Tag Archives: travel

5 Guilty Pleasures That Turns Out, Are Not So Guilty

It is one of the more obscure paradoxes of modern living.  We work more, to earn more so that we can experience more – and then feel guilty when doing it.  Well, feel guilty no more!  Putting off these 5 lusciously guilty pleasures, could actually be doing you more harm, than good.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

WHY YOU MUST TRAVEL

So this isn’t exactly a new school of thought. But now more than ever, it’s essential that you and yours get some time away.  Prolonged lockdowns and lack of access to services and social events are starting to have a detrimental effect on the mental health of American families and families all over the world. The elderly are most at-risk as families are often not permitted to visit nursing homes or care facilities. So the word is out – it’s time to load up the family car and hit the open road. If travel outside of your state borders or internationally is not on the cards for you right now, keep it local, you’ll not only get away from it all but you’ll also earn some extra points for helping support local business.  Feel good factor, 10 out of 10.

WHY YOU MUST EAT MORE CHOCOLATE (THE GOOD KIND)

It is believed that chocolate contains many antioxidants and some studies have even indicated that chocolate could go some way to help to prevent memory loss. Chocolate also helps reduce stress, can help maintain a healthy heart, and could help in your weight-loss endeavors.  What?  Chocolate and weight loss?  Yep.  Turns out that eating around 2 grams of dark chocolate every day could aid in your weight loss goals.  

And chocolate can also help in the fight against allergies. As the seasons change, it’s a good plan to stock up. Sadly there’s no chocolate remedy for hay fever, so you’ll still need the tried and trusted hay fever treatments.

WHY YOU MUST HAVE A BED DAY (BUT MAKE IT FIRST)

Study after study (people actually get paid to do this sort of thing) has revealed what a certain American General has known all along – as soon as you get up in the morning, make your bed.  It might seem like a small thing, but your brain’s reward system will pick up on it immediately and when you start your day with your brain rewarding you with those wonderful feel-good hormones, you instantly want to do more and achieve more.  However, every once in a while (take note of that….once in a while), it could be very beneficial…to climb back in.  Taking a bed day can help reset your mental clock and reenergize a body that’s been worn down with routine and the daily grind.   The trick is to not overuse this one.  

WHY YOU MUST TAKE “A PERSONAL DAY”

OK, so this kind of ties in with taking a bed day, but that’s only if you’re planning on using your personal day to spend the day in bed…in which case, it falls squarely into the “bed day” category.  However, there are a few very good reasons to take a personal day when, after all, they’ve been designed to help you get back on track when you need to.  We don’t suggest abusing the privilege but you could be due a personal day if you’ve been needing to see the doctor or you’re feeling really burned out.  If there are outstanding “life issues” that need dealing with and can’t be handled on weekends or if you have not taken a break in a really long time, this is your open invitation to use those days off.  If you are otherwise a top performer at work and your boss knows this, then discuss it with them and they’ll probably agree.  One day without you won’t bring the walls down, but when the desire builds to do this more than not, time to relook where you’re at.

WHY YOU MUST GO SHOPPING

This is probably the most “indulgent” guilty pleasure – but it’s valid nevertheless.  It speaks to the brains’ reward system and can also go some way to helping you realize a change you’ve been wanting to make or to celebrate achieving a goal.  But the whole idea is not to use shopping as an escape from reality, but rather as a way to validate your reality.  This means that if you land that new job, then you get to have a new work wardrobe. 

As with all of the good things, moderation is key and balance should be applied with everything.  Enjoy!

P.S. Check out my minimalist approach to meal planning.

Gift Ideas For The Man In Your Life

*This post may contain affiliate links.

When it comes around to gift-buying time, it’s always tricky to know exactly what to get your man. In truth, it can be a key moment. Of course, the best gifts are personal and based on an understanding of your man as an individual, but even so there are a number of gifts which would likely be loved by many. In this post, we are going to take a look at a few options. If you have an occasion coming up and are feeling a bit lost, take a peek below…

Fitbit

These health tracking devices are obviously all the rage right now, and they make for a perfect gift for pretty much anyone who might enjoy tracking and monitoring their fitness data. If your man is a health nut, or just wants to be more mindful of his steps, a Fitbit is going to be appreciated and a good choice for you to buy for him. Bear in mind that you don’t have to go for the branded option, and there are more affordable ones out there which do more or less the same thing.

Beard Growth Kit

If your man has a beard, then that opens up a huge number of possibilities in what gifts to buy. Whether or not he tends to put much care into his beard, you can be sure that there is a beard product he will enjoy. If he struggles to grow a thick and full beard, you might want to consider buying him a beard growth kit. As you can see here, these kits come with quite a few accessories, so it will feel like a gift he is really glad to receive.

Wallet

There are certain gifts that just always go down well no matter what, and regardless of the type of guy your man is. One example of this is a wallet, and this is going to be especially well received if his wallet has seen better days or if he is in need of something a little different. In any case, splashing out on a new wallet is a great way to show your man you care, and it’s something that can be both practical and fashionable – something a lot of contemporary men are happy about.

A Weekend Away

Of course, they say the best gifts are experiences, and that can certainly prove true. So when you are thinking of something to get your man, why not think about buying him a weekend away? This is ideal if you are thinking about trying to get him a romantic experience, or you just want to make it clear how much you enjoy spending time with him. Think whether there might be somewhere he always wanted to go. If so, that’s the one to go for, and he is bound to love it.

P.S. Need more gift ideas for the dudes in your life? Check out this post, this post, and this post!

Travel the World by Book

For many folks around the world, the last few months have come with a LOT of cancelled travel plans. Planned trips and vacations were put on hold. Spontaneous sojourns out of state aren’t happening any time soon. And searching flight deals on sites like Kayak just doesn’t give the thrill it used to.

It seems this summer is all about quenching your wanderlust in other ways. Ways that don’t require a passport or a suitcase.

Interested in traveling the world by book? Here are a few reading challenges/lists to help you do so —

50 States Reading List: Best Books Set in Every State

 

World Reading Challenge: Books Around the Globe 2020 
(and here’s 2019 & 2018)

 

12 Great Books to Feed Your Wanderlust

 

And here are a few books I’ve read and recommend for their power to transport you — 

International Travel:

AFGHANISTAN: Silent Hearts by Gwen Florio

ENGLAND: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

GERMANY: My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

NIGERIA: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

RUSSIA: Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick

SINGAPORE: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Domestic Travel: 

ALABAMA: Eveningland by Michael Knight

ARIZONA: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

MAINE: Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

MASSACHUSETTS: Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

NEW YORK: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

WASHINGTON: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

 

Happy travels!

It’s totally possible to travel the world by book! Do you have any totally-transport-you book recommendations? Share them below!! xoxo

P.S. Need another way to choose a big stack of books? Check out this readathon.

mid-week round-up

What have you been up to? My birthday was over the weekend, and I had the perfect day! Chet made a bunch of envelopes for me to open throughout the day, each with a different activity for us to complete. We went to the bagel place up the road for breakfast, hit up the thrift stores, browsed the bookstore so I could pick out some book gifts, and even saw the Downton Abbey movie! Hope you all have a great rest of your week, and here are some internet treasures I thought I should pass along…

Schools should go back to teaching teens Adulting 101.

A pro athlete on what to pack for every type of hike.

Royal correspondents on what it’s like to write about Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.

How living near a Trader Joe’s can affect home values.

Everything you need in a 72-hour emergency backpack.

36 hours in Milwaukee.

I wonder if this lint roller works.

Will you be listening to this podcast?

This map shows you what Indigenous lands you’re living on.

The most adorable jacket for fall.

Jojo Moyes has been accused of publishing a novel with crazy similarities to another book.

The ancient world was full of warrior women.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — A Decluttering Thought Exercise and How to Spruce Up Your Neutral Rental.

The Best Souvenirs

Now that summer is coming to an end, and all the travel that goes along with it, I’d love to know…Did you pick up any fun souvenirs on vacations this year? 

When I was a kid, souvenirs felt like SUCH a necessity. Visiting kitschy shops at beaches, amusement parks, and roadside attractions felt like a cruel joke if I didn’t at least get to select ONE item to come home with me. The allure of some magnet with my name on it or a toy representative of the past day’s adventure too difficult to resist whining about.

Nowadays, souvenirs fall into that careful balance of knowing I don’t need any additional tchochkes cluttering my home, but also wanting to take out an insurance policy on fleeting travel memories. With that in mind, I’ve developed a few categories of purchases I employ when looking to commemorate a trip…

Little things to tuck in a memory box, like a postcard or patch, are a go-to of mine. Not a huge investment, so I feel ok that it’s only going to be admired in those days I’m feeling extra nostalgic and pull down the box to sift through my collection of random ephemera.

But I don’t mind splurging on a high-quality consumable. A bottle of wine local to the area that can be uncorked months later. A lotion with a scent to transport me back to our travels. A candle from a sweet seaside shop or a box of local chocolate from the corner store.

And speaking of chocolate, let’s go ahead and put cooking ingredients in a category all their own. Something like a beautiful bottle of local olive oil, whole bean coffee from a cafe you fell in love with, or a couple teeny tiny jars of spices that easily tuck in your backpack. I also love this as an option if you’re tasked with bringing back a goodie for a co-worker or family member. A friend of mine gifted me a little tin of paprika she bought on a trip to Hungary and I thought about her and her adventure every time I sprinkled it in a dish for months to come.

Finally, there’s what I consider the daily item. These I reserve for truly special trips. I want to be transported to those memories frequently, so something like a piece of jewelry or a scarf fits the bill. For a lower budget option, I would go for something like a coffee mug or a small print I can transport carefully home and frame. Basically an item that I can seamlessly incorporate into my daily life…not one that is emblazoned with the city or attraction I visited. Those seem like a good idea in the moment, but then get shoved to the back of a closet.

Which of these categories do you normally go for? Have your own strategy when it comes to souvenirs? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo

P.S. This would be a fun way to commemorate your trip once you’ve returned home!

mid-week round-up

What have you been up to, sweet friends? Chet and I went to Mississippi over the weekend to visit with his mom and family friends at a lake. It was so serene! We ate a bunch of delicious food, caught some fish, and enjoyed good company. Hope you have a splendid week, and here are some links I thought you might want to check out…

12 performers show what it takes to make it in New York City.

There are two types of airport people.

[Related: Travel Tips for Airports and Planes]

Who is Cliff Wife? Everything you need to know about the wife who fell off a cliff.

In Venezuela, a glamorous career becomes a means of survival.

A subculture of teenage hobbyhorse enthusiasts now prance in public.

This perfect summertime adventure bag is on sale!

25 famous women on the moment they ‘made it.’

Measles for the one percent.

7 reasons why your online reputation is important.

Jeff Goldblum pivots to beauty influencer.

What did NXIVM want in Mexico?

[Related: Episode 2 of Uncovered the Podcast]

A reusable coffee cup that doesn’t take up much room in your bag!

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Thoughts on Woman Code by Alisa Vitti and 5 Ways to Float a River this Summer.

mid-week round-up

What are you up to today? We’re having chicken & barley soup for dinner tonight, and I’m hoping to be done with work in time for a late afternoon stroll around the neighborhood. Later, we’ll try to cram in a few episodes of The Soprano’s which I’ve never seen but am quickly becoming obsessed with. Are you watching anything good lately? Hope the rest of your week is divine, and here are the latest links I’ve got for ya…

Kale Caesar Salad + Sweet Potato Fries would make such a delicious luteal dinner.

[Related: More meal ideas for your monthly cycle!]

Officially obsessed with this piece of furniture.

The Catherine O’Hara montage we all needed.

Maybe men should use more exclamation points!

[Related: 5 tips for writing killer emails.]

From ADHD to endometriosis, women are often misdiagnosed.

[Related: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez]

It was just a kayaking trip.

Inside the largest family-detention center in the United States.

Good work, Hulu!

A small-town stylist who does makeovers for trans women and cross-dressing men.

Sweet Dee was a vulgar female narcissist before it was cool.

Can’t resist picking up a memoir whenever possible.

Use code HEALTH10 for 10% off Native Deodorant orders.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 5 Ways Health and Traveling Abroad Go Hand in Hand and The 365 Sentence Memoir Project.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

mid-week round-up

What have you been up to, loves? Chet and I saw this movie on Saturday — highly recommend! And tomorrow is Valentine’s Day…squee!! Any plans? (Ours involve margaritas.) Hope you have a love-filled rest of your week, and here are some entertaining links I’ve gathered from my favorite corners of the internet…

Slopeside shenanigans, gallons of sprayed champagne…all in a day’s work at Aspen.

Academy unveils the 4 Oscar categories to be presented during commercial breaks. 😦

Pret a Manger is opening a hostel for homeless people in London.

How to spend 48 hours in Cusco.

I weirdly love these sneakers (in camel). Yes or no?

These women want the right to compete in big-wave contests – and get paid as much as men do.

Do you have a Ko-fi page? Here’s mine.

13 date night dinner ideas for Valentine’s Day and beyond!

Germany’s real-life “Swing Kids.”

Many of the most enduring 20th century children’s book titles share a secret language of queer compassion.

The top trends for 2019 according to Pinterest.

[Related: Follow me on Pinterest!]

Next book club book is this one. Get the whole list HERE.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — A Pocket Letter Inspired by Children’s Book Illustrations and 50 Facts About Me.

mid-week round-up

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday, I’ve rounded up some Thanksgiving content…

A Thanksgiving capsule wardrobe.

Wines to enjoy at Thanksgiving.

A Thanksgiving menu for under $50.

Dollar Tree DIY table centerpiece.

Movies for the whole family.

Gratitude journal.

Recipe for cheesy cauliflower.

Getting your car road-trip ready.

And a few other links you might enjoy…

Obsessed with Roxane Gay’s Goodreads account.

The untold stories of the housing crisis.

The future of aging just might be in Margaritaville.

Actually really looking forward to this movie.

Made me laugh!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and see you next week!! xoxo

What are you reading this summer?

reading summer travel

Everyone loves a good beach read, right? (I certainly do!) There always seem to be a few that get a ton of buzz during the season. For example, I keep seeing Into the Water and A Window Opens pop up on beach-y Instagram posts. And several people have told me they’re packing The Marriage of Opposites as a road-trip read. But there are so many great options out there! What about the beach reads that go unnoticed? Not everyone reads what everyone reads…if you know what I mean.

So, I’d love to know, what are you reading this summer? Is it an Instagrammable title or a little more off the wall? I just finished The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice by Rebecca Musser…and while it might not be everyone’s beach read cup of tea, it is certainly mine. I couldn’t. put it. down. And to me, that’s the mark of a truly perfect beach read.

P.S. I’m off to Kentucky on Wednesday and still can’t decide what book(s) to pack. I was planning to read Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan next but that seems a little intense for travel. Decisions, decisions!