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Five on Friday {The Short Week}

I hope everyone had a great week and is ready for the weekend!  We had a short week here with the kids off from school yesterday and today for the Jewish holidays.  They have slowly adjusted to their weekly school routine and things are running pretty smoothly around here (knock on wood!).  We don’t have an exciting weekend planned but my husband hopes to get a bunch of yard work and house projects completed.  My son has soccer, my daughter has a birthday party and we have our town day celebration. Otherwise, we will hopefully be enjoying a relaxing weekend. Here are five from this week:

We enjoyed apple picking at Wilkens Farm. It was a hot day but we picked apples and enjoyed cider dougnuts!

1. Celebrating – Last Saturday was my birthday and I had my celebratory weekend all planned out.  Saturday we went apple picking and out to dinner.  Then Sunday we went down to the city for an eating tour.  I couldn’t believe how hot it was Saturday.  We were in the apple orchard in the middle of September, sweating like crazy.  But we picked a bag of apples and had some cider doughnuts.

My daughter made apple crisp and cinnamon apple muffins.

2.  Baking – Yesterday, being off from school, my daughter got baking fever.  I was already planning on making muffins.  But she asked if she could make them on her own.  So, from start to finish she made Cinnamon Apple Muffins from allrecipes by herself.  Once the muffins were in the oven she decided that she wanted to make something else.  So the two of us made an Apple Crisp together which we enjoyed for dessert last night.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any vanilla ice cream, but it was delicious without!

3. Eating – Although we live pretty close to New York City we don’t get to go very often.  My birthday was a perfect reason to head down for the day. There were some foods only found in the city that I really wanted to try after drooling over my Instagram feed. We enjoyed a delicious day of eating all the foods! (Check my Instagram feed for more deliciousness.) Out of all the food we ate Sunday, this Unicorn Special from Taiyaki was the kids’ favorite and definitely wins for being the cutest!

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4. Reading – This week my son and I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I am so happy that I finally finished the series. I’m very happy with how the book ended and was even crying in parts.  Now, we just need to plan a trip to Universal Studios to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

5. Celebrating Small Wins – One of my blog business goals this month was to create my LinkedIn profile.  My husband had been telling me for months that I needed to create one.  I finally sat down yesterday afternoon and took some time to set it up!  It’s still a work in progress and I currently only have 2 connections.  But for me, this is a big step! Next up…..business cards!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendarMonday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Tuesday I wrote about our visit to Watkins Glen State Park.

Wednesday I shared a recap of our #NYSummer2017.

Thursday I published a Westchester County Fall Fun guide.

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

 

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Five on Friday {Birthday Weekend}

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a great week.  With school having started last week we are slowly getting back into the routine of things around here.  Tomorrow is my birthday and we have a fun weekend planned.  The celebrating starts tonight with dinner at my parent’s house.  Hopefully we have nice weather because we have outside plans.  Here are five from this week:

1. Reading – The Breakdown by B.A. Paris.  I really enjoyed her first book Behind Closed Doors.  I always love a good thriller/suspense book and so far this is a good one.

2. Watching – I hate to say that this week I’ve just watched the Bachelor in Paradise finale and was catching up on some of the Real Housewives episodes this week. Pretty boring.  I still have to finish the last three episodes of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy from last season, since I know the new seasons premiere soon!

Closet Cooking Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce

3. Eating – Last weekend we hosted our “sauce” themed supper club.  I made Closet Cooking’s Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce.  They were really good!  I even made the homemade salsa verde.  My husband and I love avocados.  But why do they have to be so expensive?!!

Carnivale Over the top Smores milkshake

4. Family Fun – Last Sunday we attended a local food truck festival.  One of our favorite treats was this S’mores “over the top” milkshake.  Yes, it was as good as it looks!  No worries, I didn’t eat this all myself –  the four of us shared!

5. Back to the Gym – Somehow I made it through the entire summer without getting to the gym.  Not even once!  I’d like to say that we were traveling a lot, which is true, but it would still just be an excuse.  Now that we are back to routines, I’m trying to get back on a gym schedule.  This week I made it to two classes.  I’m celebrating the small victories!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

 

Tuesday I shared my August 2017 reads and joined the monthly Show Us Your Books linkup.

Wednesday I posted about Visiting the Corning Museum of Glass with Kids.

Thursday I reviewed a Munchpak subscription box.

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

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Five on Friday {Back-to-School}

After a long, but fun summer, the kids are back in school!  I officially have a 4th and a 6th grader and I am fortunate that they both love school.  I am hopeful that we will have another great school year. The school year has barely started and our calendar is already filling up!  We don’t have anymore big trips coming up at the moment, but we plan on partaking in as much local family fun as we can.  After a summer filled with travel around New York State I am looking forward to blogging all about our travels.  This weekend’s plans include our monthly supper club and a food truck festival.  My son is starting a new soccer league which begins this weekend as well.  Here are five from this week:

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Reading – I am currently reading Ruth Ware’s newest book The Lying Game.  I enjoyed both of her previous books and I’m always up for a good suspense/thriller book.  I just started this one but hope it’s good!

Labor Day Weekend – We made our final trip of the summer up to Rhode Island last weekend.  The weather was chilly but we still made a beach trip.  I couldn’t enjoy myself more sitting on a beach chair with my book!  Plus, we had our requisite clam chowder, clam cakes and some fried calamari!

Collaboration – My husband attended his first event this week representing NY Foodie Family!  I was invited to an Angel’s Envy bourbon tasting in NYC.  I’m not a bourbon drinker but my husband is.  Plus, it’s much easier for him to get to the city on a weeknight.  So, he had a nice night out representing the blog.  He really does try to help out with the blog as much as he can, editing my posts, helping to take pictures and now, attending events solo!

Enjoying – being back on a schedule! With the kids back in school, it’s nice to have routines again. I’m not going to lie, I also enjoy having some quiet time! I can actually get some work done and run errands in peace.

Family Time – Last Monday we attended Cornucopia, a local historical event celebrating all things corn.  We like to watch cooking demonstrations and we enjoyed seeing local chef Renee Kashuba make a corn soup.  We were able to sample it and I liked it so much that I plan to make it soon! We also walked through a corn maze, visited a mill where corn is ground, and my husband and son partook in a corn husking competition.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I wrote about Farmstead Flatbread, a restaurant in the Lake George, NY region.

Currently 2017

Wednesday I shared my September Currently and joined the monthly linkup.

Thursday I wrote about our kayaking experience with Southern Tier Kayak Tours.

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

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Five on Friday {Weekend at Home}

And it’s Friday again!  The summer is flying by and we are going to be enjoying a rare summer weekend at home! Our daughter is spending the weekend at Hershey Park with a friend and we have our monthly supper club this weekend.  So, we will hopefully have a pretty relaxing weekend.  Here are five from this week:

1. Memorable Moment –  Were any of you constantly watching and awaiting for April the Giraffe to give birth like we were?!!  Last weekend we surprised the kids with a visit to Animal Adventure Park.  We got to pet and feed April and her baby Tajiri (“Taj”).  We also got to feed and pet many other animals including camels, llamas, goats, yaks and more.  There will be an post about our experience at Animal Adventure Park coming soon to the blog!

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2. Reading – I am finishing up Emma In the Night on my kindle.  I’m over half-way through and feeling “eh” about it.  I’m hoping for some big jaw-dropping moment at the end.  Once I finish this one I will be starting A Man Called Ove, which I’m very excited about after loving Fredrik Backman’s Beartown.

3. Eating –  Constantly being on the road in vacation mode we have not been eating the healthiest.  However, we have been eating some tasty food!  This past weekend on our last trip we enjoyed these square “sheet pizza” slices from Nirchi’s in Binghamton.  I of course had to go with the regional specialty, and get a Chicken Spiedie slice as well as a Buffalo Chicken Ranch slice.  And if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter than you already saw the Buttermilk Chicken Sammy I ate this weekend as well! When we are home, I am cooking healthy meals.

4. Alumni College Visits – This past weekend was centered around showing our kids our college alma maters.  We first stopped at SUNY Binghamton, to show the kids my husband’s college campus.  The next day we visited Cornell University where I graduated.  Yes, at 9 and 11, the kids are a little young, but I think that it’s never too early to get them thinking about their future.  Plus, Cornell is just a beautiful campus to visit!  This is Beebe Lake, located on the campus.  We walked a little bit of the trail around the lake and even did some geocaching during our visit.

5.  Another Memorable Moment – I wanted to visit Ithaca during the summer because several state parks are located in the city and have waterfalls that visitors can swim in.  We visited Robert H. Treman State Park where there is a waterfall that you can sit under and dive and swim in a stream-fed pool.  The water was a freezing 66 degrees so I didn’t go anywhere near it.  My kids braved the water for a bit and my daughter needed to get close enough to the falls so she could say that she touched them!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I wrote about the Saratoga Springs restaurant Ravenous Creperie.

Tuesday I wrote about our summer visit to the Olympic sites at Lake Placid.

Thursday I shared a peek inside our geocaching bag.

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

 

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Five on Friday {Already August}

Happy Friday!  I cannot believe we are already in the second week of August.  We’ve been having fun traveling around New York and I’ve missed several weeks of Five on Friday posts.  But I’m here today and happy to be able to linkup again and share what’s been going with us.  Here are five from this week:

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1.Reading – So, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and joined NetGalley.  I’m not a huge fan of reading on my kindle but the appeal of reading upcoming releases before they are published was just too strong.  Plus, with all of our traveling, carrying around a kindle is much easier than a bag full of books!  So, my first finished NetGalley read this week was Something Like Family.  This is a heartwarming family drama that will be published in September.  I’ll have a more detailed review in my monthly book review post September 12 (the next Show Us Your Books linkup). The next kindle read I started is Emma In the Night, a suspense/thriller, which is my favorite genre to read.

2. Bachelorette Finale– Of course Monday night I watched The Bachelorette finale.  I admit I was totally team Bryan in the beginning. He’s cute, has a good job and the chemistry between him and Rachel!  But after the hometown and seeing his mom I knew he was a total Mama’s boy and Rachel was always going to be second.  By the finale I was all about Peter and was hoping there’d be a surprise ending at the live finale.  Nope……and it’s obvious Peter isn’t the next Bachelor…..but I wonder who is!  Possibly Dean after Bachelor in Paradise?!

3. Eating – Traveling around the state we’ve been eating all kinds of deliciousness.  One of our recent favorite dishes was this Beef on Weck poutine that we had in Buffalo.  Beef on Weck is a regional dish of roast beef on a kummelweck roll.  Well, this dish combined the flavors of beef on weck with the french fries, gravy and cheese curds of poutine.  Yes, it was as good as it looks!

4. Movies – So this week we’ve been watching a lot of movies.  I watched The Space Between Us with the kids.  Then Wednesday I took my son to the Regal Summer Movie Express.  For $1 a ticket we saw The Spongebob Movie:  Sponge Out of Water.  I have never been a fan of Spongebob and my son chose to see this movie over The Adventures of Tintin.  After about 10 minutes of watching the movie, I just couldn’t anymore.  I have never been so happy to have had my kindle in my purse.  Luckily, the theater was pretty empty and I was able to read for the remaining hour and twenty minutes!  This week I also watched Table 19.  I’m a huge Anna Kendrick fan so I had to give it a try.  I’m not going to recommend the movie but I will say it’s not as bad as I expected.  My husband sat and watched it with me and agrees with my opinion.

5. #NYSummer2017 – Last weekend we traveled a long 6 1/2 hours to Buffalo and Niagara Falls.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t that great for most of the trip and we had a lot of rain.  However, we tried to make the most of it, since this was the kids’ first time seeing the Falls.  They really are a beautiful sight, especially lit up at night.  Besides taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist and getting up close to the Falls, we also enjoyed seeing the Friday night fireworks show.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared our experience cabin camping at Moreau Lake State Park.

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

Wednesday I wrote about our recent trip to Six Flags Great Escape.

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

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Five on Friday {Birthday Boy Weekend}

Today is a big day in our house.  My “baby” boy turns 9!  We have several days of celebrating the birthday boy starting today with funfetti cupcakes at camp and a sushi dinner.  This was our last full week at home for awhile now. My son attended a local Cub Scout day camp this week and the kids had some play dates with friends.  Next week we leave for our first leg of our #NYSummer2017 road trip!  Here are five from this week:

1. Family Fun – Last weekend we took a tour of the Nina & Pinta, replica Columbus ships.  Afterwards, we went to the West Point Museum and then stayed for their Independence Concert and fireworks show.

2. Watching – This week I didn’t watch any movies or much television.  I watched The Bachelorette and a couple of episodes of the Real Housewives of New York.

3. Baking –  I bought a huge container of blueberries this week.   Although my daughter complained that I just made blueberry muffins I had her help me make more!  Last time I made buttermilk blueberry muffins.  This week I made Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins.  She wasn’t complaining when she ate them, so I guess they were okay!

4. Reading –  I am half-way through Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult.  This is one of the books on my summer 2017 reading list.  Picoult is one of my favorite authors and this is one of her few books that I haven’t read yet.  It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for years!  So, I’m glad to finally be dusting it off and reading it.  As usual, it’s a great read so far.

5.  Planting – My parents gave me five tomato plants that they bought but didn’t need.  So, I put them in pots this week in hopes that they will grow!  I also found these mini rose plants on sale at my local Shoprite this week for $1.99 each!  I planted them as well this week, hoping they will survive my black thumb!  When the weather wasn’t too hot I also did a bunch of weeding.  Not a favorite job, but it has to get done.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my June 2017 Reads and joined the Show Us Your Books link up.

Wednesday I wrote about Soukup Farms Coffee Infused Maple Syrup.

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

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Five on Friday {4th of July Weekend}

Happy Friday!   Summer is in full swing and we are enjoying every minute of it.  As you read this, we are currently on our way up to Rhode Island for our annual 4th of July family get-together.  We will hopefully have nice weather and a fun, relaxing couple of days filled with good food and family!  Here are five from this week:

Watching – This past week I watched Office Christmas Party.  It had some funny moments, but overall wasn’t worth my time!  I also took the kids to the Regal Summer Movie Express.  We saw the movie Ice Age: Collision Course for $1/ticket!  Neither of the kids had seen it before and they both  enjoyed seeing it on the big screen.

Eating – We had our monthly supper club this past weekend.  This month’s theme was Nigella Lawson recipes.  Although I know who she is, I don’t think I ever cooked one of her recipes.  I finally decided to prepare her Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad.  I say prepare, since there was no cooking involved!  However, this was such a light, refreshing salad, perfect for summer!

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Reading –  I just finished the book The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman.  This was an emotional, but really great read! It’s the second book in the “heirloom novel” series.  Although I’ve packed several books for our Rhode Island vacation, I know I’ll get very little actual reading done over these next couple of days!

Farmer’s Markets – Summer means farmer’s markets are in full swing.  We have so many farmer’s markets around us and I’d like to try to visit as many as I can.  Not only do they sell fruits and veggies, but there are lots of prepared food for sale (pies, jelly, pickles, honey, cheese, meat, etc.) as well as coffee, baked goods and hot food.  Last weekend I visited one in Cold Spring and bought the tasty beef empanada pictured above and some New York made cheese.

Baking –  Since writing my 5 Questions with Joel Gamoran, I’ve really been trying to reduce my food waste.  I bought buttermilk last week for a chicken recipe but had a lot left over.  I picked up some blueberries this week and my daughter and I baked Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins this week.  I apologize, but no pictures were taken of the muffins before we ate them and I stuck the leftovers in the freezer for future breakfasts!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I posted my summer 2017 reading list.

Wednesday I shared Fun Gifts from UncommonGoods.

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

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Five on Friday {School’s Out!}

Today is the official kick-off of summer vacation for my kids.  This last week of school was filled with a class trip for my daughter, yearbook signings, and play dates. Last Saturday we went up to my in-laws to celebrate an early Father’s Day and a belated birthday for my brother-in-law. We have lots of fun and travel planned this summer and we are so excited!  Here are five from this week:

1. Father’s Day – We celebrated Father’s Day with a visit to Playland Park, a local amusement park here in Westchester County.  We couldn’t believe that my 9-year-old son had never been and the last time my daughter visited she was too young to remember.  So, we were long over-due for a visit!  We had such a fun time going on the rides together and eating some park food.

2.Mother/Daughter Lunch Date –  My daughter has had 1/2 days of school for the last week and a half.  Earlier this week we enjoyed a rare lunch date at a local steak house.  I ordered this prime rib wrap and she ordered a cheese steak.  She suggested we share which I of course was up for!

3. Watching – This week I watched very little television.  On one of her half-days of school my daughter and I watched Harriet the Spy:  Blog Wars on Netflix.  I have to say this movie was a bit cheesy, but she enjoyed it.  Since she’s been home, I haven’t been able to watch Housewives while I eat lunch, which used to be my normal routine!  So now I’m behind on Potomac and New York City!

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4. Reading  – I am almost finished with the YA book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  What a powerful, and thought-provoking read.

5. Baking – I was long overdue in muffin making.  After requesting Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins, I had my daughter help me make these from  Annie’s Eats.  We shared one warm, out of the oven and it was so good!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar
Monday I shared my last weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I wrote about Savor Westchester, the new dining experience at The Westchester.

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

 

 

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Five on Friday {Father’s Day Weekend}

Yeah for Friday!  This has been a fun but busy week.  The kids have less than a week of school and we are looking forward to summer!  Father’s Day is this weekend and unfortunately, the weather forecast isn’t looking that great.  This may have an impact on our weekend plans, but keeping my fingers crossed!  Here are five from this week:

Reading:  I recently finished reading The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman.  This was a really enjoyable read that I highly recommend!  I’m currently reading Sarah Jio’s Always.  I’ve only read one other of hers but loved it, so hoping this one’s good as well!

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Watching:  This past week I watched the movie Before I Fall.  I recently read the YA book and have to say, like in most cases, the book was so much better. I also watched the movie A Dog’s Purpose with the family.  I had mixed feelings about watching it after hearing about the alleged abuse of the animals when filming.  However, we all watched it and really liked it.  I will admit, it had me in tears several times.

Eating:  This week I was invited to a tasting of some of the restaurants in the new food court at a local, upscale mall.  Not only did I get to meet some local bloggers and Instagram friends, but I also got to enjoy a tasty lunch!  This crispy chicken sandwich with honey chile sauce was so good!

Outdoor Time:  Last weekend we visited two, new to us, state parks.  We went hiking/geocaching in both.  Despite the heat on both days, the kids were troopers and we found new caches.

Local Attractions:  Last weekend we also visited a Washington Irving’s Sunnyside.  We visited the American author’s home overlooking the Hudson River.  This was our family’s first time visiting the historic site.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Tuesday I shared my May Reads in the Show Us Your Book link up.

Wednesday I posted my first “5 Questions With….” interview with Chef Joel Gamoran.

Thursday I shared #NYSummer2017.

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

 

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Five on Friday {Hooray for the Weekend!}

It’s Friday, which means we made it through another week!   As of now, the only thing scheduled for the weekend is soccer.  We haven’t had a free weekend in awhile, so I’m looking forward to it.  Here are five from this week:

1.Reading – I am currently reading This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel.   Five-year-old Claude wants to be a girl when he grows up.  His parents want him to be whoever he is, which for him means wearing dresses and changing his name.  However, they don’t want to share with everyone that their child is transgender.  They also have to worry about the four older siblings who are burdened with keeping this secret.  I am almost finished reading this book and from what I’ve read, I highly recommend it.  It’s a heartbreaking book about a topic that has become pretty relevant today.

2. Watching –  I finally watched Rogue One.  My husband said I’d like it…..but he was wrong.  I didn’t dislike it, it was just okay.  I’ve come to accept that I’m not a big Star Wars fan.

3. Family Fun – Last weekend our family visited the Liberty Science Center in Jersey, City, NJ.  We received complimentary passes, for an upcoming post I’m writing for the Westchester County Moms Blog.  None of us had ever been before and we had such a great time!  Our favorite exhibit was the limited-time, MythBusters exhibit.  My husband has watched every episode of the show, so this was right up his alley!  There were props from the show on exhibit as well as many hands-on activities and a live show.

4. Lunch Date –  My husband and I had the chance to enjoy a rare lunch date last week.  Dan Rooney’s Sports Pub at the Empire City Casino, invited me to try their burger entry in the Westchester Magazine’s Burger and Beer Blast.  We got to try this Bloody Mary Burger and several other items from their menu.  We had a delicious time!

5. Eating – And speaking of Westchester Magazine’s Burger and Beer Blast, last night, my husband and I gorged ourselves with not only burgers (and beer for my husband) but also ice cream, empanadas and more!  We left the event a tad bit stuffed!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendarMonday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Currently 2017Wednesday I joined the monthly Currently link up.

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