30 Things to Do in April (Quarantine Edition)

 

30 Things to Do in April
 
Spring is officially here, and while we’re waiting on April showers to bring May flowers—I’m sharing 30 things you can (safely) do this month. I hope this list inspires you to get the most out of the month. 

 

1. Start your garden indoors. I have already started a variety of seedlings, and cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs have started to sprout.

2. Easter is right around the corner (literally it’s the 4th), now is your chance to whip up some delicious Easter treats.

3. Try a new recipe for easter. I have been looking up recipes on Pinterest and I think I need a dark chocolate raspberry mousse cake in life. 

4. Happy Easter! Whether you’re spending the day alone, with family or friends. I hope you have an amazing day and it’s filled with plenty of delicious food.
 
5. It’s time for spring cleaning. Make a list of everything you have to do and accomplish a couple things a week, that way your list will seem less overwhelming. 
 
6. Everything is starting to wake up from hibernation here in Michigan, which makes it the perfect time to hit the trails and watch things bloom and animals roam.
 
7. Celebrate National Walking Day by getting outside and exploring a local park, trail or neighborhood. It’s also the perfect time to pick up a new pair of kicks for spring/summer.
 
8. Happy National Zoo Lovers Day! Take a trip to your local zoo. The zoo is a great outing to meet up with friends or family safely. I’m off to the Detroit Zoo for the day!

9. Daffodils and tulips are in full bloom. Elevate the aesthetic of your home by grabbing some for various rooms of your home. 

10. It’s National Farm Animals Day, head to a local farm and check out the local animals. You can even stop at a Tractor Supply store to take a peek at the baby ducks and chicks. 
 
11. Get out in nature. I have been trying to discover a new trail each weekend, and it’s been really fun discovering some beautiful trails and some duds. 
 
12. Take a moment for yourself. Light some candles, listen to soft sounds and just enjoy the moment. 
 
13. The weather is finally getting nice so why not grill outdoors? From shish kabobs to grilled pineapple the possibilities are endless. 
 
14. Head out biking. No matter where you live, you’re sure to find plenty of trails to hit. 

15. I am big fan of spontaneous road trips—it’s the perfect time to hit the open road and see where it takes you.

16. It’s Mushroom Day! I’ll be celebrating by making a flatbread pizza with green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and a balsamic glaze. Bonus points if I can find some morels. 

17. Chalk your walk! Write inspirational quotes or draw happy pictures to bring a smile to someones face. 
 
18. Visit and support a small business near you.
 
19. Head to a nearby town you’ve never been to before, grab dinner and explore. 
 
20. Give yourself a springtime pedicure or go and get one done. 
 
21. Have you tried a new recipe lately? Now is the perfect time to experiment. I am thinking about amplifying some Caesar salad and grilling the romaine. 
 
22. Happy Earth Day! Pick up trash at a local park, plant a tree—however you choose to celebrate Earth Day, just make sure you keep it up the rest of the year. 
 
23. Happy National Picnic Day! Pack a picnic and visit a new park, or spread a blanket on the floor inside if it’s raining.
 
24. When it rains, dance in it!
 
25. Eat outside! 

26. Bird watching has become one of my favorite things to do, and I think you’d enjoy it too. The coolest birds I recently spotted are Osprey and Bald Eagles. 

27. Time to head out onto the water and go kayaking. Metro Parks and State Parks are great places to start. 
 
28. Make a dandelion wish. 
 
29. Start thinking about what herbs and flowers you want to plant in your garden. 
 
30. Play frisbee golf. 
 

Zoya EASYNEON 2021 Collection

Zoya EASYNEON

To say I am excited about Zoya’s EASYNEON collection is an understatement. I don’t even have words to express my excitement for this collection. I was just telling one of my friends that I wanted some really good neons, and it looks like Zoya is serving them up.

From Zoya: Our first frustration-free, new formula does away with special base coats and notoriously streaky application associated with traditional neon colors. The Big10Free, environmentally friendly formula applies opaque in 2 coats, AND comes with the unique Z-Wide Brush for streak-free application. All the bright summer fun without the fuss!

Zoya EASYNEON Spill

Get to know Zoya’s EASYNEON Collection

Oakley can best be described as a fiery bright orange neon.
I can already picture this polish on my toes, and I am loving it.

Zelda can be described as beaming pink-coral neon.
From the pictures, Zelda looks like it’s going to be the anthem of summer. 

Janie can best be described as a hot fuchsia pink neon.
YASSSSS! Bring on the Barbie pink!!

Banks best be described as a vivid violet neon.
If you know me, you know I am not a fan of anything purple. That being said, I am actually really excited to give this polish a try. 

Echo can best be described as a deep lagoon blue neon.
This color looks GORGEOUS, and the description, definitely can’t wait to give this pretty little thing a try!

Link can best be described as an electric, kelly green neon.
I have a feeling Link is going to make all the other polishes green with envy!

EasyNeons do not require any special base coat, and dry matte – but can be worn with a top coat to add a high shine finish. We recommend Naked Manicure Ultra Glossy Seal. Due to the unique matte formulation, color is typically not as long-wearing as traditional nail color. Z-Wide Brush is included!

Available online for pre-order April 1st!

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive: An Impressive Midsize SUV

2021 Lincoln Nautilus
2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive
2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

Lincoln is changing midsize SUVs in the best way possible. Work, video calls, pets, neighbors—let\’s face it the world is filled with noise, stress, and distractions. That\’s why we all need a place to retreat to. For many of us relaxing music, massages, and a peaceful atmosphere provide the quintessential retreat. What if I told you Lincoln has set out to recreate those elements in the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus to give drivers sanctuary away from the noise of the road and everyday life.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

I recently had the opportunity to experience the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus and let me tell you it does not disappoint. I headed to downtown Detroit for a city adventure, traffic was crazy, but I was calm inside the Lincoln Nautilus as I used the Calm app to settle myself, and massaging seats to relieve stress. From ice skating at Campus Martius to eating Calexico in the backseat of the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus, i”m sharing the deets on my city experience and this midsize SUVs performance. 

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive
Hop in the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus with me and let’s go for a ride. 
2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive
 

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Interior

Picture it, the sun beaming down on you through the sunroof, 22-way multicontour luxurious leather seats with active motion massage, and the open road. The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is not only changing the definition of midsize SUVs but what we consider sanctuary. 

Lincoln carefully crafts each of their vehicles with purpose and precision. Keeping with the theme of sanctuary, according to Lincoln, the interior of the 2021 Nautilus was inspired by the horizon—one of the most peaceful views. 

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

Inside the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus you will find the new SYNC® 4 system on an all-new 13.2-inch center stack screen (the largest available across the Lincoln brand), and the brand\’s signature piano key shifter. Plus plenty of room in the back seat for children and adults alike. Or if you\’re like me a variety of Mexican food from Calexico in Detroit. 

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Interior Upgrades

  • Your cellphone becomes the key
  • Lincoln Way app to start and drive your Nautilus without a key
  • Constellation theme that turns the infotainment system blue and orange to mimic the horizon
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Voice recognition
    2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

Safety features in the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus
The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus comes standard with five of the most popular driver assistance technologies: 
Blind-spot monitoring
Predictive collision breaking
Lane keep assist
Rearview camera
Automatic high-beam headlamps

Pro Tip: An upgraded version of the 2021 Nautilus comes with a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, and steering assistance.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

How does the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus drive?

To truly test how the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus drives I took it down pothole-filled Michigan roads to go ice skating and grab dinner in Detroit. The result, an incredibly smooth ride. My mum went along with me, and she said that this was the smoothest riding vehicle has ever been in—offering plenty of praise.

There are two different engines available for the 2021 model:

  • A 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque
  • A standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque

Both engines have an automatic start-stop feature and an 8-speed transmission to provide for smooth acceleration.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

Get lost in sound with Revel® audio systems

Whether you’re rocking out, listening to the latest country music release, or finding zen with meditation get ready to be fully immersed in acoustic clarity. Revel\’s home theater speaker design heritage and trademark sonic signature are all integrated into the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus without a single compromise.

As someone who absolutely loves music, especially rocking out to some classics, the sound system was impeccable. 

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive 

Calm app

Every Lincoln owner gets a year of membership to the leading meditation app, Calm—to bring center, balance, and rejuvenation back to their everyday. Lincoln owners can open their Lincoln Way app to find an invitation. If you\’re already a Calm app member, your next year is free. 

2021 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive

I wanted to fully immerse myself in everything the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus has to offer. So, I turned on the heated seats with active motion massage and headed out to my favorite woodland spot. Once parked I laid my yoga mat in the back of the Nautilus, and turned on the Calm app. 

Pro Tip: When the roads got chaotic on my way back from Detroit I turned on the sound of rain, and let me tell you it calmed me right now. 

Right now, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus starts at $49,410 

Meet the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer

2022 Jeep Wagoneers
Wagoneer

Born in America in 1962, Wagoneer evolved to Grand Wagoneer in 1984, boasting then-unheard-of standard features in an SUV. It\’s been nearly 30 years since we last saw a Jeep Wagoneer hit the market, and the rebirth of this classic American icon is even better than before. And, the best part it\’s made right here in Michigan!

The Wagoneer initially a vintage wood panel flair, and a boxy shape symbolic of the station wagon. While we won\’t be seeing wooden paneling on the exterior of the 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, Jeep did grab some things from the original design and modernize it. 

Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer
The Grand Wagoneer (Left) and the Wagoneer (Right). Photo: Jeep

Jeep Wagoneer
The Jeep Wagoneer is an upgrade from the everyday SUV and puts luxury front and center. With best in class for storage and passenger space. In fact the Wagooner seats up to eight, which means bring on the road trips and adventures, because this bad boy has plenty of space for little ones and older ones alike. Not to mention, can you imagine using that space to car camp? What a dream.

Pro Tip: You\’ll be able to keep your kiddos entertained with the first-ever car-integrated Amazon Fire TV system built into Jeep\’s UConnect information system.

Jeep Wagoneer Specs to Know
Starts at $57,995
5.7-liter V-8 engine that produces 392 horsepower and 404 lb-ft. of torque and features eTorque 48-volt hybrid
Comes in both 4×2 and 4×4 trims
8-speed transmission
5 drive modes
10-inch ground clearance
10,000 lbs towing capacity
10-inch UConnect infotainment system and 10-inch digital cluster
Best in class second and third-row legroom
Best in class storage behind the third row
179 cubic inches passenger volume
Amazon Fire TVthe first car to feature this streaming service
120 standard and optional safety measures

Wagoneer
Photo: Jeep

Jeep Grand Wagoneer 
Welcome to luxury at it\’s finest. If the Wagoneer isn\’t capable enough for you, have no fear the Gran Wagoneer is here, and likely has the features you were missing in the Wagoneer. From the big details like ultra-massaging seats to the small details like puddle lamps (anyone else a huge fan of these?). Of course, the added features come with a higher price tag, but if you spend a lit of time behind the wheel you know these features pay for themselves— I\’m looking at you massaging seats. 

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Specs to Know
Starts at $86,995
Top-of-the-line Obsidian trim: $98,995
Only available in 4×4
6.4-liter V8 engine that produces 470 hp and 455 lb-ft torque
Standard Quadra-Lift air suspension and quadra-drive
10-inch ground clearance that can be lowered for ease
4-zone climate control
McIntosh sound system with 23 speakers
75 inches of total screen display with a dedicated screen for front-seat passengers
Power step
10-inch illuminated comfort screen display in back and front
24-way heated massage seats
Amazon Fire TV
120 standard and optional safety measures

Jeep Wagoneer
Photo: Jeep

Jeep Wagoneers interior
As mentioned above you won\’t see any exterior wood paneling on the all-new Jeep Wagoneers, but you will see wood incorporated in the exterior and let me tell you, it\’s gorgeous. When it comes to the interior there are multiple colors palettes that take inspiration from nature—sea salt, velvet, tupelo honey, and blue agave leaf. 

Wagoneer Grille
Photo: Jeep

Jeep Wagoneers exterior 
Let me see that grille. Yup, it\’s gorgeous and designed to lean forward just a little to give the impression of power and speed. To preserve a crucial element of the Wagoneers heritage the roofline of the original Wagoneer remains. 

The Wagoneer is built for families, and made for adventures. You\’ll be comfortable in the Palermo leather seats knowing that you\’ve got the tow hooks, skid plates and adjustable suspension ready to tackle a rocky path.

Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

In college, I was introduced to snowshoeing. I fell in love and it quickly became one of my favorite winter outdoor activities. This year, mother nature decided to give Michigan more snow than she has in years past. That resulted in more time adventuring via snowshoes.

If you\’ve never snowshoes before you might be wondering \”why go snowshoeing?\” and that\’s a great question.  I\’ll be answering that question as well as giving you a basics beginner\’s guide to snowshoeing in this article. Hopefully, this guide will give you the confidence you need to hit the trails and enjoy something new. 

Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

Why go snowshoeing?
1. Exercise. If you\’re looking for a way to stay in shape when the snow falls, snowshoeing is a great low-impact aerobic exercise. Think steady-state cardio. 

2. It allows you to extend your hiking and/or running season. Plus most of the time you\’ll have the trails to yourself which is always a wonderful head-clearing experience. 

3. Great social activity. You can do it at any age and ability level!

4. Inexpensive. Your required gear includes snowshoes and appropriate attire, poles help but are not required. 

What do you need to go snowshoeing?
1. Snowshoes of course! You\’ll want to make sure you get a pair that is right for your weight, terrain, and snow conditions. 

2. GOOD socks. I love Darn Tough and Smartwool

3. Waterproof boots

4. Layer up. 

How to choose snowshoes?
If you\’re just getting into snowshoeing, renting gear is a great start. The rental shop will set you up with snowshoes that are proper for your weight and the conditions where you\’ll be snowshoeing.

Buying snowshoes for the first time?
Flat terrain snowshoes are a great first choice. They\’re designed for easy walking on flat to rolling terrain. These are great for beginners or families. 

Take maximum load into account
All snowshoes have a maximum recommended load. Your first reaction is to just think of your weight, but you should actually consider your weight plus the weight of your pack filled with gear. You do not want to exceed the recommended load.

Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

How to Dress for Snowshoeing
Proper boots and socks
The good news is that snowshoes adjust to fit pretty much any type of boot or shoe. What does that mean for you? Your main concern is to wear something that will keep your feet comfortable and dry. I rotated between three different boots this winter. Socks are a make or break, and as mentioned above I love Darn Tough and Smartwool

Layer up!
If you\’re used to dressing for exercising outdoors you know that it\’s important to dress in layers, therefore you can adjust your attire as needed. 

Pro Tip: Avoid cotton because it can get soaked and chill you. Instead, choose synthetics or wool styles that will wick moisture. 

How I layer up
You can layer however you feel comfortable. Since we are on the topic, I thought I would share with you how I layer. 

Base Layer:
I start with a light to medium weight base layer depending on the temperature. 

Mid Layer: I love a soft-shell jacket and pants with good insulation. 

Outer Layer: I go for something waterproof. I also love to wear snow pants.

Hat, gloves, mittens: I always wear a beanie and a pair of mittens when I am out on the trail. I also always use some SPF chapstick, and moisturizer to protect me from the sun even when I can\’t see it.

Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

Where to Go Snowshoeing
1. Check guidebooks for destination inspiration

2. Cross-country ski resorts. These areas typically charge a fee to use their trail system.

3. Permit areas, such as metro parks

4. Any area where you hike in the summer.

5. National forests and state parks.

Snowshoe etiquette
You may find yourself sharing a trail with cross-country skiers. Do NOT step on the ski tracks on those trails. Instead, walk on the outer edge. 

Do your best to avoid trails used by snowmobilers. These motorized vehicles have the right-of-way and you don\’t want to have a mishap with one.

How to Snowshoe on Flat Terrain
Your stride should be wider than it is for hiking in order to avoid stepping on the insides of your snowshoe frames. FYI: If you snowshoe properly you\’ll most likely find your hips muscles aching a bit after the first few times you snowshoe.

How to Use Snowshoe Poles
Optional on flat terrain, poles come in handy on many snowshoeing outings. They not only provide you better balance, but they also help give your upper body a workout.

Adjustable poles are best because they can be shortened for uphill travel or lengthened for descending. 

How to set your pole length for flat terrain: flip your pole upside-down and grab the pole just under the basket. Adjust the length until your elbow is at a right angle.

Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

Stay hydrated
It\’s as important to drink during cold-weather activities as it is in summer. Sometimes I forget this and end up in a bad state when I return home. Now I always make sure that myself and anyone who is on the trail with me have something to drink. I personally love Ecovessel products when I am out on the trail.