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February Reads {2019}

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February was a short month, but I managed to get six books read. As usual, I’m linking up with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup to share my February reads and get lots of new book recommendations!

3 Stars:

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The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels – I’ve been really into personality typing and learning more about and accepting who I am. This book gives an in-depth look at the enneagram, with descriptions of each and a test to find out which type you are. Section two goes into detail about what to do once you’ve discovered your type. Overall an informative read on the enneagram.

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Juror #3 by James Patterson & Nancy Allen – Ruby Bozearth is a young, brand-new attorney. She’s given a major felony case defending a college football star accused of murder. Because of her inexperience, everyone believes this will be a quick and easy case for the prosecution. Then there’s a second murder in which Ruby is called to help with and she realizes that she can’t trust anyone. Patterson books are always quick, easy reads for me and I do love a thriller….even if this one was just okay.

4 Stars:

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All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth – Charlie Calloway’s mother disappeared when she was seven years old. Now 17, Charlie attends Knollwood, an elite private school where she’s selected to be a member of the “A’s.” This secret society puts its newbies through a “hazing”that has dire consequences if you don’t complete your given tasks. During this process, Charlie also begins to uncover things about her mother’s past that may help her figure out what happened to her. This was an engrossing YA mystery/thriller.

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The Bucket List by Georgia Clark – 25 year-old Lacey Whitman is single in NYC, juggling two careers in the fashion industry. Her life is changed forever when she discovers that she is a carrier of the BRCA1 gene and has some big life decisions to make. With the help of her two best friends, she creates a “boob bucket list” of things that she wants to do with her boobs before her possible surgery. This is one of those books that gave me “all the feels.” I couldn’t imagine being faced with the decisions Lacey had to make at 25. I really liked Clark’s writing and am interested in reading her other book The Regulars.

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The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – This was a reread for me, as it was my work book club’s first book pick. I read it so many years ago that it was like reading it for the first time, since I didn’t remember most of it. This is one of the few Moriarty books that I’ve really enjoyed.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers – When Sadie’s younger sister Mattie is found dead, her world is changed. she embarks on a journey to find her sister, but ends up going missing. Radio host Wes McCray learns about the case and starts a podcast that follows Sadie’s journey. This is one of those books that I would have never heard about or read if not for SUYB. It was a bit of a dark, YA read, but really good. I also read one of Summers’ other books, Some Girls Are and enjoyed that one as well.

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Five on Friday {Spring Ahead}

It’s Friday and I’m finally back with a blog post! The week started with a snow day for the kids. Then it was back to our regular schedule. It’s hard to believe that the school year half-way through. It’s only March, but we have summer camp planning that we have to get done. We are not definite about our weekend plans yet, but hope to have some family fun this weekend!

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1. Reading – I just finished reading Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt. It was a decent suspense read. I’ve been on hold for what feels like ages, for Becoming by Michelle Obama. It finally came in this week from the library. Non-fiction always takes me much longer to read and I only have a limited time before it’s due back. So, I’ll hopefully be making a good dent in it this weekend.

2. Watching – Between A Million Little Things and The Bachelor (which I’m behind on, so no spoilers!) I haven’t had much other television watching time. But I did find a new show on Netflix that I have been bingeing (if 4 episodes counts as a binge!). It’s a Canadian show called Workin’ Moms. Warning, there’s nudity and bad language but I find it so funny!

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3. Listening – Skimm This, a new podcast, debuted this week. I’ve been a fan of theSkimm for awhile now. It’s a great way for me stay up on current events in an easily digestible format. Skimm This is a daily podcast that goes a little more in depth to current events. You can sign up for theSkimm here, if you don’t already subscribe!

4. Snow – I think it’s time for spring to come. I mean, we are “springing ahead” this weekend. After early dismissals, delays and snow days, I’m not sure when the kids last had a full week of school! Earlier this week, we at least had a pretty snow fall!

5. Dinner with a friend – I had a much-needed dinner out with one of my girlfriends. We always go to the same restaurant (Chili’s) since it’s about half-way between both of us. Since we only get to meet up every couple of months, I always get the same thing – the Buffalo Chicken Salad.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Last Weekend in February}

Happy Friday! This has been a short and fun week. The kids had Monday and Tuesday off for President’s Day. I only had Monday off, but took Tuesday off so we could enjoy a quick getaway (more on than later). Wednesday there was some snow and ice so we had early dismissals from school and work (perks of working for a school district!) and then had a 2 hour delay yesterday morning. The kids are getting older and I’m not sure how I feel about it! Tonight my daughter is going to the movies with friends and my son is spending the weekend camping with his new Boy Scout troop. I’m hoping my husband and I can finish working on reupholstering our dining room chairs, a project that has been sidelined for probably a year now! We will be attending a Westchester Knicks game on Sunday with the Binghamton Alumni Association. This has become a fun, annual family event. Here are five from this week:

Reading – This week I finished a reread of The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, which is the first pick of my work book club. I have started reading All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth, a YA suspense type read.

Watching – My husband and I watched Game Night. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie but it wasn’t bad. There were some LOL moments and I didn’t fall asleep!

Cooking – Although it was a short week for us, I cooked dinner Wednesday and Thursday night. Wednesday, I made Creamy Cajun Chicken Penne from How Sweet Eats. I’ve made this recipe once before, ages ago. We all enjoyed it, but it was a bit time consuming to make.

Family Getaway – So we surprised the kids with a trip to Kalahari Resort in the Poconos. It’s a huge, 220,000-square-foot indoor waterpark. Unfortunately, the place was super crowded because of the holiday school break but the kids had a great time.

The Blog – This blog has always been my little hobby. I know that I’ve been MIA in posts lately. Recently, I’ve been feeling pretty unmotivated to write. I sit at a computer all day and coming home and spending more time in front of a computer screen has not been appealing. I am still aiming to get at least one post published a week, even if it’s one of the Five on Friday updates. How do you stay motivated when you don’t feel like blogging/writing?

Hope you have a great weekend!

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January Reads {2019}

(This post contains affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional information.)

January was a great reading month for me in terms of quantity and quality. I am hoping to keep this reading streak going for the rest of the year! As usual, I’m sharing this post with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. Here are my January reads in order from least to most enjoyed.

3 Stars

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The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman – Imogen, Naomi and Ruby have all been with the cruel and manipulative, Phillip at some point. Each has their reasons for wanting revenge. The three women end up teaming up together to get back at their ex. Overall, this was just an okay suspense read for me.

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She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell – Twin sisters Bel and Rose attend the prestigious, private Odell Academy. Sarah and Heath Donovan are the dorm heads of Moreland Hall, where the girls live, as well as Bel and Rose’s advisors. Bel ends up hanging out with the wrong crowd and hazes her sister. They each turn to their respective advisors for support. When the story opens we know that one of the sisters dies, but we don’t know which one, how or why. This story is a psychological thriller that had some twists and kept me guessing.

4 Stars

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Clean My Space by Melissa Maker – This was my non-fiction book of the month. I heard about this book from a podcast. It’s a book about cleaning. Yes, it’s a bit repetitive at times, but Maker, who owns a cleaning business really details the process of cleaning. From making your own cleaners to the supplies you need, to the best way to clean each room in your house, this book is a wealth of cleaning information.

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Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen – I didn’t read Teigen’s first book Cravings. However, I really enjoyed reading this cookbook. Teigen writes in a very down-to-earth, relatable way. There are so many recipes in this cookbook that I want to make. So far, I have made one recipe from this cookbook and it was delicious!

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My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren – Millie is the only girl in a gang of guys, all of them professors at UC Santa Barbara and all of them single. When they have a black-tie gala to attend, they decide that they need dates and try online dating. Things get a little messy when Millie and one of the guys, Reid, end up spending a half-night together. I have been devouring Christina Lauren’s books and have enjoyed all of their books that I have read! Just like the others, this one was a fun read and did not disappoint.

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Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen – (c/o Book Publicity Services) Thomas Wildus is almost 13. When he stumbles upon an old bookstore he is introduced to the Book of Sorrows. To read the book he must follow a strict set of rules. But the lure of magic is worth it to him. Through this book Thomas is introduced to a new world, discovers information about his family and learns that he has magical powers. I read this fantasy middle grade fiction book with my son. It was an engaging read, filled with magic and adventure, that we both enjoyed.

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Watching You by Lisa Jewell – Someone is murdered in Melville Heights, a nice neighborhood in England. But who did it? This book has lots of suspects and secrets that keeps the reader guessing. Jewell writes a good suspense novel that doesn’t disappoint.

5 Stars

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The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain – It is 1970 and Carly Sears lost her husband in the Vietnam War. But she is pregnant with his baby and learns that at 27 weeks her daughter has a heart defect that will kill her. Carly’s brother-in-law has a possible way to help her baby, which requires Carly to have strength and courage that she never realized she had. Prior to reading this, it has been years since I’ve read a Chamberlain book. I didn’t think that I’d be interested in the topic of this book, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.

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Five on Friday {Ready for the Weekend}

Happy Friday! I am so ready for the weekend. I feel like the weekdays are so busy and I’m in desperate need of relaxation! This weekend we are hosting our monthly supper club. This month’s theme is Creole/Cajun in honor of Mardi Gras. Sunday, I am hoping to go sofa shopping. But honestly, I may decide to chill on the couch all day! We shall see. Here are five from this week:

1.Watching – My husband and I got caught up in the Fyre hype! Thanks to social media, I heard about Fyre Fraud on Netflix. I hadn’t heard of this scandal when it actually occurred, but this documentary was very engrossing! My husband and I also watched A Simple Favor. I love Anna Kendrick. This movie wasn’t a bad comedy/thriller and made for a good at-home movie date night.

2. Brunch – I missed last week’s Five on Friday post. However, I needed to share the amazing brunch that we had two weekends ago. We visited Countryside Kitchen, which has been a place that I’ve been wanting to try for so long. I ordered the Holy Cannoli Pancake – a huge pancake filled and topped with cannoli filling. It was delicious! My daughter had the french toast bites drizzled in raspberry sauce and powdered sugar. My husband had the “Dirty Benny” – poached eggs, corned beef hash and home fries all heaped on top of biscuits and covered with hollandaise sauce. My son ordered stacked pancakes filled with layers of scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. We all shared and it was such a delicious meal!

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3. Reading – My office started a book club and our first book is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. Goodreads told me that I read this four years ago…..but I remember absolutely nothing about it. So, I’m giving it a reread. I’m also really enjoying The Bucket List by Georgia Clark. I have to say that I didn’t really know much about this book before reading it and was a bit…..surprised about the bucket list!

4. Family Celebrations – This past weekend, my daughter played saxophone in the All-County band. She put many hours into practicing and the concert was amazing! The best band, chorus and orchestra students in the county performed at the concert. Sunday, my son officially became a Boy Scout at our community Blue & Gold Awards Brunch.

5. Cooking – This week, we’ve cooked a lot of “eh” recipes. The favorite recipe of the week was Closet Cooking’s 20 Minute Korean Beef. I’ve made other versions of this recipe, but not this particular one. It was super tasty and yes, doable in 20 minutes!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I updated the Dinner Deals in Westchester County post.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

Dinner Deals in Westchester County

Westchester County has so many amazing restaurants, with new places opening every month.  I enjoy dining out, however, with a family of four, it can get very expensive!  Fortunately, many restaurants throughout Westchester offer special dinner deals throughout the week.  Whether you’re in the mood for a burger or a fancy three-course meal, there are restaurants throughout Westchester that cover it all! (Updated February 2019)

**Please confirm the details with the restaurant for the most up-to-date information.  

273 Kitchen
273 Halstead Avenue
Harrison, NY 10528
(914) 732-3333

273 Kitchen allows you to choose three courses for $55 (First, Second, Third course) and a dessert on them.

Angelina’s Ristorante & Brick Oven Pizza
97 Lake Avenue
Tuckahoe, NY 10707
(914) 779-7944

Angelina’s offers a prix fixe dinner menu (appetizer and entree) Monday through Thursday 3-closing for $29.95.

Anna Maria’s Cucina Italiana
18 Chatsworth Avenue
Larchmont, NY 10538
(914) 833-0555

Wednesday is pasta night at Anna Maria’s.  Enjoy 2 courses for $19 (first course and a pasta).  The restaurant is open 5-9:30 PM.

The Bayou Restaurant
580 Gramatan Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10552
(914) 668-2634

Tuesday:  Fat Taco Tuesdays – $10 platter of 3 chicken or steak tacos
Wednesday:  Voodoo Night – $8 Voodoo Wings

Bread and Brine
19 Main Street
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 479-5243

Wednesday:  $1 oysters all night

Casa Rina of Thornwood
886 Commerce Street
Thornwood, NY 10594
(914) 769-4515

Casa Rina has a $20 three course dinner available Sunday through Wednesday. 

Thursday they offer a $25 four course price fixed dinner.

Monday through Friday they also have a special three course early bird dinner for $18.95 that includes a glass of wine.

Crabtree’s Kittle House
Eleven Kittle Road
Chappaqua, NY 10514
(914) 666-8044

Crabtree’s Kittle House offers a three-course Prixe Fixe dinner menu Sunday through Friday for $39.

Eastchester Fish Gourmet
837 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
(914) 725-3450, ext.1

Eastchester Fish Gourmet offers a three course menu for $32.95, from 5-6:30 PM, Monday through Thursday.  The menu changes daily, based on what is available at the fish market. 

Fat Sal’s Bar & Grill
265 Tate Avenue
Buchanan, NY 10511
(914) 930-1771

Mondays:  Buy one burger, get the second one 50% off (equal or lesser value with purchase of a beverage)
Tuesdays:  5 Tacos for $9.95 (w/purchase of a beverage)
Wednesdays:  $6 wines 4 PM – closing (select wines)

Fin & Brew
5 John Walsh Boulevard
Peekskill, NY 10566
(914) 788-4555

Wednesdays Fin & Brew has a three course Prix Fixe Menu for $34 per person.

Golden House Chinese Cuisine
3639 Hill Blvd.
Jefferson Valley, NY 10598
(914) 962-8088

Golden House has a $17.95 dinner special Monday through Thursday that includes a choice of soup, appetizer and dinner (from selected items) and house special fried rice.  There is a 2 person minimum.

Hudson Anchor
222 Beekman Avenue
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
(914) 600-8123

Hudson Anchor has a 3 course $19.95 Prix Fixe Menu.  The website does not specify days and/or times that this menu is offered.  Please check directly with Hudson Anchor for additional information.

The Hudson Room
23 South Division Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
(914) 788-FOOD

The Hudson Room offers a 3 course Prix Fixe meal for $32.95 (appetizer, main, dessert) Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kee Oyster House
126-128 E. Post Road
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 437-8535

Sunday:  Sunday Fun Day – half price lobster
Tuesday:  Tasty Tuesday – half price starters

L’INIZIO
698 Saw Mill River Road
Ardsley, NY 10502
(914) 693-5400

L’INIZIO offers a 3-Course Prixe-Fixe dinner menu for $33, Monday through Wednesday. 

Sunday they have a burger and a beer deal for $18. 

Mima Vinoteca
63 Main Street
Irvington, NY 10533
(914) 591-1300

Mima Vinoteca offers a three course pre theater dinner for $39. 

Red Hat on the River
One Bridge Street
Irvington, NY 10533
(914) 591-5888

For the month of February, Red Hat on the River is having a Winter Bistro special.  Sunday through Wednesday (not offered on Feb. 13) they have a 3 course dinner for $32.  

Risotto Italian Restaurant & Bar
788 Commerce Street
Thornwood, NY 10594
(914) 769-6000

Risotto Night Prix-Fixe dinner is offered Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday.  $25 includes a select appetizer, risotto and dessert. 

Rye Roadhouse
12 High Street
Rye, NY 10580
(914) 925-2668

Mondays:  Build Your Own Quesadillas starting at $6.95
Tuesdays:  Burger Night – 5-11 PM half-price burgers
Wednesdays:  Fried Chicken Night – Four piece chicken dinner with two sides for $12.95

Saint George Bistro
155 Southside Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 478-1671

Saint George Bistro offers a Two Course Prixe-Fixe menu for $25 weekdays, Tuesday through Thursday.

Sundays they offer a Family-Style dinner for $29 per person which includes an appetizer and entree for the table to share. 

If you know of any other dinner deals in Westchester County, please let me know in the comments below and I will add it to this list!

A Weekend at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch

One of my greatest joys in life is traveling and experiencing new things. As a parent, one of my biggest goal’s is to help my children learn to value experiences over things as well. This past Christmas, instead of giving the kids “stuff” Santa left a note telling the kids that they were going to spend a night at the Pine Ridge Dude Ranch.

Pine Ridge Dude Ranch is located in Kerhonkson, New York. The ranch was formerly known as Pinegrove Ranch. In April 2018, it changed ownership and became the Pine Ridge Dude Ranch. It’s only about an hour and a half drive from northern Westchester County. Since my kids recently discovered a love of horseback riding, my husband and I thought that they’d love a stay at a dude ranch!

Pine Ridge Dude Ranch is an all-inclusive resort. Meals, activities and one horseback ride (with most packages) are included in the price. We stayed in a Wyoming room, which included a king size bed, a full bed and a bunk bed. There was more than enough sleeping space for our family of four.


Check-in time is 2 PM the first night of your stay. We arrived around 3 PM and stayed for just one night. The resort has a small arcade, an indoor and outdoor pool, a bounce pillow, climbing wall, mini golf course, tractor rides and more. In the winter, they offer ice skating and snow tubing, weather permitting. During our stay, it was super cold, but there was no substantial snow, so neither of these activities were offered. It was really too cold out to enjoy the bounce pillow and I’m not sure the climbing wall was even open during our stay. My husband and son enjoyed a swim in the indoor pool though!

When you check-in you are assigned dining times. Dinner is the first meal that you are served the day of your arrival and the menu is posted outside the Round Up Corral each day. We were given the 6 PM dinner, 8 AM breakfast and 12:30 PM lunch times. I liked that we were assigned to our own table and had the same server and table for every meal. I’m not sure that I’d be happy with an 8 AM breakfast time every morning, if we were staying for more than one night. So much for getting to sleep in!

For dinner, my husband and I both had the ribs, my daughter chose the Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner and my son chose the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia for our dinner entrees. There is a salad bar available at both dinner and lunch as well. We were surprised at the quality of the food served. For the amount of people they were serving in such a short period of time, the food was decent. Soda and iced tea are included with the meals, but they have a wine and beer list, available at an additional charge, for those who wish to have an alcoholic beverage with their meal.

Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style. Breakfast included scrambled eggs, french toast, sausage and potatoes, as well as a variety of pastries and muffins. Cereal, yogurt and oatmeal were also available. There was also a chef making made-to-order omelettes in the dining room. Lunch included cold cuts and bread to make sandwiches, chicken nuggets, as well as soup and the salad bar. The lines got a bit long since everyone enters the dining room at the same time, but moved fairly quickly. If you are hungry between meals, food and beverages are available for purchase at the Trails End Cafe and Chuckwagon Grill. The Trails End Cafe even sells Starbucks.

Pine Ridge has a social director that runs organized activities during the day including arts & crafts, a photo scavenger hunt, and various competitions. Unfortunately, the weekend of our visit was super cold. I’m not sure how many of the organized activities took place, since several of them were supposed to be held outside. Lazer Tag and Paint Ball games are available for an additional charge and sign-ups are done in the main lobby the evening before. My 10 and 12-year-old weren’t very interested in partaking in most of the activities. But we did all enjoy participating in the Bingo game. At the lobby they have a closet filled with lots of board games that you can borrow. We ended up playing a few rounds of mancala while waiting for our lunch time.

The night of our stay, the evening activities included a DJ dance party, a bonfire and a magic show. We did a quick stop at the bonfire, again because it was FREEZING out! Guests were coming out with cups filled with marshmallows for roasting. I’m not sure if these were free or an additional cost, as we were still full from dinner and not interested in partaking. We arrived at The Bullroom early to get a seat for the magic show. The DJ dance party was still going on and the dance floor was filled with only children, most under the age of 10, dancing. The magician put on a great show that we all enjoyed.

The day of our arrival we had to go to the lobby at 5 PM to sign up for our horseback ride the next day. We got there a little after 5 and stood at the end of a VERY long line, which we waited on for over 30 minutes. By the time we got to the desk, there were only two time slots available that could accommodate the four of us. We chose the 3 PM ride to give us more time to enjoy the resort during the day.

Pine Ridge has a LOT of horses. We enjoyed visiting the horses throughout our visit. However, we discovered that petting the horses is discouraged. Children are required to wear helmets, which they provide, on the trail ride. Being very novice riders ourselves, my husband and I both opted to wear helmets as well. The resort offers different trail rides for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders. The day of our ride, all rides were walks (beginner rides) since the trail was so muddy.

One of the wranglers assigns each rider a horse. From mount to dismount the ride is approximately 45 minutes long. Our family all liked the horses we were assigned. We rode Pixey, Hunter, Dallas and Shorty. I didn’t enjoy like that the wranglers did not keep our family together for the ride. They had us mount our horses at different blocks. After you’re on your horse, you are left on your own until the ride starts. My husband and I were separated from our children by several other riders. The wranglers also seemed to bunch up together near the front and end of the line, not really checking to make sure that we were all doing okay. I also found the size of the group to be too large. I think there were at least 30 riders, which impacted the 45 minutes. They do have a no cell phone policy while on the ride. I was happy to see that this is strictly enforced. One woman was warned that her phone would have to be taken away after she was given several reminders that cell phone usage was not allowed during the ride. The wranglers are happy to take cell phone pics at the end of the ride for you. Pine Ridge also has a professional photographer taking pictures that you can purchase.

Fortunately, my animal loving family got to enjoy petting the goats and baby calf in the petting zoo. Since it had rained the day before and snowed the morning of our ride, the ground was super muddy! We had our hiking boots on so didn’t mind walking in the muck to get to pet the animals. Honestly, I think the petting zoo might have been the highlight of this trip for the kids!

So, is Pine Ridge Dude Ranch the right trip for your family? That’s for you to decide. My family was good with our one night stay and were ready to leave. I discovered it would have been much cheaper to just take the kids horseback riding. I’m not sure how much the cold weather or the lack of activities that they were interested in participating affected their opinion. However, I’m glad to have finally experienced a visit to a dude ranch. There seemed to be many families during our stay who were repeat visitors. I’m not sure if the resort was sold out during our stay, but there was a good crowd of people.

The Details:
Pine Ridge Dude Ranch
30 Cherrytown Rd.
Kerhonkson, NY 12446
(866) 600-0859

Tips:
*You need to call to make reservations. They do not have an online system.
*Get to the horseback riding sign-ups early! The line gets very long.
*Bring your own snacks and beverages to keep in your room if you think you’ll be hungry in between meals.
*Gratuities are not included, so be sure to bring cash to tip your server, housekeeping and the wranglers.

Five on Friday {The Last in January}

(This post contains affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for more info.)
It’s Friday, my favorite weekday! Last weekend was a cozy, stay-at-home weekend that was well enjoyed. I can’t believe this is the last weekend in January! I am hoping to check a couple of things off my 19 in 2019 list this weekend, including fitting in a date with my husband and trying a new restaurant.

1.Storm Harper – Last weekend’s storm was a bust! We were expecting a foot of snow and only got a couple of inches. Looking on the bright side, I got to stay in comfy clothes, read a bunch, do some good cleaning and decluttering and watched a couple of movies. So, not so bad after all!

2. Watching – Last weekend we watched the movie Searching. It was a suspense movie with a really unique format. Even though it’s rated PG-13, my two kids (ages 10 and 12) watched it with my husband and I. I especially liked that the movie starred Asian Americans in mainstream roles, where the characters could have been of any race.

3. Cooking – I’m always looking for new recipes to try during the week. One of our favorites this week was Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing from Half Baked Harvest. It was super tasty and filled with all kinds of goodness – avocado, mango, cheese….yum!

4. Reading – Over the weekend I finished reading The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain. This was my first five star read of the year! I’ve only read a couple of Chamberlain’s books, and it’s been awhile since I read any. I thought that the time travel/science fiction thing wouldn’t be my thing. However, I got sucked into the story and loved it!

5. Loving – our Magic Chef air fryer. Last weekend we were using it several times a day! We’ve found that it makes fries so much crispier than baking them in the oven. And it does it so quickly too! We’ve heated calzones up, cooked hash brown patties, cooked popcorn shrimp and more! We haven’t tried cooking anything with a homemade batter though. I recently picked up an air fryer cookbook from the library, so hopefully we can cook more “homemade” meals. Although, to be honest, I feel like I can live on fries.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I wrote about our first time snow tubing at Mount Peter.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

Snow Tubing at Mt. Peter

New York has finally gotten a substantial amount of snow! For those families, like ours, who don’t ski, snow tubing is a fun winter family activity. We enjoyed our first snow tubing experience last year at Mt. Peter in Warwick, NY. Mt. Peter is a perfect for a day trip and only about an hour’s drive from northern Westchester County.

Neither my husband nor I had been snow tubing before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We had made reservations for a 3-5 PM Saturday tubing session. (Reservations are highly recommended, as they have limited two hour sessions.) We arrived at Mt. Peter a little early to make sure we had time to get our snow gear on. The 1 -3 PM session was still taking place when we got to the snow tubing area so we got to watch others snow tube down the hill for a little bit.

Mt. Peter has six snow tube lanes that are 600 feet long. Once our time slot began we walked over to the attendant to get a tube. You can choose between a single or tandem (double) tube. You must be 42″ to ride in a single tube. If under 42″ you MUST ride in a tandem tube with an adult. Fortunately, both our kids were over 42″ so we got to enjoy both single and double rides.


You carry your tube onto the carpet lift that takes you up to the top of the hill. There are attendants at both the top and bottom of the hill. They let you know when it is safe to start tubing. The speed of the runs vary, depending on the size of the person, as well as the snow conditions. I found that my tube kept slowing down and stopping near the bottom of the hill. I ended up trying my daughter’s tube and went speeding down the hill, almost too fast for my liking! Over our two hour session we went down the hill at least 8 times, maybe even more. The lines at the top of the runs get backed up, but move fairly quickly.

We had such a fun time snow tubing! This was a great way for us to enjoy some outdoor winter family fun. Food is available for purchase in the onsite cafeteria. However, the town of Warwick is a short drive away and has lots of restaurants where you can grab a late lunch or dinner after your snow tubing adventure!

The Details:
Mt. Peter
51 Old Mt. Peter Rd.
Warwick, NY 10990
(845) 986-4940

Sessions:
Wednesday – Sunday: 11 AM – 1 PM, 1 PM – 3 PM, or 3 PM – 5 PM
Friday and Saturday: additional 5-7 PM session

Rates:
$30 weekends/holidays
$24 non-holiday weekday

Tips:
*Make reservations to guarantee you get the date and time that you want.
*Dress warmly! Snow pants and waterproof gloves are highly recommended!
*Bring a signed and printed waiver with you to help speed up the checking in process.

*There is a Little Tikes tubing play area for children under 42″. As my children are older, we did not experience this area. For additional information, please check out the Mt. Peter site.

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Five on Friday {A Long Weekend}

Yeah for Friday! As I’m writing this Thursday evening, I’m hoping for a two-hour delay tomorrow. While we are expecting snow showers late tonight, we are prepping for winter storm Harper this weekend. Snow fall projections keep changing, but the high end estimates are 8-12 inches. We’ve had a pretty mild winter, so a little snow is nice. This weekend we are supposed to have our monthly Supper Club, but it’s likely to have to be rescheduled because of the weather. Otherwise, we are ready to spend a comfy weekend snowed in! Here are five from this week:

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1.Reading – Yesterday I started reading The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain. I haven’t read many of Chamberlain’s books, but this one has gotten a lot of good reviews. Plus, the couple that I’ve read of hers I’ve really enjoyed. So, hoping this one doesn’t disappoint. I’ll hopefully get in some good reading time this weekend when I’m snowed in!

2. Belated Christmas Celebration – My parents have been down at my sister’s for the past couple of weeks. We didn’t get a chance to celebrate Christmas with them so they came over Monday night to have our belated celebration. They brought Chinese takeout and we finally exchanged Christmas presents. It was so nice to see them and get to catch up.

3. Happy Mail – I am not a big makeup wearer but I do love getting my Ipsy bag. When you sign up you get to select your preferences. I’m big on skincare, masks and nail polish and have been happy with the products that I’ve been receiving. My January bag, pictured above, was filled with products that I’ll definitely use. The only one questionable product is the the eye shadow, but I’ll give it a try. Here’s a referral code if you want to check it out. Unfortunately, you don’t get a discount or a free bag, but I’ll get points. However, at only $10 a month, I think an Ipsy subscription is a pretty good deal.

4. Cooking – This week I made Rachael Ray’s Turkey Meatball Stroganoff. This is a recipe that I’ve made several times and the whole family enjoys it. It’s great winter comfort food!

5. Watching – I swore that I wasn’t going to watch this season of The Bachelor. But it was DVR’d so I ended up getting sucked in an am now watching. I’m also super excited that A Million Little Things is back!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I reviewed our December MunchPak subscription box.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! I hope my fellow northeasterners stay warm and safe this weekend! Have a great weekend!