What happened in April could be an entire book. A sci-fi drama for most of us. It also seemed to have a million days, didn’t it? When I went to write “What Happened in March” last month, I just couldn’t. Too much had happened so quickly, I felt like I couldn’t process it, let alone write a highlights reel. I almost didn’t write April – but I’ve started to adjust to this new life, and I’m a glass-half-full, smiley, optimistic type. Everything is still scary right now for all of us, but there are always silver-linings, things to be thankful for, and things to share. So here are my April highlights. You’ll notice a lot of small, women-run, or family-owned businesses on this list. That’s because now more than ever, we have to support small businesses if we can. As a freelancer, I know firsthand how scary it is to have your new, small business suddenly bringing in $0. I have always loved to seek out the small, unusual, outside-the-box brands anyway, so I hope you find some new favorite things among my favorite things this month.
Where I Traveled: Los Angeles
This trip was most certainly unplanned. We’re not supposed to travel anywhere, but a family crisis made it essential that I got on a plane and went to Los Angeles. My sister’s husband got diagnosed with Covid-19 in early April. He was rushed into the ICU and has been there for the last month in a medically induced coma. My sister was in LA alone, managing a ten-month-old baby, a home renovation, and daily, critical decisions about her husband’s healthcare. So I came out to help her; I suited up in an outfit fit for an apocalypse and made my way to LA from Ohio. It was definitely the strangest plane outfit I’ve ever worn. I sent a picture of my get-up to a friend who was kind enough to send me this mask – and it was his idea to add the hat. “Perfect,” he said, “but make it fashion.”
I didn’t actually wear my pink rancher, but I did arrive safely and have been staying in, at my new home, ever since.
What I’m Reading: How to be Parisian Wherever You Are
You can take the girl out of France, but you can’t take France out of the girl. While I’m away from Paris, I’m brushing up on my knowledge of the French. This little book is such a fun read and teaches you everything you need to know to be Parisian – from picking out champagne to how to create a perfect wardrobe. It’s a short little read but one you will keep on the shelf forever, because you’ve underlined a million things you must never, ever forget.
What I’m Wearing: This Pink Tie-Die Romper
It’s 90 degrees in LA, and we don’t leave the house. While I was still trying to pretend I was in Paris while in Ohio, I was getting properly dressed every day. But now I’m in Laurel Canyon, where the vibe is hippie-chic and Birkenstocks are considered formalwear. Also, all my summer clothes are in a storage unit in New York City. So, I ordered this romper. It can be a pool cover-up, it can be PJs, and it can be an outfit when all you do is stay-in. A bralette underneath is perfect for hot days, or put a tee underneath and suddenly it’s overalls! It’s the softest fabric, and prettiest color. I live in it, which you already know if you watch my stories. I do wash it, I promise.
How I’m Keeping in Shape: My Sister!
I’m super lucky to have a sister that is also an amazing fitness trainer, and obviously – I’m her biggest fan. I’m especially thankful she’s my roomie right now, while we are all trapped inside and gyms are closed, but exercise is SO important for your mental health and physical health. She does a daily, morning workout and I always join in! But, for those who aren’t living with her, she does live workouts whenever she can find free time, and has a subscription series online, where you can get access to all her best videos to motivate yourself at home. They range from 10 minute targeted mini-workouts to live footage of her classes in New York! If you’re looking for a way to have fun while exercising and be motivated, this is the only thing you need to stay in shape while you stay at home.
Where I’m Eating: chez moi
Restaurants are canceled, so I’m cooking up a storm for the first time in a decade. I’ve been doing some take away to support local businesses, but my greatest joy in April was my delivery from Siete foods! They have the most delicious, grain-free tortillas, chips, and hard-taco shells. They also make plant-based dips, queso, and hot sauce. I love using these tortillas for everything from breakfast tacos, to wraps for sandwiches during the day, to the key ingredient for enchiladas at night! You can order everything online, and you will be supporting a small, family-owned business.
Self-Care Ritual: At Home Manicure
You look at your nails ALL day, and when they are prim and polished, I believe you will feel it too. My favorite nail salon in New York City for non-toxic nail care is called sundays and now they have an at-home mani kit that will give you everything you need to perfect your own manicure at home. I did one for myself, and started giving them to my sister too. They also have an entire line of polishes that are non-toxic, and the No 3 is the perfect, chic shade of nude. I used it to try some simple art designs this week. I’m committed to keeping as much as me properly groomed as possible.
Beauty Regime: Alevia Skincare
I suffered from KP my entire life until last year. It didn’t matter WHAT I tried – nothing got rid of those pesky little bumps. I had honestly given up on ever clearing them when I met Kelly Graham, the amazing woman who began Aleavia, an exclusive prebiotic plant-based skincare line. She was searching for a solution to her daughter’s persistent eczema, and learned the body’s natural ability to protect itself is stripped away when regularly bombarded with harsh, chemically – derived “beauty” products. The result is her own, life-changing skincare line that took my KP away in a month, FLAT. And the best part – it’s affordable! She has a range of washes, sprays, and other cleansers that I cannot recommend enough. It has changed my skin.
P.S. (You can use the code ANNA15 for 15% off your purchase!)
What I Discovered: French is Beautiful
I was missing Paris something terrible this month. I would wake up, remember I wasn’t there, and feel instant heartache. When I left in March I thought I’d be back by May, but then I found myself in Laurel Canyon instead of the Marais. I needed to do something to bring Paris to me, and keep up on my language skills. Enter French is Beautiful, a language program designed by a female, francophile ex-pat who found a way to make learning practical, easy, and beautiful. It’s a combination of lessons, videos, audio, and homework that promises to have you speaking, and sounding French as quickly as possible. There are courses for every level, so check out the website for your exact needs! This is the perfect time to pick up a new language or sharpen your skills. Also, I think Carrie Ann, the creator, and I are destined to be great amies.
That’s it for April. I know it was a rough month for all of us, but let’s keep smiling, exercising, supporting each other, shopping small if we can, and lets, of course, remember: April showers bring May flowers!