What I’ve Been Loving: April

April (and my first month of blogging!!) seems to have absolutely flown by. I’ve had so many things I’ve been grateful for and so many things I’ve been loving that I wanted to share them with you.

Real talk: April wasn’t the greatest month for me. But, everything on this list — some experiences and feelings, some tangible goods — all brought joy and gratitude into my life. 

*Some (but not all) of the links in this posts are affiliate links. By making a purchase through these links you help support me and this blog at no extra cost to you. 

1) Absolutely lovely coworkers and managers

This was something that made it onto my gratitude lists almost every day this month. When you feel stressed and drained, going to work can be one of the hardest things. I’ve been beyond blessed to have a team at work that makes it a positive experience and something I can look forward to instead of dread. I can even generally count on work improving my mood which is really something special. 

2) My new Manduka yoga mat (and starting a consistent home practice)

After one too many frustrating slip-and-slide experiences during my weekly hot yoga class, I finally invested in a real yoga mat. I’m stubborn and cheap and really hate to admit it makes it difference but it. so. does. 

Manduka PROlite Yoga and Pilates Mat, Midnight, 79″

I’ve recently decided getting my 200-hr yoga teacher certification is one of my goals for the next year so unrolling this mat for the first time and standing on it filled me with so much excitement and anticipation. I’ve been practicing yoga on it almost daily at home with a combination of youtube videos, the Down Dog app, and just playing around with some of my favorite flows and poses. 

3) Binge listening to ‘The Rich Roll Podcast’

Anyone who knows me in person probably knows I’m addicted to podcasts (mostly because half my stories start with “so I was listening to this podcast…”). For pretty much all of April, my commutes to and from work included an episode of ‘The Rich Roll Podcast’. 

I’ve been loving Rich’s long form interviews (many are over two hours long) with a wide variety of inspirational people, athletes, and health gurus.

The first one I listened to was his interview with Danielle LaPorte (thanks to The Journey Junkie for the recommendation). Another favorite and a great place to start is his interview with Brogan Graham (one of the founders of the November Project). Also, I had the hardest time just picking one to recommend so you should just go listen to all of them.

4) ‘What the Health’ Film

Honestly, this deserves its own post (and stayed tuned because now I think I’m going to give it one). This is a new documentary by the same guys who make ‘Cowspiracy’ and it’s just as eye opening, well done, and inspiring (if not more).

If you care at all about nutrition, sustainability, government shadiness, and community health it’s a must watch

5) Time with my momma

For now, I live just a short drive from my parents and I honestly love taking advantage of that (in a good way! And also for free food.) I’m beyond lucky to call my mom a friend and spending quality time with her was one of the highlights of my month. She’ll always be my favorite lunch date, shopping buddy, confident, and race cheerleader so I’m trying to make the most of the time we have living in the same city.

6) Smoothies.

Full disclosure: credit for this one totally goes to my roommate. But I could only watch her drink delicious, super healthy looking smoothies every day and not join her. This also means our freezer is completely overflowing with half empty bags of frozen fruit (sorry Lindsey!!). 

I’ve been using IdealRaw protein powder to help make my smoothies a balanced meal. I really hate gritty, weird tasting, overly sweet protein powder and theirs is none of those. It’s plant-based, organic, and all natural. My favorite for smoothies is the vanilla, but I’m super excited to try the mocha to mix in with iced coffee and almond milk! 

7) Inspiration

I think I really have blogging to thank for this one. Since I’ve started, I’ve been writing more, thinking more, and been more tuned in with myself, my emotions, and my ideas. Having a creative outlet makes inspiration feel empowering, not frustrating. Before blogging, when I had ideas they felt like something I had to brush off, ignore, or put on hold for later. But now, I have a way to put those ideas into action and the confidence in myself to actualize them. 

I really hope you enjoyed this post, and I look forward to sharing more favorites with you in months to come!

What have you been loving this month? What do I need to check out during May?

  1. Abbie

    May 1, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Congrats on your first month of blogging! These things sound amazing, I love being grateful for the small things. When I write a favourites post I always feel like I need to talk about all of the big specific things I’ve been loving, but this post made me realise that I can say yeah I’ve loved having more movie days or chill days this month as opposed to saying oh yeah I loved this specific film or book or whatever.

    1. smstartz

      May 1, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Thank you, Abbie!

  2. bookfulblog

    May 1, 2017 at 11:21 am

    this was such a lovely, positive blog post and not just a typical favourites post but something different! I look forward to reading more!

  3. Claire

    May 1, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I loved this post, will definitely be checking into your blog whenever I need a little boost of positivity or inspiration! Love the sound of that yoga mat – please send me all your yoga motivation because I’m so desperate to get back into a proper routine with it all!
    Claire xo

    1. smstartz

      May 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Thank you!! And it can be such a struggle to fit in time for yoga but I always feel SO much better when I do 🙂

  4. Sophia

    May 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I love that you mentioned your co-workers that’s so sweet and unlike any other favourites I’ve read xx

    Sophia x http://sophiawhitham.co.uk

  5. ejnets

    May 2, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I miss my mum so much! I would love to do what you did :))

  6. jean

    May 2, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Love that mat! Yoga is great

  7. Karin

    May 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I invested in a Maduka mat three or four years ago, and it’s still like new and amazing even with heavy use. I love it!

  8. Lisa

    May 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Great read, thanks! My girls gave me a new yoga mat and it is awesome. Check out Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube, she is great!

    1. smstartz

      May 2, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      She’s one of my favorites! I live in TX and keep hoping to make it to Austin to take a class from her in real life.

  9. Lacee

    May 2, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I’m loving smoothies right now too! 🙂

  10. robyn

    May 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Aww this was such a lovely read! Monthly faves are always my favourite kind of post to read!
    Robyn // http://www.midnightandlace.co.uk

  11. Britt Mont

    May 3, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing your April favorites! I personally love smoothies too, I think they’re the perfect end of a yoga session. 🙂


  12. Jess

    May 3, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Hey, I’m here from #BloggersPromoHour! I had fun reading your post and was definitely paying attention when you mentioned your new yoga mat. I just moved across the country and forgot a few things at my parents’ house — one of them was my yoga mat! At least it was a $15 one, and not a really nice one like yours. I definitely want to invest in a good one in the future though :))

    1. smstartz

      May 3, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Stalk amazon! I got a really good deal on mine. I’ve also heard people have had good luck finding them at places like TJ Maxx!

  13. Clarice | Pursuing the Simple Life

    May 4, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Yoga and smoothies! Love it. What I loved about April was some warmer weather and patches of sunshine. It’s been such a long, cold winter!

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