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.

Improve Your Sleep And Increase Your Energy

Are you getting enough sleep? According to research, one in three of us isn’t, and this is affecting our productivity and health — both mental and physical. 

Sleep is vital for our bodies. You see, during the day, our brains take on a lot of information, and when we sleep, our minds go to work storing this information. Our bodies are also busy growing muscle, repairing tissue, and regenerating cells. We basically go through a whole system refresh overnight.

That’s why having a healthy sleep routine is essential. Particularly in children who are learning a lot during the day and need more sleep than adults to retain all the information and refresh the energy and cells used by their bodies. It’s suggested that adults should get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night and that young children should sleep between 9 and 11 to support growth and learning. 

Regardless of your age, a consistent sleep routine means sticking to bedtimes and prioritizing your sleep health. If you miss a few nights of good sleep, it’s not as simple as having a long lie-in to catch up. The quality of our sleep changes depending on the hour of the day. 

Sleep also affects your immune system. If you regularly miss a quality night’s rest, you will find you are more susceptible to colds and flu. So skipping a few hours to stay up late and binge-watch your favorite series, could be making you sick! 

Tracking Sleep Quantity and Quality

There are lots of ways we can improve our sleep, but the first way is to have a regular and consistent routine. This helps our body to understand when it is rest time and when it is time to work. Getting into bed at 10 pm and waking up at 6 or 7 am is a steady routine which helps our body get the right type of sleep. Our sleep cycle is built into our bodies. It is affected by light, lifestyle and internal conditions, including our brain waves and our genetics. There are two states to the way we sleep. Rapid eye movement and non rapid eye-movement. During the night, our body will change between these states multiple times. Roughly every 90 minutes. Over the evening these cycles change, so the earlier you go to bed, the more time you will have in the REM periods and the lighter the NREM will be. To get the best night’s sleep, your body needs to run through these cycles up to five times a night. You also need to wake up when your rest is the lightest; this will help you feel more rested and productive throughout the day.

Your biology will affect how much sleep you need and how many cycles your body needs to go through. So it’s essential to make a diary of how you feel in the morning and use that information to work out the best time for your body to wake up. If your alarm goes off when you are in the REM stage of a cycle, then you might feel sluggish and unrested when you rise. 

What’s Affecting Your Sleep?

There are lots of things that can affect how we sleep. One factor that’s been getting a lot of press lately is electro-stress, which is emitted by the wireless electronic devices in our homes. The belief here is that while many homes have smart devices in the bedroom, this could be causing us to have poor quality sleep. Expert opinions on this vary. While some encourage cleanses such as Orgone energy to help reduce electro-stress, others recommend turning devices to airplane mode before bedtime. No matter where you fall, limiting screen time in the bedroom, especially around bedtime, is always a good idea. 

Why? Because light is an essential factor too. Our bodies are set to start winding down as the sun sets, then they spring back into life as the sun rises. Our evenings should reflect this cycle, so instead of staying up late and being stimulated by a bunch of screens, try taking an hour before you go to bed to be calm and relaxed. This could involve reading a book or taking a bath, supporting your body as it slowly prepares to have a quality rest. 

Increasing your daily exercise will also help you to slip into a deeper and more productive sleep, so it is vital to get outside and do something active. This doesn’t mean you need head to the gym every day; taking a simple walk is enough to keep our body’s sleep system happy. You should also be mindful of taking exercise too late at night as this can be counterintuitive to a good night’s sleep. In the evening, your body releases melatonin to help you prepare for the rest ahead, whereas exercise releases endorphins which give you more energy and awaken your senses. Try to take your exercise before 5 pm.

What we eat can affect our sleep too, so be mindful of eating fatty, sugary foods too late in the evening. Research suggests we should eat our last meal before 6 pm – although this isn’t always possible in the world we live in. If you do need to eat later, then try to make your dinner light and easy to digest so your body can work on other processes when you are asleep. Hydration is essential too. You should avoid alcohol, which acts as a stimulant. While we might feel sleepy after a glass of wine, the quality of our sleep is poor. This means you don’t have enough time to regenerate, process information from the day or feel refreshed. 

Our bodies need rest so that we can perform our best throughout the day, so take time to work on your sleep routine and see if you can feel the difference in the day. Our mental and physical health is so important, and we should do everything we can to give our bodies the best chance of regeneration.

So, put your feet up, relax and get to bed! 

P.S. Must haves for sleeping in the heat. 

Cute Gifts for Foodies

Buying gifts for loved ones right now is proving pretty difficult. The coronavirus pandemic means that many shops are closed and we’re unable to leave our homes to browse different options. On top of this, we can’t hand the gifts we settle on over in person, as social distancing guidelines prevent us from going to one another’s houses. At the same time, birthdays and other important days go on and you’re going to want to send that perfect gift to the person you love. Now, there are endless potential gifts out there for all different kinds of people. But for now, let’s focus on the foodies in your life. Here are a few different gift ideas you can have delivered straight to the foodies in your life…

Pretzel Gift Boxes

Who doesn’t love soft pretzels? They’re delicious. These come in a range of flavors, from cinnamon sugar to vanilla sugar to various options with melted chocolate, caramel or other dips. This is a gift that can be delivered straight to your loved one’s house in time for their birthday through esprovisions.com. They’re bound to bring a smile to your loved one’s face!

Edible Arrangements

Flowers are a popular birthday delivery. But why not offer an alternative that the recipient can eat? Edible arrangements are essentially lots of pieces of delicious fresh fruit, cut and prepared into the shape of flowers and arranged into a bouquet. You can get all sorts of different arrangements with different varieties of fruit and even chocolate dipped options. Yum!

A Snack Subscription

For the gift that keeps on giving, consider a snack subscription. This can see a box of delicious goodies arrive at your loved one’s house every single month – generally for six months or a year. There are subscription boxes suited to everyone out there. From chocolate lovers to vegans, people who are gluten free and much much more. Browse the wide variety out there and settle on the options best suited to your particular foodie. 

Edible Photos

There are companies out there who will print pictures of your choice onto the icing sugar of delicious treats. This is a cute and sentimental gift for those who are nearest and dearest to you. The image could be one of you together, a picture of a pet, or anything else that they might like!

These, of course, are just a few potentially great gifts for the foodie in your life. It’s important to still make an effort with people during these difficult times. It’s easy to feel alone – especially on dates where you’d usually be out celebrating with your friends, such as birthdays or graduations. Hopefully, one of the ideas outlined above will offer the perfect surprise to show a loved one they are thought about and loved!

Photo above via Eastern Standard Provisions

5 Ways To Remember Someone You Love

When a loved one tragically passes away, it can feel like the end of the world for those left behind. Dealing with loss isn’t a discussion often had, and it’s not a topic that many people feel confident in talking about. But it is a hugely important for those going through it, and one which everyone will experience within their lifetime. The experience can be lonely, and it’s usually made even worse by the fact that a lot of people simply don’t know how to start a dialogue with someone who has been bereaved, and will even go to the lengths of avoiding them out of awkwardness. Of course, this only serves to make the person grieving feel more isolated, exactly when they need the most support. 

This difficult, but often undiscussed, situation can be doubly tough if you don’t have the tools to work through grief. Mourning for someone is definitely a process – and one that no-one can put a time limit on. People who have lost a loved one often talk about it in terms of learning to live with the pain, rather than it being something that goes away. And I agree.

There are of course steps you can take to help you process your negative emotions and work through what you feel, and it can be helpful as you do so to find ways of remembering the person you have loved and lost. 

Being able to create memories can be a hugely important part of the mourning process, so consider what you could do once you feel ready to express yourself. When the focus of arranging a funeral is over, and you feel ready, creating a lasting memorial can be helpful. It gives you a tangible connection to the person you have lost, and provides a way of feeling close to those we can no longer see or speak to.

Create A Memorial Seat

If there’s a special view, a place in nature or a walk you used to take together, dedicating a memorial bench is a lovely way to remember someone you loved. It draws on a base of shared memories and provides a location you can go to when you need to remember that person. Your bench can feature a plaque or carving with an inscription, naming or commemorating that person, sharing a memory or containing a special piece of verse, a passage from a book they loved or song lyrics that remind you of them. 

Cherish A Piece Of Clothing

In life, our clothes are a tool of self-expression. If your loved one had a favorite garment – perhaps a treasured dress or an old sweater – there are ways to use this piece of clothing to provide a lasting link to them after their passing. You can even have a memory bear made using fabric stitched together from a patchwork of their favorite items. This simple but effective idea is especially lovely to help children who have lost someone dear. They can cuddle with the bear and remember the person they loved so much in life. The same principle could also apply to anything soft and squidgy really – from a cushion to a quilt. Equally, a much-loved item of clothing can be preserved and framed.

Create A Memory Box

If you have lots of treasured artifacts from your time with that person, you could consider creating a memory box. In it, you can place all sorts of things – letters and cards you exchanged, old photographs, memorabilia like concert tickets and small souvenirs, pressed flowers and other little tokens. This approach is especially lovely because there is always something new to rediscover or a different memory to recall depending on what you pull out of the box. 

Get A Piece Of Jewelry Made

If you feel like carrying your loved one close to you, memorializing them with a piece of jewelry is a great way to hold them close with something portable that you can carry around wherever you go. Sites like Memorials.com can even help you to incorporate the ashes of a family member into an elegant piece of jewelry that you can wear and love forever, and pass down through generations. 

Plant Something Green 

A connection to the living world is a huge source of comfort for many, so it can be a really nice idea to plant a tree or a shrub in memory of a lost loved one. This gives a beautiful connection to the world as well as a place you can go to enjoy some quiet time and remember that person. 

Have you honored a lost loved one in a way you found to be especially helpful to your grieving process? If you’re comfortable, I’d love to hear about it below. Sending all my love to anyone hurting or mourning a loss. xoxo 

If You Like That Book, You Might Like This Book || BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS pt. 1

Hi guys! Today, I’d like to offer you a few book recommendations in the form of “if you liked this book, then you might like this other book.” I love when folks on Booktube, Bookstagram, and Goodreads include comparisons to other books in their reviews! It’s one of my favorite ways to find new reads! So, I thought it might be fun and potentially helpful to readers to start a new bookish series here on the blog.

Basically, I’m going to be recommending books that are similar to very popular books that are more well-known. Let’s get into it, shall we?!

If you liked Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel,
you might like Blindness by José Saramago

If you thought Station Eleven was a stunning and powerful portrayal of humanity’s will to survive as a sickness sweeps the land, I think you should check out Blindness. This book stuck with me long after I read the final page. It is haunting and shattering, but honest and compassionate.

Synopsis:

A city is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of our worst appetites and weaknesses—and humanity’s ultimately exhilarating spirit.

If you liked The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls,
you might like Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

If you enjoyed reading Jeannette Walls recount her heartbreaking yet oftentimes wacky childhood,  you should check out Patricia Lockwood who also explores how family and tradition shape her identity. Her book is wildly original and her family members are written so vividly they practically leap off the page.

Synopsis:

Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met—a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates “like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972.” His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church’s country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, their two worlds collide.

If you liked The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins,
you might like The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

If The Girl on the Train made you realize you’re a fan of psychological thrillers with a dash of noir, The Woman in the Window is for you.  It is dazzlingly suspenseful and full of twists that will keep you reading long past bedtime. The movie adaptation starring Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman is out soon!

Synopsis: 

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

If you liked My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite,
you might like Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Both of these books are witty quick reads that are darkly hilarious but serve up some pretty serious subject matter. While Braithwaite’s book falls more in the thriller category and Queenie is more of a hard-hitting contemporary — they are both disarming, political, and unexpectedly FUNNY.

Synopsis:

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle-class peers. After a messy break-up from her white long-term boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

That was soooooo fun and I can’t wait to bring you round 2! Have you read any of these books? What would you compare them to?

P.S. How to make time for books. 

A Full Day of Self-Care

Self-care is all about doing the things that bring you joy and make you feel good. Especially in times of stress, incorporating little pockets in your day to treat yourself with love can prove even more important. These moments of pleasure don’t have to be particularly elaborate and they certainly don’t have to break the bank!

I recommend breaking down your typical day into a few parts and then brainstorming ways you could honor your own needs and heart in each of them. (You know what they say, you gotta put your own oxygen mask on first!) Here are a few ideas for a full day of self-care —

Good Morning

Start your day with care and calm…

Face Wash ($13)

Cleansing with a product that makes your skin feel baby-butt soft is such a delightful way to kick off the day.

Multivitamin ($34)

Your health is an important part of self-care!

Cup o’ Joe ($10)

A beautiful mug is the best way to imbibe that morning caffeine fix, in my humble opinion.

Mellow Music

Even if you don’t have time to quietly sit and meditate and journal, playing soothing music for 30 minutes of emails and administrative work is a zen way to start your work day.

Afternoon Care

Bypass the midday slump…

Balanced Breath ($10)

Starting to panic that all your to-dos won’t get done? Take a moment to breathe! Bonus: this stuff smells incredible.

Yoga Wheel ($30)

The perfect way to stretch out a back that’s hunched over a computer all day.

Energy Ball

Afternoon sleepies can usually be solved with a healthy and delicious snack.

Candle ($32)

 A ritual of shutting down and clearing away work materials and then “turning on” your at-home vibe with a candle is an easy way to switch your brain into relaxation mode. 

Bedtime Delight

Set yourself up for sweet dreams…

Yoga Mat ($25)

Kick off your bedtime routine with some light exercise and start winding down for the night.

Bath Soak ($18)

Soaking in the tub will help your muscles relax after a long day.

Oil Diffuser ($28)

Now it’s time to prepare your sleeping sanctuary! Many oils can produce the calming effect needed to lull you right to sleep.

Salt Lamp ($12)

For a soft glow in the evening that really produces mellow vibes, fire up a salt lamp or two.

Good Book

Finally, give yourself the gift of no screens for AT LEAST 30 minutes before you close those peepers. Curl up with a book instead. 

Thanks so much for reading! How do you incorporate self-care in your regular routines?

P.S. 6 Reasons You Should Be Sleeping More

10 Things To Do When You’re Stuck At Home

This past weekend was beautiful. Sunny and mild and what should have been Derby Day. Instead, we’re still social distancing. But when I scrolled through my social MEDIA, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of distancing going on.

I get it. It sucks to distance on weekends that are beautiful. Weekends that are sunny and mild and traditionally Derby Day. But we can’t give up so easily. We can’t quit before the world is ready just because we got bored.

So, because people seem to be getting restless and running out of at-home fun that doesn’t involve inviting all their pals over, here are a few additional ideas —

Organize your photos and paper memorabilia.

Social isolation can bring on some serious bouts of nostalgia. While you’re wandering down memory lane, why not create a new photo album or organize your memory box by year?

Meal prep your favorite breakfast foods.

It’s so nice to have foods ready to go in the morning. Without a commute, you may have already found that the start of your day is less frazzled and rushed. This is an additional step to buy yourself even MORE time in the mornings. What you do with that extra time is totally up to you!

Do some landscaping.

We’ll take any excuse to get outside these days! Pop in some tunes or a podcast and get to work weeding, planting, cutting back overgrowth, or whatever it is you need to do to make your outdoor space a special oasis.

Wash your car.

Anyone else’s car perpetually covered with pollen this time of year? Washing it at home is really a win-win-win. Not only does it give you something to do but it will also save you money AND make for a great workout.

Make a pocket letter and send it to a friend.

In the age of social distancing we have to find creative ways to connect with our loved ones. And since, when you’re home all day, checking the mail can be a big highlight, sending a little something by way of the USPS is a great way to do so.

Spend some time in water.

Go ahead and take that extra long bath or shower you would have felt guilty about a few months ago. You have no where to be anyways!

Draft a series of top 10 lists.

I love making lists! Give yourself some creative prompts and record the results. You could make lists of favorites, like all-time favorite books or movies, or experiences. Top 10 meals, vacations, and childhood memories are a few that could really take a while to noodle on (and are super fun to chat about on those family Zoom calls!).

Have a sports documentary marathon.

In the absence of ACTUAL sports being played at the moment, sports documentaries are a great place to get your fix. Think: Cheer, Last Chance U, Ronaldo, The Least Expected Day, The Test, and any of ESPN’s 30 for 30 episodes (but especially The Price of Gold lol).

Create a restaurant in your backyard.

Nothing beats dining al fresco in the spring! Get creative with a beautiful table setting, create ambiance with a Spotify playlist and twinkle lights, heck – you could even design your own menus!

Film a video of yourself reading a picture book.

This would be a super cute thing to send to any kiddos in your life. Don’t forget to do all the voices!

Have you done any of these things yet? What other ideas would you add for folks who are getting a bit restless? xoxo

My 3 Favorite YouTube Channels for At-Home Workouts

If you’ve been around my blog long enough, you’ll know I’m no stranger to the at-home workout. I LOVE working out for free in the comfort of my own home. There are just so many resources out there on YouTube to help facilitate your fitness journey. (You can even create your own challenges to help stay on track and keep things interesting!) Now, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are all spending a little more time indoors and a little less time in public classes and gyms. Luckily, I already had honed in on my YouTube go-tos long before the term “social distancing” was a part of our collective consciousness. If you’re new to the at-home workout, I’d love to share my three favorites with you —

For CARDIO –

My favorite channel when I want to raise my heart rate is BODY PROJECT. Their holistic exercise routines typically combine HIIT cardio, low impact resistance training, pilates, and boxing. The routines are fast paced and energetic and the teachers are so adorably motivational (and adorably British!).

Want to try a Body Project video out?

For STRENGTH –

My favorite channel when I want to work my muscles is SYDNEY CUMMINGS. Sydney is a certified personal trainer who uploads a new workout on YouTube every single day at 5 am. And these aren’t your typical 20 minute for my YouTube audience but ya gotta pay for the better videos…nope. These workouts are long and actually pack a punch.

Want to try a Sydney Cummings video out?

For YOGA –

My favorite channel when I want to practice yoga will come as no surprise to anyone … YOGA WITH ADRIENE! If you haven’t tried out a yoga flow with Adriene yet I really don’t know what you’re waiting for. I typically do one of her videos 3x a week and she has become such a calming and important presence in my life.

Want to try a Yoga with Adriene video out?

What’s your favorite YouTube channel for workouts? Share them below! I’d love to try out your recommendations as we continue this period of self-isolation. xoxo

7 Work-from-Home Looks Made Possible by Le Tote

I’ll be honest. I had the idea for this post over a month ago. I wanted to document some of the outfits I actually where as a work-from-home freelancer, specifically showcasing how I use pieces from my beloved Le Tote subscription to build the looks. I snapped photos of seven of the outfits I wore over a couple weeks. Outfits that I wore in my home office, but also to run errands, work from the library, and out to dinner with Chet.

Things got busy with work, we had some friends come into town, and blogging sort of took a backseat. Then, everything started to escalate with the Coronavirus and I was lucky if I could peel myself away from the news for long enough to actually do anything productive.

While my work-from-home looks have looked a little less put together this past week, I still thought I would go ahead and share this post. Especially as all but non-essential services have gone remote, more folks than ever will be throwing together work-from-home looks. I’m not one of those people that’s going to preach at you about getting dressed in your best first thing every morning when working from home. I usually start working around 7 am every day, but rarely change out of pjs until 10 or 11. You gotta do what works for you and helps you be the most productive. But what I WILL tell you is that you should wear outfits that make YOU feel good.

…And if you’re sick of everything in your closet already, you don’t have to leave your house to get clothes from Le Tote. Just sayin’.

Ok, enough of my blabbering, here are 7 work-from-home looks I put together with Le Tote pieces

1. Flare Hem Sweater, Jeans and a Cuff Bracelet

2. Black Sweater and Floral Trousers

3. Tie Neck Blouse and Jeans

4. Boxy Ribbed Sweater with Charm Necklace and Boots

5. Yellow Cardigan and Printed Pleated Skirt

6. Red Tunic with Gold Locket and Jeans

7. Floral Peplum Button Down under a Cardigan with Skinnies

Which look is your favorite? 3 and 4 probably felt the most like me, but 5 was a lot of fun! Also, shout out to all those snaps where I’m in socks! Not wearing shoes is probably my favorite perk of working from home. 🙂

If you’d like to try out Le Tote, click this link to get a free tote!

P.S. Since I know this is a concern these days, here is info on Le Tote’s cleaning process.

6 Quick Tips for Lowering Sugar Intake

What we put into our bodies affects our health. Having a high sugar intake can cause so many issues within our body, and it’s an addiction I’ve tried to curtail within my own life (as evidenced by various Whole 30‘s!). 

Let’s chat about some of the health impacts of too much sugar…

According to the American Diabetes Association, while eating too much sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes. This disease not only has an impact on your body’s ability to produce insulin, but it can also negatively affect your eyesight. According to this eyeglasses buying guide created by Mark Agnew, founder and CEO of eyeglasses.com, this is an impact of diabetes that is often under-discussed. He notes,  diabetic retinopathy is quite common and is a type of eye damage familiar to many folks with diabetes.

The retina sends images via the optic nerve to the brain for processing. If you have too much glucose in your blood, it can cause irreversible damages to the delicate vessels which may mean poor vision, visual impairment or even blindness.

With our eyesight in mind, let’s take a look at some easy ways we can cut our sugar intake: 

  1. Cut Back on Sugar-Filled Drinks – Instead of reaching for a can of coke when you’re thirsty, opt for water or sugar free juices.
  2. Avoid Sugar-Loaded Desserts – These may be cakes, ice-creams or lots of chocolate, they will be jam packed with processed sugars that just don’t bode well with our bodies in large quantities. Consider making from scratch and enjoying in moderation.
  3. Avoid Sauces With Lots of Sugar – Many sauces have sugars in them. Ketchup is one of the most famous for having lots and lots of sugar inside, so always read labels if you’re looking to lower that sugar intake.
  4. Eat Full-Fat Foods – Many “low-fat” versions of things like yogurts or cheeses make up for the lack of flavor by adding sugar. 
  5. Eat Whole Foods – Eating single ingredient foods are a great way to steer clear of added sugar.
  6. Check for Sugar in Tinned Foods – Again, reading labels is key.

What foods are good?

There’s no need to fight those sugar cravings. They happen and they won’t go away until they’re satisfied. But, when they happen, you can make an effort to eat the right sugars. Instead of reaching for a cookie or candy bar the next time the craving strikes, grab a handful of fruit.

But, don’t grab just any fruit. You need a fruit that ranks low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index was created to rank the foods that cause high blood sugar. The food is typically ranked out of 100, with 100 being the largest blood sugar spike.

Here are some fruits that are low on the glycemic index and can be mixed with other things for a delicious snack or meal:

  • Berries – Add them to some granola with honey and milk to create a sweet delicious breakfast with natural sugars.
  • Figs – Eat them with crackers and cheeses or on their own. Full of goodness with a delicate flavor. 
  • Cherries – Great snack but beware of the pips; cherries are packed full of goodness!
  • Pears – Oven bake pears and top them with a crumble or put them in pies!
  • Apples – With peanut butter or almond butter for added elements, they are delicious and full of goodness. 
  • Peaches – Peaches can be enjoyed during spring and summer when they are at their peak.
  • Grapefruit – Squeeze this into a juice if it’s not too bitter for you. Delicious for breakfast.

Our eye health is just one of many things we must be sure to take care of. Too much sugar can affect our skin, our liver, pancreas, and heart.

Overall, the key to maintaining health for ALL your body parts is regular exercise, a good sleeping pattern, and a balanced, healthy diet.

Skip the processed desserts, cut back on refined sugars you don’t need in drinks and foods, stop adding sugar-filled sauces to your foods — these small changes will make a world of difference in your sugar intake and help you see, function, and live healthier in the long run!

Stay healthy, friends! xoxo 

The Book Drop: Subscription Service Review

I discovered The Book Drop totally by accident. I was researching a ton of bookstore websites to put together a website redesign proposal for a client. Looking over the Bethany Beach Books website, a tab marked The Book Drop caught my eye. I clicked on it. “Bringing the independent bookstore to you,” it said. Thoroughly intrigued, I dove in deeper to discover it was a book subscription service. Getting new books in the mail AND supporting an independent bookstore?! SIGN ME UP!

I’m wildly indecisive, so the idea of a small bookstore owner actually selecting my book for me really appealed to me. I decided on the Books for Tea and Coffee subscription which rotates every other month between historical/contemporary/literary fiction selections and thriller/suspense selections. You can read more about all the subscription options HERE.

Every Package Includes:

  • 1 hand-wrapped trade paperback book
  • A note about why the book was selected
  • Indie Next List which highlights new books that independent bookstores & booksellers LOVE

and Most Packages Include:  

  • A letter from the author
  • and an autograph (!) – either in the book or on a bookplate

You can select to pay month-to-month, or subscribe in 3 month, 6 month or one year installments. The 6 month subscription is just $99!

To give you an idea of what kind of books are selected, here’s a quick rundown of the last few months —

The Braid by Laetitia Colombani
Books for Tea

In this unforgettable international bestseller, three women from very different circumstances around the world find their lives intertwined by a single object and discover what connects us—across cultures, across backgrounds, and across borders.

A Noel Killing by M.L. Longworth
Books for Coffee

Christmastime in the South of France is as beautiful as ever, but when a shady local businessman drops dead in the middle of the festivities, Verlaque and Bonnet must solve the case while keeping the holiday spirit alive.

Silent Hearts by Gwen Florio
Books for Tea

A stirring novel set in Afghanistan​ about two women—an American aid worker and her local interpreter—who form an unexpected friendship despite their utterly different life experiences and the ever-increasing violence that surrounds them in Kabul. ​

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele
Books for Coffee

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter—a wealthy politician and recent widower—and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate.

Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein
Books for Tea

An unflinching exploration of Nazi Germany and its legacy, Wunderland is a at once a powerful portrait of an unspeakable crime history and a page-turning contemplation of womanhood, wartime, and just how far we might go in order to belong.

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