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!


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
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!


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:

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
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!


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:


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!


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:


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!



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:


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!


Five on Friday {A Short Week}

Since Monday was President’s Day, the kids had two days off from school.  This short week has totally thrown us all off.  However, I’m glad it’s Friday.  Last weekend we spent a few days in Rhode Island for a quick, family get-away.  We had some quality, fun family-time which was just what we needed.  The weather has been unseasonably warm (no complaining here!) and we have a pretty low-key weekend.   I feel some early spring cleaning and decluttering may be happening!  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – I am currently reading Every Thing You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia.  It has started off slowly, but I’m sticking with it.

2. Watching – While we were in Rhode Island last weekend we watched the Trolls movie.  My kids had seen the movie in the theaters but were happy to watch it again with my husband and me.  I love Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.  While the movie had some great music I wasn’t overly impressed with it…..is it only me?!  I’ve been watching The Bachelor and cannot believe that Corinne is still around!  I have to catch up on watching this week’s This Is Us episode and am a couple episodes behind in Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.  Too much TV to watch and not enough time!!

3. Eating – So much good food over this past week!  While we were away this past weekend, my husband and I shared this Thai Chicken Pizza and a California Cobb salad from California Pizza Kitchen (CPK).  This was also our kids’ first time eating at CPK, which we couldn’t believe!  We also had some gelato, tasty sliders in Providence and Turkish food in Connecticut on our way home.

4. Family Fun – While in Rhode Island we spent a day at Foxwoods Casino…..but no gambling!  They recently put in a large outlet center so we did some shopping.  Then we had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and then took the kids to the arcade.  My daughter loves Skee ball!  We also visited the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum and walked around Providence.

5. Blogging – Last week I was accepted as a member of Food Tribe, a foodie influencer agency.  I love food!  So, I’m hoping this turns out to be a fun and tasty experience!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I reviewed Dinner Thyme, a meal delivery service.

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


Five on Friday {President’s Day Weekend}

Happy Friday!  This week was a busy, but fun week.  The kids started off their Monday with a 3 hour delay.  Tuesday was Valentine’s Day and then we finally ended the week on a “normal” note!  President’s Day is this upcoming Monday.  In the past our school district gave the kids the entire week off.  This year, they only get Monday and Tuesday off.  So, we are heading up to Rhode Island tonight for a few days of fun and relaxation.  This week was a very food-filled week, as you will see below…..but then again, those are my favorite!  Here are five from this week:


1.Reading – I just started reading The Girl Before by JP Delaney.  I’m in the mood for a good suspense/thriller and I’m hoping this fits the  bill!  I’ll hopefully get in some quality reading time this weekend!

Lobster Terrine

2. Foodie Fun – Monday night, a friend invited me to a #foodiechats event at The Crooked Knife in NYC.  I am not on my twitter game, but this was such a fun night of meeting new people, eating great food (like this three layer lobster, avocado and potato salad terrine!) and tweeting.  If you love to talk about food, every Monday evening from 8-9 there’s a #foodiechats twitter party.

Donut Pub Donuts

3. Eating – Donuts.  Monday night before the #foodiechats dinner, my friend and I spotted The Donut Pub.   We stopped by for a little pre-event treat.  I love a good donut and these didn’t disappoint!  A Smores Cronut and a Maple Bacon Cronut?!!! Yes please!!!  And they are open 24 hours!  So, after the event we stopped back so we could pick up some Valentine’s breakfast treats for our kids and husbands.

Black Knights vs. Niagara University

4. Family Fun – Last Saturday evening we went to a West Point Black Knights ice hockey game.  This was my husband’s winter family bucket list item.  Although I never watch sports on television, I find live events to be so much fun!

Eggs Benedict and Banana Muffin

5. Cooking – Sunday was supposed to be our supper club’s monthly gathering.  This month’s theme was brunch.  Because of the snow and ice, we ended up not going.  However, since we had all the ingredients my husband made his Eggs Benedict and I made my Banana Muffins with Mascarpone Cream Frosting.  Umm, I’m not going to lie, yes, they were both as delicious as they look!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Life According to Steph









Tuesday I shared my January reads in the monthly Show Us Your Books link up.

Hockey Knight

Thursday I wrote about our experience at the West Point Hockey Game.


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


Five on Friday {We survived Niko!}

Happy Friday.  As I’m writing this post on Thursday evening, I’m wondering if the kids will have a delay tomorrow. We got blasted with at least a foot of snow from storm Niko yesterday…..but we survived!  I made cinnamon buns in the morning and prepped the slow cooker with beef stew for dinner.  It was nice to have a lazy day of reading, movie watching and blogging!  This weekend is busy with a hockey game and supper club!  Here’s a look at five from this week:

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1.Reading – During yesterday’s storm I finished reading Small Great Things.  Jodi Picoult has always been one of my favorite authors and this book proved once again why.  I’m very excited to hear that it’s being made into a movie starring Viola Davis and Julia Roberts!  I just started reading The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.  Very different from Small Great Things!  But after reading that one, a light, fluffy romance is probably good!

2. Watching – The kids and I watched Amazonia last weekend. Yesterday, they watched Suicide Squad.  My son has been wanting to watch this movie forever, and it finally came in from the library (where we get most of our movies from!).  I tried watching it but it was so not my thing.  Normally, my husband screens all the Marvel PG-13 movies that my son loves before watching.  But since he was working from home yesterday, he gave the green light for my son to watch it. Umm, from the scenes that I saw, he probably shouldn’t have……bad parents award over here!

Cake Batter Cookies

3. Eating – All the bad for you (but really good!) things!  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I made these Cake Mix cookies, then my mom dropped off some of her amazing homemade coffee cake on Sunday and then I made cinnamon buns (not homemade!) for breakfast yesterday!  So, lots of yummy treats this week!

Westchester Knicks

4. Family Fun – Last weekend we went to a Westchester Knicks game.  They are a local NBA D-League team, which is the official minor league of the NBA.  This was my son’s Family Winter Bucket List item.  It was our first time seeing a basketball game and was a lot of fun!

Me Time!

5.  Me Time – Knowing Wednesday that we were in for a big snow storm, I decided to do something I normally never do on a weekday…..me time!  I went out to a local coffee shop for a latte and some quiet reading time!  It got me prepped for a full day of being snowed in with the kids!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
2017 calendar
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.
Wednesday I reviewed the family movie Amazonia.

Thursday I posted a Guide to the NYC TKTS Booth.

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


Five on Friday {The Last in January}

Happy Friday!  Can you believe that January is almost over?  I feel like so much has happened already in 2017!  I am This week the kids had no school Tuesday because of ice and sleet.  It was actually a great day to have off, since my daughter was super sick.  She has a bad cold and she really needed that day to rest.  She was feeling well enough to go back to school Wednesday but even today she’s still not feeling that great.  Luckily, the weekend isn’t too busy.  My son has a basketball game tomorrow and then my husband and I have supper club tomorrow evening.  The theme is Chinese New Year.  It should be a delicious dinner!  Here are five from this week:

Duck Confit Pizza

1. Date Night – Last weekend my parents were in town and watched the kids so my husband and I could have a rare date night…..plus one.  We’ve been trying to get together with my brother-in-law for ages to go out to dinner.  He lives in NYC so we met half-way in Tarrytown.  He took the train up and we drove down (about 40 minutes away). We went to Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen, a restaurant that’s been on my to try-list for awhile.  We had a great dinner, which included the above Duck Confit pizza as an appetizer.  It was a really good dinner!


2. Reading – I just started I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.  I’ve heard a lot of great reviews of this book from the Show Us Your Books linkup and it’s been on my to read list for awhile.  I’ve just started it and it’s moving a bit slow. I’m hoping it picks up soon!

3. Watching – This past weekend we watched The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia.  My son and I recently finished reading the book and whenever possible, we watch the movie after we read a book.  Both book and movie were really good!

Shrimp Scampi Garlic Bread Pizza

4. Eating – Lots of yummy food this week, including this Shrimp Scampi Garlic Bread Pizza.  Yes, it was as good as it sounds!  You can check out the rest of our menu this past week in Monday’s weekly meal plan post!

5. Listening – I’ve been catching up on finishing the last season of Scandal since TGIT came back last night (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder!).   In one of the last couple of episodes of last season, I heard this song playing in the background.  I hadn’t heard it in forever and didn’t realize that Diana Ross sang it.  But I was quick to look it up on Youtube and have been listening to it a lot this week.

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Bonus:  Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day!  Over 300 readers will be linking up their reviews of diverse literature that we have received specifically for this event.  I read the book Nowhere Girl and thought it was a really great middle grade fiction book (there’s a link below to my review).  I’m so happy that I was able to participate in such a great event.  I think that it’s really important that children have access to and read books that celebrate diversity.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.
Tuesday I posted a recipe for Asian Meatloaf.
Wednesday I posted a review of the book Nowhere Girl for Mulicultural Children’s Book Day.
Thursday I wrote about Chinese New Year and also shared where you can celebrate Chinese New Year in Westchester County.

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


Five on Friday {Good and Bad}

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a great week.  Before we get on to some good things from this week, here are a couple of bad things.  First, I don’t like talking politics with anyone besides my immediate family and very close friends.  However, seeing clips from the Betsy DeVos hearing really had me fired me up.  As a former special education teacher, I am in disbelief that this woman is going to be running our country’s education system. Second, on Monday my daughter and I both got haircuts.  We both just got a couple of inches trimmed off.  But I also had the hair dresser cut me bangs.  Well, they are not quite what I was envisioning and I’m not very happy with them.  It’s just hair though and I’m dealing.  Hopefully, they will grow out sooner than later and I can brush them to the side, which is what I was previously doing with them.  Here are five from this week:

1. Blog Updates –  I have just started using Canva and can’t believe what took me so long to try it!  As you may have noticed, last weekend I updated my blog header and social media icons.  It’s not a big thing, but everything that I’ve done with this blog has been self-taught.  So, I’m giving myself a little pat on the back!


2.  Bowling – With the three day weekend we decided to take the kids bowling Sunday night.  They were super surprised and we had a great time!  I posted this pic on Instagram and noted that yes, I have my own bowling ball…..but I’m not a very good bowler!  When my husband and I were dating (and pre-kids) we would go bowling a lot.  So, we both ended up getting our own shoes and bowling balls.  Unfortunately, nowadays, they only get used every couple of months or so.

One True Loves

3. Reading – After reading so many great reviews about this book, (and all of her other books!) on the Show Us Your Books linkup I decided I had to give it a try. So far, it’s really good!

4. Watching – I am of course watching The Bachelor (instead of listening to a podcast recap, I’ve opted to just read Sheaffer’s recaps instead, which are hysterical and spot-on!). Over the three day weekend we watched the movies Matilda and The BFG since my son and I had read both books together this summer.  Both movies were a bit different from the books in parts but were enjoyable.  I also saw this video on my Facebook feed this past week.  Rachel blogs at The Stay At Home Chef and also has a Youtube Channel.  She received a comment from a reader about her gray hair and this video is her response.  Its brave, beautiful and empowering.


5. Eating –  After our haircuts on Monday, the family went out for lunch.  My husband suggested Izla, which we hadn’t been to in a long time.  We shared Churrasco, Ropa Vieja and roasted chicken with rice & gandules, tostones, salsa stuffing and cinnamon baked yams.  It was so good!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
2017 calendar

Monday I posted our weekly meal plan.


Thursday I shared our thoughts on kombucha.

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