After a vacation hiatus from Fabulicious Friday, let's get back into it with the stuff that I couldn't have gone without this summer vacation!
1. Best Cool Treat Ever: Chapman's frozen yogurt
Graphic used with permission
When we discovered that Jake is lactose intolerant, the poor boy's heart broke when he realized that ice cream makes him sick. I had read somewhere that frozen yogurt might be okay, and so we gave a few different brands a try. Nothing seemed really great.
Then we tried Chapman's. WOW.
This stuff is so creamy and rich tasting, without the sour-ish taste of yogurt, that you would think that it's some super high fat amazing ice cream. It is the very BEST frozen yogurt we have ever tasted and we love it so much, that I don't mind paying more for it. (seriously I'm kinda cheap, so if I'm willing to pay $7 for 2 liters of the stuff, it has to be amazing). Hubs and Jake have made it clear that it is the only brand that they will eat now, and that I'd better not come home with a tub of anything else.
Plus, Chapman's is a Canadian company!
Want to see how they make some of their treats? Oh and they have a Kid's Club, too.
Or you can get some recipes!
Can't eat ice cream because you're on a special diet? No worries-there's no sugar added, peanut/nut free, gluten free, lactose free, low fat, naturally flavored, and yogurt plus. I was pretty excited to also discover that the no sugar added ice cream is also lactose free.
You just HAVE to try their frozen yogurt. So far I've only tried chocolate and vanilla, but the next time I'm grabbing a tub of Black Jack Cherry. The thought of black cherries and cherry chocolate cups alone makes my mouth water.
2. Great summer read: Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
I took a selection of books along on Road Trip 2009, and this one was my favorite. I couldn't even put it down to the point where Hubs and Jake knew that if I was reading to just leave me alone. You'll find a summary of the plot here. While a story of love, family, and friendship, it's not a mushy romance novel or a trashy read. It's beautiful and I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did. The funny thing is a friend of mine was reading it to, and she lent me Marisa de los Santos's other book, Love Walked In. I just started it, but I think reading Love Walked In first is probably the way to go because they have the same characters, and it will give you more background story for Belong to Me.
3. Can't leave home without: Sherpani's Lily Bag
I've written before about how much I love Sherpani, as I raved about my Milli bag. In fact, I loved it so much I also bought a Lily. To be honest, I wasn't sure if the Lily was exactly what I wanted. I had been looking for something to serve as a kind of day/overnight bag that I could toss a change of clothes and small toiletries for the times when we were spending just one evening in a hotel and didn't want to unpack the whole CAR just to get at a couple of things.
(Strategy, guys-you pack a bag with just enough for one night and leave the rest of your stuff in the car so when you finally arrive at your hotel you just grab and go, instead of lugging your huge bag up to your room)
The Lily was absolutely perfect. At first glance, I wasn't sure it was as roomy or had as many pockets as I wanted, but in the end, it held a change of clothes, my Watergeeks water bottle, a hat, book, sunscreen, notebook, and camera with ease. In fact it was probably my most used bag of the entire trip, as I loaded it up daily with all the stuff we needed for sightseeing.
Plus, it's fashionable. I was stopped repeatedly in hotels, stores, and even on the ferry home with women asking, "Where did you get that bag? I LOVE it!"
Readers need to know that while I have never been paid to review anything for Sherpani, when they heard me raving about their products they did send me a wallet as a gift. I was so thrilled because my wallet was quite literally falling apart. Thanks, Sherpani! I think I'm addicted to your bags! I just really, really wish I could buy them locally.
4. Delicious with fruit: Vanilla Sugar
Sugar, sugar-have you ever tasted vanilla sugar, tossed on your summer fruit or in your whipped cream? If not you don't know what you're missing.
It's so easy to make and SO good. I posted the how to over at Everything Mom, so hop on over and take a look.
5. Take 'em anywhere: Keens shoes and Cabela's Outdoor store.
I have not personally tried these shoes, but Hubs picked up a pair of these at Cabela's in South Dakota, and he swears by them. Coming from a guy who is notoriously hard to buy shoes for because he has a narrow, smallish foot, he found that Keens have a great arch support and are wonderful for hiking, wading through creeks when you're gold panning with your kid, and 4x4ing in the desert. Hubs has repeatedly told me how comfortable and awesome his shoes are.
I'm really jealous. I want a pair, too! Cabela's had them on for a great price too; I think Hubs only paid around $45 US, while here at home they go for $110 Canadian!
Plus if you are into the whole outdoorsy thing, Cabela's is a great place to stop. We were blown away by how BIG the place is, and how they have everything an outdoor person could possibly want! Right now they have a big sale on and only $5 shipping, so you readers in the States might be able to score some great deals.
Me, I have to wait until we got back next summer to finally scoop a pair of these in navy so I can wear them when I go white water rafting down the Colorado River.
(Edited to add: I was not paid to review any of the products listed. Everything listed is something I bought myself and we have enjoyed. These reviews are genuine)