Category Archives: Every day life

My Weekly Ritual: Mask Mondays (+why I think you should set & forget self-care)

Every Monday evening I hole up in my bathroom and do a face mask. It’s something to look forward to at the end of a long day of not wanting to be back at work. Mondays, am I right?

My current favorites are this honey facial mask from Bee Friendly and this mermaid mask from Leahlani. And my mom tucked this spirulina mask from The Granola Goat in my stocking this year and I’m excited to give it a try.

If there are things you like doing for yourself – whether it be painting your nails, taking bubble baths, zoning out while you roll around on your foam roller, WHATEVER – I encourage you try out this set it and forget it approach.

It’s really easy to love the idea of self-care but actually doing it…like on the regs…is a little more difficult. There’s never a time when you couldn’t be doing “something else.” So we set those moments for our self aside and relegate them to next weekend or when the to-do list gets done or we’re on vacation. But y’all. All told my Mask Mondays take me about 20 minutes. 20 minutes a week of a lil luxurious me-time. I can spare it. And so can you.

But you don’t have to waste the brain space figuring out when to take that 20 minutes each week. Pick a day, pick a time. Repeat. Every week.

…And then if you’re feeling really wild, maybe you can try a monthly ritual too. Think: trips to your gym where you don’t work out but instead hit up the hot tub and sauna. Getting a massage or a blow out. Hikes in a state park. Taking yourself out to eat or to a movie.

When I turned 28 I decided on the 28th of every month for the whole year I would buy myself a new magazine. Whatever looked interesting and appealing. It was such an amazing birthday gift to myself because I love magazines but I always talk myself out of them. Essentially I gifted myself with the reassurance that it was ok to spend money on something that brought me joy. And setting a date that was easy to remember meant I actually followed through.

If you want to up your self-care game and do more that brings you joy — set it and forget it, sistah!

Anyways, what self care rituals are you into lately? 

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January Grocery Haul

As I mentioned in my How I’m Kickstarting 2018 post, I want to spend more time in the produce section than anywhere else in the grocery store. So, to hold myself accountable, I thought I’d share a recent grocery haul. (I also want to start experimenting with more daily life micro-blogging in 2018 and thought this might be a fun one for that!) Here’s what I got and why I consider these items staples…

Bananas – Versatile because you can pair them with so many things. I love to have one with almond butter for my breakfast but they’re also great on top of oats, quinoa, granola, yogurt, etc.
Nectarines – Hand fruit is always good to have … on hand …for a quick portable snack. Down here in South Florida even the trash apples (sorry red delicious!) are kinda pricey but I’ve found nectarines to be affordable year-round.
Avocados – Good healthy fats for your brain and skin.
Zucchinis – I’ve cut way back on grains since our Whole 30 experiment so I love spiralizing zucchinis to replace noodles in any dish.
Pesto – Great as a topping for those spiralized zucchinis (easy lunch!) and really yummy on potatoes, too.
Bell pepper – Add an extra color to your salads or chop into sticks for a raw vegetable side with lunch.
Red onion – Great salad element (they really take it to the next level!), especially when you throw in something sweet too – like raisins or chopped dates. All about that taste balance!
Lemon – For detoxifying lemon water.
Broccoli – Yummy to add to soups or steamed up as a side.
Green lentils – I like to add these in place of grains to bulk up soups and stews for a healthy, protein-packed winter meal.
Kale – For salads or steaming but never for smoothies because my blender just isn’t strong enough, lol.
Sweet potato – Packed with Vitamin A and Beta Carotene so it’s great for your eyeballs!
Gluten-free wraps – Throw some avocados and veggies in, wrap it up!
Kefir – High in probiotics so it’s good for the gut.
Almond milk – Add it to smoothies, use it in baking, pour it over granola.
Walnuts – For salads and snacking. They’re great for your brain because they pack that Omega 3 fatty acids punch!
Kombucha – Because I’m addicted.

What are your grocery staples lately? Any tips for spending more grocery-time in the produce department and away from the convenient lure of frozen, packaged foods? Let me know! 

Current Podcast Subscription List

Last night, as I cleaned up the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher, I did what I always do during chores these days. Popped in my earbuds and played a podcast. Do you do this? Ever since starting this ritual, I find myself looking forward to doing the dishes. *gasp* It’s almost like the doldrums of domesticity masquerading as pleasant self-care. Highly recommend!

Anyways! Here’s my current line-up, in case you’re curious:

And I just started Britney’s Instagram and Embedded (after finishing Dirty John).

What’s on YOUR subscription list? There are so many good podcasts out right now, I might have to start doing more daily chores! 😉 

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

How To Remember To Take Your Vitamins (and love it, too!)

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Here’s the deal. I take my health and wellness pretty seriously. But I’ll be honest…I’m also a little lazy and have STRONG feelings about brain space and what it should be used for. So, I’m super stoked to always have a month’s supply of vitamins on hand. Vitamins = I feel better and stay healthy. Vitamins delivered right to my door every month (Say what?!) = I don’t have to drive to the store every time a bottle runs out. And even better? I don’t have to remember a thing! Brain space saver FTW!
How is this possible? My monthly vitamins come from Vitafive, the brilliant and budget-friendly subscription service. A box of vitamins shows up in my mailbox each month and I take my pre-packed, daily dose each morning.
vitafive vitamin packs
So, here’s how this genius system works! For about $1 per day Vitafive will ship you a 4 week supply of gummy vitamin packs. You can either choose from one of their pre-formulated packs or create your own custom pack. Lately, I build my own packs to include a multivitamin, probiotic, and Calcium + D3.
And they’ve recently changed their pricing so that the price of each vitamin goes down as you add more to your custom pack!

Bonus for Finding Delight readers: Vitafive is offering 25% off your first box with the coupon code 25fd (all lowercase). Just enter the code at check out. No commitment necessary. You can cancel any time.

Need a little nudge to place your order? Here are a few more things that give me *heart eye emoji* about vitafive:
  • Stacked up against supplement prices at Whole Foods or GNC, Vitafive’s cost breakdown of $1 a day is affordable.
  • It’s convenient to have all your vitamins pre-packaged together for each day of the week. They’re all in one place and ready to go! Not to mention, you don’t have to keep up with multiple bottles running out at different times. Vitafive will just send you your next month’s supply and you’re ready to go.
  • It’s no secret that I love minimal packing. When I’m packing for a weekend away in my Tom Bihn 19 liter backpack, I can grab a few Vitafive packs, toss them in, and GO!
  • They’re gummies! Sure, I CAN swallow pills but that doesn’t mean I WANT to. Vitafive’s gummy vitamins taste great!
I would recommend Vitafive to ANYONE looking to live a little healthier, searching for consistency when it comes to taking vitamins, or seeking an easy and fun vitamin option!
This post is brought to you by Vitafive, which provides health without hassle. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Finding Delight.

Do you play board games?

A few items on my FIND MORE DELIGHT LIST (namely “24 hour digital detox” and “play a super involved board game”) have me wondering — Do you play board games? And if so, what are your favorites? They always seem like a fun way to “log off” and spend a random evening with a partner or roommate. (But then I forget I think that and just turn on Netflix for the millionth night in a row.)

And what about when you have a group of friends over? Do you bust out a game or just sit around and chat?

In high school, my friends and I loved Balderdash and Scattergories and Taboo. These days, everyone seems to be into Cards Against Humanity…but I just don’t think it’s that fun. Alternatively, I think this game looks promising. As for “super involved” games–Settlers of Catan and Risk seem to be go-to’s but are there others I should look out for? (Like has anyone played this?) All suggestions are greatly appreciated!

P.S. Looking for games of a different sort? I recommend taking a trip to the arcade on rainy Saturday afternoons!

A great conversation starter…

Imagine: You’re catching up with a dear friend over a mug of something warm. You’ve already run through the past week and a half of activities, all the annoying things your boss has said recently, and your thoughts on a new-to-you podcast. You’re not ready to part ways just yet but…topics are waning.

What do you do?

May I make a recommendation? Why not ask…

What’s the best thing you’ve won?

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to ask more thought- or conversation-provoking questions, and this one has quickly become a favorite.

Ask your partner when you’re out on a date. Ask your co-workers in those just-got-to-work moments when no-one wants to actually start working just yet. Ask all the guests at a dinner-party and go around the room taking turns telling all. (Hey, it’s not bragging when everybody’s doing it!)

The answers may surprise you.

And YO! There’s no reason I have to keep my convo-startin’ questions IRL, is there? So I wanna know, dear reader (THAT’S YOU!): What’s the best thing you’ve won? COMMENT BELOW and tell me everything. 

10 Ways to Take a Time Out and Practice Self-Care

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Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s all well and good to have an arsenal of self-care strats that involve spa-level bubble baths, vacations with your best pals, or trips to the manicurist. But what happens when you need to take care of yourself at the office with a looming deadline or when your very full house is driving you crazy? How can you take time out from the responsibilities of your super busy day-to-day life without getting totally sidetracked? (Or take a time out FROM your time out when you end up in an internet spiral of news stories that kinda freak you out?)

These ten ideas can be accomplished in 15 minute intervals. And they’re perfect for those times you’re feeling frustrated or near giving up. The reality is, those moments can pop up at any time. You can’t always pour a glass of wine and settle in to watch 4 straight hours of Grey’s Anatomy. But you can do SOMETHING.

Call a time out. Take care of yourself. You’ve got this!

READ A BOOK

Diving into a good book is OG escapism and I hate to see it fall by the wayside because folks feel like they don’t have “time” to read. I get it. Maybe you don’t have time to chill at a coffee house for hours on end as you blaze through the pages of your favorite sci-fi series. But you’d be amazed how much you can read in 15 minute intervals. And you’d also be amazed how much more nourished your mind will feel than if you’d spent that same time reading Buzzfeed listicles.

Case in point – I just finished this book (highly, HIGHLY recommend) which I devoured over the course of a few days in 10-20 minute chunks. Mostly during breaks while working.

FOCUS ON THE GOOD

When you’re freaking out about what needs to get done, it can be incredibly calming to focus a few moments of time on what already has. (Related: I like this approach for life, too. Check out my REVERSE Bucket List.)

Reflect on your accomplishments from the day so far. How did they make you feel? You could even start a notebook that’s totally reserved for your REVERSE To-Do list. Call it your Shit I Got Done book, if you like.

Feeling extra proud of something? Post on the internet and let the people know! Those “likes” will feel good. However, it will also force you to re-contextualize your accomplishment for an outside audience which I think is a worthwhile exercise in “here’s why what I do is cool.” (See also: Don’t Hide Your Hustle.)

GO OUTSIDE

Even if you don’t plan on racking up steps for your FitBit, popping out for a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery can do a world of good. Of course, if you can squeeze in a walk around the block, go for it!

TAKE A REST

If you’ve ever felt next-level exhausted, with a mountain of tasks still barricading you from peaceful slumber, you know that getting anything done can feel like you’re slamming up against that mountain over and over with no hope of summitting.

So quit slamming and take a second to chill. Give your body a minute to rest. Let your eyes relax (especially if they’ve been glued to a computer screen). If you’re someone who has been blessed with the ability to power nap, take one. If not, simply set your head down for a few minutes. Find a comfy spot away from your tasks and just cuddle up. Or lay on the floor, reach your hands over your head, and take the biggest breath you’ve taken all day.

Warning: You might want to set a timer for this one. Just in case ya actually do knock out.

CHAT WITH A FRIEND

Don’t just fire off a text or hop on What’s App. G-Chat and Facebook messenger don’t count either. Dial that telephone and get a friend on the horn! See what they’ve been up to that day. Maybe they can commiserate with whatever’s going on in your world or maybe you’ll find something they say wildly inspiring. (You probably have one friend who is perfect for the former and one that’s perfect for the latter. You’re probably picturing them right now.)

Maybe your self-love honorin’ self craves a more face-to-face interaction. Snag a friend to run an errand with you or grab a cup of coffee. Pop into someone’s office to run an idea by them instead of shooting them an email. Sometimes it takes being around another human to get back to the best version of ourselves.

MEDITATE

Ok remember when I said books were the OG escapism…well, meditation is even more so. (The OG-est OG!) Lucky for us, there’s literally an app for everything these days, even OG escapism. So if you don’t have a meditation practice or are completely new to the idea, you get a little guidance.

This list of The Best Meditation Apps of 2016 is a fine place to start. Try a few and pick your favorite. Ommmmm.

TAKE A SHOWER

So, unlike all the others on this list, this one may not always be possible. But I thought I’d include it anyways. Here’s why:

  1. Showers are literally liquid sleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter and then felt strangely refreshed after a shower then YOU KNOW.
  2. You’re more likely to have a creative epiphany when you’re doing something monotonous. 
  3. There are tons of fun products to try (like this one or this one)! Treat yo’self!
  4. Sometimes you start working as soon as you wake up without taking a sec to actually get ready for the day. Shout out to my work-from-home hustlers! You deserve a morning routine…even if it happens at 2 pm.

FEEL CREATIVE

Doodle, color, decorate your planner, write a poem! If you’re feeling uncreative (at work, in your home, regarding a problem), remind yourself that you ARE creative. Activate the parts of your brain you want to tap into by FLEXIN’ ’em!

GET THE BLOOD FLOWING

If you’ve been sitting for hours – Stand up and move around to get the blood flowing in your legs and feet. Do a forward fold to get the blood flowing to your brain! I used to have a co-worker who took breaks to forward fold all the time and no one ever thought anything of it. In fact, she started converting people to the powers of hanging out upside down!

If you wanna really go for it, do a handstand!

If you’ve been standing for hours – Put your feet up for a few minutes. If you have the option, get your legs up the wall. You want the blood flowing in the opposite direction. Rotating your feet/ankles, small squats/plies, and hamstring stretches will also feel amazing.

PLAY MUSIC

Solo dance party, anyone? Yes please!

(Need inspiration? The Best Songs For A Solo Dance Party. With categories like “When you wanna get your diva on” and “when you’re feeling down and you need a reminder that you kick ass.” Obsessed.)

Do you call a time out to love on yourself when you’re feeling over-whelmed or frustrated? How do you practice self care? Let me know! 

P.S. How to invest in yourself and how I practiced self care after the election.

Balancing Minimalism and Joy: What Do You Collect?

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Little kids always seem to be working on some collection or another. When I was young I had all sorts–everything from rocks to beanie babies to dolls that lived on a shelf and weren’t meant for play. And kids these days are keeping up the habit. (Recently, I had a lovely chat with a little one about all her Tsum Tsums.)

But I’d love to know, what do you collect as an adult? Dishes in a specific pattern? Harry Potter paraphernalia? Miniature buildings to add to an ever-expanding Christmas village?

The nice thing about having a loud-and-proud collection is that it makes gift giving much easier. There’s always that one friend in a group who LOVES a certain Disney Princess or anything with roses on it. So you always think of them when you’re in a store and stumble upon an item that’s “on theme.” Convenient for the gift giver…and also kind of nice for the collector. Wouldn’t you feel sorta special knowing that people are thinking of you each time they spot an item with stars on it? Or used a fountain pen? Or interacted with whatever it is you squirrel away?

Yet, with the quest for minimalism being such a popular feature as of late (shout out to Marie Kondo and all those capsule wardrobe YouTubers) I wonder if some have let their little stockpiles wither away. Even when that little stockpile brought them joy. How do we balance that fad-driven need to cull our belongings with our own happiness?

Whatever your answer might be, I’m curious about what it means for adult collections. Personally, I’m loving my ever-growing collection of washi tape. (See photos for some of my favorite rolls.) This collection feels like the perfect marriage of minimalism dreams and hoarding realities. Haha! Washi is so, so cute with so many patterns to choose from. But it’s also cheap, technically a consumable (because I use it to make pocket letters and for other paper crafting and planning), and doesn’t take up much space. For now, washi collecting feels right. (And who knows! Maybe someday I’ll lift my embargo on rock purchases…but probably not on Ty products.) Bottom line: I don’t want to resist something that I know makes me happy. And washi tape makes me happy!

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What did you collect as a child? What about now? Does your collection bring you joy or does it make you feel guilty? I’d love to hear! 

P.S. Other questions for you to weigh in on — What were your favorite childhood TV shows? and What’s your favorite mug? 

3 At-Home Date Night Ideas (That Aren’t Netflix and Chill)

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Have you ever found yourself in the midst of another night of binge watching TV clear up ’til bedtime and thought to yourself, “Wow. This is actually kinda boring.”

I mean, to be fair…I’m all about my TV time. I’m a huge fan of it in general. (Just started Westworld and OMG that show is nuts!) But sometimes you gotta mix it up.

If you’re one of those people who has a gajillion dollars to drop on elaborate meals out and worldly experiences, then by all means. Go for that.

However, if you’re someone of simpler means (Ballin’ on a budget!!!) then you might be looking for some date-night inspiration that doesn’t involve spending a bunch of dough. Or maybe you HAVE a bunch of dough but it’s January and cold where you are so you’re like, “I need to stay in my sweats, kthanx.” Either way…date night FROM HOME is a great solution. Here are three ideas…

3 DATE NIGHTS THAT DON’T INVOLVE LEAVING YOUR HOUSE (OR NETFLIX)

EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING

Take everything you love about a lazy morning at home and move it to the evening times. Sound confusing? Here’s the deal. Weekday mornings can be rushed and weekend mornings can get crowded out by sleeping in or rushing to make that brunch reservation with friends. (Or if you’re me, trying to make it to Target before the rest of Miami wakes up. I’ll go to great lengths to avoid a crowd.)

But long, lazy mornings are soooo nice. Cozy pj’s and a floofy robe. A big mug of something warm. The New York Times spread out across the table. (The crossword that’s inside just waiting to be completed!) A blues-y Spotify playlist playing softly in the background.

Now you’re getting the idea! Put on those jammies early tonight, make breakfast for dinner, crack open the paper, and linger at the kitchen table for as long as you like. Best part? You get to go “back to bed” after this breakfast.

DINNER AND A (COOKING) SHOW

I love watching cooking shows and recipe tutorials on YouTube. Sadly, I’m guilty of partaking in these more for entertainment than actually following the instructions and…you know…cooking. You too?

That’s why I think it would be fun to pick a cooking show or a few video recipes that you’ve had bookmarked for ages and GO FOR IT. And thanks to the magic of your laptop or tablet, you can watch and follow along right from your kitchen. Isn’t technology swell?!

If you really wanna up the ante you could turn this into a competition of sorts. Both you and your partner could make different versions of the same dish being described on the screen. Try them both and decide who came out on top.

GETTIN’ CRAFTY 

Pull out your DIY supplies and get comfy spread out on the floor. The possibilities here are kind of endless. The end goal is the same…MAKE something together. Like something to hang on your walls (cheap art!) or a stockpile of gifts to give your friends when their birthdays roll around (cheap presents!).

A few summers ago Chet and I got really into hunting down cool looking hardback books at thrift stores and then turning them into journals. (Kinda like this.) Even though our living room turned into a disaster zone after an evening of our crafting (paper scraps EVERYWHERE!), it was such a fun way to pass the time together. And we gained a bunch of beautiful, HANDMADE notebooks.

And, because I love a theme, I can’t resist the urge to tell you to indulge in your favorite CRAFT beer during your crafty date nights. Sorry, not sorry.

Do you guys have any at-home date night ideas to share? Leave them in the comments! 

How To Stick To Your 2017 Goals

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Did you get a pretty 2017 wall calendar for Christmas? Still trying to figure out the best way to use it because you are happily married to Google Calendar (or iCal or your bullet journal or phone reminders)? Why not display it some place prominent and use it to track your goals in the months ahead.

It can be easy to stick to resolutions right off the bat. Early days and all that. But it can get a little trickier as your enthusiasm starts to wane. For a jolt of accountability, I love the idea of picking three goals for the year and buying a stockpile of three different types of sticker. Correspond the stickers to a goal and award yourself one for each day you complete your goal. Your goals for 2017 may be big — like training for a marathon or saving money for a down payment on a house — or they might be slight — like packing  your lunch more often or apologizing less. Either way, there’s something so satisfying about watching those stickers add up.

I’ve got my eye on these gold stars (always a classic), hearts, and EMOJIS(!). 2017 – me and my stickers are comin’ for ya!!!

Have you set any goals for the new year? How do you hold yourself accountable? 

(The calendar pictured above is from the Etsy shop cobblestonestudio2 and you can purchase one HERE. 10% of the proceeds from these calendars go to Mental Health America. Which is awesome.)