Five on Friday {Happy New Year!}

Happy Friday and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone has adjusted to 2017.  It’s been a bit of an adjustment for the kids (and myself!) adapting to earlier bedtimes and earlier mornings!  But we are back into our routine and ready for all that 2017 brings!  This weekend my son has a basketball game and we are going to a neighbor’s birthday party.  We will also be taking down our tree and Christmas decorations.  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading –  I am currently reading Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick.  I love her and am enjoying this book.

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2. Watching –  The Bachelor.  I’m not a regular watcher of this show.  I watched the season of the Bachelorette with Andi and Nick, but I didn’t see Kaitlyn’s season or when Nick was on Bachelor in Paradise.  However, I’m all in for this season!

3. Listening –  Since I’m watching The Bachelor, I thought it might be fun to listen to an episode recap on a Bachelor podcast.  Well, who knew that there are so many different podcasts?!!!  Here to Make Friends, Rose Buddies, Rose Pricks, Bachelor RHAPups…..does anyone listen to any of these and/or have a favorite to recommend? There’s no way I can or want to listen to them all!

Cheesy Turkey Tortilla Soup

4. Eating –  All the comfort foods.  I hated being sick all week and thankfully, my husband stepped in and took care of dinner most evenings.  I felt so out of practice cooking dinner this week!  The weather is cold and although I want to eat healthy, I’ve been all about the comfort food.  Look for this Cheesy Turkey Tortilla Soup and the rest of our comfort food eats this week in Monday’s weekly meal plan post.

Movie Tickets

5. Family Fun –  My son had been wanting to see Star Wars:  Rogue One since it came out December 16.  Neither my daughter or I are huge Star Wars fans, although we surprisingly both enjoyed The Force Awakens.  So last weekend my husband and son went to see Rogue One and my daughter and I went to see Sing.  Everyone was happy and both movies were really good!

Star Wars CLUE

Bonus:  New Year’s Eve –  My husband and I haven’t gone out on New Year’s Eve since having kids.  Honestly, I’m not all that into the holiday and the thought of getting on the road when so many people have been drinking kind of scares me.  The kids are getting older and for the second year have stayed awake to see the ball drop.  So we had our second annual family game night.  Each member picked a game for us to play.  My son just got Star Wars CLUE for Christmas and this was my pick.  We also played a Jelly Belly guessing game that my daughter made up, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?  and Wits & Wagers.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I shared our November & December Six-Pack.
Tuesday I posted Podcast Episodes for the New Year.
Wednesday I shared my January Currently in the monthly linkup.
Thursday I reviewed the Empire Crate subscription box.

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


Five on Friday {Recuperating From the Holidays!}

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah!  I am still recuperating from the holidays.   It was a whirlwind weekend and Tuesday I ended up sick with flu-like symptoms.  I’m still not one hundred percent, but I’m feeling a lot better than I was earlier this week.  It also didn’t help that we spent the entire day Wednesday down in the city.  We were outside in the cold for most of the day but had a great day!  However, my son has been sick the past couple of days as well now.  I’m just glad it’s over the vacation when we have the time to relax and recuperate.

Before I share my five from this week, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy new year!  I hope 2017 brings everyone joy and good health!  We are planning our usual quiet night in with the kids, playing games and seeing if they make it to midnight!  We also promised our son he’d finally be able to see Rogue One sometime this weekend!  Now on to my five from this week:


1. Reading – It took me forever to finish Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks, but I finally finished it yesterday.  I just started reading Home by Harlan Coben.

2. Watching – This week we watched Storks (or more like the kids watched it while I was sick, asleep on the couch next to them!).  Before heading out Christmas Eve we watched the classic A Christmas Story with the kids.  Neither my husband or I could remember if or when we had last seen this movie.

Christmas Dinner

3. Eating – There was a LOT of eating being done this whole week!  My cousin hosted Christmas eve and we ate homemade lasagna, meatballs and sausage.  I hosted Christmas with both my family and my husband’s family.  Since we don’t host Thanksgiving, we made a turkey with all the sides.  And this time we got to enjoy the leftovers!

Rockefeller Tree

4.  Christmas in NYC – Wednesday we went down to New York City.  We have an annual tradition of going down to the city around the holidays to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.  We also love seeing the city all decorated for the holidays.  We are fortunate enough that the trip into the city is a train ride away.  My son also loves getting to visit the Nintendo store after seeing the tree!

The Illusionists

5.  The Illusionists:  Turn of the Century – We received TKTS gift certificates from my brother-in-law for Christmas.  We had planned ages ago to go down to the city Wednesday to see the tree and go see a show.  Unfortunately, since Matilda is closing Sunday, tickets were not available at the TKTS booth.  We were able to get tickets to see The Illusionists.   It was a great show, with the Clairvoyants being my favorite act.  However, we were up at 6:30 AM and didn’t get home until 12:30 AM.  It was a LONG day for everyone!

ICYMI, this week on the blog:
Tuesday I shared my favorite books of 2016 and linked up to the Show Us Your Books linkup.

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


Five on Friday {Happy Holidays!}

An early Happy Holidays everyone!  This has been a crazy last week before the holidays.  Lots of last minute gift shopping, a band concert and gift giving!  But we made it!  The kids are super excited about Christmas.  Tomorrow we head to my cousin’s house for Christmas eve.  Then Sunday we host Christmas day with both sets of parents, brothers and my husband’s aunt and uncle.  It will be an enjoyable day with family and good food.  Although my husband is part Jewish, we won’t be celebrating Hanukkah until later in the week.  We will light the menorah and probably make some latkes to celebrate.  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – I am currently finishing up What Light by Jay Asher.  This will be my last book reviewed for my 25 Books of Christmas and will be posted on Christmas.  Next up will be Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks that just came in from the library.


2. Watching – All the Christmas movies! Last weekend we watched Elf (we watch this movie EVERY year!) and Deck the Halls.  This week we will be watching A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

3. Eating – Nothing very exciting this week.  I know that this weekend (and next week!) will be filled with lots of good eats!  So, I was trying to be good this week!  Dinner still needs to be made every night though and last night I made this Cajun Chicken Pasta.

Holidays On the Hill

4. Family Fun – Last Sunday we went to Holidays on the Hill at Lasdon Park & Arboretum.  They had a train display and light display.  This is a local county owned park near our house that my husband and I both asked each other, “Why haven’t we been here before?!”  We expect to make more visits, especially when the weather gets warmer and we can see the gardens!

Bath & Body Works Gift
5. Gift Receiving – I am a contributor to the Westchester County Mom’s Blog.  We had a “Secret Spoiler” exchange and I received a Bath & Body Works foaming soap and candle.  I love Bath & Body Works and the frosted cranberry scent is perfect for Christmas and winter!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan as well as a review of A Fairy’s Gift.
Tuesday I reviewed Three Christmas Wishes.
Wednesday I shared our family’s Winter Bucket List and reviewed Young Scrooge.
Thursday I reviewed The Lost Gift.

Linking up with Tif, Andrea and April.  Have a great weekend and a Happy Hanukkah and/or Merry Christmas!


Five on Friday {BRRRRR It’s Cold!}

Happy Friday everyone.  BRRRRR it’s cold here in New York.  I mean single digits feels like below zero cold. Winter hasn’t even officially started yet and I feel like I’m going to be saying this a lot this winter….I hate the cold!  I woke up yesterday with the beginnings of a cold and am hoping that it ends there.  As I told the kids, “Mommy can’t be sick!”  That’s just a disaster waiting to happen!  Here are five things from this week:


1. Reading – I am currently reading Three Christmas Wishes by Sheila Roberts.  I’m trying to read some holiday books, both for my 25 Books of Christmas feature, as well as to get into the holiday spirit.  Even though she’s written a bunch of books, this is my first book by the author.  I’m only a couple of chapters in but I’m enjoying it so far.

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2. Watching – This past week we watched both Pete’s Dragon and Finding Dory.   We don’t see many movies in the theater.  I usually wait for them to come out on DVD and borrow them from the library.  Then we get to enjoy watching the movies snuggled up together on the couch in our pajamas!  Both of these movies were really good.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

3. Eating – Pizza and cookies!  This past Saturday was our supper club’s cookie exchange.  We also did our annual pizza theme this month and had all the kids come too.  I made Buffalo Chicken Pizza and my husband made a deep dish Spinach and Artichoke Dip pizza.  Pizza = yum!

PB & Jelly Cookies

4. Baking –  Making the cookies for the cookie exchange was a family operation!  My son has been asking for peanut butter and jelly cookies for the longest time.  So we went with his request for our cookie exchange.  My daughter and I made the cookie dough.  Then she and my husband rolled the dough balls, my son made the fork marks and I made the indents for the jelly.  My husband then went and filled them all with the jelly filling.  If you like peanut butter and jelly, these cookies were pretty good!

5. Shopping – I am happy to say that I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping!  The kids’ presents are wrapped and this weekend they want to help me wrap the other presents.  I am hoping that by the end of the weekend I can say that I am entirely done shopping and everything’s wrapped!  On another note, I took my daughter to Five Below last weekend so she could pick out presents for her Girl Scout troop Secret Santa exchange and pick out something for her brother for Christmas.  An hour plus later and the mission was finally accomplished.  I know she was excited to look at everything and find the perfect gifts.  However, for me it was kind of torturous.  She’s a tad bit (okay majorly!) indecisive and add in the crowded parking lot and store and this mom was a bit aggravated.  Online and weekday morning shopping is the way to go!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I posted our weekly meal plan and a review of The Doll People’s Christmas.
Tuesday I shared my November 2016 reads in the Show Us Your Books linkup and a review of A Boy Called Christmas.
Wednesday I reviewed The Christmas Eve Tree.
Thursday I reviewed The Great Spruce.

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


Five on Friday {It’s Beginning to Feel Like Winter!}

Brr!  It’s getting cold around here.  It’s really beginning to feel like winter.  We had a little snow earlier in the week and the kids had a 2 hour delay on Monday.  As of now, it’s looking like we’ll be getting even more snow Sunday into Monday!  Have I mentioned that I really dislike winter?  I am not a snow and cold person.  On the bright side, it gives me an excuse to snuggle on the couch with a book or a Netflix binge!  Here are five from this week:


1. Reading – Besides all the Christmas books that I’m reading for my 25 Books of Christmas feature, I’m almost finished reading Paris For One by Jojo Moyes.  Normally, I don’t usually enjoy short stories, so I’m pleasantly surprised with how much I’m enjoying this book!

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2. Watching – The kids and I are almost through watching E.T.  I’m trying to show them some of the movies that my husband and I enjoyed when we were kids.  We’ve seen the original Ghostbusters as well as The Princess Bride. My daughter and I watched Troop Beverly Hills as well. Do you have any “classic” movie recommendations for us?  I’m thinking Big, with Tom Hanks, will be one of our next movies!

The Empire Crate

3. Eating –  The contents of the Empire Crate.  Although I received the box before Thanksgiving, we are just finally getting to sampling everything!  I love that this box is a subscription box focused on food products from our state, New York!  We will have a review post coming soon!

Piano Recital

4.  Enjoying – My kids had their Christmas piano recital last Sunday afternoon.  My daughter’s been taking lessons for a little over a year now and my son just started lessons over the summer.  This was their first piano recital and they did an amazing job!   My parents gave me the piano that my siblings and I played when we were kids.  They came to the recital and are so happy to see the piano continuing to be used.

West Point

5.  Remembering –  Last weekend my daughter and I went to West Point Military Academy and participated in the Wreaths Across America Ceremony.  We helped place wreaths on every grave in the cemetery, remembering and honoring those who served our country.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.
Wednesday I joined the Currently linkup.
And this week included reviews of Santa’s Underwear,  Candy Cane Lane, The Christmas Boot, Gingerbread Christmas, and The Mistletoe Secret for the 25 Books of Christmas.

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


Five on Friday {First Weekend of December}

Happy Friday everyone!  I’m sure that many of you are in disbelief with me that we are in the first weekend of December!  The holidays are quickly approaching and I am nowhere near ready.  My Christmas cards have been ordered and I’m awaiting their delivery.  The tree is up and decorated.  But there is not one present bought or wrapped yet.  It’s really bad!  This weekend is busy with a Girl Scout event, my son’s first basketball game and the kids’ Christmas piano recital.  Here are five from this week:


1.  Reading – I’m in the middle of reading Flawless, the second book in the Pretty Little Liars series.  I’m also reading lots of Christmas books with the kids for our 25 Books of Christmas (see below).

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2. Watching – I haven’t been watching a lot of television this week.  I did get in a few episodes of Scandal and I just started watching Madam Secretary again on Netflix.  I’m way behind on those shows and have been trying to catch up!

Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

3. Eating – Check out this upcoming Monday’s weekly meal plan post for this past week’s dinners.  But this week’s menu included Broccoli & Cheddar Soup and Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie.  Lots of comfort food going on here.  I also was able to have a lunch date with a girlfriend yesterday, which was lots of fun.

Turkey Cake

4. Celebrating – I didn’t post last Friday because we were down in Maryland visiting my sister for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving also happened to fall on my niece’s birthday this year so we did lots of celebrating!  She really wanted a turkey cake, so my sister, with the help of my husband, created this cake.  It’s a store bought sheet cake with a decorated chocolate turkey and chocolate covered bacon feathers.  Yes, chocolate covered bacon is a real and delicious thing!

5.  Proud Parent Moments – My son auditioned for advanced recorder this week and found out that he made it.  He was so nervous about trying out but he practiced a lot and was well prepared.  The first quarter of middle school recently ended  and my daughter made the high honor roll!  We are so happy that she’s thriving in her first year of fifth grade!

ICYMI on the blog this week:
Monday I shared Food Buys and Tries.
Wednesday I wrote a review of the Warwick Valley Bed and Breakfast that my husband and I recently stayed at.
Thursday I shared the first book in NY Foodie Family’s 25 Books of Christmas.  Every day from the 1st through 25th I’ll be posting a review of a Christmas book.

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


Five on Friday {Welcome November}

Happy Friday!  This week has been a super busy one for us.  It started off with a busy and late Halloween on Monday night.  Wednesday evening my son had basketball evaluations for the upcoming season.  Last night I went to my son’s parent-teacher conference.  Add in play dates, before and after school activities, homework, errands, etc. and it was nonstop!  This weekend my son has his last soccer game of the season and my husband and I are going out to dinner with our Supper Club.   Otherwise, as of now, the rest of the weekend should be pretty low-key.  Here are five from this week:

Halloween Candy

1.Halloween – As the kids get older, it’s become necessary for my husband and I to “divide and conquer.”  They each have their own friends who they want to trick-or-treat with.  So, I went with my daughter, dressed as Greek Goddess, and my husband went with my son, dressed as a Rogue One Death Trooper.  LOTS of candy was collected and they both had a fun evening.  Unfortunately, it was also a late evening….and a Monday. So, not a great way to start a busy week off.  I might have had to deal with some tired, cranky kids this week!


2. Reading – Unfortunately, I can’t say that I’ve read anything good recently.  I just started reading The Woman in Cabin 10.  I’m in the mood for a good suspenseful read and hope this one fits the bill.

3. Watching – Sadly, I cannot say that I watched the World Series.  I’m not a big fan of watching sports on television, but enjoy watching them in person.  However, my husband watched the games and also had some late nights this week!  This week I watched the Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix.  It was very enlightening.  When this story first broke out in the media, I really wasn’t following it.  So, this was an insightful documentary for me, getting the whole story now that it is over and she was finally acquitted.

Blue Mountain Reservation

4. Family Fun – Last Saturday was a beautiful day.  In the afternoon, the family headed out to Blue Mountain Reservation to do some geocaching.  We got to enjoy this beautiful view after doing some minor rock climbing to get up to the cache.  We got some great exercise in and got to enjoy one of the last beautiful fall days.

Seared Scallop

5. Eating – Tuesday started Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.  My friend and I had lunch at Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish, a local farm-to-table seafood restaurant.  I got to enjoy this seared scallop appetizer for my first course.  It was soooo good!

ICYMI on the blog this week:


Monday I posted 5 Things To Do with Leftover Halloween Candy.


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


Thursday I reviewed local restaurant Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish.

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

Five on Friday {Ready for Halloween!}

Hooray for Friday!  Are your kids as excited as mine are for Halloween?!  Tonight my daughter goes to her first middle school dance. It’s a Halloween-themed dance with costume contests and treat wars.  She is super excited!  I can’t believe that she’s old enough to go to a dance!  Sunday we plan on going to our local trunk-or-treat event and then of course Monday is Halloween. So lots of fun Halloween stuff going on.  I just need to finish stocking up on candy.

Here are five from this week:


1.Date Night– Date nights are few and far between for my husband and I.  Last Saturday, Nicole, owner of Westchester County Mom’s Blog (the local blog that I am a contributor for) gave me two tickets to see Yesterday, a Beatles tribute band.  We shipped the kids to my in-laws for the night and my husband and I got to enjoy dinner out and the show.  It was a lot of fun and the seats were great!  We’ve dubbed ourselves Beatles tribute band groupies, since this is now the second Beatles tribute band that we’ve seen.

2. Watching – Besides the usual Grey’s Anatomy, This Is Us and the Real Housewives, I also watched Audrie & Daisy on Netflix.  It’s a documentary that focuses on the story of two different high school teenagers who were sexually assaulted and the effects that the assaults had on them.  In the age of social media, online bullying is real and can have drastic effects, as this documentary shows.  As the mom of a tween, this really makes me fearful of her getting older.

Banana Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins

3. Eating – Besides cooking dinner every night, this week I also made Banana Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins.  These muffins are super moist and tasty!  We’ve been enjoying them for breakfast and snacks.  The recipe made twenty muffins so I was able to freeze some of them to have on hand for an easy breakfast on busy mornings!


4. Reading –  I’m in the end of participating in a team reading challenge on goodreads and need to read a bunch of series books.  So, I’m trying to catch up on some of the series that I haven’t finished.  I somehow missed reading a couple of the books in the Alex Cross series. I am currently finishing up James Patterson’s London Bridges.  It’s one of his usual quick, suspenseful reads.

5.  Just For Fun – The World Series is going on, as if you didn’t know!  I know this is a big achievement for the Cubs and thought that this Halloween light show was fun and full of team and Halloween spirit!

ICYMI on the blog this week:

2016 Calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.


Tuesday I shared a roundup review of some Election-themed children’s books.


Thursday I posted a recipe for Ham, Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche.

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


Five on Friday {Home Sick Edition}

Happy Friday!  This has been a long week around here.  After two weeks of multiple days off, the kids finally had a full week of school.  All activities are in full swing now so both kids are going to school early and staying after on some days.  It’s crazy trying to keep track of everyone’s schedules!  And add to that me being sick for most of the week.  My husband was extra awesome this week in getting the kids up, ready and out in the mornings.  I’m glad that it’s me who was sick this week though and not the kids.  I know it’s not fun sitting in a classroom all day and not feeling well.  I’m hoping for a pretty low-key weekend.  The kids are spending the night at my in-laws on Saturday so my husband and I can have a date night.  Sunday they will bring the kids back and we will probably get lunch.  But otherwise, not much else is planned around here. Here are five from this week:

Girl's Night Out

1. Girl Time – My husband spent most of Saturday with my son at a Cub Scout event.  My daughter and I spent most of the afternoon shopping.  Then we stopped at Panera to pick up some dinner and ate it while we watched The Hunger Games.  My daughter is almost finished reading the series for the first time and LOVES it.  As she finishes the book we are watching the movies.  Great bonding time!

2. Watching – Nothing new this week.  Just the regular rotation of Real Housewives of OC and New Jersey, Grey’s Anatomy and This Is Us.

3. Reading – I have just started reading Pretty Little Liars.  It’s been on my to read list forever and I’ve been holding off on watching the series on Netflix until I’ve read some of the books.  From comments on Instagram, it seems that the show doesn’t totally follow the book, but I always like to read the book first!

Crab Cakes

4. Cooking – After eating three course dinners every night on our recent cruise, it’s been nice to have some home cooked meals.  This week’s menu included Slow Cooker Beanless Chili (see recipe link below), Crab Cakes (pictured above), Homemade Mac and Cheese, Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon and Potato Soup and Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pizza.

Revlon Vixen

5.  Buying – I was in major need of some fall nail polish.  On a recent trip to Walmart I bought a bottle of this Revlon Vixen.  I’m not even sure what nail colors are in this season, but I love this dark burgundy polish.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I shared my September book reads.
Tuesday I shared a recipe for Slow Cooker Beanless Chili.
Thursday I wrote about our recent cruise experience on the Carnival Sunshine.

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


Five on Friday {Ready for Cruising}

Happy Friday everyone!  And what a happy day it is for us.  We are leaving tomorrow for our cruise tomorrow.  We will be spending five nights on the Carnival Sunshine visiting Halifax and St. John in Canada.  It will be quiet for the next several days on the blog while we are away.  This week was a relaxing week for us.  The kids had off from school Monday and Tuesday for Rosh Hashanah.  Unfortunately, they are so busy during the regular school week that we ended up doing a lot of errands and shopping.  It’s really hard for me to go shopping without them, now that they are both very opinionated about their clothing and style. We did squeeze in a lunch at Five Guys though!  Here are five things from this week:


1. Reading – This week I finished reading The Girl Before by Rena Olsen.  I’ve been on a psychological, suspense reading kick lately and this book did not disappoint. It is a disturbing read about the human trafficking trade and one girl’s brainwashing and naiveté. Despite the uncomfortable topic of the book, Olsen’s writing had me captivated to see how it would all end.

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2. Television Watching –  After taking a several season hiatus from this show, my husband and I have started watching American Horror Story: Roanoke.  I’m not sure why I do this to myself since I really hate scary shows and movies!

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3. Movie Watching –  I just watched Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates the other night.  Guys, this movie was BAD!  I cannot recommend this and feel like I wasted an hour and a half of my life watching it.  I am a big fan of Anna Kendrick, which was the only reason in me watching it.  Don’t waste your time.

Iron Vine Tapas

4. Eating – This month our supper club decided to go out to eat for tapas, rather than make them, which was our original theme.  We ate at a local restaurant in Peekskill called the Iron Vine.  I think we ordered almost every tapas on the menu, in two different rounds of eating….plus dessert.  It was really good!

Southwest Shrimp and Corn Chowder

5. Family Time – Last Sunday my family and I were invited by Stop & Shop to attend the New England Chowdafest in Westport, CT.  We had such a great time getting a sneak peek of Stop & Shop’s new line of Nature’s Promise soups.  Then we got to walk around and try all different kinds of soups and chowders from restaurants throughout the area and rate them on a ballot sheet.  It was delicious and fun family time!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I posted our weekly meal plan.
Wednesday I shared my October Currently in the monthly linkup.

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