Homemade Iced Coffee with Almond Milk Ice Cubes

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Jordan and I have a tradition of getting Dunkin Donuts coffee on the weekends. I text him my order, he goes and picks it up, and when he gets home, we sit on the couch together and I sip my decaf toasted almond iced coffee with cream while he drinks his hot coffee with cream and sugar. You can say that we’re predictable.

This is really the only time during the week that I drink coffee, although I’ve found myself craving it more and more now that it’s warm outside. While running through Dunkin Donuts every morning would be convenient, we’re in saving-for-baby mode right now, and even $2 here and there adds up.

So this week, I set some time aside to make my own iced coffee. This recipe is so easy and delicious, you won’t even want to run through Dunkin Donuts anymore.

Homemade Iced Coffee with Almond Milk Ice Cubes

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1/2 pound , good-quality ground coffee (I like Peet’s or Folgers)

4 quarts cold water

ice cube tray

Almond Breeze Almondmilk Hint of Honey Vanilla

Mix ground coffee and water together in a large container (I used a large mixing bowl). Cover container with a lid and let sit at room temperature for at least eight hours.

Pour milk into ice cube tray and put in the freezer to set.

After eight hours, line a strainer with cheesecloth or paper towel and set over a pitcher or large container (this recipe makes a lot — I was able to fill two containers). Pour the coffee mixture through the strainer, until all of the liquid runs through. Be patient — the liquid part moves through slowly, and you might have to help it through with a spatula or spoon!

Place coffee in the fridge to cool (if tightly sealed, this will store well for up to a month).

To make your iced coffee, place a handful of almond milk cubes in a glass, and pour the coffee over it. When your cubes begin to melt, the Almond Breeze Hint of Honey Vanilla Almondmilk will slightly sweeten the coffee and make it nice and creamy — and you won’t have to worry about that not-so-nice watery taste if you happen to leave your coffee cup sitting around for too long. If the coffee is too strong for your taste, add an extra splash of almond milk and stir.

Perfect.

How do you like your iced coffee?

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Memorial Day Recap

Long weekends are the best weekends. This one was filled with fun, family and friends — and plenty of time in the warm weather and sunshine too!

Friday

On Friday afternoon, I was invited to go to Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — a popular event before Sunday’s Indy 500 race — with work. Although getting there was quite the adventure (traffic is crazy in Indy on this weekend every year), once we were there, we enjoyed lunch and some time in the sunshine. The weather couldn’t have been better!

We were free to go home after the event at the track, so I made my way to Target hoping to avoid the Memorial Day crowd. I grabbed some food for the weekend, and then tried on a maternity bathing suit on a whim. I thought I’d be comfortable wearing my two-piece all summer, but after giving it some thought (and noticing how much my belly has grown since Disney), I realized I’ll be much more comfortable in front of Jordan’s cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. in a suit that covers my bump. My in-laws have a pool and I hope I’ll get lots of use out of this suit this summer!

Saturday

On Saturday, I was up before the sun for a quick barre workout before Jordan and I made the trip to Northern Indiana. My friend Meghann flew into town from Arizona this weekend for her bridal showers, and I wanted to make sure that I made it to one of them. Since the drive was six hours round trip, Jordan was so sweet to offer to drive me. I refused his help originally, but I’m glad that he insisted on coming with me. My belly was especially achy on this day (I now know why they told me not to travel in the last month of pregnancy — sitting for that long while pregnant hurts…especially after a tough barre workout, oops), and I was glad to have the help.

Jordan got some work done in a coffee shop while I was at the shower, so it worked out perfectly. The shower itself was so much fun. Meghann and I met in college, but I rarely get to see her now that she lives across the country. We were able to catch up, talk about the upcoming wedding (I’m a bridesmaid 2 1/2 weeks after my due date!) and enjoy brunch and games.

via Hilary Mueller Art

When Jordan and I got home later that night, we headed to my sister Hilary’s house for an early Memorial Day cookout. They have the patio area all set up in their new house, and it was nice to enjoy dinner outside.

Sunday

My Sunday began with a little bit of baking, salad making, and a long walk with my mom. In the afternoon, Jordan and I went over to his parents’ house for some pool time and a Memorial Day party. I got to test out my maternity suit for the first time (I like it!), and we enjoyed more summer foods and time spent outside.

Monday

Monday was a day for catching up. There was a lot of laundry, cleaning and organizing going on in my house. I’m so excited to say that we got the baby’s room completely cleaned out! We’ve never used this room since moving into our house two years ago, but it’s been storing furniture and boxes from our childhood. Now that it’s cleaned out, we’re ready to paint!

And now, it’s time for a short week at work. I have a feeling it’ll go by fast!

What did you do over Memorial Day weekend?

Have you been to any of the Indy 500 events?

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Pregnancy Update: May

How is it already Wednesday? Jordan and I have had plans every night since Friday, so these past few days have flown by. Not that I’m complaining — I’m looking forward to the long holiday weekend where I can, hopefully, catch up on sleep :) . The sixth month of pregnancy is turning out to be a tiring one for me, but perhaps it’s because I’m nearing the  start of the third trimester. Crazy! Here’s what the past month has looked like:

Baby’s size: Eggplant

How I’m feeling: I felt like myself up until a week ago, but now I can say that I actually feel pregnant. My belly is starting to feel really hard/tight, and I get pretty uncomfortable sitting at my desk all day. I’m also really tired — I know I’m not getting enough sleep during the week, and it’s taking a toll on me. My plan is to work right up until I go into labor, but I didn’t realize how exhausting it would be…and I have a desk job! I’m also feeling a little bit anxious. I think I’ll feel better once we start our childbirth classes, but right now the anticipation is the worst.

Maternity clothes: I need to buy some more. I’m still wearing my regular workout clothes and a handful of my regular casual and work clothes, but other than that, I’m rotating two maternity t-shirts and three maternity dresses. It’s not enough to get me through the summer with the dress code that I have at work, so I’ll be making trips to Target, Old Navy and Kohl’s as soon as I can!

Sleep: The pregnancy insomnia is back. Like I said above, it makes getting through the work week tough, but I’m trying to function the best that I can. I can take naps on the weekends, and that makes me feel so much better.

Cravings: Water, sparkling water, and ice cream! I have a cup of ice cream just about every night now — it’s my daily treat.

Aversions: I still don’t love being in the kitchen, but I can tolerate more foods than I did in the beginning. Chipotle still sounds gross to me, which is so weird considering I used to crave it all of the time before I was pregnant!

Movement: Yes! There are nights when Jordan and I just sit and watch her move. Maybe we’re really bored or we’re really fascinated, but either way, it’s so cool!

What I’m loving: Getting closer to my due date! We are in the process of cleaning out the baby’s room, the glider is assembled, and the changing table is sitting in a box in our foyer just waiting to be put together. It’s starting to feel real that a baby will be living here by the end of the summer!

Symptoms: Insomnia, earaches (due to extra sinus pressure, I think), leg cramps, belly soreness/tightness

Exercise: Lots of walking, my favorite prenatal barre DVD, and some strength training with weights

What I’m looking forward to: Memorial Day weekend, making progress on the baby’s room, an upcoming trip to Michigan to see family/plan my baby shower, starting childbirth classes at the beginning of June

Best moments of the month: Celebrating Mother’s Day and taking our first class (Newborn Care)

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Friday Facts

1. It’s hard for me to believe that I’m almost 2/3 of the way through my pregnancy. Where has the year gone? There are less than 15 weeks left until my due date, and it’s time for us to get a move on things. Our goal for this weekend — empty out the baby’s room! We’re also taking our first class on Sunday — Newborn Care — and I’m looking forward to that.

2. I’ve recently started re-watching ‘The Office’ on Netflix. I’d forgotten how funny it is! My office is nothing like Dunder Mifflin, but you have to wonder if some places are!

3. A few of my co-workers and I have formed a little walking group at work. I look forward to that hour everyday that we have a walk scheduled — I’m lucky to work for a company that encourages physical activity, and to work in a building located right on a 3-mile walking/biking/running loop! When spending all summer inside of a cubicle, it’s nice to have something to look forward to.

All the cool kids wear dress pants with running shoes ;)

4. Speaking of summer, can you believe that Memorial Day weekend will be here next week? I can’t. It seems like I have something going on every weekend from now until August, which is going to make this summer fly by.

5. Have you tried Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad? I had it last Saturday and couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I recreated it at home on Wednesday and have eaten it twice since. It’s so good — I have a feeling I’ll be making it often this summer. They sell the dressing at Super Target, so that part is especially easy!

Have a great weekend!

What’s your favorite thing to order at Panera?

Do you have any fun summer plans?

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10 Tips for Traveling to Disney World While Pregnant

When Jordan and I booked our vacation to Disney World, the two responses I received the most were, “Will you be able to ride anything?,” and, “I’m surprised that you’re going there!” Truthfully, I was a little apprehensive about booking the trip myself, so much so that we purchased the travel insurance, just in case anything were to happen. Thankfully, we never had to use it.

It is possible to go to Disney World while pregnant and have a great time. This is one of my favorite vacations that Jordan and I have taken together, and I’m so glad that we decided to do it! Prior to booking everything, I called Disney World and made sure that I’d be able to go on the majority of the rides, and I made sure that everything checked out okay at my doctor’s appointment. Since it did, I was good to go! Here’s my advice for a fun Disney World babymoon:

1. Go early, and during an off-season.

By this I mean — plan to go early enough in your pregnancy when you think you’ll still feel comfortable. We went when I was 21 weeks pregnant. I was just starting to show and feeling great, for the most part. My doctor told me that traveling anytime between five and six months would be best, so that’s what we did! It also worked out that my fifth month of pregnancy fell right during a Disney off-season — after spring break, but before summer vacation. It was unseasonably hot for mid-April, in the 90s everyday, but it wasn’t so crowded that we were waiting outside in the heat for hours. In fact, we probably only waited 15 – 20 minutes, on average!

2. Research the rides beforehand.

To answer the question I mentioned above — yes, I could still ride the rides, just not all of them. Since it’d been a while since I’d been to Disney World, I turned to Google before our trip and found a list of rides to avoid*. Roller coasters and anything with large drops or quick, jarring movements were off limits, as were the water parks (water slides are a no-no due to the force they put on the baby). At the end of the day, this really only ended up eliminating a handful of rides, and I was still able to enjoy the parks just as much as a non-pregnant person! When in doubt, I asked my sister for her opinion (she’d just visited in October), or I asked a cast member standing at the start of the ride.

*I would add Pirates of the Caribbean and the Winnie the Pooh ride to the list of rides to avoid at Magic Kingdom. The first one, because it has an unexpected 14 foot drop (which I learned of while on the ride… and was worried about the baby for the next several hours), and the second one because it has a lot of jarring movements, according to my sister.

3. Carry in your own snacks and water. This is probably common sense for any pregnant person, but even more so when you’re walking around a park that charges $4 for a bottle of water. I usually carried a Luna bar in my purse, as well as a big bottle of water that Jordan and I shared and refilled throughout the day. Fair warning, the drinking fountain water isn’t great — next time I’d bring a water bottle with a built-in filter!

4. Get into a walking routine (before you get there). I like walking, but we averaged 10 miles a day. Had I not been in the habit of walking a lot throughout the first half of my pregnancy, I’m not sure I would’ve done as well. Although my feet and lower back were always sore by the end of the day, I never felt like I couldn’t get up and do it again the next day. If you know you’re going to to be walking all over Disney, condition yourself before you get there!

5. Consider buying a dining plan.

Jordan and I stayed right in the park, which made our stay really enjoyable. We were close to everything and didn’t have to worry about renting a car. Per my sister’s advice, we ended up adding a dining plan to our package. It included two meals and one snack per day (per person), as well as a refillable cup to use while at the resort. I’m so glad that we did this. For one, all of our meals were paid for before we arrived, basically making it an all-inclusive vacation, and two, we never went hungry — you get so much food with each meal! When you’re pregnant and walking 10 miles a day, food is pretty important. Even better — they had a lot of healthy options available, and everything was really good!

6. Take advantage of fast passes. Jordan and I each had three fast passes to use per day, meaning, we could get in the “fast” line for three different rides, cutting in front of everyone else. Instead of using these passes for rides we’d go on together, Jordan used them for the rides he wanted to go on that I couldn’t. This worked out perfectly. He wasn’t waiting by himself for a long time, I wasn’t waiting by myself for a long time, and he still got to enjoy his roller coasters. He also took advantage of the single rider line when there was one, which worked out just as well!

7. Rest while you’re waiting. When Jordan went on a ride by himself, I was able to get some rest. Sometimes, I’d find a bench and elevate my feet a little bit, and other times I’d walk around an air conditioned shop. I didn’t find the downtime annoying or boring — if anything, it was much needed! I made a point to squeeze in bathroom breaks during this time too. The nice thing about Disney World is that, with so many little kids around, there are bathrooms located everywhere!

8. Plan to go during the week.

Crowds are smaller and lines are shorter. Of the days that we were in Disney, Wednesday and Thursday were the most enjoyable because we barely had to wait in line, and there was more room to move around the parks in general. It started to get more crowded on Friday, and by Saturday, the wait times were close to an hour, sometimes longer. Thankfully, by that time we’d done almost everything that we wanted to do, so we decided to spend a couple of hours at our resort for some pool time and naps.

9. Don’t overdo it. I’ll admit, I didn’t take this advice myself. We usually visited multiple parks per day, starting our days before 7 am and ending them after 11 pm. Adrenaline got me through them, that’s for sure! But if you’re further along in your pregnancy or finding that you’re feeling funny, take time to rest! On our first day in Magic Kingdom, I started feeling pretty crampy after walking around all morning. I was worried at first, but then I realized that my body needed to adjust 90 degree heat. Once I sat down for a while and drank a lot of water, the cramps went away — it was just my body’s way of telling me to slow down!

10. Enjoy every minute of it.

I love that I’ll get to tell my daughter, “We went to Disney World when you were in mommy’s tummy.” It gave us the chance to have fun and act like kids, before we have our own.  It’s definitely a trip that I’ll never forget!

Do you have any tips for traveling to Disney World, or traveling while pregnant?

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