Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Care Deeply/Care Little

There are some things in life I care very deeply for. I am passionate about those things. Other things, while important to some, are things I care very little for.

Care Deeply/Care Little

  • Animal welfare/hunting for sport
  • Animal adoption/buying pets from breeders and pet stores
  • Human trafficking/political parties
  • Public schools/private schools
  • Bringing back the arts to public education curriculums/standardized testing
  • Music/math
  • Jesus/any political candidate
  • Being frugal/luxury items (well except for Kate Spade...aka my kryptonite!)
  • Emotional intelligence/extreme insecurity in adults
  • Chocolate/coffee
  • Native American discrimination/the gender equality debate in society
  • Foreign policy/war
  • Someone's actions/someone's past
  • McDonald's double cheeseburger, no pickle, no onions/anything from Burger King
  • Rule abiders/rule breakers
  • Bananas/banana flavor

What about you? Do you have any similarities to my list above?

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Not-So-Secret Famous Guacamole Recipe

Have you ever been to Chipotle?

Well if your answer is no, you should do yourself a favor and try out your local one. If your answer is yes, PLEASE tell me you've had the guacamole before.

Hopefully you have. But if you haven't you can now make their famous (AND DELICIOUS) guacamole at home. Adapted from their recipe here.

2 ripe avocados
2 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
1/4 cup red onion (finely chopped)
1/2 jalapeƱo, including seeds (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp kosher salt

I used a jar of jalapeno slices and ended up using about 4 slices to get the perfect amount of heat for us. But we are wimps when it comes to that, so you may want to play around with quantities. I also used 3 avocados because...well...I like avocados.

Scoop pitted avocados into a bowl and coat with lime juice.

Mash with a fork until creamy.

Fold in remaining ingredients and mix well.

Add more salt. (I like a salty guac..)


Friday, January 20, 2017

How to Wear Pantone's Greenery (Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year)

I'm really digging this year's Pantone color "Greenery". It's calming, yet fresh. I absolutely love the idea of incorporating punches of this green into home decor. I also know that green is a somewhat difficult color to wear. This green has a lot of yellow and a little bit of blue, making it flattering for most...but not all. Even if this color is a little warm for me to wear I can still make it work by pairing it with a cooler color or incorporating it in accessories or a manicure!

how to wear pantone  greenery

how to wear pantone greenery by aprilanne147 featuring pearl jewelry

I really love this green paired with navy. Well, y'all know I pink puffy heart love navy blue but this green really is a great color to pair with navy. Of course you can always wear black but I find this navy helps pick up on some of the faint blue tones in the green hue. 

Wearing a green dress with a cooler toned cardigan over it (near the face) would help someone with a cooler complexion be able to pull off this color. This cool pink cardigan in the example above fits the bill. But you could also pair with a navy cardigan/jacket, a charcoal gray or even a more emerald green completer piece for a tone-on-tone look. Personally I love the pink and green and might even try this with a darker pink one as well! 

You really can't go wrong with boyfriend jeans and leather accessories if you try this hue in a comfy t shirt. Really, jeans go with anything. But I'd stay away from black accessories and stick with brown. Think of it as pairing colors based on how they occur in nature. Brown and green are seen the most often together versus black and green. (Tree trunks and tree leaves) 

If you're nervous about this shade of green you can always experiment with some fun accessories in this year's freshest color! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This is 32

Tomorrow,  I'll turn 32. Yes, you read that correctly, THIRTY TWO YEARS OF AGE. How did I even get here? I still perpetually think of myself as 25 and slightly older than college aged. Now I'm almost a decade older than college graduates.

Everyone says each subsequent decade is better than the rest. They say your 30s are better than your 20s and your 40s are better than your 30s. So far, my 30s have been pretty good. But there are definitely a few things I've noticed that have changed as I've aged into my third decade of life. Here are my reflections on 32.

At 32 I've started to get better at not giving a flying frisbee what people think. 

Example: The fact that I put the a powered cleaning scrub brush, fake tree, calligraphy book and air fryer on my Amazon wish (and thus birthday list). IDGAF. Yes, it's weird and not normal birthday stuff but I really don't care.

Yesterday I snapped a couple of friends and asked if it was "basic" of me to want to go to the Cheesecake Factory with M on my birthday. And then I realized, I really don't care. So what if they are a chain? Their food is good, their cheesecakes delicious and I have a gift card and coupon. BOOM. Last year, I had a My Little Pony birthday at 31 and I don't care. Truly I don't. It makes me happy and that's all that matters.

I wish I could say I've truly stopped caring what people think but that's not the case. But I do have a sneaking suspicion that since I've moved the needle so much in that direction in the last 2 years that by the time I'm 40 I'll be there. :)

At 32, I've started to care less about the "rat race" and more about my passion. 

I've begun to look at my life/career less like advancing to the next level and trying to gain status and more if I'm passionate about what I do and who I am. Am I passionate about my job/career? Am I passionate about my marriage? Am I passionate about the causes I support and volunteering? Am I passionate about my spirituality and my relationship with God? I'm slowly starting to weed out things that no longer fall in line with my passions in life. If that means finding other causes to support or volunteering elsewhere in order to follow my passion, I'll make the change.

At 32, I don't really make a huge deal out of birthdays. 

I've kind of always leaned this way but the older you get it becomes more true. Yes, my close friends and family celebrate my birthday with me. But that's really it. My day is special to me and those who know me well but everyone has a birthday. I don't celebrate my birthday month or birthday week or anything like that. I'd much rather choose to go to dinner or lunch with a few close friends than a big blowout party.

At 32, I've started moving away from some of my "ride or dies".

I don't wear cardigans as much as I used to. I just got tired of them. I've also purged my collection somewhat and stick to a few colors and fits. I've learned with those that quality trumps quantity.

I haven't shopped for clothes at Target in probably a year. Now, I will shop the heck out of some home stuff, shoes and bath stuff but as for actual clothing? No thank you. The same with Old Navy. I haven't shopped at Old Navy for many months especially since the last few things I bought were of poor quality/fit.

I'd rather do my own at-home gel manicure than pay for one in a salon. This is coming from the girl that had them every month for years!

My 32nd year of life might be even better than the last. I just know that I'm thankful to be where I am in this season of life and I'm excited for what's in store for the future!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Show Us Your Books: What I Read In December

M got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and let's just say it has DRAMATICALLY increased my readership since then. I think I read more books between Christmas and New Year's Day than I read in the last few months. I'm linking up today with Steph and Jana!

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane
view on Goodreads
Not normally a fan of teen books I found myself quickly engrossed in the teenage saga of this book. A group of 16-18 year olds meet each other at a camp for...well...crazy kids. Some of the kids come from rough backgrounds and some show signs of mental illness. But they all have such intriguing stories and backgrounds that I couldn't help but continue on! The main character's "story" slowly comes to light throughout the book and it's really good. Four out of five salted caramels. 

The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton
view on Goodreads
I really loved this series, despite it being a young adult series. Here's an average girl who has always had the ability to read minds, but she soon discovers her "powers" aren't quite what she thought and she's now a target for a lot of powerful people. Allegiances switch back and forth and you never know who to trust. Family secrets are revealed and lives permanently altered.  I couldn't put this series down! Highly recommend! Five out of five salted caramels.

The Mind Thieves (book 2)
view on Goodreads
The Mind Games (book 3)
view on Goodreads
The Mind Keepers (book 4)
view on Goodreads 

Fate of Perfection by K.F. Breene
view on Goodreads
I was not a fan of this series. It was like Hunger Games meets Star Trek but not in a good way. I made it through about 1/4 of the book and stopped. No thank you. One salted caramel. 

Life According to Steph

Monday, January 9, 2017

Golden Globes Fashion - Best & Worst Dressed

The Golden Globes were last night...which means it's time for a best and worst dressed recap on TSF. Ready? Okay!


Lily Collins
Yasss Kween! I've never seen an illusion neckline look so...well...so real. It blends with her skin perfectly. She is a bombshell in this blushy pink color and the red lip is the icing on the cake. Brava! 

Rachel Bloom
You'll see that this season was one for black dresses with plunging necklines. I loved that Rachel wore a plunging neckline and she actually has a fuller chest. A lot of women who wear these have smaller chests so Rachel is showing how to do it well for the big-busted ladies. I'm also a sucker for scattered patterns like the floral accents in her dress. 

Viola Davis
I love, love, LOVE this color on her. And I love that it is straight up sequins. Not many people can pull off banana yellow sequins but she's got it in the bag. The one-shoulder cut accentuates her toned arms and shoulders. LOVE! 

Mandy Moore
I think this dress is actually navy but it follows the trend of dark, deep-V necked dresses. I love the addition of the "cape" on the back and her hair and makeup are perfect. She looks her age...not too young or too old...which she has a tendency to do on the red carpet. 

Kristen Bell
I picked her simply because this was an unusual silhouette for the red carpet. I've not seen a squared off plunging V-neck and I really liked it. The banding around the V gives the dress interest. She nailed it! 


Hailee Steinfeld
Girl, wut dis is? I'm digging the color and the illusion neckline but it's just too much. The cutout V chest and the weird unconnected sleeves are too much. Remove the sleeves and I wouldn't hate so much but I really hate the entire look. 

I really have no words. This is ombre hair gone bad. This is eyeliner gone bad. This is trying to be avant garde gone bad. Her hair is severe (Queen Elizabeth I style) and the eye makeup is much too dark. She needs lips and this looks like a prom version of an Elizabethan style gown. PEOPLE STOP WITH THE WEIRD SLEEVES ALREADY.

Riley Keough
Um, I don't hate the top 1/4 of the dress. The neckline is interesting and cool but the middle part around her waist doesn't fit very well and makes her look boxy. She needs it to be more cinched to balance out the wide shoulders. This one was totally a fit choice. 

Nicole Kidman
Girl, what? First, I'm sorry, this dress is too young for her. The sleeves are ridiculous (again with the sleeves people?) I don't hate the color on her because the gray is pretty but I would have liked it much better were it not transparent and see-through in certain parts. Oh and if it didn't have sleeves.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Beauty Faves

The last few months I've been trying some new beauty products and really have enjoyed all of them. Actually there's nothing I've started using that I'd consider a dud. All of these products are going to become part of my permanent routine!

1. Born This Way Foundation by Too Faced
Yes, this is my actual shade "Snow" in the picture. This thing is awesome. It covers AND keeps my face fresh and sort of dewy. My skin is incredibly dry and for the most part this fits the bill during the winter months. I've only tried it in cool/cold weather so I'll be interested to see how it works in the summer.

2. Hypnose Mascara by Lancome
I'm a mascara junkie and am always trying new kinds. I bought this as a trial size and quickly bought a full one once I started using it. It gives definition and volume and doesn't flake away like my other beloved Maybelline Great Lash did. Plus it doesn't seem to dry out as quickly either. I really am a huge fan of this.

3. Miracle Complexion Sponge by Real Techniques
Now, I'd NEVER used a damp sponge like this for foundation application, EVER. I'd only ever used my fingers or a brush. This has revolutionized how my foundation looks. The brush was kind of harsh on my face and I couldn't get decent coverage with just my fingers so this sponge literally changes everything. I'd researched the Beauty Blender but went with this one because it's WAY cheaper. And all the Youtube reviews I watched said it was comparable to the BB so why not save a few dollars, right? This is my new best friend.

4. Color Statement Lipstick by Milani
My shade is 42 Rose Femme and this lipstick is great. The staying power is excellent. It stays on on while eating and drinking and I only reapply once after the initial application. It's moisturizing at first and then dries a little but it's not an uncomfortable dry like some lipsticks. Its actually appears pretty matte after it dries and isn't shimmery or satiny. (at least this particular shade) On me it's much more brown but on someone with darker skin it's probably more pink. I get a lot of compliments when I wear this lip color so it's now in permanent rotation.

5. Wonder Stick by NYX
NYX has knocked it out of the park with a non-orange HAC stick. My shade (Light) has a nice taupey brown color for the contour which is perfect. For me, most bronzers are too red or orange so this is just right. The consistency is creamy, like a lipstick, so it's great for dry skin and to blend out with my sponge. I use the contour side more than the highlight (for everyday) but the price point is so good on this I don't mind replacing it without having to use up both sides. A+++!

Have you discovered any new favorite products lately?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Life Updates and Happy New Year!

I woke up this morning to a cold and rainy Monday. Not exactly so appealing to lure me out of bed and back to work...alas...I did it anyway. Here are some updates on life and blog and a little in between.

BLOG. This year, I want to focus more on growing my blog. I've been blogging for a LONG time (8 years) and I'm nowhere near where I want to be in terms of growth but I know the only solution for that is to work at it. So, here's my promise to be better at blogging, work to develop new and interesting content and network with other bloggers.

LOVE. My younger sister got engaged on New Year's Eve (well technically New Year's Day since it was after midnight) and it was so exciting! I can't wait to help her plan her wedding and celebrate with her and her beau. Aren't they cute?

Also, this is how she chose to "announce" it to the world via social media. With a Bojangles biscuit. For those of you not familiar with Bojangles, it's a Southern biscuit chain that will rock your socks off and Ashton (my sister) is a big fan. So, we get the Bojangles biscuit engagement photo.

HEALTH. I mentioned before that there was a big health diagnosis in my immediate family this past year and that's kind of been all-consuming for the past few months. My mom has completed her radiation and chemo treatments and goes back at the end of this month to Duke to see if/how it worked and to sort of get the treatment plan moving forward. So far she's had 42 chemo treatments, 33 radiation treatments and 2 brain surgeries. She's a warrior!

Oh and I'll be running a 5k in April to benefit the National Brain Tumor Society in honor of my mom. If you're local and would like to join the race, click here to learn more. If you're interested in donating to the Charlotte Brain Tumor Walk, click here and select "donate now".

HOME. M and I have decided that 2017 will be the year we work on our house. We're hoping to be able to put it on the market in 2018 so this year will be the "sweat equity" year of painting, minor home updates and other small changes to help us get a great selling price. So, expect to see a lot more "Our New Home" posts (even though it isn't a new house anymore) coming your way!

I'll leave you with a NYE pic of M and I. I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!