Hello Friday! February has been flying by and I can’t believe the month is almost over! I am so ready for the weekend though. Even though it was a four day work week, it felt super long! I got no posts published this week on the blog. I’ve been working on some major projects at work and have been literally sitting and staring at my computer screens ALL day. Coming home the last thing I wanted to do was sit with my laptop. The kids had no school this week and it was nice to not have any after school/evening activities. Here are five from this week:
1. Supper Club – This past weekend we hosted our monthly supper club. This month’s theme was Latin American. I made Oyster Mushroom Ropa Vieja and Dana made Cauliflower steaks with Chimichurri Sauce and tostones. I say this every month, but it was a delicious meal!
2. Reading – This week I finished The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. It was a fast paced thriller which had some aspects that were a little unbelievable. But overall, an enjoyable, fast read. I also had book club this week where we discussed this month’s book, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. This was a reread for me, but was as good of a read as the first time I read it.
3. Circus – Sunday night the Royal Hanneford Circus hosted us for their evening performance. Despite performing in Westchester for over 50 years, this was the first time we had seen this circus. It was a great show and a fun night out.
4. Walkway Over the Hudson – Monday we all had off from school/work. Since it was such a nice day we drove up to Poughkeepsie and walked the Walkway Over the Hudson. There’s always beautiful views of the Hudson River.
5. Eating – After our walk we found a new to us restaurant near Vassar College for lunch. Twisted Soul Concepts has a variety of vegan menu options. One of our faves were these Korean Grilled Tofu Steamed Buns.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the holiday. I feel like it’s become an overly commercialized Hallmark holiday. So we aren’t really celebrating in a big way, but we did get some chocolates and candy for the kids. The kids have a week off for February break starting tomorrow. I only have a three day weekend but we are hoping to squeeze some family fun in. Tomorrow night we are hosting our monthly supper club – which should be another delicious evening! Here are five from this week:
1. All-County Concert – last weekend my daughter played her alto saxophone in the All-County concert. This concert is where kids from 5 different school districts come together to play in one band, orchestra or sing together. There was a mandatory almost 8 hours of practice before the concert. Plus she put in lots of practice time on her own. The band did an amazing job and even played a Lady Gaga mix!
We surprised her flowers and chocolate for such a great job!
2. Reading – This week I finished Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown. It was an okay read, but I didn’t love it.
3. Eating – last weekend after a very chilly walk by the river my husband and I stopped at Peaceful Provisions. They make vegan doughnuts and we enjoyed this deliciousness!
4. Buying – I’ve been on the lookout for a large tote pocketbook for work. My only criteria was that it needed to be large enough to fit a book and have an outside pocket for my keys and phone. I found this bag at Marshall’s and am loving it. It even came with a matching smaller hand bag and a clutch/wristlet. I love all things gray plus it’s PETA vegan approved.
January flew by and I did A LOT of reading! This year, I set my annual goal of 75 books again. I was short last year by TWO books! But, I’ m off to a good start for this year. I can’t remember the last time that I read 8 books in one month! I’m trying in the new year to read at least 5 books a month: one book off my own shelf, one historical fiction book, one YA book, one non-fiction book and one fiction book. I realize sometimes I can double up on my reading, like reading a YA historical fiction or a historical fiction book off my own shelf. I’m not very good at sticking with reading goals though, so we’ll see. We are almost two weeks into February and I only have one book read! I’m sharing my reads with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Book linkup. Here are my January reads:
Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World – by Bob & Jenna Torres – Around mid-December, after watching Game Changers on Netflix, our family decided to go vegan. So, being new to veganism, I decided to read this book. Some of the information was useful, but I found the author to be so condescending and having a “holier than thou” attitude about being vegan. Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan.
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer – Delilah is a high school loner who prefers to spend her time reading. When she discovers that she can speak to Oliver, one of the characters in her favorite fairy tale book, the two try to create a plan where they can be together. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. I own almost every one of her books so I had to get this book that she co-wrote with her daughter. I’ve had this for years and finally decided to read it off my shelf. This book is VERY YA and I wasn’t a big fan.
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis – This book is geared towards women who want to achieve their goals. It overs motivation and advice in her tell-it-to-you-straight manner, but didn’t really tell me anything I haven’t heard or read before. I enjoyed Girl, Wash Your Face more and after listening to a few episodes of her podcast, I think I’ve had enough of Hollis.
The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald – Abi Knight’s teen daughter is brain dead but being kept alive because she’s pregnant. The police rule her fall as an accident. But Abi is determined to find out what really happened that night to her daughter. This was a good, suspenseful read.
Red at the Boneby Jacqueline Woodson – This book opens at 16 year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony. The story then goes back to the past and tells the story of her parents and grandparents and how they all got to this moment in time. The chapters weren’t labeled and I found the jumping from different character’s stories to be a bit disorienting. Overall, I found the book to be an okay read.
The Arrangementby Robyn Harding – Natalie Murphy is a poor art student trying to survive in NYC. She learns about being a sugar daddy from a classmate and thinks that she’s found the answer to all of her financial problems. Then she meets Gabe and ends up falling in love with him. So when he unexpectedly ends things with her, she doesn’t take it very well. This was a fast-paced, suspenseful read for me.
Such a Fun Ageby Kiley Reid – Emira, is a 25 year-old African-American woman who makes a living babysitting two white Caucasian children. Unfortunately, she’s involved in a confrontation at a local grocery store, when the security guard thinks that she has kidnapped the toddler she is watching. The incident ends up being videotaped and mom Alix, attempts to make things right for Emira. I went into this book not knowing anything about it. I was pleasantly surprised at Reid’s writing and her take on race and privilege.
What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon – Anne Gallagher was very close with her grandfather Eoin. When he dies, she fulfills her promise to him and brings his ashes back to Ireland. During her visit she ends up being transported back to 1921 and is mistaken for her great grandmother, whom she looks just like. Anne adjusts to living in Ireland and during this time period meets Thomas, who helps her navigate this new world. This book is historical fiction and time travel. It started out super slow for me. I only stuck it out because this is my work book club’s current read. I am glad that I finished reading, because about half-way through the story picks up and had me hooked.
Hello Friday! For once, I can say the week feels like it’s flown by! It’s been busy with the usual and as always, I’m happy for the weekend to be here. In the beginning of the week we were expected to get some snow/sleet yesterday……but nothing! Rainy and 40 degrees. It’s too warm for snow! Today, there’s a high of 51 degrees…..in February! I’m not going to lie, I don’t mind not having freezing temps. But this is winter. I want snow days (one of the few things I like about the season!) which require SNOW!! Here are five from this week:
1. Date Night – Last Friday night the Westchester Broadway Theatre kindly hosted us for their press night production of Five Guys Named Moe. I have a blog post linked below all about the show. It was a great production and a fun date night out.
2. Watching – This weekend Dana and I watched Hustlers and the Downtown Abbey movie. Both were good in their own way. I didn’t realize that Hustlers was based on a true story. And even though I didn’t watch the Super Bowl or the half-time show, I did see pictures and everyone’s comments. Both Hustlers and the half-time show prove that J. Lo has an amazing body and I hope to look that good when I’m her age!
I also watched Miss Americana on Netflix. If you are a Taylor Swift fan you have probably already watched this! And even if you aren’t a big fan, I recommend watching. I enjoyed watching her evolution from teen country star to modern day music wonder woman.
3. Reading – I am almost finished reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. After a family tragedy, a mother and her son attempt to escape Mexico and find refuge in America. They go from middle-class to migrants as they make a long and dangerous trip. I think this book is a good read. In my opinion, it’s well-written and had me invested in the story from the beginning.
I was halfway through reading it before discovering all the controversy over this book. Critics have pointed out that Cummins, who has identified herself as white, is writing the story from the perspective of Mexican American characters. They believe that this isn’t her story to tell and allege that Cummins has written many errors in her descriptions of Mexico. Oprah selected this book as her book club selection and after lots of backlash about the choice has stated, “….this selection has struck an emotional chord and created a need for a deeper, more substantive discussion.” The book is already being adapted into a movie.
5. Internet Reads *Any other documentary fans? I’ve got some watching to do….but I love that Miss Americana made the list! *It’s almost time for spring cleaning! I can use all the help I can get! *I love the sleep score tracking on my Fitbit. However, I’ve been noticing that I need to work on getting better sleep. Even though I’ve been going to bed before 11 PM every night, I’m barely getting a little over six hours of actual sleep. Any sleep advice I can find, I read! I’m even thinking about getting a weighted blanket. Do any of you use a weighted blanket?
Westchester Broadway Theatre’s newest production, Five Guys Named Moe, debuted January 30th and it’s a must-see show!
Five Guys Named Moe is set in an unnamed city and unspecified year. It tells the story of No Max, recently single and drowning his sorrows with alcohol. It’s almost 5 in the morning when he’s taken by surprise as five guys, all named Moe, emerge from his radio. Big Moe, Little Moe, Eat Moe, No Moe and Four-Eyed Moe give No Max lessons in love via song and dance in hopes of helping win his girl back.
This musical pays tribute to American musician, songwriter and bandleader Louis Jordan, featuring over 20 songs, many of which are written by him. It originally debuted at London’s West End Lyric Theatre in December 1990 and made its way to Broadway in 1992. Local residents can now enjoy this lively production at the Westchester Broadway Theatre through March 1st.
Dana and I knew nothing about Five Guys Named Moe prior to seeing the show. We were both pleasantly surprised at what a fun production it is. The small cast did such a great job of highlighting the unique personality of each Moe. There was lots of dancing and even some audience participation, including a sing-along. Yes, even we stood right up and joined in!
I recommend Five Guys Named Moe to families with tweens and older. Although the songs are catchy, I don’t think the subject of the show will interest younger kids.
This was our first WBT production where a six-person band played on stage. There were even a few excellent instrumental solos. The music and songs are lively and will have you clapping your hands and tapping your feet along to the beat.
Since the Westchester Broadway Theatre is a dinner theatre, we can’t write about it without mentioning the food. I’ve written in previous reviews that the food here is okay. They are cooking for the masses and I feel the meal is a bonus for the quality of the production you get to see.
This was our first time visiting the WBT since becoming vegan. We weren’t sure if they could accommodate us, since we looked online beforehand and only saw a vegetarian option on the menu. Since we aren’t strict vegans, we were okay with eating the Eggplant Parmesan. However, when we asked if they had a vegan option, our waitress mentioned that they usually have a veggie burger.
I opted for the Eggplant Parm and Dana ordered the veggie burger. When our entrees arrived, he got a GIANT plate of veggies and a baked potato, but no sign of the burger.
We asked our waitress if they had run out of veggie burgers. She was very apologetic for the confusion and brought out TWO veggie burgers. While these are not much to look at, they were larger than expected and actually very moist and tasty! They were a southwest chipotle type burger with a hint of spice. It is probably one of the best things we’ve eaten there. We didn’t call ahead to alert them to our dietary needs, but our server did recommend doing so in the future and to let them know that we’d like to make sure the veggie burger is in stock!
Every production at the WBT has a signature cocktail. “All That Jazz” is the signature drink for Five Guys Named Moe. Dana enjoyed this drink of citrus vodka, grenadine and orange juice. It costs $12 and comes in a souvenir glass that can be taken home.
Five Guys Named Moe is playing for a limited time at the Westchester Broadway Theatre! Be sure to get your tickets before it leaves!
The Details: Five Guys Named Moe Westchester Broadway Theatre 1 Broadway Plaza Elmsford, NY 10523 (914) 592-2222
Tickets: (price includes dinner and the show) $61-$91 plus tax, beverages and gratuities, discounts available for children, students and senior citizens at select performances
Performances: January 30 – March 1, 2020
Show Times: (The show runs approximately 2 1/2 hours, with a 30-minute intermission between acts) Wednesday, Thursday and some Friday Matinees: 11:30 AM lunch, 1 PM show Thursday, Friday and Saturday Evenings: 6:30 PM dinner, 8 PM show Sunday Matinee: 12 PM lunch, 1:30 PM show Sunday Evening: 5:30 PM dinner, 7 PM show
Tips: * If you want to take home the souvenir glass, either be sure to hold on to it, or ask the staff for a clean glass to take home.
*They usually have a vegan meal option available. I recommended that you call ahead to make your dietary preference known so you can be sure they can accommodate you on your visit.
*Photos are not allowed during the show
*Check out the website for special offers
*There is a convenience fee for purchasing tickets online. There is no fee for purchasing tickets in-person or via phone.
*Up to 4 tickets can be purchased online.
* AAA members, AARP members, and military discounts are only given for phone or in-person ticket purchases.|
*All seat locations are the same price. The earlier you order, the better the seats.
Hello Friday! I am so happy to see you! The week seemed to drag on, but I feel like the weekend flies by! This past Wednesday was my two year work anniversary. It feels like I’ve been working in the HR office for much longer than that. I have to say that it’s my coworkers who really make the workplace enjoyable.
Dana and I are up to Day 27 of Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Home challenge. This was his first time ever doing yoga and he’s loving it!
This weekend is my daughter’s final cheer competition of the season. I never thought I’d be a cheer mom. And until she decides that she’s going to try out for JV next year in high school, I’m pretending I’m not. Here are five from this week:
2. Snacking – We go through a LOT of snacks during the week…..with an 11 and 13 year-old who are are bottomless pits it’s inevitable! I found these From the Ground Up Butternut Squash Pretzels at Shoprite. They were not a hit with the kids. I didn’t think they were bad, but they do have a butternut squash flavor, which both kids didn’t like. We are not strict about vegan snacks, the kids have decided they want to eat cookies, chips, granola bars, etc. But these are vegan.
3. Watching – This past weekend we had a family movie night and watched Abominable. This was a cute movie about three teens who help bring a Yeti back home. Three of us also watched the 2019 remake of the Lion King. The original movie came out when I was in high school. I remember singing a medley of songs from the movie for a chorus concert. So, this movie brought back high school memories.
I also binge watched the entire series of The Goop Lab on Netflix last weekend. Health and wellness have been a real interest to me recently. Since I listen to a lot of podcasts focused on health and wellness topics, I enjoyed actually seeing some of these practices in action.
5. Drinking – I rarely drink, but once in awhile we visit a craft beer store and stock up on craft beer (for Dana) and hard cider (for me). This week I tried Bantam Rojo. It wasn’t as sweet as I like and reminded me of a rose wine. But it’s a new-to-me brand and I want to check out some of their other ciders.
New York has finally had its first snowstorm of 2020. Once it snows, there’s a very high chance that more snow will make an appearance……still waiting on that though! However, I am not a winter person. As beautiful as snow falls are, I honestly hate winter and the cold! I do like the family to participate in seasonable activities though – since we get to experience all four seasons, we might as well make the most of them! We will hopefully get to enjoy some of these ways to have “Snow Much Fun” in the Hudson Valley this winter!
Quick and Easy Ideas that you can do at your house or nearby:
1.Build a snowman – Buy a snowman making kit to have on hand for the next snow fall. Or collect and set aside a spare hat, scarf and gloves so you are all ready to decorate your snowman when the time comes.
2. Make snow angels – Don’t forget to take a pic of your creations!
3. Have a snowball fight – Make sure everyone has waterproof gloves for this activity! If you want to make perfectly sized snowballs super quickly, you can get a snowball maker kit.
4. Go sleigh riding – We have a big hill at our elementary school that kids love to sleigh ride down. My son has a new sled and can’t wait to try it out!
5. Build a snow fort – I’m not sure that my kids have ever made a snow fort! This Sno-Brick Maker can help construct snow forts!
6. Snow art – The snow is their canvas with these sno markers.
7. Make maple syrup candy – We tried making this many years ago and I burnt the syrup. We are due for another attempt and this recipe looks easy enough.
8. Make frozen bubbles – Take your bottles of bubbles outside and blow them to enjoy some bubble fun. The temperature has to be below freezing for the bubbles to freeze. If you don’t
Ideas that require a little planning and/or travel:
9. Skiing and/or snowboarding – There are many mountains within driving distance to enjoy skiing or snowboarding. Thunder Ridge Ski Area is located in Patterson, nearby in Putnam County.
10. Ice Skating – there are plenty of places in the Hudson Valley to ice skate – both indoors or outside. Check out our ice skating guide.
11. Snow Shoeing – This activity is on my winter bucket list! I’ve never snow shoed before, but it looks like a good winter workout!
12. Tubing – Tubing is a fun activity for the entire family! We enjoyed tubing at Mount Peter, but several ski mountains offer tubing. Most places require you to reserve a time slot, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Activities that require more planning and require travel outside the Hudson Valley:
13. Ice Fishing – Ice fishing is a winter activity that requires a lot more planning and preparation. First, the ice needs to be four inches thick. Second, you need to get a fishing license. Then besides fishing poles, there is also special equipment like ice safety picks, ice cleats, a chisel, rescue rope and more. To find out more information and locations where ice fishing is allowed, check out the NYS DEC site.
14. Snowmobiling – Snowmobiling trails abound in upstate New York. The Adirondacks have several different companies that rent snowmobiles and give tours.
15. Ride a bob sled – In Lake Placid, NY you can enjoy a bobsled experience. At the Olympic Sports Complex, a professional driver helps guide riders down the track at exhilarating speeds of up to 50-55 miles per hour. The ride is only about 40 seconds down 800 meters of the 1,500 meter track. Reservations are highly recommended.
16. Take a dog sled ride – Lake Placid also seems to be the only place in NY state where you can enjoy a dog sled ride. Weather permitting, Adirondack Wilderness Adventures and Thunder Mountain Dogsleds operate dog sled rides on Mirror Lake.
17. Horse drawn sleigh ride – The Adirondacks is the place for winter fun! Country Dreams Farm operates its sleigh rides in Lake Placid. Belgian Draft horses pull you in a sleigh through the woods and fields.
Happy Friday! Do you love short work weeks as much as I do? This weekend is filled with another cheer competition and hopefully not another snow storm! Here are five from this week:
1. Cheer Competition – Last Sunday I spent the entire day at my daughter’s second cheer competition. This time, there were three other teams in the modified category. Although her team got special recognition and pins for having no deductions, they ended up coming in 3rd place. They did a great job! It was just a super long day for the both of us.
2. Reading – Last weekend I finished Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. I didn’t know much about this book before I started reading it, but I highly recommend it. It’s a contemporary fiction book that tackles issues of race and privilege.
3. Watching – This week my daughter and I started watching Cheer on Netflix. It’s a documentary about a competitive college cheer team in Texas. All I have to say is wow on so many levels. I didn’t know much about cheerleading before she started this year and watching this show makes me not want her to continue!
4. Supper Club – Last Saturday we were supposed to host our monthly supper club. However, we were hit with a snow storm and had to cancel. Since we had all the ingredients for our dishes, Dana and I decided to cook. The theme was “caramelized” and I made a Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto and he made Caramelized Tofu with Brussels Sprouts. Everything was delicious!
My husband is a trivia master. He never ceases to amaze me with his wealth and breadth of knowledge. If the topic is music or history, even better. So, on the rare occasion that we are child free, we try to do a trivia night date.
Trivia nights are hosted in bars and restaurants throughout Westchester County. But not only is the Peekskill Coffee House close by, I find it unique that I can enjoy an iced coffee or tea instead of a beer while I play trivia. The trivia night takes place on Monday evenings from 6 to 8 PM.
I recommend getting there early and to be able to find a table. There are definitely noticeable groups of regulars, as I’m sure there are at most trivia nights. Dana and I were able to get a small table for two, then we got our coffee, an iced decaf for me and an Americano for him. Although the trivia start time is 6 PM, is not strictly adhered to. I don’t think the game actually started until around 6:15 PM.
When you play trivia you must come up with a team name. Each team gets one answer sheet to record your answers. The trivia here is played in three rounds with a mix of questions ranging in all different topics. Obviously, no phones or electronic devices are allowed. After each round the answer sheets are handed into the host who calculates the points. We didn’t win, but for our first time, we didn’t do too badly.
The Peeksill Coffee House is a great place to visit, even if you don’t go for trivia night! The space is casual and fun with a friendly staff. They have a variety of seating, depending on whether you want to sit and relax or get some work or reading done. Wi-fi is free for two hours with a purchase!
And not only does the Peekskill Coffee House serve coffee, but they have a menu including sweet and savory crepes, Belgian waffles, soups salads and more. If you just want a muffin or cookie to enjoy with your beverage, they sell a variety of baked goods as well. Be advised that crepes and waffles are made to order, so there is a bit of a wait.
If trivia night is not your thing, the Peekskill Coffee House is still worthy of a date night. There is a selection of board games that patrons can play and every month they showcase the work of local artists. Almost every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening they have live music playing. Coffee, a crepe and some music sounds like a low-key, fun night out! I think I’ll add it to our calendar!
The Details: Trivia Night at the Peekskill Coffee House 101 South Division Street Peekskill, NY 10566 (914) 739 -1287
Date: Monday Evenings Time: 6-8 PM Cost: $ – coffee, pastries and light food served (made-to-order sweet or savory crepes, belgium waffles, salads and paninis).
*This can make a fun Girl’s Night Out or Double Date with friends!
Yeah for Fridays! I am ready for a three day weekend! It’s been a busy week, with me running the kids to Physical Therapy, piano lessons, the orthodontist……plus getting dinner ready, laundry done, the house cleaned….. I know so many of you can relate. One of my favorite times of the day is getting to put my pajamas on! This weekend my daughter has another cheer competition and we are hosting our monthly supper club. We are also expecting our first snow storm of 2020 tomorrow. I hate snow on a weekend. At least let me get a snow day, if it’s going to snow! Here are five from this week:
1.Weekend Hike – Last weekend was in the 60’s! After spending most of Saturday inside at my daughter’s cheer competition, we had to get outside on Sunday. We did a quick hike (an uphill walk really) up to the Ninham Mountain Fire Tower in Carmel. It was a super windy day, which made climbing up to the top a little nerve wracking. But there are some beautiful views at the top. I want to go back in the spring and fall for some better scenery though, since the trees are all bare and brown.
2. Eating – We recently discovered a tasty eatery in Brookfield, CT that we visited again this weekend. The Hummus & Pita Co. is a Mediterranean fast casual restaurant. We shared a falafel pita and a vegan shawarma bowl. It’s all really good!
3. Cooking – This week my daughter cooked the ratatouille (pictured above) for dinner (with Dana slicing all the veggies for her with the mandoline). My son cooked Sticky Sesame Cauliflower that we had with rice and veggie dumplings. We also had leftover ratatouille over pasta, Morningstar Farms “Chik” sandwiches with tater tots, and Creamy Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Soup.
4. Watching – I didn’t really watch a lot this week. Between busy weeknights and then doing daily yoga (Yoga with Adriene), I was able to watch Brittany Runs a Marathon on Prime over two nights. It was a good movie
5. Reading – This week I finished The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald. It was a pretty good suspenseful read. I am currently reading Such a Fun Age and liking it so far.