Tag Archives: happiness

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?


mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week, my friends? With Chet still out of town, I’ve been holed up getting work projects done during the day and watching ridiculous movies at night (and eating super, single-lady burritos for dinner, ha!). I’ve barely left the house since getting back from California! Speaking of, would you be interested in reading what I did in L.A.? I’m thinking about posting something on Friday. 🙂 Hope you have a magnificent evening, and here are some links for your reading pleasure…

States that give midwives a greater role in patient care achieve better results on key measures of maternal and neonatal health.

When did Americans stop marrying their cousins?

Portraits of hard living in America.

5 unexpected things happy people have in their kitchens.

Related: Tips and Tricks for Surviving (and cooking) in a Tiny Kitchen

As more American parents work low-wage jobs with unusual hours, they’re turning to 24-7 daycare centers to help raise their children.

Dolly Parton likes to give away books.

Related: 5 reasons I can’t get enough Dolly

The new “Queer Eye” is a reboot, not a retread.

Have you ever used magnesium oil to help with muscle soreness?

Men write history, but women live it.

Related: Books to read if you’re in search of a history lesson…

Wouldn’t this look adorable on the mantel of a California bungalow?

The homeless in L.A. are not who you think they are.

Why inner-city schools don’t have mass shootings.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Lexington Eats: Where + What and Five Great Poetry Books!

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? Suffice to say, our slow reintroduction phase after our Whole 30 sorta went out the window as Hurricane Irma blew into town. (We evacuated on Day 31…yikes!) So I’m trying to get back on track and figure out what permanent dietary changes I want to make moving forward. I’m planning to make a pizza without cheese tonight. I’ll let you know how that goes (sorta feels like blasphemy!). I’m also plowing my way through this book, and I can’t wait to find out how it ends. Hope you have a great rest of your week, and here are some links for perusal purposes…

Inside a quiet revolution in the study of the world’s other great kingdom.

Michael Twitty’s new book explains how the story of Southern food is the story of the African-American experience, starting with slavery.

Related: Order the book HERE.

Reclaiming my time.

Dude. This book looks like SUCH a page turner.

Related: Book Review: A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

Melania Trump, hurricane heels, and the artifice of fashion.

When we experience art, we feel connected to something larger. Why? 

On the ground in Pyongyang: Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation?

101 ways to cheer yourself up, if you’re down in the dumps.

Hurricane Irma: historic and harrowing.

Related: Hurricane Irma: What I Learned & How to Help

The bad science behind campus response to sexual assault.

Academics uncover 30 words “lost” from English language.

My favorite mascara.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Are you a word nerd? and A College English Teacher’s Take on Last Chance U.

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? We actually started a Whole 30 on Monday. Have you ever done one? Any tips?? We seem to be right on track with the timeline of symptoms for completely cutting out sugar. Days 2-3 are known as The Hangover phase and “many Whole30ers report headaches, fatigue, and general malaise.” Haha, noted. Hope you have a good one, and eat a baked good for me! Now, on to the links…

A solar eclipse is coming to America (Aug 21!). Here’s what you’ll see where you live.

New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy.

Downton Abbey movie is in the works!!! (In case you’re wondering what Lady Mary is up to.)

Related: For the love of DOWNTON!

Every year, the sky “rains fish.” Explanations vary.

Do emoji have grammar? 

This title made me laugh.

Armed with science (and snark), a gynecologist takes on Trump, Goop, and all manner of bizarre health trends.

Applying lessons from cholera to the opioid crisis.

Inside New York City’s housing crisis.

This food bank goes beyond the pantry and invests in the local community.

Love crafting but hate shopping for supplies? Check out this subscription service.

Related: DIY: Paper flowers on canvas with Home Made Luxe.

State-sanctioned efforts to keep the incarcerated from reproducing began in the early 20th century and continue today.

P.S. Here are a few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Restaurants Are Not Food Culture and 100 Abandoned Houses.

mid-week round-up

pop of color bird

What are you up to this week, friends? My mom is flying down to visit us on Saturday, and I can’t wait to show her around. I hope she’s ready for lots of tropical plants and Cuban food! I just finished the book “Me Before You.” Have you read it? Chet’s mom mailed it to me the other day (Thanks!) and once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. I’m looking forward to the movie! Hope you all have a wonderful day, and now check out these links…

A perfect cocktail for adult summer camp.

The female journalists on Hillary’s campaign trail.

How self-deprecation is taking over the internet.

For summertime travels.

Would you try The Pomodoro Technique?

How to make an origami corner heart bookmark.

If Hillary could go back in time to tell one person she’d been nominated for president…

An algorithm that unpacks the master rhymes in Hamilton.

Thoughts from a refugee camp.

Chicken, leek, and pea pasta bake.

How Hawaiian immersion schools saved the Hawaiian language.

9 contradictions to embrace for greater happiness.

Tackling that nagging, unfinished project.

unhung gallery wall

How do you go about tackling those nagging, unfinished projects looming about your life? Gretchen Rubin, author of the book The Happiness Project (a book I love, btw!) has the following resolution when it comes to such things: Finish the things I’ve started. Or put an end to them.”

I love that! A few years ago I applied this same principle to books. I had a bad habit of starting a book with great intentions, finding I didn’t like it that much, and then letting it sit on my nightstand for the next month as I told myself day in and day out, “I really should finish that book.” But then *lightbulb!* I realized I could read so. much. more. when I focused on books I loved and abandoned those I didn’t. Makes total sense that this could be applicable to other areas of one’s life.

Now, I know this wouldn’t work for everything. There are certain projects that just have to get done and can’t be cast aside for other pursuits. Like taxes. Gotta do ’em! But I can think of a lot of other instances where giving myself one of only two options: 1) put everything away and just call it quits OR 2) just do the damn thing! would make for just the kick in the pants I need. And make sure, just like with the books, that I’m only pursuing projects I’m actually passionate about.

What do you think? How do YOU tackle nagging, unfinished projects? 


(Photo via here by Janne Peters.)

Invest in Yourself!

It can be difficult in the midst of all life’s many commitments to find meaningful ways to invest in yourself and the things you love. Life is busy. How can we utilize the little pockets of time – tucked-in between work, relationships, and keeping dirty dishes from piling up – to their greatest effect? How do we know what will truly make us happy? What sorts of things are worth it? Worth giving of our time and of ourselves? The answers to these questions are highly personal but with a bit of reflection you can start to identify some areas. Once you do, COMMIT. Invest in yourself!

do something today

We do all sorts of things over the course of 365 days. But what did you do last year that you look back on with fondness? Maybe you recall knitting a gorgeous scarf for your sister or throwing a really rocking party. Whatever it was, the fact that you can remember it a year later and it STILL brings you joy means it’s probably a pursuit worth repeating. When I look back on the past 52 weeks, a lot of my fond memories involve outdoor adventures. Not anything complex or super planned. Just afternoon trips to nearby hiking trails, laying on a blanket in a park, walking through city streets casually stopping to admire architecture, and splashing out into the ocean. To invest in myself I need to play outside. 

Action – Start brainstorming some memories from last year and make a list of those things you remember doing that still bring you joy.

life is tricky

Sometimes your path leads you down unexpected detours you must traverse with extra caution and care. When this happens, and times get tough, what sort of magic do you cloak yourself with to see yourself through to the light at the end of the tunnel? Whether you’re the sort of person who needs cheering up or relaxing or full-out distractions…what are the things that make you feel like YOU, that give you the tiniest sense of stability on those rocky detours? My journey has certainly veered a time or two. I’ve found walking to be the greatest compass to lead me back. Just the right mix of motion, introspection, and endorphins. I also love throwing myself into projects that require a lot of research. Solving lots of little mysteries to put together a bigger picture makes me feel useful and makes me feel like ME. To invest in myself I need to move my feet and move my mind. 

Action – Journal about a tough time in your life and what sorts of things you turned to see yourself through. How did you stay in your magic?

the secret society

Everyone has most likely uttered something to the effect of, “You wouldn’t understand unless you were ….”. Something that feels like a “Secret Society” because it is so unique to those involved in it. Maybe it sounds like you’re speaking a second language when you talk about it. Random story: The other day Chet borrowed my camera to take pictures of his new computer keyboard with custom keycaps. When I scrolled through his images I noticed there was a shot of his keyboard next to a shoe. Puzzled, he explained to me that it was common in the “keyboard community” to post pictures of your most used keyboard next to your most used shoes. LOL WHUT? ….but I love it! Just the fact that he knows that…and then DID it means he’s in a secret society that’s worth it for him. Secret societies let you see the big picture. One of my favorite secret societies is competitive forensics. I competed in speech & debate for 11 years and coached full-time for 3. I still love so many aspects of this world because these are my people and they speak my language. To invest in myself I need to spend time with my secret societies. 

Action – Chat with a fellow secret society member about all the ways other people just wouldn’t understand.

if i had a flower

My mind wanders to the most random things. I’m sure yours does, too. We’re dreamers after-all. It’s when patterns start to emerge in these thoughts that you should start taking note! Are you constantly thinking about a certain comedian? Art supplies? Clever hashtags for your Instgram? Are your thoughts drifting to hiking trails, dance routines, your favorite store, your favorite band, your next meal? Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe these thoughts are your flowers! I have a few go-to’s when it comes to day-dreaming and random Googling: capsule wardrobes, historical medical practices, tiny homes, backpacking, and obscure subcultures. An over-whelming need to DO something with these thoughts was one of the main reasons I started this blog. To invest in myself I need to spend time in my garden and pick a few flowers to share with others along the way. 

Action – Identify three ways you can get recurring thoughts out of your head-space and into REAL space and then FOLLOW THROUGH! How can you spend time in your garden and share it’s beauty with others?

out of the mouths of babes

One of my favorite pieces of advice about finding ways to BE HAPPY is to look to your childhood. Looking at yourself as a child through adult eyes can be truly inspiring when it comes to where you should invest. What made you happy when you were little? How did you love spending your time when responsibilities were at a minimum and time seemed to stretch out into infinity? I loved making things out of cast-offs (I even told my parents I wanted to be a recycling lady when I grew up because I thought that meant turning trash into art), traveling (I was fortunate to see a LOT of places before my 18th birthday), dancing ballet, and reading lots and lots and LOTS of books. So what does that mean for me now? I like doing little DIY projects(like Pocket Letters) and exploring new-to-me places. I don’t go en pointe any more but an almost daily yoga practice makes me feel stretched and strong in much the same ways as ballet. And I read as much as I possibly can. To invest in myself I need to pay tribute to my child-self. 

Action – Make a plan. What childhood favorite can you do daily? Weekly? Monthly? Set up a schedule and stick to it. Make your child-self proud!

What are you doing to invest in yourself TODAY? Is making time for yourself something you’re striving for in 2016? Leave a comment and let me know! 

mid-week round-up

big green fellow

What are you up to this week? Fall is here!!! Even in South Florida the weather has cooled a bit, the sunshine has that golden glow, and there’s a frequent lovely breeze blowing. This is my last week being in my twenties so I intend to eat autumnal desserts, plan a well-deserved beach trip, and make toasts over Gin & Ginger Ales that end in “R.I.P. 20’s!” Thanks to everyone who made this past year so wonderful. Now, bring on the big 3-0! Happy Wednesday to all of you lovely readers; please enjoy these links…

Lauren! Tom Hanks found your student ID in the park. #casual

Found: the perfect autumn breakfast.

4 happy rituals. 

Have you ever ghosted?

A UCLA student takes her graduation photos in the strawberry field her parents have picked strawberries in for 22 years.

I’ve had Lianne La Havas on repeat this week.

An interactive guide to self care. 

When it comes to technology and love…the teens get it.

Some seasonal iPhone wallpapers.

Will you stay or will you go? 

Quite auspicious! Buddhism’s 8 symbols.

A campfire candle.


The beginning.

I’ll admit it, I’ve been blog obsessed for about as far back as my internet memories go. Maybe not in the same way we conceive of blogs today, in 2014, but going online with the sole goal of taking a peek into someone else’s life has kinda been my jam for a minute. My first internet memory is going online at my Dad’s office, in Vienna, Austria no less, to look up autobiographical snippets written by famous people. In retrospect, I doubt it was ACTUALLY Devon Sawa waxing poetic about his dog and love of pizza but really some poor PR shmuck, whatevs…the sentiment was there. Fast forward a few years and discovering someone’s Livejournal could kill an entire afternoon of teenage boredom. I devoured them like a V.C. Andrew’s novel–hoping for something scandalous, excusing the use of passive voice until I got there. In college and the early days of my working world, blogs blossomed into escapism at it’s finest. Desperately and ridiculously poor, I could spend hours looking at all sorts of beautiful things I couldn’t have and probably didn’t even want. Look at lives I hoped someday I’d get it together enough to live. And if we’re being completely honest, I turned my financial struggles around (for the most part) with the help of a Christian-Mom blogger (weird, I know…but those gals know what’s up when it comes to money for some reason) and networked within the comments of a business blog to land a part-time gig…which offers me the opportunity to read MORE blogs on the clock.

I’ve wanted to launch my own blog for years now. I’ve made a lot of excuses: I don’t have enough time. I don’t have any fancy equipment. I’m not tech savvy–AT ALL. Yet, the more I daydream about blogging, I realize that those excuses run counter to how I really try to live my life. If something makes you happy then do it. Make the most out of what you have. Commit to lifelong learning. So, we’re gonna give it a go.


My name is Beth. I live in Lexington, KY. I’m in management at a not-for-profit cooperative. I like to read, go on adventures, marathon series of television, craft, play outside, and do yoga on my living room floor. I like to research all sorts of things for fun and then do nothing with that research–so I’m hoping this new platform for writing can offer a solution. I often say, I can see myself doing and pursuing 10,000 things a day…so I end up doing nothing. This is the one thing I am working the hardest on in my life.

I chose the name “Finding delight.” for this site in honor of the mantra I adopted several years ago which has really shaped my approach to life. FIND DELIGHT. I can not stress enough how much actively searching for things you delight in can alter your mood, situation, happiness, and quality of life. And I know “delight” seems like a strange choice of word. Why not “find the positive” or “find happiness” or “find cool shit”? For me, “delight” invokes something simpler, invokes laughter, life’s unexpected pleasures. When trying to pull myself out of a rut a few years ago, I employed this strategy at the smallest level. As I drove to work each day, I looked for things to make myself smile. I was amazed at the things you can see when you really look–dogs acting silly, humans acting like the weirdos we are, and nature blinging in all it’s glory. I found this exercise wildly helpful and still practice it on the daily. I rarely arrive at work not in a positive mood. This simple search can then progress: Find delight in all aspects of your life. What brings you joy to do? Do it.

This is sounding a bit preachy but that’s the story behind the name. I guess my intent, is that this blog will be a way for me to continue to find delight. And perhaps you will find some within these pages too. In the end, we’re all in this rough real-world together. ❤

Have you adopted a mantra that has impacted you in a positive way? My other two favorites right now are “Be brave”–for when I’m feeling like a social situation is about to be awksies or I’m gonna face some confrontation (something I desperately try to avoid) and “Don’t compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle”–for things I’m frustrated by because I’m not automatically the best (read: yoga and this blog.)

(Painting by T. Turner)