So tell me… How was your week? It was a super-fast one over here as all three boys were only in school at the same time on Tuesday and Thursday (Rhett and Ryder’s preschool does a staggered start) but Friday is here and we are ready for the weekend. It’s still birthday party season (isn’t it always with young kids!?) and we have two on the agenda for Sunday but other than that, our weekend is fairly open which is just how we like it! I’m sure we’ll squeeze in some more lake and pool time before the cooler fall weather kicks in for good but until then, keep on scrolling if you’d like to check out this week’s roundup of favorites, Things I’m Loving Friday-style!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Oberweis Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
This ice cream feels like stepping back in time! When I was a senior at Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois, we were allowed to go off-campus for lunch. My friends and I would occasionally go to Great American Bagel or Billy’s Hot Dogs but more often than not, we’d alternate houses and raid our families’ fridges. Occasionally we’d raid the freezer, too, and that happened frequently at my friend Leah’s house because her family almost always had a pint or two of Oberweis Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream stashed away. It quickly became one of my favorite ice cream flavors and a highlight of visiting Leah’s house.
Fast forward nearly 20 years and I could not believe my eyes when I saw Oberweis Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream for sale at Harris Teeter! I thought it was just an Illinois thing (Oberweis would deliver milk and dairy products Leah’s family’s doorstep!) so I was a little too excited and immediately texted a picture of the pint to my childhood best friends and bought one. I’m happy to report it’s just as wonderfully creamy as I remembered. It tastes like a spoonful of nostalgia to me and I am thrilled it’s back in my life!
I’m not going to lie, I’m still a little too psyched about this Walmart find. These cane cabinets were such a steal and I love the way they add warmth and texture to an otherwise very white wall. (My sister even ordered a pair for her living room after they visited because she loved them so much in person, too! She uses one for kid crafts and books and one for mail/drop-zone storage.) I finally got around to actually styling our cabinets and it only served to make me love them even more. I used mostly stuff we already had on hand but filled in the blanks with a few more finds I’ll share here just in case you’re like me and always interested in home décor stuff! To the right: Wood accent table (Target) / Black vase (Target) / On the left cabinet: Large fabric box (Target) / Stacking bowls (Target) / Glass box to hold polaroid pictures (Amazon) / On the right cabinet: We already owned everything I used on this cabinet but I wanted to call out the vintage whisky crate on the bottom that came from my grandma Mimi’s house. I love it so much.
When my sister asked for gift ideas for Rhett’s birthday this year, one idea jumped out at me. Butterflies! We did a butterfly hatching kit with the boys before but Rhett was not even a year old so he was too young to remember. Now that he’s three, I had a feeling he’d be super into it and so far it’s been a huge hit! My sister ordered Rhett this National Geographic kit and we used the voucher inside to order our caterpillars after he opened his gift. We then received 6 caterpillars in the mail and yesterday, after about a week, they started forming their chrysalises! (You may see them all at the top of the above enclosure.) Within another week painted lady butterflies should emerge and our whole family is, once again, enamored by this transformation. I’m telling you this is a 10/10 gift idea for kids of all ages!! It’s round 2 for our family but we’re all loving it all over again!
My rating: A-
It’s official: Abby Jimenez is the queen of witty, realistic and laugh-out-loud dialog. I adore her books and Yours Truly was another winner. It’s the semi-sequel to Part of Your World and while I preferred Part of Your World to this one, both books have the perfect amount of depth while also remaining light and easy to read. This book also has a main character with anxiety and it’s a topic that is approached in way that’s thoughtful (and, honestly, at least for me, educational which I thoroughly appreciated) and only served to add to the appeal of this book. Abby Jimenez has a gift for writing developed characters who are likable, interesting and often hilarious and there’s a reason I find myself reaching for her books again and again.
Yours Truly begins when a new doctor is hired at the hospital where Dr. Briana Ortiz has worked for years. Dr. Jacob Maddox quickly earns the name “Doctor Death” after losing several patients on his first day and after a rocky first meeting involving a broken cell phone, Bri isn’t sure she wants Jacob to stick around.
And then he apologizes… with a letter. A sincere, funny and interesting letter that directly combats all of Bri’s preconceived notions about Jacob. She decides to write him back and the two become office pen pals of sorts until things take a turn and Bri learns it is Jacob who anonymously volunteered to donate a kidney to her brother, Benny. Bri is determined to show her appreciation, agreeing to help Jacob in the most unorthodox way, and their friendship slowly starts to change in a way neither of them ever saw coming.
My rating: B
Sally Hepworth is one of the authors I turn to when I’m in the mood for a mysterious suspense novel. Her books are never spooky but they’re full of enough intrigue and twists to hold my interest. (If you’re new to Sally Hepworth, start with The Good Sister. I loved that book and still think of it often.) I listened to the audiobook version of The Soulmate and it made me look forward to household chores so I could pop in an earbud and get lost in the drama surrounding the tumultuous relationship of Gabe and Pippa Gerard. There were enough twists sprinkled throughout the novel to keep me guessing and while it wasn’t my favorite Sally Hepworth novel, it was still worth reading if you typically like her other books.
Picture a lovely cottage on a cliff, with sloping lawns, walking paths, and beautiful flowers. It’s Gabe and Pippa Gerard’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Over the past several months, Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge.
Until one day, he doesn’t. When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral. . . .Did the victim jump? Was she pushed? And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate . . . lie? As the perfect façade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel. Because sometimes, the most convincing lies are the ones we tell ourselves.
Oatmeal Apple Crisp (Please add this recipe to your must-make list if you go apple picking this fall!)
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Beef Stew (The little stew that could! It has only 5 reviews but all of them are 5 star reviews and for good reason! It’s thick and hearty but nutrient-dense and velvety thanks to butternut squash. We make this one on repeat the minute the weather begins to get a little chilly!)
Questions of the Day
What is one thing making you smile today?
Did you ever go off-campus for lunch in high school? Any favorite memories to share?