Favourites <> April 2022

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 put a few tablespoons inside a small container I keep in my bathroom vanity. That amount lasts for MONTHS.

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.

5. sneakers

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.

6. oatmeal

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.

8. earrings

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?

Header photo by Olga Kudriavtseva on Unsplash

33 thoughts on “Favourites <> April 2022”

  1. I too cannot believe it is already May and am wondering where April went. I always smile when I read the word sneakers, we call them trainers here in the UK. They remind of being sneaky which always makes me think of things we did as a child and would then run and hide and watch the aftermath sniggering from our hiding spot. This was never anything that would cause harm or hurt, I would like to point out, just harmless fun šŸ˜‰

    I, like you, am always grateful for the food and anything else for that matter, that we can so easily access in shops or online. It is slightly annoying when something we want is not in stock but I remind myself there are so many other items available to buy and I should be grateful for that fact.

    The highlight of my month was going ice skating for the first time in about thirty + years! I used to go every month when I was a teenager at school, my form tutor used to organise a monthly trip to a rink but I have not been back since. I was a bit wobbly to start off with but after a few laps I had found my feet and was off. I am looking forward to going again and we are hoping to make it a monthly trip šŸ˜‰

    1. I ALWAYS call them “sneakers” but know a lot of other people who refer to them as “running shoes” or “tennis shoes.”

      Ice skating – how fun. I did this outside a few times this winter and then once in an arena. I grew up skating a lot (Canada has lots of indoor and outdoor opportunities for skating) but didn’t do anything over COVID. It was fun to get back on skates, especially now that the kids are more independent at getting ready for it. I will say that skating in the summer (inside) is just not a “thing” in Canada, even though ice stays in at many arenas. I guess we’re all so relieved to be able to do things outside in the warm sunshine, it just doesn’t cross most people’s minds to skate!

  2. I missed commenting on your “Things I wish I Liked or Loved” post. For me that is oatmeal. I like oat milk, I bake with oatmeal sometimes. But to have “mushy” oatmeal? no. thank you. The texture is a huge no go for me. I really wished I loved it. All the toppings and warmth. I have tried baked oatmeal “cups” baked in a muffin tin and that is ok. Texture can be such a key element.

    I’m having to dig deep for April. We had a major blizzard with 50 cm of snow, the next weekend around 40 mm or more of rain and 5 cm of snow, then this past weekend, another 40 mm or more of rain. Some areas have flooding. Thankfully we don’t have water in our basement like many do. It has been a very cold, very snowy, several blizzards, much too long kind of winter.
    The upcoming highlight? There does seem to be some sunshine and nice temps coming up this week!

    I remind myself that we are safe, I also appreciate the access I have to food and that I can afford it as well. It was my son’s 12th birthday. He had 4 friends over and my husband took them to Activate (active arcade style games). Then they had pizza and cake and hung out. Having him say it was awesome was a highlight. Feeling strong enough to do a spin class every Saturday. Having my new chair observe one of my classes and getting great feedback. Hmmm. I think this is something I need to do every month as the weather over shadowed these.

    1. Ugh. Sorry about all the bad weather. We’ve had a lot of wind and rain (and one messy day with wet snow), but overall it has been a typical April. What you’ve had sounds…terrible! A winter that stretches into spring is just so demoralizing. Onward and upward – I hope you get a lovely stretch of sunshine and warm temperatures.
      Texture is such a big element in food. I do add a lot of extra texture to my oatmeal (crunchy nuts, melty chocolate chips, soft/tart raspberries and bananas). I don’t think I could handle a bowl of just mushy oatmeal without all the toppings. Plus they’re the delicious part and the oatmeal is just a warm, filling vehicle for ingesting all the best stuff.

      Great work on the class feedback. That’s wonderful news! And to have a 12-year old be appreciative and even hand out an “awesome” sounds great. That said, I know how much weather/seasonality can overshadow a month. Sounds like you made the most of a tough time!

  3. This is a great list! I also use coconut oil as a moisturizer. And I love oatmeal!!! Inspired by you, I’ve been making my own version of oat waffles every week.
    Yes, I remember what a relief it is when the kids become independent. Now that my kids are teenagers I definitely miss the “little” days, but when I ask my self honestly if I’d want to go back there- the answer is no.
    I agree that April went FAST! My son will be done with his semester and home in two weeks (yay!) and my daughter only has four weeks of school left (WHAT?). It’s almost summer- again, summers are so much easier now that the kids are old enough to do their own thing!

    1. Oat waffles are just…I don’t have the right words to describe how much I enjoy them. We had them on Friday night and every bite was just so good!

      It’s always shocking to me (though I know it’s true) how early schools get released in the US. We’re the very, very end of June in Canada (but then kids go back to school much later as well; after Labour Day in September)! How exciting your son is almost finished; this was his first year, right? Universities here finished a little over a week ago. It always takes me by surprise when I see all the students moving out of residence in April. For years that schedule was my own, but now, of course, things are dictated by the kids school year which ends after summer has officially started.

  4. My husband is a college professor and he’s gearing up for finals. It feels like the semester went by slowly and quickly all at once.
    I’ve been loving the longer days. It no longer feels like the day is over as soon as the work day is done because it’s still bright outside for hours! I also love our Furminator, which we use to brush the cat and dog daily and is just such a well-designed pet tool.

    1. The Furminator – is that the official name, or what you’ve coined a more generic device? Either way, I think the name is hilarious while also making clear what a great tool it would be for pet owners!

      1. I just looked it up. It’s called the FURminator (for real). I have a knock off version that I used to use to brush the cat, but the official version is such a better brush. LOL. You do not have pets and do not care, but I’m keeping this out there for all the pet owners who read this. Our cat has long hair and hates being brushed and I use the FURminator on her for about 20 seconds every morning and her coat is glossy and shiny. Our dog has short fur and doesn’t mind being brushed, but has some undercoat in her mane and haunches and the FURminator gets that undercoat out in record time as compared to rakes and other brushes. The FURminator is expensive, but will basically replace every other brush you have in your house.

        Also, if you have pets, the ChomChom Roller (for real) is amazing at removing pet fur from carpets and furniture. I doubted it at first because it’s rather shabbily constructed, but it’s super effective and I’m obsessed with it.

        All of a sudden, I realize I should have posted this as post on my own blog, but I’m leaving it here. Your readers NEED this information. Ha!

  5. April was kind of a slog for us with the awful weather! But I loved watching how excited Paul was about the Easter egg hunt and how well he shared what was in the eggs with his brother. I also captured a number of cute pictures of them smiling at each other that really warm my heart! And I love that Will is down to 1 nap/day now and he’s settled into napping for a good 2 hours or longer! I much prefer that to the unpredictable length of the 2 naps he was taking previously. That is what stands out for me in April! I look forward to a time when our kids are more independent. Will is in a tough stage where he can’t communicate and gets really frustrated… I can see peeks of independence from Paul so I know it will only get better from here!

    1. Going to one nap feels like a revolution in parenting! It makes it so much easier to plan days and yet it is also nice to still have a nap in place for downtime for the parents in the afternoon!
      One of my kids, pre-talking, was endlessly frustrated and just seemed to be cranky ALL. THE. TIME. I even did hearing testing because speech seemed delayed. Then is started and never stopped (no hearing issues, just all kids develop on different timelines), but it made all the difference in terms of whining. The inability to communicate, as one can well imagine, is very frustrating!

      You are in for such fun times ahead, Lisa. Between the nicer weather, decline in circulating bugs (fingers crossed) and growing independence, I hope you have a great summer.

  6. Right — May?!?!?!? How?!?!?!?!

    I think I have those same Adidas socks! That also began their life in my home as belonging to someone else! I bought them for my daughter but they are too big, and turn out to fit me just fine. They are nice and cushy!

    1. So glad the moving process is behind you and hope you have wonderful memories in your new space <3

  7. I love my air pods (I always accidentally call them ear pods). The pause/ skip function is brilliant.

    I love oatmeal but for some reason haven’t eaten it in forever. I have no idea why. I have oatmeal. I have a stove. Maybe this weekend!

    1. We actually always make our oatmeal in the microwave (and I think if you soak steel-cut oats this will work as well). I find the texture nicer out of the microwave (less “gluey”), and it means the kids can make their own (in specific portions according to how much they want to eat). Oh how I love oatmeal!

    2. “Ear pods” made me chuckle…that would be one of those things that my kids would groan and be like, “moooom. They are AIR PODS!!!” hahaha! I really love mine, too. When we were in Europe, we did a lot of audio tours of various sites. I figured my parents, traveling with us, wouldn’t want to have to jazz around with the audio tracks, etc., so we just downloaded the apps and had my parents share an ear bud with one of us. My Dad, who has had some other off brand wireless headphones for years (but with the behind- the- head strap- always insisted those cheaper ones worked “just fine”) admitted by the end of the trip that these “airpods do work pretty slick”. haha! He said maybe he’ll have to get some. šŸ˜‰ If not, I now know what to get him for Christmas. šŸ™‚

      1. Oh, and how exactly do you make your oatmeal? I feel like I’m not very good at it making it turn out nice and creamy. Does get a little “gluey” as you say, sometimes… I feel like I’m a normally pretty decent cook but apparently can’t make proper oatmeal?? šŸ˜‰

  8. I love oatmeal, too. I use steel cut oats because they don’t get quite so mushy and I love oatmeal with raspberries! I always have frozen raspberries in the freezer.

    I came across this article that talked about food security (and it basically meant what you called “food accessibility) https://www.mystayathomeadventures.com/food-security/ and I keep reminding myself that I want to NEVER take this for granted. Not to be hungry in a world where so many die of malnourishment is a true blessing.

    I am also a big fan of airpods. They just fit perfectly into my ear.
    Also yeah, how is it May? (My April was good, really good, but still… I can’t wrap my head around that it’s almost summer.

    1. It is so easy to take access to (and money for) food for granted but it really is unusual – even within North America.
      Such a blessing, and one Iā€™m trying to be more and more cognizant of.

  9. I love so many of these too, AirPods, oatmeal, kids independence, access to food, and people who like my kids, obviously.
    I tried so many ear pods but truly airpod2 is the best, I especially like the feature of silencing inward noise when I meditate. I don’t use it for listening music/podcast as it causes me headache if I wear it for long. but for meditation, it’s wonderful.

    1. Noise canceling is such an incredible feature, too!! Especially if Iā€™m trying to concentrate.
      Sometimes I just put noise canceling on without any music/podcast etc.

    1. It has been FAR too long since I watched that movie.
      Interestingly, at our local jewelry store, they always have a bottle of Windex handy to remove rings that are stuck on people’s fingers!

  10. I agree with you about not knowing where April went!

    Lovely list of favourites. I also love my AirPods (hubby gifted me my first pair and I lost one in a shop and replaced them immediately, I love them so much!) but I have no idea of this pause and skip feature of which you speak. I must know about this! I’m constantly taking one of mine out because someone speaks to me while walking Coco, etc!

    1. I do have the AirPod Pros and I’m not sure if the skip/pause feature is only available on the pros…but I don’t think so.
      On the right ear bud you click the button once to pause, and double click (quickly) to fast forward. Press the same button and hold it and it will cycle back and forth between noise-canceling and transparency.
      It’s sorcery of the best kind!

  11. I miss my airpods. I had them for about 8 months when one decided to stop working and since I never got the applecare for them, it would have been SO EXPENSIVE to replace it. Ugh. It makes me sad because they were so great!

    April was a pretty good month for me, aside from too many doctor’s appointments and dealing with unrelenting gum pain, ugh. I think my favorite thing was finding a new dentist’s office that I loved. They had a lot of cool technology!

    1. Oh no! My husband’s AirPods stopped working too, but were still covered (without Applecare they’re still covered for a year, I think?). Ugh. So sorry. They are expensive and great when they work…but very expensive “dud’s” when they don’t work.
      Yay for finding a new dental office and getting the necessary work done. Hope the gum pain stays at bay…

  12. I love these kinds of posts – to see what makes people happy in their day to day lives. (Ha, I almost typed “lies”. Not so much…)
    I love oats in muesli, granola, bars, etc., but I’m not a HUGE fan of regular ol’ cooked oatmeal. It has to be thick, and it can’t be too sweet or have too much stuff on it. So, um, kind of the opposite of your oatmeal. Actually, I find the idea of a savory oatmeal bowl for dinner pretty appealing (and it is just a grain… who says it’s just for breakfast? :>).
    You are another one who is slowly convincing me to just buy the darn AirPod Pros. I did just buy a suitcase (long story) but I might have to invest in those, too. That pause/skip feature is excellent!
    I don’t think I am going to be able to make it to my thrift shop before I’m off for a week (starting next Saturday!). But I love my thrift shop, too. šŸ™‚

    1. I do love my AirPod Pro’s and haven’t had any issue with them, but know that some others have had things go wrong, so AppleCare might be a good idea?
      Yay for thrifting šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *