Lifestyle

A Few Good Books To Read

1024 1021 Melissa Mayer

How is everyone doing during this social distancing season? We are praying health, wellness, and peace over everyone during this difficult time. It’s an absolute blessing if we are healthy and home, as we all are at LSK. With this extra time available, we have been finding ourselves doing a lot of resting, at-home workouts, cooking, puzzles, and reading. As far as what books to read, if you are also finding yourself cozying up more in the mood to read something wonderful, then we have some recommendations for you. See below!

 

NON-FICTION

Pray Big Things 

Inspiration to not only pray, but pray boldly to our great Father

Battlefield Of The Mind 

An encouraging book that teaches us how to think more like how God thinks (very healing to anxious thought patterns)

Your New Name 

Be inspired to live out the unique, loving names that God has for us

FICTION

Next Year In Havana 

A must-keeping-reading story about love, family, history and so much more!

The Giver Of Stars 

This book is a beautiful balance of friendship, trials, love, suspense, and happiness

All The Flowers In Paris 

I (Melissa!) just started reading this one, but have heard incredible things!

 

How to Create a Home You Love

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

Creating a home is such a process, and a personal one that involves a lot of patience and decisions! I learned so much from decorating my first apartment, and then my interior education only expanded when Jase and I basically started furnishing and decorating our new house from scratch!

A little bucket of tips and tricks:

-always measure & don’t rush!

-create a budget and decide what pieces are worth a greater investment

-pin plenty of inspiration photos prior to purchasing furniture

-buy things that bring you joy and ultimately add to the overall goal of your home

 

The vision words for our house was a place of peace, an oasis, a neutral, calm, and cozy environment with a Cali European casual feel. I don’t know if you are anything like me, but I have the hardest time visualizing how something will look if it’s not right in front of me. Our house before this had lower ceilings and lighter floors; it seems obvious, but what a difference that makes in how furniture looks when you move it into a space that has high ceilings and dark floors. We thought most of our previous furniture would work in our new house, but most of it didn’t. Eeek! This big project accounted for the investment in a designer who we couldn’t love more, Kirsten Grove, who has made choosing and buying the furniture a breeze.

When choosing pieces for your home, it is so important to go with your gut. When I didn’t love a choice suggested to me, we would go back to the drawing board. I realized it is okay to say no. I am also a person that loves to finish a project, so I get very tempted to rush into decisions, but I have really allowed myself to do the opposite. We are still waiting on all of our furniture (the delay is extended because of covid-19), but we are so at peace as we accept the process and live in gratefulness! I can’t wait to give you all a virtual home tour when everything is in place, including what we did in the renovation.

Stay safe everyone! xx

Tips For Hosting Guests Overnight

1024 683 Lauren Kennedy

This last month has been my version of heaven. My best friend, twin sister, other dear friend, my mother in law, and then my parents have all come into town back to back. These people are my people and time with them makes my heart extra full. It also has been extra nice settling into our home and taking a break from getting on a plane. Not to mention, the sweetest little pup joined our family!

As y’all may know, we are about a month away from our house being filled with furniture and styled. Right now, it is a work in progress AKA the time of waiting and anticipation. For a 9 on the enneagram (me!), the unfinished-ness of our home equates to the feeling of being unsettled, but it has also been really good because I feel like it puts me in the present. It has simultaneously made me realize that people love to live in the present with me; the importance is not on the visual, but rather the sweet time together. Such a learning lesson for life!

All of this had me extra focused on what I could do to make our visitors feel extra cozy and at home. At our core, we all want to feel at home when we are not home.

A FEW TIPS:

  • Put a cozy robe on the back of their bathroom door.
  • Get a suitcase stand so they have a place to organize their things.
  • Make sure there are hangers in their closet.
  • Put shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion in their bathroom. (this saves the effort, space and time they have to take to pack them!)
  • Prior to their arrival, ask what they eat and drink (coffee/tea/kombucha) on the daily and make sure you are fully stocked.
  • Plan the days based on their preferred pace; spread out the activities and make them relaxing!
  • Do things they love to do at home; watch the Bachelor, cook dinner, enjoy a glass of wine.
  • Diffuse essential oils in their room.
  • Put fresh flowers on their nightstand + a convenient phone charger.

What are your favorite things to do when you are hosting someone? And what do you love most when someone is hosting you?

SHOP THE POST:

Organic Linens and Towels You’ll Love

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

Moving can most definitely be stressful, but in the midst of the crazy, my favorite thing about leaving a house and settling into a new space is making positive changes. I almost view moving in the same way I do a new year; it’s so nice to reflect on how I want to do some things the same while in the same breath, learning from the past and making new shifts. I believe so strongly that your home should be your oasis. It should be filled with the cleanest air possible, should be so extra peaceful right when you walk through the door, and it should be a space that gives your body a break from environmental toxins and stress.

We can’t control toxins when we are in public places, but we can control the indoor air quality of our home in so many ways. One big change I have been making over the last few years is changing all linens, towels, pillow fills, mattresses, duvet fills, and robes to organic and fair trade products. As y’all know, this can be very pricey, so you truly have to find your pace, but it is the most rewarding and beneficial investment you can make.

Boll & Branch

Meet Boll & Branch. You have probably heard me mention them many times because they are one of my all time favorite reliable companies for all things clean. Their mattress and all things bedding have made our bed a dream. They are a leading designer and retailer of luxury home goods, all of which are rooted in quality, ethically made and sustainably sourced. Because of this, their products help support thousands of factory workers, farmers, and their families. In fact, for each of Boll & Branch’s Fair Trade items sold, the workers earn a premium to invest back in their communities for social development projects and fighting poverty.

It’s All About the Quality

One of the reasons why we love this company so much is their stand for quality. The bedding is designed to last a lifetime and gets even better with every wash. The company takes pride in their products and creates long-lasting sheets with maximum durability and softness. Not to mention, their styles are timeless, so you can mix and match then all year round. My favorite part of course: almost all of their products start with 100% organic cotton.

The Gift of Hosting

Hosting visitors in our home is one thing that brings me so much joy, and I love making their temporary home feel extra cozy, clean, and comforting! A fun little fact: I love taking mental notes whenever we are staying in a hotel on things that made me feel extra cozy and at home. I wanted to mimic those things in our guest rooms as well as our own room of course. One fun little extra is hanging an organic robe on the back of every bathroom door. This is a bit nostalgic for me because my mom has done this since I was little on the back of my door, and it is one of the things I look forward to most now when I visit them in Dallas.

 

In addition to this, we always have a fresh stack of soft B&B organic towels in each bathroom, and their bedding is an absolute must. Jason and I have used Boll & Branch bedding for a few years now and the comfort, quality, and purity have completely won us over. Even our new puppy loves to get snuggly in it!

Boll & Branch is so sweet to give an exclusive code for 20% off your entire order. The code is: 20LAUREN. Happy shopping! DM me on Instagram if you have any questions. xo

What is your favorite tip to help visitors feel extra cozy in your home when they visit? I would love to hear in the comments below!

What is your favorite tip to help visitors feel extra cozy in your home when they visit? I would love to hear in the comments below!

The Non-Toxic Mattress We Love

1024 683 Lauren Kennedy

One of the biggest yet most important shifts to make in the nontoxic living journey is your mattress. Did you know we spend at least one-third of our lives in bed + your body is renewing the most at night? So, it is the most important time for it to be in a pure environment! In my opinion, it is one of the most valuable investments for your health.

According to Wellness Mama, mattresses can be a major source of chemical exposure. Mattress companies are not required to disclose all of the chemicals they use and are required to withstand an open flame from a blowtorch for over a minute. To accomplish this, many companies (over 90% in a recent survey) douse mattresses in flame-retardant chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether, better known as PBDE. These chemicals are highly toxic and do not have to be disclosed! They can accumulate in the body through skin and inhalation exposure and are associated with hormone, brain, and reproductive damage.

Mattresses can also contain harmful compounds like:

  • Formaldehyde – Commonly used in mattresses, especially as an adhesive in mattresses made from polyurethane foam (a toxic petroleum-based material).
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) – Can cause lung and skin irritation and are often found in the glue in many mattresses.
  • Decabromodiphenyl Oxide and other Brominated Flame Retardants – These are linked to hair and memory loss and are listed as possible carcinogens.

These facts above always break my heart and initially made me want to run to the store and immediately replace our mattresses. And to add on to this, mattresses off gas, which in turn puts chemicals into the air we are breathing in our home. Off gassing is a term that refers to releasing chemicals from the object they reside in (in this case, a mattress that is not free of toxins).

I am so thrilled to tell you about a brand that I first came to love because of their bath mats. On my what felt like a lifelong hunt for comfortable and thick organic bath mats, my mom told me about Under the Canopy and I was immediately hooked. Then a few months ago, I saw they released mattresses and I was so excited. As we settle into our new home, my mission was to find the best mattress to replace in our guest room beds, and after reading through the quality and ensuring comfort, I knew these were the ones!

The fun little bullet points that I geek out over: these mattresses contain zero GMOs, toxins, chemicals or flame retardants. The natural silica exterior and the Joma wool top layer actually acts as a natural flame retardant and provides structure at the same time.

The Hybrid Organic Latex Mattress is designed to give the perfect amount of support and comfort for all sleeping positions. It is crafted with individually encased recycled steel coils with an organic latex layer and topped off with an incredibly soft pad made from organic cotton and Joma wool. This all makes a soft, sustainable, and durable mattress that provides both support and comfort.

Other fun facts that gives even further peace of mind:

  • 11” Organic Latex Hybrid Mattress
  • .5” Joma Wool Pad
  • .5” Organic Coconut Husk Pad
  • 2” Organic Dunlop Latex
  • 8” Coils made from 95% recycled steel
  • Surrounded in eco-friendly silica sock for natural flame retardant
  • No GMOs
  • Made responsibly in the United States

The mattresses are made to order in small, American factories, which limits waste because they are just created only when there is a need. And who else loves to know the time it will take to get to your house as much as I do? You will receive your mattress within 14 days of ordering. Also, these are available at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Another important note: mattresses are expensive, and nontoxic ones can cause a bit of sticker shock. As I discuss in The Clean Sweep, it is so important to take this journey at your own pace. Also, I think it can be so fun to set goals and set aside money each month specifically to save for a nontoxic mattress as it is one of the most rewarding and health-benefitting purchases!

The Comfort of Clothing

683 1024 Melissa Mayer

Hey friends!

Melissa recently visited me here in California and we had the best time together!! One thing that came up in conversation was how comfortable clothes are truly the best. You know, leggings, jeans, tees, and sweatshirts…those are the things we always reach for, again and again! And you know why? Because they are easy and we don’t have to think about them once we put them on. Let’s be honest: we are most comfortable in clothes that are cozy and feel good on, the ones you don’t have to pull, tug, and adjust throughout the day. This does for undergarments, too!

Think about how you feel in your favorite pair of jeans & sweatshirt. Relaxed, comfortable, confident, happy. Right? Right! Investing in pieces that are comfortable is always a good idea, because they are the ones that you wear 80% of the time. And let’s make sure we talk about how comfortable still means cute! We are big believers that liking what you are wearing is important. Comfort & cute go hand in hand, in our opinion. There are SO many options out there of adorable clothes that can double as loungewear. Add your favorite pair of denim with an oversized tunic sweatshirt and you have yourself an outfit that carries you from brunch to happy hour.

The comfort of clothing can be yours! Don’t let tight jeans or an itchy sweater steal one more second of joy away from you…it’s not worth it! One of best things I have done when de-cluttering is said goodbye to uncomfortable clothes. The majority of my closet is a collection of sweatshirts, tees, leggings, and jeans and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The items in my closet currently are truly items that I love, ones that I reach for on repeat, and ones that make me feel like me. When adding something new to my closet, I really try to be intentional and think about if it’s comfortable, when I will wear it, and what I will wear it with. If there are good answers to these questions, then it comes home with me! If not, it’s a pass.

What about you? How do you define comfort when it comes to clothes? Let us know!

xo

WHAT I’M WEARING

top | denim | sunnies | shoes

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