List 1: A Few Things About Me

A new series in which I share lists which I hope will help you to get to know me better. Why? Because I started this blog what feels like forever ago and there’s bound to be some new faces peering in once and awhile! So 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! (+ it’s the summer and I can give myself some grace when it comes to not posting overly-elaborate blog posts.)

A few things about me …

My name is Beth and I’m a/an —

80’s baby
Kentuckian
daughter
middle child
traveler
wife
Libra
INFJ
bookworm 
marketing maven
wordsmith
blogger
tv addict
researcher
planner
cat mom
yogi
winerd

Tell me a few things about yourself in the comments below! xoxo
(Photo above: Sur La Lune Photography)

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mid-week round-up

Happy Wednesday! What are you up to this week? My best-friend Katie is coming to visit tomorrow (squee!) and I can’t wait to show off our new area. I’m ready for some summertime activities and a healthy dose of gossip. Hope you have a great rest of your week, and follow the links below if you’d like to loiter online a little longer…

This made me laugh out loud.

Strawberry cheesecake popsicles for a homemade summertime treat.

I love this blog post that tells the real story behind the beautiful wedding photos.

A sweet pin.

I have mixed feelings about this.

19 quick and easy weeknight dinners.

On my reading list.

Well-behaved women make history too.

My summer mood in a nutshell.

More women in the U.S. live alone than ever before.

How to feed the resistance.

7 ideas for random acts of kindness when the world feels like a dumpster fire.

P.S. A couple Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Two Poems and A Simple Cure.

5 Ways to Foster Creativity in the Workplace

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

When working, creativity is my most important tool. It guides me through the challenges of a complex project. It helps me refresh my approach to explore new solutions.

But, creativity doesn’t appear out of nowhere. It’s not the kind of thing you can summon into life as soon as you’re sitting at your desk. Creativity is not a skill; it’s a state of mind – but that’s not to say you can’t train your mind the same way you might train your muscles. So what are some ways we can foster creativity for better workplace performance?

Clutter-free offices free up your mind

The mind wanders when you sit at your desk. Imagine you’re a writer. You’re at your desk, your fingers floating above the keyboard as you wait for an idea to appear. Your eyes instinctively scroll past the contents of your office. The desk is filled with discarded coffee mugs, piles of documents and books that lie flat on top of it all. The shelf behind you spills contents onto the floor: More books, dusty knick-knacks, some stationery still in the packaging and an open bag of chips. Yikes! Messy offices lead to a clogged up mind. Conversely, a clutter-free workplace can do wonders for your imagination.

Sensory experiences improve the imagination

Sensory experiences enhance creativity. Listening to music can take your mind on a journey of self-discovery, emotional enlightenment, or merely melancholy – depending on your playlist. Similarly, the smell of fresh flowers or manipulating gooey playdough can open new horizons. Without senses, the mind doesn’t know how to experience its surroundings. Consequently, sensory deprivation, as a result of a health issue, can represent an obstacle. However, not all situations are without a solution. Perhaps, instead of a downfall, we can view hearing aids as a way to boost creativity. Glasses or dedicated eye surgery as a means to improve our view–not just literally but figuratively, too. 

Smile!

So, here you are, ready to work, but you can’t get your mind off an awkward conversation you had with a friend. You’re still angry about it, and somehow, it remains at the front of your mind. Or maybe it was an altercation with a rude client that occupies all your thoughts? Whatever happened, it’s time to let your mind break free. Take a deep breath and smile. Yes, you read that right: smile. Studies show that the act of smiling can actually trick your brain into thinking you’re happy. (Fake it ’til ya make it!) Consequently, you’ll find the anger, the frustration and all the thoughts about what you could have said will gradually disappear leaving room in your brain for those creative juices to start flowing.

Exploratory mindset and inspiration

If you don’t see or try anything new, it’s fair to say you won’t be able to create anything new. Same old routine leads to same old ideas. As a person seeking creativity, you need to push the boundaries of your comfort zone to explore what is happening on the other side. For some people, this might mean traveling abroad. For others, it could be trying out new activities or going to see films and plays you wouldn’t normally choose. The more you see what you’re not used to, the richer your mind becomes.

Don’t believe the unhealthy artist cliché

Finally, if you’ve been loving the idea of the recluse artist who lives only on coffee and the occasional cigarette, it’s time to reconsider the habits that foster creativity. Indeed, the food you eat affects your brain health. Avocados, for instance, improve cognitive function, both memory and concentration. Beets help with mental performance. Blueberries protect your brain from degeneration and stress. (An idea my mom espoused on a recent visit and now my husband says “PREVENTCHA DEMENTIA!” whenever I pull a tub of bluebs out of the fridge, lol.) In short, a healthy brain can process new ideas quicker and better! So, look after your main creative tool by feeding it right!

How do you deal when you’re in a creativity rut at work? I’d love hearing your tips in the comments!

How Much Can I Fit in the Nomatic Compression Cube?

The one item that has changed my travel game the most? Packing cubes. Seriously, if you’ve never used one of these space saving devices…do yourself a favor! Since making this life-changing discovery, I’ve tried a few different kinds. But today, I’d like to put the NOMATIC COMPRESSION CUBE to the test. Let’s see what I can stuff inside!

The NOMATIC COMPRESSION CUBE is made of rip-stop nylon so it is super durable and strong. What sets it apart from the other cubes I’ve tried is that it has two compartments. Not only that, there’s an extra zipper in the middle that helps compress everything down! The double compartment could be useful for a few different things — keeping dirty and clean clothes separate, organizing by type of clothes, or even a side per person if you’re a super minimal couple!

When the packing cube is full it is about 5 1/2 inches tall. However, by zipping the central perimeter zipper, that number can shrink down by about 2 inches! What?! The overall size of the cube is roughly 10 1/2 by 8 inches. For perspective, I have PURSES bigger than that!

Let’s pack some stuff up!

I tried to include some bulkier items that I might not normally take if I was one-bag traveling — like heavy duty yoga pants and jammy pants.

Here’s what I fit inside:

1 sundress
1 button down shirt
1 pair of yoga pants
2 t-shirts
1 pair of denim shorts
1 set of jammies (t-shirt and pants)
3 pairs of underwear
and 1 pair of ankle socks

The middle zipper is what makes it a compression cube!

Now for the most important question! Does it fit in my Tom Bihn Synapse 19

My hope was that it would sit at the bottom of the bag like this!

Success! (You could honestly stack two in there!)

Look at all that room! Plenty of space for my laptop, another packing cube (or two!) and a toiletry bag. Plus, all the other pockets of the Tom Bihn are free for other goodies. If I were packing for an actual trip (instead of just experimenting), I would probably use the NOMATIC for everyday clothes (maybe tops on one side and bottoms on the other?) and use a smaller packing cube for underwear, socks, jammies, and workout clothes. Which would mean I could fit A LOT of outfits in a NINETEEN LITER bag.

Final verdict – This is a fantastic packing cube for smaller backpacks! The compression zipper really does a lot to bring the bulk down and double sides is super handy. This little baby holds a LOT!

ORDER YOUR OWN NOMATIC COMPRESSION CUBE HERE. 

P.S. Read some other TRAVEL posts from FINDING DELIGHT:
Heroclip Review
Great YouTube Channel for Travel Inspo
7 Travel Tips for Airports & Planes

The Totally Random Instagram Accounts I Follow

So it’s been over a month since my last round-up of Instagram accounts you should “totally follow” but I promised you one more post and one more post you shall receive. I present to you: The TOTALLY RANDOM folks I personally follow. Whatta ya say? Wanna see who fills my feed (& my heart!)?

[Besides the FOODIES and the CELEBS and the BLOGGERS!]

Let’s Scroll —

eriqlasalle … because the OG cast of ER is life.

bustle … for the relatable memes.

marachok … for my obsession with all things Russian ballet.

usweekly … following has drastically reduced my urge to buy trash magazines (+ they have “Who Wore it Better” polls in their IG stories and I can’t resist that).

ownitbabe … sometimes even the most curated of social media feeds needs a shot of body positivity!

femalecollective … girl power!

todaypuppy … this is an obvious one, right?

90sanxiety … oh those nostalgia feels are strong.

cheapoldhouses … because I like to pretend I’m someone who could flip a house.

miamidadepubliclibrary … i’m a sucker for their book stack posts.

westelm … home decor #goals.

natgeo … because the magazine is my fave!

and way, WAY too many more!

Leave one random Instagram account you follow in the comments below. (And you can follow yours truly at BBerg1012!)

Etsy Store Swoon: Clare Elsaesser

These are a few of my favorite prints from the fantastic Etsy shop, which I’ve been swooning over for weeks — Clare Elsaesser. The women floating through or wading into water and carrying armloads of colorful flowers give the paintings a beautiful ethereal quality. But the little details, like a messy top knot or a polka dot print, combined with the obstructed face, make it seem as though these portraits could be anyone. Does that make sense? Wouldn’t you love to hang one in your home? I’m obsessed.

Print 1 // Print 2 // Print 3 // Print 4 // Print 5

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? My mom headed back to Kentucky on Monday. I keep thinking about the immigrant families being separated against their will at our border and I feel ever more grateful and blessed to have a parent who is just a day’s drive away. We had a wonderful visit…even if we got a little lost while out on a hike. Whoops!

Sending a big hug to anyone reading this, and here are some links for you to check out…

The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence.

How to get Anine Bing’s bright and airy decor style.

S-Town is being turned into a movie.

The reasons why women’s voices are deeper today.

Is it weird I kinda want to start rocking a fanny pack?

“Liz Phair taught me everything about being a grown up.”

Who wants to book this “Craftsman Charmer” for a vacay in Nashville?

This natural deodorant looks promising.

A busy mom and recipe tester shares her favorite $10 meals.

5 people on why they code switch.

And finally,

Absolutely haunting.

Jesus wouldn’t put children in cages.

PLEASE — Call your congresspeople. Volunteer. Donate. Protest.

Because, in the words of Hillary Clinton – “There’s no such thing as other people’s children.” There are simply children.

Entryway Wish List

Where do you focus your design-energy in your home? There are the obvious spaces — like creating a zen-like bathroom or a kitchen that feels cozy enough for guests to gather around the table. But lately, I’ve been feeling inspired to add a little of my aesthetic to our new entryway. As I mentioned in this post, it’s the first design project I’d like to tackle in our new abode. After all, it’s the first thing folks see when they walk in your house!

So far, I’ve got these hooks hung and a runner rug laid out. (Shout out to my mom for choosing the rug!) I took to Amazon to track down some other pieces that are now wish listed for the project …

This shelf, sitting long-ways, can display my bits and bobs, but also offers a storage solution by tucking a basket or two in the bottom cubbies.

A director floor lamp to cast an inviting glow.

I could add texture by sticking an oversized plant in the mix and housing it in one of these mid-century modern planters.

Ya gotta have a mirror so you can check your look before leaving.

And maybe a large print in a gold frame for the DRAMA.

Finally, I’d like to add this piece to my bar cart (which is what you see as you walk down my self-created entryway) because I’ve considered tons of small wine racks and I always land back at this one.

For little touches – I’m all about a giant candle with sweet matches at the ready, succulents nestled in terra cotta pots, and maybe a thrifted crate to house muddy shoes.

How have you decorated your entryway? Tell me in the comments! 

P.S. Since we’re renting this home, I’m following these tips.

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? My mom is coming to visit on Friday!!! We’ll be showing her around our new town and hanging out in the backyard. Ah, Summer! Hope you have a great one, and here are some internet gems for your mid-week pleasure…

The difference between being broke and being poor.

How our body’s circadian clocks affect our health beyond sleep.

I was pretty crushed by the passing of Anthony Bourdain this past week. Here are a couple articles related –

Thank you, Anthony Bourdain.

Anthony  Bourdain and the power of telling the truth.

Plus, this piece Bourdain wrote about his father in 2012 is worth revisiting.

Can’t stop watching these “Vocal Coach Reacts…” videos.

I recently got one of these minimalist wallets and I would highly recommend!

Why are Russians so good at ballet?

On time management – “People will come to you with their problems and imply that you’re the only one who can solve them. This is almost never true.

Check out Serena Williams’ new fashion line.

Love a funky pair of yoga pants.

This community activist pushes the food justice movement beyond raised beds, food pantries, new supermarkets, and white leadership.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Empowerment Walking and 8 Tips for Settling Into a New Home.

Forget whistling…SMILE while you work!

When it comes to enjoying our daily lives, often it’s the smallest things that have the most positive impact. Earning your paycheck after working for two weeks is great, but that smile and warm hug from someone you helped could make your entire week (and more!). These little moments are the things to truly live for. They can help us stay positive and learn to find delight.

For this reason, I’d love to know – how many things make you smile in a day? Would counting them somehow impede your natural tendency to smile? Would simply adding more things in your life to help you do so improve your life even in the small matters? There are many things to give you that toothy grin, but the following can help:

Something To Love

It’s important to keep something you love around you at all times. Of course, family is usually the first thing people think of when the word ‘love’ comes to mind, and so in these instances, it might be worth keeping a picture of your loved ones on your work desk or kicking it old school with some wallet-sized prints.

Continually reminding yourself of who you love in any given day might not only feel wonderful, but it can help you remember the reason for your daily efforts in the first place. Experience a bad day at work? Simply seeing your newlywed wife’s photograph might help you get through it that little bit easier. 

Something To Excite

It’s important to stay excited in life. This might mean looking forward to a vacation, becoming part of a new community, or anticipating the moment you break a fitness PR in the gym after work. When you have things to look forward to, you will feel much more infused with positive energy, and it also helps you stay engaged in the world around you.

Something To Laugh

Something that makes you laugh can be essential to keeping your mindset happy and open. Laughter has the wonderful ability to connect people and help them forget their issues. This might be as simple as telling your boyfriend a silly joke from time to time, checking out stand-up comedy and finding some favorites in that field, or spicing up your office with things that help you crack a grin. (These novelty desk plates are always a crowd favorite.) Laughter shows us that the world isn’t as self-serious as we thought, and can honestly lift our spirits quite unlike everything else. 

What little things make you smile throughout your day? Do you consider yourself a happy person? Do you think surrounding yourself with things to love, excite, and laugh about would make you a more effective worker? Why or why not?