Five on Friday {First Week of Camp}

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Happy Friday!  Summer is in full effect and it’s been a busy couple of weeks here.  I am loving summer hours at work, where I get to leave at 12 PM on Fridays. The kids were with my parents in Rhode Island for the last two weeks and came home this past Friday. It was a quiet couple of weeks here without them. Last Saturday my son turned 10!  The four of us celebrated his birthday Saturday and then Sunday we had a family party.  And finally, the kids started their first week of camp. They were excited that they both passed the deep water test.  However, my son isn’t loving camp.  We are only one week in so I hope he starts enjoying it more.  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – I just finished reading Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee.  This contemporary fiction book deals with mental illness and its impact on family.  It was a really good read.

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2. Watching – I’ve been watching a bunch of different shows.  My husband and I finally finished watching the last season of Orange Is the New Black.  I also watched the first episode of Glow on Netflix and we’re almost finished watching Wild Wild Country.

3. Eating – We did a lot of good eating this past weekend, but I barely took any pictures!  My son requested that we eat at The Melting Pot for his birthday.  This has been a family favorite restaurant for awhile and was delicious and fun as always.  I loved this decorated plate they brought out for him!

4. Dinner Date – Last night I had dinner with a friend.  Although our sons are friends, it’s rare for us to get to go out.  So, it was nice to get to catch up.

5. Playing – We love playing board games and have a bunch of them.  My son though has recently been on an UNO playing streak.  This past week we have played lots of rounds of the classic game.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I wrote about our visit to the Turkey Hill Experience.

Wednesday I posted about the Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn in Lancaster, PA.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!


Five on Friday {Battling the Heat Wave}

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Oh man, what a super hot week it has been.  I am not used to these 90 degree temps every day.  It’s way too early in the summer for weather like this! Summer has officially begun and it’s definitely feeling like it.  We have started our summer off with a bang!  We just spent an extended weekend visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania and then several days up in Rhode Island at my parent’s beach house.  The kids are still up there for another week enjoying time with their cousins while my husband and I get to go to work.  Being so busy, it appears that Five on Friday has become an every other week thing.  Hopefully, this will change as our travel schedule slows down for a bit.  Here are five from this week:


  1. Reading – I was recently in the midst of reading several different books, some of which I had started in early and mid-June! I finally finished a couple of them up and started a new fiction book.  My current read is Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell.  I’m not even a quarter of the way in yet but I’m enjoying it so far.The Shape of Water (film).png
  2. Watching – My husband and I finally watched The Shape of Water. I thought that this movie was a bit on the weird side and don’t quite understand  how or why it won so many awards.  Have you seen this movie?

  1. Eating – Rhode Island always means eating lots of seafood!  One of my lunch picks was a fried clam boat.  Nothing like fresh seafood, fried to golden deliciousness!

  1. Tween Journals – Does anyone else like to journal?  I keep a gratitude journal that I write in every night before I go to bed.  My twelve-year-old daughter is a big reader and writer.  Fox Chapel Publishing kindly sent me two of their newest journals  targeted towards tween girls.  The You Are Beautiful journal is blank inside, allowing girls to express themselves how they choose. The Always Be Yourself journal has writing prompts, motivational quotes and pages to color all helping girls to think deeply and positively.  My daughter loves the bright colors and designs and she has been enjoying writing in these journals.  I love the positive messages that they promote.  The journals are only $9.99 each, which I think is a great deal!
  1. Website Troubles – This is definitely not a favorite this week. I was working on the blog Tuesday afternoon after work.  I took a break to cook and eat dinner.  Later in the evening when I went to go back on my website is inaccessible with an “Error establishing a database connection.”  Surprisingly, I didn’t freak out and calmly called Bluehost.  It appears that a server detached and physically needs to be reattached on their end.  I of course have no idea what that means. I just know that a little over 24 hours later my site was back up and running.  Phew!

ICYMI on Monday I shared a post about two new eateries, The Little Beet and Melt Shop opening at Savor Westchester.  Both are chains, so you don’t have to be in Westchester County to enjoy the food!

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Hope you have a great weekend!


Five on Friday {Happy Summer!}

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Today is the last day of school and summer vacation officially begins for the kids this afternoon!  I will officially have a 5th and 7th grader later today.  This week was a super busy one as the end of school year wrapped up.  We’ve been going non-stop and are also trying to pack and prepare for a weekend getaway we are taking to Lancaster, Pennsylvania this weekend.  I am looking forward to sharing all of the family fun that we have planned visiting some of the local attractions in the area.  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – I have several non-fiction books in from the library. I’m currently reading The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. I know I’m late to the game with this one, which had received a lot of hype last year. I’m totally reading this book in the wrong season and should be sitting in front of a fire, wrapped up in blankets to truly be hyggeligt!

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2. Watching – This past week my husband and I did a lot of movie watching!  We watched Lady Bird, Molly’s Game and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  They were all really good, although I was a bit disappointed with the ending of Three Billboards.  I didn’t realize that Molly’s Game is based on a true story book.


3. Eating – Fried Chicken Sandwiches.  I love a good fried chicken sandwich.  Luckily, I don’t indulge too often.  A Melt Shop opened recently in Westchester County.  We visited last weekend and one of the items we tried was this fried chicken sandwich. It was really good!

4. Celebrating – My son’s moving up ceremony.  Our elementary school only goes up to 4th grade, so next year he will be attending the middle school with his sister. Tuesday was his moving up ceremony, which was followed by a class pool party.  It was a busy but fun day.  We are so proud of all that he accomplished during his elementary school years and are excited to see where his middle school journey will lead.

5. Father’s Day – On Father’s Day, we went out to lunch with my in-laws and brother-in-law.  We went to a local brewery and then went out for ice cream after.  It was a really hot day so we didn’t do the river walk like we had planned.  But we got to enjoy some good family time and relax later that evening as well.

This week on the blog I posted 5 Instant Pot Chicken Recipes Worth Making.  

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!


Five on Friday {Hooray for the Weekend!}

Happy Friday!  It’s been a crazy busy week at work and I am so glad that it’s the weekend!  I don’t even have anything major planned, as the boys will be on a Cub Scout camping trip.  My daughter and I will find some fun.


1. Reading –  I am almost finished reading How to Walk Away by Katherine Center.  This was a book recommendation that I got in the Show Us Your Books linkup.  I have to agree it’s a good read.

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2. Television – The Bachelorette is back and I am watching it!  I loved Becca on The Bachelor and was so happy when Ari chose her.  But then when he broke up with her for  Lauren….well, I no longer liked him.  It’s even more fun because my daughter watches the show with me!

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3. Movies – Last weekend the kids watched Jumanji with my husband.  I started watching with them but was not into it at all.  But I finally watched Pitch Perfect 3 and I was so disappointed.  The first movie is one of my favorite movies.  So I hate to admit that this one was pretty bad.  I didn’t like the Fat Amy’s dad/action-movie story line.  Lesson: don’t mess with a good thing!

4. Family Fun – Last weekend we went on hiking at Turkey Mountain with some friends of ours.  It was about a 3 mile hike round trip with a little bit of an incline.  It was well worth it to get to the top and see this spectacular view.  Plus, I love this kind of outdoor activity where you’re getting good exercise but it doesn’t feel like it.

5. Eating – Surprisingly, the wow of the week was this Harvest Bread that I picked up at our local farmer’s market.  It had pieces of apple and raisin in it.  We had it topped with butter, cinnamon, apple slices and honey.  It was delicious!  This wasn’t the best bread for grilled cheese sandwiches, but I made them with it anyway and we enjoyed them!

 This week on the blog I wrote about the Reading Pagoda.

I’m linking up with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!


Five on Friday {How is it June?!}

Happy Friday!  I cannot believe that it is already June.  The months have been flying by and these past few weeks have literally been a whirlwind.  Can you believe that it’s been a month since my last Five on Friday post?!  We’ve been busy with end-of-year activities and meetings.  It’s hard to believe that my son will graduate elementary school in a couple of weeks!  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – I have to say that I haven’t been reading very much lately.  I haven’t had much free time and the time I do have I’ve been binge watching Safe (see below) and working on the blog.  However, I do try to read a little bit during my lunch break at work.  I’ve read Viola Shipman’s other books and have really enjoyed them.  I just started The Recipe Box, but am enjoying it as well.

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2. Watching – My husband and I did a binge watch of Safe on Netflix.  When I heard that Harlan Coben created the show I thought that it was based off on one of his books, but it’s not.  It has the suspense of his books, though my husband and I agreed that it got a bit ridiculous with all the possible suspects.

3. Listening – After watching Safe I got hooked on the theme song, Glitter & Gold by Barns Courtney.  This is one of those great songs that I would have never known about if it wasn’t for the show!

4. Drinking –  If you follow me on Instagram, then you already saw these.  However, as a huge hard cider fan I had to share.  I don’t drink a lot, but if I do, my go-to drink of choice is a cider.  I saw these cute Strongbow Hard Cider limited edition mini cider cans at my local Shoprite.  I love being able to try four different ciders without having to commit to a whole six-pack that I may not like. Even better, the four-pack was only $2!

The Brotherhood of Clams from Chatty Monks.

5. Family Fun – My brother recently moved to Reading, Pennsylvania.  Over the Memorial Day Weekend we took a trip down to visit him.  It was a short visit, but we had a great time.  Our weekend was filled with lots of eating (of course!) a visit to the Reading Pagoda, a wine and food festival and dinner at a local brewery.  It was also so hot that we ended up stopping at Walmart and picking up bathing suits for the kids so they could go swimming in his apartment complex pool.  Pictured is the clam dish that my son ordered when we went out for dinner.  Out of all of our entrees, he picked the best tasting one!  #RaisingFoodies

This week on the blog I shared:

Recent Tween Reads 

Have a great weekend!  Sharing with Friday Favorites!


Five on Friday {May the Fourth Be With You!}

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Happy Friday and Happy Star Wars Day!  May started on Tuesday with a beautiful spring day and then decided to jump to 90 degrees.  So, it’s been feeling like summer these past few days.  I’m not quite ready for this heat, but I’m not going to complain.  Winter lasted way too long.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks here but we will hopefully have a relaxing weekend.  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – I am in the middle of reading Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins.  It’s a contemporary fiction book about Nora, a doctor who gets injured and decides to go back home to heal.  I’m half-way through and am enjoying it.

The Greatest Showman poster.png              Theatrical release poster depicting the characters Coco, Dante the dog, Miguel, Héctor, Ernesto, and Imelda when viewing clockwise from the bottom left around Ernesto's white, Day of the Dead-styled guitar. The guitar has a calavera-styled headstock with a small black silhouette of Miguel, who is carrying a guitar, and Dante at the bottom. The neck of the guitar splits the background with their village during the day on the left and at night with fireworks on the right. The bottom of the poster has the film's logo and release date of "Thanksgiving".             Pitch Perfect 2 poster.jpg

2. Watching – Over the past two weeks we watched Pitch Perfect 2, Coco and The Greatest Showman.  I highly recommend watching all of these movies!  Pitch Perfect is one of my favorite movies.  While Pitch Perfect 2 wasn’t as great, it’s still a fun movie.  I’ve enjoyed getting to watch them again with my kids and am waiting for the third movie to come in from the library.  Coco was surprisingly good.  I wasn’t expecting much from this animated kids movie but was pleasantly surprised!  The Greatest Showman was great and I know why people are buying the soundtrack.  There are lots of great songs from this movie!


3. Eating – We had our monthly supper club this past weekend and the theme was Australian.  It was actually difficult to find “Australian” recipes.  I made lamingtons, which is a type of cake with icing and then covered in coconut.

4. Family Fun – This past weekend our family saw the Cirque du Soleil show Volta.  It was such an amazing show.  It’s in New Jersey until this weekend and then it’s going to Long Island, Oaks, PA, Seattle, WA and then San Francisco and San Jose, CA.  You can read my review of this family fun experience!

5.  Subscription Box Fun (c/o STRONG self(ie)) – Do you have a tween/teen daughter?  They will love this STRONG self(ie) subscription box!  STRONG self(ie) kindly sent me a box to review and both my daughter and I loved it!  This box is quarterly and is filled with items to help our daughters become their best self(ie).  You can read my full review.  If you use code “Foodie20” and receive 20% off your first box!

Sharing with Friday Favorites.  Have a great weekend!


Five on Friday {Hooray for the Weekend!}

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I am so happy that it’s Friday!  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and I have a little bit of time this weekend to relax and catch my breath. Last weekend we celebrated my daughter’s birthday, which you’ll read more about.  Sunday was the Girl Scout 80’s-themed Father-Daughter dance.  Wednesday night my husband’s office had a celebratory dinner for being the #1 office in the country.  This was a super fancy, black-tie optional affair.  Unfortunately, it was also on a Wednesday night and we didn’t get home until 11:30 PM!  So, busy, exhausted, all of the above…..yes!  Let’s get to five from this week:


Reading – I will hopefully be finishing Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney this weekend.  This is a suspense/thriller that I am enjoying.

The Breadwinner (film) poster.jpg              Ferdinand (film).png

Watching – This past week we watched the animated movie Ferdinand.  It was a cute, family movie, but one that I’m glad we didn’t go see in the theater. My son and I watched the animated movie The Breadwinner.  Angelina Jolie is one of the producers of this movie, which tells the story of a young girl living in Afghanistan, under the control of the Taliban.  Her father is unjustly arrested so to support the family, she cuts her hair and dresses like a boy.  This was a good, animated film, however I wasn’t a fan of the ending.

Celebrating – My daughter turned 12 last weekend.  The day started with donuts and ended with fro-yo sundaes.  She was a very happy girl!

EatingBiena Chickpeas.  Biena kindly sent me an assortment of their chickpeas to try.  So far, we’ve tried Rockin’ Ranch, Honey Roasted and Sea Salt and we are big fans!  They are crunchy and come in 10 different flavors, both sweet and salty.  I also enjoy that they are filled with protein and fiber.  For those on special diets, these chickpeas are gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan.  I feel much better eating these than a handful of potato chips!

Family Fun – This week’s family fun was part of my daughter’s birthday celebration.   After going out to dinner she wanted to go to an arcade.  The kids are a bit old now for Chuck E. Cheese but they love Dave & Buster’s.  So we spent some time playing various video games.

Buying – We have a rule in our house that the kids cannot get a cell phone until they are 13.  My daughter may be the only person in her grade not to have one.  However, I don’t see the point in paying for another phone line when her iPod does everything but make phone calls (but she can FaceTime).  For her birthday we got her a new 32GB iPod in space gray, with the understanding that next year when she gets a phone, her brother will inherit this one.  Needless to say, she was surprised and very happy!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}
Monday I posted What’s Cooking? a weekly meal plan.

Tuesday I wrote about the Historic Hudson Valley Sheep-to-Shawl Festival.

Wednesday I posted Westchester Weekend, with our picks of the best food and family fun taking place this weekend.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!


Five on Friday {More Snow?!!}

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Happy Friday!  Another week has flown by and it’s crazy, but we are expecting more snow this morning and Saturday!  C’mon Mother Nature, it’s April!!!  I cannot wait for the warmer weather.  This week started with a snow day on a make-up snow day for the kids.  With all the holiday celebrations last weekend (see below) it was not a relaxing weekend.  Besides a couple of birthday parties that my son is going to, our weekend is pretty free.  I am looking forward to taking it easy and not having to do much! Here are five from this week:

1. Reading – I am half-way through Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone.  I am a huge Kristin Hannah fan and had been eagerly waiting for this book to come in from the library.  I haven’t had much reading time, but have enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

2. Family Fun – We recently gave our son this Pets Rock puzzle.  There are a bunch of different puzzles in the series and I think that they’re so cute! It’s only 550 pieces and I knew he could do it on his own.  However, we both enjoyed sitting together and working on it.  I had to force myself to stay away and only work on it when he was around.

3. Drinking – Angry Orchard Hard Cider Rose! I rarely drink, however, I do love a good hard cider.  Since Wednesday was our anniversary my husband and I cheered to 14 years and I got to try Angry Orchard’s new rose cider.  It’s not my favorite of their hard ciders, but it’s so pretty.  It will likely be very popular this summer!

The upper half of the poster shows a sepia toned image, of a man and a woman speaking at before a bank of microphones. Below a tennis ball.

4. Watching – Last weekend my husband and I watched Battle of the Sexes.  I like Emma Stone a lot and I thought she did a great job in this movie.  I had no idea who Bobby Riggs was before watching this and I always enjoy when I learn something new from a book or movie.

5. Celebrating  – There was LOTS of celebrating going on this week.  Saturday we celebrated Passover at my husband’s Aunt’s house.  Sunday we celebrated Easter and my daughter’s 12th birthday with both of our families.  And Wednesday was our anniversary.  It’s hard to believe that my husband and I have been married for 14 years! Since weeknight dinner dates are a bit difficult, we will hopefully get a chance to celebrate this weekend.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}

Monday I shared What’s Cooking?, our weekly meal plan.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!


Five on Friday {Happy Passover and Easter!}

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Happy Friday!  It’s finally starting to feel like spring around here.  After all the winter storms, my kids lost the majority of their Spring break and only had yesterday and today off from school.  Altogether, they lost five days of their break and will be in school all of next week.  It’s a bit of a bummer since they were supposed to go visit my parents in Rhode Island, since my husband and I have to work.  My parents were really looking forward to spending time with the kids.  This weekend is busy and we will be celebrating both Passover and Easter.  Saturday we will celebrate Passover with my mother-in-law’s side of the family.  Then we will host Easter Sunday and also celebrate my daughter’s birthday with our parents and siblings.  I hope everyone has a Happy Passover or Easter, depending on which you celebrate.  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading –  I am almost finished reading The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.  I think I already know what’s going on and am only 1/2 way through.  It has my interest peaked though to see if I’m correct but I’m not overly wowed by this one.

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2. Watching – This past weekend I watched two movies.  My husband and I watched Get Out and Baby Driver.  I feel like Ansel Elgort has been in so many movies recently.  I had heard good things about Baby Driver but didn’t really have any idea of what it was about.  It’s an action adventure movie, which usually isn’t my thing.  I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the mix of music as well.  I knew they’d have a soundtrack for the movie and I’m curious as to which songs they put on it! Then there was the movie Get Out.  Again, this was another movie that I had no idea what it was about.  I put it on hold because it was nominated for many movie awards and won Best Original Screenplay.  It’s categorized as a horror/mystery/thriller film and I do NOT watch horror movies.  It wasn’t very scary, but wasn’t my thing.

3. Fixing – This was a very expensive week.  I mentioned my car troubles last week.  Luckily, it was just some valve and intake issues that required some new parts and labor but nothing outrageous.  When we were heading out to pick up the car over the weekend, my phone fell out of my coat pocket and fell on the driveway, face-down.  The screen did not crack, it shattered.  My husband was able to bring it to the Apple store this week and within an hour, the screen was replaced.  All for just $149!  Like I said, an expensive week.

4. Family Time – Last weekend we had our March family dinner.  We decided to go back to the alphabetical country list and we chose Belgium.  We made Mussels in white wine sauce and homemade frites.  For dessert, we made waffles.  We had to dust off our waffle maker and wasn’t even sure it still worked.  But, it did and made some delicious waffles.  Unfortunately, we have a single waffle maker, so it’s a little slow going to cook a bunch at a time. But, homemade waffles are so much better than the frozen kind!

5. Supper Club Dinner Out – This month our Supper Club went out to eat during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, rather than cook.  We went to Brothers Fish & Chips, a local seafood restaurant.  This was the first time that my husband and I dined at the restaurant and everything was delicious!  Pictured is Wild Shrimp over Squid Ink Risotto.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}

I brought back a weekly meal plan and Monday I shared What’s Cooking?

I shared what was Rocking My Happy this week.

A review of some of the newer foods on the market.

Thursday I posted Food Tries and Buys.

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


Five on Friday {Happy Spring}

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It’s finally spring……although you wouldn’t know it with the snow we got this week! The weather forecast made it sound like we were getting a foot of snow, when in fact, we barely got about 2 inches or so.  We had another snow day for nothing, but it’s better to be safe.  This has been a busy week, and I was actually happy for the day off.  This week ended on a not-so-great note when my car had engine problems on my way home from work last night.  Luckily, we have AAA and I got the car towed to a nearby auto repair shop.  I was also fortunate that my husband was able to leave work and come pick me up.  I’m really hoping it’s an easy (and cheap!) fix.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  We are going out to dinner tonight with Supper Club for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) to a new-to-me restaurant.  Otherwise, we have a pretty open weekend for now.  Here are five from this week:

Reading – I started reading The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher this week.  It’s moving a little slow for me but I’m curious enough to finish it.


Watching – This past weekend I finished watching the first season of Big Little Lies. They did such a good job with this show!  I’m curious to see what season 2 will look like, since the first season followed the book.  I also started watching the new television series Rise on NBC.  I swear I was a theater nerd in another life.  I love watching musicals, although I can’t sing for the life of me!  Rise is a musical drama focusing on a high school production of Spring Awakening.  I actually saw Spring Awakening on Broadway, so it has me interested.

Eating – St. Patrick’s Day is not complete without a traditional corned beef dinner.  My husband cooked the corned beef in our Instant Pot and it was delicious!  I grew up with eating boiled potatoes and cabbage with our corned beef and I’m not a big fan.  So we did mashed potatoes (also in the Instant Pot!) and I sauteed the cabbage.  All the deliciousness was accompanied by my mom’s homemade Irish Soda Bread.

Family Fun – My son was one of the leads in his school play/musical.  He did a great job in both performances.  We didn’t get him flowers because he wanted sushi! And not any sushi, conveyor belt sushi.  So, Sunday we went out for lunch so he could have his fill of sushi!  Here’s a small sampling of some of the dishes.

Workout of the Week – I know exercise is so important for overall physical and mental health.  I also think it’s a big part of my self-care.  But I’m going to be real here.  I’ve fallen off the gym wagon.  With my son’s play practice these last few weeks going every night until 6 PM and/or meetings, getting to the gym was the last thing I wanted to do.  I’m debating whether to cancel my class membership and pay less money for just access to the machines.  This week I did a couple more True 30 Days of Yoga (from Yoga with Adriene) videos and I also did this POPSUGAR Fitness Barre Sculpting Workout.  I’m finding doing YouTube workouts fits better in my schedule since I can do them whenever I want and not work around a gym class schedule.  We’ll see how it goes.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared Westchester County Staycation Fun.

Wednesday I shared what was Rocking My Happy this week.

Thursday I re-posted and updated a recipe for Egg Roll in a Bowl.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!