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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top 5 Tuesday: Desserts to Try

It's no secret that I've got a sweet tooth.

Actually, I've got a whole mouth full of sweet teeth. I'm one of those people who would rather have a piece of cake than a meal. Or an appetizer and a dessert instead of dinner at Chilis. Scratch that. [waves hands] You didn't see anything...

Now, I'll take a good, old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie any day. But lately, I've been seeing (and pinning) some delicious looking desserts, so I figured I'd share 5 of my most recent faves with y'all.

Dieters, beware. You may want to stop reading. :)

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup No Bake Dessert
Any recipe that contains the following ingredients: oreo cookies, cream cheese, butter, chocolate pudding and Reese's peanut butter cups is a WIN WIN in my book.


Gooey Nutella Banana Bread
Mmmmm, I love chocolate chip banana bread, so the thought of NUTELLA banana bread is amazing!


Chocolate Covered Bacon
Oh. Stinking. Snap. No I didn't...


Japanese Cheesecake
This looks like pound cake but is CHEESECAKE! Mmmmm. Get in my belly.


Chocolate Chip Oreo Brownies
Chocolate chip cookie + oreo + brownie = the triumvirate of dessert

The biggest problem with this list is deciding which to make first!! Have you tried any of these recipes? Care to share your tips/tricks?

~April

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans : Camping 2.0

Well, I survived. :)

Actually, despite the fact that it rained for about 80% of the weekend, it was fun. Below are some photos and commentary on my little weekend glamping camping trip.


Behold the "cabin". It's pretty much a room with 2 cots...but it sure did hold up well in the rain. I can't say that a tent might have done as well. #gladipickedthecabinthistime

 
Friday evening was the only clear/non-rainy night. So, we s'mored it up. Yes, I just used s'mores as a verb. Heh.

 
Evidence of said s'moring.

 
Saturday morning (before the rain started) we went fishing. I got a chance to use my new (pink) rod & reel. M even put on a pink lure. :) He knows me well.


After a while of no biting and lots of stillness, I got a little bored. So, I started with selfies...and then moved on to photos of other things...


All the pretty lures!! Fishing can be quite colorful!

 
Note to self: This t-shirt is NOT flattering. But, I was camping...so a little fashion grace please?

 
M...putting a lure on my fishing pole rod. There is a proper name for this act, but I can't remember it at the moment. It's not baiting the hook...because we weren't using bait. Something else...
 
 
I didn't take many more photos after Friday/Saturday morning...because it was so nasty outside. However, I thought this one was cute...
 
Well, y'all that's my brief recap. I'm a little sleep deprived so I cannot offer much in the way of witty commentary. :)
 
 
~April
 




Friday, April 26, 2013

Let's Get Personal, Personal

I wanna get personal, let's get personal, yeah! Does anyone else often "Weird Al Yankovic-ize" songs? Or is that just me? Like, I thought of the post title, "Let's Get Personal" and my mind immediately went to the Olivia Newton-John Let's Get Physical song and sang 'personal' instead of 'physical'. Reminds me a little of this scene. Perhaps that's where this came from?

Anywho, in an effort to change up my normal blog routine, I've decided to blog a little about me.

Yup. Me.


 
Erin posted this awesome "interview" with herself on Wednesday. She blogged about always being able to answer easy questions like which color necklace to wear with a sweater and whether or not she should eat one or two bowls of mac and cheese. But, often, when she was asked more complex questions (either her asking herself or others asking) she struggled to formulate an answer.

A little more thinking on this and I came to the same conclusion that I don't really have answers for some of the more difficult questions I often ponder about.

So, today, I'll interview my own self. Read on if you'd like to get to know a little more about the sarcastic self-depricating not really funny girl behind the blog. :D

 
 
1. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would it be? Probably, I would be more diligent about school and try to focus on what I wanted to do at a younger age. But, do I still really know what I want to be when I grow up? I often think about that too. Sigh.
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 5 years, I'll probably [hopefully] be married, maybe have [human or dog] child(ren) and wealthy due to one of the three factors:
a) I've invented something useful and sold the patent for millions of dollars
b) Millions of people started reading my blog and now I simply live off of ad/product royalties
c) I married The Drew (even though the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't yet count polygamy as legal...)
BUUUUUTTTT, with all jokes aside, I will probably be married and living a simple, happy, joyful life. That's all I really want.
3. Do you honestly want kids? I actually get asked this question a lot...surprisingly. And my answer is not very satisfying for either camp (pro-kids, anti-kids). I would be happy with whatever lot I'm given. If I have children, that will be awesome. If I'm not able to have them, then that would also be fine. I'm literally in the middle of both camps, here. I don't think I'm okay with IVF and all of that so that would probably not be an option for me.
4. What has been the best moment of your life so far? This is hard. I've had lots of great moments, but I don't know if I could single one out of them all as being the best. Maybe being elected Military Ball Queen in high school. That might be the greatest to date. 
5. What is your life theme song? New Shoes by Paolo Nutini. Listen here. Just read some of the lyrics below and this is really my life. Well, maybe not so much with the late thing. But it's the first song I thought of. And it's catchy!!
Hey, I put some new shoes on,
And suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
It's so inviting
6. What is one thing you have yet to accomplish that you want to do before you die? I would like to meet Paula Deen. Dang, that sounds so shallow. But it's true.
7. If you could choose one thing to be known for, what would it be? I want to be known as someone who gives great advice. It's weird, I know. But for some reason, I get immense satisfaction in knowing that I gave someone really good advice that worked out for them.
8. If you could do anything you wanted right in this very moment (no consequences, no fear, etc), what would it be? Take a trip to Hawaii and only eat dessert at every meal. (no consequences, right?)
9. What has been the most challenging moment in your life? There have been lots of challenging moments. But what defines them as challenging instead of devastating is the outcome of a lesson learned. Challenges are hard and push you but don't break you. I've seen lots of challenges both personally and professionally (family deaths, job loss, heartache, substance abuse, stressful coworkers, depression, anger, etc.) but I've only allowed them to shape me in a good way. I will always be a different person having gone through heartache, but I now realize more about what defines true love. Challenges are what teach me.
10. Summarize yourself in one word. Peaceful



Well, friends, wish me luck. I start my weekend o' camping tonight. :D 

Have a great weekend and come back Monday for a camping trip recap! 

~April

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

Now that it's tan season - a bronzer tutorial for everyone. 
[via]
This is me. All. Of. The. Time.
I want to go here sometime. It's beautiful!
And this is a brilliant idea!
Must do this at the beach with the fam this year. Must!

And now, for your weekly GIFts. Heh. See what I did there? Yes!!!

Haven't watched the show, but am slightly afraid to do so. Anyone else?
Ever think people just post stuff for likes? You know, like photos of their kids? Joking!
Holy cow, Vicki is a train wreck. She just looks bad. 
But I DO work for chocolate.
Your weekly June. :) 

That's me for work. Putting a little paint on the barn to look good. BAHAHAHAHA!

And a few more things I'm loving: Steph's post on how to throw an awesome party | Ali's closet. The whole dang thang. And her pup! | This adorable outfit that Krystin is wearing. The green piped blazer! | Leslie's post inspired me to re-do my cubice (pronounced like cube and office). I want to make it pretty, whimsical and sophisticated with a touch of My Little Pony. Any ideas? | My friend Jill posted about weight lifting and we share a similar sentiment that My Fitness Pal does not "reward" calories for weight/strength training. That's some crapola. It's hard work. And is probably why my quads are SCREAMING today. | I wish I could rock one of these types of shirts on my camping trip this weekend. But I just don't think it's "me". | Lastly, I need this. The end.

Well, we're one day closer to the weekend, so happy Thursday! 

~April

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How to: Dress for a Pear Shape

Having always thought I was an hourglass shape, I've recently come  to terms with the fact that I am not so much an hourglass but a pear shape. For more information on the different body types (with regards to fashion), click here. (a "teardrop" shape and pear shape are the same)

Someone recently asked me how to best dress for a pear shape (or, when the lower part of your body like booty, hips and thighs are more full than the upper part of your body, like your bust and waist). I thought it might be helpful to put together a visual (because I am a visual person) concept of how to best dress a pear shaped body. Read below for my ideas on dressing this body type...which also happens to be mine. HA!

dressing for pear shapes

dressing for pear shapes by aprilanne147 featuring mango pants

Dresses: Wrap and A-line dresses are idea for this body type. They emphasize the small size of the top while "skimming" over the larger bottom half.
Tops/Necklaces: Tops with embellishments like ruffles, decorative necklines or sequins/prints help to draw the eye upward and draw attention to a smaller upper half. The same goes with statement necklaces. It helps to emphasize what is smaller. 
Pants/Jeans: TROUSER JEANS. TROUSER CUT PANTS. I don't mean to shout, but there's a reason that this "classic" cut never goes away...it's perfect for pears. 
Skirts: In general, structured skirts (like the pencil skirt) and some A-line skirts work well for pears. You do not want something that emphasizes the hips but that either skims over it or hugs it.

Note - It is not necessary to banish prints and patterns from your lower half, you just want to make sure that whatever is paired with them helps to balance them out. 

Where my fellow pears at? Holla! 

Would you be interested in seeing something like this for other body types? Let me know. 

~April


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Glamping

Well, y'all, I'm going camping again this weekend. This time for TWO nights instead of one. Yes, I know. Who am I? :)

But, in a desperate effort to come up with some cool ideas for my camping trip, I created a camping board on Pinterest. This introduced me to the idea of Glamping. Glamping, which is the combination of glamour and camping, is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. It's camping (being outside in a tent or tent-like structure) but it's not really "roughing it", so to speak.  Or, nature and s'mores and the great outdoors with a real bed and not so rustic accommodations. It's really a perfect combination, if you ask me!

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Glamping is a more luxurious way to go camping.


glamping-site montana

glamp-site Australia


Safari tent interior

While I'm not sure how M might take to the idea of Glamping, I definitely think it's worth a try, right? :D Anywho, my camping trip this weekend is NOT a glamping trip, but I did beef up my camping gear (and I use the word "gear" very, very loosely here) with the addition of an inflatable/foam sleeping mat. This is like a foam pad/mat that you put your sleeping bag on and it can also inflate too. I think this will go a long way into making my camping experience even better. 

Of course, I know many of you are probably camping veterans. Any other tips/tricks/ideas are welcome! 

~April

Monday, April 22, 2013

Four Ingredient Dog Treats


In the last few months, Hewitt's apparent food allergy has intensified to the point where I've needed to change his food to a brand that doesn't contain dairy, soy, corn, wheat or animal by-products. It has really helped Hewitt's digestive system tremendously. However, his treats (which, is a word that in my house, must be spelled out because this is an English word that Hewitt knows) still had the yucky stuff that seemed to be upsetting his digestive system.

Now, I love my dog, a lot. But, I'm already paying about $20 for a 5lb bag of his new food, so the thought of shelling out a lot more money for "clean" dog treats wasn't very appealing. However, this new diet has made a huge difference so I figured I would try and make my own treats that contained mostly pure/whole/natural ingredients.

So, over the weekend I ventured into the world of dog treat making. I found a ton of dog treat recipes all over Pinterest, but each one I found had one or two ingredients that I knew wouldn't jive with my Hewitt's sensitive system. So, I did the next best thing and made up my own recipe using things that I know Hewitt can eat and tolerate. The only "wildcard" was whole wheat flour, but so far he seems to be fine.

4 Ingredient Dog Treats [Contains no soy, dairy, corn or animal by-products]
Yields: About 24 1.5 inch treats
Ingredients: 
1. 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (I use JIF Natural)
2. 2 scoops (using the scoop that comes in the canister or about 1/2 cup total) rolled oats
3. 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
4. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Make sure you use unsweetened, natural applesauce or check the labels to be certain it doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup. 

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until they form a soft dough ball.
-Roll out dough onto floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin. (I used a little more whole wheat flour.)
-Cut out small sections of dough using a cookie cutter or slice with a pizza cutter into about 1.5 in. squares.
-Place on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until browned slightly.

Note: Next time, I might try baking a little longer so the treats will be more crispy. These are pretty soft. But the thinner the dough, the crispier the treats will be.

And the verdict? Well, li'l man loves them. But, I pretty much knew he would. It contains his favorite ingredient: peanut butter. Next time, I might even add a banana to the mix to try it.



~April

Linking up with Meg for Mingle Monday!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Confessional Friday

Hi blog friends! Happy Friday!

First off, stop what you're doing. No, for real, stop. STOP!

Now, watch this video.


OH MY LORDY. Y'all this is hilar. I think I'm torn between the flamingo (of course!) and the whale. It's so funny!

And now that we've exercised our funny bones, let's move on to confessin', shall we?

//I confess that I ran for 20 min without stopping this week. While that doesn't seem like a lot for most people, it's quite a feat (punny!) for me. :)

//I confess that I'm not really a smoothie person. I mean, I don't HATE smoothies, but I'd rather just have a milkshake. But, milkshakes are bad. So, thus I'm left with no scratch for my frozen beverage itch. Sigh...

//I confess that I've been on WebMD way too much this week. There's nothing wrong with me, but I just have random urges to research stuff that happens to be on WebMD.

//I also confess that I'm probably the world's biggest hypochondriac, second only to my father. (hi dad!!) Hey, we wear our psychosomatic sicknesses with pride!

//I confess that I took about eleventy billion photos of my arm yesterday where I got my weekly allergy shot. The injection site normally swells a little each week but this week was pretty severe and it was red and hot and itchy. So, naturally, I took photos and used WebMD. Thankfully, I resisted the urge to instagram it. But I did succumb to sending photos to M and making my parents feel it. Wow, I'm a weirdo!

//I confess that this pin is hilar.


Caption: "And to put it simply: Alpacas are pleasant looking and Llamas look like they’re constantly judging you."

Also, do the alpacas remind you of anyone?

Alpacas trump llamas. Always. 

And Beyonce trumps all. The end. 

And with that, have a wonderful weekend!

~April

Linking up with Leslie for Confessional Friday.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Splurge vs. Steal: Pinspiration

I pinned this beauty awhile back and have been itching to do something with it. (Well, other than attempt to wear it, of course!)

I thought I'd do a Splurge vs. Steal post based on this look. Here's my inspiration...



splurge vs. steal pinspiration

splurge vs. steal pinspiration by aprilanne147 featuring j.crew necklace

One of these outfits is a hefty $2100 and the other comes in around $480. Can you guess which is the "splurge" and which outfit is the "steal"?

The outfit on the left is the splurge. Expensive designer clothing (Missoni, Sergio Rossi) made this outfit more than 5x the price of the other. (Wait...did I do that math right? Pretend it's correct, okay? You know, for emphasis.) The outfit on the right, or the "steal" pulls similar looks from places like TJ Maxx, Payless and Tillys. This cute purple and preppy green/white ensemble is great for a church service, horse race or even an afternoon wedding or baby shower. Would you ever try this look together?

~April

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Space


Gosh I love so much about this living room! The pops of color (aqua!!), the use of live plants/greenery and the global influence is really perfect together. Plus, I spy some Ikea and Crate & Barrel items (read: affordable) in here as well.

Are you ever inspired by photos of someone else's home? Share them with me! Link it up in the comments. :)

~April

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Word for no words


I don't really have words today. I have plenty of emotions, but those don't help much. I find my comfort in The Word. This verse spoke to me last night and I hope it speaks to you today. 

~April

Monday, April 15, 2013

Camping: A Yuppie's Perspective

Well, if you follow on Instagram/Twitter or read my blog last week, you'd know that I went camping this weekend.

Camping is quite an ordeal for me. For one, you can't plan for EVERYTHING, which drives my type A personality nuts. On the other hand, it's a great exercise for using the skill of improvisation. You learn to make do with what you have.

It should also be stated (even though I'm pretty sure it's obvious) that I'm a Yuppie. I'm "city-fied". I don't really do dirt and outside and bugs and bug spray (it's the WORST). So, voluntarily sleeping outside (well, in a tent...) is a big step for this Yuppster. Mmmkay?

Below are a few lessons I learned on my brief camping trip, along with a few pictures, for your viewing pleasure. :)

//1 Bring a long lighter. 
When you are told to bring a lighter, it means a long handled lighter and not a mini-purple cigarette lighter. It might make starting the fire a little complicated when your boyfriend is trying to light kindling. Just saying.

//2 Bring a change of clothes.
I know, this one is kind of a given...but my last minute camping advice givers...cough...mom and sister...cough...told me not to bring extra clothes because that's not what people do. They just sleep in what they wear and wear it the next day. Well, I kinda did that. Except, I brought different clothes to sleep in. I know, I know...I just planned so much for the little things that I completely overlooked the big things. Sigh.

//3 When choosing a sleeping bag, pretty doesn't always mean warm. 
I chose my sleeping bag solely for the color. It's pink. And soft. And definitely not appropriate for temps in the 40s at night. Yeah.

//4 Bring clothes for every type of weather.
Pack an outfit for July, an outfit for January and an outfit for October. Then I'll be covered for the different times of the day and the different weather I encountered.

//5 Dollar store flashlights stink.
Well, I mean, it worked, technically. But it wasn't bright. Note to self: get a stinking LED flashlight. It just makes everything brighter and better.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised. Lezzbehonest, I'm not so down with the always dirty thing...but the campsite we stayed at had a VERY clean bathhouse. Is it bad to still shower everyday when you're "camping"? I think that will be how it has to be for me. I can't stand not being clean. But that's another...cough...OCD...issue.


But, I did enjoy camping a lot. So much, in fact, that I'm planning on going again in a few weeks! Yay!

Linking up all my Weekend Shenanigans with Sami and Meg for Mingle Monday!

Happy Monday!

~April

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