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.

Recommending Your Next Read [Based on Overly Specific Genres] Pt. 1

Welcome back to Finding Delight! I’m here today to give you some options for your next read. I put together a collection of some of the most popular overly specific book genres. Then, I scoured my shelves and the internet to find the perfect books that fit these categories. (If you don’t see a good fit here – do leave a common below with an overly specific book genre you love and I’ll be sure to reply with some choices!)

So, let’s get right into it…

Book set in a creepy house…

My pick: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Others to check out: 

Crooked House by Agatha Christie

The Good House by Tananarive Due

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Magical realism in the American south…

My pick: Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Others to check out: 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Southern Mystical Moments by Patricia H. Graham 

A book that follows a family through different periods of life…

My pick: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver 

Others to check out…

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Science Fiction featuring characters you can fall in love with…

My pick: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Others to check out…

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Historical Fiction about a female artist…

My pick: The Painter From Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein

Others to check out…

Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb

Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

Isadora by Amelia Gray

A book to help you feel happy…

My pick: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Others to check out…

The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Teens battling it out in a dark game (similar to The Hunger Games)…

My pick: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Others to check out: 

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Thriller that tackles social issues…

My pick: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Others to check out:

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

A Science Fiction with a spreading sickness…

My pick: Blindness by Jose Saramago

Others to check out:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

Severance by Ling Ma

Book set in the circus…

My pick: Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

Others to check out: 

Death of a Circus by Chadra Pasad

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Pantomime by Laura Lam

So there you have it! I hope you found an absolutely perfect book for your next read! If any of these overly specific genres are your fave, do leave me a comment below and let me know if you think these suggestions might work for you.

For more bookish content, make sure you’re following me on Instagram HERE.

The Instagram Fashion Trends You’ll See All Over Your Feed in 2021

*This post may contain affiliate links.

The world of fashion is always moving and changing. That goes for Instagram too. No sooner has a new style appeared on the site than everyone is following it and copying it. That’s why it pays to be out in front when it comes to establishing the most recent trends and winning the praise for originality. Below are 5 trends you might want to jump on before everyone is doing them…

Patchwork Denims

Everyone owns a pair of trusty denims — loose fit, tight fit, or even shorts. You might wear your denims a lot or hardly ever, but they’re very common, so what turns them into a trend? The answer is creativity. This year you will notice a range of patchwork denim on Instagram on the Best Instagram Fans Accounts. The trend of patchwork denim is on the up and you can catch the wave. Make your own using old pairs or buy them ready made. 

Decorative Rings 

When browsing your Instagram discovery page this year be sure not to overlook some of the decorative rings advertised there. They might be in the shape of aquatic animals, stones and shells, or even adorable anthropomorphized foodstuffs. That’s right, there are so many types of decorative rings and bracelets around now that it’s become quite the trend. You will see the same rings and bracelets both advertised and worn on the dainty hands of the top influencers. Don’t miss out, investigate those intriguing ads and see how they fit your image. 

Smock Dresses 

No wardrobe is complete without dresses for different occasions. There are ones for formal events like weddings and birthdays, ones for casual drinks with friends, and ones for wearing around the house. The smock dress gives you a bit of everything and is a must have for 2021. It’s also a must have for your Instagram grid. Smock dresses are growing in popularity and they seem to be all over the platform this year.

The Sweater Vest

Picture a lady on a golf course teeing off with a Big Berth. She raises a hand to her eyes and watches the flight of the ball into the blue sky. She wears a sweater vest with a flattering V-neck and a loose blouse underneath. What you’re picturing is an ensemble perfect for the golf course but they also perfect for getting a great Instagram pic. Sweater vests come in a range of patterns and styles that can beautifully add interest to simpler outfits. . 

Hair Claws 

If you were around in the nineties you may remember the hair claw trend popularized by all our most-loved sitcom stars. Hair claws are statement hairpieces that allow you to arrange your hair in several interesting ways. A hair claw will allow you to wear your hair up or half down. You might also wear it in a French twist. The great thing about hair claws is that they’re big and bold — perfect for standing out in the endless scroll of Instagram.

What fashion trends have you been spotting on Instagram so far this year? Which of the ones listed above would you try?

Tips To Relieve Boredom During A Pandemic

Boredom is something that hits a lot of us regularly, but it’s likely been made much worse during the pandemic. As we can’t see many people or go to places we’d usually go for fun, it’s made it a lot harder to find ways of relieving that boredom when it hits you. With that being said, if you’re needing some inspiration, here are some tips to relieve boredom during a pandemic.

Take Up A New Hobby

A good way of getting rid of boredom is to try and do something you’ve not done before. This is where a new hobby comes in. It could be that you want to try and pick up reading again if you always used to read when you had more free time. You might tap into your artistic side and paint a new masterpiece. Or even try out RPG with SkullSplitter. If you have a bucket list of things you want to do in life, perhaps there are one or two things that can be done within the confines of your home like learning a second language or writing the next great American novel.

Organize A Zoom Party

Zoom has been used by many around the world during this pandemic, both for work-life and to connect with friends and family. That being said, you should definitely try and organize more get-togethers with your loved ones. For example, host a zoom party. This could be especially helpful when you’re looking to spend some quality time with friends and family. There are lots of ways to make the experience engaging and fun — play a game, set a theme, or organize a blind taste test.

Try Baking

Baking can be something that’s therapeutic and delicious at the same time. Cooking and baking, in general, are two skills that are always worth building on so that you can explore new tastes and experiences with food. It might just be that you want to enjoy some freshly baked cookies or try out a family recipe that you’ve been missing over the months (since you can’t pop round to see extended family). Whatever the case may be, strap on that apron!

Focus On Looking After Yourself

Focusing on yourself is so important and all this time in quarantine could be a great opportunity to spend some quality time on oneself. For example, why not do something you enjoy and that looks after your physical wellbeing or mental health. Or both! Practicing self-care is definitely something that’s important to do right now.

What has been relieving YOUR boredom throughout the pandemic?

Great YouTube Channel for Touring Tiny Homes (creative spaces FTW!)

When I share about great YouTube channels here on the blog, it’s usually something I’ve discovered fairly recently. Today I want to share about an old favorite. Kirsten Dirksen has been posting videos about simple living, self-sufficiency, small homes, backyard gardens, alternative transport, DIY, craftsmanship, and philosophies of life on her YouTube channel for over a decade. I’m pretty sure my discovery of her videos pre-dates this blog!

Dirksen’s videos are always calming, fascinating, and beautifully produced. She showcases what ordinary life is like in these extraordinary abodes and asks the inhabitants really insightful questions. Admittedly, I’m a big fan of any content about tiny homes or that offer home tours. But none that I’ve come across really dig into the philosophy behind the living spaces quite like this one.

Here are some great tours, if you’re down to watch —

And this tour of a 90-square-foot apartment in Manhattan was my introduction to this channel. A decade old and honestly…it holds up! 😉

What YouTube channels did you discover years ago and still love? Tell me in the comments below!

P.S. Other posts in my Great YouTube Channels For… series include Practicing Spanish, Travel Inspo, and Lifelong Ballerinas. Check ’em out!

How Online Learning Can Unlock New Doors For Your Career (Even Through A Pandemic)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed everyone’s life in some way. Whether you or a loved one have battled through the virus or you’re just spending way more time at home, jobs and careers are the main parts of our lives that have been upturned. 

25% of U.S. adults say that they, or someone in their household, have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s a massive statistic. Even if you haven’t lost your job, there’s no doubt that your career will have been affected somehow. Maybe you’re working from home. Maybe you’re working less because of restrictions. Or maybe, the pandemic has put your career into perspective, and you know it’s time to try something new. 

However you’ve been affected, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The world is at your fingertips with an absolute plethora of learning options moving online. Now’s the time to embrace it! You can retrain, add to your arsenal or even explore working from home options that might not have been viable before. 

Today, we’re going to look at a few ways that online learning can change your career for the better. There’s a possibility for everyone, no matter your skill level or the size of your wallet. 

Retrain

Retraining may be the most obvious way to make the most of online learning options. If you’ve lost your job, retraining can be a brilliant way to move your career forward. Especially if the pandemic has hit your field of work particularly hard. The best way to start is to use online guides that help you navigate degree options available to you. It can be a real minefield with a wide range of degrees and qualifications on offer. Utilizing these guides means you can identify the path you need to take to get to your desired end goal. 

It’s also crucial to find out precisely what you want to do. Make a list of what you enjoy doing, what skills you already have, and what career path you’d fancy doing. Remember, don’t just think about the money you’ll make; enjoying your job sounds cliché but can change your life. 

This comes from a place of privilege, though. Not all of us have the level of financial security that allows us to explore our dreams. If that’s the case, think about finding a balance between what you want to do and a good pay packet. Or, instead of retraining, think about bumping up your CV instead to make yourself more hireable. (Check out the “Add to your repertoire” section below.) 

Once you know what you want to do and have figured out the path to take, you’ll want to choose the best course for you. Did you know the top Colleges in the U.S. now offer online versions of their classes and degrees? There’s a vast offering out there that’ll fit your budget and needs. 

Add To Your Repertoire

Taking the time to retrain in a new work field isn’t always the best option available for us. Maybe you don’t have the freedom to take time away from family obligations to concentrate on courses. Or you might still be working and can’t commit that much time to learn. 

If that’s the case, finding some simple, cheap, and quick courses that make your CV shine is a great place to start. If you’ve lost your job, then these courses will help you stand out from the crowd and help you get hired fast. If you want to go in a new direction, they can help you gain expertise in your new field without long term commitment. There’s a massive amount of these simple courses available, so try using a website that brings many of them together in one place. It saves you spending hours sifting through them on Google. 

If you’re really squeezed for cash – thanks to the pandemic, who isn’t – some websites even offer free courses and financial aid. So you don’t have to feel like there isn’t anything you can do. You don’t have to stay trapped in a job you hate. Nor do you have to feel like your skills aren’t up to par. 

Explore Unused Skills

Suppose you’re looking for something totally different or want to bump up your current pay. In that case, you can explore your unused talents! Pretty much everyone has some skill that they don’t use for money. Many of us like to keep them for personal hobbies, but if you decide you’d like to take that further, it couldn’t be easier. 

Maybe you have an Arts degree or can write like Shakespeare; there are apps available to help you find freelance work. Try something like Fiverr for a quick way to sell your skills online.

If you’re unsure where to start, try an online course directed at creating your own business. It’ll help you navigate everything that’s involved; tax and accounting can be a special kind of nightmare that online courses can help relieve. Skillshare is an excellent place for hints and tips about becoming a freelancer. The classes aren’t accredited, so they won’t find a place on your CV, but they’ll give you some much-needed knowledge. If all else fails, make the most of Youtube. It’s true what they say, there’s a video about everything on there. 

The pandemic has hit some of us more than others, and losing your job will only add to its stress. Use this guide to help you concentrate on yourself for a bit and what you want. Then, looking for a new job or career will be a little bit easier than before. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list of what’s available – if it was, you’d be here for a very long time! Take the time to find out what’s best for you and your situation. We’re all dealing with different things right now, so all our experiences are individual.

Online learning really can change your career for the better. Now’s the perfect time to make the most of it – especially the free options!

5 Ideas To Improve Your Health In 2021

*This post may contain affiliate links.

As we make our way into 2021 it’s a great time to set some health goals that help us work towards a healthier lifestyle. It’s not always easy to put your health first, what with the distractions and stresses that come with modern life. But to give you some inspiration, consider these five ideas to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

1 . Spend more time outdoors

Looking for a really simple way to improve your health this year? Spend more time outside! The great outdoors can help us to reconnect with nature, raise endorphin levels, relax and destress, plus get more exercise. There are lots of ways to connect with nature, whether you try hiking, freshwater swimming, or foraging workshops.

2. Try a sleep app

Many of us have trouble sleeping, and over time this can start to have a negative impact on health. If you’re looking to improve your sleep this year, why not check out a sleep app, like one of these:

  • Calm: This application provides a range of sleep stories and sleep meditations, to help you drift off, and improve your quality of sleep. You’ll also find background ambiance tracks and mindfulness exercises.
  • Headspace: The Headspace app offers sleep audio guides and meditations to help you deal with stress and anxiety. The app also includes some great content to help users learn about mindfulness.

3. Take herbal supplements

To give your health a boost this year why not try adding a few herbal supplements to your diet? To reduce stress symptoms and improve sleep there are plenty of options like passionflower, chamomile, Ashwagandha, or CBD. To learn more about CBD products, from tinctures to vapes, take a look at bloomfarmscbd.com.

4. Learn new recipes

What better way to boost your health this year than by teaching yourself some brand new recipes. Focus on nutritious foods that prevent oxidative stress, boost your mood, and raise your immune system. Treat yourself to a few new cook books and apps, and experiment with some new dishes. For a few healthy eating apps to get you started try Green Kitchen, Superfoods, or Epicurious.

5. Take up Yoga

Yoga is a fantastic exercise activity that can help to improve your health in many different ways. With a regular yoga practice, you can improve your posture, increase your flexibility, and build up the strength in your muscles. Yoga is also a great activity to improve your mental health; it can help you to relax and practice mindfulness. Yoga can be practiced in many ways, whether it’s in the studio, using an online class, or YouTube video. Whatever way you practice, it’s important to get yourself a good quality yoga mat.


When setting health goals it can help to write them down, and track your progress. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, de-stress, or start a new sport, there are plenty of ways to supercharge your health this year.

Reading Year In Review

My Top 10 Books of 2020

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Eveningland by Michael Knight

Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Brazil by John Updike

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

2020 Reading Stats

I read 68 books in 2020 for a total of 24,298 pages.

The shortest book I read was I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya (96 pages) and the longest book was 11/22/63 by Stephen King (849 pages).

My average book length in 2020 was 357 pages.

The most popular book I read was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and the book I read with the highest average rating on Goodreads was In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado.

The first book I read in 2020 was The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen.

My last read of 2020 was Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick.

I read from many genres but tended to favor literary/contemporary fiction the most. And fiction books in general made up 80% of my reading. (A bit high for me!)

67% of the authors I read from identify as women, 30% men, and 3% non-binary.

How To Celebrate A Birthday When Stuck At Home

It can be increasingly challenging to find fun things to do when you are stuck at home. However, as we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that we all do our part to take care of others – and that means staying at home when possible. However, that does not mean you can’t have fun – especially if you have to celebrate a birthday at home!

With that in mind, here are some great stay-at-home party ideas!

Start the day off by sleeping in

Getting out of bed in the morning is always difficult. So, a great way to start birthday celebrations at this time is to enjoy a few extra minutes in bed. Turn off your alarm clock and ensure you get all the rest you need! 

Treat yourself

Ordinarily, you may try to be careful about what you eat – especially after the holidays, which are full of delicious indulgences. However, your birthday (or the birthday of someone you live with) is a great excuse to indulge in some tasty treats. Don’t limit the good food until the evening – celebrate all day with a range of delicious meals. Cook your favorite breakfast, order take out for lunch, make the most of your extra time and bake a cake (or two) to enjoy! 

You could even take baking to the next level by hosting a contest with your partner, kids, or housemates! 

Schedule some calls

By now, you’ve probably attended your fair share of zoom parties. Although you might be getting a bit sick of them, this is a great way to connect with your friends and family if you cannot meet in person. If you can’t face yet another zoom quiz, there are plenty of fun alternatives that the whole family can get involved in. For example, you can turn popular games such as Pictionary or Bingo into virtual versions. Alternatively, there are a range of online games you can take part in – no matter where you are in the world. 

Play some games

After your Zoom calls, you might want to play some in-person games with those that live in your home. Whether that means you dust off your favorite board game or download a new game – the choice is yours.

However, you could also go for something a little different and set up a themed cornhole game. Cornhole worldwide (https://www.cornholeworldwide.com/themed-cornhole-games/) have a variety of cornhole games for sale – and they are sure to bring a smile to your face. Remember, to take plenty of photos for your grid!

Dress fancy (or not)

This is your birthday – so how you celebrate it is truly up to you. If you like to dress fancy on your birthday and head out for a meal – why not don your favorite outfit as you head into the dining room? Just because you are indoors does not mean you can’t look fabulous. However, if you don’t fancy getting dressed and would rather have a pajama party – what’s stopping you?

Have you celebrated a birthday in lockdown? What activities were a slamdunk for you?

P.S. A birthday book haul, and a great conversation starter. Plus, cute gifts for foodies!

Why You Should Invest Money Even If You Are On A Tight Budget

When you are on a tight budget, you have to think carefully about how every penny is spent. Once you have paid all of the bills and covered your essential expenses, you might not have a huge amount left. Ideally, you should be putting some money into savings, but have you thought about investing some as well?

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Most people on a tight budget assume that they can’t afford to invest but that isn’t always the case. In fact, you can get started with a relatively small amount of money if you go for options like Forex Trading, for example. If you have a spare $100, you have enough to get started and as you earn more, you can increase your investments. 

Investing can be one of the best things to do to improve your financial situation. Here’s why you need to find room in your budget for investing. 

It Generates More Income 

They say that you have to spend money to make money, and investing is a prime example of that. If you are able to make some sensible investment choices, you will eventually start generating income from those investments. That means that you have more money to play with each month, making it so much easier to stay on top of your finances. That extra money can go towards paying off debt or it can be put straight into your emergency fund, so you can avoid any difficult situations in the future. You should never underestimate how useful the extra income from your investments can be. 

You Get Long Term Returns 

Generating more income in the short term is beneficial, but you also need to consider the long term returns. Putting money into a savings account every month is a good way to prepare for the future, but investing is even better. All of that money you put into your investments will grow over time, so when you are older and you need to start thinking about retirement, you have money to fall back on. The earlier you get started, the more you will see your money grow. It’s better to start now with a small amount of money instead of waiting until you have lots of spare income. 

You Can Beat Inflation 

When you put money into a high interest savings account, you will see some growth. However, if the rate of inflation is higher than the interest that you get on your savings, your money actually loses value in real terms. Many people end up losing out because they put all their extra income in a savings account and let it sit there. Searching for the best interest rates and moving money around can sometimes be a good way to combat this, but investing your money can be an easier option. Your investments should grow faster than the rate of inflation, so your money never loses its value. 

So many people make the mistake of waiting until they have more money before they start investing. But even if you are on a tight budget, you can start with a small amount and still see the benefits!

The Best Apps To Help You Make DIY Festive Decorations

*This post may contain affiliate links.

There’s no better way to start feeling festive than to decorate your home in beautiful colors, ornaments, and of course, your Christmas tree. Before you spend a lot of money on brand new decorations, why not consider getting a little crafty? To help you get inspired, you’ll want to take a look at these great DIY apps. With ideas like these, you’ll soon create some gorgeous crafts.

1 . DIY Christmas Decorations

With the DIY Christmas Decorations app, you’ll get your home looking holiday-ready in no time. The application has lots of different ideas, including detailed step-by-step guides. There are so many craft projects to choose from, whether you’re looking to make miniature Santas, ornamental trees, or festive candles. Crafts vary from easy to advanced, and there are plenty of kid-friendly options so that you can make things as a family. DIY festive decorations can make great holiday gifts, (plus they give you something fun and creative to do during the lockdown)!

2. Craftgawker

Craftgawker is a great app that provides plenty of craft project ideas. You’ll find ample creative guides, along with lots of eco-friendly ideas. Craftgawker offers projects for various levels. Whether you’re a novice or an advanced crafter, you’ll find something to suit your needs. There are 41,000+ DIY projects and creative concepts, including lots of festive-themed projects. Craftgawker offers carefully curated content, so you’ll find high-quality work from the world’s best craft bloggers. Seen a craft project you like the look of? All you have to do is tap the picture, and you’ll find a handy craft tutorial.

3. Pinterest

Everyone’s old favorite, Pinterest is absolutely bursting with creative inspiration, including plenty of Christmas craft projects. All you need to do is perform a quick search for ‘homemade festive decorations’ and you’ll find plenty to get you started. Once you’ve finished your projects, you can upload them and get feedback from the craft community. Don’t forget to take advantage of the ‘Creator Chat’ board, where you can ask all your questions about creative projects. Whether it’s the Best wood for carving or finding earth-friendly materials, don’t be afraid to ask the creators for a few tips!

 4. Crafts Ideas 

Crafts Ideas is a free application that offers an extensive collection of the best DIY and craft ideas. Discover and save all your favorite crafts ideas, learn plenty of new things, and save money on your decorations. Lots of the materials used include old things that you’d usually throw out or recycle, whether that’s old papers, bottles, cardboard, or clothing. Want to turn the items you have laying around into something beautiful and functional? Then Crafts Ideas is the app for you. All instructions are detailed, and there are plenty of ideas for the whole family. These art crafts ideas include plenty of different themes, whether gardening, food, fashion, or home decor.

Once you’ve got into the swing of making your own decorations, you’ll improve your skills, and be inspired to attempt more advanced projects.

Happy Crafting!