6 FREE Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer in West Palm Beach

Happy 4th of July!


Half way through the summer and moms are already ready to send their kids back to school. If you don’t send your children to an all-day summer camp, you can quickly find it’s difficult to keep them occupied and still offer variety, every day, for an entire summer. Last year, I gave you an all-inclusive activity list, but as the cost of camps rise, here are a few things you can do to keep a cap on that budget and still have a great time with your children! Here are six FREE ways to entertain your children this summer.

FREE (and Cheap) Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer

Public Venues

Barracuda Bay

A local water park less than 3 miles from the very expensive Rapids park, Barracuda Bay has a swimming pool, splash area and two large water slides for $3 for Riviera Beach residents and only $4 for everyone else. Please check the website for openings.

For more information, click HERE!


City Programs

The city is bountiful in programs ranging from swim classes and sports classes to an all day sports camp. Check out the following links to see what programs are happening in your city or town.

6 FREE Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer | AprilNoelle.comPeanut Island Park

A easy, FREE trip with the kids, Peanut Island Park is a local park with EVERYTHING! Boat dock, fishing, swimming, camping, fire ring, observation deck, and more!

For more information, click HERE!

Splash Pads

Get out of the hot sun and cool down with these cool and FREE spots!


Private Venues




At just $1 per person, this location is a steal! The kids play with Legos and you help or watch, the children can play all day. They even provide a snack room, so you can bring your own snacks for the kids.

For more information, click HERE!






Read More
Iconic EyeEye Doctor in Palm Beach| Care Review | AprilNoelle.com

Understanding My Vision | Iconic Eye Care {Review}

Back in 2004 or 2005, I woke up blind. Initially, I thought it was that thing that happens to your eyes when someone flips on the light in the dead of night. But after a few minutes, I still saw nothing. Dark gray surrounded me.  Floating specks peppered my views.

Many tests (and many doctors and specialists) later, no one could not tell me what happened. Their best guess was that I had a virus that seemed to only attack my eyes. They gray was slowly going away, but I still hadn’t regained my full vision and had to be driven around. Over a decade later, the effects of that day still linger. I still see the floating specks, but I don’t have the grayness.

I give you this introduction because when I went to Iconic Eye Care, I went mainly to support my friend, Dr. Adam Ramsey. I try to support local small businesses whenever I can. Not to say I wasn’t expecting much, but I get my eyes checked every year and I haven’t heard anything new in ages.

My son and I went right after school with my two toddlers in tow. We were immediately greeted by Jackie who asked if the girls wanted some markers to draw. My jaw dropped!

“Uh, you know that they are two and four and I can’t guarantee that they will only write on paper,” I said.

She smiled and replied, “These are special markers that only write on this paper.” I was relieved.

They took my son, Bunny, first to test. About five minutes later, I was called into the room. I started to get anxious because my husband was supposed to be there by then to take the girls.

She called all of us girls into the room. My rambunctious girls and testing my eyes did not sound like a good combination. I preferred they stay with their brother in the lobby. Knowing that they are both mommy’s girls, they would be in the testing room in seconds anyway.

Jackie invited them to “help”: raising and lowering the machine and giving them little things to do. Not only were my girls not in the way, they were so freaked out by looking at my eye, they were happy to leave me alone for a few minutes.

When I was done, my son was called into the exam room. I wanted to see what was going on and luckily my husband arrived right in time so I wasn’t distracted. I watched Dr. Ramsey go diligently through the letter eye exam, and as my son repeated what he thought was right as he memorized from the other slide, Dr. Ramsey quickly switched and asked my son again for row 4.


Beauty is in the EYE of the beholder and this is one beautiful boy. #myson #lovemykids #lovemyson #eyeexam #noglassesneeded

A photo posted by April | AprilNoelle.com (@theaprilnoelle) on



When it was my turn, I thought I knew what to expect. Based on my almost annual visits, I had a lot of experience with optometrists. Not only does Dr. Ramsey have the top of the line equipment, he used it to explain thoroughly the remnants of that day over a decade ago. Since he didn’t see (nor have access to) my prior reports, he couldn’t assess what initially happened, but told me about the disconnected parts of jelly that had become floaters and that they would likely be there for life. He also said that I had astigmatism, which I was told before, but he explained what it meant and how glasses would help me at night (even though I hadn’t mentioned that I had problems with night vision).

I found his services professional and thorough. I highly recommend Dr. Ramsey if you are looking for an eye doctor in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Their contact info is:

Iconic Eye Care
Main Street at Midtown
4871 PGA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

(561) 336-0733


By the way, I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Read More

The Library is More than Just Books

Do you have a library card? When’s the last time you went to the library? A lot of them are coming into the digital age and ready to partake of your business. The library has brought to you some awesome services that require you have a library card (and sometimes a PIN number) for you to live free. Here are three services that the libraries offer that you might not know about:

Freegal – Free music and music video downloads

Freegal Music gives you access to over 9 million songs from over 28,000 labels including the Sony Music catalogue of your country.

How Freegal Music Works:

  • Library users have a weekly download limit, and may have a streaming limit as well. You will be able to keep track of your downloads in the upper right corner of the site. Every song has a sample clip you can listen to before you download. You must be logged in to enjoy the sample clips.
  • The downloads on this site are all in the MP3 format with no DRM, and videos are in the MP4 format with no DRM. This service will work on almost any computer, player, tablet or smartphone. The Freegal Music mobile app is free in the Apple® App Store and in Google® Play
  • Music videos will cost you 2 of your allotted downloads. If you do not have 2 downloads available you will not be able to download a music video.
  • The search engine is both a simple and advanced search, and will return results primarily by the album that the song is from.

Tip: As a mother of three, I use each of our cards to collect 5 songs per week, which means I can collect a minimum of 20 songs per week (my card, plus each of my kids cards). 

See if your library uses Freegal. Enjoy the site!

Flipster – Magazines at Your Fingertips

Flipster is a next-generation digital magazine solution that makes it easy for you to read your favorite magazines on your computer or mobile device. From Cosmopolitan to Sports Illustrated to Amateur Photographer, Flipster lets you flip through magazines in your free time.

With flexible magazine subscription options and seamless user authentication, Flipster is the best choice for libraries looking for top magazines covering business, leisure, fashion, product reviews, current events, and more.


Hoopla Digital – Streaming Movies

Instantly borrow free digital movies, music, and more, 24/7 with your library card.

Bringing you hundreds of thousands of movies, full music albums, audiobooks and more, hoopla is a revolutionary digital service made possible by your local library.

From Hollywood blockbusters to best selling artists and authors – not just the hits, but the niche and hard-to-find as well – you’ll soon discover that hoopla provides you the freedom you’ve been searching for to experience, explore and enjoy what you want, when you want, and where you want.

Simple to access and use, without the hassle of having to return the items you’ve borrowed, all you need is your library card, a web browser, smart phone or tablet to get started. The freedom you want is here, now. Sign up today!


Overdrive – Books and Audiobooks

Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and more from your local public library – anywhere, anytime. All you need is a library card. OverDrive libraries add to their collections from a catalog of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks, and videos. Start exploring to see what’s out there. With more than 30,000 libraries in 40+ countries, chances are there’s a library near you. The OverDrive app is one of the top-rated eBook apps available for iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac OS, Windows, and Windows Phone.

Have you used any of these digital apps? Does your library offer more? Let me know!

3M Cloud

You can browse the shelves that your library set up by category or you can use the filter button to filter by genre. The newest digital reference for libraries, I look forward to providing a review.


Read More

70 Days of Summer ~ Photo-A-Day Challenge

I counted the days from the end of school to the beginning of the next school year and for us it’s 70 days. Well, actually 73 days, but I’d prefer to round down than round up. I’m not trying to give myself additional self-imposed work. So, 70 Days of Summer it is!

I figured since I’m in a fairly new area and I have three kids who can manage to drive me crazy by 11 a.m., I plan on doing something every day this summer.

70 Days Of Summer

We’ve already started with my first post of We Rock the Spectrum, with many more to come. Please feel free to follow me on Instagram to get all of the details.

There I go again making additional promises with my no picture taking self.

Although most of these activities are kid-focused, I’m lucky enough that my in-laws also take my children from time to time. On those days, it’ll be something different or a new restaurant during adult time.  I just hope my posting can keep up with my activities.

Want to join in? Use #70DaysofSummer and let me know what you’re doing to keep you busy during the summer.

Read More

SkyBike is in West Palm Beach

My birthday was a couple of months ago, and as much as I wanted to do a write up, I just haven’t had time.

Just a short recap (full details to come), my husband took me to Miami Beach.  All I had asked for is to have a guilt-free, child-free weekend where I didn’t have to think about anything, except to enjoy myself.  I didn’t want any plans to be made nor timetable to adhere to. I just wanted to “be” for a couple of days.

Riding Bikes in the Now

While we walked around the city, we saw these bikes. It was such a cool concept. You rent a bike for a period as short as 30 minutes up to 24 hours. You can ride the bike all around the city.

Riding bikes in general is nothing special, neither is renting them.

Check it Out, Check it In…. Then Do it Again

Why I LOVE this concept is that you can check out a bike at one location, then park it at another. You do not have to carry your bike into stores or restaurants. If your time hasn’t expired, then you just go pick a bike back up and continue on to your next destination.

We rode from our hotel in North Miami Beach, down to South Beach. We stopped to eat lunch, walked around a bit, then picked up new bikes, road to the tip of South Beach, then back home. Well, almost back to the hotel. We were about 10 minutes shy of making it home, but the pick-up/drop-off points were frequent enough that we just chose a closer station, dropped off the bike, then walked the rest of the way.

I’m seriously so excited.

SkyBike West Palm Beach


In West Palm Beach, the service is called SkyBike presented by Skybridge Capital. There are already twelve scheduled locations. The blue locations are fully stocked; but as of today, the gray stations have not been completely set up.


SkyBike Map


Bike Today, Bike Tomorrow

SkyBike allows you to also buy subscriptions. If you know you’d like to ride bikes often, this is definitely way to go.

You can get a monthly and annual subscriptions based on 30 or 60 minute rides. What this means is that you can ride this bike for 30 minutes straight, put it back, then pick up another bike for 30 (or 60) minutes…even at the same station as your drop off. You can do this ALL DAY LONG!

Instead of paying a 24 hour fee, it makes sense to just get a monthly subscription and you can ride it for the entire month.

According to the website: “Once registered, you can rent bikes in all nextbike cities and countries.”

Note: In Miami, it’s CitiBike, so it is NOT the same system.

Read More

The Latest on April Noelle {1}

April Noelle started at the beginning of this year, after blogging for several years at 100lbCountdown.com. I really wanted to change the genre and move to a more community based blog, and less about weight loss.

Weirdly, since the transition, I’ve actually gotten more weight loss offers and as long as I’m on my journey, I will continue to bring those to you.

In addition, I wanted to let you know a little about the other things going on here.

The Latest

First, I’m completely revamping my Pinterest boards so that it’s more streamlined. The biggest change for you would be my giveaway board. This board is for giveaways that I think that YOU would be interested in. I update it regularly, either as I come across new giveaways or search them out. I also will remove old giveaways so that you can see the latest and greatest. I’ll admit, there will be a focus on cash, Paypal and Amazon gift cards since those are the most universal.

Follow April’s board Giveaways on Pinterest.
Second, I’m extremely excited about my new podcast: Run Your World. We talk about the entire woman. We cover the difficult topics of finance, and the fun topics of reality television. We look to grow the entire woman, making her stronger, more confident and happier. I would LOVE if you would listen in, let us know how we’re doing and leave us a little love note.

Third, I have also started two new semi-event based series called PBC Pinpoint and PBC Pinpoint Kids. These are things to do around town. I will be looking for things that are not easily come across and/or trying to make this a place where you can get all of your local information, especially on a budget. I will start rating places based on my kids’ attraction to it as well as the basic question of “Is it worth it?”

April's Picture                            April's Picture

We’re making a lot of progress with our book drive. We have hit about the half way mark of my goal ~ 250 books! I’m still on a mission to hit 500 books for low income families who will be attending a Community Baby Shower. I’m still accepting donations of new or gently used books. If you would like to donate, feel free to contact me or you can send books through Amazon. For more information, click the icon below.

My husband has started a great new company, Bahamas Sands Body, which features it’s first product: Exumas Isles Softening Foot Scrub. Sand taken from the exclusive Exumas Islands in the Bahamas help soften your feet. If you’d like to purchase a jar, please do so at our Etsy shop.


Finally, I’d like to say thank you to all of you have been here over the years. I have been working to manage a growing family… my kids are getting older, no I’m not having another, and grow my husband’s business. Keeping this blog, the comments and love have helped me get through some of the tougher times.

Please keep coming back, leaving comments and letting me know what you’d like to see more of.

Read More

West Palm Beach CrossFit: The Community

I’d like to say that I could lose weight on my own and be the best me all by myself.

In reality, I need help. In reality, I can’t do it alone. In reality, I haven’t been able to do it alone.

After introducing you to Crossfit, talking to you about the price, and what Crossfit is, I’d like to end with the community.

In short, the community is AMAZING.

From young black men to older white women, this place has a lot of diversity. There are super fit people and people who have never worked out. We all do the same workout.

I knew I felt this place was different on my first visit. The trainer, Dana, introduced me to every one there (except those few in the “workout zone”.

CF The Community

In Reality, I Need Support

Working out is not fun to me. I am competitive, but sometimes workouts are really hard. I have been known to walk out of a class when I feel it’s just “too hard” for me, if the burn is a little too much.

But not here.

Every time I even try to slow down, I get cheered on from others in the class and those about to take the next class.

“You can do it!” 

“You’re almost done.”

When is the last time a classmate (someone that is not already your “friend”) in spin or other workout class cheered you on when you slowed down. I cannot remember a time that it’s happened.


In Reality, I Need Accountable

One thing about CrossFit is that you do workout outside. Often, you’ll be asked to run a distance between 200 to 400 meters. Obviously, that’s not always in the “view” of the trainer.

I admit, I have been known to walk. Have I mentioned to you that I hate running. It’s literally my least favorite exercise.

I haven’t been able to walk for long. Someone has always been there to say, “Girl, you know you can run, even if it’s just a little” or something like that.

When I’m doing the modification of the modification for pull-ups, they let me know that I still have time to get one more in.

When I’m doing burpees, I am encouraged that it’s just a few more.

I’m okay with it. In fact, I like it. I end up doing way more than I ever thought I would.


In Reality, I Need Friends

In our workout yesterday, we did 400 meters of walking lunges. Yep, that’s a lot of lunges and super far. We ended up in four clumps of people. I was in the last clump.

In this last clump, we dutifully took each step slowly around the building and we chatted. We chatted about life and things and that last quarter which should have felt like complete pain, instead was manageable.

Whether or not we’ll become friends outside the gym, I don’t know, but inside, we are the bestest ever!


My West Palm Beach CrossFit Gym. If you decide to drop in, let them know I sent you! 🙂


 WebsiteFacebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

Address: 7231 Haverhill Business Pkwy, Suite#205, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.
This week’s words: Offensive & Reality.

Read More

How the Obsession with CrossFit Workouts Can Benefit You

CrossFit is too expensive huh? A CrossFit membership can be anywhere from $100 to $200 dollars a month.

Yep that much money. Let it sink in.

Having gone to multiple CrossFit gyms, believe me my mind was right there with you.

Where in the heck am I going to get up to $200 a month to go to the gym.

Yet after going this last month, I totally think it’s worth it and let me tell you why.



This post is for people like me.

I’m someone who needs a little push to get going, and loves to workout with friends. This post is also for those who have hired a trainer and not being able to afford a trainer is what’s holding you up.

CF Fees and the Workout


Let’s break down the fees:

On average, CrossFit costs about $150 to join. You may or may not have an initiation fee with a CrossFit, although I have not seen one.

On average, other gyms require an initiation fee of up to $99 (or as low as FREE on a promotion) and monthly fees cost from $10 to $50 a month.

I know you can do basic math. After one month, you’re pretty much even. But remember, this post is for people like me. I’m not stopping at just basic membership. I’m getting a personal trainer.

From my recollection, a personal trainer has cost from $25 to $50 an hour depending on how long you decide to commit. In general, two sessions won’t cut it, so you’re looking at at least eight (for a month). That’s the low end, so you’re looking at an extra $400 by the end of month ONE. I’ll even do this math with the lower amount $200 by the end of month ONE.

Here we stand: CrossFit: $150, Gym: $350. That’s absolutely ridiculous!

But wait, your trainer is only a couple of times a week and with your busy schedule, you pretty much only make it into the gym on those two days. Occasionally you can get a third, and on the really great weeks, you can get a fourth.

One month isn’t enough for the results that you want to achieve.

Let’s think realistically. Three months, you’ll get the entire gist of what your trainer will do for you and you’re completely ready to tackle it on your own.

By the end of three months, you’ve spent $750. We’re talking low-end. It could easily be over $1000. It’s ridiculous!

At CrossFit, $750 gets you about 5 months!

Not definitive proof that you should consider CrossFit, but keep reading.

The Workout

Results Centered

CrossFit is centered on the idea that there’s a “Workout of the Day”. It’s a workout that everyone in the gym does that day. The times or totals are written on a public board. Everyone can see everyone’s results. If you are competitive by any nature, knowing how everyone else stacks up is helpful to see where you “should” be. Since I’m new, I put my self at the top of the bottom third (I know, a little complicated) as my goal. Hopefully soon, I will push myself to be at the halfway point.

The gym is centered on the idea that you come in on your own time and just get it done. If, for some reason, you don’t “get it done”, they are quick to upsell you the ability to purchase sessions with a personal trainer. One gym boasts:

5 Reasons to have a Personal Trainer

  • Mix It Up with Cross Training. Trainers use a variety of effective workouts based upon your specific goals
  • Teaching vs. Showing. Instead of only showing you how to use exercise machines, a trainer will teach you principles of exercise that will stay with you for the rest of your life
  • Set-A-Pace.Through professional guidance, trainers will teach you what pace and intensity level is required to get into great shape
  • Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths.Trainers have the opportunity to see where your weaknesses and strengths are, to develop a program specific to your needs
  • Accountability.Trainers provide necessary accountability and motivation to maximize results

I agree! 

Personal Trainer-like Atmosphere

That’s why I’ve paid for SO many personal training sessions and invested in myself.

That’s also why I can’t go back, at least not right now.

With CrossFit, I can get that experience every day of the week!

The trainer at CrossFit BGI is looking over me at every step, pushing me harder and keeping me accountable for all of my actions.

“You Do Your Best You, April”

You just can’t walk into a CrossFit gym and not push yourself.

Last week, I went to the gym with my friend, who had not only regularly works out, but works out with a trainer. I allowed her to guide me through the workout process and see if she’s learned something that I didn’t. Although we did a lot of things, I can’t say I pushed myself.

On the first day, we did an arm workout. Three quarters of the workout focused on triceps, one quarter on biceps. On the second day, we did a leg workout.

Besides my triceps burning for three days, I felt nothing throughout my body. Since I had always known her to workout, I was somewhat disappointed that we never lifted more than 10 pounds, most of the time using 5 pound weights. The push-ups weren’t even girl push-ups, they were kneeling women’s push-ups.

I don’t know if it was the competitive spirit in me, but after working out for most of our adult life, I thought she would be at the point of doing men’s push-ups, and possibly enough for a dozen or so. In our series, I did 10 men’s and 20 women’s push-ups, while all of hers were modified. I also thought she would be lifting heavier weight, not doing the minimum.

Getting the Most out of Each Workout

I point this out to say that the way the CrossFit program works, the trainer would limit allowing you to do less than your capability, allowing for injuries, excess weight or other problems you may have. You get guided workouts will you go in and actually get a work out where you are strengthening, toning and conditioning your body.

Cardio consists of three to five minutes of running, rowing, jump rope and jumping jacks ~ not twenty minutes of it. After going last week, I remembered how much I hated just running, stepping or cycling for “warm up” cardio.

A lot of the CrossFit workouts utilize your own body weight, not requiring you to lift heavy weights to see and feel results.

Because of its trainer-like atmosphere, you will learn new techniques and workout new muscle groups that you probably never even considered to help you get stronger. They will make sure that you do every exercise correctly to avoid injury. As someone with bad knees, strained from former volleyball playing, I occasionally get strong pangs in my knees. It certainly doesn’t help that I have gained so much weight over the years. But with guidance from the trainer, I have no knee pain. If any exercise even starts showing any kind of pain, it’s modified so that I can complete the exercise and learn to get to the level of others.


Ultimately, what I feel is the biggest strength of CrossFit is that they are results-oriented. There is not ONE person in that gym that doesn’t have a story to tell about the progress that they’ve made since they arrived.

Overall, if you are self-motivated, you can do well with a regular gym and it can be cost-effective with promotions. If not, check out your local CrossFit, even through Groupon. Each CrossFit is different, so check out a couple in your area if you can.

Check out last week’s post of CrossFit: Welcome and Childcare and come back next week for CrossFit: The Community


My CrossFit Gym ~ please mention April Grant if you decide to try it out:


 WebsiteFacebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

Address: 7231 Haverhill Business Pkwy, Suite#205, West Palm Beach, FL 33407


Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.
This week’s wordsFORGOTTEN & RIDICULOUS.

Read More

CrossFit vs Other Gyms: Welcome and Childcare

I never thought I would like CrossFit.

I have lots of friends who do CrossFit. My friends who know my workout style said I would like it. I tried it. I really did. I went to two different gyms and honestly, I didn’t see what the fuss was about. When I walked in, I felt like those they show in the Planet Fitness commercials.

I felt like I was walking into a gym with super big pumped up guys who have lots of muscles,

muscles on top of muscles

muscles on top of muscles are muscles

lifting up hundreds of pounds of weight.

Here I am, a big girl who can barely do a push up.

Yet, I still had it on my mind. Since I had moved to Florida, I decided to give it another go.

For the most part, one thing that I like about most gyms is they will give you a trial. The downside of the trial is that it really isn’t long enough for me to determine whether I want to use their service long term.

Since I’m all over Groupon, I have been checking for a good deal for a while.  I found this awesome deal for 1 month of unlimited CrossFit classses for $29. I mean, who can pass up a receiving a month long CrossFit membership which normally costs over $100 for the price of a regular gym membership. So, I figured, what the heck.

And I went.

And I went.

And I went.

I went all month and ended up going 16 out of the 30 days.

So, I thought about what kept me motivated to go to a gym that is typically seen as extreme. I mean, you see the buff women and men competing in the CrossFit games! What other chain gym has a competitive aspect.


Seriously, what is up with these people?

I wasn’t absolutely positive about what I liked about the CrossFit gym over going to another gym. It was confirmed when I went with a friend to a regular gym and I could make a clear comparison on what I liked about it. Since, I think there are several aspects, I will break this into several parts.

CrossFit describes itself as a program that delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist. But this is why I think CrossFit has the cult following and have such strong supporters.

In short, CrossFit is results-oriented, group personal training with support from your trainers and your classmate.

Tweet: CrossFit is results-oriented, group personal training with support from your trainers and your classmate. via @theaprilnoelle

Crossfit vs Other Gyms


When walking into CrossFit, I was almost immediately greeted by a trainer who was also the owner.  If you’ve ever been to CrossFit, it’s typically one huge room with some weights, weird looking contraptions and balls… lots of balls: medicine balls, slam balls, and kettlebells (not actually balls, but they fit into this category).

As overwhelming as it was, Dana walked me around the gym, not only showing me all of the stuff, but also introducing me to the people who were there. Since she was in between classes, I was able to talk to some of the members and ask them real questions. I asked about her experience and her length of time coaching and owning. I also asked the important question:

How often do people get injured?

Her response? In 8 years, only one injury ~ during a tour, where the touree (is that word? maybe tourist? just sounds weird) thought she could do something after being advised not to try, tried to d oa jump which landed her right on her face, and a broken wrist.

She didn’t leave me until I felt comfortable to continue and all of my questions were answered. Of course, timing for this was important since I came between classes.

I started that day, and go in my first very hard workout. It reminded me very much of my workouts from my high school athletic days. Everyone was not only enthusiastic to be there… I don’t mean happy, giddy, but energetic, but they were encouraging me, the first time visitor to push a little harder. Immediately, I felt comfortable.

On the other hand, on Monday, I went to another gym. When I went to check in with a guest pass and the first thing they wanted to know was whether I was ready to sign up. I just walked in the door. I’m not sure if it was because I was with a member, that was the end of our interact (except for the childcare issue which I’ll talk about in a minute). Even checking in was somewhat of a pain because every few seconds, a member walked in, and the person behind the desk stopped to help them. I felt unimportant and and unwanted. It really didn’t matter if I was there or not.

Between checking in and getting my children checked in, it took a good 15 minutes just to check us in… without actually asking for more than my ID or giving me any information about the gym itself.


Honestly this part for CrossFit, this part is very short and sweet.

Most CrossFits don’t have a child care. That’s it, no childcare.

That said, a lot of them do have a kids play area. The area is typically unsupervised, but separated from the workout area. I’ve seen three of them.

The first was an area separated by tires, with a little door for the kids to get in and out. Because of the age of my kids, they won’t stay in that area unless I chained them down. They’d work to climb out every time.

The second was a closed in room with a television and toys. Again, because of the age of my kids, I’m not comfortable with the kids in a room where they can’t see me and I can’t see them.

This CrossFit, the kids area is a closed in room, but the walls are windows. The kids can see me and I can see them. Since my eldest is 11, he watches my little ones while I get in my workout. Since we go right after I pick up my son, I pack their snacks to keep them occupied and give them something to do. It’s not the most exciting hour of the day, but I is teaching the kids to be more inventive in their play.

On the other hand, the other gym promises a supervised play area. Great! Right?

On Monday, we went to one gym in the chain. The play area smelled like urine. Since it took so long to get started and since we could only workout for 30 minutes because the play area would close soon, I sucked it up. The “supervision” didn’t so much as question me checking in the child and was sitting in the same seat when I left to when I returned.

On Tuesday, we went to a different gym in the chain. The room was a lot nicer and cleaner. This supervision seemed slightly more involved, asking the names of my children.

Disappointing, yet understandable (I guess) was that they don’t change diapers and was requested to have just changed my child’s diaper. But that also means that if they poop the second I walk out the door, they will sit in that diaper until my return. Also, no food or drinks in the room. Understandable, but means an extra planning step on my part to make sure they are fed and dry while I workout.

There hours were also limiting. It’s 8 to noon, but they don’t open again until 4.

The weird thing about the childcare for a guest pass is that it’s $5 per day per child. That’s $10 per day. So, if I went all seven days, it would’ve been $70 in childcare fees alone. They have a $10 monthly membership (per child), but that’s only open for those who are current members.

By the end of the checking in process, I didn’t even feel like they wanted my business really. As a mother, I felt like this was a lot of work for little pay off.

Come back for Part Two: Fees and Workout and Part Three: The Community


My CrossFit Gym:


 WebsiteFacebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

Address: 7231 Haverhill Business Pkwy, Suite#205, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Read More

What We Believe Determines Our Outcome

Eagle and the Chickens

The Eagle and the Chickens

A long time ago in a remote valley, there lived a farmer. One day he got tired of the daily routine of running the farm and decided to climb the cliffs that brooded above the valley to see what lay beyond.

He climbed all day until he reached a ledge just below the top of the cliff; there, to his amazement was a nest, full of eggs.

Immediately he knew they were eagle’s eggs and, even though he knew it was profoundly un-ecological and almost certainly illegal, he carefully took one and stowed it in his pack; then seeing the sun was low in the sky, he realized it was too late in the day to make the top and slowly began to make his way down the cliff to his farm.

When he got home he put the egg in with the few chickens he kept in the yard. The mother hen was the proudest chicken you ever saw, sitting atop this magnificent egg; and the cockerel couldn’t have been prouder.

Sure enough, some weeks later, from the egg emerged a fine, healthy egret. And as is in the gentle nature of chickens, they didn’t balk at the stranger in their midst and raised the majestic bird as one of their own.

So it was that the eagle grew up with its brother and sister chicks. It learned to do all the things chickens do: it clucked and cackled, scratching in the dirt for grits and worms, flapping its wings furiously, flying just a few feet in the air before crashing down to earth in a pile of dust and feathers.

It believed resolutely and absolutely it was a chicken.

One day, late in its life, the eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken happened to look up at the sky. High overhead, soaring majestically and effortlessly on the thermals with scarcely a single beat of its powerful golden wings, was an eagle!

“What’s that?!”, cried the old eagle in awe. “It’s magnificent! So much power and grace!It’s beautiful!”

“That’s an eagle”, replied a nearby chicken, “That’s the King of the Birds. It’s a bird of the air… not for the likes of us. We’re only chickens, we’re birds of the earth”.

With that, they all cast their eyes downwards once more and continued digging in the dirt.

And so it was that the eagle lived and died a chicken… because that’s all it believed itself to be.

~Author Unknown


How many of us have these FAKE friends? You may say that they were only chickens and eagles, how could they be fake friends?

Although the birds may not have looked in the mirror, they knew that the eagle was different, the he did not fit in with the rest of them.

They also were very aware of what an eagle was, quickly differentiating themselves from the soaring eagle above ~ The KING of the birds.

Why would the eagle never soar?

The Eagle was Born to Win, but Conditioned to Lose

The eagle lived with the chickens, enjoying his time with his friends. His friends were proudly birds of the earth, and wanted their eagle buddy to stay with them. They helped him learn and grow in the chicken community, never suggesting or encouraging him to be an eagle. Instead, likening him to a chicken when another eagle soared above.

The Eagle Never Knew Anything Different

In his lifestyle, the eagle didn’t’ come across any other eagles, except the lone one that flew above. He only knew the lifestyle of the chicken and felt that he could only be a chicken. Unfortunately, his FAKE friends didn’t tell him otherwise.

The Eagle Had Fake Friends and Didn’t Know It

FAKE friends are ones that don’t want to see the best in you or want the best for you. They are the ones that see you are an eagle, know that they aren’t, so they don’t want you to soar. They are working out of jealousy, ignorance or even just their desire to not lose their friend to the sky. The chickens would prefer to have the eagle dig in the dirt next to them than to be a great King of the Birds.


So, the question is…

Do you have FAKE friends?
Click to Tweet

Are your friends working to convince you that you are a chicken or are they willing to let you soar?

Now, if you have friends that you like to hang out with or just have a good time, that’s one thing, but you may have to reassess your friendships if they are the ones that encircle you.

Whether your “friends” convince you to stay in a bad relationship, tell you that you aren’t smart enough to get a degree or pretty enough to find a husband, none of them are not worth your time.

You may need to get rid of the things that are holding you back. Sometimes those decisions are hard, but when it comes to some friends, especially longstanding friendships, they are downright awkward.

Don’t let those around you hold you back.

You may just have to let the past go. Be the champion that you need to be. Diva in the now.



Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.  This week’s wordsFAKE & QUIET.

This post was inspired by Essentials for Godly Living – Session II: Matching your desires to your outcome.

References: Phil 2:12-13; Hebrews 12:1

Read More

A Trip to Ireland for You, $10,000 for a Noble Woman #SheisNoble

She Is Noble
When I was a little girl, I felt lost amongst my new family. My mother had gotten remarried and started to have children with her new husband. We also moved 30 miles away from new school, which severely limited the amount of time I could spend with my “in-school” friends.
Fourth grade was a hard transition… new school, new city and no ability to see any friends after school. My classmates had obviously been friends forever and since it was a Catholic school, they had all been in the same class for the last three years.
My saving grace, my angel, my fourth grade teacher was a God-send. I looked forward to going to her class every day because she was attentive and loving. She was inspiring, even to a young girl like me. She had gorgeous red curly hair which was often damp in the morning. I asked her about it one day and she said she swam every morning at 5 before coming to school.
I got up at 6 a.m. every day and I couldn’t imagine getting up earlier… or getting up to work out before coming out in the morning. I was in awe.
Her teaching style was patient, kind and clear. She expected the best from all of us, and made sure that we had the opportunity to showcase our strengths.  I remember our class newsletter where I was a writer and editor, and the artists drew the pictures, and others were the journalists and reporters.
I honestly can’t remember one conflict in that class between the students or the teacher and student. I don’t recall any student being sent to the principal’s office or anything being escalated.
At the end of the year, she gave me a gift, I think that it was a pair of earrings. I’m sure they weren’t expensive, but I felt so special that she had thought about me and bought me something “just because” since it wasn’t coming from my home.
A few years ago, as Facebook started reconnecting everyone, I found some friends from that class. Not only that, the classmates that were found also had very similar experiences. They loved her too. We all loved her so much, that we had a fourth grade “reunion” when she was in town. We met right across from our school at a bar that one of our classmates now owned.
That night was fantastic, about seven months pregnant with Bee, I saw people I hadn’t seen in years and we spent the evening trading stories of love, appreciation and respect.

This story was brought you by She is Noble is an inspiring contest that recognizes women who are the unsung heroes in our lives.
What does it mean to be a noble woman? It’s living fearlessly and loving recklessly. Who is that woman in your world? In your neighborhood or school or church? We want to tell her story. Take 30 seconds. Go to www.sheisnoble.com and nominate a noble woman. Include a brief description, your name and email. Done. A team of storytellers — from writers to videographers – – will take it from there, ready to take your nomination and tell her story. That’s all, except that you could get a trip to Ireland for doing so — and the woman you nominate could get $10,000 for her work. Go to www.sheisnoble.com and use referral code aprilnoelle.
We all know one: a woman whose compassion and love are quietly changing lives around her. This is a chance for her story to encourage people around the world!

About the contest

To enter, contestants go to the She is Noble website (http://www.sheisnoble.com) to nominate their heroic woman by explaining in 150 words: ‘She is Noble because…’

Please use the referral code: aprilnoelle

The top submissions will published on the contest website.

Get all the details from this Learn page and the Official Rules.

The prizes

The contest closes April 27, 2015, and a panel of judges will select the winning submission. The contestant who sends in the winning submission will receive a free 5-day/4-night trip for two to Ireland! The winning nominee (the unsung hero) will receive $10,000 to be applied toward her work.

To Help Promote

Use this form to sign up for the She is Noble blogger promotion: http://bit.ly/sheisnobleblogsWhile the contest is open until April 27, this promotion to bloggers has limited availability. We will let participants know when the limit is reached. We encourage you to act soon!


She is Noble is inspired by the life of Christina Noble, an Irish woman who went to Vietnam after an unforgettable dream and ended up rescuing thousands of abused and homeless children. Her story is told in the new movie NOBLE. Watch the trailer and learn more on the website.
Who would you nominate?
Read More

Begin with the First Step

Last week, I called an old friend of mine, who’s also my son’s Godmother. She’s a hardworking woman who’s been in the trenches of teaching since graduating college. She jumped right in working in the inner cities of Baltimore. Over the years, she has become tired, tired of the uphill battle that she seems to be facing as time goes on. The younger children are falling farther behind and the older children are just plain giving up. Parents aren’t helpful either and many leave it up to the teachers to do all of the educating.

The conversation lasted over two hours, but somewhere in the middle I asked her…

What do you think would help teachers succeed in class?
Click to Share

Where do we begin? Her response… “If all of the children could read.”

As heartbreaking as it is, so many children in this country cannot read. Sadly, in some areas, there is only one book to every 300 homes! Can you imagine living in a home with no books, no reading material of any kind, except maybe a gossip magazine? Can you imagine wanting to come home from school and read something, anything, but there’s literally nothing to read.

As much as we talk about fast food restaurants in low income areas, we rarely talk about the low number of libraries in those same regions. If you have multiple children and no car, how likely are you to brave that trip?

As a mother to three young ones, one who reads way above his grade level, another learning to read (and who loves to “read”), and a third who flips pages through books all the time, even I think going to the library is a struggle. In an age where we have story time, toddler areas and interactive computers, there’s still a push to stay QUIET. Picking out a book for a toddler can be such fun, yet trying to keep them quiet is another chore… then you have two who want to run in different directions to see what the library has for them!

Let’s just say, I don’t find the library a family friendly place. If I make sure my library trips are cut down to less than 10 minutes, pre-planning the books we’re going to get, strapping the kids in the stroller as to not disrupt other readers, how many people who have to get their kids on a bus do you think will be willing to make that trek?

What about after a long 10 hour day at work (including commute)?

I’m not making excuses, I’m trying to show compassion, understanding and a possible solution.

It got me thinking. What can I do to change this? As I mentioned last week, I’m part of National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Each year, they host an annual Community Baby Shower where they inform new mothers of what’s to come and provide them with some of the essentials, like diapers and car seats. (If you’d just like to donate to this cause, shoot me an email spiritedlife {at} gmail.com).

Then I had an idea… a doable idea… a place to begin… a small piece that I hope will make a huge impact.

I would like to collect 500 books for the mothers (families) who attend this baby shower!

On average, we get between 100 and 200 mothers since the beginning of the shower, and we have not outfitted them with baby books or any books, but I’d like to change that this year. I would like to send every mother home with 3-5 books apiece.

Would you like to help?

I’m looking for new and gently used books for ages newborn through young adult. Often the siblings and relatives also do not have books, thus the littlest one can feel out of place being the only one reading. Think how we treat Christmas gifts! We don’t only give to the one child!

I will personally be collecting books in the Palm Beach, FL and the Baltimore, MD areas. If you’d like to help me collect books in your area, I can work to help you get them into the hands of those youth in need!

Thank you to Lisa from The Golden Spoons, who challenged myself and other bloggers at the start of 2015 to The 1 Word Challenge.  This weeks words were: Begin, Surprise, Forever.unnamed

This post was inspired by a message on Lioness Arising entitled Dangerous and Fully Awake by Lisa Bevere and part of my personal “Be Uncomfortable” challenge.

Read More
  • 1
  • 2