Monday, June 26, 2017

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women Part 2

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava iPhone iPod iPad iMac
Since publishing my blog post on 4 Must Have Podcasts for Moms, I have been knee deep in discovering and listening to podcasts. I am drawn to podcasts about motherhood, self help, business, and health. I'll search for a certain topic and browse through the recommendations or I will look at the top charts and featured pages. I found an amazing podcast recommendation list HERE. When I find a good podcast, I'll sometimes start from the first episode and binge listen.  I wanted to share a few more podcast recommendations, but these aren't just for moms!

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
Coffee + Crumbs - A fun podcast about the "beautifully hard work of raising children."

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
Therapy for Black Girls - I just discovered this podcast and I am hooked! It discusses personal development and mental health which can be a taboo subject in the African American community. The podcast host is also based in Atlanta, GA!

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
Respectful Parenting - A podcast that offers parenting advice from a gentle/peaceful parenting perspective.

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
Vibrant Happy Women - This is a wonderful show that interviews "women living happy lives even when life is hard."

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
From the Heart - I stumbled upon this podcast from a post on Instagram. The first episode I listened to was about manifesting abundance and I have enjoyed every episode ever since. Rachael is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and a new mom and I love hearing her perspective on life.

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
Power of Moms Radio - This podcast helps you find the joy in motherhood, which on some days can be extremely hard.

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
Black Girl in Om - This show is right up my alley! Holistic living, yoga, self care, and wellness life perspectives from women of color to women of color.

8 More Must Have Podcasts for Women The Daily April N Ava
The Mom Hour - The show hosts are experienced moms and give compassionate advice about motherhood.

These aren't all of the podcasts that I listen to but these are some of my favorites. I hope you will check out the podcasts mentioned. I truly enjoy listening to each of these and more. I think I may venture into the world of audio books next! What podcasts are you enjoying? Until next time.

April K.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Summer Wishlist

Happy first day of Summer!! It's summer time and I want new stuffs! No seriously, here are a few things that I have been eyeing and this season is the perfect season to pick them up. Check out what's on my summer wish list.

1. Beach Tent - I don't have any beach vacations planned for the summer but I do plan on taking a few trips to some local beaches. I love a good tan, but being in the sun all day can be exhausting. This beach tent should give Ava and I enough shade to not get burnt out so quickly and make the most of our day.

2. Mineral Sunscreen - Pacifica has a new sunscreen out and I would like to try it. The Pacifica brand is vegan and cruelty free as are all of the cosmetics that we use.

5. Purse - I am most certainly buying this amazing bag!

If I could only pick one item from this list to buy, it would definitely be that purse. What are you moms eyeing for the summer time? Leave a comment below! Until next time.

April K.
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Monday, June 12, 2017

Our Spring in Pictures

Spring, my favorite season, is coming to a close. I wanted to share a few of the springy things that Ava and I did this season. Check out our spring 2017 in pictures!

The Daily April N Ava Our Spring in Pictures
We got to pet baby animals.

Our Spring in Pictures The Daily April N Ava
We helped grandma in the garden. That's grandma in the back!

Our Spring in Pictures The Daily April N Ava
We played games on the balcony.

Our Spring in Pictures The Daily April N Ava
We went on a nature walk.

Our Spring in Pictures The Daily April N Ava
I had a birthday!!

Our Spring in Pictures The Daily April N Ava
We visited the botanical gardens.

Our Spring in Pictures The Daily April N Ava
We played with friends.

Our Spring in Pictures The Daily April N Ava
And we went to festivals.

I'm excited for what the summer will bring. I have fun things in mind for us to do. In the meantime, follow me on  Instagram to see what we are up to! Until next time.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bad SAHM Habits to Break

Moming is hard, like really hard. Being a SAHM, it is so easy to fall into bad habits. No one is around to see that you haven't moved from the couch all day, and if you did move from the couch, it was to hand your little one the iPad so you can continue to sit on the couch lol. Or maybe that was just me?! I know I share all the fun, get up and go stuff that my daughter and I do on my blog but even though I have unicorn blood, I too can/have fallen prey to bad habits. Here are some of my bad habits below.

Bad Stay at home mom habits to break

Wearing sweat pants - At one point, I was throwing on tshirts and sweats almost daily, I probably barely even combed my hair. Not anymore! I know we need to be comfortable chasing around the little people, but now my new idea of comfort is a dress and sandals or jeans, a cute top and flats. I have been making it a point to look nice when we leave the house because you never know when someone will offer to take a pic of you with your child, or you will run into an old friend. I definitely don't want the old friend thinking " man, she looks rough" lol.

Not packing snacks - No matter how much your little one eats before you leave the house, hearing, seeing, or smelling food will make them want to eat again, and they will whine until they get to eat! Case and point: I took my little person for a playdate. She had a full belly before we left the house and we weren't staying at the playdate long so I didn't bother bringing her snack. As soon as the other mom mentioned "snack" Ava wanted a snack. The whining began, and she wasn't even hungry!! So whatever you do, have some food stashed somewhere lol. Lesson learned!

Too much screen time - This is a biggie. Kids can be hypnotized by a screen whether it's a kindle, iPad, television, or computer. A hypnotized kid means a break for mom. Win, win right? Wrong!!! I have personally found that too much screen time for my daughter makes her a cranky, stubborn, mess. I made the mistake of letting Ava play games on the kindle or watch PBS Kids a little too much a few weeks ago. Of course when I tell her that it is time to move on to something else, the tantrums began and  it seemed to go on for days. #help So to eliminate this behavior, we cut the cable and Ava is a new person! She is pretending a ton more, we play together more, she is attentive, and she is listening better. I will occasionally let her watch Reading Rainbow or an animal documentary on Netflix, but having the TV on all day is non existent and I am happy with that.

Can you believe it? This well planned and organized mom was leaving the house wearing sweat pants and no snacks! Thankfully I realized what I was doing, it took a few pictures of me looking horrible to realize it lol. Do you have any bad mom habits? What are you doing to change? Leave a comment below! Until next time

April K.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Guest Post: DIY Play Mat for Your Toddler by CaitsCozyCorner

You guys, I am excited to share my first guest post by Caitlin of CaitsCozyCorner! Check it out below.

When I first had my daughter a few years ago she was always on the move. She’d go from room to room without me knowing and it was hard to just keep track of her. Now as a toddler it can be even more daunting to figure out where she’s playing with various toy rooms or her bedroom. To make it easier, I wanted to create a simple DIY play mat that your toddler can use both in your home and on play dates or on the go. They are even great for baby showers too! This is the easiest and super simple to make. No really, just check out the steps below!
A bit of cutting and three rows of sewing (two if you have a four thread overlocker) and you'll be done. THAT easy! No really, I promise!
So, what do you need?
  1. A feature fabric
  2. Quilted backing fabric
  3. Fancy trim
That's all!
(You could use wadding and a backing fabric, but, hey, buying pre-quilted backing fabric makes it sooo much easier if you’re like me! )
I used the width of the quilted backing fabric to determine the diameter of my play mat: 112cm (44").
So, I needed 112cm (44") of both my quilted backing fabric and my feature fabric. With my supplies in hand and less than an hour of time, I was ready to get this play mat started. So, let's do it friends.

  1. Fold the feature fabric in half and then in half again.
  1. Measure 56cm (22") from the corner where all the folds meet and mark at several points to form the edge of the circle.

3. Next, cut around the marked points of the circle through all four layers of fabric.

Use this circle as the template to cut the quilted backing fabric.
(If you're more on the ball than I was, you'll place your fabrics wrong sides together to do this so that you don't have to pull them apart and reposition them to start pinning. It’s a fun little trick)

4. With wrong sides together, pin the edges of the feature fabric and the quilted backing fabric together.

5. Stitch a small seam around the edge and overlock or, if you have a four thread overlocker, simply overlock the edge.

6. Place the trim on the edge so that it conceals the seam line and stitch to the edge of mat.

7. YOU DID IT. The on-trend, padded baby play mat is done. See how easy and simple that was?! You’re welcome!
My daughter loves eating and using her play mat for imaginative play, reading books or just putting together puzzles. She has such a great creative ideas that make it fun and enjoyable to watch as she brings her imagination to life. The best part is, I don’t get mad if she spills something on it either because I can throw it in the wash and it’ll be good as new again. It really is a lifesaver sometimes!
Not only is this a fun project to create with and for your kids, it makes a wonderful gift idea. If it is a gift, don’t forget to include a few play accessories to make it a complete play kit! The possibilities are really endless when it comes to making your own play mat for your toddler. Mine is gender neutral because I have a daughter and son but I love the idea of customizing your children’s own play mats too!

Image: Sewing Machine
If it’s your first time sewing, don’t forget to have the best sewing machine and tools to help you with your projects. SewingMachine is a local Atlanta family owned and operated sewing and embroidery machine distributor. Founded in Atlanta in 1983 as Southeast Sewing, the company went “virtual” in 1995 with its online company, Sewing Machine. Since that time, the company has grown to become one of the South’s leading dealers and authorized servicers for Brother, Singer, Consew, Juki, and Pfaff products. In addition to machine sales and service, Sewing Machine will offer classes for the beginner and advanced seamstress as well. Classes will also offer the opportunity to test different models of equipment before purchase. Sewing supplies and accessories for featured brands will be available for sale at the West Point store. So make sure you
You can’t go wrong with learning to making your own mats for your kids or even clothes down the road. Your toddler will love having their unique items made just for them out of love! You got this Mom!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Atlanta FREE Kid Friendly June 2017 Happenings!

Summer, summer, summertime! *Insert fruity drink on the beach pic here lol.  There are lots of fun, free events planned around the city for the month of June. Check out some of my top Atlanta free kid friendly event picks below.

Atlanta FREE Kid Friendly June 2017 Happenings Events

1. Home Depot Kids Workshop - Home Depot has a free monthly kids building workshop. It happens on the first Saturday of the month and this month is June 3, 2017 from 9am-12pm. Check out the Home Depot website to register for your closest store.

2. Summer Reading Kickoff Party - Join the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System as they kick off the Annual Summer Reading Program with an exciting celebration at Woodruff Park. June 3rd, 10am till 2pm.

3. Virginia Highland Summer Festival - There will be a 5K run, music, food, and a kids area. June 3rd, 10am-11pm and June 4th, 10am-6pm.

4. The Wonderful Wizards of Raw Weekend - This is an amazing event, I went for the first time last year. There will be vegan food, speakers, film screenings, and community dance celebration. Check out the website for full details. June 3rd through June 4th, times vary.

5. Roswell Lavender Festival - I attended this festival last year, I blogged about it HERE. There will be food, vendors, and entertainment. There were children's activities last year but I went alone and had a great time. June 10th, 10am till 5pm.

6. Red Oak Lavender Farm Festival - I am excited about this festival. This event takes place in Dahlonega, GA, but I think the drive will be worth it. Entry into the festival is free however there is a fee for parking and a fee for some of the activities. This place will make for beautiful pictures so don't forget your cameras. June 10th, 10am till 5pm.

7. Atlanta Streets Alive - Atlanta car free Westside is happening again this month. Last month was a washout, so we hope to be able to attend this event. This event is located on Howell Mill Road and Marietta Street. There will be vendors, a bicycle parade and lots of fun. June 11th, 4pm till 8pm.

8. Juneteenth - A weekend long parade and music festival. There will be food, vendors, and activities for children. June 16th through the 18th.

9. Old 4th Ward Arts Festival - Vendors, food, children's play area, and live music. June 24th, 10 am till 5pm and June 25th, 11am till 5pm.

Is your calendar full yet? I know mine is! I'm most excited about the Lavender Farm Festival. Until next time.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

4 Habits of Happy Stay At Home Moms

Becoming a stay at home mom can be very enjoyable. It can also be very overwhelming. Stay at home moms have more free time than most which can lead to wondering minds. " If only I had an beautiful home like hers," " Her children are always dressed so well." I wrote a post entitled Comparison where I spoke about comparison being the thief of joy. All families are different and comparing your life to someone else's can make you feel awful. Here are a few steps that I am taking to remain a happy stay at home mom.

Four habits of happy stay at home moms the daily april n ava

1. Be Grateful - The grass is always greener on the other side, or so we think. Sometimes, it can be hard to find things to be grateful for after having a rough day/week with our children. It helps to say out loud or write down things that we are grateful for to remain appreciative and to bring more positivity to our lives. I like to write a daily thankful thought in my planner, it can be as complex as "I am grateful for my family" or as simple as " I am grateful for my high speed wifi" lol.

2. Social media break - This ties into being grateful. Social media has a way of making us feel unhappy with our current situations based on what others are showing as their best situations. Taking a break helps stop the comparison to others. Try "unplugging" on the weekends and see how it makes you feel.

3. Exercise - Exercise releases happy hormones, and makes us look great! If you aren't able to workout at a gym, there are awesome workouts on YouTube that you can do at home. Wake up earlier than the kids if you have to, just try to squeeze in a 30 minute workout daily to feel your best!

4. Self care - Everyone online is talking about self care lol. Self care is important, it reminds me of the quote, " You can't pour from an empty cup." I definitely know when my cup is empty, I
get annoyed easily and exercise helps with that. Also talking to and hanging out with friends, alone time, and binge watching Netflix are a few of my versions of self care.

Mom life is hard, but I want to encourage specifically stay at home to make the most of the life that they are living. I don't have all the answers, I am learning along the way, and I am hoping to inspire others.  What are some of your happy mom hacks? Leave me a comment below! Until next time.

April K.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ava's Playground Adventures: Oakdale Park

Ava's playground adventures is BACK!!!
It's spring time, the weather is nice and we are headed out to play! I wanted to share with you all a new playground that we frequent often. Oakdale Park  was remodeled a few months ago and is better than ever. Ava lovingly calls this "the big playground" now. It was really small before and she didn't really like playing here.

Ava's playground adventures oakdale park smyrna ga

There are 4 swings and even a couple two seated swings. Ava loves when we are on the two seated swings and would swing the whole time we are there. The younger kids playground is so cute and it even has shade! There is a sound machine that plays animal sounds when you touch it and also a piano.

Ava's playground adventures oakdale park smyrna ga

Ava's playground adventures oakdale park smyrna ga

The larger playground is the best and Ava's favorite. There are monkey bars, 3 slides, climbing ropes, ladders, everything you can think of!

Ava's playground adventures oakdale park smyrna ga

Ava's playground adventures oakdale park smyrna ga

Oakdale Park is a fun park now, Ava asks to go all the time, and she never used to ask to play here. . Shade is still limited as there are no trees around, so when it starts to get hotter, we will have to head to shadier locations. Stay tuned for more fun playgrounds, we go to playgrounds often because we love being outside. Until next time!

April K.
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Monday, May 8, 2017

6 Items Moms Need for Enjoyable Outings

Spring time is here! With Spring comes chirping birds, sunshine, and more time spent outdoors. Ava and I are always on the go. I have discovered a few necessary items that help make our outings more enjoyable.  This isn't everything that I take with us but these are what I think are the most important items to have. Check them out below!

The Daily April N Ava 6 Items Moms Need for Enjoyable Outings

1. Backpack -  Backpacks are great because they keep your hands free. I picked up this  backpack from TJ Maxx and I love it. I like to use this particular bag for longer outings. It is big enough to hold all of our things, the straps are comfy, and it has zippers so nothing can fall out. I also have a smaller backpack for short outings.

The Daily April N Ava backpack Vera Bradley

2. Blanket - You need a great blanket! I have a heavy duty waterproof blanket for full on picnicking, and I have a cutsey bohemian blanket for sitting while I watch Ava play. ( My mommy made this blanket!) The boho blanket is small enough to fit in my bag and comes in handy when seating is limited at the playground. 

The Daily April N Ava bohemian blanket

3. Sunscreen and bug spray - No one can have fun if they are getting sunburn or bit by mosquitos. I love this bug spray by California Baby, it smells yummy and actually works!

The Daily April N Ava bug repellent sunscreen california baby

4. Reusable food storage - Our Life Factory water bottles come in handy when we are out as they can be refilled. Reusable food storage is good to have also, if we don't finish our food, I can close the container back up and not have to throw anything away. This also reduces our trash as I am working on becoming zero waste.

The Daily April N Ava life factory water bottle reusable zero waste

5. Good walking shoes - Your feet will thank you! I have a cute and comfy pair of Areosole sandals that I could walk in all day.

6. Carrier or Stroller - Kids tend to get tired faster than adults. I made the mistake of going on a walk without my jogging stroller or carrier and never again will that happen! I think I heard " Mommy, I'm tired" enough to last a lifetime! So depending on where you are going, have a carrier or stroller with you.

I hope you found this list helpful. It seems like a lot of items to have to carry around but I'd rather be prepared than not. What are some things that you take on your daily outings? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time.

April K.
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Atlanta FREE Kid Friendly May 2017 Happenings!

Happy May! April was an exciting month. I had a birthday and our weekends were packed with fun activities that Ava and I both enjoyed. I'm bringing you more free kid friendly events around Atlanta.

1. Home Depot Kids Workshop - Home Depot has a free monthly kids building workshop. It happens on the first Saturday of the month and this month is May 6, 2017 from 9am-12pm. 
The Daily April N Ava Atlanta FREE Kid Friendly May 2017 Happenings Events Georgia
Check out the Home Depot website to register for your closest store.

2. Free movies at Candler Park - May 6, 2017 beginning at dusk, stop by Candler Park to watch Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them.

3. Chastain Park Arts Festival - May 6th, 10am till 5pm and May 7th 11am till 5pm. I haven't been to this festival yet, but I have heard great things. There will be artists, vendors, and of course a children's area.

4. Decatur Lantern Parade - May 12, 2017, 9pm. I've never been to a lantern parade but they seem really fun. This one starts pretty late but it has to be dark to see the lanterns. I'd suggest baby wearing if you can, I feel like it would be really crowded for a stroller.  You can pick up a lantern from the Dollar Tree or even a pack of lanterns from party city and decorate them.

5. Sweet Auburn Festival - May 13th 12pm till 9pm and May 14th 1pm till 8pm. The Sweet Auburn Fest is an Atlanta classic, I remember going to this when my dad when I was much younger. There will be vendors, food, and great music.

6. Mom & Me Mother's Day Fun - Atlantic Station has fun free activities for holidays, I have taken Ava to do free crafts for Halloween, St. Patrick's, and Easter. On May 13th, 1pm till 3pm, there will be free family friendly crafts in Central Park.

7. Kirkwood festival - May 20th, 10am till 8pm. Happening at Bessie Branham Park there will be a 5k run, music, food, vendors, and more.

The Daily April N Ava Atlanta FREE Kid Friendly May 2017 Happenings Events Georgia

8. Let's Read Book Festival for Children of Color - May 20th, 11am till 4pm. A book festival created to encourage reading in children of color. Admission is free and prices of books will vary. Click the link for the address.

9. Jazz Festival - Another Atlanta classic! This festival has been around for as long as I can remember. It is a FREE, 3 day long festival at piedmont park. Have a look at the official website for details for each day.

10. Caribbean carnival - May 27th, 10am. Celebrating the Caribbean culture with food, vendors, and a parade starting at noon. There is a few festival and also a few paid events, so be sure to click the link to see more info. The Caribbean festival is always fun!

Pull out your planners mamas and jot down these fun events. Ava and I are stopping by all of these! Until next time!

April K.
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