Thursday, February 16, 2012

thoughtful preparedness: the ice cream stash

diy recycled paper collage card via design sponge

As a follow-up to my earlier banana split post, I thought I would share a few things that I plan to keep on hand in my "ice cream comfort and cheer" stash.  It really helps me to act on my good intentions if I have all the necessary supplies handy.

Ice Cream Greeting Cards
For sending via snail mail, the collage card pictured above is perfect (diy tutorial by Laura Normandin for Design Sponge).  You could make several at once and keep them handy just for sending with your ice cream gift cards.  Instead of "happy birthday," just stamp "thinking of you" or another thoughtful message of your choosing.

You could also make smaller, credit card sized versions of this project for giving in person--like an ice cream ticket or coupon--if you were going to take someone out for ice cream and wanted a creative way to let them know.  I plan to make several of both sizes next time I pull out my paper scraps.

Ice Cream Gift Cards, a few Options
Where I grew up in small-town Western Oklahoma, Braum's was the ice cream place of choice.  Braum's is family-owned and operated, with locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri.  Braum's only opens branches that are within 300 miles of the Braum's farm in Tuttle, Oklahoma (so everything is fresh and yummy).  It seems people who grew up with Braum's are loyal fans while those who have never heard of the chain until they lived near one may not pay it any mind (which is too bad!).  Unfortunately, Braum's only sells gift cards in their stores, but if you live near a store and have a friend who does as well, you are in luck. 

When I lived in South Carolina, my friend Carissa introduced me to Bruster's, and I became a huge fan of their brownie fudge sundaes.  According to their website, they have locations in 21 states.  You can order a gift card at a Bruster's location, online (must be in $20 increments online), or--the best part--by snail mail.  You can send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a check to the address listed on their site, and they will mail out a gift card for you!  I love how old-fashioned and personable that is.  

I have never been to Oberweis, but I have heard really good things about it, and their website is great-- wholesome and nostalgic, just like you would want a dairy operation that began in the 1950s to be.  The company does home deliveries of milk in glass bottles!  My mother- and sister-in-law took my daughter Caroline to an Oberweis outside of Chicago when we were visiting several years ago, and it was a real treat.  You can order gift cards online, by phone, and in stores (in denominations of $5 and up).  Some locations even offer home or office delivery of ice cream treats within a small radius--as in, you can call in an order and they will deliver ($15 minimum).  How amazing would it be to have a banana split (plus . . . whatever adds up to $15) delivered right to your door!  Just the thought of that blows my mind.  And while brick and mortar locations are only in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisonsin (from what I can gather on their site), you can have their ice cream shipped anywhere in the United States (for a pretty penny, but still cool).  I am in love with this company, and I haven't even had their ice cream.  (That may soon change--hello, nation-wide delivery!)  

Online Ice Cream Delivery
In addition to the options with Oberweis, I found these online sites interesting: and  I have no experience with their services and don't personally know anyone who has used anything like this, but I like the idea.  Wonder how good the ice cream is?

So, friends, do share--what are your favorite ice cream places?  I would love to know all the favorites in different areas, especially if they can be ordered from afar!  

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