Turn It Up Tuesday | AprilNoelle.com

Beginning the Week with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day {Turn It Up Tuesday}

 

Welcome to a new week on Turn It Up Tuesday! It is always a pleasure to have you join us this week, and every week!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you!

TUT newTurn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

Welcome the hosts of Turn It Up Tuesday!

(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from The Mrs Tee| Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Abiola from The Ramblings of a Momaholic | Melissa from The Healthy Living Mama | Reuven & Aliyah from Marriage Reset | Jessica from Organic Deal Diva

…and welcome our guest hosts for January!

Selena from My Rambling Thoughts

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

Selena chose Glitter Dipped Coffee Mug Tutorial from Typically Simple. “Coffee can be my kryptonite so this coffee mug post drew my attention! Why not make your coffee pretty in the morning?”

Selena chose Dear Kids…Meet Dad from Daily Dump. “This Mommy Blogger always makes me laugh! Dear Kids, Meet Dad was spot on!”

Bev chose Crispy Hasselback Potatoes with Caramelised Onion! from Sparkles In the Everyday. “Love potatoes this way and adding the caramelized onions won me over.”

Bev chose Warm Up Dinner with this Chicken Burrito Soup Recipe from Jodie Fitz. “On a cold chilly night, it is so nice to have your meal in a bowl. This will certainly warm you up.”

Reuven & Aliyah chose How to Save Money – Automate Your Savings! from Widowz Mite. “Committing even a very modest sum to a monthly savings plan can pay off.”

Reuven & Aliyah chose 5 Things I Swore I’d Never Do as a Mom…And Then I Became A Mom from Mama in the Mitten. “As a parent, I can so relate to this post. Oh yeah, I’m a father. Well, I can still totally relate.”

Natasha also chose this post. “Great post! I could relate to almost everything! Thanks so much for sharing with us!”

This post also receive the most views.

Mari Chicken Mozzarella Recipechose from The Jenny Evolution.

Mari chose My Natural Hair Journey – 7 Months In! from Giveaways 4 Mom. “I’m letting my hair grow out for a donation but I can empathize with how much hair issues effect our daily lives especially us women of color.”

Tina chose Winter Yarn Wreath: An Easy Craft Idea from Kenarry. “A beautiful DIY yarn wreath, I love the way it was created.Wonderful result, thanks for sharing this creation with us.”

Tina chose Beautiful DIY Gift Idea for Valentine’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Day and More from The Real Thing with the Coake Family. “What a pretty selection of colours, I love the gift tags. Beautiful!Thanks for sharing your creation with us.”

Tiffany chose An Organized Work Day: My Secrets for Being Crazy Productive | Day 5: 30 Days to Less of a Hot Mess from The Turquoise Home. “Laura is my life saver! I can check off 1 of her 3 tips and I am happy to say I’m determined to check them all off because I definitely need a bit more organization to my days!”

Tiffany chose How to Start a Bullet Journal from Sparkle. “I have been wondering how to start a bullet journal and well this is definitely a great guide to getting me there.”

Stacey chose Turtle Love Brownies from LouLou Girls. “Turtles have always been one of my favorite candies and brownies are one thing that I will always pick over almost anything else. This looks just amazing and I can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing!”

Stacey chose Cinnamon Sugar Baked Doughnuts Recipe from Sugar, Spice, and Family Life. “The kids and I love doughnuts, especially when they have cinnamon and sugar on them. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing!”

Natasha Why It’s Important to Have Special Time With Kids (+ 5 Ideas) chose from Playful Notes. “I love the ideas for having those special moments with your kids. Thanks for sharing!”

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

And the Best of the Best goes to…

5 Things I Swore I’d Never Do as a Mom…And Then I Became A Mom from Mama in the Mitten

Glitter Dipped Coffee Mug Tutorial from Typically Simple

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

Best of the Best Bloggers – make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures

So now that you’ve seen all that we have to offer in this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday,

let’s get started!

– Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

– Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

– Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

– Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**


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4 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym | sponsored by Kohl's #ad | AprilNoelle.com

4 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym #MakeYourMove With @Kohls! #ad

This post was sponsored by Kohl’s #MakeYourMove campaign to help you start your home gym. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

I know I’ve said it over and over again, I am working to get into shape.

This last week, I lost 6.2 pounds! I know I won’t be able to sustain that type of progress (granted, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed and working hard), I could certainly use some help. So at the end of last year, I received some fitness equipment from Kohl’s to help me hit this goal.

 

The Elliptical

I love an elliptical. It is the backbone of my home gym. With the extra weight, I haven’t been able to really get on a treadmill for some time, and the elliptical gives me an excellent workout. Three times a week, I’ve been jumping on the ProForm Easy Strider! I can easily fit it in my living room because it has front mech ellipticals, which is awesome because it takes up a smaller footprint in the home compared to a rear mech ellipticals and is generally more aesthetically pleasing. This machine comes loaded with features that you would see in $799 price point elliptical; Inertia Enhanced Flywheel, SMR, Upper Body Grips, Transport Wheels, IPOD Compatible Audio, On-board 8 week weight loss programming & Workout Fan.

 

4 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym | sponsored by Kohl's #ad | #MakeYourMove | AprilNoelle.com

 

The Bike

I tend to have a lot of typing to do. Now, I don’t have to choose between whether I’m going to work out or just work. I moved the bike into my bedroom and whenever I need to work out while I work, I jump on for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.

4 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym | sponsored by Kohl's #ad | #MakeYourMove | AprilNoelle.comThe ProForm Desk Bike allows you to stay active while you work if you so choose. The desk attaches and detaches very easily. If there is a knock on home fitness equipment, it is the space it takes up, this design has worked to solve that. Some additional cool features to look at are the Inertia Enhanced Flywheel, Over-sized Cushion Seat, Vertical Seat Adjustment, SMR Magnetic Resistance & Portability Wheels.

 


The Rower

I found my love for rowing when I started a new workout program last year. Whenever I saw rowing on the schedule, I would get as close to giddy as I can get, and get ready to race. I had to get one for my home gym as soon as I could. The rower works your back and your legs and I would always feel like I got a full-body workout even with rowing simply 500 or 1000 meters (less than 5 minutes). The Stamina Magnetic Rowing Machine fits easily in any corner. When it’s standing, takes up the size of less than a side table.

 

The Massager

After working out, relax and massage. I take the BackTrac Back Massager, lay down and meditate while slowing rolling across the massage elements. Each element provides acupressure to reduce trigger point tenderness, a deep massage to aid muscle function and to gently stretch your spine. This takes no time to set up or put away but keeps your body relaxed as a much-needed massager.

 

In general fitness equipment takes some time to set up. ProForm has worked extremely hard to make this as smooth and easy as possible.

 

My Personal Mission

I am now on a mission to hit my weight loss goals. This time around, it doesn’t hurt that my husband is in on the plan, so we’ve been alternating the use of the fitness equipment most evenings. Is working out part of your New Year’s Resolution? What are your plans?

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies.

These affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.

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Never Miss a Day of Vitamins with MegaFood! | AprilNoelle.com

Never Miss a Day of Vitamins with MegaFood!

Whenever I’m on a new eating plan, I am advised to take a multi-vitamin. This advice falls on deaf ears because I try to take them and I feel sick, no matter how much food I eat. So, when I saw a presentation on MegaFood’s vitamins, I was happy to try them immediately.

MegaFood was a sponsor and speaker at ShiftCon 2016! (ShiftCon was my first blogging conference and boy was it worth the trip! I learned so much and made SO many connections. More to come about the entire experience.)

MegaFood Presentation at ShiftCon

At the lunch, I took Multi for Women before I even ate lunch and I felt nothing. I mean, I didn’t feel nauseous. I felt fine. Then, I tried the Balanced B Complex after lunch and I felt fine again.

As I listened to the lecture, I really understood the difference. MegaFood makes their vitamins with FoodState Nutrients™, which are made with whole foods to provide essential vitamins and minerals that are easy-to-digest and gentle on the body, even when taken on an empty stomach.

Never Miss a Day of Vitamins with MegaFood! | AprilNoelle.comOne of the selling points was the mind behind the vitamins, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. She was an older woman and had the hair of a 20-year-old girl. My friends and I couldn’t stop talking about the shine, the length and the health of her hair. It was gorgeous.

So, here we have a beautiful woman with beautiful hair and she’s telling us that she’s formulated and used these products. I had to try it.

The Need for Vitamins

During the presentation, Dr. Low Dog spent a lot of time explaining how our soil has been depleted of nutrients and our fruits and vegetables don’t contain nearly as many vitamins as they did a generation ago.

Then she presented over a dozen slides about how even if we did try to eat all of our nutrients, we would have to eat pounds of food a day to get them all. So, instead, I’m taking her advice, the advice I’ve ignored for decades and I’m taking them every day.

I’ve been using them steadily for the last couple of weeks and I’m starting to feel better. I’m taking it in conjunction with OGX Fenix shakes to take some weight off and feel better.

Nutrition Facts

Here are some basic facts about Multi for Women:

    • 15mg FoodState Iron to replenish iron lost during monthly cycle*
    • 100% or more of all 8 FoodState B Vitamins, including Methylated folate & B12*
    • FoodState Iodine & B vitamins to aid in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates & proteins*
    • B6  & B12 to support balanced hormones & endocrine function*
    • Biotin, Beta Carotene, Vitamins A, C & E support healthy skin, nails & hair*
    • CALCIUM & MAGNESIUM FREE FORMULATION.
    • We suggest you also take MegaFood Multi for Healthy Bone
    • Balanced ratio of FoodState® B complex vitamins delivered in a variety of nourishing whole foods

Facts about Balanced B Complex:

    • Promotes energy and helps convert food into cellular energy*
    • Supports health of the nervous system*
    • Easy to digest and can be taken on an empty stomach without upset

Do you take vitamins and do you take them regularly?

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A Glimpse of Hidden Figures

The commercials have been all over the place and I can hardly turn on the television without seeing an ad for this film:

Hidden Figures

I have to admit, I knew little about this story, or should I say stories.

These three women were an integral part of history.

The Women

Hidden Figures | AprilNoelle.comKatherine Johnson – the brains behind getting many men into space, including the flight of the first man in space, John Glenn. Glenn’s confidence in her mathematical ability forced NASA to request Katherine’s verification of the trajectory before his launch.

Dorothy Vaughan – the first Black supervisor at NACA (predecessor to NASA) to a group of African-American female mathematicians. She learned to operate the first IBM machine at NACA to ensure that she had a position once they computerized the department.

Mary Jackson – after going to court to be able to get the required education, she became the first female black engineer at NASA.

Did you know any of that?

Not during one of my history classes, even during Black History Month, did we cover these women.

The movie was well-written, well-directed and well-acted.

The Story Continues

One thing bothered me, though. This issue has nothing to do with Hidden Figures, the movie, directly. Sadly, it was the laughter that ensued when there were some racist statements were made.

Granted, I think some of it was nervous laughter, but something about it made me uncomfortable.

Not living in the 50s, most of the audience never had to be on either side of the “whites only” and “coloreds only” argument.

I’m not blaming anyone, I laughed too. But as I get older and I see my children, knowing that there are plenty of places where this behavior has not changed.

True, most people aren’t racist. But it exists.

There’s a line, another one that caused a few chuckles (paraphrased):

White woman: “You know I don’t have anything against you.”

Black woman: “I know. I know you believe that.”

That line made me tear up because it still happens today.

How many more black children would have gotten into programming if Hidden Figures were revealed 20 or 30 years ago? How much more progress would have been made if we told the entire history of our country, the Chinese, Latino, Jamaican, etc.? What if we truly integrated our schools and our education?

That said, I’m not sure of the purpose of this post. These were just my initial thoughts.

Either way, GO SEE THE MOVIE! It’s an extremely well-done film covering some pioneers in our history.

 

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Our Lost Ones | AprilNoelle.com

Our Lost Ones

2016 ended with a bang ~ and not a good one.

This world lost a host of widely known celebrities that have shaped our lives –

  • Carrie Fisher, a champion for female empowerment
  • George Michael and Prince shaping many memories
  • Big Ang, who brought us some great entertainment on Mob Wives

just to name a few off the top of my head. But so many more recognizable people died as well.

Our Lost Ones | AprilNoelle.comThat doesn’t include the people who passed who touched us personally. Just in the last week, I’ve had a friend lose her brother and my “Big Sis” died.

Lori Anne was a mentor, a confident, a leader. As sad as I am that I’ve lost her, I can’t help but think about how many lives she touched.

She’s the one that introduced me to the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in Orange County, an organization with which I still volunteer today. She was the biggest cheerleader of me becoming a stay at home mom, always making me feel better about my decision when so many people asked me “why I am wasting my law degree”.

More importantly, after posting this on Facebook, the sheer number of people who reached out, not just to comfort me, but because she had touched their lives too.

She showed me how to be strong against adversity and how to be grateful for the life I’ve been given.

I spoke with her just last week, and although there were some issues, she was positive, enlightening and always left me with words of wisdom.

Even in her death, all I can think about is how she was happy until the end, at least that’s what she told to the world and how she sounded on the phone. She told me that she had to put her health in God’s and doctors’ hands and her only responsibility was to live her life the best way she could.

So, to her I say, Rest In Peace “Big Sis”.

To everyone else, are you living your life the best way that you can?

 

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Top Posts of 2016 | AprilNoelle.com

April Noelle’s Best Posts of 2016

I am counting the days of 2016 coming to a close for a lot of reasons, one of which being that I’m hoping we don’t lose any more of our beloved stars.

Are you excited for 2017 or wishing you had more time in 2016?

In either case, I wanted to share with you the best posts of 2016, in case you missed them.

Top Posts of 2016 | AprilNoelle.com

 

My Reflection

I wrote this piece of prose in response to a prompt and I think it turned out pretty well.

 

Learning to Save Money with #GrouponCoupons!

I love using Groupon. As a matter of fact, I used it yesterday. If you don’t know much about Groupon or how it works, check it out here.

Groupon Coupons (#GrouponCoupons) | AprilNoelle.com #spon

 

3 Style Tips for Simply Pretty Little Girl’s Hair #justformejustforschool #ad

I struggle with doing three heads of hair on a regular basis, but I have learned these three tips to do my daughters’ hair.

 

6 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

Getting your kids to eat vegetables can be a struggle. See how I conquer it in my house.

Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables | AprilNoelle.com

 

How to Get Fit After Having a Baby ~ Postpartum Fitness {Guest Post}

This has been my most viewed post for a while now. I’m still trying to work off that pesky postpartum weight myself. 2017 baby!

Definitive Guide to Postpartum Fitness | AprilNoelle.com

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All New Amazon #PrimePhotos Features! {+Win a $500GC} #Ad

Amazon.com is providing the gift card prizes. Please read on for giveaway details.

I would have to say that I was hesitant to get Amazon Prime, so less than a year ago, I sent out a Facebook question:

Responses to this post really got me thinking and I joined shortly after.

Amazon Prime Photos

At the time, I was not aware of the awesome Prime Photos aspect, but believe me, I have been wildly impressed.  Amazon has taken the time to code Prime Photos to tag them, which means that I have been able to find a photo super quickly. After I logged in my family, I was able to quickly find old photos in mere seconds, as opposed to combing through thousands of photos.

It’s not just people! Quickly find and rediscover your favorite photos: I took a picture that included a pizza. Don’t ask me why I was looking for this particular photo.

Guess what I could search? Pizza!

Guess who found the photo quickly? Me!

Look what happens when I sort my photos by person:

Prime Photo Features

Recently, Amazon Prime has just gotten better. They have launched an all-new Prime Photos experience with Family Vault. Now, Prime members can share their benefit of unlimited photo storage with up to five family members or friends at no additional cost. Prime Photos is free for Prime members and makes it easy for family members to safely store and share all their favorite photos.

Prime members can now order photo prints, cards, photo books, and calendars directly from their Prime Photos account. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Download the new Prime Photos app here: www.tinyurl.com/PrimePhotos

Available on computers, iOS and Android phones, and tablets

Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
 Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

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Turn It Up Tuesday | AprilNoelle.com

12 Days of Fitness {and so much more} with Turn it Up Tuesday!

Welcome to a new week on Turn It Up Tuesday! Christmas is a week away…can you believe it? We’re still celebrating on this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday! Share your favorite Holiday posts – crafts, decorations, traditions, and everything in between – from past or present!

Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you!

TUT newTurn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

1

tut-hosts-12-4-16-2

(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from The Mrs Tee| Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Heather from Goodlicious | Abiola from Ramblings of a Nigerian Workahomom | Melissa from The Healthy Living Mama

…and welcome our guest hosts for December!

tut-dec-2016

Jessica from Organic Deal Diva | Reuven & Aliyah from Marriage Reset

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

Mari chose Eggnog Pancakes from Lipgloss and Crayons. “This week I picked Julie’s post as it combined two things I love and can’t wait to try this!”

Mari chose Peppermint Red Velvet Fudge from Delightful E Made. “Erin’s share looks amazing great color and tasty blend.”

Tina also chose this post. “I love this fudge, what a vibrant red colour. Looks amazing and sounds super yummy. Thanks so much sharing this beautiful creation with us.”

April chose Last Minute Holiday Party Tips + Holiday Mimosa Recipe from Organic Deal Diva. “I love a good mimosa, but I especially appreciate creative festive version for this time of year.”

April chose 12 Days of Fitness Challenge – Day 2: Holiday HIIT Workout from Life in Spandex. “I am desperately trying to work on my weight during the holidays. I appreciate Life in Spandex’s effort to keep us healthy during this seasons.”

Stacey chose Fudge Brownie Pie from Lolly Jane. “Brownies are one of my top favorite desserts, especially if they are fudgey and chewy. This would be the ultimate topped with a little powdered sugar and maybe even a dollop of whipped topping. Thanks so much for sharing!”

Stacey chose Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies from Budget Girl. “What a fun and easy treat to add to any holiday festivity, especially for the peanut butter and chocolate lover. I know my son would absolutely devour them. Thanks for sharing!”

Jessica chose Peppermint Tree Toppers from A Thoughtful Place. “Courtney did such a good job breaking down the steps to this adorable Christmas craft! And it looks adorable on her tree! Love it!”

Jessica chose Candy Cane Martini from Sandy a la Mode. “These martini’s might be making an appearance this holiday in our home! 🙂 “

Tina chose Cinnamon and Clove Homemade Lotion Bars from Growing Up Gabel. “What a wonderful idea, I love the smell of clove and cinnamon, great as a handmade Christmas gift.Thanks so much for sharing this lovely idea with us.”

Natasha For the Burned-Out Bloggerchose from A Mama’s Story. “Reading Sara’s post made me feel like it was written just for me. I feel the same exact way…every time I feel that I should probably take a break from blogging, I realize how much I need it. Thanks for sharing!”

Natasha chose Sh*t Kids Write…To Santa from Coffee Mounds & Lipstick Clouds. “I swear kids say the darnedest things and this post just proves it. Love it! Thanks for sharing!”

The post with the most views is Sorry Isn’t Always Easy from our very own Tiffany from The Mrs Tee.

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

And the Best of the Best goes to…

Peppermint Red Velvet Fudge from Delightful E Made

Fudge Brownie Pie from Lolly Jane

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

Best of the Best Bloggers – make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures

So now that you’ve seen all that we have to offer in this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday,

let’s get started!

– Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

– Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

– Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

– Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**


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The Struggle is Real | My Weight Loss Journey | #Sponsored by OGX Fenix | AprilNoelle.com

The Struggle is Real | My Weight Loss Journey #ad

This post is sponsored by OGX Fenix. I was compensated for this discussion.

It’s been just over a month since starting my weight loss journey and I’ll have to admit, it’s been rough. I haven’t done a two-shake a day plan since college and boy, I wasn’t ready.

Finding the Right Time for the Full Meal

The first two weeks were the most challenging, trying to figure out what time a day that I’ll eat the full meal. Initially, I tried breakfast because I love bacon and eggs. I quickly found myself wanting regular food for lunch too and not drinking the shake at all, or only one for a snack.

Next, I tried a nice meal for lunch and that worked out pretty well. I would have a shake for dinner instead of eating with the family.

Since I was fooling around with the timing of it I wanted to try having the full meal for dinner too.

Epic fail.

The first time I tried to do it I was so hungry that I ate two to three times the recommended serving of dinner. I figured it was just a fluke because I happen to be hungry that day since I spent the entire day running around.

So I tried it again. Fail again.

Nope, I couldn’t do it in the evening. I was way too hungry to stress and lazy by the end of the day.

Remembering to Pack Snacks

So lunch time it was. The next struggle war was making sure I had adequate snacks. If you’ve been following the blog, I recently became an Uber driver. Sometimes the route will take me farther in longer than I anticipate so when I got home for my lunch I would still overeat. Of course, the OGX Fenix manual recommends bringing snacks and which kind of snacks you should eat, but true to myself, I would keep forgetting them at home and I would drive right after dropping off my children.

What helped is when I put snacks in small baggies when I made the kids lunches, I made my I started packing small bags of nuts and a piece of fruit in the car in the morning and I have been good to go ever since.

Taste?

I have been asked about the taste. It’s pretty good. It’s rich dark chocolate. My first shake of the day 

But I do have to say though that I normally do not like vanilla, I find myself not looking to see if I grab the chocolate bag instead of the vanilla bag out of the cabinet. I like them both equally. 

Progress?

But the real question is but the real question is what’s the progress? And I have to say the answer is pretty good. In the last month, I’m down eight pounds and that’s with Thanksgiving, a “healthy” dose of Thanksgiving, and a “healthy” dose of 10-hour-road-trip-fast-food-car-eating.

During the car trips, I did realize something. I didn’t want to screw up my progress. So even though I did partake of plenty of McDonald’s and Wendy’s on the trip, I also made sure that I ate salads or smaller portions instead of my typical get a full meal.

Are you on a weight loss journey?

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Turn It Up Tuesday | AprilNoelle.com

Happy Thanksgiving {Turn it Up Tuesday}

Can you believe it’s already Thanksgiving? This year has flown by and I’m totally not ready for Christmas. What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Welcome to a new week at Turn It Up Tuesday! Thank you so much for stopping by last week and sharing all of your posts – we had so much fun checking them all out!

This week is Thanksgiving, and we’re so grateful and thankful to share it with all of you! Share your holiday recipes, decorations, DIY projects, exercise tips, and anything that you’d like to share from present and past! We can’t wait to check out all your posts!

happy-thanksgiving-tut

We’d like to thank you in advance for partying with us and sharing all of your amazing posts with us – we LOVE checking them all out! If you’ve been here before, thank you for coming back! And if you’re new here…welcome! Feel free to share, share, share! We love having you!

TUT newTurn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

1

tut-hosts-11-20-16

(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from The Mrs Tee| Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Heather from Goodlicious | Jessica from Striving Towards Grace | Abiola from Ramblings of a Nigerian Workahomom

…and welcome our guest hosts for November!

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Carolyn from Mississauga Mom | Melissa from The Healthy Living Mama | Danielle from Dancing with My Daughter

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Mari chose Smoked Ham Apple Gouda Panini from The Bitter Side of Sweet. “My weeks picks are…Nancy’s panini it just such a great combo looks delish for those days you don’t want to do too much in the kitchen.”

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Mari chose Spaghetti Grilled Cheese from The Kittchen. “I would never have thought of this combo but Kit’s grilled cheese is a must try!!!”

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Bev chose Orange Cranberry Margarita Cocktail Recipe from Growing Up Gabel. “What a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays, with a delicious drink served with cranberries. How refreshing is that.”

This post also had the most views last week.

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Bev chose Grape Crostini Appetizer Recipe with Blue Cheese Spread and Honey from Home Cooking Memories. “You had me at blue cheese. I love it and then the mascarpone cheese cinched the deal. I can’t wait to make these.”

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Stacey chose Over 50 Hamburger Meat Recipes from 3 Boys and a Dog. “Hamburger is a staple to most of the recipes that I make for my family and I am always searching for just the right ones for my picky eaters. I am looking forward to trying a few of these out and spice things up a bit. Thanks for sharing!”

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Stacey chose 25 Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make from Your Vibrant Family. “Some of the best gifts that I have gotten, have been home made and I love these ideas. Gifts from the heart are absolutely priceless. Thank you so much for sharing!”

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Silvie chose Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Vegetables from The Jenny Evolution. “I have never thought of making pork loin in the slow cooker. This sounds like such a great recipe, I can’t wait to try it.”

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Silvie chose Pumpkin Spice Palmiers from The Bitter Side of Sweet. “I have always wanted to make Palmiers, and can’t wait to try out this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it Nancy.”

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Melissa chose Caramelized Banana Bread from Morsels of Life. “This sounds so delicious and I like finding recipes that use smaller amounts of butter and sugar without sacrificing taste.”

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Melissa chose How We Create a Christmas Focused on Christ from Year Round Homeschooling. “Since this is my son’s second Christmas, I’ve been trying to find more ways to make sure that our focus is more on Jesus during the holidays than on presents.”

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Heather chose Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash from My Suburban Kitchen. “I love roasted Brussels sprouts, and this combination with butternut squash sounds perfect for a Thanksgiving side. Since I’m looking for new sides to try this year, this one will be on the list.”

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Heather chose Holiday Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf from My Life Cookbook. “I’m really the only one in my family who usually eats quinoa, but that’s OK, since Denise said she ate all of it herself, maybe I’ll do the same. Thanks for sharing!”

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Natasha chose 25 Desserts Perfect for Thanksgiving from Crystal & Co. “I just love Thanksgiving desserts, and this is a great list! Thanks so much for sharing with us!”

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Natasha chose 19 Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes from Lolly Jane. “And next to desserts, I love Thanksgiving leftovers! Thanks for sharing – I look forward to trying these recipes!”

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

And the Best of the Best goes to…

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Grape Crostini Appetizer Recipe with Blue Cheese Spread and Honey from Home Cooking Memories

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Smoked Ham Apple Gouda Panini from The Bitter Side of Sweet

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

Best of the Best Bloggers – make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures

So now that you’ve seen all that we have to offer in this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday,

let’s get started!

– Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

– Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

– Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

– Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**



Interested in reading all of our favorite posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays – past or present? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

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One Small Action to Support a Great Film | AprilNoelle.com

One Small Action to Support a Great Film

Early this summer, Jeff, my husband, and I met this couple: John and Jackie*. They are an older couple and we have learned to look up to them in a lot of ways.

We were making dinner plans one day and we had an interaction that went something like this:

John*: Are you going to see “Southside with You”? Jackie and I are going to see it on Friday night. We’d love for you to join us.

Me:  I doubt it.

John: Really? Why not?

Me: It’s hard to get discount tickets for new releases. (Yes, I’m that frugal.)

John: Oh

Me: No, I mean, the Costco movie tickets tend not to work on opening weekend. We normally go on the second or third weekend.

John: Well, you know seeing a movie on the first weekend helps the movie stay open on weekends two and three.

Me: Um, I know that.

John: You also know that most black movies aren’t open more than a couple of weeks. When we don’t support it the first weekend, it may not be around a second. If you want to see it, you really should try to see it the first weekend.

Me (deflated): ok…

One Small Action to Support a Great Film | AprilNoelle.comI felt like a deflated child. I felt like my parent telling me that I’ve been doing wrong even when I thought I was doing the right thing. It was like the day I took one of the horoscope things from the grocery store because I thought it was free only to find out I stole it.

And this was so simple. So easy.

See, I’m all for supporting the minority movie, not just black, but small movies, independent movies, movies that teach important lessons, movies that are against the moral grain, etc.

And truthfully, we rarely go to movies on opening weekend. For the bigger movies, I don’t want to fight crowds or get bad seats. For the smaller movies, it’s just me being cheap.

But when John said it, I felt like I had spent a lot of time trying to save a few dollars and possibly costing a good movie real support.  Movies that deserve more attention. Movies that don’t fit the minority stereotypes. Ones that are well-written and beautiful. Movies that we wrote. Movies that my brothers and sisters wrote, not an already established actor or director.

We need to break the stereotypes, the molds. We need to support the movies that are not typically blockbusters and turn those movies into the ones that production companies are clamoring to make.

So, what’s the one thing you could do to help movies that could lead to progress:

Go to the movies on opening weekend.

Go with your friends.

Make it a date night.

Drag your siblings.

Whatever you can do.

This is a plea to see a new movie, one out tonight.

Loving.

Loving tells the story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who fell in love and were married in 1958. They grew up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family, that first jailed and then banished them. Richard and Mildred relocated with their children to the inner city of Washington, D.C., but the family ultimately tries to find a way back to Virginia.

This story is the epitome of the melting pot of the United States. It shows us the struggles that previous generations have gone through to lead us down the path of choosing our partner.

If the plot of this movie even ignites the smallest spark in you, go out and see it. And if it doesn’t, choose to go see other movies that you normally would wait for it to come out on DVD.

 

*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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Easy Beef Macaroni Recipe

I love my Costco. I go to Costco religiously. On payday, I head over and fill up my cart with goodies, which for the most part, is standard, with minimal changes.

On that list is ground beef. We purchase the three pack of Kirkland Organic Ground Beef almost every trip.

The problem, however, is figuring out to do with it. A juicy hamburger is always a hit. Spaghetti is another. Honestly, that’s where my go-to recipes end.

I’ve tried hundreds of several options, none of these to my husband’s liking. Until this one.

I found a recipe online. Like usual, I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I had to improvise. Usually, my improvises don’t work out so well, but this time, I nailed it. Three empty bowls! So I had to share.

Easy Beef Macaroni Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • Easy Beef Macaroni #Recipe | AprilNoelle.com2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (I use a jar of already minced garlic)
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 tsp of Italian Seasoning
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth (Better than Boullion is the best!)
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Himalayan Sea Salt to taste
  • Fresh Basil for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion and bell peppers. In a heavy skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft and transparent (2-3 minutes). Add the ground beef and cook until fully brown (5 minutes). Lastly, add the diced bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté until they are slightly soft (3-5 minutes).
  2. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices to the skillet along with the uncooked pasta, basil, oregano, and some freshly cracked pepper and Himalayan sea salt. Stir the ingredients in the skillet well.
  3. Add 1.5 cups of vegetable broth to the skillet and stir to combine. Place the lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and allow the mixture to come up to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes. You should be able to hear the liquid simmering quietly the whole time. If you can’t, turn the heat up just slightly until it begins to simmer.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove the lid, and check to see if the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. If the pasta is still a bit crunchy, return the lid and allow it to continue to cook for a few more minutes.
  5. Once the pasta is tender, mix. In a separate bowl, combine the tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the tomato sauce over the skillet and serve.
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