Things I’m Loving Friday #471

Hello and Happy Friday to YOU! How are you guys doing? Do you have any special weekend plans? This weekend we’re doing something we’ve been dying to do with the boys for years. We’re going camping! I grew up camping with my family and some of my favorite childhood memories center around our camping trips in Illinois and Wisconsin. Ryan and I have toyed with camping with the boys for a while but we always ruled it out for various reasons. Now that our youngest child is 2.5 years old, we feel ready. We’re bringing Pepper along for her first camping trip as well and we cannot wait!

We’ll also be celebrating Father’s Day while we’re camping (this is truthfully a big part of why we planned this trip for this weekend since a lot of emotions are swirling around related to this holiday this year) and Ryder turns FIVE on the same day. I’m hoping to have pictures to share with you guys on the blog next week but until then, keep on scrolling to see a little roundup of some things that made me smile this week!

P.S. Book lovers, pay special attention to the book Nora Goes Off Script at the bottom of this post because I finished that one last night and it was an absolute gem.

Things I’m Loving Friday

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you likely already know I almost exclusively wear bralettes and have zero tolerance for uncomfortable bras. That being said, I’ve found myself wearing one of my old underwire bras more often because it has straps I can transition to cross in the back that work well under a lot of summer tank tops. I don’t love this option because it’s just not comfortable so when I saw this True & Co. bra get rave reviews from @ashleyspivey on Instagram, I added it to my cart since the racerback style and more narrow straps seemed like they would work well under a lot of tanks. The minute I slipped this bra out of the package, I loved the feel of the material. It’s silky soft and feels so comfortable on my skin. It’s also flattering and shapely (I leave the removable pads in) and looks great under form-fitting white tanks and my favorite $8 Target tanks, too!

Talk about a random purchase that ended up being a slam dunk! This NYX Lip Oil called to me when it popped up on Amazon because it made me remember trying my friend Merri’s and loving it during our trip to Virginia two weeks ago. I figured the NYX version was worth a shot since it’s basically a third of the price of Clarins Lip Oil and I’m happy to say it’s fabulous!  I ordered the Newsfeed color and while it looks quite bright in the tube, it applies in a gorgeous pinky color that’s not too vibrant but still adds some color to my lips that otherwise totally blend into my face. Highly recommend!

My rating: B+

I’m on the waitlist at my library for The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel (I’ve heard the best things about it!) and while I’m waiting I figured I might as well dive into The Forest of Vanishing Stars. I previously loved The Winemaker’s Wife by the same author so my hopes were high.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars is interesting and intense and… just a lot. While most WWII historical fiction is hard to read because of the atrocities surrounding the Holocaust, this one was particularly difficult. Plus, the plotline of this book stressed me the heck out! If you’re looking for a page-turner this book certainly fits the bill and I was stressed out enough by it to finish it in two nights. (I was up past 1 a.m. reading because I had to know what happened.) Did I like the book? Yes. Did it turn me into a giant ball of anxiety? Also yes.

From Amazon: 

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.

My rating: A 

When my friend Gina described this as a “sweet little cupcake of a book” and rave about it, I borrowed it from my library immediately as I was looking for something light after I finished The Forest of Vanishing Stars. This book is simply a delight. I smiled so much while reading it and while it absolutely falls into the romance/beach read category, it feels like more than that and comes along with humor, a creative plotline, likable but not too predictable characters and dialog that that’s not at all eye-roll inducing. It’s a fantastic summer read and one I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for something light but packed with wit and sweetness that feels a little more special than your average beach read.

The book begins with the filming of The Tea House, a movie created around a script written by Nora Hamilton, the woman behind countless cheesy movies features on The Romance Channel. Only The Tea House is different. It’s a film that bares Nora’s soul and shares the real deal behind the relationship she shared with her ex-husband, Ben, a relationship that was a lot more “take” than “give” on Ben’s part. Leo Vance, the most popular actor in Hollywood, is cast in the film to play the part of Ben and shows up along with the whole crew in to Nora’s home to film the movie in her backyard tea house.

When the movie wraps, everyone leaves… except for Leo. He offers to pay Nora $1,000 a day to let him stay for a week as he’s feeling increasingly lost in the world of glamor. He’s oddly infatuated with simple things — shopping for bananas, her 10-year-old son’s school play — and Nora finds herself agreeing to his offer and making a deal that will change her life.

My Favorite Influencer Finds (aka the influencer favs that live up to the hype!)

Influencer Favorites

Cheesecake Cookies ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream (If you love Oreos, you must make this recipe! The base of this vanilla ice cream includes a hefty helping of cream cheese that does not overwhelm the ice cream at all. It simply adds to its creaminess and helps cut the super-sweetness a little bit. I’d even venture to say that it’s not that noticeable in the recipe so if you’re just hoping for a super-creamy cookies ‘n’ cream recipe, give this one a try and I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised!)

Cheesecake Cookies n Cream Ice Cream

Questions of the Day

Camping: Yay or nay!?

What is one thing making you smile this week? 

You may also like...