Where did the last month go? Seriously! It was just March, and now it’s May and my head is still spinning.
I think an unexpected snow day, our trip to PEI, and the time off around Easter made April seem more like an aberration than reality. But it did exist – all 30 days of the month – and I had lots of favourite (moments and things) scattered across that time.
1. adidas socks
Full disclosure: my sister gifted these to John…and then I claimed them. (It’s okay, he prefers thinner socks anyway.)
To me, these are the perfect ankle socks. They have just the right amount of padding, hit my ankle in just the right place, and are so soft. I love, love, love these socks. It feels like a treat to put these on each day. Really.
2. coconut oil (for face care)
I don’t cook with coconut oil very often (or any oil for that matter), but I use it daily to remove makeup and moisturize.
I’ve tried toners (including the homemade variety everybody raves about with water and apple cider vinegar which just leaves me smelling like ACV; not a fan) and Vitamin E creams.
But true to minimalist sensibilities, I’ve settled on water with a microfibre makeup remover cloth (a favourite from March) and coconut oil. And that’s it for my skincare routine.
(I don’t wear makeup every day but, when I do, have found a tiny amount of coconut oil applied before I put on foundation or blush instantly makes my face/makeup look brighter and smoother.)
3. Apple Airpods; specifically the skip/pause function
I’m sure there are many other wonderful headphones out there but I have been so, so happy with my AirPods (I just wish I could ping them with my watch or phone because I do seem to misplace them around the house).
They stay in my ears through any form of exercise and are easy to use when paired with other Apple devices.
But my favourite feature is the click-once-to-pause, twice-to-skip function. I find this capability so handy.
I end up pausing music or podcasts regularly when working to concentrate on a task or listen to something the kids have to say, and skipping songs while exercising is so much easier when I don’t have to handle my phone.
4. kid independence
It was a whirlwind, but our trip to PEI was a lot of fun.
Pre-COVID we didn’t do many “big” trips with the kids. Between diapers and playpens, hotels/road trips weren’t that appealing.
By the time COVID came we were just emerging from the little years, and now – we’re through. No diapers. No cutting food into little pieces. No sippy cups. No toting life jackets for the hotel pools. They can do almost everything independently and can easily adapt to late nights/early mornings.
While it is bittersweet and I do miss their “littleness” regularly, it’s also wonderful.
It is time for a new pair of sneakers, but even my old ones made me so happy in April. Perhaps because I’ve walked outside every single day in 2022, I was especially ready to be done with the hassle of winter footwear. My boots were big and heavy (and then started leaking) and I am still at the point of noticing, daily, how much more pleasant it is to walk in sneakers.
I love oatmeal.
I love creamy oatmeal mixed with peanut butter, berries, and nuts. I love oatmeal muffins and oatmeal waffles (I make a batch of each of these recipes once a week). And I use oat milk as a dairy substitute in just about everything.
Versatile, filling, delicious, and economical, our family goes through an incredible amount of oatmeal. In fact, I’m writing this on Saturday morning while the rest of the family is out for a walk and guess what’s on the menu when they return. Oatmeal!
(Also, per #4 above – the kids can now prepare their own breakfasts, including oatmeal which is just…lovely.)
7. food (access to it)
I could list this as numbers 1-10.
How often I take food – access to it and money to buy it – for granted!
But a few weeks ago I was checking out at the grocery store on a random Thursday night. I had oatmeal (2 bags; see #6), frozen raspberries (3 bags; I kid you not, these are exclusively for adding to oatmeal – we add them in frozen and they cool it down!), yellow mustard, asparagus, and sweet potatoes. An eclectic mix, and nothing out of the ordinary for our family, but I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
I wish I thought this every time I wander through the checkout line, but often I’m focussed on keeping the kids from morphing into zoo animals or scrambling to load my bags or wrangle my debit card back into my wallet.
But access to food is a fundamental favourite and one we’d all do well to appreciate.
I’ve talked before about how I feel best when I put on earrings. They continue to make me happier, every day. One night I took out earrings at bedtime and thought: these really are one of my favourite things.
9. people who love my kids
I remember years ago hearing someone discuss how one of her favourite things in the world was to “watch other people love my kids.”
I didn’t really get it then, but now – I get it. It makes my heart swell when people ask about the kids or actively engage in conversations or fun activities with them. There is something so wonderfully satisfying as a parent when you get to observe other people – grandparents, friends, teachers – loving and investing in your kids.
10. thrift stores
I love thrift stores. I love the challenge of finding diamonds in the rough. I love the sense of satisfaction I get from giving an item renewed life and purpose.
The last few years I didn’t do much thrifting; stores were closed because of COVID, life was busy. But over the last few months, I’ve been going more frequently. Some of this was “necessity” – certain wardrobe staples were lacking – but, mostly, it has been for the fun it.
That’s a wrap on my April favourites. What about you? Any special highlights from the month – favourite memories or tangible items that made a positive impact on your life?