Category Archives: Every day life

How to Beat the Monday Blues

Friday: a day for jubilation, relief, and anticipation for the weekend. For those of us who work all week, Friday can’t come soon enough!

Monday: a day to ask yourself one important question: where did the weekend go? For those of us who work all week, Monday comes around again far too quickly. Bah!

Yes, it’s those Monday morning blues! Studies show, above all other days, Mondays can bring about feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety issues. Just the mere thought of a Monday can ruin our weekends… how can we relax when we know it’s coming? Well, fret not as I’m here to help. Coincidentally writing this on a Monday (so obvi I’m writing from a place of experience, lol), here are some tips to help you get over those dreadful blues:

  1. Make the most of your weekends. We often bemoan the fact we haven’t had time to do everything we wanted, but chances are this is your own fault. Even though weekends are supposed to be about relaxation and enjoyment, that doesn’t mean planning goes out the window! A little forethought goes a long way. Stop spending the day in your pajamas – unless that’s your ultimate weekend goal – and plan out what you’d like to do during the two days you have off from work. Start checking things off the list! (Related: How to prioritize your passions.) Then, when Monday does finally roll around (far too soon!), you will at least have some satisfaction that you made the most of your limited time off!
  2. Make Monday fun. Okay, so you have to go to work! That sucks (even if you love your job–they call it work for a reason!), but Monday can be fun too. Plan to do something enjoyable every Monday, whether that’s a fancy lunch with your colleagues, a game night after work with your friends, or some other activity that will improve your mood when you get home in the evening. Even penciling in your favorite recipe on your meal plan or packing a treat in your lunchbox, small additions to your day, could have you looking forward to Mondays. Pretty soon, Monday will be the best day of the week – unlike those Terrible Tuesdays, Weary Wednesdays, and Turgid Thursdays! (We’ll have to tackle those in another post, lol.) 
  3. Get your sleep. Partying hard on a Friday or Saturday night is fine, but that shouldn’t be the case on a Sunday. You need your z’s to think and feel better when Monday morning finally arrives. You will feel better about the day after a good night’s sleep, and you will wake up refreshed, vibrant, and raring to go! And your clients and co-workers will thank you. No one likes a Grumpy Gus on Monday mornings…we’re all in this together!
  4. Streamline your morning. There is so much to do on a Monday morning – doing your hair, sorting out your makeup, choosing an outfit, and so on and so on. Such a drag! Still, you can take the muddle out of your morning with a few stress-free tips, giving you a fighting chance after the alarm clock has rung it’s miserable chimes.
  5. Improve your workspace. If your workspace gets you down, work out why it might be holding back your productivity and joy. If it’s feeling dull and lifeless, fill it up with personal items and colorful flowers. If you’re trapped in a place with little ventilation, grab yourself some green plants or an air purifier — read about the benefits suggested by Adam Kemp Fitness, they’re pretty convincing! If there is work piled up on your desk on a Monday morning, leaving your brain feeling cluttered, make a point to clear through work on Fridays (or at least give your desk a proper tidying before you leave for the weekend!). Your space won’t seem so miserable when you return.

Do you suffer from the Monday blues? How do you tackle saying goodbye to the weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

P.S. Bonus tip — Meal Planning for Beginners in 7 Easy Steps

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Giveaway: Spring Fling!

Spring Fling Giveaway

Hello friends! I’d like to start hosting more GIVEAWAYS on the blog. Are you game? This kick-off giveaway celebrates the fact that Spring is right around the corner and includes items I think you’ll love. Honestly, sending fun mail-time surprises is second only to receiving fun mail-time surprises in my book. So, let the giveaways commence!

This giveaway is open to international participants but you must be 18 years or older to participate. 

What you’ll receive:

An apron … for baking Springtime treats. (Flirty Aprons)

Cabin Fever: The Sizzling Secrets of a Virgin Airlines Flight Attendant by Mandy Smith … for some in-flight reading material.

Frog stickers … for decorating pocket letters, planners, or happy mail (spring-themed, of course!).

Himalayan bath salts … for a spa-like experience in your very own bathroom. (So Well

Sweep lashes … to glam up your look for a night on the town.

+ a hand-written letter from me! 

 

Rules:

  1. You must follow Finding Delight in some capacity — either via WordPress, Bloglovin, or Facebook.
  2. Leave a comment down below sharing a. what you’re looking forward to this Spring, and b. what content you’d love to see more of on Finding Delight!!
  3. Make sure to include a way to contact you (link to your blog, email address, Twitter/IG handle) in the event you’re the winner.

The giveaway will remain open from time of publication until noon (est) on Mar 26, 2018, at which point I’ll randomly select a winner. 

Good luck! 

Excellent Ideas for People Who Want to Spend Their Time Helping Others

Last week, I shared my tips on how to take the loneliness out of working from home. However, there was one BIG tip missing — volunteering. When brainstorming my favorite ways to collaborate and spend time with others, helping people required way more than a bullet point. I thought it deserved it’s very own post! Especially because many folks would love to spend their time helping others — not just freelancers!

Are you the type of person who feels worthwhile when you spend time helping others? Would you like to dedicate those free hours you have each week to something constructive that will make the world a better place?  While there is no limit to the ways you can give back to society, the ideas in this article offer a look at some worthwhile opportunities you may have over-looked, and it’s pretty easy to get involved in most instances.

Once you find something that seems appealing, it’s just a case of searching online for relevant organizations.

Volunteer with the homeless.

There is a homeless problem in most Western countries, and there’s plenty of opportunities to get off your sofa and do something about it. There are many organizations and charities out there seeking volunteers for a range of work. Everything from washing sheets used on beds in emergency shelters to cooking spaghetti dinners at a local soup kitchen; loading up a van with coats and blankets to pass out on particularly cold nights to working one-on-one with shelter residents in the process of finding housing. 

Learn More:
National Coalition for the Homeless
StandUp For Kids
Habitat for Humanity

Offer your services as a listener.

The number of suicides that happen every year in the US is staggering.  Volunteering your services as a listener through a crisis and suicide prevention hotline is a way to help people during some of their darkest hours. However, there are other opportunities to listen. Becoming a listener could mean that you make yourself available for anyone who needs a friendly ear. 

Learn More:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Crisis Text Line
7 Cups

Spend time abroad teaching English.

You might think that teaching English abroad is less of a volunteer opportunity because you tend to get paid for your time. However, I think it is worth mentioning as an outlet for those who want to spend their time helping others. 🙂 Learning English can improve the quality of life and opportunity possibilities for students all over the world. 

Learn More:
Teach English in Central & South America
Teach English in Africa
Teach English in Asia

Volunteer for overseas construction projects.

There are many overseas construction projects where you could use your strength and skills to assist local communities in building schools, hospitals, homes, and other community buildings. You just need to search online for companies and groups that focus their efforts on those tasks. In most instances, there is always a need for labor, and you don’t require any previous qualifications or experience. You just need a willingness to help out and work hard. The best thing about volunteering for building projects is that you will spend a few weeks immersing yourself in the culture of a place in a way you would never experience through normal tourism. 

Learn More:
International Volunteer HQ
Construction Volunteer Quest
Build Abroad

Take older adults to their medical appointments.

There are lots of people in the twilight of their lives who don’t get the support they require. There are lots of ways in which you could assist those individuals, but taking them to medical appointments is sure to make an impact. With that in mind, talk to your local doctor’s office, church, etc. and let staff know you’re available to help out with transportation. You might forge a powerful friendship over weekly rides to the pharmacy, who knows!

Organize activities for children with disabilities.

According to  the Child Development Institute, children with disabilities tend to struggle when it comes to making friends and dealing with social situations. As a result, there are lots of opportunities with organizations doing their part to make children feel more comfortable, less alone, and free of judgement. Consider looking into a youth club in your area that meets on a regular basis. Or if you’re looking for less of a commitment, many of these organizations have one-time volunteer needs for special events like dances, sporting events, and retreats.

Learn More:
Friendship Circle – Miami
Special Olympics
Pacer Center

Help to raise funds for people affected by natural disasters.

Natural disasters happen all over the world every single year. However, we can’t always drop everything and get to the areas affected. (Oftentimes it can be unsafe to do so.) But that does’t mean we can’t contribute financially. Hurricane Irma taught me the rebuilding process after natural disasters is slow and tedious. Organizing fundraisers to gather as much money as possible to send out for recovery (Not old clothes and home goods!) can have a direct impact on a community’s future. 

Learn More:
Cane Bay Partners
100 ways to raise funds for international relief efforts!

Create welcome kits for refugee families.

 Imagine arriving in a new country with a few suitcases and a whole family looking for a new start. Organizations that assist with refugee resettlement are always looking for donations of household items for the families they help. Reach out to one in your area. Many accept “baskets” that you can create with a number of items to help a refugee family get settled in their new home; such as a Kitchen Basket (with cutlery, coffee pot, etc), Cleaning Basket (with cleaning supplies), Hygiene Basket (with personal care items), or Linens Basket (with towels and blankets). If you’re tasked with welcoming a particular family, and you’re told they have kiddos, consider making them welcome baskets!

Learn More:
Catholic Charities: Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children & Families

Try gardening for people who can’t do it anymore.

Lastly (and this is for people who love spending time outdoors), you might consider offering your gardening services to people who have mobility issues in your hometown. It’s an excellent way to help out with tons of benefits — think: sunshine, community beautification, and a sense of accomplishment. You don’t need a ton of experience, just a willingness to get a little dirty (and maybe mow a lawn or two). However, nothing is stopping you from getting creative by planting flowers and going above and beyond the call of duty. The finished product is sure to put a smile on the faces of the folks who will get to look at your beautiful work every day! 

Do you spend time helping others? How did you find your favorite volunteer opportunity? 

Take The Muddle Out Of Your Mornings

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

If there’s one area in most of our lives that could do with some serious streamlining, it’s our mornings. There never seems to be enough time from when the alarm goes off to when we need to leave the house. How many of us spend our first waking hours in a state of panic about what to wear, trying to find a hairdryer, fish a clean top out of the laundry hamper and gather up our breakfast? There is a better way – a way to reclaim time, space and calm and restore a little order so that you don’t feel like you’re arriving at your desk having already done battle with the day. Try a few of these simple hacks to take the muddle out of your mornings:

Dry and Style Your Hair in One

How much time do we waste after we emerge from the shower, drying and styling our hair? Taking care of it can be really time-consuming, but ungroomed, greasy locks are a definite no-no if you want to look professional. Claw some time back by combining two steps into one – using a hair straightening brush. The right model will detangle, comb through, dry and straighten damp hair, cutting down on the time it takes you to get ready to go -find one here. It’s also great if you’re travelling or going to the gym before work, as it cuts down on the number of tools you need to carry around with you – simply plug it in, brush and go. On those days when you don’t have time to wash? Track down a dry shampoo that doesn’t leave any white residue, and learn a few quick hairstyles that disguise a bad hair day (just in case you encounter a hair-mergency!).

Combine Skincare and Makeup

We all want the glowing, flawless complexion of a Hollywood star. But if time is at a premium in the morning, a Korean 12 step skincare routine is well out of reach. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon all hope – or choose between makeup and  anti-ageing care. The new wave of smart all-in-one products is here to help. Find a foundation that also offers skin benefits too –  IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream contains a hit of color-correctors, a full coverage base, an anti-ageing hydrating serum PLUS an SPF50 sunscreen! Look for other cosmetics that multi-task to add on time savings, too – the bronzer you can use as an eyeshadow, the nude lipstick that doubles as a blush, or the eyebrow pencil that you can also use as an eyeliner.

Develop a Work Capsule Wardrobe

If you can never find a smart outfit in a hurry and are continually arriving at the office, only to find you’ve mismatched that top and skirt – a work capsule wardrobe could help to sort you out. It may sound shallow, but there is a proven relationship between what we choose to wear and the way we perform at work. Curate a selection of classic basics in a limited color palette that can all be combined, then no matter what you reach for in the mornings; you’ll look pulled together. A twelve piece capsule can create more than fourteen outfits, which is more than a two working week rotation, so you don’t have to dread laundry day. Reducing your clothing options is a really smart choice for getting you out the door faster, and you can always add a dash of fun with accessories!

Do you have any tips for taking the muddle out of mornings? I’d love to hear! xoxo

P.S. My thoughts on Tangle Teezers, Yu-Be Skincare, and CAPSULE WARDROBES!

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? 

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!)

How to remember to take your vitamins vitafive

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.