Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Design Style: Transitional with a Touch of Country

I've been going through a bit of a design personality disorder lately. My own home decor style is an unusual one and it's definitely changing as I get older. No longer do I want bright colors everywhere, but I opt for neutrals. As a matter-of-fact, one of the most "done" rooms in my house that we get the most compliments on is my bedroom. My bedroom is 100% neutral colors.

Anywho, not the point. I've always figured myself a "transitional" decor personality and I still think that applies. But I'd like to introduce another little touch to my design

Right? It's crazy! Two months ago I'd vehemently deny that had any sort of country decor style in my genes. M (bless him) got me some magazine subscriptions for Christmas (because I am obsessed with magazines) and one of them was for Country Living. I didn't say anything to him but just figured I'd probably not like anything in there. I had visions of red and yellow plaid prints and chickens/cow figurines.

Boy was I wrong! My first issue came yesterday and I was blown away at how much stuff I loved in that magazine. And M and I were discussing him hanging some shelves for me to display my white servingware in the kitchen and they had photos of that exact thing. I loved the photos in this article and this one!

So, shame on me for not thinking the "country" decor style had evolved since 1991. I was pleasantly surprised and would even venture to now say that my decor style is transitional with a little bit country.

Transitional Country Home Decor Style

Transitional Country Home Decor Style by aprilanne147 featuring inlaid furniture

In the picture above, there are elements of transitional style and country. The style of the chair, the sofa and the side table are transitional, along with the color palette. There are pops of "country" in the rustic wood table, mosaic stone lamp and faux-fur accents. Pretty much I would love to replicate this room in my living room to the T.

What's your decor style? This is a great assessment if you don't already know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Things I Do That are Low-Key Stalkerish

It's a running joke with my friends and coworkers that I am the resident stalker. At first I resented that because I'm not a stalker. But thanks to my coworkers, I now realize that some of the things I do frequently could be considered "stalkerish". Stalkerish = possessing stalker-like tendencies but is really just done for information gathering or to satisfy general curiosity. Therefore, I give you:

1. Look up coworkers houses on the local real-estate lookup site. I believe this is actually a property tax records site that I look them up on. For no reason other than seeing the place they call home. 

2. Facebook lurking. I'm a low-key FB lurker quite simply because people over share on the network. You can learn a lot of about them by simply being quiet and observing.

3. Googling people. If I know you or have met in in real life, chances are I've Googled you. Heck, I even Google myself! You can find out a lot about people based on their online footprint.

4. White Pages lookup. This one isn't that well known but you can look up people in the white pages and find out some info about them like mailing address, approximate age, etc. The info isn't always correct, but that's how I found most of the addresses for my wedding invitations. :) 

5. Google earth people's houses. I like seeing the street view. :)

6. Browse interior photos of homes for sale on Trulia. Not because I'm looking...I just like seeing people's (sometimes horrendous) interior decorating styles. And yes, I look at really expensive houses to see how the other half lives. :) It's also a great way to get REAL ideas on REAL people's houses instead of looking through the overly-glamoured Pinterest eyes. 

7. Look in my neighbors windows. Okay, this sounds really creepy. But let me explain. When I'm running or walking the dog in the neighborhood at dusk or night when people have their lights on, I like looking in and seeing how they'd decorated their house. I live in a townhome complex and I especially like seeing how those who live in the same floorplan as we do decorate their gigantic accent wall in the living room.

8. Stalk people on social media. There's no better insight into people's live than what they post on social...and you have the anonymity of The Internets. :)

So while I'm not really a stalker, I do some stalkerish things. Does your curiosity get the better of you with any of these? Have you tried them? Am I just a creep?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow & Ice Down South: A Small Rant

Winter storm Jonas, aka "Snowzilla" came to visit us over the weekend. While most of the snow is pretty much gone by now (benefit of living in the northern part of the South) we did have a couple inches of the white stuff on top of a couple inches of the clear stuff. 

Of course, we didn't get nearly as much snow as Virginia or other areas of the country, but we still got snow. The city of Charlotte (and surrounding areas) do not play with snow threats so they preemptively closed schools and government offices for Friday and many employers followed suit. Any time this happens people from other parts of the country like to balk at and make fun of the city/school system's decisions. Yes, the city pretty much shuts down for winter weather and yes, we know, you have driven to school uphill both ways in 10x this much snow. 

But you know what? The south is not equipped to handle adverse winter weather. We don't have all the plows, slag trucks and personnel that other more northern cities do. This isn't a common occurrence here so they don't invest money in a lot of that kind of equipment. People that live here don't have chains for their tires or even really know how to drive in snow/ice, so it's really better for everyone that we stay at home. Also, because of our more temperate climates, we almost never just get the powdery white snow that actually IS easy to drive in. We get what I call "snice" (snow + ice) and a lot of it. There was at least .75" of ice under the snow we got over the weekend.

Finally, in the south, we love snow. Yes, we realize that most of you probably moved down here to get away from it, but we love it so much BECAUSE it is so rare. So, don't make fun of us when we go out and play in it...even at 31 and 32 years old...cough..cough...By doing things like this. Yes, that's me "sledding" down an ice-covered hill on an upside down folding table. When there are no sleds to be found, we make do, y'all. :) Don't make fun of us for closing school or businesses when there is bad weather. Don't make fun of us for not being able to drive in it. We aren't used to it...and it's much safer to enjoy the snow when we stay home and play in it. :)

I'm trying to reason with y'all here but I could just be catty...and post this...

His and Her Answers

I've seen this questions post floating around on FB for a week or so where you ask your kids these questions and type their initial answer.

Well, seeing as how I have no children and my dog is non-verbal, I decided to ask M these questions and then he asked me.

M's Answers About Me
1. What is something I always say to you? Will you take the dog out?
2. What makes me happy? When I clean the kitchen
3. What makes me sad? When you see animals being mistreated
4. How do I make you laugh? By doing stupid things
5. What was I like as a child? Bad[for the record this is inaccurate]
6. How old am I? 31
7. How tall am I? 5'9" (A: nope), 5'8" (A:nope), 5'7" (A:nope), 5'6" (A:nope). You're not 5'5", April. [for the record, I actually am 5'5".]
8. What is my favorite thing to do? Boss me around
9. What do I do when you're not around? Watch tv
10. What am I really good at? Organizing things
11. What am I not very good at? Fondue [this one still stings]
12. What do I do for a job? Social media and digital marketing
13. What is my favorite food? Red Baron pizza
14. What do you enjoy doing with me? Hanging out

My Answers About M
1. What is something I always say to you? HUH!?!
2. What makes me happy? When the Panthers win
3. What makes me sad? When I cry or am sad
4. How do I make you laugh? By doing stupid things.
5. What was I like as a child? Bad
6. How old am I? 32
7. How tall am I? 6'5"
8. What is my favorite thing to do? Play video games
9. What do I do when you're not around? Play video games
10. What am I really good at? Playing video games
11. What am I not very good at? Crafts
12. What do I do for a job? Run the tooling room at a pharmaceutical plant
13. What is my favorite food? Sausage balls. (M: Those are more like a treat.) Okay, lasagna.
14. What do you enjoy doing with me? Being outside

Friday, January 22, 2016

Ways to Survive a Snow Weekend

Many of my fellow Southeasterners and those in the Mid-Atlantic and up the East coast are at the first stages of a weekend-long snow and ice storm called Jonas.

In order to survive this snow weekend, I've proposed a few things to help pass the time. :)

If you're not a reader, now's a great time to start. There's not much more cozy than a good book, blanket and a snowy day outside. :) If you don't  have any actual books, try downloading the Kindle app and you can try some great free ones on there to start you off!

Something about a snow day really makes me want to clean my house. This could just be me being weird.

Along the lines of cleaning, use your forced inside time to be productive and purge your closet, pantry, laundry room, etc.

Have you heard of the List App? It's literally an app for making lists. (which are totally my jam) Try the app out! It's still in its Beta stage, but it's amazing! It's a great way to waste time and meet others who are as obsessed with lists as you are! (If you do download, find me @aprilportrais!)

Provided you have power, it's a great time to experiment with new recipes or do some old favorites. For me, I'll be making my now famous Mexican Chicken Chili. YUM!!

Something about hours of forced inside time that brings out the crafty minx in me. I can't be the only one!

This is one of those things that seems to take a long time and I never set aside time to do it. Why not upload photos from last year or a recent vacation to Shutterfly and make a photo book? I can personally attest to the quality of these books, having done quite a few myself!

I use the day to try some of the wine people keep giving me that I know nothing about.

Do your nails, give yourself a facial, do your toes. Any of the grooming that normally is a pain because it takes a lot of time.

And that's all I have. If you're in the path of Jonas, be safe, my friends!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How to Wear Pantone's 2016 Color of the Year Rose Quartz

I'm a little late to the game this year, but when I saw Pantone had announced their 2016 color of the year I jumped all over it! Then, I figured out that they actually have 2 colors this year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Serenity is sort of a pale lilac blue...and not that pretty, IMO. I much prefer Rose Quartz over Serenity, so I will really just be talking about that color. If you want me to do a similar post for Serenity, let me know!

Given that my skin has sort of a Rose Quartz-y hue, the best way for me to wear this awesome shade is in my accessories. Luckily, there are a TON of Rose Quartz-colored accessories out there.
Pantone's Rose Quartz

I really love the idea of Rose Quartz paired with cool tones like Teal, Gray, Navy or even Mint. This will be a great color to wear in the spring and you can begin to ease into it towards the end of winter. It would be really pretty with a Plum, Gray or Burgundy for Valentine's Day. 

So, what do you think about this new color? Would you wear it?

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Best Birthday GIF(ts)

Today is my 31st birthday. Though I started celebrating a little early, (over the weekend) today is my official birthday.

In honor of the day, I've decided to list some of my favorite birthday gifts I've received along with the year I've received them...if I remember. Reminisce with me on the differences between my 13th birthday and my 31st birthday here.


  • Boombox/stereo set - I think I was about 11. It looked kind of like this without the extra speakers on top. I was in love!
  • Set of rainbow glitter nail polishes and body glitter - back when facial glitter was all the rage. 90s kids you know what I'm talking about!
  • Shot of Patron Silver - This was for my 21st birthday. This introduced me right away to top shelf liquor. For this I am thankful. 
  • Dalmation mini backpack - I think I was 13? You know those animal mini backpacks that were all the rage in the 90s. Yep, I had a Dalmatian dog one. 
  • Limited Too sweatshirt - I didn't have a lot of expensive clothes growing up, though a lot of my friends did. For my 7th birthday, I got a Limited Too sweatshirt and you'd have thought I'd died and gone to heaven. 
And now, also in honor of my birthday, I will share with you some great Birthday GIFs. :) Because it's not a real party until someone busts out GIFs, right?

tv birthday the office happy birthday jim halpert

beyonce party birthday birthday party
RealityTVGIFs birthday real housewives happy birthday rhoa
birthday happy birthday sad the office steve carell

with birthday moments miley her
animated funny cute cartoon party
via Giphy.

Friday, January 15, 2016

13th Bday vs. 31st Bday

My birthday is Monday (the 18th) and I'll be turning 31. One of the things I've noticed as I get older is that my taste in birthdays has changed somewhat. I no longer want JNCO jeans and Backstreet Boys CDs as gifts...instead I want Lowe's gift cards and sensible work pumps.

Oh how times have changed. So, I decided to do a little something fun and compare birthdays at 13 and at 31. Enjoy...

There's really not a lot of consistency between the two. I no longer shop at American Eagle, nor do I believe in carrying a backpack (unless I'm hiking). Now, I opt for convenience instead of a big soiree. Before, I invited a whole slew of friends (in an effort to boost my popularity) and now I just choose to spend time with a select few.

How have your birthdays changed over the years?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How I've Learned to Appreciate "Investment" Items

Recently I blogged about how I've started to gravitate to investment clothing and accessories instead of my usual cheap fare. It lasts longer and holds up better to my constant wear. For example, cardigans, shoes and purses are what I go through the quickest. So, I've started to invest in higher quality pieces that will last longer and had some really great results.

Slowly but surely, I'm purging my closet of some of my inexpensive-but-often-replaced items like tops and shoes with better quality ones. NOTE: I still get everything on sale. Mama doesn't pay full price for almost anything! 

Now for some of you, these stores might not be "investment" level for you. But for me, they are. I'm used to Target and Old Navy so these are a step or 2 (or 3) up from my norm.

I've had a crush on Kate Spade for years. Now I've taken the plunge to investing in these bags. They last forever (according to tons of people...I've only had mine for a few months) and the style/design of the bags really are cohesive with my own fashion style.

So far, I own 4 Kate Spade bags. I never spend more than $200 on them (the most expensive was $175) and I absolutely love them. I've learned that having a tote full of purses is no longer my norm. Instead, I have a tote half full of 4 purses (in their dust cover bags) and I'm perfectly okay with that.

I get most of my KS purses here.

Again, I never pay full price because I think LOFT and AT are still out of my normal price range. But their sale prices definitely fit my budget. And I got a LOFT gift card for Christmas. Recently I've purchased a few shells to wear with cardigans and dress pants for work. I love, LOVE the Anne Taylor cardigans I got over the summer at the outlet. Now I'm on the lookout for a few more...that aren't $70 each. :)

Land's End is one of those stores that you think only sells coats. Or was that just me? They have very awesome work stuff and great quality tops. The only thing I've noticed is their sizing seems a little off. I have to size down for their stuff. But I've purchased a coat, sweaters, tanks, shells and even a dress from there and I love them!

I usually either ask for these shoes for Christmas presents or just buy a pair a year when they go on big sales. But I love the quality of these shoes. This is coming from someone who is a wreck with shoes...they last! They are definitely pricey but worth it!

Gone are the days where CoverGirl, Revlon and Wet n' Wild dominated my makeup bag. Not that there's anything wrong with these brands, but I don't wear makeup on a wild whim...I wear it daily. And my skin can't tolerate a lot of the cheaper products. So, I invest in high end makeup. The lone hold-outs are Maybelline Great Lash mascara (because it's amazing) and a few NYX things. I really like the NYX brand.

What are some of your investment items?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Golden Globes Best and Worst Dressed

The fashion at the Golden Globes this year was very impressive overall. I didn't see a lot of fashion faux pas and it was kind of hard to pick the worst dressed list. Mostly it all came down to styling...


Slay, JLo, SLAY! She seriously just keeps getting better with age. I love everything about this look. Her styling, accessories, makeup, the architectural interest of the dress and that va-va-voom color! A++!

Jenna Dewan Tatum could probably wear a grocery bag and look great. However, this midnight blue sparkly number was stunning! The silhouette is simple but the graduated sequin design really made it stand out. 

Despite the fact that JLaw has a slightly creepy smile, I loved this dress. I couldn't tell if the necklace cuff thing was built in to the dress or not. If not, her stylist has impeccable taste. If so, then bravo to the designer! I also love the cutouts with this. AND, red just looks awesome on blondes.

Is Calista Flockhart very relevant anymore? I'm not sure. But this dress was definitely so. The color and the gold brocade design gave a reference to a regency English dress but with a modern cut. I really loved this. 

Gosh, Amy Adams is so beautiful! This tangerine colored dress makes her look like she's got a nice bronze tone to her skin and makes her eyes pop. I'm also digging the asymmetrical sequin design on the dress. It takes it from boring to memorable.


As I mentioned earlier, my "worst dressed" mostly comes down to styling...except for in Katy Perry's case. This dress just doesn't fit her well and the color is reminiscent of a mauve taffeta dress circa 1981. The hair is pretty Priscilla Presley. But she's already done that. So, I'm not a fan of this look.

Oh Rachel McAdams. You know, I think this makes her look older than she is. The hairstyling is especially aging. I don't hate the silhouette of the dress...but the pattern is too much. 

Saoirse Ronan is really stunning but this dress and her makeup just completely washed her out. Had she done a vibrant red lip I might have totally changed my tune. But you can't be pale, with pale hair and wear a pale dress and do nude makeup. It just doesn't work. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Things I Overhear My Husband Say While Playing Video Games

The idea for this post was partly born out of my love of Steph's "Sh*t MFD Said" posts on her blog. These are things her husband says and they are hilarious! The other inspiration was the relative popularity of the initial list I posted on the List App. (Side note - if you know nothing of the list app, please check it out. It's awesome and pretty much the reason I've not been reading as much lately!) Finally, a friend suggested I might blog about this, so today, I give you the very first installment of "Things I Overhear My Husband Say While Playing Video Games".

M plays Xbox Live so he talks to other people who are playing the same games with him. That is important to remember. 

"This wouldn't be an issue if that stupid guy knew how to drive a mongoose!"
Self-explanatory. I guess.

"I got rid of all that stuff...the warthogs and the extra coins."
But he kept the mongoose, apparently. 

"They came up with a flag and I sniped them in the face!"
What else would one do when faced with this situation?

"Teabag 'em! Teabag 'em! Teabag 'em!"
I have no comment. 

"Twitch, have you ever seen a grown man naked?"
Apparently this is a quote from the movie Airplane.

Singing: "Chim Chimminy Chim Chimminy Chim Chim Cheroo"
Because Mary Poppins is always on our minds.

"We got General Corndog in 20 minutes."
As opposed to Lieutenant Corndog.

"It says 100% whole grain."
We are health-minded in the P household. 

"If that dumb guy would have just jumped on the fricken mongoose I could have taken him out."
Again with the mongoose??

Monday, January 4, 2016

Overused Words I Hope Die in 2016

I consider myself a wordsmith. With that being said, there are a few words/phrases that I absolutely abhor and I hope die a swift death in 2016.

"All the feels"
Just stop it! That doesn't even make sense!!!! Let's use the proper terminology here: "That article on Buzzfeed was emotionally charging." Or "That episode was so sentimental/heartbreaking/joyful..." Saying "all the feels" is a lazy way to avoid identifying with a particular emotion or feeling. (I'll admit I liked this one at first until I really thought about it. Now? No ma'am.)

If I hear you say vape around me I will automatically judge you and assume your IQ is much lower than mine. It needs to stop. And don't get me started on "vaporium" or "vaping lounge". Bleh. Also, this may not be smoking but you're still inhaling bad 

This is more used in the business/marketing world (which I am a part of) and I loathe it. Use the proper terminology here again. Use "customer" or "audience" or "user" or even "brand ambassador"...not influencer. 

"Have a conversation"
This is a buzz phrase that's driving me up a wall. We have to "have a conversation" about everything. A conversation about racism, about politics, about baby food or oatmeal. How about we diversify and say "talk about" or even "debate" or "dialogue". 

I follow a lot of weight loss bloggers or Instagram accounts. This word is probably the most overused. And usually it's accompanied by "amazing". GAG ME. 

If you are the unfortunate user of any of these words, I'm sorry. I'm happy to provide some alternatives for you to use instead. Thank you and good day! :)