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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Grant Us Another Term {#FTSF}

Slogan provided by Ulysses S. Grant (1872)

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty… being President sucks.

Let’s face it… no matter which party you’re in (because we’ve pretty much decided that there are only two parties) half the country will hate you. Then the rest of the country will determine whether you have taken too much vacation time, whether you are spending the enough time “working” or whether your daughters’ clothing is a little too short. Never mind, a good portion of the country spends half of their work day not working, if they have access to doing so.

I’ve actually given a lot of thought to this question… not for the purpose of Finish the Sentence Friday, but personally. Not to say that I’d ever run for President, but in my personal life, I have considered running for local office.

As much as I have considered it, the idea is overwhelming. Most people won’t touch political issues in public venues, whether it be Facebook, at work or a party. I LOVE talking politics (even though I’ve been out of the loop since Bee was born).  Yet, finding the right people to discuss politics is the problem.

It seems (at least those who like to voice their opinions) have made up their mind before anyone can get a word in edgewise. Whether it be one of the few always controversial topics like abortion, pot legalization, or immigration or even the non-controversial ones like your party affiliation, people can’t seem to have a level headed conversation about what’s good for the country.

Source

 

I’m independent. I find both parties just as wasteful… just the Republicans like to give money to corporations and Democrats like to give money to social groups. Overall, I think both parties are doing what they think is best for the country AND have certain groups that they have to appease to get reelected. Unfortunately, this is the society we’ve crafted. The problems, that I see, are:

People with little money don’t get television time. 

Name recognition goes a long way.

People who don’t want to be beholden to groups don’t get elected.

People who have different ideas aren’t even considered part of the discussion. 

All of that said… you should vote for me because…

I’ll listen.

I care about the world my extended family has to live in.

I want things to be better.

I want the poor to learn what the rich learn, not just about schools, but about money and life.

I’ll audit the government.

Will I ever get elected?

Probably nothing on a larger scale. I would love to make changes in my community.

For now, I’ll just keep working with my non-profit organizations, churches and any other organizational to which I want to donate.

What about you? Do you want to run for President? If so, why should people vote for you?

 

 

This has been another edition of Finish the Sentence Friday: You should vote for me for President because…  

Finish-the-Sentence-Friday-New-Pin-720-FUN-250-x-250

Coming Up:

Jan 15/16: When the kids go to bed I….
Jan 22/23: Whenever I hear the term “Epic Fail,” I think of the time…
Jan 29/30: The first thing you must do to take over the world is…
Feb. 5/6: The memory that haunts me is…
Feb. 12/13: This one time…

 

 

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Tidbits from Help Meets’ Hearts ~ Coming April 1st! {Review and Giveaway}

Part of my goal list was to make sure that I read at least one book per month this year, I was aiming for two. What good are goals if you don’t set them high, right?

wpid-IMG_20140326_213734.jpgI just finished my second book, that’s two books in three months if you’re counting. But this book is different,  way different because I wrote it ~ part of it anyway. (Does proofing your own book count?) I digress.

In the midst of moving across country, having a baby and buying a house, I thought it was a good idea to take on a project to contribute to Tidbits from Help Meets. A help meet is a wife, a companion that helps her husband as provided in Genesis.

This book contains tidbits, pieces of advice from Christian wives and mothers who are trying to navigate this world while maintaining their sanity, all while keeping God first.

From how to’s to stories, Tidbits is meant to encourage, support and guide you to those places that you’ve been yearning to go, but hadn’t quite made it. The book is divided into seven sections with each author contributing to each section:

  • Making Time for God and Me
  • wpid-IMG_20140328_080733.jpgLoving Our Husbands
  • Finances
  • Homemaking
  • Encouragement for Your Heart
  • Raising Our Kids for Christ
  • Ministering Outside the Home

As much as I wish I could tell you that I wrote the best parts of the book, I cannot. These women provided valuable advice. From chapters like: Pleasure Him, Stolen Moments, and 5 Tricks to Stay on Top of Homemaking, you learn so much!

Just check out this little piece:

“…As mommies, we fill our days with tasks and activities that will benefit all the people that have been entrusted in our care, while our own needs get ignored… We plan to get up early…[but] that good intention…is lost.”

Does that sound like you? Well, Marissa DiDomenico offers some practical advice of setting the alarm early, but if you don’t get up, make a plan to schedule it in later. Easy right?

What about keeping your husband happy? Well, as mentioned above, one of the chapters is called “Pleasure Him”. Ren Simonitis tells it like it is, trying to make sure, as wives, we keep our men happy! Part of her advice:

“Do what you can with what ya got!”

Yep! Sounds so reasonable, right? You have to get the book to read the rest on how you do that.

Those are very small pieces of this wonderful ebook. I think there’s a little bit for everyone!

LAUNCH WEEK: For the first five days, you can get this book for only $2.99!

See additional reviews here:

Adelien from Blessed Learners

Linda from Apron Strings & Other Things

Mandy from Suburban Stereotype

Mandy from Women of Worship *Giveaway Next Week*

Melissa from Melissa and Dawn’s Musings

Ginny from Joy from Grace *Giveaway*

 

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One Guilty Pleasure

This week’s Tuesday Topics is ONE GUILTY PLEASURE…

Tuesdays Topics

Where did that term come from? You know, I remember when you just liked something or you didn’t. Now, if it’s a faux pas, it’s a “guilty pleasure”.

The problem with guilty means you shouldn’t do it and you are trying to stop (at least in my mind. My “guilty” pleasure I have no problem continuing and not stopping.

See, my guilty pleasure is the free-est, easiest, non-thinking pleasure. I never have to worry if I get stuck in a precarious situation or wondering whether I have enough cash (or credit) to finish.

My guilty pleasure I can do all day and all night long.

My guilty pleasure is television and LOTS of it!

I can’t say that I watch every episode on my DVR from start to finish. I’m a mom after all!

But, my DVR fills up with complete intention of watching it all, and it stays on while I’m home so that I can “watch” it.

Unfortunately, unless I watch it after 8 p.m., I don’t watch it… I skim it.

And after 8 p.m. most nights, I’m too damn tired to stay up.

When did I become an early sleeper? Oh yeah, when my son wakes up every two hours because he’s sick, and in doing so, wakes up my daughter in the process.

So, I would say I watch a lot of television… my behind widens as I sit, but most of the sitting is getting toys to entertain Ms. B or typing on this blog. I would love to say I did it in the middle of the night, but quite frankly, I’m too tired to do that.

We are also trying to cut back other expenses, taking Financial Peace University classes and all.

FPU leaves us rather broke, voluntarily.Don’t get me wrong, I can take out of budget to go out and do more, but I LOVE seeing our bills drop off so I don’t have to pay it anymore! So, staying indoors is easy! And I can only read so much to Ms. B.

Anywho, my guilty pleasure is watching television, so much so that I blog about at least one show for now – Real Housewives of Atlanta.

 

Recaps

 

One day, I would love to meet NeNe. She’s really catapulted off of RHOA to mainstream success!

What’s your guilty pleasure?

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Sometimes Troubles Become Blessings

Reflect

Friday, something happened. It’s a common occurrence, probably more common than we’d like to think.

One of our cars broke down.

My husband’s daily drive is about 70 miles each way. My daily drive is about a two-mile circle.

Guess who doesn’t have a car to drive?

Me.

But you know what? ***it’s a secret*** I kinda like it. Why might you ask?

  1. My husband leaves before dawn – which means he’s home for dinner.
  2. I’m FORCED to exercise. My son still has to get to school everyday.
  3. I’m FORCED to walk almost three miles a day. My son also has to get home everyday.
  4. Ms. B is “occupied”. She’s seeming to love sitting in the stroller, enjoying the ride. (I tend to think she’s mocking me, as she kicks back in her seat).
  5. I’m FORCED to schedule out my day because I have to leave the house for more than just a couple of minutes at a time and certain things need to be done before I left.

What’s so great about being FORCED? It leaves no room for excuses. It means that I have to do it regardless.

See, I was diligent in working out, then stopped, then started, then stopped. Then once I was determined to start and be committed for real – like for real, for real, I bang my foot so hard that I could barely walk for a week. That was a month ago. I can still feel the pain, but I’m ok with walking through it. I’ve adjusted my walking to not put too much pressure on it.

I started to find excuses to not exercise –

  • Ms. B is playing
  • When Ms. B is sleeping, I have to clean.
  • When Ms. B is sleeping, I have to update my blog/twitter/facebook
  • I have to help Mr. D with homework
  • I have to cook dinner
  • Now everyone is home and watching me

So, now, if nothing else, I walk almost three miles a day.

And I’m actually not looking forward to getting a new car.

What troubles in your life ended up being blessings?

 

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) A blessing in disguise… {<——MINE}
2.) Holiday craft time! Share one you want to complete, have completed, or are in the process of completing!
3.) List 5 things that bring you comfort.
4.) Something you once wore.
5.) Tell us and/or show us something that made you smile this week.

 

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The Little Things We Remember

I spent a lot of time being dropped off somewhere until 7th grade. In other words, I wasn’t home after school like a lot of people. My mother wasn’t neglectful, just busy.

As a girl, most people loved to push me into the direction of “girl” things. Pink, yellow, sugar and spice and all things nice were the themes of my youth. No matter how much I pushed back.

What I love most about having a son – especially a son first – is that I get to do all of those things that people in my youth found inappropriate. Most of all, fighting cartoons. I loved Voltron and He-Man.

I do have some “girly” in me. I loved the princess in this show. Mainly because she stood up to her father and ran with the boys.

I remember the first time that I showed my son this show (Thank God for YouTube). We sat together and enjoyed it. We had a blast.

A week later, I found myself watching it alone. I could remember the details of the shows. I curled up in my chair in front of the computer – watching the very formulated show. I knew now, what I knew then, what would happen next, but I watched three episodes in a row.

Memories.

This Week’s Prompts

1.) Tell us about a kids TV show that you would be happy watching…without your kids.

2.) What was the last thing your child threw a temper tantrum over? Write a blog post from his/her point of view.

3.) Do you love YouTube? Share five of your all time favorite YouTube videos.

4.) Pumpkins! Anything with pumpkins!

5.) Open Instagram (if you have an account) and scroll down to the 4th photo shared by a friend. Share the photo, link to the person who posted it, and let it inspire a blog post.
.

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That Day

I woke up early that morning smelling the fading aroma of the lavender candles blown out the night before. Swinging my legs over the bed, stomach turning with excitement. I watched him still sleeping as if I were still in bed, snoring softly into his pillow. I walked to the bathroom, my toes touching the cold floor, slightly curling beneath me. Brushing and flossing my teeth as the dentist prescribed because today was the day they needed to be perfect. The taste of mouthwash was apparent to all that I encountered. I quietly put on my sweats, since they were easy to put on and didn’t make a sound. I tiptoed out of the room, and out of the house.

What day was it?

 

I’m spending 31 days writing about how to write your story.
It’s part of the 31 Days Challenge hosted by the Nester.

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The Power of Words in My Life

Words have power. If you’ve ever been told that you were stupid or ugly, if you have ever been told that you are brilliant and beautiful – those are words that can shape your entire personality. Once you hear them, you can’t unhear them. You can’t forget that someone said those things to you. If the words said to you are negative, you can only hope that there is someone along the way who speaks positivity louder in your life.

In general, people spoke positive words into my life – you’re smart, intelligent, talented, committed. Some words came from someone close to me who’s opinion who really mattered. I was told that I would not be successful in a particular field.

Because this person also positively about a different field, it completely shaped my way of thinking. When someone tells you can do “x” and not “y”, if they are at the right time, place, attitude, person, it will draw you to “x” instead of “y”, even if you don’t like X! It’s easy to fall into line with your supporters when they support only one career path, hobby, etc.

To date, I’m fighting these words. I have to consciously combat these words. They never go away, they always affect me. I will try to fight it, sometimes that voice wins, sometimes it loses, but ultimately, I get to make those choices. I get to choose to succeed in spite of it all.

I choose success in a passion. I choose success in my happiness, not what someone else thinks will be my success. Because I am me.

What power do words have in your life?

Inspired by: 31 days to write your story {day 7} words have the power of life in them


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Ever Tried. Ever Failed.

Source: via Adrienne on Pinterest

This is where I am. I am trying and failing, but trying again and making progress. Well, let me rephrase… I’m not failing – I’m just “in progress”. Time isn’t over. My time isn’t over. Progress is just slower than I anticipated. I want to succeed and the only way is to not stop going.

Trying? I’m not sure trying is the right thing either. I’m not trying, I’m DOING.

What does this say to you?

Prompted by: Ultimate Blog Challenge

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One Size Does Not Fit All

I grew up doing well in school, but not that into school. I was highly capable, finishing my homework within minutes of receiving the assignment, way before I left the classroom. Although my habits only changed slightly, my passion for learning grew immensely one year – fourth grade.

What was different about this year was my teacher – Mrs. Sanders. She realized that all children were extremely capable, but their skill level in different subjects differed immensely. Therefore you had to teach children differently.

I felt special for the first time in her class. I honestly felt like she heard me for the first time. I felt this way until recently. Almost a year ago, I went a reunion – a fourth grade reunion. Everyone in the class had felt that way! I was amazed at how many of the students felt the EXACT same way as I had. For a class of 22 students, she was able to bring us altogether and foster a love of school in all of us. Most of us are quite successful, many went on to higher education. But most of all, we all looked back at this year as a turning point.

This leads me to working out. Each of us have a style that makes us feel comfortable, some like weights, others running, others still like dance classes or sports. That’s why I’m here – to help find the workout of your dreams to attain your goals. We have over 20 programs to suit your needs. I’m here to offer you help, recommendations, and encouragement to make it to the goal line.

My body remembers my athletic history, so Insanity and I are good friends. TurboFire is popular for people who enjoy high intensity, energetic workouts. P90x is great for toning and contouring your body. But those are just some of best sellers, we have many more.

I would love to help you start your journey and be there to walk (or run) you through it!

Prompt via Ultimate Blog Challenge Day #5
 

At Home Take 2

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Fill in the ____ Friday

  1. Over this Labor Day weekend, I will be working on my website and getting in a date night with hubby.
  2. With the political debates going on right now, my thoughts are that I wish that we could get a real political candidate that spends more time telling us what he’s going to do right than what the other person did was wrong.
  3. Today, my plans got all screwed up. I thought I had a couple of hands to help around the house, and that didn’t happen and now I have some errands to run. C’est la vie d’une mere.
  4. The best thing I’ve cooked recently was pan-fried fish lightly covered in crushed croutons, fried in bacon grease with a side of mixed vegetables. Hubby said it was awesome!
  5. The last thing I bought was a great pair of DKNY shoes from Macy’s. I was in desperate need of flats and hadn’t been lucky in finding any. My feet are incredibly narrow for the size (9 or 10) and I finally got it at a clearance for $16!IMG075.jpg
  6. The best movie I saw this summer was mmmm, did I go to the movies this summer? I can’t recall seeing any movie this summer, so I doubt it.
  7. The best book I read this summer was ummm, read is past-tense. I’m in the midst of reading Outliers and have been for the last two months, which constitutes the summer, right?

Link up!

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