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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!

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Five on Friday {The Last in January}

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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!

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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!

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Five on Friday {It Feels like January}

Happy Friday! We are two weeks into January and it feels like it! I am not a fan of the cold temps and strong winds. The only thing I like about winter is snow days! As in, the kids have no school and I don’t have to go to work days. Otherwise, I could totally do without! We were surprised this week with a 2 hour delay. A little extra sleep is always nice. But otherwise, this week was rather uneventful, and I’m okay with that! Here are five from this week:

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1.Reading – I am almost finished reading My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren. I have been devouring this duo’s books and really enjoying them. This is a fun, contemporary romance that takes a look at the world of online dating. I will likely finish reading this tonight before bed and give a 4/5 star rating.

2.Watching – Tidying Up on Netflix. I will be honest, I was not a huge fan of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. However, since I’ve been on a decluttering and cleaning kick, I told myself I’d give the show a try. I’ve only watched the first two episodes, but have enjoyed them. I don’t really find it a show that you can binge watch. But the tips are useful and the transformations inspiring.

3. Baking – Blueberry muffins. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve baked muffins. Although I’m not a big baker, muffins were at one time a weekly thing in our house. This week I made blueberry muffins, which the kids loved. I like that I can freeze them and have them on hand for quick breakfasts or snacks.

4. Planning – This April my husband and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We are in the process of planning a small weekend getaway to celebrate. We’re not planning anything extravagant…..likely a Bed & Breakfast somewhere in New York. More details will come!

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5. Playing – My daughter got me hooked on the game app Wordscapes. You use the given letters to make words that fit in a crossword like grid. It’s semi-addicting and uses a little more brain power than my normal Candy Crush!

ICYMI this week on the blog:


I shared my December 2018 Reads.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Happy 2019}

Happy Friday! I cannot believe that 2019 is here. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I unintentionally took a much needed hiatus from the blog over the holidays. But I’m excited to be back and am looking forward to bringing you more things food, travel and family fun in 2019, as well as some other lifestyle posts. Here are five from this past week:

  1. New Year’s Eve – We spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at home playing board games and eating appetizers. I had to work earlier in the day so it was nice to come home and be able to relax. I didn’t even make it to midnight and was asleep by 11:30! My husband and kids watched the ball drop and toasted the New Year with sparkling cider. Then they woke me up with kisses and wishes for a Happy New Year.

2. Reading – I am almost finished reading The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman. It’s been an okay read and I’m waiting to see if there’s a twist at the end. Most likely this will be a 3 star read. This will be my first book read in 2019!

3. Watching – My husband and I watched Bird Box on Netflix this week. I didn’t realize that it was a book before we saw it. I thought it was really good. However, I was left with so many questions unanswered.

4. Weekend Getaway – This year, instead of a present, Santa treated the kids to a weekend getaway to Pine Ridge Dude Ranch. Since riding horses for the first time at Painted Bar Stables, the kids have fallen in love with horseback riding. We spent the weekend at this all-inclusive for some family fun, relaxation and horseback riding.

5. Planner – Does anyone else get excited about new calendars and planners?!! Our house does not run smoothly without the refrigerator calendar and my planner. I’ve really enjoyed using The Happy Planner, but I got this Recollections planner on sale at Michael’s for only $10.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday I shared my Intentions for an Amazing 2019.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {‘Tis the Season}

Happy Friday!  Eleven more sleeps until Christmas!  It’s really beginning to feel like Christmas.  There’s a lot going on including a Christmas party tomorrow, baking cookies for another cookie exchange, school concerts, and of course present buying.  I’m sad to say that I have yet to buy my kids a single present.  However, I’ve been making progress in getting presents for the family and friends on our list.  I’m hoping to get in a little shopping time this weekend. Here are five from this week:

1.Reading – Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler.  Every Christmas I try to read a couple of holiday reads.  I just finished reading this book this week and enjoyed it.  It’s not overly sappy, but like all Christmas books, there’s a happy ending.  

2. Family Fun –  Last Saturday we headed into NYC.  My sister and her family were up for the weekend to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Since my brother-in-law and his girlfriend live in the city  we all met up and went to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, see the decorated windows at Saks and also went to Bryant Park.  

3. Cat Problems – This guy, Salem, wasn’t feeling well this week.  We knew something was wrong because he was hiding away near the heaters in our house and growling anytime our other cat went near him.  Definitely not his normal behavior.  My husband took him to the vet and after many tests (and a very expensive vet bill!) it was discovered that he was constipated!  He was prescribed anti-nausea medication (not a laxative?!!) and a couple of days later, he’s back to his normal self.  

4.  Cooking – Not the best picture (darn you winter darkness!), but I made Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes this week for dinner from Closet Cooking.  They were easy to make and very tasty!  

5. Coming Soon – I just found out that Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has a show on Netflix that will be debuting in January.  I think that I’ll check out at least one episode.  It looks a lot less hoarders and more organizing and letting go of things.

  ICYMI this week:

Tuesday I shared my November reads.  

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend! 

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Five on Friday {Welcome December!}

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Can you believe that this weekend is the first of December?!  I honestly can’t believe it.  I feel like these past two weeks were a blur.  I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving last weekend and stuffed themselves silly…..because I certainly did! We have a school event tonight.  Then the boys are camping this weekend with the Cub Scouts.  It’s one of my son’s last big events before he becomes a Boy Scout in January.  Sunday we have our monthly supper club dinner (pizza-themed) and cookie exchange.  As I’m typing this Thursday night, I still have to figure out what cookie and pizza recipes that I’ll be making! Here are five from this week:

1. Traveling – We spent Thanksgiving in Maryland, visiting my sister and her family.  As I mentioned, most of the trip was spent eating.  Really! Look at this snack spread!  It was also my niece’s 6th birthday Saturday, so we got to celebrate with her.  My kids rarely get to see their cousins, so it was nice getting to see them having fun together.

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2. Reading – I am almost finished reading Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren.  I recently finally read one of this writing duo’s books, Love and Other Words, and really enjoyed it.  Dating You/Hating You is turning out to be just as enjoyable.  If you enjoy contemporary romance, I recommend this book!

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3. Watching – My husband and I watched the movie Eighth Grade.  This movie is cringy in a hate to revisit middle school type of way.  All of the awkwardness of middle school is shown, in a pretty realistic way.  It’s scary that my daughter will be in eighth grade next year! While she didn’t watch the movie, since it has an R rating, I wouldn’t be adverse to her watching it next year.

4. Eating – My husband went to Trader Joe’s before our trip to Maryland and picked up these Turkey & Stuffing seasoned kettle chips.  Of course we had to try them, but to be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan.  The kettle chip had a nice crunch, but the seasoning was eh.  I mostly tasted the flavor of thyme.

5. Cooking – This past week I made Modern Honey’s Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana Soup.  I have to admit that I’ve never tried the original Olive Garden soup, so I can’t compare it this one to anything, but I thought it was very tasty!  I only put in half the red pepper flakes and it was spicy though, so if you don’t like spice, I’d add even less.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I wrote about the off-Broadway play Puffs.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {First Snowfall}

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Happy Friday!  We had our first snowfall of the season, which turned out to be more of a snowstorm.  The kids and I had early dismissals from school and work.  My husband thought he was leaving early at 4 PM, but after moving less than a block in 45 minutes turned back around and decided to wait it out back at the office for a bit.  All of the major highways to get home were basically parking lots, with slippery roads and accidents.  This weekend we will be celebrating my husband’s birthday, which is Monday.  While plans have not been finalized, I’m sure they will involve good food, as most of our celebrations do!  Here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – I am still reading Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Light.  However, around this time of year, I like to read a couple of Christmas themed books as well.  So, I’m also in the middle of reading The White Christmas Inn by Colleen Wright.  It’s one of those feel-good books where you know everything will end up working out.  So basically, a good holiday read!

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2. Watching – Last weekend we watched Ocean’s 8.  This was the first Ocean’s movie that I’ve seen and I have to admit the only reason I watched it was because of the all-female cast.  I am happy to admit that I really enjoyed it too!

3. Snacking On – My husband and son went to HMart, a large Asian grocery store, and picked up some snacks.  So far, we’ve tried these Ppushu Ppushu Korean noodle snacks.  They are crunchy, ramen noodles that you break up, sprinkle a seasoning packet on and eat up.  I’m sure they aren’t the best for you, but they were tasty!

4. Christmas Card Picture – I am happy to say that we got the Christmas card picture taken last weekend!  I knew that I wanted this background at a nearby county park.  The weather was beautiful, but a little chilly.  My son was very uncooperative.  And after what felt like hours, we finally got a keeper!  I thought it was supposed to get easier to take pictures as the kids got older.  But this was a challenge!

5. Cooking – The cold weather has had me cooking all the comfort food.  This week, one of the winning dishes was Half Baked Harvest’s 30 Minute Butter Chicken Meatballs.  It’s like Indian Chicken Tikka Masala.  But didn’t take forever to cook.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my October Reads.


Wednesday I posted A Weekend in Cooperstown.

Thursday I posted another edition of Your Best Weekend.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

 

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Five on Friday {Veteran’s Day Weekend}

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Happy Friday!  Today, the kids are hopefully taking good school picture retakes.  I end up paying a fortune for their school photos every year and gosh darn it, I want to be happy with them.  Last year the kids had great pics.  This year, my son left his sweatshirt on and both him and my daughter had these fake smiles.  Fingers crossed that the pictures today come out better! My daughter had her last field hockey game this week, so I’m hoping that our weekdays calm down a little bit.  We have a three day weekend because of Veteran’s Day.  Weather-dependent, I want to try to get a head start on the Christmas card photo!  Here are five from this week:

1. Reading – I picked up A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult from the library Tuesday.  Even though I’m not quite done with Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison, I also had to start the Picoult book.  Especially since it’s a two week only loan!

2. Watching – Saturday, my son and I headed into NYC, as we were invited to see the Off-Broadway play Puffs.  It’s a fun parody of the Harry Potter books, told from the perspective of the Puffs.  Since he’s such a big Harry Potter fan and we read the books together and watched the movies, I knew he’d enjoy it.

3. Eating – Hudson Valley Restaurant Week continues and Friday night my husband and I went out to eat with our supper club.  We had a delicious dinner at a new-to-us local restaurant.  I can never pass up a braised short rib.  Especially in the fall. It’s such tasty comfort food.

4. Mother-Daughter Time – Sunday, I got to spend one-on-one time with my daughter at a Girl Scout Mother/Daughter bowling event.  While I didn’t bowl my best, even with the bumpers up, it was a fun time.

5. And More Eating – When we were on our way home from the city, my son and I stopped at Shake Shack in Grand Central for a late lunch.  We shared a Chick’n Shack and a Strawberry Shake.  We may have almost missed our train but it would have been worth it.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday  I wrote about our recent stay at Crystal Springs Resort.

Thursday, I posted “Your Best Weekend.”  I am hoping to continue this weekly post now that things have settled down a bit!

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Happy November}

Happy Friday!  The week has flown by and I’m so happy for the weekend! I am looking forward to “falling back” Saturday night.  But, I’m not looking forward to it being dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. This weekend is starting with dinner out tonight with our supper club for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, a trip into the city with my son and then some mother-daughter bowling with my daughter on Sunday.  It’s looking to be a busy but fun weekend!  Here are five from this week:

1. Weekend Getaway – As I mentioned in last week’s post, our family had a little weekend getaway.  Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey hosted us for the weekend.  I have a post coming soon on this beautiful resort.  After being so busy, it was nice to have a very relaxing weekend.  Most of our time was spent in the biosphere pool.  Between the indoor pool, water slide, jacuzzi and heated outdoor pool, we had such a great time.  And it’s so beautiful with all the plants and flowers!

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2. Reading – I am currently reading Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison.  I just started reading this as my before bed book.  It’s in the thriller/suspense genre but so far it doesn’t seem like it.  This is my first J.T. Ellison read, but two of her other books have been on my to read list.

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3. Watching – This week we watched the movie A League of Their Own with our kids.  After taking a recent trip to Cooperstown, my husband and I wanted to show them some baseball movies.  I remember watching this movie growing up.  It was fun to see it again and see the kids’ reactions to it.  My daughter said, “I liked that more than I thought I would!”  Plus, they got excited seeing the National Baseball Hall of Fame on screen, since we were just there.

4. Dinner Out – Hudson Valley Restaurant Week has started.  I rarely eat dinner out during the week because we are usually so busy.  This week it was fun to be able to dine out with a fellow foodie friend.  I introduced her to a local seafood restaurant that I love (can you love a restaurant if you have only been twice before?!).  During restaurant week, participating restaurants offer a three course dinner for $32.95.  I ordered this octopus dish for my main course.  Not only was it delicious, but how beautiful is it?!!

5. Halloween – I really dislike Halloween being on a weeknight!  After school we had a quick, early dinner.  Then we took the kids out trick-or-treating with their friends.  It always ends up being a late night, but they had a fun time…..and might have gotten a little bit of candy!

My son was an Overwatch Reaper.  For those of you unfamiliar, Overwatch is a video game that he’s into.  He’s far more into Fortnite…..but he couldn’t find a Fortnite costume so he went with this one.  And we may just have a few leaves in our yard!! LOL!!  My daughter was Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks with two of her friends for the school dance and for the school day on Halloween.  Then she was Little Red Riding Hood at night for trick-or-treating.  My husband and I are not, and never were, one of those families where we all dress up.  I love seeing the family costumes on Pinterest and the Internet, but I hate getting dressed up!  Did you dress up for Halloween?

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday I wrote about our visit to Fly Creek Cider Mill.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!