Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ava's Playground Adventures: Lots O Parks!

This past spring and summer, one of the items on Ava and I's bucket list was to visit new playgrounds. It was the perfect time because Ava was just getting used to running and getting much better at climbing. But I was not on top of my blogging and I forgot to post our adventures! And it was becoming pretty hard to take pictures when I am trying to keep an eye on my kiddo. Ava and I had a lot of fun visiting so many new playgrounds! I wanted to share a few of the playgrounds that we went to a few months ago.
Living in Atlanta, the weather in April, sometimes March allows for people to head outdoors to have some much needed fun after being stuck in the house hiding from old man winter. Back in April, I took Ava to one of the first playgrounds on our playground list.  Ava had been stuck inside the house with a cold and was itching to go outside to play. So we ventured to Jonquil Park which is only about 6 or 7 minutes from our house.



Jonquil playground is a cute small playground located among a few soccer fields. The playground equipment is pretty big and has a little bit of shade, but I probably wouldn't go to this park on a really hot day. It also had a few swings. Ava seemed to enjoy herself. I do wish that there was a fence around the playground just to keep the kids in the same space. But if they do run off, there is not a street close by. Overall, I would take Ava back here, but only during the colder months since there not much shade.

Here is Hammond Park, a friend recommended this park to me. Both Ava and I really liked this playground. There is a smaller playground that is fenced in and very shady but I didn't get pictures of it. And here is the larger playground. 




Its a really nice playground, lots of slides, climbing, but something is missing... Shade!! There is no shade on this playground and it would be miserable to play here in the summer. It was still spring and cool out when we went so the heat wasn't a problem. We will visit this park again, but only when it is cooler out. 

The next playground is East Cobb Park. This was such a fun playground! There were 2 seperate play areas. The larger area had a few different play structures and swings. Ava was a little overwhelmed but she still had a great time. 








There were alot of moms and kids here for Ava to play with and there was also a trail around the park to walk along. But again, the playground is lacking shade so we will visit again in the cooler months.

Here we have John Howell Park. We ventured to this playground with a mommy meetup group. There were two different areas to this playground. The first part had a sand volleyball court and little bouncy wobbly toys for the kids to sit on. 


And the second part had the playground. We really enjoyed this playground! It was shady and also had swings. Lots of children were here playing. 




The only negative that I have about this playground is that it was really muddy. Maybe because it was a heavy rain the day before or because it is surrounded by trees and dirt and grass. It wasnt terrible but I definately had to take Ava's shoes off before we got in the car. It was easy neighborhood street parking and that is always a plus for me because I can't parallel park! I am sure we will visit this playground again soon. 

And lastly we have Beaverbrook Park. This park was really fun!! It is a wooden playground and we havent been to many wooden playgrounds. It has a large wooden playground and a smaller plastic play area, and Ava seemed to enjoy both. There were swings, slides, even a tire swing! 






But the best part is the shade! The park is surrounded by trees. This was by far my favorite of the parks listed here, and I can't wait to take Ava back here to play.
Ava looks so tiny in these pictures! And the little boy is her buddy Nolan. I hope you enjoyed my mini reviews of a few parks around atlanta and cobb county. Maybe you can visit them, but in the meantime, stay tuned for more of Ava's Playground Adventures! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fall and Winter Bucket List

Hello my name is April and I am addicted to making lists! No really, I love to make lists for everything, my to do list, the grocery store, things to take to my parents house, and I participate in #ListersGottaList challenge every month. So naturally I decided to make a fall and winter bucket list!
The first thing on the list is
1. Stay away from germs!!!! Ava has a cold now and I am hoping that this is the last one for this season. Which leads me to 
2. Visit new playgrounds! Ava tends to pick up germs from indoor play areas so on nice sunny days we will be heading to a new playground. It has been raining like crazy which is why we have been playing indoors and it is why I want to
3. Buy Ava and I rainboots! I also want to
4. Drink a pumpkin spice latte and a peppermint latte. I have ingredients to make a pumpkin spice latte and I hope it comes out yummy. But I still want to grab these two drinks from Starbucks also, my yearly treat lol. And lastly I want to 
5. Play in the snow. It doesn't snow here much, mainly just nasty ice storms, but If we happen to get some snow, I would love to let ava play in it wearing our new rain boots! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Comparison...

I believe it was Monday when a video popped up in my Youtube feed that really caught my attention. It was from a young girl stating that she was quitting social media. This girl is really popular through social media ( Instagram, YouTube, etc.) and social media is her job so it is kind of unexpected that she would want to quit her job, her livelihood. She stated that she did not like having to appear perfect or filtered, that she did not like her worth being determined by likes or views, and that she didn't like that she was comparing herself to others constantly.

My post isn't about this girl's feelings about social media but about my own feelings about it.
My social media feeds are flooded with supermoms, fitness gurus, culinarily skilled vegans, and amazing traveling bloggers. All inspirational, but I too somethimes compare myself to these strangers on social media. I don't think my comparison of myself to others on social media is extreme but I do feel like comparison is a bit of human nature combined with the "what ifs" and "whys" that are in the back of my mind. Maybe it isn't a comparison but more of "I want to do that too". Whatever it is, it's not healthy for my mental and emotional wellbeing. 


I have decided to make a conscious effort to not compare my life and situations to others.  Maybe this will take me "unplugging" for a few days or just journaling and reminding myself that I too have a great life even if it doesn't look exactly like the lives of "Instagram and YouTube famous" women. Reading a few books on the law of attraction has taught me the way to bring forth positive things and situations that I want in my life. Embracing minimalism is also helping me to realize that things aren't needed to be happy. But I still want to have a Pinterest house lol. Until next time!
April K.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Fun!

Happy November and Happy Belated Halloween! This year Ava had her first real Halloween with a costume, pumpkins, parties, and a little trick or treating! Last year Ava was only one year old, she didn't have a costume, and she didn't go trick or treating. She did however have a Halloween dress that my mom made for her and we went to a fall festival but she had no idea what was going on!

This year we participated in Halloween events all month long and Ava was excited to be a lady bug! We went to a vegan potluck and I was able to snap a quick picture of her. Taking a picture of Ava is hard now because she won't stand still or look at the camera! 

We also met up with our MOPS group for toddler time at the skating ring. 

Then we were invited to a Halloween party. It was fun and I got to catch up with a few moms that I had not seen in a while from my no excuse mom workout group. 

Halloween fell on a Saturday this year and Ava also takes a music class on Saturday mornings. The kids in her class dressed up in their costumes and it was so adorable. Ava's little class buddy even had on a costume similar to hers. I am convinced that they called each other to plan that! 

And on Saturday evening, we went to a fall festival! It was the same festival that we went to last year but this time Ava was actually able to participate in the activities. She collected a few pieces of candy, jumped in the bounce house, saw a fire truck, and we even took a picture together. The picture was a big deal to me because I am mainly taking pictures of her, so I am glad someone offered to take our picture!
I'm glad that we had a fun October. I can't wait to get our pictures printed and I am excited to see what November brings! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I am a No Excuse Mom!

 Last week was really emotionally rough for my family and I, but today was different. This morning I woke up feeling so good! Still emotionally sad but physically and mentally I feel amazing. I have mentioned before that I am trying to loose weight, tone up, gain muscle, and maybe run a 5k race. And I have done just that! Well I have lost weight and I have toned up. I took before pictures in March because I was determined to make progress with my body.  I did not feel good about the way I looked, I didn't have any energy, and I just overall felt like crap. Check out a few of my before and after pictures.





Man oh man! I can't believe I still looked pregnant over a year later after Ava was born. But that is what can happen when you sit around all day eating for no reason and not exercising. I had fallen into a depressed rut. But I am back!!! I lost weight with a combination of my vegan lifestyle, youtube workout videos from Fitness Blender that consisted of hiit, tabata, cardio, kick boxing, and strength training, some yoga on rest days, and running. I am still working on gaining muscle and toning a bit more. I want ab muscles and a would love a bigger tush. I just wanted to write this to say that getting in shape does not have to be hard or expensive. I made progress without a gym! I run with my daughter in a jogging stroller outside on a free trail, I workout before Ava wakes up or during nap time, and I workout with other No Excuse Moms in my area. It can be done moms! I AM A NO EXCUSE MOM!! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cookie Time!

 Like any other child, Ava is obsessed with cookies! I normally give her cookies or crackers when I am shopping to keep her entertained. I found cookies from the Annie's brand and the Back to Nature brand in the natural section of Kroger, the ingredients were vegan, so I figured why not? Ava loves them but I recently decided to try baking cookies! I found a cookie recipe on Pinterest but I posted the recipe in my Atlanta vegan facebook and the members gave me better recipes.

 Here is the recipe that I ended up going with. It is from The No Bull Chef and I wrote it on a recipe card that I received from a swap on Swap Bot.  

And here are the products that I used. 


The cookies came out soooo good! Ava gobbled them up and had chocolate smeared everywhere! I can't wait to try this recipe again. I had alot of dough left over so I made cookies throughout the week. Ava liked them so much that whenever she heard a beep on the stove, she started saying "cookies!"

-The Daily April N Ava

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spring/Summer Bucket List

Man o man! I always do this! I always say that I have goals of blogging more often and I don't! Honestly I haven't been doing anything exciting that was worth blogging about. But it is officially spring and I am in the mood to have some fun!
The weather has been off and on pretty nice. With Ava being 21 months old, she is getting pretty bored with our usual story time and stroller walks on the Silver Comet Trail. And who can blame her! She wants to be outside running and playing! Or even if we aren't outside, she just wants to be able to move around. So I have decided to start a spring/summer bucket list for us.


The first thing on our list is:

1. Visit a new park/playground every week when weather permits.
-The area that we live in has about 5 playgrounds within 2 miles of our house. So in addition to taking her to our usual playgrounds, I would like to take Ava to new playgrounds. I think I will call this series Ava's Playground Adventures. I also want to take Ava to a few splashpads.

2. Picnic in the park
-I purchased a new waterproof picnic blanket this winter and I can't wait to put it to use. I also picked up a new cool bag for our food and a stroller fan.

3. Run a 5K
-This was apart of my new year goals and it is still a goal of mine to run possibly more than one 5K this summer.

4. Movie in the Park
-Hopefully Ava will be able to stay awake and sit for a movie in the park

5. Concert in the park
-Because well, I want to hang out without my kiddo for once lol.

I'm sure there are a few other fun things that we will do this spring and summer and I can't wait to share our adventures with you. Now, all I need is a personal paparazzi to snap pictures of Ava and I having fun! Until next time!

The Daily April N Ava

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ava's Playground Adventures: Morgan Falls Overlook Park



April has been one of the best months for Ava and I. Even though it has been raining alot there have been a few pretty and warm days to go to the park. Earth Day was a beautiful day and I decided to take Ava to Morgan Falls Overlook Park.



Morgan Falls is such a nice park.  It is about 20 minutes away from our house so I can see us visiting this park often. The play area was covered in fake grass which is so much better than wood chips and it also has a few shady parts. I like that the there were two different playgrounds for smaller and larger kids but of course Ava played on both! It wasn't very crowded when we went so Ava was able to have a good time. We will definitely go back to this playground, but only after we visit a few other playgrounds! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Our Weekend: Atlanta Dogwood Festival!

We had a really fun weekend. Ava and I with along with my mom and dad went to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. The Dogwood Festival happens every spring and it is where venders and artists from mainly the south east come to showcase and hopefully sell their handmade items. There were also local businesses there. I didn't take very many pictures because a lot of the booths don't allow photography and because it was sooooooooo crowded! It is hard trying to snap pictures, walk through crowds and push my stroller!

We bought food from this amazing noodle stand. It was so good and it was vegan!! 


We arrived at about 10:30 and didn't leave until about 1:45. Ava was long overdue for a nap. But before we left, we stayed and watched a marionette show! I have seen this show once before and it is nothing short of amazing!! 

I am so glad that we got out on such a pretty day. Today we are laying around the house, I am doing a little organizing and Ava had a cold so she has been playing iPad games all morning. I cant wait for next weekend, we are going to the great cloth diaper change! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

20 Facts About Me


1. Today is My Birthday!!! April 2, 1987, I'm getting old!
2. Which means I am an Aries, a true Aries.
3. I love to read horoscopes.
4. I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. 
5. I am a vegan.
6. My favorite color is pink and I love Hello Kitty.
7. I have 1, soon to be 2 penpals!
8. I love scrapbooking, penpaling, journaling, reading, and shopping at the dollar tree. 
9. There is a whole community of penpalers and dollar tree lovers on Instagram so I don't feel so alone in my dorkiness lol.
10. I don't drink and never have. 
11. I paint my nails at least once a week.
12. My favorite vegetable is brocolli. 
13. My favorite fruit are cherries.
14. I have never been to a concert, unless birthday bash counts.
15. While I was in college, I had a beauty blog. 
16. I love going to museums and festivals. 
17. I am an only child and Ava will be an only child. 
18. I love reality tv. 
19. I would die without my iPad. 
20. I can't cook. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I am feeling crafty!


I think I may have mentioned before but my daughter Ava is 16 months old and she is such a little busy body! I am always looking for activities and outings to keep her busy and learning but the weather has been too cold and rainy to even leave out the house (which means no jogging for mama *insert sad face). Pinterest has become my new best friend when looking for ideas for everything whether it is for the house, for myself and definitely educational ideas for Ava. Youtube is also a great source for educational tools and the other day I came across a great youtube channel called MommyCraftsALot and she had great activities for toddler busy bags. I decided to make her paint splatter color matching activity. 


Here are the supplies that I used: foam sheets, glue, laundry clips, scissors, and a paint palette (optional, I used it to trace the shape onto the foam). This was a pretty easy craft. I traced the palette shape onto the foam, cut out little paint splatter shapes and glued them to the foam palette, cut out and glued matching brush shaped colors to the laundry clips. 


Here is the finished product! I think it is so cute! The object of the activity is to match the paint brushes (laundry clips), to the corresponding paint splatter. Ava doesn't know her colors yet but using the laundry clips will help with her fine motor skills and eventually she will learn her colors and be able to match. I can't wait to try out and share with you some of the other ideas that I am finding online!