spring it on

While I do enjoy the rain and sipping tea by a warm fireplace, at heart, I’m just a spring kind of girl.

All it takes is a spring breeze to get me to thinking about lemonade, pink toe nail polish and the beautiful white sands that only exists in places far, far, away.

Maybe it’s the long days, the idea of walking on the beach, hanging out at the local outdoor market or grilling up lunch with family, but like a smooth talkin’ sailor, spring has a way of coaxing me out of my shell, and convincing me I can do just about anything.

And for me that means painting a couple of rooms, cleaning out my closets and digging up a space for a small garden.

I also feel more inspired to take a trip or take a drive. Whatever we decide on, fun is definitely on my to-do list this season.

Spring rises hope. And who doesn’t need a little bit of that.

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Me at one of my favorite spots up the California Central Coast

 

Whatever spring conjures up in you, I hope you’ll find something here that inspires you.

This season, I’ll be talking about how color impacts your mood and how you can easily and affordably incorporate your favorite colors into your living space.

I’ll share some of my favorite decluttering tips (something I’m doing a lot of right now) and some before and after pictures of our work around the house.

I have some interviews with expert organizers coming up so feel free to send me your questions and I’ll be sure to ask them for you.

We’ll also talk about how to eliminate the emotional clutter that can hold you down, because spring cleaning is about more than just the literal clutter. It’s a good time to take out the emotional trash as well.

I’ll have some recipes to share (Finally!) and of course we’ll talk a little spring beauty, too.

In Menopause Minute I’ll be featuring some menopause professionals. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say on issues like getting pregnant in menopause (Ouch!) and sex during menopause. (ooh la la)

I’m happy to share that I’ll be featuring my very first guest bloggers this season (and the crowd goes wild) AND I’ve been invited to be a guest blogger, as well. (cue the applause)

So, what’s on your list of things to do this season? Whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you!

If you like what you read here please share it. Subscribe. And chime in via the comment section.

Happy spring to you, my dear friends.

—-April

Fall fashion looks and faves

Fall fashion looks and faves

“Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it.” —Diane von Furstenberg

It’s fall. The temperature is dropping and the leaves are starting to, well, fall.

For me, this season is also about organizing and revamping—starting with my closet.

I need to up my (style) game!

Since the cancer diagnosis in 2012, I’ve been a homemaker and a cancer fighter in some form or another.

Hair loss, excessive weight loss, rosacea and overall worry from the cancer fight, drowned me out.

I just recognize myself anymore. And I know I’m not alone when I share this.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re fighting an illness or a college student or stay at home mom, when your overwhelmed or ill your day-to-day uniform is not very attractive.

So whether you’re in a slump or just need inspiration, here’s a few of my fall faves.

If you like what you see here please repost and share. Pin it! Comment. I’d love to hear from you!

The faux-fur

I think the faux-fur coat is more of a trend, but its a fun (and warm) trend.

It has a Margot Tennenbaum vibe. It’s bold, soft and cozy. You can dress it up, or down.

It can be the pop of color your outfit needs as you’ll see below.

But THIS next coat is my favorite faux-fur of the season. I think it’s the length and neutral color I like so much.

The traditional look

The pop of color

The switch up

Now this is the coat I think will be a staple in many women’s closet, or it should be.

I absolutely LOVE this for the color. The length. The Jackie O look.

It’s perfect for all year. Great for the office or cocktail and dinner parties.

It’s the piece that pulls the outfit together.

With its clean-classy-timeless 1960’s vibe, you can expect to see more of this color and style this season.

The rest of the outfit

I love a casual, clean look. This outfit has comfort written all over it!

The bonus is that you could pair any of those coats with a look like this!

Or this!

On any given day you’re likely to find me dressed like this.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re meeting friends for lunch, sightseeing are doing weekend errands, this is a nice way look pulled together while running errands, picking up the kids or just hanging with friends and family.

(As cute as this purse is, though, it would not work for me because it’s too small. Keep scrolling for my fall “it” bag).

The “it” bag!

Here’s my fall it” bag.

Here’s a slightly different version of it.

And…I recently saw this!

What?! I bought mine before her only at a more affordable price, at least for my pocketbook (laugh).

Screenshots: Travel and Leisure Urban Outfitters Macys The Reformation Milly

That’s a wrap for this article! If you like what you see, please share it! Tweet it. Pin it!

How To overcome obstacles

How To overcome obstacles

Life is filled with obstacles. And to be honest, it’s not getting any easier.

But we can push on with confidence. Keep reading.

A Tweet Chat—also called a Twitter Chat, Tweet Party or Twitter Party—occurs when a group of Twitter users meets at a pre-arranged chat to discuss a specific topic that uses a designated hashtag (#). —-Livewire

How do you approach problem-solving?

Q1. We all have setbacks. When faced with the formidable, what is your process to problem solving?

I recently came up with an acronym for my process. I call it P.A.G.E.

It stands for Pause. Assess. Gather. Execute.

Pause. Let it all sink in. Digest it. Doing this keeps me from acting on impulse or emotion.

Assess. What will I need to resolve, cope or survive?

Gather. Research it! Ask questions. Due diligence. Gather all necessary information to help you make an informed decision on whatever the big “it” is in your life.

Execute. Once I’ve done all of these things, then I act on my plans with some level of confidence.

Q2. Have you ever felt like giving up? How did you overcome come it? Or, if you’re feeling this way now, why?

Breast cancer made me feel defeated. I was in shock. Followed by intense fear. Grief. And a feeling of being lost.

I cried, prayed, ate two boxes of my favorite lemon cookies (without guilt), then I went to a support group where I said the words out loud

“Hi, my name is April. I have breast cancer.”

Admitting it. Knowing I wasn’t alone. Taking time to let it sink in. All of these things helped me to cope with my feelings.

Q3. How do you stay positive in the face of adversity?

Faith/prayer, bible study. Dance. I listen to music. Talk with a friend. Take a walk. Watch something that makes me laugh. I resist isolating myself.

Q4. What advice would you give someone else struggling with an obstacle?

Take breaks. Seek support. Lean on your faith. Exercise; movement helps your mind and body. Avoid isolation. If you keep it to yourself, no one can help you. Also, ask me!

Q5. Can workplace leadership skills translate into your personal life? If so, how?

Absolutely! My skills helped me to organize, develop and ask the right questions. I interviewed teams of doctors before I settled on one. I was able to effectively communicate my concerns to doctors and others involved.

Q6. How do you take care of yourself when coping with major challenges (physically, emotionally, spiritually)?

I take regular breaks from the problem at hand. I enjoy taking walks. There’s something about being outdoors or in nature. I reach out to friends. Rest. Laughter. Also what I feed myself helps me. I love a good bowl of soup.

Q7. What motivates you to do better and thrive in life?

Family. Health. Faith. Legacy. Desire to support others at difficult times.

Mental Unwellness Day

Mental Unwellness Day

Did you know? One in five adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, experiences mental illness in a given year? (National Alliance Mental Health)

It doesn’t matter where I am or who I’m talking to “depression” usually finds its way into the conversation.

The current state of affairs, discord and day-to-day challenges can leave us feeling empty and emotionally drained.

We are inundated with issues and problems. The unknown. Poor health. Workplace abuse. Money problems. Aging.

All things that can trigger unhappiness and poor mental health.

And while these issues may not be the cause of Bipolar or Schizophrenia or any other mental illness, they certainly can irritate mental illness.

So what can I do?

  • Take a break from news.
  • Take a walk.
  • If your a bible reader, make time for personal study or reading.
  • Do things that bring you happiness inside.

No, it’s not gonna solve every problem you have. But, it may induce the happiness endorphins. And that’s a good way to fight back!

Don’t be afraid to call a friend or a family member. Share your truth with someone!

I started out my career as a suicide intervention counselor. Trust me, I never once felt bothered by a caller seeking conversation or help. Neither will your friends or family.

We must start to include mental health and wellness as an important part of overall good health.

In 2008 my friend Lara died by suicide. I miss our inside jokes. The lunches. The conversations. And her idiosyncrasies.