Five things for the start of April

April

April has traditionally been the start of one of my antsy times of the year. The snow is melted and it looks/feels like it wants to be spring. But the weather continues to crazily fluctuate, sometimes giving you sixty degrees while other times plummeting back into the thirties. Things aren’t exactly green yet, but most of the snow has melted so what’s left is neither a clean white landscape nor rolling, lush green spring meadows. Instead it’s mostly grey and brown with dirty piles of icy slush left where the highest piles of snow were stacked on curbs and in parking lots.

Fortunately, this year’s record snowfall actually disappeared pretty quickly once the middle of March rolled around, and while April looks as grey and dreary as ever, the fact that we’re not buried in our eight foot tall snow banks in the front yard anymore feels like such marked improvement that I’m not even as stir crazy as I normally am this time of year! Still, with a few more weeks before the weather gets really nice, and we go from early spring ‘bleh’ to the really good stuff (like the three days of 65 degrees we’ll have before the temperature shoots to 85 and humid!), there are likely to be a few remaining bumps in the road and spring antsiness to overcome. In the meantime, here are a few things to tide you over while waiting for those better days.

1

Once upon a time, Costco started selling vodka martini popsicles. They sold out ridiculously fast, and became the stuff of Costco legend, so much so that last year Costco announced the day the popsicles would be making their seasonal return so that people could plan accordingly. I was not so lucky as to have seen the announcement, and missed out. So imagine my surprise when on my latest trip to Costco, I walked into the liquor section to find an entire palette full of popsicle cases just ripe for the picking. The freezie style icees come in four flavors: watermelon lemonade, cosmopolitan, lemon drop, and appletini. And at only 100 calories a piece and 8% alc. are all but guilt free as summertime desserts…or boozy backyard beverages…go!

Image result for costco martini popsicles

2Let’s say this spring has you dreaming of your next summer vacation. Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor both just put out there lists of the top places visited in 2018, and best places to go in 2019. London, England topped both lists…likely because hoards of people are on royal baby watch and hoping to catch a glimpse of little baby Sussex. No?…just me?… Assuming you have no interest in the royals, and/or you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten trail you have plenty of options, if you know where to look. And that’s the key…you’ve got to know where to look. This quiz recently making the rounds on social media suggests the average American will only be able to locate 12 of 50 places. Can you do better? I was pleased with 31/50. Can you top that?

3Since spring cleaning time has started, it seems like my social media feed has been even more overrun than usual with Marie Kondo style organization and tidiness tips. Having recently just spring cleaned my closet (and very unemotionally I might add), I get it. It feels good to offload a bit as the seasons change, windows open, and fresh air has everyone and everything feeling just a little bit lighter. This recent instagram post, however, may be the next natural step to pair with your newly organized drawers. The #nobuy challenge does not need to be quite as strict as outlined in the original post, but sticking to a number for discretionary spending may help keep some of that extra clutter out of your life and out of your freshly cleaned closets. I’ve been working with a specific number per pay period the first three months of the year, and I have yet to have to deny myself something I actually need. My number isn’t particularly huge either. It’s been an exercise in prioritizing, and ultimately, it’s been a lesson in how much extra a month can be saved if just a few things here are there are held back on. Here are some additional tips on where to start cutting back!

6Some people swear by shopping at Aldi. I’ve never become a convert. Truth be told, some of their stuff is good, and their produce does seem fresh and reasonably priced. However, Aldi brand peanut butter ruined it for me. It only takes one thing, you know!? Which is why this list of 18 products coming brand new to Aldi this month might contain the one thing that would get me back into an Aldi. Item #1: Pineapple Mimosas. This sounds like blog research if I’ve ever heard it. Also promising: red lentil pasta…because as a gluten-free house, I will try just about any wheat flour alternative at least once!

4And last but not least. My favorite thing in all of Las Vegas is the Bellagio fountains, which just debuted a new water show in advance of the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere on April 14th. It’s a pretty epic teaser trailer!

Cheers!

Published by Kate

A former Wisconsinite, Kate now resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband where she teaches high school English and theater. She recently completed her master's degree in learning design and technology, and continues to study and advocate for arts integration in the classroom. A recipient of the RISE America grant for high school theater, Kate is working to innovate and expand theater opportunities for the students at PIHS. An avid distance runner, concert pianist, and want-to-be wine aficionado, Kate's blog "ink." is a passion project, embodying all the best parts of life: friends, food, wine, thoughtful conversation, style, and sass!

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