Things I *Big Puffy Heart* Love


I love a good list. If someone pens a list about their favorite books, their current fashion must-haves, or curriculum essentials everyone needs to purchase now, I am on board. Seeing what other people are digging at the moment is such a great way to get a tiny glimpse of who they are.

During the (almost) eleven years of writing this blog, I have authored many lists. As I was fleshing out the ideas for this piece, of course “Coffee” topped the list.

Because I always big puffy heart coffee

Then I realized that was likely the number one item on every list I have ever made.

I also found myself in the Starbucks drive through line yesterday morning, realizing that I was getting coffee on my way to have coffee with a friend.

Um…I may have a problem.

I nonchalantly steered the family station wagon out of the line before placing an order, giving myself a little pep talk about how I could indeed carry on without coffee while enroute to get coffee.

(It should be noted that I had been up really late the night before preparing for She Speaks ’16.)

In no particular order, here are some things I am loving right now (with the exception of coffee….because OBVIOUSLY I love coffee.)

School Supplies

Nothing makes me feel more giddy than the big retail stores rolling out school supplies on July 5th. Sure, it feels like they just pulled the scissors and the glue off the shelves to make room for summer essentials, but I still love the rows of fresh, clean school supplies making their debut every year. This year, Wal-Mart has really amped up their supply game. Last week the girl and I purchased a variety of adorable notebooks for mere change.

Pokémon Go

It might seem strange that I am including a video game in my list of things I love. However, I am truly starting to believe that moms of tween boys invented this app (Sorry, Japan.).

I just put the app on my phone this week (FYI: it only works on devices with GPS). The girl has activities all morning so it is just the boy and I hanging until she returns home. Because I am preparing to go out of town for four days without my people, I have had a large amount of errands to run.

The boy’s least favorite thing to do is run errands.

Enter: Pokémon Go.

This (Free!!!) app keeps him entertained and makes errand running fun. Never before has an eleven year old been so anxious to walk around Nordstrom Rack. Plus, it has proven to be great way for us to interact and chat as we drive all over our little suburb.

The beauty of it being on my phone: He only gets access to it at special times.

Uniball Signo Pens

I have taken an unofficial pole and have voted these pens to be the best of all time.

For whatever reason, I cannot keep up with a pen to save my life so I may have to purchase these in bulk. No worries because they are relatively inexpensive (Costco sells mega-packs) and last forever.

The Popcast and Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

I know I have already given a recount of my favorite podcasts. However, I cannot stop listening to old episodes of the Popcast. I have listened to so many lately that I fear I may refer to the hosts as actual people that I know (I do not know them). It should be noted, that I am the girl who once greeted a fellow blogger who I did not know and whose blog I stalked (back in the days when everyone blogged and one could be given a free washing machine without the FTC requiring disclosure statements) as if we were real life friends.

This is likely why she stopped blogging soon after that experience.

Check out “my friends” on the Popcast. You will not be disappointed.

Also, a (real, true) friend and I are going to see the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey when she hits our town next month. The purchasing of these tickets happened via a flurry of text messages while I was attempting to shop and she was watching tickets disappear by the second. I have a secret goal to one day be a guest on the Happy Hour so I am super excited to attend a live taping. This event *may* just be happening the night of the first day of school, but you only live once.

Revival of My Laptop and Keurig

This summer has been the summer of writing for me. Although the blog has not seen a ton of love over the past few months, I have been a writing fool over here at casa de phillips. The first week of June I shipped my kids off to the grandparents and sat at my kitchen table and wrote for hours and hours each day.

That same week both my laptop and my Keurig appeared to be on death’s doorstep. Choosing this summer for these two close personal friends to decide to leave this life was obviously poor timing on their part.

Miraculously both found a will to live and seem to be humming along just fine.


Can we just take a moment and recognize the spectacular beast that is present-day VBS?

I have dear memories of VBS as a child, with some sweet bible stories, generic Oreos wrapped in a napkin, and a cup of warm Hawaiian Punch.

Today my kid was served a snake made out of a donut cut in half with a licorice tongue and m&m eyes.

Yesterday she feasted on a cupcake bearing the story of creation in its frosting.

Obviously the ways of Oreos and punch have been abandoned.

Vacation Bible Schools are amazing. The amount of work churches put into creating a week filled with fun and Jesus is outstanding. Living in the bible belt, I pass sign after sign in the summer advertising Vacation Bible Schools on every corner. What I tend to forget that behind those signs are teams of people who have worked for months to make a special week for kids in the community. Big kudos to those that take large amounts of their time each summer to make such events happen.

Swimming Laps

Back in the day, I was a competitive swimmer.

I spent hours and hours at the pool, year-round, practicing and competing. Although I was never really good at this sport, being a part of a swim team had a deep, positive impact on me as a kid.

Lately I have decided to toss swimming into my workout mix. I have had some joint pain issues due to the heat so working out in the water seemed like a good option.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I forgot how swimming laps…really swimming with goggles and a cap and a non-mom bathing suit (which slightly freaked my kids out) the best work-out ever.


About a month ago, I had headshots remade for some writing things I am working on. I do not really have the model gene personality. I can stand and smile or sit and smile. There is not much expression after those two possibilities have been exhausted.

However, a dear friend shot the pictures for me and she was great at encouraging me to just have fun and relax.

Our session inspired her to reach out to other women and encourage them to have their pictures made of JUST them.

Is that not the best idea?

How many pictures do we have of our kids or even of our spouse but we often have very few of JUST our self (unless you are the type that changes her FB profile picture every day. If so…Bless.). You may not need a headshot but I encourage you to hire a photographer or ask a friend to snap some pictures of just you.


What are some things you are loving this summer?

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