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Friday Favorites | Summer schedule, serving and a great lip gloss

    As I sit down to write this it is 10:02pm on Thursday evening. I just nearly fell asleep in Audrey’s bed as she massaged my back. The boys are still up making polymer clay creations. There is laundry going, the sun just went down (it stays light around here until 9:30 in the summer!) and the couch is calling my name.

    Writing blog posts in the summer is hard.

    My theory has always been that since a majority of you sweet readers are moms, we’re all in the same boat during summer – routines are all askew, vacations and activities abound, time indoors is limited and (hopefully) we’re spending less time on our computers and phones – and therefore, I can scale back on posts and not worry too much about it.

    But I still want to try.

    So here I am, popping in to say hi and share a few thoughts and links as we move into the weekend.

    Here we go …

    + First up, the Summer Beach Bag Giveaway ends today! ENTER HERE.

    + Did you see this kitchen from Design Loves Details? Oh, it is just so good.

    + Audrey has been doing VBS (vacation bible school) all week at a local church and so we’ve been listening to the cd on repeat. THIS SONG is my favorite. I just love when songs that are supposed to be for kids speak right to the heart of an adult.

    + I ordered THIS PLUMPING LIP GLOSS partially because I was curious about the tingly-plumping situation but mostly because there was a color called Emily and I couldn’t resist. My review: the tingling is interesting and the color is excellent. Now if I could remember what bag I stuck it in so I can wear it …

    + If you’re looking for a sweet treat to make for the 4th of July, these CHOCOLATE DIPPED NUTELLA PEANUT BUTTER S’MORES are our tradition. Just add red, white and blue sprinkles and you’re set! (I talk about them and show what they look like in this coffee chat)

    + Ryan and I need a new mattress. Ours is like sleeping in two ditches with a big mountain in between us. We’re tempted to go for a Sleep Number … but I’d love to know if you have any suggestions? Do you have a mattress that you love that is not pillow top, doesn’t sag and is pretty firm? Please share …

    + I shared this on INSTAGRAM this week, but I’ll share it here as well:

    We spent the weekend on a local mission trip doing service projects around the Seattle area. One day was spent packaging oats at the food bank, feeding lunch to the homeless and chopping veggies at a shelter to prep dinner; the next was spent weeding an organic garden that provides produce to local food banks. #fullcircle

    Here’s what I learned about my boys (and middle schoolers in general): Yes, they can be lazy. And Aloof. And perhaps fall on the ground in the most dramatic fashion when you ask them to take their laundry up to their room (ahem). But they will also rise to the occasion and make you so proud with how hard they work when given the opportunity and a purpose behind it. 

    It was a really cool way to start our summer off with the boys (Audrey was too young so she stayed with cousins). This particular trip was organized by our church, but it definitely inspired us to find ways to serve locally on a more regular basis. A few people asked on instagram if I had any suggestions for where and how to get young families involved in community service, so here are a few ideas:

    1. Check to see if you have a local food bank you can volunteer at. We packaged oats and pasta as a group and it was easy/fun/totally doable for middle school aged kids and adults.
    2. Look for a community garden where you can spend an hour or two weeding. Often the produce is donated to food banks and it makes this salad-loving girl super happy that veggies are being provided.
    3. There are so many shelters and housing for those with disabilities and addictions that need volunteers. Our group spent a day painting, cleaning floors, helping in the kitchen and available to play games with residents. This is a little more risky with little kids, so it’s not for every family, but it sure was cool to see our kids show compassion and have their eyes opened to this different living condition.

    Do you have any other suggestions for how families can serve? Please share in the comments!

    Have a happy weekend, my friends!

    P.S. It is now 1:17 am (why am I still awake?!). Ryan and I just watched this Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney and it is a must. I was raised on a healthy diet of The Beatles so this one was a special episode!

    62 thoughts on “Friday Favorites | Summer schedule, serving and a great lip gloss”

    1. Go for the Tempurpedic! Caution though…I didn’t like if for the first couple of weeks. Now, I hate sleeping on any other mattress! I think it just needs a bit of time to conform to your “shape”. We got it when it first came out. I wish we had the moveable base. A friend does, and she loves it!

    2. My adult daughter LOVES Buxom lip gloss, she must have a half dozen or more. Her lips look gorgeous and full when she wears them. (well, her lips look gorgeous anytime). :) She purchased a new shade around the holidays. Before we went to Christmas Eve Mass, she got it and told me to put it on, she thought it would look great with my outfit. Half an hour later, during Mass, my lips felt like they were on fire! I felt like they were becoming swollen. I looked at my husband and he got a horrified look on his face, gently but with determination, took my elbow and walked me out of the chapel. He said, “What did you eat or drink last?!?!” I went to the ladies room and my lips were 3 times their size, burning like crazy and my nose cheeks and chin were bright red! I grabbed some paper towels, turned on the water and started washing and washing my lips. They burned all night. A couple of days later, I mentioned it to my girlfriend, a pharmacist, she told me I was allergic to the plumping ingredient in the lip gloss. She said she’d had a few women come into the pharmacy with the same symptoms after using a plumping or volumizing lip color. Bummer for me! Those colors are luscious!

    3. I would caution against a Sleep Number bed, especially if either you or Ryan are prone to any back pain or stiffness. I’ve slept on them a number of times at my in-laws house (and at hotels) and I really hate them. So much that I dread going to their house overnight. They are either too soft and you sink in, or rock hard…even with only shifting the number one level. The outside edges of the bed don’t inflate at the same rate, so you end up sleeping on a mound with a lower edge right next to you. I’ve tried it on every setting and can never get comfortable, and they just don’t confirm to the body properly. We recently bought a firm new mattress (Beauty Rest, I think…from Sears) and then added a Millard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper from Amazon. Our kids have the mattress pads on their beds too and they’re so comfy, while still providing the support of a firm mattress underneath. Anyways, just a word of caution to find a place to try the Sleep Number beds before you buy one.

    4. Oh man, there are so many mattresses out there these days. We’ve had a TempurPedic for about 13 years and we still love it!

    5. Sleep Number! We went to a hotel for a few nights to sleep on a Sleep Number bed to see if we liked it or not. We bought a queen, then later used that in the guest room when we bought a king. LOVE IT!!

    6. My girls (even down to age 8) love to volunteer at our local nursing home on a Sunday afternoon. They go, play games with the residents, and sing songs, especially with those who don’t have regular company. It’s fantastic.

    7. Love our sleep number bed! Had it for 5 years, it’s a P5, nothing fancy. Bonus is pieces are replaceable, our top foam started to wear so we simply ordered a new one for around $100, bed is as good as new. Have 5 friends with sleep numbers beds, all love them, range in ownersip of friends 1 year to 20 years.

    8. TUFT AND NEEDLE! I’ve also recommended my dad who has bad back and he still thanks me for the suggestion years later! It’s helped my back too and the mistress is firm enough to be able to lay on your stomach. Their customer service is the best ever too. I had to return a pillow (which those are amazing too). I got a person phone call back right away to help!!

    9. Emily! I am a die hard Buxom lipgloss girl and the plumpline lip liner under the gloss makes it last a bit longer and it’s even good by itself if you’re not feeling a glossy lip! I think you’d love it.

    10. When we lived in the Seattle area we used to find several one time volunteer opportunities, as well as, a couple recurrent ones. I imagine it would be a great resource in other cities too.

    11. Unfortunately the company I’d recommend is in Australia (where my husband and I are starting out #newlyweds) but it’s called Makin Mattress and if you can find them online, look into their selling point of creating a mattress that’s built the same on both sides. No matter HOW fancy of a mattress you buy, most are NOT built the same on both sides and so eventually you end up with something that can’t be flipped (definitely not equally comfortably) and wears out twice as fast for that reason. They do side by side comparisons with US brands like Serta. We love our mattress, it is the best thing I’ve ever felt, you don’t notice it if you know what I mean. It feels like sleeping on air, you don’t think it’s hard or soft or this or that. It was a little pricey ($1,500 seems like a lot to me for a mattress, but maybe that’s just because I don’t know how much they can go for and I’m the sort of person who can sleep anytime anywhere any mattress?) but they come in a range, so if you can find a similar US company I highly recommend checking them out.

    12. We purchased a Casper mattress about 3 years ago. We have loved it , however we are now getting the ditch effect on each of our sides of the mattress. Prior to the Casper we had a memory foam mattress from Ikea and between year 3 and 4 we had the same issue with ditches….lol ! Not sure what to try next as it is a pricey item to replace.

    13. Our last mattress was a Stearns and Faster and we will never buy one again. It was by far the worst mattress we’ve ever owned. Our current mattress is a Beautyrest Black Hybrid and we absolutely love it. Absolutely no sagging, the perfect amount of firmness. If you opt to get this one let me just recommend the low profile foundation …the regular one made the overall bed so tall I practically needed a ladder to get on it every night,

    14. We have also been listening to the Shipwrecked CD on repeat and that song is my fave, too.
      We have a Tempurpedic mattress that we love. Costco will occasionally sell them for a really great price, so we tested them out at Macy’s, and then purchased ours at :)
      We are going to be in your area in a couple weeks visiting Reagan— I’d love to meet up if you’re around.

    15. Beware of memory foam- bought one and initially liked it but it was SO hot we got rid of it in just a few months:( total waste of money for us!

    16. We got an Intellibed and it’s great! You can choose different amounts of hardness and softness and its made of all nontoxic materials. No off-gassing of chemicals. I’ve heard a sleep number bed is like an air mattress on top of a bed. They are comfortable for a bit but the materials aren’t the best for you. Hope that helps!

    17. TUFT AND NEEDLE MINT MATTRESS! We were wary of buying a mattress online without trying it, but it has been great! Also the customer service = top notch.

    18. My husband and I had been sleeping on the queen mattress from when I moved into my apartment prior to us getting married. Just last summer we bought a Purple mattress – basically on a whim that we could send it back if it wasn’t for us. The. Best. Thing. Ever. We have the king size with adjustable bases, and if you read or watch t.v. in bed, those adjustable bases seem like luxuries but they are divine! We also bought them right around this time of year, and free Purple sheets came with the bed. My husband raves that it’s our best investment ever!

      1. We also bought the Purple mattress this past January and love it! It gives perfect alignment for side sleepers, though the firmness takes some getting used to. The first morning after I woke up, I rolled over and cracked my back & you’d think I’d just been at the chiropractor 😂 You can see my husband and I do the unveiling & bag opening goodness on our Married Life InstaStory. It’s pretty funny.

        PS – Listen to those nudgings about slowing down, in the summer or otherwise. God put those desires in your heart for a reason. Don’t worry about us! 😘

    19. We have a memory foam mattress from Costco. Love that you don’t really feel the other person turning over in bed, and it’s comfortable enough that I don’t toss and turn much either!

      1. The TempurPedic is the BEST! We have one that has a cooling feature and it’s extra firm! It’s expensive, but worth it!

    20. We just got a Saatva mattress called luxury firm and I love it! It is firm enough to give enough support and soft enough to snuggle down and read in bed. Just right! Plus if you don’t like it within 120 days they will come pick up back up for you.

    21. We have a sleep number need and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is. I thank God for it on a regular basis. I hope it lasts forever.

    22. We’ve always gone with IKEA mattresses. They have super great warranties and great prices. We’ve also gotten a memory foam topper for all our beds too. They’re anywhere from 1-3” thick and it is one of the best purchases we’ve EVER made.

    23. We have a savvy rest mattress and love it! We’ve purchased mattresses for our kids from Brentwood Home and have been really happy with those as well.

    24. We have had a TempurPedic firm mattress for 9 years, and it still feels amazing. It is definitely an investment and the mattress doesn’t have the same bouncy feeling that a spring coil mattress has, so that initially took some getting used to just when sitting on it or getting into bed, but I have seriously never slept better than I do on our own mattress at home!

    25. We bought a number bed. It is a king but has 2 twins and the frame has sperate mechanisms for raising the head and foot. We like it a lot. My husband likes the mattress hard and mine is softer. It is great!

    26. I love that you guys did service like that! I would so love to do something similar with my kids. They are still pretty little, but I know I need to be better about starting with things we CAN do, now. Our church does a service day each summer (and maybe in the winter?), where teams do big projects all over the city, at a wide variety of places that need help. I really want to take my 7 year old with me this year!

      1. Hi AJA, when my girls were young we did summer volunteering at various places. A couple of summers we delivered for Meals in Wheels. It was fun because the kids could join me at the door to hand out the meal and the senior citizens appreciated interacting with them.

    27. We had the same problem with our mattress and upgraded to a tempurpedic. It took about a month to adjust, because it is different than a typical mattress, but we have been super happy with it. We have had it for 5 years.

    28. We bought a Nectar mattress and it feels amazing! We had the same problem with our old pillow top too. We hated it. I’m currently off of work with a back injury so a good mattress was obviously very important to us. I highly recommend it and you can’t beat the price!!

    29. We got a purple mattress and it has been great. We had the same ditch and mountain situation going on and were glad to try something different.
      Going to check out that lipgloss. Love your family volunteering! Thanks for sharing.

    30. We HATED our sleep number. But we got the lowest level one. Perhaps higher quality ones are better. Felt like a deflated camping mattress even when at a high number. Not cozy.

    31. Can’t WAIT to make those s’mores – we LOVE s’mores for the 4th and these look so fun (and pretty!). We are also looking for a new mattress, so following along for good recos too!

      1. About the Sleep Number bed… I was told by my chiropractor that the base has outrageously high EMF emissions, so keep that in mind. They do not accept returns whatsoever, but he was able to get a full refund when he told them his EMF meter rating. Yikes! I’m interested to know of a good king size mattress, as our 2-year old Zinus memory foam totally sinks as well. It’s also SUPER HOT and holds so much body heat, it’s awful! I feel like a solid platform base might be best (rather than a old school frame or slat base that supports the sides and middle unevenly). Ugh- mattress shopping is the worst!

    32. My husband And I just got a Purple Mattress and LOVE it!! Highly recommend! (And the videos on their website to learn about it are hilarious!)

    33. My husband and I just replaced our mattress for the same reason! We got the Tuft and Needle Mint mattress and have been SO pleased with it. Tons of support but still soft enough to feel comfortable. I can’t say enough good things! Plus there’s a 100 day trial so if you decide it’s not for you, you can return it for a full refund.

    34. We have had a sleep number bed for at least 20 years and still love it. I have back trouble and it has been helpful to change the numbers over the years depending on what my back needs. I would certainly recommend a sleep number. And if you know someone who has one they should have a coupon that will get a little bit off for you

    35. My husband and I recently purchased a Purple mattress. It is insanely comfortable, and it’s delivered to your front door.

    36. I have a Stearns & Foster mattress and love it. It is firm but not hard if that makes sense! I’d recommend going to the store to test them out :)

      1. We don’t have a stearns and foster but one of our friends used to sell mattresses and he swears these are the best. We’ve slept on one before and I would have to agree that they are VERY comfortable!

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