Category Archives: Personal

List 11: Date Night Ideas

I started a LIST SERIES in Summer 2018 and decided to keep adding to it here and there. These posts are kinda like an introduction (or a reintroduction for those who’ve been with me since the jump!). A nice to meet ya, so glad you stopped by, now STAY AWHILE! Why lists? Because I love making ’em! Enjoy…

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day, loves! In honor of the holiday — 

A few ideas for date night…

Walking paths or hiking trails
Bookstore adventure

Visit a botanical garden
Read together

Volunteer together
Farmers market
Pancake supper
Live music

Play a game
Free movies at local parks or libraries

Cocktail hour
Thrift for treasures
Bake your favorite sweet treats
Picnic by the water

Stroll through a museum

Tell me what you do on date nights in the comments below! ❤

P.S. A General Tso’s chicken themed date night?!
P.P.S. At-home date ideas that aren’t Netflix and chill.

[And in case you’re curious…

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My 15 Whole 30 Must-Haves

I successfully completed my third (!) Whole 30 *thunderous applause* and thought, my not talk about it a bit on the interwebz. You can read everything I ate during my very first round HERE. But today, I wanna talk about the foods that I have to have in order to make it through. If you’re wanting to undertake your own Whole 30 (read up on it, first and foremost), give these foods a shot! However, I think what’s super great about the Whole 30 process is you really learn what foods feel best for you personally. So experiment and have fun!

Here’s what I need for a successful Whole 30…

 

  • Lara bars – great in a pinch if you get HANGRY
  • Guacamole pods – an easy (read: lazy) way to add some healthy fats to your lunchbox
  • Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage – my favorite sheet pan dinner to cook up on busy nights = these sausages + baby red potatoes + broccoli
  • GT’s Kombucha – afternoon pick-me-up
  • Flavored seltzer water – not married to La Croix, the store brands work just fine for me
  • Almond butter – gotta pair my fruit with protein
  • Applesauce pouches – just make sure there’s no added sugar (my husband calls these baby food but *shrugs*)
  • Carrot and red bell pepper sticks – when you’re off sugar, raw veggies like these taste AMAZING
  • Chicken burgers – TJ’s has a pre-made, compliant option but we just get ground chicken and make ’em ourselves
  • Potato and sweet potato latkes/home fries/hash browns – honestly do you even NEED bread when you can have a latke??
  • Bananas – I just can’t be bothered to cook eggs every single morning so these are my go-to brekky fuel
  • Banana pepper rings – the best way to top a salad imho
  • Salami – what can I say? I love my Italian meats
  • Ghee – when I DO cook eggs, this is the business
  • Plantain chips – for crunch

Have you ever completed a round of Whole 30? What would you consider your must-haves? Share below! ❤ 

Our Weekend Stay in a St. Petersburg, FL Tiny Home

As promised, below are some photos from a recent weekend trip to St. Petersburg.

Unfortunately, our stay in the tiny home we rented from Airbnb wasn’t as pleasant as we had hoped. Because this is my first bad experience with an Airbnb rental, I thought I’d go ahead and share about it, too.

As you can see from the pictures, the tiny home was super cute. It was decorated in a “Little Havana” style and there were lots of little touches throughout — vintage books, tropical throw pillows, stenciled floors…you get the idea. And it was small…which of course, is the point (and the appeal) of booking a tiny home.

However, of all the Airbnbs I’ve stayed at, this one was by far the dirtiest. The coffee pot was covered with a film of gunk. The window sills all had a layer of dust. There was a wad of dirty/wet paper towels the size of a house-cat in the tub. Not cute!

Because it was nearing bedtime by the time we started to notice all of this, we decided to tough it out. (Upon arrival, we’d tossed our bags inside and headed out to explore, get food, etc. As ya do!) And honestly, I thought it was still livable…just not getting a good review.

Oh but then dear readers, I climbed into the bed. And it STUNK. The mattress was putting off an odor that was part cat pee, part body odor. Also…NOT CUTE! Yet, and I hate to admit this here…I slept in it. Well, sleep is a strong word for the situation. I laid in it for a night.

Not wanting to go for round 2 on sleepless nights, Airbnb was contacted and we were able to cancel // get a refund for the rest of our trip! Praise be for good customer service on Airbnb’s end. Not so much on the end of our hosts, though. They were out of town… Something I think I’ll be more aware of prior to making any future bookings through Airbnb.

So, while I was super excited about experiencing tiny home living…by the end of my trip I was shacking up in a Doubletree king size bed. C’est la vie! *shrug emoji*

And the happy ending for the story? Once the hosts were back on site and saw the tiny home, they realized their cleaning service had def been doing them dirty (har har!), apologized profusely, and issued us a FULL refund. Thanks dudes! Can’t say I’ll be back (or link to any of your properties here, sozz!) but I won’t slam your review section with ALL the sordid details.

Onto the pics…

The Takeaway…

If we hadn’t been paying a pretty decent cleaning fee… and had there not been any available/comparably priced accommodations nearby, we probably would have just made it work. But we were and there were.

If your Airbnb isn’t up to snuff or you feel like it isn’t quite what was advertised, communicate with your hosts and get Airbnb involved if needed. They may have a solution that works for you but you’ll never know unless you ask! Airbnb requires photo documentation and gives the host 2hrs to come up with a plan. (If the host has multiple properties, sometimes they’ll move you into another one of their own.) However, if they can’t come up with a satisfying solution, Airbnb will cancel your booking and issue you a refund. The more you know!

Some St. Pete places I CAN endorse…

Karma Juice Bar & Eatery
The Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge
BellaBrava
St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club
Museum of Fine Arts
Savory Spice Shop

Ok, thanks for making it to the end of this somewhat ridiculous post. Here’s a picture of us enjoying golden hour in downtown St. Pete before you go. 🙂 (…just to prove we actually had a good time and aren’t just fussy lunatics lol)

Have you ever been to St. Petersburg? Have you ever stayed in a tiny home (or do you LIVE in one full-time!)? Do you have any Airbnb HORROR stories? I’d love to hear about any and all of the above! xoxo 

List 10: On My Wishlist

I started a LIST SERIES in Summer 2018 and decided to keep adding to it here and there. These posts are kinda like an introduction (or a reintroduction for those who’ve been with me since the jump!). A nice to meet ya, so glad you stopped by, now STAY AWHILE! Why lists? Because I love making ’em! Enjoy…

A few things I’m coveting…

Household –

A stash of fabric gift bags
Essential oils
Collapsible bucket
Memory foam bed pillows
Air purifier
Textured throw blanket 

Organization –

Expandable file folders
A habit calendar
Weekly to-do list notepad
Medicine cabinet organizer
Fair Trade baskets
Weck .5 liter jars 

Books –

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Fade Into You by Nikki Darling
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
Life-Changing Foods by Anthony William
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath 

Beauty –

Scalp massaging shampoo brush
Mario Bedescu facial spray
Makeup remover cloths
3D fiber mascara
Wake Up Beautiful mask
Purifying shampoo 

Pack-along –

A fast drying camp towel
Cotton napkins in a cactus print
A personal water filter
Odor absorbers
Long johns
A calming scent 

Treat yourself –

A candle from the hygge collection
A year’s supply of Ghiradelli brownies
Girls Trip on DVD
ChocZero chocolates
Camomile, honey, & vanilla tea
A toilet upgrade 

Fashion –

Simple t-shirts
A cheeky slogan tee
No show socks
Light pink running shoes
Swimsuit coverup
A dress with pockets

Tell me what things you’ve been eyeing in the comments below! xoxo

P.S. I’m thinking of setting up a permanent page on this site with wishlist-y type items I’ve scouted online. Would you guys be interested in that? Maybe updated once a quarter or so? Let me know!

[And in case you’re curious…

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LIST 7
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LIST 9]

How I Plan to Put My 2019 Goals into Action

Hello friends! Welcome back to my blog. My name is Beth, if you are new here. I recently shared my 2019 Resolutions and I wanted to expand on this topic in today’s post.

Today I’m going to discuss some specific strategies I’m planning to employ in order to meet my 2019 goals. The new year is such a wonderful time to reflect on the positive changes we’d love to make and the new habits we’d like to adopt. But without a plan for how to stick to these changes, implement new habits, and actually…ya know…FOLLOW THROUGH, we run the risk of setting the same resolutions year after year after year. Know what I mean?

I’m definitely guilty of getting hung up in that little no man’s land between conception and action. I love research and planning and thinking things through. Maybe you’re the same way?

Well then dear friends, let’s do this together! Let’s make a plan and get shit done! Shall we?

Here are some ideas about how to follow through on our 2019 resolutions…

Outline Steps to Success

For each of my resolutions, I’m coming up with a plan of attack that I need to complete in order to succeed.

Integral to this process has been establishing a 2019 GOALS NOTEBOOK. I wrote out each of my resolutions, with blank pages left in between so that I can outline my steps.

It would be really easy to list one of my resolutions as “eat healthier”…and leave it at that. Instead, after my Whole30 reintroduction process, I plan to sit down with my notebook and map out what foods my body best jives with.

For my resolutions about spending more time growing my business and creating materials for this blog, I’m working on defining a schedule and setting due dates.

This gives my brain something concrete to work with so I know what I need to do to reach the end goal.

Schedule for Success

I’ve mentioned before that I really love to approach my day like a puzzle. (It’s why I love planners like this one.) Figuring out how the various pieces fit together to maximize my day and productivity is something I enjoy.

So, with that in mind, I’m not only making it a point to schedule in time for planning out how to achieve my goals…but then using that time to stick those plans into my schedule! Still with me?

For example, today I had a few minutes to devote to my “2019 notebook” and I sketched out a workout plan for February.

THEN…I grabbed my planner and scheduled my workouts for the first week of that month.

I can do the same thing when I make plans for quality time with my husband or writing postcards to friends or deep cleaning once a week.

When I schedule something, I’m making a COMMITMENT. Like, that shit is engraved in my calendar IN PEN (and hell, might even be highlighted!). Commitments are exactly what I need in this, the year of COMMIT!

Connecting with Others

Sharing this process publicly is a nice, healthy dose of accountability! I really, really want to make these things work…because I’m talking about them openly. I definitely think there’s something to be said for our good ol’ internet-age//social media-riddled lives when it comes to this stuff.

However, I also think sharing my goals and the process privately, with trusted loved ones in my life, is also important. This is where I can seek out encouragement (or more realistically…a good kick in the butt when I get lazy) as well as fresh perspectives when and if I get stuck.

Connecting with Self

We’re only about 1/12th of the way through the year. And while I’m still feeling pretty fired up about making the most of 2019, I can’t guarantee I’m going to feel this same way every minute of the next 11 months. So staying inspired is equally important as making and talking about plans.

That’s why my notebook isn’t just for lists and steps and action plans. I also created sections for journaling and mantras and a vision board (!) and quotes.

I want to stay connected to the reasons I set these intentions. These reasons are what gives the process power and purpose.

I hope you found these ideas helpful for planning your own 2019 “follow through.” If you would like some encouragement, motivation, or just want to type your intentions out for someone/anyone to see; LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW!

Do you have any specific strategies that have helped you stick to goals? Leave those below, too.

Here’s to achieving our goals in 2019! xoxo

A Tour of My New Pocket Letter Box

For Christmas this year, my mom gave me the sweetest gift… My grandma’s old sewing box!! She left some of the bits and bobs that had been inside for sewing, but also filled it to the brim with new pocket letter materials. Am I spoiled or what?!

Wanna take a look inside?

Here’s the tray on top…

and below that, MORE GOODIES!

Washi…

Embellishments…

Stickers…

Ephemera…

Plus, 2 collections (and 1 bonus kit!) from my favorite Etsy shop, Peachy Skeen

I could spend hours scrolling through all the vintage collections in this shop. Highly recommend checking it out if you like pocket letters, planning, pen pals, etc. I got a collection with a purple theme and one that was farm-themed!

Here’s the shop’s card if you want more info…

My mom is the absolute best for putting together such a lovely gift. I love that it is a treasured heirloom, but updated in such a fun way! I know that making things with the supplies inside will bring me so much joy. ❤

Now then, who wants a pocket letter???

Did you get anything fun and unexpected for Christmas? 

My New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2019, y’all! We’ve made it through the first chunk of the month and I’m happy to report that I’ve successfully done yoga every day and stuck through the beginning week of the Whole 30 (if you’ve done one you know those first few days are the hardest part!).

As far as shorter-term goals and January resets go, I’d say I’m doing pretty ok. 🙂

But today I’d like to talk about some of my other goals for the year…

Health and Fitness

30 Day ChallengesI’ve talked about fitness challenges a ton on the blog, but here we are again. In 2019 I’d love to find a few new and exciting challenges to participate in. But when not participating, I want to work on listening to my body about the type of workout it needs.

Fitness Tracker – I got a fitness tracker in December and finally set it up the other day! (baby steps lol) I want to experiment with the best ways to use it — maybe identifying a “steps” goal or finding a fun response to the inactivity alerts!

Whole 30 – Actually sticking to a plan after Whole 30 reintegrations. Should I work to completely eliminate dairy? Less gluten? I want to pay close attention to my body when reintegrating foods to see what changes I should make long-term. 

Household

Work Closet – I have a closet in my office that has sort of become a dumping ground. I don’t just want to clean it, I want to figure out a cool organizational system.

Wall Art – We have all sorts of beautiful wall decor that I will put off ever hanging until the day I die because I get so worried about not liking how and where it is hung. I need to divorce myself from the outcome (hi, just because there’s a nail in the wall doesn’t mean it is permanent!) and just do it.

Power Hours – When we moved into our new house in Alabama, I implemented a cleaning practice that I’d love to stick with in 2019. I have a list of cleaning chores that take me about an hour to complete. So, every Thursday at 11am I bang ‘em out. I’d like to create a similar system for deep cleaning something different once a week…so I’ll throw that here, too.

Work

Website – I have a fairly full plate of clients, and in the past garnering new clients has usually been accomplished through word of mouth (ie. client a brings in client b). But this might not always be the case! Perhaps it is time to put together a website dedicated to my freelance work? (I know, I know…it’s ridiculous that I don’t have one already BUT see next goal…)

Time Optimization (Clients vs Self) – I always feel as though my time is better served growing my clients’ brands and businesses. In 2019, I need to find a better balance between working to build my own business and projects and taking on client work.

Offline Strategy – Like my fitness tracker, this is definitely a research phase resolution. But I think long-term success working from home is going to necessitate throwing a few things against the wall in this arena and seeing what sticks.

Marriage

Enneagram – Last year we identified our enneagrams. (I’m a 9, he’s a 1.) To kick off 2019, we’ve decided we’re going to read up on each other’s numbers to learn more about how the other ticks, best communication practices, and better conflict resolution. We have this book and would highly recommend it.

Sharing the Mundane – My husband definitely takes on more of the mundane, administrative tasks and decision making in our household and I’d love to work towards taking more of this off his plate.

Quality Time – More outings together, more adventures together, more travel together!

Self-Care

Quality Time – Like the resolution above but for me, myself, and I! Doing things outside the home that are just for me? Crazy, I know. Errands do not count, lol.

Non-TV Activities – More free-time activities that aren’t TV — walks, reading, pocket letters, decorating, organizing, writing, playing outside, etc, etc…you get the idea. I watch too much tv.

Travel – I have a few shorter trips planned in Quarter 1 of 2019 but I’d love to fill up my calendar with adventures short and long(er)! Since moving out of South Florida, we are within driving distance of so much more. I’m feeling the wanderlust this year already. Where should we go?

Blogging

Batch Writing Posts – I’d love to approach writing posts in a new way this year. I’d like to set aside a few hours every other week to write a bunch of posts all at once. I’ve talked to a bunch of bloggers recently about this and it seems it really helped them all stick to a consistent posting schedule while freeing up time throughout the week for other things. I also think it would be some nice me-time to head to a coffee shop or my local library and spend the afternoon writing without any other distractions.

Book Club – When I first started Finding Delight, I did a series of posts that were basically like a virtual book club. I would spend a month on a book and post 4 times throughout the month with my thoughts, extended reading, links, and fun ideas. I really want to revamp this series and bring it back in 2019. While I didn’t have it together enough to prep this in 2018 for a January 2019 relaunch, I’m thinking I can get it going in February or March. I’m super excited to bring it back!

More Non-Blog Materials – I have so many ideas (and honestly outlines and first drafts) for non-blog materials pertaining to Finding Delight — think: printables, courses, e-books, etc. Maybe this will be the year I see one through?

Wow, ok. That ended up being way longer than I had anticipated but it felt good to write everything out. Next step – turn all this word vomit into some actionable steps for the year ahead! I’m feeling on fire with possibilities.

What about you? Care to share a few of your resolutions in the comments below? I believe in you and all you will accomplish in 2019! xoxo

P.S. Everyone says you should have one word to focus on for the year that encapsulates your goals and intentions. Reading all this back, I feel like mine should be COMMIT. So, I’m gonna go with that. 2019, I’m comin’ for you and I’m COMMITTING.

Commenting on Blogs

I talked recently about a habit I’m trying to break, but today I’d like to share a habit I’m trying to pick up (or at least become better about!)

Commenting on blogs.

And generally being more supportive and “vocal” about the online content I engage with. Because the keyword there is engage, right? I have this blog. I have a podcast. I work remotely for clients who need help with marketing and web content. So, I’m constantly consuming online content. But often times, it’s just that…consuming, not engaging with.

I guess, initially, my motives are a little selfish. I feel like I should interact with blog posts (and other content) the way I want people to interact with mine. But, I think it’s more than that:

– I want to be encouraging to people I think are doing rad things online…
– I want to feel like we’re all in this together (see also: work remotely. y’all are my co-workers, mk?)…
– …and honestly, I want to do my part to make sure this is happening.

But sometimes that sort of very public, online love-fest feels overwhelming to me. It is so much easier to be a lurker. To feel uncomfortable about admiration or networking or a comment that doesn’t really add all that much to the conversation other than — “wow, this was really fun to read!”

So, I’m seeking input…

What do you think? Is this an area you’re awesome at? What advice would you offer? TELL ME EVERYTHING!

Fall At-Home Date Ideas with Date Night In Box

It’s that time of year again. By the time I’m done with work for the day, it’s already dark outside. The last thing I want to do most nights is bundle up and head back out into the cold. But on the flip side, spending every night ’til Spring binge watching TV shows on the couch isn’t exactly my idea of the greatest love story ever told. So, what’s the middle ground?

Here are a few fall-friendly date ideas that you and your partner can enjoy from home…

1. Cook dinner together while you listen to tunes

Sure, you gotta eat EVERY night but a lot of times that can mean divvying up the labor, grabbing something on the go, or heating up leftovers. For an at-home date night, consider planning something special and then cook together. You can pop a bottle of wine, chat at the table as things are in the oven, and…

 

 

 

…don’t forget the tunes! Pop on a fun playlist that you can enjoy in the background as you cook. Music can really set the tone for the evening so pick songs for the vibe. Romantic, fun, can’t help but sing along — you get the idea.

2. Get cozy & make a craft

You don’t have to go wild with supplies, but putting your heads together to make something is a great way to spend an evening…and looking at the finished product will always make your heart swell. Chet and I spent several weeks one summer figuring out how to turn vintage books into notebooks and the ones we kept bring back such wonderful memories.

Pictured above are the materials we used to make a Christmas ornament (the ink pad was for thumb prints and the ballpoint Sharpie for writing important-to-us dates) and a little tea light candle. Who knows!? If you enjoy a craft enough, you can always consider batch-making a few more…holiday gift-giving is right around the corner! (And that candle was so easy to make, I’m thinking everyone is gonna get one in their stocking this year, lol)

3. Engage in a little friendly competition

 

Playing a game is another great, screen-free option. A lot of games are geared for more than 2 players but do a little research to 2-person games the two of you can get behind. This dice game is a lot of fun! I also can endorse backgammon (though I’m terrible at it, lol), Trivial Pursuit, and Rummikub.

 

 

4. Curl up on the couch with a movie

Ok, ok…so curling up on the couch is SOMETIMES allowed! You’ve Got Mail is the perfect Fall film after all. Other cozy options? Autumn in New York, Good Will Hunting, October Sky, Practical Magic, Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, and When Harry Met Sally.

Plus, checking this one out of from the library with the intention of watching during a fall-themed date night felt way more romantic than clicking something from the queue, ya know?

Wanna leave the planning out of your at-home date nights?

You get all of the above (& MORE!) with a subscription to Date Night In.

Date Night In is a custom created, memorable date night subscription experience that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Each box includes interactive activities with ambiance, materials, and suggestions on  how to get the most out of your date. DNI’s highest priority is to help customers connect with their partner. 

And the best part? You don’t have to plan a thing! Everything you need to create a meaningful and romantic date night is waiting for you on your doorstep each month.

 

 

Interested in enjoying a monthly date night from the comfort of your own home? Consider a subscription to Date Night In Boxes. Every month features a new theme for you and your partner to enjoy! 

P.S. Here’s a look at last month’s box.

List 9: Favorite Websites & Blogs

I started a LIST SERIES in Summer 2018 and decided to keep adding to it here and there. These posts are kinda like an introduction (or a reintroduction for those who’ve been with me since the jump!). A nice to meet ya, so glad you stopped by, now STAY AWHILE! Why lists? Because I love making ’em! Enjoy…

My favorite websites and blogs…

Instagram
YouTube
Cup of Jo
A Beautiful Mess
PicMonkey
Amazon
Nursing Clio
Yes and Yes
Podbean
MailChimp
Basecamp
Outside Online
Unsplash
Slate
Cupcakes & Cashmere
The Anna Edit
oh, and blogging Facebook group pages…
but not so much Facebook itself, lol

Tell me a few of your favorite websites and blogs in the comments below! xoxo

[And in case you’re curious…

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LIST 5
LIST 6

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LIST 8]