I’m continuing my long-overdue catch-up series of 2022 monthly favorites. Today’s post features my April 2022 Favorites. Better late than never, right?
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UNC Beats Duke in the Final 4
As excited as I was for UNC to earn a trip to the NCAA Final 4 during a season where they weren’t expected to, I was also nervous about having to play Duke in the national semifinal. Talk about two high stakes sporting events wrapped up in one game! And even though Carolina had beat Duke a month earlier to spoil Coach K’s final game in Cameron, Duke had consistently been better than UNC throughout the season. The prospect of wrecking Coach K’s final game in Cameron and then ending Coach K’s career four weeks later with a Final 4 just seemed too good to be true! Therefore I didn’t want to get my hopes up!! To add to the suspense, this was the first time UNC and Duke met in the NCAA tournament.
The Final 4 game was actually the night of my birthday party with friends. When I originally planned my party, I didn’t think there would be any chance that UNC would be playing in the Final 4. So I figured we could turn the game on after having cake at my place and leisurely hang out with the game on. Luckily the UNC-Duke game was the second game of the night, so we were able to get back to my place after dinner in plenty of time before tip-off. My friends stayed for the first half of the game after we finished cake and ice cream, but left at halftime since they weren’t as into basketball. It was just my bestie and I for the second half. Which was probably a good thing, because the game got pretty intense!
This was a reminder to me that life is full of unexpected pleasant surprises, and nothing is impossible with God!!
Here’s some fun footage of me in the excruciating final minutes of the game:
UNC 2022 Final 4 Shirts
I had to get some t-shirts commemorating UNC’s memorable 2022 Final 4 run! I got the Nike Official Locker Room tee that the team got when they won the regional championship to earn a berth to the Final 4. The Nike tees are so soft and definitely worth the extra few dollars. In addition, I couldn’t resist this other tee celebrating UNC’s historical win over Duke in the Final 4. It says “Statement Made” with the outline of North Carolina in the background, and has the 81-77 score and the Final 4 logo.
I actually needed a new UNC hat, as my only other UNC hat was old and didn’t fit the best. When I ordered my Final 4 t-shirts, I saw this baseball cap online with “Go Heels” and the UNC logo embroidered on the front, and the 2022 Final Four logo screen-printed on the side.
Sarah Flint Mirjana Wedge
I earned another pair of Sarah Flint shoes in April 2022. This time I chose the Mirjana Wedge 50 in White Calf. The Mirjana Wedge is a new Sarah Flint style for spring/summer 2022, and is a variation of a slide sandal that they introduced last year. The leather bow detail across the top is so unique. I don’t think I’ve seen any other shoe brand create anything quite like it! Thanks to features like anatomical arch support and extra footbed padding, the Sarah Flint Mirjana Wedge 50 is very comfortable and easy to walk in. As a bonus, it’s part of the Sarah Flint Sustainable Steps Collection, which means it’s production is especially environmentally conscious. You can save $50 on your first pair of Sarah Flint shoes with code SARAHFLINT-BALIZS.
Stoney Clover Lane x Target
I mentioned in my March 2022 Favorites post that I purchased my first Stoney Clover Lane piece, a small Hello Kitty pouch via the Sanrio website. That got me hooked on the brand, so I had to check out the Stoney Clover Lane x Target collab in early April. I got a classic mini pouch, and was super impressed with the quality for $15. However, most of the Stoney Clover Lane for Target items I got were novelty items that Stoney Clover Lane doesn’t typically sell, like lounge shorts, a beach towel, koozies, and sand toys. I will do a future post with more details about my Stoney Clover Lane x Target haul.
Dot’s Cheese Curls
I mentioned in this monthly favorites post from earlier in 2022 that I discovered Dot’s Pretzels. In April I tried the Dot’s Cheese Curls. They are essentially crunchy cheese curls with the same distinct seasoning that is on Dot’s Pretzels, and they’re amazing!
Erin Condren x Hello Kitty Items
I had heard a lot about the brand Erin Condren for awhile, especially their popular Life Planner. They also have a lot of other stationery and office supplies. Back in April, I purchased my first-ever Erin Condren items when they had an online warehouse sale. My favorite picks from my Hello Kitty x Erin Condren haul are a ballpoint pen, velvet pencil pouch, dual tip markers, file folders, stickers, sticky note booklet, and a productivity notebook.
Erin Condren Productivity Notebook
I wanted to give my Erin Condren Productivity Notebook from my Erin Condren x Hello Kitty Haul a more detailed descriptions. While I’ve heard great things about the Erin Condren Life Planner, I simply don’t utilize paper planners consistently enough to fork over the money for one. However, the Erin Condren Productivity Notebook has some of the same features as the Life Planner, but at a much lower price point.
The productivity notebook has the same style laminated personalized cover as the Erin Condren coiled life planner. You choose your design, and then can personalize with your name and a quote on the front. Some designs, such as the Hello Kitty & Friends one I chose, also allow you to add a photo of your choosing on the back. The cover is detachable from the coils, so you can transfer it to any other Erin Condren notebook of the same size. Also, you can use some of the same snap-in accessories with the Erin Condren Productivity Notebook that you can with the Life Planner, such as bookmarks and to-do lists. Speaking of to-do lists, the layout of the Erin Condren Productivity Notebook is perfect for making those. Each spread has lined pages, with the right hand side featuring two columns. When you’re customizing your notebook, it gives you the option for multiple page layouts. You will want to choose the “Productivity Notebook” style.
Favorite Day Spring Clover Trail Mix
Target has the best store brand trail mixes! This past Easter season they debuted a new limited edition flavor, Spring Clover Trail Mix. I tried it when one of my friends gave me a bag, and loved it. The Spring Clover Trail Mix includes pastel green nonpareiIs, pastel green white chocolate coated peanuts, milk chocolate peanut flavored “puppy chow” cereal squares, mini peanut butter cups, pastel green white chocolate coated cereal, and peanuts. I really wish I had bought a few more bags before it went out of stock! For years, the Bunny Bait flavor trail mix has been a staple for me at Target each Easter. I wasn’t sure that another limited edition spring flavor could be anywhere near as amazing, but the Favorite Day Spring Clover Trail Mix definitely fits the bill! Hopefully Target will bring it back for Spring 2023!
I mentioned in my March 2022 Favorites post that I went to Bartaco for dinner to celebrate my birthday with friends. Since my birthday is technically in March, I mentioned the celebration in that month’s round-up. But since the Bartaco meal itself was in April, I’m sharing about the Bartaco food and drink in this April 2022 Favorites post.
I had wanted to go to Bartaco for awhile, and my first time there did not disappoint! I got a spiced chicken verde taco, cauliflower taco, esquites (street corn off the cob), and a classic Bartaco margarita. One of my sweet friends ordered chips with salsa verde, salsa roja, and guac for the table. Everything was delicious! I typically like salsa roja better than salsa verde, but actually preferred the salsa verde at Bartaco. The chips were the perfect amount of saltiness. They were actually like flat hard taco shells that you broke little pieces off, as opposed to the standard type of chips Mexican restaurants usually have. In addition, chips and salsa do not come for free like most Mexican restaurants. Therefore, you will have to pay for them separately if you want them. It’s worth it though.
Also, keep in mind that the tacos are on the smaller side. I ate two and had plenty of room for chips, salsa, and guac, street corn, and dessert. Finally, be prepared that Bartaco doesn’t have a paper menu. You will scan a QR code on the table, and then place your order and pay on your phone.
Back in April, I downloaded a new phone game called Merge Mansion. I’m not really a big phone game person, but I kept seeing these really dramatic ads for Merge Mansion on Facebook and Instagram. Although the actual game isn’t anywhere near as dramatic as the ads portrayed it, I have still really been enjoying it. In Merge Mansion, you are helping the main character, Maddie, renovate the grounds of an old abandoned mansion and discover family secrets in the process. You do this by completing tasks, which involve merging like items together to create new items further up the merge chain. The game consists of different merge chains, and each merge chain has a different generator item chain. Some of the merge chains are also connected to one another. Another aspect of the game is managing your space on your game board and in your inventory.
Merge Mansion is completely free to download and play, and there aren’t in-game ads. There are options for in-game purchases that will help you progress through the levels faster if you desire!
Sonic 2 Happy Meal Toys
I never played the Sonic video games as a kid, but I did sometimes watch the cartoon back in the 90’s. I always thought Tales was so cute! So when McDonald’s had Sonic 2 Happy Meal toys back in April, the 90’s childhood nostalgia made me happy. I got Sonic and both of the Tales toys in the collection.
Lilly Pulitzer Insulated Snack Pouches
One of my friends gave me a set of two Lilly Pulitzer insulated snack pouches for my birthday. Despite being a big Lilly lover, I had never seen these before. The lining is the same material you would find in a lunchbox, so you could easily stick a small cold pack in there to keep snacks chilled. So far I’ve only used them for room temperature snacks, but I love that there’s the capability to add a cold pack!
Last but not, least Easter Sunday was another highlight of April 2022. It was so sweet to be back in person for a regular Easter Sunday church service for the first time since 2019. On Easter Sunday in 2020, it was just a few weeks after the pandemic shut the world down. My church did a virtual choir performance of “Is He Worthy?” by Andrew Peterson. Then on Easter Sunday 2022, the choir did an in-person performance of the exact same song. It was such a sweet full-circle moment. Definitely the perfect way to celebrate both Jesus’ resurrection as well as His faithfulness in sustaining us through all the chaos of the past two years! This is one of my favorite worship songs, and it’s definitely worth a listen here. Then after church, one of my sweet friends invited me to Easter lunch with her family.
I also made some of my famous covered pretzels with Easter m&m’s, and they looked so pretty in the Hello Kitty Pyrex container I featured in my March 2022 Favorites. (You can view the recipe for my famous m&m pretzels here.)
Thanks for reading my better-late-than-never April 2022 Favorites post. Stay tuned for more posts catching up on things I’ve been loving so far in 2022!
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