All posts by Beth Berger

About Beth Berger

Hi there! Finding Delight is a lifestyle and lifelong learning blog written and curated by me in Alabama. Along the way, I attempt to tackle the rough real world with books, budget-livin', brainpower and all the beautiful stuff you can find when you really look. Won't you join me? The true delight is in the finding out.

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 4!)

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!

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A Peek at My Podcast Subscriptions

Hey friends! It’s been a little while since I’ve shared my current podcast subscription list. (Here’s a look at the list from Nov ’17.) Wanna see what’s been in my earholes lately?

Culpable

Culpable  explores unsettled cases where the people who seem deserving of blame somehow eluded justice. On February 26, 2014, Christian Andreacchio was found dead in the upstairs bathroom of his apartment from a single gunshot wound to the head. After a mere 45-minute investigation, local police ruled his death a suicide, despite substantial evidence that points to Christian’s death not only being a homicide, but premeditated murder.

Who? Weekly

A podcast dedicated to deciphering and celebrating pop culture’s greatest (and not-so-greatest) Whos and Thems. Everything you need to know about celebrities you don’t. Hosted by Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber.

 

Who the Hell is Hamish

He was born Hamish Watson, a surfie dude from Sydney – but he could morph into whatever you wanted him to be. Hamish is due to be sentenced to jail for swindling a handful of victims out of more than $7 million. But these crimes are just the final pages in a resume too think to staple; for decades he’s duped victims in the US, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong and Australia.

Building a StoryBrand with Donald Miller

If you’re frustrated because you struggle to get the word out about your product or service, the Building a StoryBrand podcast will help. Fans of the podcast are ecstatic about the fun and entertaining way Donald Miller brings you practical advice about clarifying your message so customers will listen. Don and the StoryBrand team are the world’s leading experts in harnessing the 2,000 year-old proven power of story formulas to get people talking about your brand.

The Rewatchables

The Rewatchables, a film podcast from the Ringer Podcast network, features HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons and a roundtable of people from The Ringer universe discussing movies they can’t seem to stop watching.

Royally Obsessed

Royally Obsessed is the podcast for all things Royals! Kaitlin Menza and Lisa Ryan both write about The Royals for everyone from Cosmo to NY Mag, and each week they discuss the highs and lows in Buckingham Palace, and everything you need to know for high tea.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

A weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan Van Ness is curious about. Go on a journey with Jonathan and experts in their respective fields as they get curious about anything and everything under the sun.

 

The Freelance Friday Podcast

The Freelance Friday Podcast is all about… you guessed it: freelancing. An inside look at the world of freelancing, featuring tips, tricks, and interviews with people who are doing it right.

 

Call Your Girlfriend

Call Your Girlfriend is a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere co-hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, and produced by Gina Delvac. Every week, Aminatou and Ann call each other to discuss the intricacies of pop culture and the latest in politics.

Household  Name

Surprising stories about how the biggest, household name brands affect our lives and culture — for better or worse. Host Dan Bobkoff finds tales of tragedy, love, strange histories, unintended consequences, and accidental success.

Britney’s Gram

Each week, comedians Tess Barker and Barbara Gray discuss and dissect Britney Spears’s Instagram posts.

 

Reply All

Reply All is hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, who launched the show in 2014. “A podcast about the internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.” – The Guardian

 

And before you ask, NO — I am not able to keep up with all of these. There are some that I’m still listening to episodes that came out years ago…but these are all the shows that are in my current rotation and that I would whole-heartedly recommend. 😉

P.S. I asked 9 friends, “What’s your favorite podcast?” and here’s what they had to say.

mid-week round-up

What have you been up to loves? Last weekend, Chet and I saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…complete with a huge tub of popcorn. Have you seen it? Sometimes I just can’t get over how good an actor Leo is! Hope you have a fantastic week, do a few things for your own enjoyment, and here are some links you might want to check out…

The best street art in every state.

How to give constructive criticism without making it awkward.

Everyone knows about urine-detector dye, despite the fact that it has 100% never existed.

These cookies are my new favorite thing.

How to eat candy like a Swedish person.

24 books under 200 pages, recommended by TED speakers.

An ice cream truck owner who hates influencers so much he charges them double.

When should you tell a child their adopted?

A fish pie loaded with summer’s bounty.

Fall is right around the corner!

Sweet new merch from Call Your Girlfriend.

16 words people often mix up that can make you look foolish.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — My Favorite Words and The Truths We Hold — Continued Material.

For Your Enjoyment

What are the things you do purely for your own enjoyment? Not the things you are supposed to do, or should, but things you do just because you can?

Here are a few of mine — 

1. Reading fiction

I’m currently reading The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.

2. Taking walks in my neighborhood

I walk to the library to pick up and return books. I walk whenever I’m on the phone. I walk when I want to listen to podcasts or music or my thoughts.

3. Doing face masks

Do you have a favorite I should check out? Always looking for new ones to try!

4. Photographing my cat

My camera roll is literally 98% pictures of Wink. (Only a fraction end up on Instagram.)

5. Watching YouTube videos

Here are a few channels I’ve written about (and still love!): Latasha James, Kara and Nate, and SuperHolly.

Share yours below! xoxo

P.S. If listening to podcasts is something you do for enjoyment, I’d love if you’d check out mine! RIGHT THIS WAY. 🙂

Minimalist Dinner Plan (w/ freezer meals)

One really simple approach to creating your monthly dinner plan is batch cooking. Which, with all the overly complicated meal prep YouTube videos out there, can seem incredibly daunting. However, just a little bit goes a long way when cooking ahead for the month. (Especially if you’re just cooking for one or two and you’re ok with repeating foods!) “Feed your freezer today, feed yourself all month”… is that a saying? It should be.

Here are four things you can make for the month ahead to make dinners a little easier…

Baked Beans

A big pot of baked beans is kind of obnoxious to make on the regular. But it freezes incredibly well. This is a great side item, but I like it as the main dish. I got the idea from one of my favorite books, My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss, which talks about having baked beans for dinner with steamed broccoli and corn bread. Yum!

Alternative – Any other type of beans or grains

Twice-Baked Potatoes

These are more of the side item situation. You can make them the cheesy way or as more of a loaded baked potato with sour cream and bacon and chives. Then, add one half to round out a meat and veg meal. Or have both halves with a salad or some soup.

Alternative – Any other starchy side item

Starbucks Copycat Wraps

These have been my obsession lately. You basically cook some quinoa, corn, and black beans and throw them in a wrap with some jalapeno Havarti shredded cheese. Wrap ’em in aluminum foil and stick in your freezer for the quickest dinners. (Great if you have to take dinner on the go!) With some chips and a pickle spear you’ll feel like you grabbed fast food.

Alternative – Any other freezable sandwich or wrap

Buttermilk Pancakes

If there’s one thing I’m committed to on a deep and spiritual level, it’s breakfast for dinner. But I’m also way too lazy to make pancakes on a weeknight. Sunday around noon while listening to some tunes? Sure. When I’m starving after working all day? Not so much. Good thing you can throw a batch of these in your freezer then whip a few out as needed, scramble some eggs, fry up some sausage, and bingo-bango you’re eating like a brekky-for-dinner CHAMPION.

Alternative – Waffles, french toast, sourdough bread, etc.

How it all comes together…

If you’re cooking for a household of 2 and you make 6 potatoes, 2 lbs of beans, 18 pancakes, and 10 wraps…

That’s 6 meals with potato halves (3 if you’re doing the whole potato), 6 meals with beans, 3 meals with pancakes, and 5 meals with wraps. 20 meals that are partially complete before dinnertime even rolls around!

What do you think? Would you try this monthly dinner plan approach? Do you feed your freezer? Comment below! xoxo 

P.S. Quick + Easy Meal Plan for One on a Budget.

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 3!)

Hi guys! Another week of working out at home has come and gone. I gotta say, I’m really glad I had all these workouts in the pipeline. Totally eliminates any need to think once workout time rolls around. (Have I mentioned how much I hate making decisions?) I am a compulsive list maker (and list FOLLOWER — I derive great satisfaction from doing things in order) and a lot of that comes from my need to batch make decisions.

Even if these specific workouts aren’t your jam, I really recommend giving THAT part of this process a try. Spend some time mapping out a workout plan for the month (or whatever time-frame suits ya best). I think you’ll be surprised how freeing it feels in the day to day when that one itty-bitty decision is already done and dusted.

Ok — *steps off decision fatigue soap box* On to this week’s workouts!!!

Tuesday:

I knocked this out on an evening my husband was out of town and it was the perfect way to kick off a chill evening at home while solo. #SelfCare

Wednesday:

Yep, you guessed it! More “no jumping” HIIT workouts. Can you guess one of my fave workout search terms?

Thursday:

Another Yoga With Adriene video this week because I love her. This sequence, especially, is a favorite because I sit a lot throughout the week.

Friday:

This workout kicked my ASS in that 35 minutes! I’ll definitely be returning to this channel to try more of Coach Kel’s videos when this challenge is over. 🙂

Saturday:

Was a bit sore after that barre workout so this was perfect. Plus, lazy weekend vibes.

Sunday:

This is a fairly rigorous ab workout, but I love how chill it still feels. IDK if it’s the vibe of the instructor or the way the exercises are arranged or what!

Monday:

Welp, I’m pretty terrible at belly dancing. Still fun though, lol.

And there you have it, ladies and germs! Week 3 is in the books!! Only 2 more weeks left.

P.S. Week 1 and Week 2 – in case ya missed ’em!

mid-week round-up

What’s new this Wednesday? My husband was out of town last week and I’m so happy to have him back in my clutches! Can folks who live with one other person relate to this? The first night I have the house to myself I’m like “Wahooo, the TV remote is mine, ALL MINE!” and then by the third night it’s “Will someone…ANYONE pay attention TO ME!” Anywho, links for your reading pleasure are right this way…

What did you do before the internet?

The forgotten wolf children of World War II.

Great way to keep track of your keys.

How to rotate a six-week meal plan.

I need this shirt for the upcoming winter. #HyggeLife

Songbirds are being snatched from Miami’s forests.

He’d been kept alive with tubes for nearly 17 years. Who is he? 

Victims, families, and America’s thirst for true-crime stories.

The rich history and complicated future of pen spinning.

An amazing clay mask.

The story behind the ice cream sandwich.

That’s a lot of hot air balloons! 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Top 10 Yard Sale Advertising Tips and Our Mini Vacay to Delray Beach.

10 Tips for Working an Event

One aspect of work-life that I look back on fondly now that I’m a work-from-home freelancer is working events. From hosting speech tournaments on college campuses when I was a forensics coach to planning and executing a street fair during my days on the marketing team at a food co-op, these all day affairs used to be a pretty common occurrence for me. They were always stressful. Always a lot of work. But oh so rewarding at the end of the day when you pulled it off.

After a lot of years, and a lot of trial and error, I feel like I eventually got working events down to a fine science. Whether you run conferences, host all-day trainings, or volunteer at your kid’s model UN tournaments, you know the deal! Here are my top tips —

Preparation –

1. Get plenty of sleep the night before.

I’ve worked plenty of events in a state of exhaustion and, let me tell you, it ain’t fun. Do everything in your power to show up bright eyed and bushy tailed. It will feel like way less of a slog and the hours will fly by if you go into the day feeling energetic. If the event starts later in the day still get plenty of rest the night before and make sure to eat well and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

2. Eat a hearty, well-balanced breakfast.

When you’ve gotta go, go, go – sitting down for a decent meal isn’t always possible. Waking up just a tiny bit earlier is totally worth it if it means you won’t have to scarf a pop-tart in the car on the way there.

3. If you can, spend some time outside and/or do some form of light exercise before you go or when you get a break.

This will give you a nice boost of energy and stamina. It seems counter-intuitive, especially if you know you’re going to be running around and doing a lot of set up throughout the day, but I promise those exercise endorphins are worth it. And the sunlight part is a no brainer if you’re going to be spending the next million hours inside.

During the event –

4. Wear comfortable shoes.

If the event is a more casual situation and you can get away with rocking walking shoes, by all means! But even if this is a biz-cas affair, make sure your shoes are selected for comfort and not style. (I mean, you can have both…but you know what I mean.) I spent way too many years rocking ballet flats at events before I realized those aren’t the BEST option for gallivanting from one end of a college campus to the other and being on your feet all day.

5. Hydrate.

I’ll say it again for the people in the back — HYDRATE! Keep a water bottle close at hand and just keep guzzling. Nothing takes the pep out of your step like thirst.

6. Keep your pockets stocked.

I always want to remain incredibly mobile when working an event…and I don’t really want to carry a bag everywhere I go OR have to add even MORE steps to my daily total to run to a “home base” for what I need. For me, this means keeping some cash and my debit card on my person throughout the day.

7. Have portable snacks on hand.

Sometimes your only downtime when working events is when you’re walking from one place to another. So, I like to bring along portable snacks that I can eat on the go. Bananas and granola/protein bars are great for this. NOM.

8. Avoid the urge to pound caffeine and sugar all day.

Another reason to show up well-rested. All the caffeine and sugar crashes just aren’t worth it…not to mention it will mess with your sleep after the event is over. Don’t you want to sleep like a baby after your marathon day? I think yes.

9. Say “Thank you!”

Successful events truly take a village. Show your gratitude as much as possible. Even if you’re not the one at the tippy-top running the whole shebang, there are certainly people who are making your part in the whole thing easier. Tell them you appreciate them!

10. Don’t bark orders.

And if you ARE running things, be considerate with how you manage and delegate. Events can feel way more high stakes than day-to-day work for everyone involved. Tensions will run high. Ask for help with a specific task instead of giving an order. Slight rhetorical shifts can make grunt work sound a whole lot less demeaning.

What tips would you add? xoxo

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

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 2!)

I survived another week of my home workout challenge! *thunderous applause*

Now for the full disclosure part… I took three days off. One day I had horrible shoulder pain and spent the day wrapped in a heat wrap. One day I had horrible knee pain and spent the day with an ice pack. And one day I was at a state park and spent the day swimming in a lake.

But here’s the thing, I listened to my body and cooled my jets. And ya know what? My workouts were ready for me to pick back up after each of those days off. So, even though they weren’t done in consecutive days, I’m gonna call this week’s worth of workouts a win!

Wanna know what they were?

Tuesday:

Pulses of death? Challenge accepted.

Wednesday:

Honestly, this is low-key a workout for your eyeballs. And if you work at a computer all day, I can’t recommend it enough.

Thursday:

Sweet little gentle workout. She prefaces at the beginning that she’ll be giving minimal verbal cues so that the music can be enjoyed…but I would have preferred the verbal cues.

Friday:

You’ll learn over the course of this challenge that I’m not a fan of jumping.

Saturday:

I am, in fact, a person who gets bored easily! No repeat exercises in this one.

Sunday:

Hurts so good. Not doing this enough is probably what caused that previously mentioned knee flare up. *face-palm* It’s feeling right as rain now!

Monday:

A simple dumbbell workout gets the job done every time.

That’s it for Week 2! I’ll post again when I’ve made it through Week 3. ‘Til then! xoxo

P.S. 30 Days of Ballet Training and The All You Need is a Clock Workout

Book Club: The True Memoirs of Little K Pt. 4

Welcome back, Finding Delight Book Club members! Today is my final post about The True Memoirs of Little K, and I’m turning it over to you. While it is great to read other people’s thoughts about a book and learn a bit more about an author and dive deeper into a subject with extended reading/listening/watching … what I love most about book clubs is that it allows a space for tapping into your own feelings about a book and what it brings up for YOU. Sometimes this can be difficult when reading books by yourself. You read for entertainment and enjoyment, maybe you underline a passage that speaks to you or remark YAS! to a sentence that really rings true. But in a book club? We can dig a little deeper. So, shall we?

1. Why do you think Adrienne Sharp chose to claim these were the “true” memoirs of Little K in the title of this novel?

2. From where does Mathilde gain her power? And how is it take away?

3. What are your thoughts on the love between Nicholas and Mathilde? How does your perception of their relationship change as the book goes on and history unfolds?

4. What impact does the revolution have on Mathilde and her son? What do you think their relationship would have been like a century prior?

5. How would you have reacted if you, like Vova, were asked to impersonate the Tsarevich in public?

6. In what ways did being the daughter of an Honored Artist of the Imperial Theater and part of a family of prized performers benefit Mathilde? Can you think of other famous families of performers who impacted culture or history?

7. Why do you think Alexandra ignored popular opinion to hitch her wagon to Rasputin’s star?

8. If you were the Tsar, what would you have done differently to protect your family and heir to the throne?

9. In your opinion, was violent revolution the only way the suffering of the lower classes could have been resolved in Russia?

10. What does this book reveal about the nature of survival?

Your turn. 

Have you read The True Memoirs of Little K yet? Pop any answers or thoughts that come up from the questions above in the comments. I’d love to continue the conversation. If you haven’t read it yet, but your interest is sparked, 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 ☕