Summer Lovin’

Yes, there was snow a week ago. But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about sunshine and the longer days that are just around the corner.

Admission: I am on the receiving end of some ribbing for my love of planning.  It is possible that my mother actually gifted me with a framed a greeting card that said something like, “All spontaneous fun must be planned in advance!” or something like that.

I just like to know what the plan is.  And I’m kind of bossy.

But I’m not making any apologies for my summer to do list this year!  Summer around here is short, and there is much to do before the arrival of fall (and Pickle starting 1st grade. WHAT?!)

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Summer Fun To Do List 2016

  • Pick up subs and have an afternoon/evening picnic/swim at a local lake
  • Attend a Minor League Baseball game
  • Strawberry picking
  • Ice-Cream-for-Dinner Night
  • Weekly trips to our favorite local spot with ice cream, farm animals and an amazing sand pile (aka kid heaven)
  • Surprise the kids with a day off from school to go to the beach and have fun
  • At least 2 weekend trips up to Maine to stay with family
  • Go visit my sister and the new baby for a long weekend (probably with at least one of my kiddos tagging along)!
  • Trip to the Zoo
  • Solo trip to the Coast for some outlet shopping and a great lobster roll (okay, maybe I’ll bring a friend, or my husband)
  • Mini golf
  • As many al fresco dinners on the deck as the weather and mosquitoes will allow
  • Bring the big kids to two of the great “for kids” shows at our local professional theater
  • Make ice cream with the kids
  • A few evenings hosting friends for cookouts and play time in the yard
  • An evening with cookies, bug spray, and a picnic blanket at a local bandstand concert.

I was going to add “backyard camping” to the list, but I think my husband would kill me (and make ME be the one to sleep in the buggy tent).

A few of last year’s photos from our favorite ice cream spot/farm/giant sand pile/kid heaven:

 

Happy Spring to all!  Summer is on the way – what is on your list?

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Strawberry Amazingness.

I couldn’t post this on a Thursday, because this isn’t something I like, it is something I love!

It is so delicious, easy, creamy and amazing.  I was suspicious of the sour cream, but the ice cream is fabulous, and not tangy.  It is also not light.  But I say bust out that dusty ice cream maker (or, in my case, KitchenAid attachment) and get cranking because this stuff is gooooooooooood.  And it tastes like SUMMER.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 lb. fresh sliced strawberries
¾ cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (believe it or not, I used lime and it tasted just lovely)

Combine the strawberries and sugar is a bowl, stir and let it become amazing juicy goodness for about an hour.

Put the strawberry/sugar mixture in your blender or Cuisinart with the remaining three ingredients. Blend, but not too much!  Make sure this mixture is cold – it doesn’t hurt to stick it in the fridge for a while.  In fact, if you’re entertaining, you can make this in advance, and then start the ice cream maker when you sit down for dinner, and 30 minutes later – fresh strawberry ice cream deliciousness!  Once the mixture is cold, just follow your ice cream maker instructions.

Credit: I adapted this recipe from Annie’s Eats – a food blog I enjoy.  Check it out!

Things I Like Thursday

TIL #3 – Ben & Jerry’s

What’s not to like?  I love their sense of humor, I love their social mission, and I love their delicious ice cream!  As a native New Englander (though not a Vermonter) I have felt a sort of native pride about this company since I first visited the factory in 1987.  And just in time for my “Things I Like Thursday” they announce their newest flavor – Schweddy Balls!  If you don’t get the reference (hint: it is from a SNL sketch starring Alec Baldwin) click on the image and it will bring you to the Ben & Jerry’s new flavor announcement.

New ice cream flavor - Schweddy Balls

TIL #2 – Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Laundry Detergent in Baby Blossom

My love for this product borders on obsession. I used Dreft at first, and I liked that but thought it was a bit expensive, and was looking for something a little more green, a little less chemically.  This is it.  I adore the smell.  At first I thought it was too weak smelling – I was used to the super powered scents of detergents like Tide.  Now I use it on my own clothes as well as Mr. Pickle Pumpkin’s clothes.  It smells un.be.lieve.a.ble. and it works.  Considering the amount of smooshed-in berry yogurt that ended up in Mr. PP’s shirt the other day I consider that the most important part. And me and Mr. PP are a lot less itchy now that we’re using something less chemically.  Win/win!

Mrs. Meyers Baby Blossom Detergent - pure, clean, amazing!