Now, please tell me, how are YOU doing right now? How have you been adjusting to this weird “new normal” many of us have been experiencing for more than a month now? I hope and pray you’re all doing well and for those of you working outside of the home right now, I’m praying you stay safe and healthy and sending gratitude your way for fulfilling such important roles through this pandemic.
As I’m sure you expected if you are a regular PBF reader, today I’m sharing my weekly list of things that are making me smile this week. It’s a short roundup of small things bringing joy my way and I’d love to hear about anything you’re loving right now in the comments section of this post as well.
I hope you all have a good weekend!
Things I’m Loving Friday
New Ice Cream Maker (Recipes Needed!)
My birthday is coming up at the end of the month and I already ruined one of my birthday surprises from Ryan. Earlier this week, a new ice cream maker was delivered to our house and the box made it quite obvious what was inside. Oops! Thankfully it wasn’t too hard to convince Ryan to let me open this birthday present a bit early since we’re ice cream fanatics in this house. I cannot wait to put it to use! (Ryan selected the Cuisinart Ice Cream Frozen Yogurt and Sorbet Maker because it is the one my brother-in-law raved about and recommended. Ross is the research king!) Now I need your ice cream recipe recommendations! I have one VERY important caveat — I cannot handle icy ice cream. If the recipe yields ice cream that tastes even the least bit icy/crunchy, I’m out. Give me all the silky, creamy ice cream recipes, please!
Oh and this is a long shot, but if any of you have ever attempted to recreate Ben & Jerry’s (sadly retired) Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream and had success, I NEED the details ASAP. I am on a mission to bring that back into my life somehow, someway.
This workout was an awesome one and checked all the boxes I usually have in mind for an at-home workout: Not too long, effective and fast-paced. I’ve been following Nicole’s blog for years and actually met her in person on a Stitch Fix trip years ago but I think this was the first time I’ve done one of her video workouts, as I’ve typically followed her Pinterest-style image workouts in the past. I have a feeling this won’t be the last Pumps & Iron video I complete, especially during this season of life when all of my workouts are at home and I’m constantly on the lookout for new workouts to try to keep myself motivated. If you’re in a similar boat and are looking for (free!) workout videos to try, you can also check out Nicole’s YouTube channel for a ton of workouts!
Jellybean Secret Stash
Do you like how I swiftly transition from talking about fitness to talking about jellybeans? Hopefully you guys are used to this nonsense by now! Haha! Anyway, I’d love to blame the fact that I have a secret stash of jellybeans in our pantry on pregnancy but I think hiding candy from your kids is more of a parenting thing than a pregnancy thing, right?
The week before Easter, I bought an extra bag of Starburst jellybeans for myself (okay two extra bags but one was demolished before Easter) with the intent to stash them way in the back of our pantry where our boys could not find them. What can I say? Sometimes mama needs all of the pinks and reds to herself. Also, are Starburst jellybeans not the best jellybeans on the planet!? (Well, actually, I DO love Jelly Belly buttered popcorn jellybeans but I know those are a little more polarizing.) On another note, I hope whoever made the decision to change the green Starburst jellybeans from lime to green apple got a major promotion because this former green jellybean-hating girl is all about the green apple ones now!
Lovevery Play Kit (22-24 Months)
I feel like a broken record talking about my love for the Lovevery play kits but every single time we receive one in the mail, I am blown away by the quality of the toys, books, puzzles and activities included in these deliveries. For those catching up, my mom gifted Ryder with the play kits and they are the BEST. These are truly some of the only toys we will be saving after our kids grow up because the quality is unparalleled and they’re such a hit. Lovevery play kits are designed by experts (researchers, academics and practitioners in the fields of psychology, development, occupational therapy, and education) and are especially created for a child’s specific learning stages. They’re all about “playtime with a purpose” and use science-backed research to create toys to engage the brains of babies and children in a way that’s both purposeful and age-appropriate.
I actually thought Ryder received his last delivery a few months ago, so when one showed up on our doorstep this week, the timing was perfect since both boys were driving me (and each other!) a little crazy on a cold and windy day and not loving any activity I threw their way. Lovevery to the rescue! Ryder’s most recent delivery is targeted for toddlers 22-24 months old and the boys have both been reaching for the toys and activities in this box all week long!
Stacking Cups with Corresponding Colored Stars and Transfer Tweezers (great fine motor development, learning colors and matching): This little trio of toys has seemingly endless playtime possibilities. While stacking and unstacking the cups is an obvious one, using the transfer tweezers to take the felt stars in and out of the cups has been a lot of fun for Ryder. I also love the fact that the cups can be used in the water or sand as well and the bottom of each cup is different (some have holes, little patterns, etc.).
Animals + Montessori Animal Matching Squares (love these for imagination and matching): Like most toddlers, Ryder is animal obsessed so this was an instant hit. He quickly caught onto the matching game but then spent the most time taking the animals all over our house on little adventures with Chase! I also love that the animals and squares came in an adorable animal drawstring pouch to keep them together and organized.
Mosaic Button Board (fine motor + hand strength): Ryder loveees putting the little buttons on and off the boards and Chase was all about following the different patters on the board and creating his own pictures as well! Bonus for Mom: The mosaic board serves as a lid to contain all of the buttons for easy cleanup and storage.
Milk Bread Doughnuts
I’m sharing this one for any local readers out there! Several weeks ago when restaurants were forced to close their doors and/or switch to curbside pickup only, Kindred, one of my all-time favorite local restaurants, teamed up with Summit, a wonderful local coffee shop in Davidson to offer milk bread doughnuts on the weekends at Summit’s temporary pop-up drive-through location. The doughnuts sold out every single weekend (often by 7:30 a.m.!) so they recently began offering them every weekday except for Mondays when they’re closed. Hooray! Since the boys hadn’t been on a car ride in weeks, I loaded them into my car last Friday for a little adventure and we grabbed some coffee and doughnuts to go. The doughnuts absolutely lived up to the hype, especially when we heated up the ones we didn’t polish off in the car in the microwave for 10-15 seconds once we arrived home. I think this may become a new Friday tradition for our crew during quarantine, as I’m planning to take the boys that way again this morning. Yum!
Collagen Baked Oatmeal (I whipped up this recipe again on Tuesday and love it plain or served with some Greek yogurt and fresh berries on the side.)
Total Body Floor Workout (A great low impact at-home workout you can do that doesn’t make a lot of noise and works the whole body.)
Question of the Day
What is something making you smile this week?
Sara Wilson says
Those doughnuts look amazing! My four year old has some development delays, including a speech delay, and concepts are tricky for him. He has no idea what is going on in the world and expects to be outside, going on car rides, or spying on our neighbors from our deck every. waking. moment. So I have been going on multiple car rides per day over the past five weeks!
I am so excited for pregnancy related blogs! Not that I am pregnant (my four year old will always be my youngest!) but just because I am so excited for you and your family, and can’t wait to hear all of your stories from the past few months!
As a mom of two boys myself, I have always loved that you and Ryan have said you wanted a third child, rather than a certain gender. (Either will be SO wonderful!) When I was pregnant with my rainbow baby, I got so many “I hope it’s a girl” comments that I was a little taken aback, because everyone knew it had taken us a full year, and a devastating loss, to even be expecting a second child. I decided we would not tell anyone that we were having a second boy, except for our parents. I knew once he was born, everyone would see how precious he was and be excited for us. Even since, I have gotten so many “now you need a girl” comments that they no longer bother me. It’s almost like someone telling me I should have lived in CA all my life instead of VA. I can’t even wrap my head around it. All I know is life with the children I have been blessed with!
Growing up with two brothers, I am used to being “the girl” – ha! I think every family is perfect exactly as they are, and I will be SO thrilled for you all when your baby arrives – a girl OR a boy will be so wonderful!
We are having the same ice cream maker delivered this weekend! I actually borrowed the same one from a neighbor about 6 months ago to attempt to make my son (who has numerous food allergies) his own ice cream with Ripple milk. It actually came out deliciously smooth and I was so impressed I made my own batch with cookies crushed into it 😉 I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and I hope you update us on any good recipes as the only ones I made were non-dairy. Also, I’ve been telling people for years how GOOD starburst jelly beans are, so I totally agree and have my own stash I’ve been sneaking away with!
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home is great! I have that machine and her cookbook. They are a match made in heaven. The ice creams are so creamy and great with add-ins (like cookies!). The dark chocolate ice cream and the salted caramel are to die for.
Emily R says
YES to buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Bellies! My dad got me hooked on this flavor when I was little and it’s still one of my top favorites! It’s hard to find other fans out there.
On the ice cream topic, I recently saw a flavor that made me think of you, which I think says you’re doing a great job talking about your ice cream love. Have you ever tried Jeni’s Skillet Cinnamon Roll?
So funny about the secret jelly bean stash! I have one for the sweet tart jelly beans, and feel justified because these precious treats can only be found at Easter time! ? I need to take advantage of this indulgence while I can!
On the Starburst Jelly Beans – I’m 26 weeks along w baby #1 (HUGE congrats to you on #3 btw! I remember when you were a newlywed!) and I have been CRUSHING them. I’m normally a chocolate person, but I can’t stop w the Starburst Jelly Beans. They were a bogo, then my mom sent a bag… do we ended up with 3. I have one left and I’m trying not to break into it yet bc it’s too dangerous. Have they always been this delicious or is it pregnancy?!
My sister has the same brand ice cream maker. It is an older version but makes the best ice cream! She used the recipes that came with the maker. The vanilla is awesome! Oh and now I want jelly beans! 🙂
The recipes in the book that it comes with have worked out really well so far and aren’t icy at all. I’ve only tried a couple of the ice cream ones though. Also just a warning, it is a pretty loud machine but works great! I’ve loved having mine!
I’ve never made their ice cream from home, but a local Durham ice cream shop that is AMAZING is currently closed because of COVID but has an e-book of some of their recipes! I believe it’s a pretty fair price and seriously, their ice cream is the best. If you try it, I’d love to see a blog report of what you loved! https://theparlour.co/product/stay-home/
I sent you an Instagram DM, but Ben & Jerry’s has a new oat flavor (at least new to me!). It’s called Oat of This Swirled. You have to try!
The Wood and Spoon and The Live In Kitchen blogs both have supposed copycat recipes for it. I haven’t made either yet but have wanted to!
I can’t believe it, but I actually have a recipe for your Ben & Jerry’s quest! Disclaimer – I never had the original Ben and Jerry’s one that was retired, so I can’t say how close this will be, but we found this recipe online last summer and made it eight times! Loved it. The blogger says it’s a copycat of the B&J flavor you love that was retired. I hope this helps! Xo
I have tried to make the best of this time during our Quarantine. I’ve been getting up and doing Yoga with Adriene on YouTube every morning. It typically puts a fire in my day and a smile on my face.
These are our families two favorite ice cream recipes – enjoy!
Toasted Coconut: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/coconut-ice-cream.html
THE BEST Chocolate ice cream (we add heath bar bits to ours for crunch!): https://blog.williams-sonoma.com/chocolate-ice-cream/
Nicole Pearce says
Thanks for sharing my workout, Julie! So glad you liked it. 🙂 CONGRATS on baby #3—so happy for you and your family! xo
I have been following you for years. Excited to see Baby #3 updates/blog posts. Congratulations and very happy for you!
Ben and Jerry’s Oat of this Swirled is amazing!
Hi Julie! I was hoping to send a Lovevery box to my best friend who has 2 little girls to help them get through the quaratine boredom. Her oldest is almost 3. It looks like the Lovevery boxes are targeted for 24 months or younger. Do you think an almost 3 year old would still enjoy the box you just received (it looks like that is the box for the oldest age group they target)? Thanks so much for your insight!!
Girl, I found a bag of only red and pink Starburst jelly beans!! ?? Look for it next time!
Second that Amanda- if you can find them they are the best! For one birthday, my sister sorted out several bags of candy for her husband to give him only the reds and pinks. Such love, friends. (Maybe show this post to your husband, Julie ?).
Shannon Ryan says
Congrats on the amazing news! Wishing you a healthy, happy pregnancy!
Amanda Fischer says
So happy to hear about your exciting news! Have you ever used a subscription activity kit (like lovevery) for Chase? I’m looking for a similar service for my 2 1/2 year old!
Have you tried Sweettarts jelly beans? They are the BEST! There are far, far bigger problems, but this darn pandemic ruined my chances to re-stock up on them.
Same, girl, SAME on the starburst jellybeans. I actually stash mine in the freezer to both hide from my kids and slow down my own consumption ?
We have that exact ice cream maker and actually just made some yesterday! We have mostly followed the recipes that came with it and they have all been yummy. Yesterday we made the vanilla for the first time and I was impressed. So smooth and creamy. And super quick to make. Ready to eat in 30 minutes! You could easily add in your favorite mix-ins during the process or just top once complete. Enjoy! Happy Early Birthday and Congratulations on your pregnancy! (Follower since before you had kids – I have two girls 3 and 6!)
give this a try!
David Lebovitz’s book The Perfect Scoop has the BEST ice cream recipes. My husband got me the ice cream maker kitchen aid attachment (which I’ve been pleasantly surprised with) and we’ve been loving trying different recipes while we’re stuck at home. One tip I’ve discovered to avoid it getting too icy- take it out of the ice cream maker before it gets too frozen. It should almost be the consistency of melting soft serve. It doesn’t look ready but trust! pop it in the freezer and it will firm up into the perfect consistency! We also bought some plastic/silicone reusable ice cream quart containers off Amazon and they’ve been great!
I was coming here to say the same as another commenter, you need David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. The only ice cream cookbook you will ever need! Highly recommend his coffee ice cream and his lemon buttermilk sherbet. Oh, also the raspberry rose sorbet. Get it! I have this same ice cream maker, it’s great!
Congrats on your pregnancy! I’m very happy and excited for you and your family and look forward to seeing your little one here on the blog!
Can I just tell you I LOATHE lime flavored candies and I feel you so much on the green apple!! Same with Skittles! Bring back the green apple!
I made this a few years ago & it was fantastic!!! Ugh, I loved B&J’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk so much.