Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Today's post (and subsequently the last one for the week) is all about the things I'm thankful for. So, in random order...

1. My family
2. My fiance, M
3. My friends
4. Hewitt
5. My job
6. My church and church small group
7. My talents and skills
8. My car, Patty Riot
9. Good health
10. That I live in America
11. Jesus's saving grace and forgiveness
12. The good health of family and friends
13. Laughter
14. My cardigan collection (see, this isn't ALL serious)
15. Chapstick and tissues with lotion (especially this week)
16. A working cell phone
17. My ability to make others laugh
18. Times of joy
19. Times of sadness that make you treasure times of joy
20. Favor

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top 5 Tuesday: Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Though I will not be hosting Thanksgiving this year, I do enjoy a chance to help with decorating the table or the "tablescape" as one of my fave tv chefs Sandra Lee says. Below are five of my favorite Thanksgiving table ideas.

Non-Traditional Colors

Incoporating a non-traditional Thanksgiving color (or two) like the rich royal purple in the photo above is a great way to add a modern/fresh hint to your table AND incorporate your own serveware/dishes that may not be traditional Thanksgiving colors.



A Pumpkin & A Princess
The addition of gilded or metallic items like pumpkins, pinecones or votive candleholders really class up a Thanksgiving table, in my opinion.
Natural, Unexpected Elements
I love the idea of this tree/branch with the candle holes drilled in. It does seem large on the table, but it's really quirky and interesting.
Painted Pumpkins
I do realize that pumpkins occur in white, right? Either way, I like the idea of unifying an element (in this case multicolored pumpkins) with a color. The white is repeated in the candles and plates as well.
Unique Color Schemes
Perhaps you'd like to go with a color scheme that is completely unique and non-Thanksgivingy. I love this white, yellow, tan and orange theme in the picture above.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Engagement Photo Shoot Sneak Peek

M and I had our engagement photo shoot this past weekend. I'm incredibly lucky to have a cousin who is not only awesome and funny but is an amazing photographer. She came up from Columbia, SC on Friday afternoon with her husband and we headed to my aunt and uncle's property for the shoot. 

Below are some of my favorite shots! :)

My cousin Mary is awesome! If you're in the Columbia Metro area, you should definitely look her up

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Help Me Pick My Engagement Photo Shoot Outfit

Will you help me?

I don't know which to wear for my engagement photo shoot tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be nice...around 65 degrees and sunny, so any of them will work.


I'm leaning towards one or two...and I might be able to do two outfits. I just love the idea of red. I've been told I look good in red so that's why I threw that option in there.

I'd love to hear your opinions!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: On budgeting and calling in favors

As promised, I'm limiting myself to only posting about my upcoming wedding on Wednesdays. :) However hard it may be... :)

Today I want to write about something that is kind of hard for me to actually write about. Go figure!

I want to talk about the budgeting part of my wedding and about calling in favors.

Important back story: I hate, HATE asking people for favors. I want to be completely self-sufficient and hate asking people do things for me so much! Another important note is that I know a LOT of people in various areas that would benefit me and my wedding. I even hate writing that. Sigh.

So when it came time to start finalizing plans for my wedding, I decided it was now or never in terms of calling in favors. This is only time in my life that people will want to do things for me with very-little or no strings attached. So, emails and FB messages went out to my friends who own bakeries, are photographers, work for online invitation companies and work in the hotel/hospitality industry. I made my request/contact with them as "April" as possible and included humor and of course, the option for them to say "no". Y'all I FREAKED OUT about asking people for's just hard for me to do. I thought they would think differently of me and peg me for some sort of moocher. (I'm not trying to insult anyone by saying's just part of my nature.)

And wouldn't you know that everyone was willing to help out or at least try for me!?!? I really freaked out over nothing. I'd say that with the right attitude and right approach, people are willing to do something for you.

Which brings me to the other part of my post today: the budgeting part. I'll be completely transparent and say that I'm trying to do this wedding as cheaply as possible. Well, within reason. I want to include all the things that I love but still stick to a fairly strict budget.

With that, I'm about to blow y'alls minds. I'm going to do whatever I can to make this wedding happen for less than $2,500.00. That includes ceremony (to include paying personnel, photographer, av person, building fees, etc.), dress, flowers and reception (which is more like a gathering than a real reception).

I know this seems crazy, but I really think I can do it. I've done some preliminary budgeting and I think it could work. The honeymoon is NOT included in that estimate. Part of the reason I think I'll be able to achieve this is because I am calling in some favors. But know that doesn't mean I'm getting things for free...I'm just getting discounts.

Do I think I can do it for $2k? I think so. I may go a bit over, but I think I can do it.

Now, y'alls thoughts. Am I crazy?

Below is a pin I saw on Pinterest that gave me some ideas for my reception theme. I'm not going to do all of the patterns but I love the brightness and the colors.

The colors I want! ... not necessarily the pattern but thats okay :) Modern wedding ideas bright flowers bold patterns 2

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This is How We Do It

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I mean, it IS a holiday centered around food and family...and it's already on my short list of favorites anyway.

But Thanksgiving in the South is probably even more unique than traditional Thanksgivings elsewhere in the country. And in typical form, we do things a little differently in my Southern household than most.

1. Thanksgiving ain't just about the turkey, y'all.
Often, depending on which side of the family I'm with, Thanksgiving might not include turkey at all. Or, we have turkey and a ham. Didn't y'all know that ham is one of the 7 Southern food groups?

2. We don't dress up.
Now, this might just be more my family than the South-in general, but my family doesn't dress up for Thanksgiving. Okay, so we don't wear pajamas, but we definitely don't put on dresses and suits like you see in movie portrayals of Thanksgiving. How am I supposed to have room to gorge myself on delicious foods if I'm wearing control-top pantyhose? Leggings and boots or stretchy pants are much more accomodating. Or pajama jeans. Just saying...

3. Cranberry Sauce is sliced.
And if it don't have the can marks on it (y'all know what I'm talking about) then it ain't REAL cranberry sauce. Amiright? Amiright?

4. At least one thing is fried...and it's sometimes the turkey itself.
This doesn't count now because the rest of the country has caught on to the deliciousness of a fried turkey.

5. We have dressing, not stuffing.
And it is served in a casserole dish alongside the turkey and not IN the turkey. That's some weird mess y'all. A turkey filled with stuffing...BAH!

6. We don't experiment.
Thanksgiving is not the time to experiment with new recipes. The results could be mutinous.

7. We usually eat Thanksgiving lunch, linner and dinner.
We just eat all day. The food never really leaves the kitchen counters or tables.

8. Macaroni and cheese is considered a vegetable.
Duh. And so are sweet potatoes (with the brown sugar, cinnamon and marshmallows on top)!

9. Football is guaranteed.
Even if your teams aren't playing, a football game is on TV. And in my house, the Macy's Thankgiving Day parade is always on before.

10. Beige food reigns supreme.
Thanksgiving is the beginning of the beige food season. This is when foods that happen to be about the same color all find their way onto your plate. Squash casserole, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, corn casserole, dressing, mashed potatoes, potato salad, bread, turkey, etc. It's all beige.

And it's all delicious.


What sort of traditions do you and your family have for Thanksgiving? Are our Southern ways weird to you? HA!

Linking up here and here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

In the Shadow of the Sinus

I've pretty much been out of commission for the last week with a cold...that developed into a sinus infection and a double ear infection. Lucky me.

I worked probably a total of 25 hours last week and spent the other 20 or so in bed. For me to spend that much time in bed and NOT working is very unusual. I started feeling ill last Friday night, so, 10 days later I am finally on the mend. Hallelujah!

During the last 10 days affectionately called my time In the Shadow of the Sinus, I went through 1 bottle of antibiotics, 4 boxes of tissues, 1 box of Mucinex D, 1 bag of Vitamin D drops and various nasal sprays and antihistamines along with Seasons 1-5 and 7 of The Office.

I do not have a lot of blog content today, just a quick check in. Tomorrow, I promise an actual post.

But since I want to end this post on a picture, how about this one?

We booked our honeymoon this weekend. HELLO JAMAICA!!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to: Wear Tights

Well, unless you live in Australia...or maybe southern California, it's probably tights season where you live.

Allow me to do a brief public service announcement on wearing tights. I think tights are a great way to give more flexibility to your spring/summer wardrobe by allowing them to be worn more. They help bring that clothing more into the fall/winter seasons. However...

PEOPLE - stop wearing suntan colored panythose. Unless you specifically have to wear that color (had to when I did competition dancing) there is no reason you should be buying them. Seriously, just say NO.

Not only are these colored hose very dated, but they are completely un-natural looking. I'm not a huge proponent of flesh colored pantyhose anyway, unless you can match them to your skin tone and it doesn't look like you are wearing any. If I were to match my skin tone I usually buy the "almond" or "ivory" colored tights and they work. :)

A much better solution for wearing skirts/dresses in the fall and winter are tights, and specifically dark or opaque tights. In my office, I wear black opaque (not sheer or see-through) tights, patterened tights or black pantyhose with dresses and skirts. I think black is definitely the go-to color for tights now but I also think navy and dark gray will work too for a more professional environment.

If you have a casual work atmosphere, you can be adventurous with mustard yellow, hunter green, cobalt blue or even something with multiple colors. Target has a great selection of tights and I also love We Love Colors.

how to wear tights

So, to recap: Suntan or blatantly non-flesh colored pantyhose are a no. Stick with black, navy or a sheer/patterened version of either for work wear. Stop making your legs look orange, people!

Also - the words "tights" and "pantyhose" are often interchangeable but I differentiate the two by using tights for those that are more opaque or thicker. You can't really see your leg through them. Hose allow the leg to be seen through them. Does that help?

Do you wear tights? How do you change up your summer looks with them?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: The Dress

Okay, first things first:

Something VERY important to share with y'all...we've set a date!

APRIL 12, 2014

That will be our 16 month anniversary to the day! We are so excited about it and we only have 5 months to go! So with that, I've jumped headfirst into planning!

One of the biggest hurdles I've yet to get over is THE DRESS.

I've watched my share of "Say Yes to the Dress" and have been to lots of bridal stores so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of how things are. Like in many things, I like to have a plan of attack, so to speak, so for dress shopping, it's no different. However, my actual plan is bit different than the norm in terms of wedding dress shopping. (This should really be a recurring theme on Wedding April does things different than normal.)

I plan on going to try on dresses (all different shapes and silhouettes) in order to see what styles of dresses look good on my body. That's a normal step that most brides take. But my next step will be to then go and order the dress online. Yep! Once I figure out my fave silhouette, I can order it online and have it fairly quickly. Then if I need alterations or adjustments I can have them made here.

This eliminates me having to go to a dress shop multiple times. And it doesn't limit me to the lines/designers that the particular dress shop carries. Plus, I can find a dress I like for a fraction of the price I'd pay in a bridal dress store.

I know what y'all are thinking...this girl is crazy. She's gonna order her dress online without trying on before? Well. Yes. Yes, I am.

I like to live on the edge.

But the only problem I've sort of run into so far is that the silhouettes I love probably won't look so great on my body type. Now, I won't completely cross anything off until I see it because you never know...but something about these types of dresses just appeal to me. (and don't worry, these aren't THE dresses, just ideas and shapes I like and want to keep in mind)

L-R: Sweetheart A-Line Almost Ballgown: This is the silhouette I love but that would probably look like poo on me; Sheath V-Neck: Love this! But does it look like wedding dress? I struggle with that; Mermaid/Trumpet/Bell: Like the look but not sure how it would look on me; Short with Sleeves: This is unusual and unexpected. Like me! But is it appropriate for an indoor church wedding? Not sure...; Classic A-Line Silhouette: This is probably along the lines of what I would normally go with. It's a classic look for ladies with my body type and it's very flattering.

Thoughts? Married ladies, how did you decide on the silhouette or style of your dress?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top 5 Tuesday: Recent Reads

I'm a big reader.

Meaning, I like to read a lot. Not, that I only read big books. Y'all know what I mean.

Anywho, lately, I've been reading some good books, so why not share with you? Any bookheads out there? Holla!!

1. The Leigh Koslow Mystery Series by Edie Claire: A great short mystery read (I think there are maybe 9 of these books??) that has lots of great characters. I just finished book 3 and can't wait to start 4!

2. Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux: One of my favorite author's starts a new series that combines southern history, mystery, World War II and true love. You will find yourself totally absorbed into this book and the characters.

3. Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola: A surprisingly heartfelt novel about coming home. Not gonna lie...the end of this brought out some waterworks.

4. Iron House by John Hart: Hart can be kind of intense in his plots but this one, like his others, does not disappoint. I just re-read this after having read it when it was first released. A great story about brothers, secrets and family bonds.

5. Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer: Fans of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy see Darcy's side of things in this well-written book. The timing lines up with P&P for when Darcy was away and traveling. A great insight into what Darcy might have told had Ms. Austen shared his side.

What books have you been into lately?

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm Obsessed...

Well, it's no secret around these blog parts that I'm slightly obsessed with Christmas. And Target.

So, it's quite the understatement to say that I'm OBSESSED with Target's 2013 Christmas entertainment/decor line. Y'all...for real. TRUST me. And, take a look for yourself...

Snowflake Round Tumbler Set of 4 - Gold (Small)

Threshold Acrylic Stemless Wine Glass Red Dots

Threshold Double Old-Fashioned Tumbler Cheers

Fox and Moose Tall Tumbler Set of 4

Rachael Ray Holiday Hoot Round Platter - 14"

Holiday Ceramic Milk Jug Set of 2 - (Small)

Holiday Square Checker Plate Set of 4 - Red

Peace, Noel, Joy, Shine Appetizer Plate set of 4

Do you like any of those items? I think the stemless wine glasses and the "CHEER" glasses would look really awesome on my Christmas table. I'm just saying...
Also - I just wanted to briefly express my gratitude and appreciation for all of our veterans on this Veteran's Day. Specifically, I'll thank those near and dear to me: Cousins Vincent, Mike, Rock and David; Uncles Paul, Andy and Frank; Grandfathers Clarence, David, Brian and Harry and friends including Mordy, Chris, Rob and many others. From a grateful nation, we thank you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

10 Human Behaviors I Find Puzzling

10. People who complain about being sick or in pain but don't do anything about it.
Or is that just all men?

9. Being overly dramatic.
Being dramatic only helps you if you're an actor or actress.

8. Parents who want to be their kids friends. 
Stop it. Your kids have enough friends. They need parents. Kthxbye.

7. Mouth Breathers
Stole this from Karly Kim...but it's so true. Mouth breathing is only acceptable after some form of physical activity...or if you are sick.

6. Asking for help ALL. THE. TIME.
Are you honestly completely incapable of doing anything for yourself? I think not. And did you really not learn how to do that the last 3 times I showed you?

5. People who drive loud cars.
Why? I don't get it. 

4. Twerking.
I know what it is. But what purpose does it serve? None, I suspect. Unless it's some amazing workout or something.

3. People who only have 1 set of sheets. 
Why have 1 when you can have 6? Duh!

2. Painting your entire body, be it for a sporting event or costume party.
That is my literal hell. You can't sit, scratch or touch anything...I'm itching just thinking about it.

1. People who are always ALWAYS listening to music. 
Remove your earbuds and enjoy the sounds of life for a while. 

Honorable Mention: People who post "throwback thursday" photos on IG that are from a year ago. Or 6 months ago. Stop it! Stopitrightnow!

Read the original (and much, MUCH funnier post) here. I will leave you lovelies with a little something to celebrate the weekend. Happy Friday!

Friday.. SO ME.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wedding Wednesday

So, this should be a notice that y'all can expect a bit more wedding talk here on the old blog. I'll limit it to only being on Wednesdays to spare those of you who hate wedding stuff from having to stomach too much of it. But you can expect me to talk more about my own wedding from here on out on Wedding Wednesdays.

Yes, MY WEDDING! It still feels so surreal. But it's happening. And I have turned into a wedding planning machine, y'all. Over the weekend, M and I picked a date, location (for ceremony AND reception), developed guest lists, worked on the reception food "menu, picked/asked attendants, picked out colors/theme and asked the minister. We've still got to finalize the date we chose with our minister, but once it's final, I'll let everyone know. :) Oh, and we're aiming for April 2014, so I've just got a few months to put on something spectacular!

Anywho, I'm going to show y'all one of my mood boards. This will kind of give you an idea of where I'm going. Let me just state that I want this wedding to be remembered as unique and whimsical. There will be some elements of tradition (church wedding) but then some new/more modern ideas (candy buffet!).

wedding mood board 1

wedding mood board 1 by aprilanne147 featuring blue bridesmaid dresses

Some of the elements the wedding will include are:

  • Bright colors (and a lot of them)
  • Chalkboards
  • Either glitter, sequins or sprinkles. Maybe all three. 
  • Lots of different flowers
  • Sugar, candy and desserts
  • Navy and gray (my fave neutrals!)
  • A Milk & Cookies station
  • Cardigans and statement necklaces (but did you expect anything else?)
Yay! I'm so excited to share my ideas with you. If you have any ideas or suggestions, I'd love to hear them! 

Have a fabulous Wednesday. Hump DAAAYYYYY!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Top 5 Tuesday: Normal Foods I Don't Enjoy

Every kid hates brussel sprouts. Or beets. Or cauliflower. Or (insert weird vegetable here). But not every kid hates apple pie.

There are foods that most people dislike. And then there are foods that most people enjoy. Like nuts. Or seafood.

There are quite a few foods that I do not enjoy. Of these foods, there are quite a few on the list of foods that the majority of the population enjoys. Below are the Top 5 "normal" foods which I do not enjoy. (For all intents and purposes, my definition of "normal" means it is enjoyed by at least 60% of the population.

Also, I have no statistical backing for my analysis of popular foods. I'm simply going off a hunch. Because hunches are usually accurate, right?

I digress...below are some normal foods that I do not like.

1. Seafood.
I will take none of it. No crabs, no fish, no lobster, no problem. If it swims as a primary means of transportation, I'm not interested.

2. Nuts.
I don't like nuts in my cookies, on my brownies or in my cakes. All they do is create a weird texture thing and they taste like what I think the wall tastes like.

3. Lettuce.
The texture is the issue here. I will eat baby spinach leaves if they are dry and cool. But cold and wet...or worse...cold and wet AND slimy? I'm done. No thanks. Eighty-six the lettuce please.

4. Apple Pie.
Call me un-American, but I do not enjoy apple pie. I don't really enjoy most pies but I can't say all pies because there are a few, namely, that contain chocolate that I do enjoy. However, cinnamony-hot-baked apples, I do not like. I do not like them Sam I am.

5. Chinese Food. 
I just don't love it. I don't love eggrolls, sweet and sour chicken, anything in that god-awful red sauce or spicy anything. Chinese food doesn't really agree with me either. We have a standing agreement to avoid each other at all costs. When I have to order Chinese, I usually opt for noodles. You can't really go wrong with noodles, right?

What are some "normal" foods you don't like?

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Story

So, in case you missed yesterday's post...

I'm engaged!

WHAT?! It's crazy. I can't believe it, honestly. It seems surreal. I mean, yes we were talking about it and had previously discussed marriage. Yes, we'd also gone to look at rings once but I really expected to be engaged later this year...maybe around the holidays.

So, when the events that transpired on Wednesday night actually transpired, I was completely shocked. Below is the rundown of the events. And I should warn you that my engagement story is unique, special and very, very "ME". :)

Wednesday evening M called me and said he had to come up my way (he lives in a different city than I...about 20 min. away) that night to help his mom move something in her office and asked if I wanted to grab some dinner while he was up here.

I agreed but said we shouldn't go anywhere fancy because I would be in my workout clothes. (This is not an abnormal occurance for me as I usually exercise/run in the evenings after work.) He kind of balked at it...which I thought was weird. He said he was craving steak. Which meant a nicer restaurant than normal. :) And he doesn't like to be I didn't think too much about it. I've posted the text convo below...

(Side note on 2 things. One, I pulled this text this am so we really weren't talking about this at 10:15 am. Two, M's real name is Mark. There. It's out there. But I like calling him M, so M he will be. Kthxbye.)

Okay, so I decided to change into something more appropriate (which was still just a shirt, jeans, flats and a statement necklace...) and he picked me up. We were going to dinner at a restaurant near my house that is in a large shopping center that contains a Super most favorite place on earth. (said non-sarcastically) M said he needed to go by Target to see if they had a DVD set he's been looking for before we ate and since he was up here he wanted to look.

Still clueless here. I'm just dilly-dallying along in Target and decide to go by the Dollar Spot where I spotted a turkey hat. I've been wanting one for a long time and they finally had one that fit my head. So...I swiped it and we headed for the checkout. Along the way, I decided to pick up a few other know, like Halloween candy and such. :)

Once we left Target and were in M's truck I asked him if he'd take a picture of me with the turkey hat on for Instagram. Y'all know I love my instas. Heh. He said he would, but wanted to go somewhere there was more light. We were in the Target parking lot and it was dark outside. He pulled up to the corner of the parking lot where a streetlight was and we got out and he took my pic. I made him send it to me on my phone so the next few minutes happened very quickly and all took place while I was receiving said picture, saving to my phone, editing and posting to instagram.

He backed out of the space and then kinda stopped really quick like he'd heard (or hit something) with his truck. He asked me "Did you hear that?" and I said, "Um, no. What was it?" (By the way still on my phone now preparing to post said photo to instagram.) He got out of the truck and walked around to the back and looked like he was looking at something on the ground or on his bumper area. I wasn't paying him any attention until he signaled me to come over and look. (My thoughts. Great, we've hit a bird or a squirrel and now he wants me to see it.) So, I (still holding my phone and literally hitting "post" on the turkey hat photo on instagram) I walked around to the back of the truck and he was down on one knee holding up the open ring box.

To be fair, I'm not entirely sure what he said to me (the exact words) but I know the basic gist of it. I was SO surprised. I asked him, "Is this for real?" and "Are you serious?!" at least 5 times. Once he finished talking, I answered "Yes". I was SO surprised y'all.

I didn't cry...until he told me that my whole family and his family all knew he was proposing and he'd already asked my dad's permission and everything. Then I lost it. He was so sweet!

It feels weird to have a ring on my left hand and I don't really feel "engaged" yet, but I know that will come. I can't wait to start thinking about wedding stuff...which I probably will this hopefully that will make it seem more real.

There is also one other thing in this story that deserves recognition. That thing is the turkey hat I bought and wore prior to our engagement. The picture of which I was instagramming while M proposed. This little turkey hat, just sitting at the dollar spot in Target has propelled itself to a life of importance instead of getting shoved in a drawer somewhere. It will have a prominent place in my memoir box and make many appearances over the course of the next few months. Below is the photo I was instagramming...

"Yes, little April. You are about to become engaged and you have no idea. And I will forever be a part of your life now. HAHAAHAHAHA." - Turkey Hat

In hindsight, there were so many moving pieces to this story that I had no clue about. I'm completely surprised that my family and even my boss were able to keep a secret. My sister knew EVERYTHING and didn't even drop a hint. I'm very impressed at her ability to hide it. She helped arrange that M would be alone with my dad to ask him for his permission to marry me.

Oh, and him moving the desk for his mom at her work? Totally not true. He'd gone to pick up the ring in Charlotte and was on his way back.

Even my boss and her husband knew about it because my sister cuts my bosses' hair. Almost everyone knew about it except for me. As someone who prides herself on being highly observant and very hard to surprise, I am blown away that so many people could have known that this was happening and didn't spill the beans.

[edited] It wasn't brought to my attention until later what the significance of the Target parking lot was. We first met in a Target parking lot. The spot of our first meeting and our engagement. It makes me happy to know that my favorite place has such a huge role in our relationship. Hahaha. 

Also, not as important, but part of the story nonetheless. A long time ago I told M that if he ever proposed I wanted him to make sure my hair was down, my nails were done and I wasn't dressed scummily. So, his insistence on me wearing real clothes instead of workout clothes was because he knew I would hate it if he'd proposed while I had on yoga pants. AND my nails had just been done last Saturday. AND my hair was down.

He did a good job. :)