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Happy April everyone! I am so happy for Spring and for all the ways we are living beautifully this month. It was in April of last year, when I woke up and ‘The Art of Living Beautifully’ popped into my head for the very first time. It is ABSOLUTELY CRAZY how different my life is now, and how incredibly beneficial this ‘bloject’ has been for me and my family.

Before TAOLB, I was barely living at all, let alone beautifully. I was surviving on Autopilot, going through the same motions every day as I had the day before that, and the day before that. Other than James, Caleb, Brian, their well-being and what I should make for dinner, there was nothing else I ever thought about, and that was really tough on my soul.

There is a part of me that feels guilty for not loving every minute of being a stay-at-home mom, because I know there are so many mothers who would love to be the one to raise their children and make their lunches and put them down for naps and take them potty and make them ‘ants on a log’, then remove all the ants from the log when they decide they don’t like raisins anymore and put the straw in their Capri Sun and comb their hair and tie their shoes and blow their noses and play Ninja Turtles and answer all their questions and blow on their food until its no longer too hot…and yes, there are precious moments in all of those things. But doing that, only that, wore me down to a place where I was unhappy and lost, and I wasn’t able to enjoy those sweet times.

So after a year of choosing to live differently; living with purpose, faith and beauty and sharing how I’m doing that with you each week has been one of the best things I’ve ever done with my life. Thanks to all of you who are so kind with your comments, texts and emails–your encouragement and the knowledge that anybody even reads my words (besides Sadie and Coco) is a blessing and such a neat way to connect with people.

The Art of Living Beautifully makes me feel like doing this on a swing:

My verse for this month is from Hebrews:

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

                                                                                                                     Hebrews 6:10

This verse has been very encouraging to me when I think of the future of The Art of Living Beautifully. Sometimes, if I look too far ahead, I feel overwhelmed with not knowing what is in store. And then this verse reminds me to keep doing what I’m doing, and that the Lord sees everything–and He always has a plan.

I changed things up a bit this month with my tablescapes and decided to set Sadie’s dining table for a Tea Party instead of my own. Almost every piece we used for the setting was an heirloom, and I can’t wait to share with you my favorite teas and the proper way to brew loose leaves!

I have three HEALTHY Spring dishes for you in La Cucina. All three are very delicious, but my I’m most excited about sharing the recipe for my favorite green smoothie–it’s packed with protein!!!

Before we get to the Style Wheel Big Deal for the month of April, I have to ask how you liked the White Blazer. LOVE??? The exact one I showcased here all month in white is on sale at Dillard’s in black. I’ll let you know when/if the white one goes on sale, too. Exciting stuff, folks!!

The Style Wheel Big Deal for April is: A Graphic Print Dress!! Graphic print dresses are comfortable, eye-catching and so easy to wear during the Spring and Summer months. Lunch, over a swimsuit, church, meeting, drinks, date night…you name it, a Graphic Print Dress can take you there! I chose this beautiful Brushstroke Dress from CAbi in grenadine and white, and have been saving it to wear until this month. Wahoo for April!! and Wahoo for the Graphic Print Dress!!

Can I tell you, this dress doesn’t wrinkle. Really. I left it wadded up in a tote bag after our photo shoot for 2 days (bad Lauren, bad!) and when I picked it up, there literally were no wrinkles! How perfect is this dress for traveling!? I will have a trunk show open for the next few weeks until April 19, so please check out my sweet friend Taylor’s CAbi site and email me if you have an order! Taylor will contact you for your info.

Happy, happy April everyone!

Don’t forget to check out some of my new Pinterest Boards: Food for Little Bunnies, Easter Tablescapes, Tea Party and Graphic Print Dresses.

-ciao for now-


photo credit: Patrizia Montanari

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