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Five on Friday {Memorial Day Weekend}

Happy Friday!  I am currently in Rhode Island with the family enjoying a couple of days at my parent’s house.  It’s not quite beach weather yet but a couple of days of rest and relaxation is what this family needs!  Here are five from this week:

1. Mother-Daughter Day – Last Saturday my husband and son were at a cub scout event.  I took my daughter to Djembes and Dance at Philipsburg Manor.  It was a celebration of African culture through music and dancing.  After we came home, got some Moe’s takeout and watched some television together.

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2. Reading – I’m still reading A Gentleman in Moscow.  It’s been very slow reading for me.  I’m also reading The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares.  While I enjoyed her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, this book isn’t my fave.  I’ll hopefully finish it today and then I’m not sure what book I’ll be starting next.

3.  Family Fun – Last Sunday we went to Smorgasburg Upstate where we had this Mac and Cheese Donut topped with a Bacon Jam.  It was so good!  Crispy on the outside and cheesy and creamy on the inside!  You can read more about our day in my post (linked below).

 

4. Watching – We finally watched La La Land this past weekend.  I like Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling……but I was not a fan of this movie!  I really like musicals too, so I was surprised that I wasn’t into it.

5.  Eating – Thanks to Brenda, I learned about Firework Oreos.  After she wrote about them in a recent Friday Favorites post, I was on a mission to find them.  Well, I was successful and I was not disappointed with them.  They are regular Oreos but have Pop Rock candy mixed in the filling.  They are so fun to eat! I haven’t been the biggest fan of some of the more recent limited edition Oreos, but I really enjoyed these!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendarMonday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I wrote about Smorgasburg Upstate.

Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Feeling Like Summer}

Happy Friday!  I’m hoping today’s temps don’t reach the 90’s like they did yesterday and Wednesday!  I’m not quite ready for it to feel like summer.  This has been a pretty uneventful week around here, which I must admit, I kind of like! The boys are spending tomorrow at a Cub Scout event so my daughter and I will get to enjoy some quality mother-daughter time!   Here are five from this week:

1. Mother’s Day – Did you have a nice Mother’s Day?  The kids brought my coffee and their homemade cards and presents to me in bed Sunday morning.  Then we all ate breakfast together.  The weather forecast wasn’t looking great but we managed to fit in a trip to Untermyer Gardens.  I’ve been wanting to visit this place for awhile and Mother’s Day seemed like the perfect day. We had a great time walking around the gardens and taking in the Hudson River views…..and we were on our way home when it started raining!  When we got home the kids helped my husband cook a delicious dinner….and dessert!

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2. Reading – I haven’t had much reading time this week, but my current book is Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens.  I’ve read a couple of her other books and they’ve been pretty good suspense/thriller type reads.  I’m not quite half-way through this one yet, but so far, so good.


3.  Proud Mom Moment – Saturday, my daughter performed her first alto sax NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) solo.  She had been practicing for several weeks and woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat and cough.  She persevered though and did an awesome job!  Of course I had to take her out to celebrate a job well done with a special treat of her choice.  As you can see in the pic above, she wanted a Smash Burger Oreo milkshake.  P.S. – She got her score earlier this week and received a 27/28 (Outstanding).  #ProudMom!!

4. Watching – I didn’t watch any movies or start any new shows this week.  I’ve been catching up on my regular shows:  Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, the Real Housewives of Potomac and the Real Housewives of New York.  We also have been watching the Amazing Race and Dancing with the Stars as a family!

5. Eating – I’ve been trying to eat a little more healthy at home during the week.  On the weekends when we go out, all bets are off though!  I picked up these Yasso frozen yogurt bars last week and have been enjoying them.  I love anything S’mores flavored, so these were perfect.  I feel a little better eating frozen yogurt rather than ice cream!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I posted Fun Summer Family Food Experiences.

Thursday I shared Dinner Deals in Westchester County.

Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Mother’s Day Weekend}

I am so happy that it’s Friday.  This has seriously been one of the busiest weeks ever.  I volunteered every day this week at my son’s school book fair.  Plus, this week was my daughter’s band concert, swimming lessons for my son, Open House night at the elementary school, multiple doctor/dentist appointments before and after school, piano lessons, and a Girl Scout and Cub Scout event!  I am exhausted!  But, I survived and will hopefully get to relax a little this weekend.  After all, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, right?!   Speaking of which, Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow mom readers.  I hope you have  a great day celebrating you!  Here are five from this week:

Family Fun – Last weekend we enjoyed family time at a Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival.  We got to see lots of performances including sword demonstrations, Japanese drummers, traditional dancers and more.  Unfortunately, the weather was a bit chilly and it started to rain at one point.  But, we made the best of it and had a good time.

Cooking – My slow cooker has gotten a lot of use this week!  Check out this Monday’s weekly meal plan to see what was on our menu, including this Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast with gravy.

Watching  This past week we watched Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find them and Hidden Figures.  I didn’t read either of the books first and didn’t really have any idea of what either movie was about.  So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed both movies.

Reading – I just started A Gentleman in Moscow yesterday afternoon.  It’s the book of the month for a Goodreads group I’m in, otherwise, I hadn’t even heard of this book! LOL!  I usually enjoy historical fiction, so I’m hoping this one’s a winner.  I’ll hopefully get in some decent reading time this weekend.

Eating – At the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival we ate ramen, skewered beef and this Okonomiyaki.  This was our first time trying it, but won’t be our last.  It’s a savory pancake made of cabbage and egg and topped with two different sauces and pork belly. Yum!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendarMonday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Life According to Steph

Tuesday I posted my April 2017 Reads and joined the Show Us Your Books link up.

I’m linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Happy Cinco de Mayo!}

Yeah for Friday and happy Cinco de Mayo!  Unfortunately, this has not been the greatest week for me, as you will read below.  I’m glad that it’s over and hope to have a hopefully enjoyable weekend!  This weekend my son has soccer and we are going out to dinner to celebrate my mom and brother’s birthdays! Here are five from this week:

1. Mother/Son time – Last Sunday my husband and daughter went to her Girl Scout Father/Daughter dance.  I took my son down to the local park so he could play on the playground and play some Pokemon Go.  Then I took him out for some ice cream.  This local ice cream shop has board games available to play, so we played a couple of rounds of Guess Who? (yes, there were two pictures missing from my board!) while he ate his ice cream.  On the way home, we picked up some Smash Burger for dinner.  Lucky boy got to eat dessert before dinner!

2. Dentist Problems – Excuse my rant here.  I had a dental cleaning this week.  Since we got new insurance at the beginning of the year, I had my husband call ahead and make sure the office had all the correct info needed before my visit.  Except, when I got there, they had made an error and gave me a difficult time, when they were at fault.  Needless to say, I ended up stressed out before my exam.  I’m already not a fan of the dentist and this didn’t help.  Luckily, I had a good visit and no cavities.  And then yesterday, while eating lunch I chipped a tooth!!  Now, I need to go back tomorrow!  Waah!   I like my dentist a lot.  However, I’m not a fan of the office staff at all.  I’m debating whether to switch dentists for one with a friendlier staff…..but not sure if it’s worth it.  Decisions, decisions.

3. Allergic Reactions – I’m fortunate enough not to have any food, pet or seasonal allergies.  Last Saturday at my son’s soccer game, I was sitting in my camp chair and noticed tons of little black caterpillars all over me.  I flicked them off my arms, the camp chair, my jeans, etc.  This went on the entire hour and a half of soccer!  The next day, I started breaking out in itchy, mosquito bite-like bumps in the areas where the caterpillars were (my arms and upper chest area).  At first, I didn’t think much of it.  But the number of bumps increased and I was so uncomfortable from the itchiness.   After some research, my husband and I concluded that the tiny caterpillars were gypsy moth caterpillars and I had an allergic reaction to them.  Yes, there’s such a thing, and I am lucky enough to be one of the few who are allergic.  After several days of Benadryl and anti-itch ointment the bumps have subsided and I’m doing okay.  But it’s been an itchy, uncomfortable week.

4. Reading – I’m currently reading The Circle by Dave Eggers.  It’s a Book of the Month read for a Goodreads group that I’m in.  It’s science fiction/dystopian and definitely not a book I’d pick up on my own. However, I’ve been sucked in and am really enjoying it.  And I just discovered that  Tom Hanks and Emma Watson star in the movie that is currently playing!  I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD but I do want to watch it.

5. Bargain Shopping –  I haven’t been doing much shopping since we’re trying to stay on budget and cut unnecessary expenses. Yesterday, I was shopping  for a birthday present for my mom at Kohl’s.  I ended up finding this spring/fall windbreaker type jacket (Don’t mind the unflattering pic of the jacket.  There’s a reason that I’m not a fashion blogger, LOL!!).  It was marked with the original price of $90. Since I found it on the clearance rack, I decided to price-check it, and discovered it was $9.00!  With my coupons and discounts, the jacket cost me a whopping $6.50!   I couldn’t pass this bargain up!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar
Monday
I shared our weekly meal plan.

Tuesday I wrote about why you need a seasonal family bucket list.

Currently 2017
Wednesday I co-hosted the monthly Currently link up.

I’m linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

 

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Five on Friday {Last Weekend in April}

And just like that, April is over!  Let’s celebrate that we’ve made it through another week!  Tonight, I’m leading my daughter’s Girl Scout troop in cooking a meal for a badge earning activity. This weekend my son has soccer and my daughter has her Girl Scout Father/Daughter dance.  Here are five from this week:

Celebrating: Last Sunday my daughter had her Minute to Win It birthday party with her friends!  After a lot of planning and stress (on my part) the party was a success!  There were lots of games and friendly competition, pizza, a make-your-own-sundae bar and cupcakes.  We also finally picked up her free birthday treat from Barnes & Noble.  I think I can finally say that we are officially done celebrating her birthday!

Family Fun:  Last Saturday we went to the Historic Hudson Valley Sheep-to-Shawl Fest.  Visitors learned each step in the process of turning wool into cloth, using 18th-century techniques. Despite the chilly and rainy weather, we had a great time.  There were lots of hands-on activities for the kids and we got to see an unhappy sheep get sheared.  This woman was teaching us how items like onion skins and flowers were used to dye the yarn.

Reading:  Recently, I’ve been feeling unmotivated to read.  By the end of the day, I’m exhausted and only read a few pages before I’m ready to fall asleep.  I’m about half-way through my current read Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  Once I finish reading this book I will be caught up on all her books until her newest one comes out this summer.  In this book Elsie, a twentysomething, loses her husband in an accident (not a spoiler!).  It’s a sad read and when I finish this, I’m going to need a good mystery/suspense!

Watching:  Last week, I was watching television while on the elliptical at the gym.  I saw Rachael Ray interview Phil Keoghan, host of the Amazing Race.  I didn’t realize this show is still on and is currently airing season 29!  I decided to DVR the show and realized that I could watch the couple of missed episodes on demand.  The kids decided to sit and watch with me and we soon got sucked into an Amazing Race watching marathon.  I think we watched three episodes straight!  They are now hooked and I hope this will help them catch the travel bug!  In the meantime, we now have another weekly show to watch together.

Performing:  Last night my son had his 3rd grade recorder concert.   He also played with the advanced recorder ensemble that he’s part of.  He had to try out for the ensemble and has had weekly before-school practices for the past couple of months.  He did a great job!  Luckily, my children have inherited my husband’s musical and artistic genes, as they are both great musicians!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I posted a review of Giada De Laurentiis’s children’s book New Orleans! from her Recipe for Adventure chapter book series.

Have a great weekend!  Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!

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Five on Friday {Birthday Party Weekend}

Happy Friday and what a nice week it’s been!  The kids went back to school Tuesday and we are back in our normal routine.  I missed last week’s Five on Friday post.  With the kids home for spring break and my son being sick for several of those days, blogging had to take a backseat. This weekend plans to be a busy one.  Saturday is the first day of soccer season for my son.  We are then going to the Sheep-to-Shawl Festival later in the day.  Sunday the kids have their last CCD class of the year and then we are hosting my daughter’s 11th birthday party for friends.  My daughter loves games of any kind so we are having a Minute To Win It themed party.  While the show isn’t on anymore, the games don’t lose their fun factor!  Here are five from this week:

1. Birthday Celebrating – My daughter’s actual birthday was last Friday.  Since she had off from school we started with breakfast out and then went to the movies.  Later, we met my husband for a linner (late lunch/dinner).  This year, she wanted soup dumplings for her birthday dinner.  So we found a restaurant in Westchester that served them and had a great meal.  Then went out for T-Swirl Crepe for dessert!

2. Easter – Since my daughter’s birthday is so close to Easter we hosted a joint Easter/birthday celebration for our families.  It was a low-key but fun day.  My husband cooked a ham for dinner and we ended with an Oreo Cookie ice cream cake.

3. Cooking – This week was all about using up the leftover ham from Easter.  Did I mention that my son hates leftovers of any kind?!!  We only had straight up leftovers with sides one night.  I then tried to use the leftover ham in other dishes so they didn’t look or taste like leftovers.  Not sure how successful I was, but the rest of us enjoyed this Cheesy Ham Chowder.  You can get the recipe link and see the rest of what was on our menu this past week on Monday’s weekly meal plan post!

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4. Reading – I just finished I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi and really enjoyed it!  I linked to the goodreads page.  It’s an emotional, contemporary fiction book that I highly recommend if you like this genre of books!

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5. Watching – We went to the movies on my daughter’s birthday and saw Boss Baby, at her request.  The kids enjoyed it…..and that’s what matters, right?!! LOL!  This past week we also watched Moana for the first time as a family and really liked it.  My son has been playing the songs nonstop on his iPod!

ICYI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar
Monday
I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I wrote about the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.

Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Start of Spring Break}

And just like that it’s Friday again!  This week feels like it’s flown by!  This weekend starts the kids’ spring break.  As of now we don’t have big plans.  However, I’m sure we will fill the week with fun.  Here’s a look at five from this week:

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1. Reading – I am half-way through reading Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.  This is a suspense/thriller read that is holding my interest.  I haven’t found a lot of reading time this week but hope to finish it this weekend.

2. Watching – I’m excited that new seasons of both The Real Housewives of Potomac and New York City started this week.  Beverly Hills is still on as well, so I am in Real Housewives heaven!

3. Celebrating – Tuesday my husband and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.  My parents took us out for dinner on Sunday evening to celebrate. Since weeknights are not great nights for celebrating my husband and I met up for a lunch date yesterday.  We had a delicious meal, pictured above!

4. Family Fun – My husband recently founded the Westchester chapter of the Binghamton University Alumni Association.  Last weekend they held a family event at the Westchester Knicks game.  It was the last game of the season and although the Knicks lost, we had a fun time.

5.  Cooking –  Last week I went to HMart, a Korean grocery store and stocked up on some staple sauces and such.  Since then, I’ve been on a Korean cooking kick.  Check out Monday’s weekly meal plan post to see what I cooked up this past week!  I had some ripe bananas that needed to be used up so I made these Banana Sour Cream Muffins from epicurious as well.  We’ve enjoyed them for breakfast and there were some extras that I put in the freezer for another time.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar
Monday
I shared our weekly meal plan.

Currently 2017

Wednesday I shared my April Currently and joined the monthly link up.

Thursday I posted a Thirsty Thursday review of Keegan Ales Old Capital.

Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Hope you have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Last Weekend in March}

 

Happy Friday! I can’t believe this is the last weekend in March!  This month flew by. This week was pretty uneventful….which isn’t a bad thing.  This was the first full week of school that the kids have had in awhile.  I love that it stays lighter later and the weather seems to be warming up.  It’s beginning to feel like spring!  Tonight my son has his Cub Scout Pinewood Derby and tomorrow night we have our Polish-themed supper club which we are hosting.  Here is five from this past week:

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Reading: I just started reading It’s Not Okay by Andi Dorfman.  If you didn’t see her on either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette and aren’t a fan of the show, then don’t bother reading this book!  I’ve only read the first chapter and it’s a lot of behind the scenes Bachelor show stuff.

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Watching:  Last weekend my husband and I watched Manchester By the Sea.  I knew nothing about the movie before I saw it, only that Casey Affleck had won both the Golden Globe and Academy Award for his role.  I thought it took place in England…..like I said, I knew nothing about it.  Overall, I’d give the move 3/5 stars.  I found it to move very slow.  However, it interested me enough that I didn’t fall asleep on the couch while watching!

Family Fun: Last Saturday we completed our last winter family bucket list item, snow tubing!  We went to Mt. Peter in Warwick, NY and had a great time!  This was my bucket list item and the first time any of us had been snow tubing.  The kids especially had a blast and my son is already talking about going again next year!

Sunday we went up to Crown Maple at Madava Farms for the first of NY Maple Weekends.  There were complimentary maple syrup tastings, self guided tours of the facility, tree tapping demonstrations, samples of their maple kettle corn, maple cotton candy, maple granola and maple milk shakes.  We also got to roast marshmallows outside at the fire pit.  Lots of family fun was had last weekend!

Mom Time:  I went out to dinner Monday night with a friend.  Somehow, it’s very difficult for me to schedule time out with my friends!  This friend and I somehow only get to see each other every couple of months.  It’s great to catch up and get some mom time, without kids, in!

Eating:  Besides all the weekend fun and eating we’ve been cooking at home this week too!  Sunday I was craving eggplant parm.  My wonderful husband appeased my craving and made it for dinner.  Even the kids who claimed that they don’t like eggplant both had seconds of this!  Check out this Monday’s post for our weekly meal plan!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
2017 calendar
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I shared CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Alternatives.

Thursday I reviewed Great South Bay Brewery’s Blood Orange Pale Ale.

Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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Friday Favorites {Happy St. Patrick’s Day}


Happy Friday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  What a crazy, cold and snowy week it’s been.  We were hit hard by winter storm Stella and got almost two feet of snow dumped on us Tuesday.  The kids ended up with no school Tuesday and Wednesday and had a two-hour delay yesterday.  It’s nice to be back on a somewhat regular schedule after a couple of crazy days!  I haven’t been to the gym in a couple of days because of the weather (although I got plenty of arm and leg exercise from shoveling snow!) and I’m happy to be able to go to yoga class this morning.  So far we have no big weekend plans, which I’m happy about since we are expected to get a little more snow on Saturday.  I’m really hoping that the first day of spring on Monday brings some warmer weather!  Here is five from this week:

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1. Reading – I just finished Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley last night.  It was an interesting book about a woman who is allergic to people.  This isn’t a boy in the bubble type scenario.  She just cannot have physical contact with other humans.

2. Baking –  As much as I enjoy cooking, I’m not much of a baker.  However, snow days are perfect days for baking. I made Irish Soda Bread on Tuesday and Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Chips on Wednesday.  We’ve been eating the deliciousness all week!

3. Watching – The Bachelor Finale! I am SOOOO happy that Nick chose Vanessa!  I still have to watch the This Is Us season finale.  I’m kind of putting it off because I don’t want it to end yet!

4. Eating – This past weekend we dined as a family at Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill in Cold Spring for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) lunch.  The kids (and the husband!) were jealous of seeing the pics of my restaurant outings.  So, we decided to go out as a family.  I ordered this Pappardelle with  rabbit and seedless grapes in a grappa sauce.  It was really good! I had the kids try it, since they’ve never eaten rabbit before.  They both said it tasted like chicken!

5.  Planning – I can’t believe that I am currently thinking about summer camp!  Camps around here are starting registrations already.   Spring isn’t officially even here yet (well, three more days!) and I have to think about summer?!!  We are trying to narrow down the kids’ choices and plan when and where we will be traveling this summer.

ICYMI this week:

2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Life According to Steph

Tuesday I shared my February reads and joined the Show Us Your Books linkup.

Wednesday I reviewed Wise Korean Barbeque flavored potato chips and wrote about Korilla BBQ, the food truck that inspired the chip.

I’m linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

 

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Five on Friday {Losing an hour of sleep}

Happy Friday!  Don’t forget to “spring ahead” this weekend and set your clocks an hour forward Saturday evening (Sunday at 2 AM if you want to be technical!).  It doesn’t feel like spring around here.  The kids have a snow day today since we received some snow last night and it’s supposed to continue until the afternoon!  We’re also expecting another 3-5 inches on Tuesday! I’m so over winter!  We don’t have too much planned this weekend.  My daughter is going on a Girl Scout overnight camping trip tonight. Basketball season ended last weekend and we have a few weeks off before soccer starts up again.  Tomorrow night we’ll be going to the elementary school musical production and as of now Sunday is open.  Here is a look at five from this week:

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1. Reading – I am currently reading Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  After rave reviews of this author’s books on the Show Us Your Books link I’ve been slowly making my way through them all.

        

 

2. Eating – This week was a good week.  It’s currently restaurant week here in the Hudson Valley so I enjoyed both a 3-course lunch and dinner this week at area restaurants. My favorite lunch dish was this homemade pasta appetizer with crab, roasted yellow tomatoes and Calabrian chile from Chef Michael Psilakis’ MP Taverna.  My favorite dinner dish was this appetizer from The Cookery.  This doughnut filled with pork, BBQ onions and basil and topped with a spicy maple sauce was amazing!

3. Watching – I finally watched The Girl on the Train.  I read and enjoyed the book and was excited to watch the movie since most of it was filmed right here in Westchester County!  Overall though I found the movie to be “eh” and second-guessed why I had liked the book so much.

4. Bargain shopping – I’ve been trying not to do too much shopping.  However, when I get a 30% off coupon from Kohls I have to shop.  This week I went and was able to buy the kids’ winter coats for next year on clearance and an additional 30% off.  I also got my son a pair of Columbia boots for next winter as well.  I may have also bought a couple of shirts for myself!

5. Cooking – My life basically revolves around food.  Yes, I’m one of those people who while eating one meal is deciding what I’m going to eat for my next meal!  So besides eating out this week I was also cooking some quick and easy dinners.  Check out my weekly meal plan on Monday for the recipe for this Beef and Broccoli Ramen Stir Fry and more!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I wrote about Maple Weekend 2017 here in New York.

I’m linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!