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Tuesday

New Beauty Product Reviews



I always love a good product review. Today's is unsponsored, just four things I've been using recently and my thoughts on them!

1// Tom's Natural Powder Antiperspirant/Deodorant
I honestly never thought I'd be talking about my deodorant here ... not really my style. BUT. I have been doing a little reading up on healthier alternatives to the traditional deodorant that I've been wearing for, well, like 23 years. And hopefully making this change has some sort of positive impact on my health, whether I ever know it or not. I'd heard that many natural deodorants lacked the antiperspirant properties that made them effective. Y'all, I live in the Carolinas, and I chase down two kiddos all day, and I'm not willing to give up dry underarms. It's a necessity. I will say that I have been SUPER happy and pleased with this deodorant/antiperspirant and experienced no wetness after the first day. It was like my body had to get used to it. It's around $6/stick which is about twice what I typically pay, but still worth it. Make sure to buy the antiperspirant and not just the deodorant!

2// L'Oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Day Cream (SPF 30)
I was flipping through a magazine and saw this: 


Key words to me were: 1) bargain, 2) reducing UV spots, 3) evening skin tone, 4) silky finish, 5) brighter/radiant. The magazine says it retails for $20 but I got it MUCH cheaper here on Amazon. I like that it has SPF 30 in it for sun protection. I've been using it daily now for almost two weeks. I don't think that's long enough to notice a difference in skin brightness, but hopefully I will start seeing one soon!

3// Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, Rose
I know this lip treatment has a huge following. And wow, it goes on smoothly. I got it for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I think it is a great little lip gloss, but I personally wouldn't spend $24 on another tube. Don't get me wrong, I love it, and I'd ask for it for a gift again, but I think there are plenty of smoothing lip treatments out there for half the price (or more) that last longer.

4// CHI 44 Iron Guard
I've been using a hair dryer and straightener on my hair some days -- with it being a shorter length, the flat iron helps it to not look so Bobsey-twinish. So that's a lot of heat. I started using this Chi thermal protecting product and spraying it all over my hair in a fine mist to help protect it. Enough time has not passed yet to really tell, but I also feel like it helps give my hair a little body. Healthy hair is a must for me!

I'd love to hear any new products you've tried recently!


Monday

Scenes From A Spring Weekend

Here in Charlotte this weekend, the weather was so nice for having some good time outdoors!


Ian was pressure-washing the driveway Saturday and texted me (up in the playroom) to look down. Cute :) 

(PS, what's more adorable than the way that a grown man draws a heart?)


We picked up this Dora motorized car from a local selling page on Facebook. Charlotte can't ride on it by herself, but she really enjoyed sitting on it and riding as I pressed the "go" button and held her straight up on it. We had a race between her and Camille down the driveway about a half dozen times. Camille won. 


We also spent a good part of Sunday morning at a nearby park and packed a picnic lunch to take there. Camille had a PB+J and Ian and I had our favorite tuna sub from the Teet. Charlotte was really enjoying the slide with Dad's help. 

And, some sister love. 


Other than that, we spent some nice time outdoors. We have the BEST new parachute hammock ... it's the coolest thing. You can find it HERE on Amazon. It's inexpensive, and you don't need to drill into the trees which is so nice. It comes in several colors and is $27 ... who is looking for a Fathers Day gift, because this is perfect! Ian and I can even lay in it together -- it holds up to 500lbs. 


We've made so many changes to that little back natural area -- mulched it, added the bench and painted it pink, created the little rock-bordered wavy path and graveled it in. I added the little aqua gazing ball and we found that cool trellis for a great price HERE on Amazon. He planted those vines yesterday and we can't wait for them to creep up over the trellis. Oh, and yesterday Ian hung up a fun wind chime above the hammock. Our goal for the area is for it to be a cute, whimsical spot where the girls can relax and read books and play.

Last night's dinner was simple and delicious -- steak frites! Paired with a little Dateline and a 10pm bedtime, it was just what the doctor ordered!


Friday

Five On Friday!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

O N E
Let's start at the beginning. I looked around my dance/exercise class the other day and realized that I was the only one not wearing cropped tight workout leggings. I was in black bootcut yoga pants. Aren't those still cool? No? UGH.

Well, everyone, and I mean everyone, was wearing these little cropped stylish numbers. So I did what any self-respecting woman would do, I went to Walmart. And look at this adorable colorful pair I got for $15! They are actually SUPER comfy and they have a drawstring at top and a hidden interior pocket for your license/debit card or key if you like to travel light to the gym or on runs.


Can I also note that I was playing with the girls outside when I snapped this shot? I promise that I have better things to do than go sit in the grass and try to take an artful shot of my white legs.

I found them online for any of you who may not like going into Walmart. ;) HERE



T W O
Please take a look at this amazing looking cheesy shrimp ciabatta recipe from Jam Hands (here). Does this not look amazing? With a glass of white wine ... DINNER.

Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta:


T H R E E
Hip hip hooray, I have some new health/beauty products I've been using! Will go in-depth about them next week but wanted to give you a sneak peek at what I'll be reviewing!



F O U R
On the same Walmart trip where I got my "cool leggings" I also found these little bath fizzies -- a pack of 9 for less than a dollar! They are in the area with bubble baths. I wanted to share here because they would make a really cute and affordable addition to Easter baskets. The girls LOVE them!

We normally do one tablet at a time, but the other night, some water accidentally got splashed into the packet and they all started fizzing up. So I dumped them all in and we had tie-dyed water.




F I V E
I've emailed the winners of the free Pinatagrams, and then they were so kind to pass along a code for you all for FREE shipping! So, if you want to send a little happiness to someone's mailbox (and Cinco de Mayo is quickly approaching!), then use code SMIDGEOFTHISFREESHIP

Thanks, friends at Pinatagrams! 



TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!

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Thursday

What I'm All About.

This blogging space of mine has been such a joy to write. I started blogging at the end of 2010 -- got married in 2011, had a daughter in 2014, lost a beloved pet in 2015, decided to put my career on hold in 2015, and welcomed another daughter in 2016. Whew! Lots of life happening in the last several years. No wonder I can barely remember to renew my car's annual registration. Gotta get on that.

So, some of you have followed from the beginning, some of you came here from the Fresh Apple Cake recipe that somehow blew up on Pinterest a few years ago, and some of you found me through the Five On Friday linkup that I cohost with my girlfriends Christina and Natasha. Regardless, I'm so happy to "meet" you and thought I'd do a short reintroduction and open myself to some Q+A down below!

ME: My name is April, I'm 35 years old, and I live in Charlotte, NC. Thirty five suddenly sounds pretty old to me but I feel young. I love sale shopping, mall Chinese food, white wine, girls nights, feather pillows, yard/estate sales, drugstore makeup, crafty things. I love my family. 


Originally from: Columbia, SC

Parents/siblings: Parents are still married and are now lake-living happy retirees. I'm the oldest sister; middle sister is an artist in NYC and youngest sister is a jewelry maker and mom in Greenville, SC.

Who lives in my house: My awesome husband Ian (he's 38). My magnetic and wonderfully spirited toddler Camille (3 this May). My snugglebunny sweetheart sparkly-eyed daughter (1 next month). No animals yet, but we waffle back and forth. Maybe once the kids are a tad older? 

 


I previously worked in corporate health and wellness. I traveled a LOT and that was very cool when I was single with just a few dying houseplants. Our daughter Camille was born May 2014; I went back to work in August 2014 and worked through August 2015. I gave a long notice to my employer and started transitioning out of my job. A few days before my last day of work, we found out we were pregnant with Charlotte! 


Now, in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, I also own an Etsy shop with my mom! You can find The Tipsy Bunny here. We do the majority of our sales locally, however. I make all of the hairbows and Mom makes the bonnets! Occasionally we also offer other items like felt foods made by my aunt and nursery watercolors made by my middle sister. 

My goal for this blog is for it to be a happy, cheery place where we can all share some fun stories, interesting ideas, life hacks, back pats. 

Have a question for me? Leave it below!

Also -- any readers local to Charlotte, PLEASE come out and visit me on Tuesday! I'd love to see you at Swoozies in South Park!

Tuesday

Aldi Finds From Yesterday's Trip


Yesterday after Camille's morning ballet class, we went to Aldi. I typically like to save my BIG shopping trips for days that she's in preschool, but (le sigh) we were nearly out of coffee and you know what that means. Time to hit.the.store.

So, I spent $103, which -- at Aldi -- basically means that I bought the entire store. That amount right there is what I like to spend a week on groceries for our family, so hopefully we won't have to go to the store any more this week. I don't abide by a hard and fast budget for groceries, but I know the ballpark range of where I like to be.

I did get a lot, and in the picture above it doesn't show the two bottles of wine that I already stuck in the fridge to chill (priorities, people) and the mesh wastebasket that I got for $3.99 to put under my little sewing desk.

Here are some favorites and staples from our Aldi trip:

1// Organic pasta sauce. I like having a jar of marinara in our fridge at all times. We are not huge pasta eaters, but occasionally I'll make it for Camille. You know, when I feel like cleaning red sauce from our walls. :) But this is just a great fridge staple because you can top chicken breasts with marinara and shredded cheese and bake them, or we can make little mini-pizzas for Camille on English muffins, or we can dip our Friday night pizza crusts in little bowls of it. Tomatoes are definitely high up on the "dirty dozen" list, so for that I do like to buy organic as much as possible. This large jar is $1.99.


2 // Organic baby food pouches. I mean, you can spend $1.50/pouch on organic baby food at the grocery store without even trying. These bad boys are $0.79/each, friends! Completely organic. You can NOT beat that price! I bought 18 of them yesterday. 


3 // Whole pineapples. This one was $1.89 yesterday but Aldi often offers them for $0.99. Even at almost $2, it's a steal. Have you ever paid for a large container of fresh pineapple? Yeah, it's like $7/$8. All you have to do with this is take a large knife, lop off the top, slice down the sides, and then cut down around the core. Chunk it up, put it in a tupperware. 


4 // Fiber bars. These were $1.49 and they are the perfect mid-morning snack! When I had gestational diabetes with Charlotte, I would buy the protein-added fiber bars and they always helped me stay within my perfect glucose reading range. 


5 // 100 Packets of sweetener. We use this for coffee and a 100 pack box is $1.59. If you've bought Splenda packets at the grocery store, you know what a deal this is!


6 // Frozen veggie burgers. These are $2.49. I love them for lunch on a toasted English muffin, and I can also cook one for Camille and she loves it for dinner! 


Last night for dinner we had a crockpot roast (I used a pouch of Campbells slow cooker tavern roast sauce that I got at Aldi for $1.99 and a 2.5lb bottom round roast, also from Aldi, for $7.45). It was delicious. I served it with the mashed cauliflower bake we do all of the time and roasted cabbage and carrots. The cabbage ($.69/head) and carrots were just tossed in some olive oil and steak seasoning. It was such a delicious meal that was hearty yet healthy!

Other favorites that I bought yesterday -- four-packs of easy mac shells and cheese that were on BIG sale for $.69 (YES for all four cups!), two boxes of cereal that were $1.99/each, coffee pods that are $3.99 for a box of 12, a bag of frozen boneless chicken breasts for $5.99, Ritz knock-offs for $1.59 for the box. Oh, and the kale citrus salad that we love that is $2.99 and has all of the toppings and dressing included. Can't beat it.

Hit me up with some of your recent Aldi finds below! And, to see more of my favorites as well as my shopping tips for Aldi, visit THIS post.

Monday

Weekending + Pinatas To Your Mailbox

We had an awesome weekend. On Friday we drove down to Greenville to spend a low-key weekend with my sister Laura and her family. Originally the guys thought they might want to catch some of the basketball games, but ticket prices shot up pretty high and we ended up having the best time making other plans!


Friday night we had a babysitter and went out for oysters and fried shrimp. Saturday morning we hit up the Greenville Zoo which was so much fun! And later that day I was able to visit my college bestie who has a brand new little boy. That night Laura cooked the most delicious flank steak tacos with kimchi for all of us. It was just a great and relaxing weekend together!



In other fun news, THREE of you have won a free Pinatagram, and I am going to email you with the details! Congratulations goes to:

+ The Southland Life // March 17, 2017 at 11:17 AM
+ Always looking to my ebenezer moment // March 17, 2017 at 8:22 AM
+ Liz // March 17, 2017 at 8:02 PM

Later this morning, after ballet, we are going to Aldi. I will share some favorites later this week!

Friday

Five On Friday ... No Pinches Please!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

O N E
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
We are wearing our green today, and if all goes as planned, Camille will be sipping on her green-tinted milk this morning. I don't know if she will be enthralled or totally turned off to it. But we are definitely going to give it a shot. Whether it's a wild success or a horrible failure, I'll be sure to report back.

Happy St Patrick's Day!May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live. #pastlivesny #joncontino by pastlivesny:


T W O
Want a fun cocktail idea? Add green food coloring to your water and freeze it into cubes! Then whenever you add your green cubes to your clear cocktail, it takes on the perfect green tinge for St. Patty's!


This particular (easy) cocktail is just a mixture of cucumber melon sparkling water, mint vodka, and green cubes.

Mint vodka, YES! It's from Dixie Vodka, which is handcrafted out of Charleston, South Carolina. It was named “The South’s Best Tasting Vodka”, and I seriously can't rave about their mint vodka enough.

T H R E E
Have you taken advantage of the Spring giveaway from Grove Collaborative? Time is running out for the freebies -- it expires THIS Sunday.

They are seriously one of my favorite companies to purchase products from. Large enough for competitive pricing, small enough for your support to make a difference. They are eco-friendly, and I love knowing that when Camille asks to wear some of my "lipstick", that the lip balm she's applying is totally safe for her.

As a reminder, with your first $20 order, you will also receive:

  • Mrs. Meyer's Spring Hand Soap (peony or lilac)
  • Mrs. Meyer's Spring Dish Soap (peony or lilac)
  • Grove Collaborative Glass Spray Bottle 
  • Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges 
  • Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial

Existing customers can click here to add a glass spray bottle to your next shipment for 50% off.




F O U R
Hey Charlotte ladies, mark your calendars!

On March 28 I will be at Swoozies near South Park Mall for a baby/toddler pop-up event representing The Tipsy Bunny! I will have all of the new Lilly Pulitzer style hairbows as well as a brand new batch of the felt Peeps and bunnies that my aunt makes. They always sell out!

May 9 is a VERY special fundraiser that I'm working on with my wonderful friends. I will be sharing more details soon, but it's ladies only and it is going to benefit a very special, very deserving military family. Tickets are inexpensive but limited. SO -- stay tuned for more details! I hope to meet a few of you there!

F I V E
Ending with something fun today. You know your fun, wacky friend that has a birthday coming up? Or your off-the-wall mama that you want to celebrate in a creative way this Mothers Day? I cannot recommend Pinatagrams enough! I received my first one this week and was so shocked to open my mailbox and find an unwrapped PINATA inside. How crazy is that?!

You can find them on Instagram here and they have offered to give away THREE to my readers. To enter, just leave a comment below that contains your email address. You can say anything in your comment, but of course I'd love to hear who you'd send yours to. I'll announce the 3 winners Monday!


TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!

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Thursday

La-La-Love Me Some Spring

The OFFICIAL first day of Spring is March 20th, which is Monday! And I looooove spring.

But let's face it, here in the Carolinas we have been all over the place weather-wise. I've already spent time laying outside on a blanket with the girls, wearing shorts, tanning my legs. And then a few days ago I photographed Ian pulling the girls on a sled in our front yard. I always get a lot of emailed questions from folks wondering what it's like living in Charlotte. THAT right there is what it's like. :)


This is the best. Why is the sled suddenly feeling lighter? 



It's been mighty cold recently. Last night right before turning out the light, Ian and I were going back and forth about whether or not to take a heftier blanket up to Camille's room. She has a thinner fleece one now. Was it worth the risk of  waking her up? Would it make her too hot? Or, if we didn't, would she shiver? The things that keep you awake.

If you have any great toddler blanket recs, please leave them below in the comments. I'm all ears!


Style-wise, I am a sucker for florals and always have been. So I am really excited about some of the new items I'm seeing in stores.

spring in my step



And lastly, I think I need to swap out my front door wreath for something more springy. Check out this adorable wreath I found on Etsy. SO in love with it. And yay for supporting Etsy sellers!

Easter Egg Door Basket, Easter Egg Wreath, Spring Wreath, Pink Easter Wreath, Pastel Easter Basket, Easter Decoration, Front Door Wreath
shoppable image

So, happy last weekend of winter! Whether you're sunning your legs this weekend or playing in the snow, enjoy it. See you all back here tomorrow for Five On Friday!
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