Shiftcon 2018 | AprilNoelle.com

A #Shiftcon Conference Has Come but Not Yet Gone

I’ve only been to one blogger conference – Shiftcon – and I’ve been twice. It is the only conference that makes me want to get away from my family.

Why?

Because I know it’s FOR my family.

I may not be able to keep up with the latest and greatest, but Leah (Mamavation) works her ass off to educate the attendees on what matters and to separate junk information from science.

Shiftcon 2018 was different from my last experience. I felt so much more comfortable and confident walking in. Last time, I felt that I would be judged because I was considered “light green”. This year, I knew that being light green was ok and every step I took mattered.

This year, I walked in surrounded by new and old friends – friends that I had met for the first time IRL at the last conference and ones that I had only corresponded with through email.

Applegate

One of the biggest joys of this conference is the food – Applegate feeds us and feeds us well. From snacks to meals, they provide the best of the best natural and organic meats – No GMOs, No Antibiotics, and Humanely Raised! Every time we stepped out into the lobby or expo, we had pepperoni to snack on and it was delicious! I took some home for my kids because… Snack Time. I’m so glad that Applegate is in my local Publix to keep our pantry stocked!

Simply Real Foods

My favorite new brand is Simply Real Foods. Since I do most of my shopping at Costco, I don’t always have the easiest access to real food. Simply Real Foods is a new website that gives you easier access to organic, high-quality and affordable food that you can order online and deliver right to your door.

Beauty Counter

I’m always amazed to see how much crap goes in items that we put in and on our bodies! Beauty Counter gives us great products without all of the fillers. We received their signature No. 3 Balancing Collection as a gift to our rooms. I love it! The facial oil is so light. A little goes a LONG way!

Thank you Leah and team for the Shiftcon 2018 conference and I’m so glad to be a part of it. Check out the rest of the Shiftcon 2018 Sponsors here!

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Legacy 2018 | AprilNoelle.com

Building a Legacy in 2018

Every year, I set goals…and goals… and goals.

This year, I had to ask myself a question. The question is the one that you have to ask yourself whenever you begin a new venture, a new business, a new anything really.

If you speak to any business coach, the question is simple: Why?

Why do I have a blog? Why do I set all of these goals?

Legacy | AprilNoelle.com

My Family

I knew my Why was my family. But that never seemed to be enough. My family was not enough motivation to get me finish a lot of my goals. Why? (Ah, that pesky question pops up again.) Because I do things EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for my family.

When I quit my job six years ago, I did it for my family. I cook dinner (and god, I hate cooking) for my family. My sleeping is broken and limited so that I can tend to whatever happens in the middle of the night for my family.

Quite frankly, I was all familied out. I didn’t want to do another thing for my family. I already did everything for them.

After being this tired and drained, there weren’t enough baths or manicures in the world could give me the self-care I needed to complete more for them.

My Real Why

Planner 2018 Goal Setting Gratitude
BUY NOW on Amazon: Planner 2018: Professional long-term planner for Passion, Goal Setting, Happiness, and Gratitude for 2018

After much deliberation, consideration, and meditation, I realized that my ultimate why wasn’t just my family, it was building something for them. I want to give them something beyond my love and support.

I know, as a mom, my family should be enough. But after spending so much time dedicated to them, I needed something for me. I want to create a legacy and our name to live beyond me. I want to leave a legacy for my children and my children’s children.

My Word for 2018

Legacy.

All of my goals this year are focused on creating this legacy. They are bigger, brighter and completely attainable. I’m going to push myself harder than I have in a long time.

But most of all, I know I can do it.

So here are just a few goals that I have for this year:

  • Write a book (already started!)
  • Get a paid speaking gig
  • Become a political force in real estate
  • Be a kick-ass Realtor
  • Achieve a total body makeover

Those are just a few. What are yours?

I would love you forever if you would help me in building my legacy. I can help anyone in the state of Florida buy or sell a home, but I live in the Southeast Florida area.

Here’s my info:
April Grant, MRP, GBA
REALTOR®
If you’re thinking about selling, get your FREE Home Valuation HERE: http://bit.ly/2BLLoMO
Website: Keller Williams Preferred Properties
Fix Your Credit NOW: bit.ly/CreditFixNOW
Phone: 310.849.3708

Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Global Business Association Member (GBA)

 

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#Olay28Day Results | AprilNoelle.com

The Results: #Olay28Day Challenge

When I first started the #Olay28Day challenge using products from the Olay Luminous line, I didn’t expect much. Honestly, I didn’t expect anything. I have a bathroom full of products that didn’t live up to their promises.

I had my first experience with acne when I was far into my twenties and pregnant with my first child. I have used countless facial treatments to stop bumps, blemishes and new acne, but to no avail.

Since I have looked for so many solutions, I was excited to be a part of the #Olay28Day Challenge.

#Olay28Day Challenge | AprilNoelle.com#Olay28Day Challenge Four Part Treatment

  • Olay Luminous Micellar Water (morning and night),
  • Olay Luminous Miracle Boost Concentrate (morning and night),
  • Olay Luminous Light Hydrating Lotion (morning), and
  • Olay Luminous Overnight Mask (night).

I was hesitant. I normally wash my face in the shower. Not washing it felt weird. It’s very different to feel a rush of water across your face and using soap versus a cotton ball and a bottle.

Then there was the moisturizing part. I don’t moisturize twice a day. I just don’t. That said, I followed the program, day and night.

#Olay28Day Challenge Results

Olay28Day Challenge Post 1 | AprilNoelle.comMy before picture is to the right. See how the bottom part of my face is dark. There’s a shadow of sorts. That shadow is not from the sun, it’s a mix of blemishes that became an overarching shadow on the bottom of my face.

The first change I noticed was how quickly my blemishes started disappearing. The bumps and the acne were diminishing.

The second change I noticed was my skin was becoming more uniform. The dark spots were getting lighter. I was no longer using extra foundation to cover the blemishes.

The third change I noticed was new blemishes disappeared quickly. One such blemish lasted two days, then poof, gone. That was completely new to me.

Olay Luminous Micellar Water

Olay28Day Challenge Post 2 | AprilNoelle.com

Then, Hurricane Irma hit us hard, leaving us without power for five days. No power means limited running water. You know what’s great when it’s 90 degrees in the house and you can’t use running water? Olay Luminous Micellar Water. During this time, I realized how clean I was able to get my face with a few pumps of the Micellar Water without running water.

You know what’s also great to clean your face daily? Olay Luminous Micellar Water. I’m going to start calling it Miracle Water. It really does make a difference for your skin’s evenness. I received so many compliments over the last month about how my skin looked clearer and vibrant.

As you can see to the right, I’ve gotten some sun. And normally more sun means that the dark spots get darker. Here, I can still see the shadow, but comparatively to me (and to others), it was not as strong. The daily moisturizers were promising too. Even in our high heat-high humidity climate, I felt like my face could breathe, even after the application of foundation.

I would highly recommend this four step process and am proud to be a part of the #Olay28Day Challenge using the Olay Luminous line.

#Olay28Day Results | AprilNoelle.com

This content was sponsored by Olay. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Hurricane Irma and Other Natural Disasters

Hurricane Irma came through late last week. We’re still working to get our lives back to “normal”. Our family was in the dark until late last night. Fortunately, we have light! And cable! And internet! But, Hurricane Irma wasn’t my first natural disaster.

 

Northridge Quake

The first was the Northridge quake. I was on the periphery, 30 miles from the epicenter.

 

I was sleeping (quite heavily in those days). My top bunk started shaking. I thought it was my little sister. She would regularly push on my bed to wake me up. This time, it was way too early. “Leave me alone,” I said as I rolled back over. The bed started shaking harder, more violently. “Go back to bed,” I shouted this time. But she didn’t. Worst of all, I didn’t hear her voice. No plea to come down and help her. I jolted up, realizing that it wasn’t her, it was an earthquake.

I jumped off my bunk and went into the living room. Things were still shaking, and by then my dad was awake too. We braced the furniture as we could (the rolls were not that strong, and NO that’s not what we were trained to do in an earthquake).

Then it stopped. It all stopped. It was over. We had no lasting damage, no power outages, and besides being a bit shaken, we went about our lives. No one we knew was affected and quite frankly, it was a different time.

Hurricane Wilma

Hurricane Irma was not my first hurricane either. I had the unfortunate timing of visiting my in-laws when Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005. I was scared, especially for my one-year-old son who I was expected to keep safe. The area wasn’t under mandatory evacuation orders, but as with Irma, suggested that you should leave.

Thirteen years ago, everyone wasn’t on Facebook, there were no pleas or calls out. And even if there were, my network was in California, where I was born and raised.

This two week visit was supposed to be simple and quiet – my son spending time with his grandparents. Instead, we sat through a day long hurricane, several days without power, undrinkable water, and a low supply of food.

We had to be careful outside because a record number of utility poles broke and FPL did not have enough in reserve to replace them without help. Schools were closed due to the power outage and flooding. Worst of all, you couldn’t go anywhere because there was no power at gas stations, meaning if you had some place to go, it wasn’t likely you could refill your tank to get back home.

It was miserable… and hot… and humid. We couldn’t go anywhere we couldn’t walk. Because it was hot and humid, that wasn’t far.

 

Hurricane Matthew

Last year, I had pleasure of experiencing what we thought would be our first hurricane as a family. I was a full-fledged adult, in my own house with my own family. This time, all decisions were mine. Well, mine and my husband’s. They were ours. The good and the bad.

We were nervous, but after having NOAA on refresh, we realized that it wasn’t likely to hit us. No mass evacuation orders, no decisions to be made. We purchased D batteries and a case of water. Even in the mildest of storms,flying debris could pierce a window, so we put up shutters. 

A few people left town because they could.  The majority sat back and watched, or more accurately slept. Matthew’s winds hit us in the middle of the night. We woke to full power, a few people were without for some time. Otherwise, we were safe. We had gas. We had electricity. The kids were out of school for a day or two.

 

Hurricane Irma

This time, I felt fear. This time, I had to make decisions that could have a long term impact on our lives. The Keys were under evacuation orders. Parts of the east AND west coasts were in evacuation zones.

I posted on Facebook: “Leaving or Staying?”. The majority of friends and family responded that they were staying. That brought some comfort.

Then people pumped gas like they were never going to get some again. Gas became scarce in the week leading up to the hurricane. Lines down the block with people filling up gas tanks and extra canisters.

Florida is long and thin. There are three main roads out: I-95, Florida Turnpike and I-75. Florida is home to 20 MILLION people. Three roads does not an easy journey make. On Thursday,  two full days before Irma came, boasted that it only took 8 hours to travel a distance that normally takes a mere 2 and a half.

Remember that gas shortage that I mentioned? We weren’t going anywhere. Jeff put up the shutters. I started filling up bags of water to freeze in case of a power outage. Jeff searched for cases or a really just a case for reserve. I purchased D batteries (again) and glow sticks. Glow sticks helped us navigate the home in pure darkness and illuminate the bathroom considering there are no windows therein.

Then we buckled down.

We waited, we listened, we lost power, we brought out the board games. Then we went to sleep.

We woke up, waiting for things to end. We had plenty to eat:  snacks, dinner foods, etc.

Then Irma stopped. We walked out to assess the damage. Besides not having to hire someone to trim our tree, things seemed perfect, no damage. We opened the garage. It seemed fine, until we wanted to close it. Then, it kinda fell apart. Our garage was our only major damage.

We were without power for four days. Friends and family offered help and their homes. We are back home, but I’m glad this one is all over.

 

But hurricane season is not.See you in December!

~~~~

Finish the Sentence Friday

This post didn’t go the way I thought… that said, it’s a part of this week’s Finish the Sentence Friday! “When a natural disaster hits…” Link up and share your post, read the others and have a non-hurricane riddled weekend.

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3 Belly-Fat Burning Smoothies | Photo by Ken Hawkins via Flickr | AprilNoelle.com

3 Delicious Belly-Fat Burning Smoothies

Sick of doing all those crunches in an attempt to burn off all that belly fat? Try your hands at these awesome belly-fat burning smoothies. They are loaded with ingredients that fight the build up excess fat and decrease bloating.

Kale smoothie with Blueberry & Pineapple

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces of vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup kale
  • 3/4 cup water

The Greek yogurt is rich in protein and provides you with the boost of energy that you need. Dairy products like Greek Yogurt enhances metabolism and promote weight loss. Greek Yogurt is also high in calcium which has been known to reduce the risks of obesity/overweight with regular consumption.

Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that not only rid the body of toxins but are also known to reduce belly fat.

The pineapple in the smoothie provides you with the burst of freshness you need in the morning and it also contains enzymes that prevent bloating.

You won’t realize it as you drink it but there’s a cup of kale in the smoothie as well. You don’t need to worry about the taste, as the blueberries and pineapple will cover it up. Kale is filled with fiber that also prevents bloating and constipation. You can rest assured that all poisons and toxins in your body will be out after a few days of drinking this delicious smoothie.

Mango Smoothie Surprise

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup mango cubes
  • ¼ cup mashed ripe avocado (MUFA)
  • ½ cup mango juice
  • ¼ cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 6 ice cubes

Other than being delicious, mangos are completely fat-free. What makes them so good for your weight-loss journey is that they actually have lots of calories which will provide you with energy but they don’t have any fat all. Even if you have 3 mangoes per day, you’ll be consuming around 400 calories but it will have zero impact on your weight.

People who are dieting tend to avoid avocados because of its high quantity of fat. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids which can actually spot-reduce belly fat and decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome, making your waist slim and sexy.

Peanut Butter and Banana

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • ½ cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. creamy natural unsalted peanut butter
  • ¼ very ripe banana
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 4 ice cubes

Peanut butter consists of mono-unsaturated fats which has been linked to weight loss and the prevention of heart disease but bear in mind that you need to consume peanut butter in moderation if you’re trying to lose weight.

Bananas are one of those fruits that can be used to put on weight and to lose weight. What matters is how much you are consuming and how much exercising you are doing as well. If you are on a strict diet and partaking in physical activity regularly, you should be able to lose weight while having bananas. If you are watching your daily calorie consumption then you have to include the calories from your banana in your in daily calorie intake. They also have fiber and resistant starch which promote weight loss.

If you’re looking for quick meal replacements to support your weight-loss journey, give these smoothies a go!

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Step Into Spring: Essential “To Do’s” for Your Family

In the start of the spring season, our bodies are transitioning from the cold weather to a warmer climate. The reason behind this is that the air pressure is changing and our body system had now adjusted to the harsh cold that was recently upon us. Many people experience flu and coughs as the readings drop on the barometer. On the other hand, when the temperature rises, weather-sensitive people experience migraines, joint aches and back aches.

Saving yourself from getting sick can be a troublesome task and an even more concerning thing is when you have a family to look for. Changing weather, especially the shifting from cold temperatures to warmer seasons can leave a lot of people vulnerable. With the increasing warmth and high humidity levels, it becomes easier for bacteria to travel through the air, increasing your chances of contracting airborne illnesses. The kids go to school and interact with other children, where they may get a viral disease or you can get any bacterial infection in an office or a store. There are multiple precautions that you can take to make your spring better, happier and healthier.

 

Stepping Into Spring: Essential "To Do's" for your Family | AprilNoelle.com
Thanks to Army Medicine (photo)

 

Skincare:

Although your skin is the most delicate part of your body during the winter, it can also be fragile in spring. To care for your skin during spring weather, you would need to swap a few products with things that are intentioned to work better in hotter weather. Lotions should be replaced with a light moisturizer, as lotions can make your skin too oily in warm weather.

Moreover, increase the number of times you bathe or shower in the week. This will help you ward off any dead skin cells, stay refreshed and also prevent you from having bad body odor. Protection from the sun also becomes necessary so use sunscreen as often as possible before going out in the day. Implement this not only on yourself but on your kids and your partner.

 Taking Care of Your Surroundings:

Keeping your house clean is also a part of your mission to stay fit and healthy. Hygienic surroundings don’t mean that you turn tidiness into an obsession and not rest until everything is squeaky clean. However, it does mean that a few things would require a little more attention and now need to be cleaned more often than they used to be in colder weather. Gutters and drains should be your top priority when you intend on taking on house cleaning responsibilities. This ensures that the rainwater stays away from inside your house during those long spring rains. Similarly, with the air conditioner and/or heater, you must make sure that it is working properly and the machine is not malfunctioning. Some of these systems are essential in spring cleaning and you cannot have a clean space without these working machines.

Keeping Hydrated:

There are multiple options for you to stay hydrated and take in enough liquids for the day, but not all of them are healthy. There are sodas, iced tea and juices that are used in place of water. However, that must not be your only source of liquid. Instead, keep a water bottle with you to avoid the temptation of buying anything unhealthy. Have your kids take water bottles with them as well or suggest them that they drink the water from the drinking fountain instead of buying soda cans at school.

Physical Health:

During the winter season, you are usually confined to indoor spaces and outdoor physical activities are limited. As the weather changes, it is a lot more favorable to have outdoor games and exercises can also transition from gym routines to morning walks, jogging and other outdoor exercises. This is the perfect way to stay healthy in spring and also work on your summer body goals. It is always wise to wear proper shoes, clothes and if you are using any equipment to carry out your exercise routines, then make sure that they are safe to use.

 

Spring can be a fun time for anyone yet caution is always necessary and it is better to adopt safety measures that can help you in leading a better lifestyle. The aforementioned things are meant to keep you safe in the changing climate. It can provide you a smooth transition for your body, making it competent enough to adapt to the changes that the weather is going through without overexerting yourself and damaging your health.

 

Guest post written by Zyana Morris

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Get More Protein with Vital Proteins | AprilNoelle.com

Get More Protein with Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides #spon

I have received compensation in exchange for my honest review.

Now that I’m more conscientious with my eating, I realized that I wasn’t nearly getting enough protein. For my current weight, I should be getting around 150 grams of protein!

Even the best protein shakes average 20-30 grams. Drinking two a day is less than half of my required intake.

That leaves me with an interesting dilemma, with two unfavorable options:

  • Drink more than two shakes a day, possibly up to four, or
  • Eat 20 grams of protein each of my other 4 meals a day

Which one would you choose?

I opt for neither. So, how do I attain this crazy goal without eating large slabs of meat or fish?

Get More Protein with Vital Proteins | AprilNoelle.comVital Proteins

Vital Proteins solves this problem. With their line of unflavored protein

Two scoops of Collagen Peptides or Marine Collagen. With over 9 grams of protein in each serving, you can turn any drink into a protein drink.

  • Morning Coffee or Tea
  • Mid-morning Green Tea Chai Latte
  • Lunchtime Tea
  • Afternoon Water (or even soda… if that’s your desire)
  • Dinner drink… whatever that may be

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

My favorite product is the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides which mixes easily into any drink – hot or cold. When I received this at ShiftCon, it was one of the first products that I used regularly besides the vitamins.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body ensuring the health and vitality of your skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones, and joints.** These natural peptides are highly bio-available, digestible and soluble in cold or hot liquids.

Vital Proteins Marine Collagen

Vital Proteins Marine Collagen are sourced from fresh wild-caught snapper, non-GMO project verified and promotes youthful skin, healthier hair, and stronger nails.  Collagen supports joint health and healthy immune, digestive, and central nervous systems.

Vital Proteins Beef Liver

Vital Proteins Beef Liver is nature’s most potent nutrient-dense superfood. These capsules are high in Vitamin A, B12, Folate, Riboflavin, Zinc, Copper, and Choline. Vital Proteins sources their beef from pasture-raised, grass-fed New Zealand cows.

Use

The crystals dissolve almost entirely. See the before and after… you can barely tell the difference! Even more so, you can’t TASTE the difference, these tasteless crystals add a pack of protein, without the flavor.

Do you want to increase your protein intake? Are you struggling to make those numbers balance on the weight loss scales?

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The MegaPledge | MegaFood | AprilNoelle.com

I’m Taking the MegaPledge with @MegaFood! #ad

I have received compensation in exchange for my honest review.

The MegaPledge | MegaFood | AprilNoelle.comAlthough my girls sleep through the night, I don’t. I can get to sleep, but I can’t stay asleep. Needless to say, some days I really drag. I would drink a cup of coffee, mainly because my husband makes it every day. It helps to get me through a few hours, but I crash somewhere around noon. Unfortunately, I may be able to get to 3 p.m., but then my children are home and I’m exhausted.

What has really helped me is the Daily Energy Nutrient Booster Powder. One scoop in my morning shake keeps me awake without the afternoon lull.

Daily Energy Nutrient Booster

“Wholesome, pure and unsweetened, MegaFood Nutrient Booster Powders are made from FoodState nutrients, whole herbs and farm fresh antioxidant-rich foods to enhance your vitality and cultivate your well-being.” Daily Energy Nutrient Booster label.

I have really enjoyed taking this supplement every morning to improve my energy. The best part, though, is that I increase my intake of daily nutrients. The Daily Energy Booster has plenty of FoodState© S. cerevisiae Vitamin B12 and FoodState© S. cerevisiae GTF Chromium.

Vitamin B12 Benefits:

  • Needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, thus leading to energy production and a decrease in fatigue and lethargy in the body.
  • Healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.
  • Maintain a healthy digestive system. Vitamin B12 also protects against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels, protecting against stroke, and high blood pressure.
  • Essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin.
  • Vitamin B 12 helps protect against cancers including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.

via NewsMax.

Chromium Benefits:

  • Enhances the actions of insulin
  • Necessary for maintaining normal metabolism
  • Necessary for storage of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

via Dr. Weil

So, not only do I get added energy, I get a little extra help with my weight loss journey.


 

The MegaPledge

Did you know that it’s extremely difficult to get all of the nutrients your body needs from food alone? As our soil’s vitamins deplete and companies are making more “sustainable” food, the nutrient levels drop.

So I and other bloggers have joined up with MegaFood to promote their new pledge initiative – a pledge to close your nutritional gap to help cure nutritional poverty – the MegaPledge!

Mind the Gap | MegaFood | AprilNoelle.comFor every pledge MegaFood receives, they will donate a bottle of MegaFood Multivitamins to those in need. Plus, all pledgees will receive a $5 off coupon toward a purchase of any MegaFood Multivitamin and will be entered to win a year’s supply of MegaFood Multivitamins and a trip to a wellness retreat.

Finally, on Tuesday, February 7th, MegaFood will be going Live on Facebook to talk about the new MegaPledge! The Facebook Live will be the official pledge launch and will be filled with broadcasts from some very special guests!

Did you enter?

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Wait! It's a Weight Update! | AprilNoelle.com

Wait! It’s a Weight Update!

Can you believe that we’re already done with January? I feel like yesterday was Christmas.

I recommitted, again for the 124,294,503th time to lose weight at the end of the last year.  It started well. Then Christmas came. My husband gets the week off and he’s not exactly known for his weight loss or healthy eating. He’s well within the “normal” weight range, whereas, I’m not.

I Ate, and Ate, and Ate!

And Christmas showed it! We ate, and ate, and drank, and ate some more! We topped it off with a great New Year’s Eve!

So, after some great progress in December, I fell off completely at the end of the year.

That said, I started a weight loss challenge in January, more so to keep me accountable. See, I am good with losing weight when I’m teamed up. I got my husband on board, and we’re in this together.

Wait! A Weight Update! | AprilNoelle.comI went back to my two shakes a day with OGX Fenix and three weeks in, I was seventeen pounds down! I’m so excited to finally be making some real progress with my weight.

My Birthday Present to Myself!

This year, for my birthday, we are getting portraits done… like official, very nice family portraits. No JCPenney for us! Well, not this time. JCPenney and WalMart are just fine. They work great!

But I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with Caitlyn Bom and her portrait studio. I’m even going to spend money on clothes on purpose and get me and my girlies matching outfits from a good friend, Aaronica at The Crunchy Mommy.

With that in mind, I need to get my body in the best shape I’ve been in a very long time. It really is a struggle since I spend most of my days sitting on my behind, writing, typing, grading and reading. I’ve been loving my desk bike to get something in and I started teaching my son how to play basketball, which brings back fond memories.

Soon to See Weight Update!

I promise to completely show my before and after pictures. My husband swears he sees a change. I don’t see it, yet.  But I really want to do a BIG reveal on my birthday!

So, was your new year’s resolution to lose weight? If so, let me know. I’ll be starting a new eight-week challenge soon. Let me know in the comments and I’ll email you using the email address you use. Don’t worry, no sales attached!

 

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Top 10 Finds from ShiftCon | AprilNoelle.com

You Need These Top 10 Finds from #ShiftCon

The following post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

In December, I went to my first blogging conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect or how I was going to navigate it. Really, I was scared of the commitment and whether I was going to take this blogging thing seriously. I volunteered for Shiftcon early on 2016 to make sure I couldn’t find a reason not to go.

Top 10 Finds from Shiftcon

ShiftCon is an eco-wellness influencer conference focusing on food, wellness, health, sustainability, and platform growth. If you didn’t know, I started blogging because I was a Beachbody rep. Now, several years later, I’m no longer a rep, but I’m still blogging. So I thought ShiftCon would be a great fit for me.
I’ll go over all of the reasons why I loved ShiftCon tomorrow, but today, I’m going to tell you about all of the wonderful goodies I received as an attendee.

10. Chili Lime Cherries by Stoneridge Orchards

Top 10 Finds at ShiftCon | AprilNoelle.com A deliciously sweet, tart and spicy snack, the best things in life. These no fat, all-natural Montmorency Cherries are seasons with Tajin, which is just divine to suit a variety of taste buds.

9. Hemp Heart Bites by Manitoba Harvest

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical. The squares looked dry. But once I tasted them, I had to double check the serving size to make sure I didn’t eat the whole bag in one sitting. With 10 grams of Omega 3&6 and 10 grams of protein per serving, These satisfy my sweet tooth AND my daily protein requirement.

8. Goddess Garden Sunscreen Stick

At #ShiftCon we learned so much about the benefits of utilizing sunscreen, including how increasing the SPF doesn’t necessarily mean better for you. The added protection (and often the white residue) is because of unnecessary and unnatural additives. That’s not what I want, especially since I live in a state where the sun shines most of the time.

7. Monkfruit Sweetener by Lakanto

The sweetener wars are intense, but I have found one that tops all others. Monkfruit Sweetener is a little sweeter than sugar, but has ZERO additives, ZERO Glycemic value, ZERO aftertaste and is a 1:1 sugar replacement. Use in place of sugar everywhere without spiking your insulin.

6. Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder

Molly’s mom, the owner of Molly’s Suds, and I had a great conversation which quickly drifted into fabric softener. I stopped using fabric softener last year and it was a great decision for my clothes! They are no longer dingy and I use a lot less bleach. Most store-bought fabric softeners actually coat your clothes in a very thin layer of plastic, which makes them harder to wash and repellent to bleach. Once I had washed my clothes a few times, there was a noticeable difference in the softness and the amount of bleach that I used. After learning so much, I have to say, the Laundry Powder works just as well as my other detergent, without harsh chemicals and all-natural ingredients.

5. Coffee Cacao Power Snacks by Navitas

Need an afternoon pick-me-up and a snack? This superfood combination gives you a great bang for your caloric buck. Try it out and see for yourself.

4. Beauty Counter Products

Quality all-natural bath and body products kinda speak for themselves. Great products, great results.

3. Relax & Restore Whole Food Magnesium by Garden of Life

I have a personal issue with my gastro intestinal tract. It’s completely inconsistent, but this product has helped me maintain regularity and helps me to rest at night. Getting this two for one package is really a delight.

2. Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins

Can I say amazing? Have you ever considered being able to add protein to any drink without thinking about it being hot or cold, chocolatey or fruit, sweet or savory? That’s what these protein peptides do for you. You can drop a scoop full of flavorless crystals into any drink and hit your protein target without the requirement to “drink a shake”. Love it!

1. MegaFood Vitamins

Not one just one vitamin, everyone I tried so far is amazing and feels good in my tummy. I wrote more about it last week here.
There are truly SO many more great goodies that we received that I just can’t talk about them all. To find out more about these companies, head over to ShiftCon Media.
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Going to ShiftCon 2018 | AprilNoelle.com

I’m Attending #Shiftcon 2018 and You Should Too!

I told you yesterday that I went to ShiftCon in December. As ShiftCon was my first conference, I didn’t know what to expect. I know there would be some networking, some speaking and some seminars. For the first time, I was representing me, no company, no organization, just me.

I will be going to the next conference in 2018 and let me tell you why.

What I loved about Shiftcon

1. Great Food.

OH, MY GOODNESS. We ate SO well. The sponsors were amazing and fed us well! Applegate had the best meats and I completely indulged.

2. I’m “Light Green”.

One of my hesitations to attending this conference is that I don’t consider myself “green”. I use organic occasionally and but I just do what works for my family, like fabric softener and all natural cleaners. Yet, I didn’t feel put of place. Better yet, I was told that I was “light green” and any movement towards a greener society is worth any and all of the effort.

3. Sponsors.

The greenest (and nicest) companies out there. The list is incredible. The representatives were relatable, open and ready and willing to connect. Check all of them out here. I made so many connections for collaborations and more. All of my favorite green companies are now a part of the April Noelle family!

4. The Community.

I met so many great people, including Erika from Essentially Erika, Leah Segedie’s from Mamavation (the organizer of ShiftCon). With so many bloggers and sponsors in attendance, I can’t wait to meet more people next time.

5. Meeting Blogging Buddies

I have two online friends that I finally met IRL! It was incredible. They were exactly who they were online which was AWESOME! Aaronica from The Crunchy Mommy and Ari from Love, Peace and Tiny Feet.

6. Location.

Although the location will change next time, ShiftCon did a great job at making sure that we were centrally located, in the middle of all of the action! The next conference will be in Irvine! So, Cali here I come!
And so much more… So will you be attending the next ShiftCon conference and meet me IRL?
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Start Your Own Garden | Ron Finley | AprilNoelle.com

No Grocery Store, No Problem: Start Your Own Garden

I came across this super cute and relatable video about creating your own garden this week:

Grow Food: Appetite for Change

#ShiftCon

Back in college, I crashed with my ex in the Jungle, which didn’t have a nearby neighborhood.  Then, I flashed back to #ShiftCon where Ron Finley (of The Ron Finley Project) spoke about planting a garden in his side yard, you know that little strip of land between your fence and the sidewalk and I posted this:

 

My Garden

Start Your Own Garden | Ron Finley | AprilNoelle.comThen, I came home and really dove into my own garden. Of course, I got my start at the Dollar Tree.

Planters – $1,
Pack of seeds -$.25
All of the tools, yep, just $1

Luckily, my husband bought in too. He recycled the bottles and other plastic containers we use in the house to germinate the seeds. We started with bell peppers and basil.

We started with bell peppers, watermelon, thyme and basil. I took some of the larger plants over to my in-laws house and they didn’t do well. So we are starting all over.

 

 

I tried planting some thyme especially because my husband LOVES thyme. I’m not sure what happened or why they didn’t survive, but I couldn’t get that plant going.

But we’ve expanded to tomatoes, cucumbers, garden beans, sugar apple, soursop, okra and kale. I’ll update you in just a couple of months.

Here are 10 steps to start your own. Have you ever tried to garden? Why or why not?

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