April 2024 Favorites

We’re already well into June, and despite my best intentions, I’m just now getting my April 2024 Favorites post up. Originally I thought I might combine April and May, but since this April post is already pretty lengthy and I have a lot to share from May, I decided to keep them separate. And hey, I’m still way ahead of schedule with recapping my monthly favorites compared to last year!

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Someone Like You Movie

Karen Kingsbury, my favorite author, started her own production company. In April 2024, Karen Kingsbury Productions released its first full-length film in theaters, Someone Like You. This is based on Karen Kingsbury’s novel Someone Like You, which is a spin-off of her beloved Baxter Family Series. The movie followed the book plot line pretty well. The main difference was names of some characters were changed, most likely to eliminate any confusion with Karen Kingsbury’s The Baxters TV series (more about that later in this post!).

Embryo adoption is a central part of the plot line of Someone Like You. The male lead’s love dies in an accident and he finds out that she might have a biological sibling from an extra embryo that her parents donated after having her through IVF. He then goes on a mission to find his deceased love’s biological sibling, who has no idea that she was born via an adopted embryo and is shocked to find out when this stranger tells her. Like all of Karen Kingsbury’s stories, the characters’ Christian faith is a focal point in the plot.

Someone Like You is seriously one of the best movies I’ve ever seen! I’m not a big crier during movies, but this one had me tearing up like crazy! I’m encouraged that it did so well in theaters. Originally it was only supposed to be in theaters for one week, but ticket sales were so good it stayed for the entire month of April. The entire movie was filmed in Nashville in only three weeks, and it didn’t receive any backing from Hollywood. Everything from the uplighting faith-filled message, to the cinematography, to the soundtrack was amazing. I can’t wait to watch Someone Like You again this fall when it becomes available on DVD and streaming platforms.

Karen Kingsbury Someone Like You Movie April 2024

Lilly Pulitzer Kristen Dress in Lilly Loves Disney

I had a 20% off coupon from the Disney Store online for my birthday month in March. I used it to order the Kristen Dress in the newer navy Lilly Loves Disney print, which I’d had my eyes on for awhile. It arrived in early April, hence why I’m including in my April round-up. The Kristen Dress is one of my favorite Lilly styles- it’s so comfy! I wore this dress for a belated birthday celebration with friends, which I will share later in this post. Although the Lilly Loves Disney Kristen Dress is out of stock on Disney Store, you can shop other Disney x Lilly Pultizer items here.

Lilly Pulitzer Kristen Dress in Lilly Loves Disney print with navy background

Lilly Pulitzer Etta Top in Lilly Loves North Carolina

I also had a 15% off Lilly Pulitzer coupon to use during my birthday month, and ordered the Lilly Pulitzer Etta Top in Lilly Loves North Carolina. It arrived in early April as well. Last year I got the popover in the Lilly Loves North Carolina print, and I wanted to get something in that print I could wear in warm weather. The Lilly Loves North Carolina print has a little bit of Carolina blue in it, as well as a ram in the pattern. I imagine wearing this top to a UNC football game during a hot early season game.

Lilly Loves North Carolina Etta Top

Winnie the Pooh Book

When I ordered my Lilly Loves Disney Kristen Dress from the Disney Store online, I also got this beautiful Winnie-the-Pooh book with illustrations. Even though it wasn’t eligible for the 20% off, I didn’t have to pay for shipping. Also, I checked Amazon, and they didn’t have this gorgeous version. It’s no longer available on Disney Store online, so I’m glad I grabbed it while I could! While I love Winnie-the-Pooh, I’ve never actually read the A.A. Milne classic.  I look forward to reading this and am glad to have it in my book collection.

Winnie the Pooh book with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard

Mr. & Ms. Wuf at NC State Cheer Nationals Dress Rehearsal

The first weekend in April, NC State Cheerleading hosted a dress rehearsal for their cheerleading squads and dance team before heading to NCA Nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida. I enjoyed watched the talented squads perform. But the best part was getting a photo opp with Mr. & Ms. Wuf afterwards!

Mr. & Ms. Wuf at NC State Cheer Nationals Dress Rehearsal April 2024

Solar Eclipse

On April 8, 2024, I got a glimpse at the partial solar eclipse that traveled across the US. Durham, NC was not in the path of totality, but I was still able to look at the approximately 79% covered sun through some eclipse glasses. I actually didn’t get these glasses until a couple hours before the eclipse. My sweet psychiatric NP gave me an extra pair of eclipses glasses she had when I told her I didn’t have any at our early afternoon appointment that day.

Watching the solar eclipse April 8, 2024

Even though the sky didn’t get dark in the middle of the day like it does if you’re in the path of totality, I still got to see these cool crescent shadows the trees made on the ground.

April 8, 2024 solar eclipse shadows April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse shadows

Belated Birthday Celebration at The Patio at Unscripted Hotel

My birthday was in late March, but due to Easter weekend and other scheduling logistics, I didn’t have my celebration with friends until the middle of April. My best friend came for the weekend, and that Saturday afternoon we met up with two of my friends from church Life Group for drinks and lunch at The Patio at Unscripted Hotel in Downtown Durham. The Patio is on the rooftop of a renovated retro hotel, and the poolside ambiance adds a fun touch. This was only my second time at The Patio- the first time was over six years ago, months before I started this blog! I definitely want to go back soon!

Pro tip: Definitely give Unscripted Hotel a call to confirm food service hours for The Patio. Their website says they open at noon on Saturdays, but we arrived at 1:00pm and were told they didn’t start serving food until 2:00. We were able to get a table and enjoy drinks while we waited for the kitchen to open so it wasn’t a huge deal. But it’s definitely something to note in case you’re pressed for time!

The Patio at Unscripted Hotel Durham, NC House Sangria at Unscripted Hotel Durham, NC

Then after the outing to The Patio, I enjoyed round two of birthday cake for this year. My bestie got me this adorable little sheet cake from Harris Teeter, and it was absolutely delicious!

Harris Teeter birthday sheet cake

The Baxters TV Series

Several years ago Karen Kingsbury shared that her Baxter family book series was going to be made into a TV series. This finally became a reality in Spring 2024! The first three seasons of The Baxters are currently available on Prime Video. When my bestie came for my birthday celebration weekend, we binge-watched the entire first season and half of the second season.

The casting and acting in The Baxters is excellent! Most of the major plot lines from the books are the same in the TV series. There are some notable differences, the main one being the TV series is set in 2019, whereas the books were written in the early 2000’s. If you loved Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family books, The Baxters TV series definitely won’t disappoint! And even if you haven’t read the books, you would still enjoy it! Warning: you will struggle to pull yourself away from your TV once you start watching, and you WILL get the theme song stuck in your head!

Karen Kingsbury's The Baxters Amazon Prime TV Series

Target Favorite Day Summer Seasonal Trail Mixes

I have a weakness for Target’s Favorite Day brand seasonal trail mixes. This year they released quite a few summer seasonal trail mixes that I tried for the first time, including Ice Cream Sundae, Summer Lemonade, and Red, White, & Blue.

I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Summer Lemonade, but it ended up being really good. This one contains some lemon-flavored popping candy clusters that are actually really good. I vaguely remember seeing the Summer Lemonade last year, but didn’t try it until now.

I really liked the yogurt-covered waffle cone pieces and the birthday cake flavored cookie dough pieces in the Ice Cream Sundae variety.

Red, White, & Blue is definitely brand new for this year. It is similar to Target’s Favorite Day Reindeer Food trail mix they have at Christmas. Obviously the m&m’s are patriotic colors instead of Christmas colors though. I stocked up on quite a few bags of the Red, White, & Blue. In addition to being festive for the 4th of July, it will make a great snack while watching the 2024 Summer Olympics!

Target still has some of the summer seasonal trail mixes in stock, so get them while you can!

Strawberry Picking

One of my favorite spring traditions is to go strawberry picking at Waller Family Farm in Durham while wearing my Lilly Pulitzer strawberry shorts. I went the very first week it was open this year. These Lilly shorts are always a hit with Farmer Mark, the owner of Waller Family Farm.

Strawberry picking at Waller Family Farm Durham, NC fresh-picked strawberries at Waller Family Farm Durham, NC

90’s Nostalgia Presentation

At the end of April, my church Life Group had a Power Point Night as a fellowship event. Each person prepared a five-minute presentation on the topic of their choosing. I chose to do mine on the 9o’s and called it “An Eyewitness Account of the 90’s from an Elder Millennial.” Most of my Life Group friends are Gen Z or younger millennials, hence why I took this approach with my title.

I wore an Abercrombie shirt I’ve literally had since 8th grade, and broke out my classic Milano style Birkentocks. These Birkenstocks aren’t actually from the 90’s- I got them when I was in college. But they are identical to the first pair of Birkenstocks I got before starting middle school in 1996. I rarely wear these particular Birkenstocks since I feel like I’m too preppy to pull them off now. However, I’m glad I held on them for occasions like this! And according to a poll when I shared the photo below on my Instagram stories, an overwhelmingly majority said I can still rock these Birkenstocks in 2024!

I also shared Capri Suns, Gushers, and Fruit Roll-Ups during my presentation. They were a hit, and I definitely felt like a 90’s soccer mom!

90's nostalgia outfit with Abercrombie graphic tee and Birkenstocks

Pregnancy Support Services Spring Banquet

Earlier this year I mentioned my church Life Group volunteered with a parenting class that Pregnancy Support Services (PSS) offers their clients for free. In April we attended their annual fundraising banquet together. It was really sweet to hear testimonies of all the ways God has been at work in the Durham and Chapel Hill area through PSS.

Pregnancy Support Services Spring Banquet

Blissy Silk Pillowcases

I had been seeing ads for Blissy Silk Pillowcases on social media for awhile and was intrigued! Awhile back I started using a satin pillowcases instead of cotton, since I read they are better for your skin and hair. However, I did some research and learned that silk pillowcases are superior to satin with respect to skin and hair health. So when Blissy had a huge sale in early April, I finally bought some silk pillowcases.

I really like my Blissy silk pillowcases so far. In addition to preventing hair breakage and skin wrinkles, silk pillowcases also help with temperature regulation. Although I’m usually cold-natured, I sometimes get toasty while sleeping. Ever since I started sleeping with my Blissy pillowcases, I rarely wake up hot or sweaty.

Despite being silk, Blissy pillowcases are low maintenance. They are machine-washable (I put mine in a lingerie bag and use Woolite detergent). Blissy recommends air drying their silk pillowcases, but you can also technically tumble dry them. I air dry mine, and I have two in rotation so I don’t have to go without my silk pillowcase while waiting for it to dry.

Blissy still has their huge sale going on, so if you want to give silk pillowcases a try now is a great time!

Blissy silk pillowcases Blissy silk pillowcase

More Wegmans Finds

April also brought a few new Wegmans discoveries: Savannah Classics frozen hushpuppies, Wegmans brand s’mores chewy granola bars, and Wegmans brand chocolate and vanilla swirl pudding cups. The hushpuppies still taste great baked in the oven, so no problem if you don’t have a fryer. Wegmans s’mores granola bars are probably the best store brand granola bars I’ve tried. They taste just as good as the Quaker ones. Then the pudding is creamy and delicious!

One of these days I need to do a separate post with all my Wegmans faves in one place.

Savannah Classic Hushpuppies from Wegmans Wegmans S'mores Granola Bars Wegmans Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl pudding

One final highlight from April: I had another elbow follow-up appointment with my orthopedic doctor, and this time I got great news. I mentioned in my March round-up post that I got a somewhat discouraging report at a follow-up appointment. My late April follow-up appointment was approximately 12 weeks post elbow fracture. The x-rays showed that everything looked great and was healing exactly as it should. My doctor told me I didn’t have anymore lifting restrictions at this point. Upon receiving this news, I felt like a huge weight was lifted (no pun intended) at this point. I’m so thankful that my elbow injury is behind me, and that it wasn’t worse! Still no more ice skating for me. That was a fun but very short-lived hobby!

Thanks so much for reading my April 2024 Favorites! I will have my May Favorites up soon, for real!

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-xoxo Liz

 

 

Hey Y'all!

I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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