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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!

Tuesday

Spring Cleaning Checklist and Fave New Home Products

Spring cleaning. Stay with me here.


I know it's not the most sexxayyy topic to discuss, but it's necessary. Here's what I am going to tackle in our home (setting just a few goals so that it does not seem daunting):

1) Seriously take control of my closet. I have way too many clothes folded and stacked on the floor -- they should be hanging. Shoe storage is also not so ideal. Shoes are stacked on shoes on the floor. No bueno. Donate one large bag to charity or sell.

2) Take everything out of our fridge and freezer, wipe the shelves down, and purge old or unnecessary food items.

3) Pull all toys, books, puzzles out of the downstairs toy closet, use the dustbuster, mop the floors, and return the items that the girls play with. Donate one large bag to charity or sell.

4) Switch over the girls' closets so that warm weather clothes are hanging front and center. Pack up clothes that Camille has outgrown, sell or donate clothes that Charlotte has outgrown.

Luckily, since we moved to this house just this past August, there isn't as much cleaning as there could potentially be. Laundering drapes, flipping mattresses, those are things we can do next year.



Part of what keeps me energized to clean is having great-smelling cleaning products. Y'all know my love for Grove Collaborative and their monthly shipments to my home of green, eco-friendly cleaning products. Little by little, I've switched over most of our household products for Grove products. Now even my shampoo and face products come from Grove.

Beginning today, they have started another new customer offer chock-full of FREE products. Sign up, spend at least $20, and get all of this for free: 
  • Mrs. Meyer's Spring Hand Soap 
  • Mrs. Meyer's Spring Dish Soap 
  • Grove Collaborative Glass Spray Bottle 
  • Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges 
  • Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial 
The new Mrs. Meyer's scents for spring are Peony and Lilac, and I have each of them. They smell fantastic. Lilac is my number one fave. 

If you’re new to Grove Collaborative, here’s how it works: 
1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the Mrs. Meyer's spring seasonal offer for free when you sign up!
2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your first basket -- this takes under 30 seconds.
3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.
4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.
5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

Already hooked on Grove Collaborative? Existing customers click here to get a Grove Collaborative glass spray bottle 50% off in your next order. Don’t forget, this special offer is only available until MARCH 19 (next week!) or while supplies last.

Happy spring cleaning! What's on your to-do list?



Remember, CLICK HERE to sign up for the new customer freebies.
Existing customers -- click here to claim your glass spray bottle 50% off.

Monday

Monday Notes: Weekend Fun and Weekly Menu

I'm straight up dragging this morning ... I was wide awake from 2:30-4:30am! The time change always kicks my bootay for a few days. Luckily the girls have handled it great (it was the last time change in the fall that caused me to research and purchase Camille's OK To Wake clock, which has been a lifesaver). 

Friday we chilled at home, watched Dateline, and used Door Dash for the first time. Definitely a fan. We typically have Papa Johns delivery on Fridays but this service lets you choose from so many other restaurants. You pay a delivery fee that looks to range from $1-5 (set by the restaurant), a service fee that goes directly to Door Dash, and a tip for your driver. So, compared to pizza delivery, typically just a few more dollars. If you sign up using my referral link HERE, you get a $7 credit on your order which should make a nice dent in the bill. We ordered two entrees and an appetizer from Viva Chicken -- so good -- and it was on our doorstep in about 45 minutes flat.

Saturday morning I took Camille to a birthday party at Ben & Jerry's, and later that evening, Ian and I went to a delicious dinner at Ruths Chris! I wore my new cutout shoulder top (this one) and Ian was SUCH a fan. 



Sunday, we woke to SNOW! We had breakfast, bundled the girls up, and played outside for about 15 minutes before I left the house for Amelie's cafe. I met two lovely ladies for some planning on a fundraising event we are doing. Stay tuned, Charlotte friends! Save the date for May 9.


I got home right before lunch and used leftover steak from dinner the night before to make delicious quesadillas for me and Ian. Steak, mozzarella cheese, black beans, sauteed onions. We had a little French onion soup, too. 


This week we are keeping our menu plan simple:
+ MON: Chicken piccata, stewed white beans, salad
+ TUE: Sausage, roasted carrots, cauliflower mash
+ WED: Stir-fry chicken and peppers

Thursday my mom will be here and we'll likely treat ourselves to takeout!
Hope you had a fantastic weekend and have recovered from the time change :)

Main Image - Lush Surplice Cold Shoulder Blouse
click image to shop

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
We have a beautiful low-key weekend ahead of us! I love these weekends where we wake to the sound of birds chirping, where the days are growing longer, and we can maximize our time playing outside.

I'm hoping to have lots of time in front of my embroidery machine, maybe catch a great movie or two, and curl up on the couch with my iPad. Camille needs a new bathing suit or two this year and Zulily has some of the cutest choices on sale right now.
Look at this #zulilyfind! Yellow Monogram One-Piece Sunsuit - Infant, Toddler & Girls #zulilyfinds:

Look what I found on #zulily! Pink Gingham Monogram One-Piece Sunsuit - Infant, Toddler & Girls #zulilyfinds:


T W O
I know I talk a lot about ThredUp, but I keep on finding the best deals there! Seriously my favorite way to shop. If something doesn't fit you can send back for free and get credit toward your next purchase.

Yesterday I purchased this J. Crew tassel top for me and these Lilly overalls for Camille. I know overalls can be a little tough with potty training, but we still have a little more time before she's fully trained and these are just SO cute. Plus I have the matching shorts. :)


Someone please snag this 3-6 month Lilly shift for a baby:


It's $20.99 and remember that you can get $10 off of your first order using my referral link.
There was an awesome Lilly Elsa top there earlier this week for $40 and it got snatched up before I could add it to my cart ... hopefully by one of you!


T H R E E
Last night Ian had dinner out with a buddy so I had a carbfest at home. The Trader Joe's sweet potato gnocchi is absolutely divine. It's probably for sharing, because the entire bag has 105% of your RDA for saturated fat, but yeahhhhhh, I ate the entire thing. While watching Big Little Lies. It was perfect. 




F O U R
We had bunco earlier this week at Nina's house and it was so much fun! Crazy thing is, we didn't even end up playing bunco this time. We just played a few rounds of Left Right Center and then chatted around the kitchen island. This is seriously the most fun and simple game. Best $7 investment you'll make into your next girls' night or couples game night!



F I V E
I've been making SOOO many monogrammed bows this week! Y'all have been keeping me busy and I LOVE it. I've added the pastels to our Etsy shop, and I've also sold several through a local moms group I'm in on Facebook. These are seriously a joy for me to create, and it is always such a pleasure seeing your little daughters/nieces/grandbabies wearing them on Instagram or Snapchat. Thank you for supporting me -- as a stay-at-home mom, it truly does make a difference in my world.



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

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