY. Is that weird? Maybe it is something to do with the natural rhythms of the seasons. Hoarding everything away in a little nest during the Winter and then purging once the weather starts to get warmer. Whatever the case, my space starts to feel cluttered.

Instead of tossing stuff willy nilly, this year I evaluated what areas needed decluttering the most and focused my efforts. I hadn’t done a proper Kon Mari (ie. throw everything you own on your bed and go through it piece by piece) clothes clear out since moving to Florida and it was high time. So I definitely wanted to tackle my closet and dresser. Organizing my desk drawers has been on my To-do list foreeever, and so has our linen closet. So those went on the list too.

How did it go? Well, I Kon Mari’d the HECK out of my clothes and was able to rid my room of TWO TRASH BAGS full. (It still boggles my mind where this stuff comes from!) All the drawers are done…save for one pesky desk drawer that accumulates crap no matter what I do. (But doesn’t everyone have a crap drawer? Isn’t that like a law of LIVING?)

The linen closet still hasn’t happened. But there’s always this month!

 

Going forward: Declutter the dang linen closet! Oh, and actually transport those two trash bags that are in the trunk of my car to a donation location.

April Resolution #2. Examine spending habits through the lens of happiness. 

Recently, I signed up for a FREE Money + Happy Bootcamp through one of my fave blogs — Yes and Yes. The whole thing was chock-full of helpful advice about how to navigate spending habits while staying in tune with what brings you joy. (Sound helpful? You can sign up in the sidebar of the site.)

One exercise that really resonated with me asked us to take our bank statement and go at it with three highlighters. Pink, yellow, and green. The pink highlighter was for regrettable purchases. The yellow highlighter was for necessary purchases (like bills and groceries). And the green highlighter was for those purchases that brought about happiness.

Since taking the mini-course, I’ve kept up this highlighter rigmarole and have found the visual wildly helpful. And since I had data for the entire first quarter of the year, I thought April was the perfect time to crunch the numbers, evaluate how I did, and decide if there were changes I wanted to make going forward.

I pin-pointed a few trends. I got a clear picture of how much I’m spending and on what (as well as if the “what” brought me joy or regret).

 

Going forward: I will continue to go through my bank statements with highlighters every month and examine the results more thoroughly each quarter. I’ll try to get my pink purchases down and my green purchases as up as my bank account will allow. 😉

Alright friends, let’s keep things going in May!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Four months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!