For the love of BOOKS!

What have you been reading lately? While I believe ALL seasons are great for reading, Fall weather feels especially conducive. Don’t you think? There’s something so lovely about curling up on the couch because, hey, it’s already dark outside…but in reality you still have plenty of hours ’til bedtime.

I think Anne, of Green Gables fame, said it best —

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Sad to see October go. But so excited for what books lay ahead in November! If you’re in the same boat, here are some books I’ve read recently that I’d recommend for next month’s evening couch sessions:

Sharp Objects
Delancey
Honeymoon in Purdah
Under the Banner of Heaven
All the Light We Cannot See
The Vacationers
Some Girls
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

I’m currently reading The Silver Star, which is written by the same person who wrote The Glass Castle. My friend recently recommended Nevada (I added it to my reading list right away), and my mom and sister both LOVED The Electric Woman. Also, I recently saw someone perform an amazing oral interpretation of a story from Her Body and Other Parties, which totally made me want to reread.

So, what are YOU reading? Anything you’ve read in the last few years that you can’t stop recommending to people? Would love to hear!!

P.S. How to make time for books.

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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…

LIST 1
LIST 2 
LIST 3
LIST 4
LIST 5
LIST 6

LIST 7
LIST 8]

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? I’m headed to Bowling Green on Friday, and I can’t wait to be wowed by the WKU Forensics Team. The weather has been cooling in these parts and the sun has that magical autumn sparkle. I’m loving any excuse to take a brisk walk, and we’ve been making lots of fall-weather foods – like Cincinnati chili, gumbo, and Girl Scout stew. And thank you to everyone who has taken the time to check out my podcast! It has been a blast making it and I can’t wait for you to hear all the upcoming episodes. Have a wonderful Wednesday, and enjoy these links from ’round the world wide web…

How to make a Beyonce at Coachella Halloween costume.

The FBI of the National Park Services handles the complex crimes committed on NPS land.

Who does “Southern femininity” really belong to?

Related: Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

The power and legacy of Amererica’s female spirtualists.

Social media is turning an art form into an industry.

The $11 drugstore item Queen Elizabeth uses to fall asleep.

Cool timelapse. (…but very triggering if you ever had braces, lol.)

West Virginia’s small-town revival.

Isolated nomads are under siege in the Amazon jungle.

How to eat your way through Nashville in one day.

The perfect morning workout.

Related: A 12 Day Workout Challenge 

A woman’s paycheck is influenced by her hometown — even if she doesn’t live there anymore.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — How to Spend Your Time Helping Others and A Random Read.

Do or Don’t: Command Centers

The offending wall. (She’s naked!!!)

One HUGE advantage to our little home in Alabama is that I have a dedicated home office. I love having a space for my desk that’s not about one foot away from where I sleep (like it was in Miami!). I also have a closet (for overflow crap), some drawer storage for craft supplies, a book shelf, and a comfy chair by the window (mostly for my cat/office assistant lol).

But one piece of my home office puzzle that I haven’t quite figured out yet? One big, blank wall. I have my desk against one wall, and all the others either have a door or a window, but then there’s a HUGE blank canvas on the other side.

I’ve been picking up pieces here and there for a potential gallery wall…but then I stumbled upon an idea on Pinterest. A command center! Many examples that I found seemed to be more geared towards household/large family management, yet I think they could be adapted to fit a freelancer’s needs! What do you think?

Here are 5 inspiring examples…

(From Beneath My Heart)

(From The Happy Housie)

(From Sarah Rosemary)

(From The Idea Room)

(From Simply September)

What do you think? Have you ever made a command center? Do you think having one in a home office would be helpful?

Breaking a Habit

Did you know that most Americans check their phones on average between 80 and 300 (!) times a day? In fact, a study in 2017 found we only go about 12 minutes between putting our phone down and picking it back up again.

Yikes!

Because I work with multiple clients – and sometimes with multiple accounts for each client – I’m constantly getting emails, notifications, or checking up on things online. Sometimes I do this from my phone and sometimes at my computer. So, even if I check my phone MORE than 300 times in a day, I don’t necessarily mind.

But what I DO mind is when picking it up leads me down the rabbit hole of looking through a bunch of different things…clicking here and clicking there…scrolling, scrolling…and THEN putting the phone down. (I’m also guilty of this habit on the computer–I’ll just click around and not really read or take anything in!)

It’s such a time suck and I know there are a million and one things I’d rather be doing with those precious minutes. So, I need a plan.

Here’s what I’m thinking —

a) Focused mornings.  For the first few hours of my work day I’ll leave my phone in the other room and stay off distracting websites.
b) Implement one unplugged day a week. Try to keep all phone and internet usage to a minimum every Saturday. (Full disclosure: I tried kicking this off already and it was a bit of a fail…WORK IN PROGRESS!)
c) Do my research. I’ve heard this book is really good.

What am I missing?

Do you have a habit you want to break? What are you doing to make it happen? Have you successfully broken the habit of mindless scrolling?! TELL ME EVERYTHING!

A Halloween-Themed Pocket Letter

Halloween Pocket Letter

BOO! Halloween is right around the corner! Which means it is the perfect time to bust out some of my more spoooOOOoooky craft supplies. Here’s a Halloween-themed pocket letter I recently whipped up.

Some of the stickers and the washi tape at the bottom were purchased from Blitsy this year (I couldn’t resist!), but the rest of the stuff I had in my stash. My favorite part about making themed pocked letters is going through my craft drawers to pull out anything I think is “on theme.” I usually don’t end up using everything but the process of picking out materials is a really calming activity for some reason.

Now, to tuck some goodies in the back and mail it off to brighten someone’s day.

WANNA SWAP? 

Maybe I’ll even throw in some fun-size candy bars

P.S. A pocket letter inspired by children’s book illustrations!

mid-week round-up

crocodile in the grass

What’s up? How’s everyone doing? My birthday was on Friday and I had a wonderful weekend of celebrating. It finally felt like TRUE Fall so all celebrations were appropriately autumnal — read: apple orchard visits, pumpkin pie baking, grilled brats, and Oktoberfest beers. Hope y’all are enjoying the season as much as I am! Now, here are a few links I found for your enjoyment…

What the daughter of a psychic learned from her mom.

Serious #HomeGoals (and it’s in Alabama!).

Related: Empty House Tour

I’ll take one of each, please!

Retail workers are more vulnerable than ever.

The ghosts of the glacier.

Thinking ahead to Christmas pocket letters.

Related: A Spring-Themed Pocket Letter

The love story that upended the Texas prison system.

She was 16. He was 25. Should marrying a child be allowed? 

Related: An (Un)arranged Marriage

High school students are tackling Kentucky’s mental health crisis.

Steve Carell aged like a fine wine. 🙂

Myth busting Banksy.

This chocolate bark sounds yummy.

and episode 6 of Uncovered the Podcast (featuring a popular Lady Gaga conspiracy theory and info about a cult lead by 90’s hunk Andrew Keegan!)

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and The 5 Things That Turned Me Into a Shower Lover.

P.P.S. If you love my weekly links and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE.

Podcast Recommendation: Getting Curious

getting curious podcast recommendation

If you, like pretty much everyone in the world EVER, greedily binge watched Queer Eye in a manner of days (or a singular day…no judgement here), then you’re already acquainted with Jonathan Van Ness in all his quirky glory…

YAS HENNY! 

…But did you know he has a podcast?

Getting Curious is a weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan is curious about. He invites experts in their respective fields to come on the show and give him a crash course in whatever it is they know best. I love that premise, don’t you? Life-long learning, baby! From scientists to CEOs, actresses and authors to his QE cast-mates…the questions are many and the answers are entertaining and educational.

Definitely check this one out if you haven’t already. I listened to a bunch of epis on my recent drive back from Lexington and was so grateful for the binge-worthy, thought provoking material that just kept comin’!

Have you listened to Getting Curious? What are your go-to podcasts these days?

P.S. JVN’s podcast is doubly inspiring to me because I have a tiny baby podcast (she’s only 6 epis old!) that I co-host with my bff Katie. CLICK HERE to check it out. xoxo

Day of the Girl at BLUME!

meet blume day of the girl malala fund

Just wanted to quickly pop on to let you guys know about a company I love, supporting a cause I ALSO love.

Blume offers safe, sustainable period products and lets you build a customizable box with everything you need to make your time of the month more bearable. You start with the base box that works for you. Choose your products, add-ons, and the frequency. They take care of the rest.

And the Malala Fund is an international, non-profit organization that fights for girls’ education. It was founded by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and her father, Ziauddin.

[You can read more about Malala’s story in THIS POST.]

Today, Blume is donating ALL profits to the Malala Fund in honor of Day of the Girl, so head over to www.meetblume.com to help make a difference. Boxes start at $11/month (and I especially love their PMS oil). 

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? Friday is my birthday!!! I’ve requested Cincinnati chili for dinner, and I think we’ll try to hit up an apple orchard/pumpkin patch situation this weekend. (Has anyone ever made a pumpkin pie with an actual pumpkin? Chet wants to give it a go but it seems rather daunting, lol.) Happy MY birthday to all of you, and here are a few links for your perusal…

Remember the ’80s, when men preferred Hanes and could legally rape their wives?

How to dress like a celebrity.

On my Christmas wishlist.

Are cities making animals smarter?

These would be cute in a kitchen or breakfast nook.

Learning to live small (in a dumpster).

Misty Copeland is pirouetting her way to Disney fame.

An off-the-grid London community is protesting Heathrow’s third runway.

Lost Appalachian burial customs.

A novel about a missing girl and a Serial-like podcast seeking answers.

The simple requests of the McDonald’s anti-sexual harassment protests.

The rise of Catherine de’ Medici.

and episode 5 of Uncovered the Podcast (featuring theories about Avril Lavigne’s clone and my favorite Elvis sightings!)

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Books To Read if You’re in Search of a History Lesson and Jacket Potatoes.

P.P.S. If you love my weekly links and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE.