With the turning of the calendar page from April to May, it’s time to bundle together the best products, places, media and everything in between from the last month. Here are 9 things I found myself loving in April…
1. Pocket Letters
If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know I’ve been going a little Pocket Letter crazy this month. I just can’t get enough. For those curious, Pocket Letters are a genius way to send someone (pen pal, friend, stranger, etc.) a little mailbox surprise! Essentially, you take a 3×3 baseball card holder, decorate it to your heart’s content, tuck in some stationery goodies for your pal, and mail it off. Here’s a TUTORIAL if you’d like to learn more. I’ve been making these for a little while now, but I only recently hopped on PocketLetterPals.com to start arranging swaps with peeps from across the country. The resulting deliveries have made mail time a giddy experience. (If you’re interested in swapping leave a comment below!)
While I’m hopelessly devoted to my yoga practice, the month of April saw me dusting off my ballet shoes for a bit of barre work. I turned to YouTube (of course!) and was able to rustle up a few videos of actual ballet classes. I then got to work and have been trying to incorporate ballet into my workout routine on a weekly basis. For me no other exercise ever seems as effective yet effortless as ballet. I can have sweat dripping down my neck all with a smile on my face. Maybe because it has been a part of my life for so long? *cue that scene in Center Stage where Juliette Simone/Julie Simon talks about the barre being home.*
If you wanna up your snacking game, you GOTTA check out Graze. Graze is a snack subscription service that sends you 4 or 8 individually packaged snacks weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. I’ve gotten two boxes so far and I gotta tell ya…I am HOOKED. Each snack I’ve tried has been delicious and perfectly portioned. And you can’t beat the convenience! My favorite snack so far has gotta go to the Honeycomb Flapjack which Graze describes as a “rustic rolled oat flapjack with honeycomb and chocolate drizzle.” It’s legit better than a candy bar. YUM!
4. Homestead Town Hall Museum
On a recent #AdventureSaturday, Chet and I decided to explore Historic Downtown Homestead. Normally when we spend a Saturday in Homestead it’s at the beach. But this time around we decided to stay on dry land and see what else the city had to offer. Downtown Homestead is definitely a blink and you’ll miss it stretch of road but it does offer some quaint places — an old theater with a retro marquis, a park with an amphitheater, and the Homestead Town Hall Museum. After chowing down on some amazing Cuban food at a little hole-in-the-wall attached to the local bus station, we headed to the museum. Admission is free and was totally time well spent just for the eccentric docent who showed us around. (Although she did try to convince us to sit down in a couple of folding chairs to watch an HOUR long documentary about Homestead on a rinky-dink TV. Not gonna happen, lady.)
5. Free printables
One of the joys of wedding planning on a budget has been scouring the internet for ways to cut corners. My favorite way so far? Free printables. They are so fun to tinker around with. Pictured above is one I found for a Thumbprint Guestbook. It is so simple and fun! I love the idea of having it out at our reception with some ink pads and asking guests to create the leaves. Wouldn’t it be lovely to frame that as a keepsake? What a beautiful reminder of all our “people” and the special family tree we’ve created for ourselves, both with our actual family and the folks who’ve become our family.
6. Washi tape
I LOVE washi tape. This month I’ve been using it a ton to decorate pocket letters (see above) and my planner (see below). Last week we stumbled upon an office supply store that was going out of business and I stocked up. My other favorite places to find washi? Target, Dollar Tree, and Ikea. Ikea sells packs of four for FIFTY CENTS. Hello!?! Need I say more.
7. Target Dollar Spot planner
I started using my Target Dollar Spot planner on April 1st and the obsession is still going strong. In case you’re wondering, I call it the Target Dollar Spot planner because it was created from 3 components purchased at Target in the $1-$3 section. A mini binder, dividers/weekly inserts, and folders/monthly inserts. Each of these “kits” was $3. While I utilize this planner for weekly and monthly planning, I’ve also been trying my hand at planner decorating. (Inspired by CheapCraftyGirl on YouTube.) It’s a fun activity to sit down on a Sunday night and decorate the next week’s spread! And it’s also a cool way to use some of the stationery goodies I receive in my pocket letters. Paper crafting for the win!
Confession: I’m a LONG time viewer of The Real World, Road Rules, and The Challenge. I have never “out grown” these shows and continue to enjoy, especially The Challenge, to this day. The advent of social media has taken my interest in reality TV in a different direction. I love keeping up with cast members on Twitter and Instagram because seeing what D-List celebs do in their day to day is just as interesting (if not more) to me than watching them on a show. Anyways, that’s all to say, I follow the two ladies responsible for this podcast on social media. So when they started promoting this endeavor I was totally into it. It’s hosted by Susie Meister (RR: Down Under) and Sarah Rice (RW: Brooklyn) and is billed as “candy for your left brain and your right brain.” While some episodes are about The Challenge (both Susie and Sarah have competed multiple times on the show), many are not. They cover everything from cults to travel to DIY. It is super easy listening…kind of like you’re eavesdropping on two intelligent girlfriends having a chat. Oh, and usually wine is involved!
If women and religion, and how the two intersect, is of interest to you, then this memoir is a must-read. I love learning about different religions and recently realized I didn’t know too much about the lives of Hasidic Jews. I picked up this memoir at my local library and couldn’t put it down. It tells the story of Leah Lax who left her liberal, secular home as a teenager for a life as a Hasidic Jew. Lax recounts her experiences with arranged marriage, fundamentalist faith, and motherhood during her time with the Hasidim, and exposes how her creative, sexual, and spiritual longings existed beneath the surface throughout her time there. This book taught me a lot about this particular faith through the eyes of a woman who lived it and then left it.