mid-week round-up

How have you been, guys? We had a fantastic time in Savannah celebrating the wedding of our friends Katie & Marc! It was so much fun getting to spend time with them, along with other friends and my family, and experiencing a bit of such a great Southern city. (I’m thinking of writing a post about some of the restaurants we enjoyed while there, if y’all are interested!) They had a beautiful garden ceremony in historic downtown and the reception was at a restaurant overlooking the river. So, so magical! Now that we’re back to reality, I’m slowly but surely getting unpacked and slogging my way through a very full inbox. Beam me back to champagne toasts and Spanish moss, plz!

Links for you…

A horchata-inspired protein shake perfect for summertime breakfasts.

How water affects people attempting to cross the Mexico – U.S. border.
It’s expected that anyone crossing the border will lose access to clean water. Bonds compares the journey to the Hunger Games — and the audience is everyone who watches, especially during this administration, without doing a thing. “You’re hunted,” she says. “Maybe water falls from the sky if you’re lucky on that day. You’re going to die or almost die trying to get here.”

Related: Border Angels leaves dozens of gallon jugs of water in the desert along high-traffic migrant paths. DONATE HERE.

Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel lays bare the horrors of collusion with the patriarchy.

So many cute things in the new Cupcakes and Cashmere online store. (Especially these earrings, this candle, and this pillow.)

An open letter to the creators of S-Town.

Books Through Bars distributes free books and educational materials to prisoners. (I love that they have an Amazon Wishlist so it is super easy to donate!)

Related: I’m near the end of Season One of Prison Break and if those dudes don’t bust out soon I SWEAR TO GOD.

Gorgeous copper flatware would certainly elevate your next dinner party (or weeknight meal).

A day in the life of a food vendor.

What began as an attempt at a simpler life quickly became a lifestyle brand. #vanlife
Scroll through the images tagged #vanlife on Instagram and you’ll see plenty of photos that don’t have much to do with vehicles: starry skies, campfires, women in leggings doing yoga by the ocean. Like the best marketing terms, “vanlife” is both highly specific and expansive. It’s a one-word life-style signifier that has come to evoke a number of contemporary trends: a renewed interest in the American road trip, a culture of hippie-inflected outdoorsiness, and a life free from the tyranny of a nine-to-five office job.

Love the idea behind this craft project subscription box!

Buckets of opportunity in Rural America.

Crime, addiction, and religion meet at the greyhound race track.

P.S. Here are a couple Finding Delight posts you may enjoy — Meal Planning for Beginners in 7 Easy Steps and It’s All an Illusion.

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April Unboxed: Beauty Box 5

You guys! I recently got my third box from Beauty Box 5 and would love to share the contents, if you’re game. In case you missed previous posts, Beauty Box 5 is a subscription service that sends 5 new beauty products straight to your doorstep each month.

The boxes are $12/month ($10 if you order quarterly and $9 if you pay for the whole year!) and are guaranteed to include at least $35 of product. The brands are a mix of drugstore tried & trues, innovative indie, and deluxe…and so far the majority of products included are full size. Oh, and did I mention FREE SHIPPING on U.S. subscriptions? Ka-ching!

Here’s everything that was included in the April box! 4 out of 5 of the products were full size for a total retail value of about  45 buckaroos. Let’s take a look…

Highlight Fan Brush from BB5 (Retail: $12)

This brush is super soft and the perfect shape for applying all sorts of products (I found this video to be a helpful tutorial). This versatility allows me to apply the accompanying blush as a highlighter, too!

 

Rose Gold Lash Curler from Sweep (Retail: $15.99)

While I may not be game for falsies (see: last month), an eyelash curler I can handle. Since I didn’t currently own any, I was happy to receive one (and in such a pretty rose gold no less!).

 

Gold Bobby Pins from Did Hair (Retail: $8.50)

As someone who pretty much lives in a ballerina bun, I can always use bobby pins! The true shade of gold isn’t picking up in the pic but trust me–these will elevate my fave everyday hairstyle.

 

Blush in SPOILED from Be a Bombshell (Retail: $6)

The color of this blush looks lovely on the apples of the cheeks but also makes a pretty highlighter when dusted on the high points of the face. I love any product that can play double duty!

 

Vitamin-C Sheet Mask from Jean Pierre (Retail: $12.99 for set of 5)

This sheet mask contains Vitamin C extracts which help to brighten, regenerate, and hydrate skin. I can’t wait to #treatmyself to this at-home spa treatment.

 

Overall, I love that Beauty Box 5 includes hair and skin-care products along with new-to-me makeup. Which product would you be most excited to try out? Do you have a favorite makeup subscription service? I would totally recommend Beauty Box 5 (even if you’re product clueless like me!). 

*Note – This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Finding Delight.

Savannah Bound! (+ a few links)

I’m off to Savannah, y’all! This Saturday, my dear friend Katie is marrying the love of her life! I can’t wait to celebrate such wonderful people in such a beautiful city. We’ve got a pretty packed schedule so I won’t be ’round these parts much until next week. I’ll be too busy drinking copious glasses of rosé and gushing over how beautiful my BFF looks in all her wedding-wear!!! (But feel free to follow me on Instagram.)

Here’s a few links before I go…

A course called Dolly’s America at the University of Tennessee is devoted to the life story of Dolly Parton + music, history, and Appalachian pride. Sign me up!

An archivist uncovers LIFE magazine’s mysterious quarter.

Light-skin-tone emojis are used far less often in the U.S. than their darker counterparts. Does shame explain the disparity?

Inside the underground anti-racist movement that brings the fight to white supremacists.

This adorable Jyn Erso cosplayer handed out Death Star plans to every Princess Leia.

Hope you have a great week! xoxo

Found: A Perfect Warm Weather Dish

orzo salad andie mitchell

Doesn’t this orzo salad recipe sound delicious? It would be perfect to whip up a big bowl on Sunday evening and munch on for lunch all week long. Or to bring along the next time you need to contribute a side! So fresh and zingy. It just seems like the most fantastic warm-weather dish.

Do you have any summer dishes you’re itching to bust out? It’s almost that time again!!!

P.S. A few other warm weather favorites that also fit the bill — Chicken Pad Thai Salad and Greek Quinoa Salad.

(Image by Andie Mitchell.) 

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!

14 Ways to Take Meaningful Breaks

As the queen of leaving projects to the last minute, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to settle in for the long haul without losing my mind. I think we’ve all been there. (Especially if you’re someone who enjoys working under pressure.) The rest of life got in the way in the weeks leading up to a deadline, and you find yourself chained to your laptop with a marathon’s worth of work to tackle.

My secret to making it out unscathed? Meaningful breaks.

Choose an amount of time (like 45 minutes to an hour), set a timer, and start ticking things off the to-do list without stopping. Then, when the time is up TAKE A BREAK (like for 15-30 minutes).

Related: A Formula for Perfect Productivity: Work for 52 Minutes, Break for 17 ]

Below, I’ve listed 14 meaningful breaks that I find helpful to cycle through as I hammer away on a project.

Take a shower.

This is especially helpful if you didn’t get a lot of great rest. Showers are like liquid sleep! Use a body wash like this one and breathe in deep. Massage your scalp as you lather up your hair. Get that blood flowing to your brain!

Fill up your water bottle.

Gotta stay hydrated! Fill up your favorite vessel and take time to drink as much as you like as you stare into space. Feelin’ fancy? Add some fruit or cucumbers or herbs and get a lil infusion action going.

Watch a YouTube video.

Sometimes you just need to switch your brain off for a few minutes. But turning on the TV or firing up Netflix may distract to the point of disaster. YouTube to the rescue! There’s a zillion different kinds of content to choose from (Cats! Makeup tutorials! Hydraulic press! Cooking miniature meals!) and most are a reasonable length. Go nuts for 10-15 minutes and then switch that brain back on.

Make a list of the day’s accomplishments.

I’ve mentioned this before, but a “shit I’ve already done list” can sometimes quell the panic of a seemingly insurmountable “shit I still need to do list.”

Eat a snack.

Go fix yourself something healthy to eat!

Love on your pet.

Taking care of someone else for a few minutes is a great way to snap out of it if you’re feeling like EVERYTHING IS THE WORST. So if you have a pet, go make sure they have food and fresh water. Take them outside to run or toss around a toy. Get out their brush for a lil grooming sesh. Give them lots of pets.

Head to your closet for a costume change.

I like to capitalize on the surge of productivity I feel as soon as I wake up…which usually means I’m in pj’s and then *whoops* several hours have gone by. So a simple costume change if you’re in my boat is to just go get dressed. But you can also change from your everyday clothes to workout clothes if you plan on working out later. Change from uncomfortable clothes to comfy ones. Or switch it up for a change of pace in the aesthetics department.

Handle a “personal admin” task.

You can’t press pause on life because you’re under a deadline. Reply to an email. Pay your phone bill. Grab groceries. Schedule that dentist appointment. You get the drift.

Work up a sweat.

One time, during a looooong (and boring) day of work-from-home projects, I did 10 push-ups/10 sit-ups/10 squats during every break. Not only did the time FLY by…but I was sore as heck the next day. Ha! For a less crazy approach, go for a jog outside or queue up a 30 min HIIT workout on YouTube. Roll out your yoga mat and stretch out.

Have a solo dance party.

Put on your favorite song and jam like no one’s watching. Because they aren’t. Repeat until you’re sufficiently pumped.

Tidy up a little.

Just like with the “personal admin” tasks, tackling a quick chore or two will feel like you’re accomplishing something…even when your BIG accomplishment for the day is hours away. I like to do the dishes or make my bed. (Which also helps to make your space feel more productive.)

Chat with another human being.

Working on a project solo can start to feel really isolating. Pick up the phone and catch up with a friend or meet a friend for a quick cup of coffee.

Switch up your surroundings.

Usually if I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, it’s time to pack up and head somewhere new. It’s amazing the second wind you can achieve just by heading to a second location!

Go for a walk.

Fresh air! Natural light! Even if you only circle the block, you might just have that break-through “A-HA!” moment once your legs are pumping and your mind is allowed to wander a little.

Over to you! What are your favorite ways to take meaningful breaks in the midst of a marathon work sesh? Share below!! xoxo 

P.S. 4 Career Building Tips for the Newly Hired and Let’s Talk Personality (Tests).

My Dream Living Room in 10 Easy Steps

living room inspiration
You know how when Oprah was touting The Secret, she told us we could turn our dreams into reality through the power of vision boards? Yeah? Well, sometimes I log onto Polyvore.com and next thing I know “OOPS!” several hours have passed and I tell myself…“You did it for Future-Beth’s dream home, kid. Someday she’ll thank you!” 
With that in mind, here’s my latest living room VISION BOARD. Peacock blue + neutrals + mid-century modern + mixed metals and woods. A dream room which, through 10 “easy” steps, could easily be turned into a home decor reality…

1. Dramatic, floor-length curtains.

I love these affordable panels from Target in a slate grey.

2. Over-sized prints – framed and hung prominently.

Something about pairing a raw, black & white photograph with a more ethereal and colorful, Impressionist-inspired painting makes me feel like the room is balanced.

3. Pretty details to create added interest.

Wouldn’t this botanical print from Refinery Paper Co. look sweet hanging by a brass binder clip? And wouldn’t it be fun to DIY a decoupage ampersand? Yes and yes!

4. Long sofa for streeeeetching out.

A three-seat sofa in a pretty peacock blue, please and thank you.

5. Upright lamp to shed light on the situation.

I like tall lamps with a long arm to create some depth. I also like not having to rely on harsh ceiling lights when I’m trying to get cozy with a good book.

6. A side table aka landing pad for morning cups of coffee and evening cocktails.

The pattern created by the metalwork on this side table mimics the interlaced fingers in the black & white photograph and that’s no accident. Drawing coordination inspiration from elements other than color is a favorite decorating tip of mine!

7. Funky armchair.

Normally asymmetry would drive me bonkers…but this chair has so much personality!

8. Geometric rug, featuring colors to tie it all together.

The gentle blue wave pattern adds a relaxing element.

9. Flickering candles and potted plants for added ambiance.

I love these simple lanterns with cut-out stars and succulents in a small copper planter.

10. A stunning marble coffee table.

Because I really hope marble never goes out of style!

Do you ever lose hours on Polyvore or Pinterest planning out your dream home? Would any of these 10 elements find themselves featured in your dream living room? Got any great resources for home decor inspiration? SHARE BELOW!!!

P.S. Cool Poster Round-Up! Cute Guest Room Round-Up!

mid-week round-up

Hi friends! What’s new with you? I finally watched a few more Oscar’s endorsed films over the weekend — Lion and Arrival. Highly recommend if you still haven’t seen them! Monday I was glued to my computer screen as I watched the results roll in from the National Forensics Association’s national tournament in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Huge congratulations to the students and coaches at Western Kentucky University for taking home the win! I was a very proud Hilltopper. (And may or may not have gotten a little misty-eyed when the news broke that WKU closed out debate finals…as well as when 3 females from the team took top 3 in After Dinner Speaking. #4sup4ever)

I could gush about forensics forever but I’ll get to the links…

Unarmed. Not wearing a seatbelt. Running away. Police are more likely to shoot if you’re black. 

This looks like a fun read if you’re feelin’ wanderlust-y.

Related: My seven travel tips for airports and planes.

People waste years trying not to waste hours, says best-selling author of Moneyball.

Yesterday’s Taco Tuesday inspiration.

After watching Lion, I immediately donated to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. You should too!

Will circular runways ever take off? 

A new generation of hoarders has emerged — and they’re mobile.

A journey from Real World to homeless shelter.

Love Scandal? Create your own hit, prime-time show with Shonda’s help.

Quick, somebody “Saaave” Miami from Estrella Insurance’s sexist ads.

What it’s like to be a cheesemonger.

Related: Don’t Hide Your Hustle.

Take a hair quiz and get personalized shampoo + conditioner sent straight to your door.

P.S. Still feel like reading? Check out these Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Three Fun Office Updates and Book Review: Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace.

A Whimsical Round-Up

Honestly feeling too tired today to do anything but Google whimsical woodland gentlemen. And wouldn’t it be a little selfish of me to NOT share my findings? Obvi.

Here are 5 items you should probably purchase if you, like me, low-key wanted to marry David the Gnome when you were little because his main form of transportation was a FOX and he slept in a cupboard!

David the Gnome Tea Towel – $8.00

The More You Gnome Zen Garden – $29.99

Gnome Planner Stickers – $2.75

Rolling With the Gnomies Mug – $14.99

Cheeky Gnome Wrapping Paper – 5 sheets for $15 

Now I really want to DIY a dupe for that gnome zen garden. Maybe Dollar Tree still has fairy garden accessories for sale.

Ok, time to return to productivity and the far-less-whimsical real world. But no need for you to do the same! In fact, go ahead and click the “David the Gnome” link up top. You’ll be rewarded with 26 episodes of gnome shenanigans! You’re welcome.

(Illustration by Rien Poortvliet.)

March Resolutions – How Did I Do?

Happy April, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out past months HERE.) Here’s how I did in March…

March Resolution #1. Up my comment game on other blogs. 

I read, or at least scroll and skim, a RIDICULOUS amount of blog posts each week. As I mention in my very first post ever, I’ve been a fan of the medium since the early days. I had an online journal in the early aughts and, when that faded into obscurity, I followed several lifestyle bloggers with cult-like consistency.

When I was settling on resolutions, I tried to find a balance of betterment within every aspect of my life. So when I reflected on how I could make positive changes in how I approach blogging, I realized I need to stop being a lurker and start joining the conversation. (Not to mention, according to The Secret, you get what you give. And I’m tryin’ to get more blog comments, too. #keepinitreal)

So in March, I joined a few blogger Facebook groups and have tried to engage with folks as much as possible. We trade comments and brainstorm collaborations. It’s been a lot of fun!

There are still a TON of blogs I visit on the regs that I don’t often (or ever) comment on. I hope they’re happy to let me continue lurking. Haha!

Going forward: I’ll continue to stay active in the blogger groups I’ve joined. I’ll find a few non-group, new-to-me homies and resolve to comment on their posts with regularity. I’ll respond to the comments on my own posts when I want to keep the conversation going!

March Resolution #2. Keep fresh flowers in the house. Don’t scrimp on the anticipation aspect of travel. 

Yes, I switched this resolution mid-month. Whoops! But hear me out… When planning out each month’s resolutions in my journal I thought committing to a nice grocery store bouquet of flowers on the regular would be a worthy pursuit. Fast forward to every time I went grocery shopping in the first week or so of March and I realized I needed to scrap this idea. As I picked up and put down bouquets and mulled over price tags, I came to the conclusion that these colorful blooms just wouldn’t bring me enough happiness to justify their expense. And I’m ok with that.

So! Did I accept defeat and call it quits on having 2 resolutions for March? NOPE! Back to the drawing board.

Knowing that I had two upcoming trips in April, I chose to work on something that I’ve recently noticed about myself. I’m not so good at the anticipation aspect of travel. It’s like I know I have an upcoming trip but I tell myself NOT to think about it until the time draws near. This means I’m missing out! According to a 2010 study,  just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it.

I think shying away from anticipation is a holdover from college speech & debate. We traveled to so many tournaments throughout the year that there wasn’t really enough time to put a whole lot of thought into the process ahead of time. We just packed our suitcases and off we went. And then we did again the next week.

But now! I’m leaning into the planning and anticipation of travel. Googling, asking for recommendations, packing lists, “to-do before I leave” lists, etc, etc!

Going forward: I won’t try to trick myself into thinking my trips are spontaneous…I’ll relish in all the happiness they can give me before I even embark!!!

Alright friends, let’s keep things going in April!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Three months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!