8

Five on Friday {Big Changes}

Happy Friday!  It’s been a busy week around here.  Big changes are in store for our family because I am going back to work.  After being a stay-at-home mom for the past two years, I am starting a full-time job.  It’s been something that I’ve been considering for awhile. By the time I was in elementary school both my parents were working full-time.  So, I grew up with a working mother.  I’d like to be a role model for my children and show them that a woman can be a mom and work full-time.  I think it will also help them be more responsible.  My husband fortunately has a flexible work schedule and will be helping out tremendously these first few weeks as we all adjust to this new change. I am not returning to teaching. Those days are officially over.  I will be working in a school district’s human resources department.  Total career change that I am looking forward to!  Did I mention that I start the new job on Monday?!   I found out earlier this week that I had gotten the job so it’s been a rush these past few days trying to get everything in order.  Have no fear, I will still be blogging here  at NY Foodie Family!  Posts may not be as frequent though as I adjust to a new schedule.  Here are five from this week:

1. Watching –  My husband and I have always been fans of The Amazing Race.  Last season was the first time that the kids watched it with us.  They soon became big fans of the show as well and we cheered on Team Fun – Becca and Floyd (and even did a “Five Questions With…” interview with them).  We all look forward to watching episodes of the newest season (Season 30) together each week.  Last weekend we also watched Despicable Me 3.  It was a fun family movie but one that I’m glad we waited to see on DVD.

2. Supper Club – Last weekend we hosted our monthly supper club dinner.  This month’s theme was Japanese.  My husband made a shrimp curry and I made chicken yakisoba (pictured above).  There were homemade gyoza, Oyakaodon (chicken and egg rice bowl) some marinated veggie side dishes and a Soba-Cha Pudding (roasted buckwheat custard) for dessert. It was a delicious meal!

27797316

3. Reading – I recently started reading Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda.  I read one of her other books The Perfect Stranger and thought it was okay.  Fragments is a YA mystery that has started slow but has me curious.  This wee, my son and I finally finished reading The Lost Hero.  We’ve been reading this book together since November!  It was my first Rick Riordan book and I can see why his books are so popular with the tween age group.  The next book we’ve started reading is A Wrinkle In Time, since the movie is coming out in March.

4. Closet Clean Out – I’ve been living in jeans and “athleisure wear” (i.e. leggings and sweats) for the past two years.  Now that I have to dress for work, I decided to do a closet clean out.  I had to go through my dressier pants from years ago to see what fits, what is still in style and what I need to buy.   I haven’t gone crazy buying new clothes…..yet.  That will be coming soon!

5.  Drinking – (c/o Brooklyn Food & Beverage) I was recently sent samples of Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer.  Their ginger beer is made with real ginger and contains tiny ginger particles. Besides traditional ginger beer, it comes in fun flavors like Earl Grey, Lemon & Lime and Mango.  If you like ginger, these beers are for you. They are non-alcoholic, but make great mixers for cocktails and mocktails.  And, they are now available at BJ’s Wholesale Club.  While I’m not a big fan of ginger, my husband is.  He enjoys the variety of flavors, the simple ingredients and the small size (7 fl. oz glass bottles).  He also likes the distinct taste of ginger and thinks these are a nice treat.  I of course sampled them and have to say that they are for true ginger fans.  There’s a wallop of flavor in such a small bottle!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Saturday I shared an Exercise Class A to Z Guide.

6 fun games for a tween family game night that parents won't mind playing.

Tuesday I posted 6 Fun Games for Family Game Night (Tween Edition).

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

6

Five on Friday {The Short School Week}

Yesterday, before school, my son asked me, “It’s Thursday already?!  This week went by so quickly!”  I told him that it was probably because he’d only been in school for a half-a day this week.  The kids were off on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, they had an early dismissal Tuesday and a snow day Wednesday.  Yes, it’s been a very short school week for them.  And yes, I am sick of the cold and snow! Now it’s Friday and we are ready for another weekend!  Sunday we are hosting our monthly supper club.  But otherwise, we have a pretty relaxing weekend. Here are five from this week:

1. Family Game Day –  Last weekend my daughter requested that we have a family game day.  We played a couple of the new games that the kids got for Christmas and enjoyed some snacks.  It was a fun and relaxing day.

34466979              27840585

2. Reading – I am currently reading two books.  My fiction book is Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart and my non-fiction book is Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequest.  I’ve just started both but am enjoying them so far.

Free willy.jpg

3. Watching – On the snow day I watched a movie with the kids.  After listening to the kids argue over what we were going to watch, I decided what we were going to watch.  I found Free Willy on Amazon Prime.  I had not seen this movie since I saw it in the movie theater in middle school.  And I cried (a little less than the first time I watched it).  Although both kids complained in the beginning about my movie choice, they both really liked it.

4.  Monthly Family Dinner –  This year, one of my goals was to have a monthly family dinner.  I will be writing an upcoming more detailed post about this.  But basically, I want us to cook a full meal together and then eat it in the dining room with our fancy china.  We decided to choose a new country each month to base our menu on, beginning with the letter A.  This month we had an Albanian dinner.  It was a fun and delicious night!  Here’s a peek at the baklava we made for dessert.  I don’t make it often enough but should.  It’s so good and relatively easy!

5.  Baking – When the kids were off on Wednesday, I had the two of them bake some muffins.  They made these Pineapple Muffins from Recipe Girl.  I supervised, but they did all the work!  I love having kids who enjoy cooking!

ICYMI this week on the blog:


Tuesday I posted a guide to Ice Skating in Westchester County and Beyond.

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

 

14

Five on Friday {The Warm Weekend}

Happy Friday!  The kids made it through their first full week of school in 2018!  Amazing!  And the temps today and tomorrow are supposed to reach 50 degrees F.  Although it may be rainy, I’ll take it!  This was a busy week around here.  Last weekend we took down our Christmas tree.  It’s been too cold to take down the outside lights and decorations though.  Here are five from this week:

1.Supper Club get-together – One of the couples in our supper club was sick and missed out on our New Year’s eve pizza dinner and cookie exchange.  So we all met up last weekend for some game playing and cookies.  Then we went out to lunch together at a local diner.  Now we have more cookies to enjoy!  These Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies and Snickerdoodles are delicious!

2. Family Fun –  Our family was invited to dine at El Balon Cantina, a local Mexican Cantina.  This was a new-to-us restaurant.  We love trying new places and eating delicious food and this fit the bill.  We enjoyed guacamole, a variety of tacos, a spicy shrimp brown rice bowl and brisket enchiladas.  We also split a caramel flan and fried cheesecake for dessert.  (Link to full review is below!).

3. Social Media to Real Life – This week I met up with Sharon from Instagram account cookingwithkidsny.  We met via Instagram and discovered that we live near each other.  We finally got to meet up in real life!

34849342

4. Reading – I’m currently reading the suspense/thriller Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds.  I’m about half-way through and so far it’s a 3 star review.  I’m not rushing to read it, which usually is the mark of a good suspense book.

5. Self-Care Saturday/Bootcamp Class – If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that this year I am all about self-care.  To help me and hopefully inspire others, I’ve started a Self-Care Saturday post.  January I’m focusing on exercise.  For two weeks now I’ve taken a bootcamp class at my gym.  This is a new-to-me class and it’s a killer of a workout!  After the first night of class, every muscle in my body hurt for 3 days (not really, but it felt like every muscle!).  I went back again this week and was barely sore the next day!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Saturday – I wrote about Building an Exercise Routine.

Tuesday I shared my December 2017 reads.

Thursday I wrote about our lunch at El Balon Cantina.

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

10

Five on Friday {The First of 2018}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our Disclosure Policy for details.)

Yeah, it’s Friday!  It’s also the first Friday of 2018!  I love the start of the new year.  To me, it equals a fresh start and a year of possibilities.  While I stopped making resolutions years ago, I have decided that this year I am focusing on self-care and myself.  Although it was a short week of school for the kids, it was a rough one.  Staying up until almost 2 AM on New Year’s eve and then having to go back to school on Tuesday was a killer.  Luckily, (or unlucky!) they got to enjoy a snow day yesterday from the “bomb cyclone” that hit the East Coast.  We stayed nice and warm inside!  We have a pretty relaxing weekend and the kids will hopefully get readjusted to their regular schedules.  Here are five from this week!

34879754

1. Reading –  I am currently reading I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll.  This is a mystery/thriller, right in my comfort genre and a great way to start my 2018 reading.  According to Goodreads, I read 90 books last year.  This year I set my goal for 75 book.

2. New Year’s Eve – Normally, we celebrate New Year’s Eve at home with tasty snacks and family game night.  This year, we had our monthly supper club on New Year’s Eve.  We had our annual pizza theme and cookie exchange with all the kids.  I made an eggplant parm pizza and my husband made a shrimp scampi pizza.  There was also a buffalo chicken pizza and a mussels fra diavalo pizza (and a plain cheese pizza for the kids).  It was a delicious evening!

3. Snow Days – There’s nothing like a snow day.  I know I loved the unexpected day off more as a child.  But even as an adult, I enjoy being forced to stay inside in comfy clothes all day, relaxing.  Yesterday was the first snow day the kids had this school year, and it was a doozy!  The winds were really bad and the temps are so cold right now that going out to play in the snow wasn’t even an option!

4. Instant Pot – My husband and I received an Instant Pot for Christmas.  I’m excited to learn how to use all the different features.  So far, my husband has made hard-boiled eggs and mashed potatoes in it this past week.  We are loving it!  If anyone has any Instant Pot recipe recommendations, send them my way!

5. Puzzle Time –  I haven’t done a puzzle in ages.  This year my son has become the biggest Harry Potter fan.  Santa brought him a Harry Potter puzzle and we (mostly me!) have been working on it.  I forget how relaxing it is for me to work on puzzles.  I sit and listen to a podcast and it’s just so enjoyable.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared more about my year of self-care.

Thursday I posted The Tweens Read December 2017.

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

2

Five on Friday {The Last of 2017}

Happy Friday!  I can’t believe how quickly this week flew by.  Did everyone have a Merry Christmas?  The beginning of our week was super busy, cooking, cleaning, wrapping presents, etc. to get ready for Christmas. We got to experience a white Christmas with a small accumulation of snow early in the morning.  After Christmas, it was nice to relax a bit and enjoy some quality time together.  It’s crazy that this weekend is New Year’s Eve and 2018 will be here.  We are having our pizza-themed Supper Club and cookie exchange on New Year’s Eve and the kids go back to school Tuesday.  They’ve been staying up super late these past few days so it’s going to be a rough couple of days getting back into the school routine.  Here are five from this week:

1. Christmas dinner –  We host Christmas every year. This year we had an Asian-themed dinner with dumplings, sesame peanut noodles, Asian eggplant, honey-soy glazed carrots, fried rice and kimchi.  It was delicious and a nice change from the usual turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. Delegating dishes for family members to bring also cut down on our cooking and stress!

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – We don’t go out to the movies very often.  But this week we went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  For someone who’s not a big Star Wars fan, I really enjoyed it.  We got a nice surprise too, when we went to buy our popcorn and discovered it was half-off for Regal members.

33230889

3. Currently Reading –  I am currently reading The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter.  I’m about halfway through and enjoying this mystery/thriller.

4. Shopping – We hit the mall this week for some after-Christmas shopping.  The kids received several gift cards for Christmas that they really wanted to spend.  Bath & Body Works is having their semi-annual sale.  My daughter stocked up on some 75% body lotions.  I bought a couple of honey hand soaps at a deal for $1.88 each (regularly $7.50)!  Unfortunately, we were disappointed with this particular Target’s stock of Christmas supplies.  We usually stock up on wrapping paper, tissue paper and tags for next year. But we left with nothing this trip!  This week we also all got calendars for 50% off at Barnes & Noble.  I’m just hoping the kids will actually use them!

5. Relaxing – I know the kids only have a couple more days of their holiday vacation.  Instead of going out and doing lots of things, we are spending these last few days relaxing.  The normal school week is filled with so many activities and homework that they have very little time to just relax.  They are getting to sleep in and enjoy their Christmas presents.  They have been making slime, we have been playing games together, reading and more.  January 2 will be here soon enough and we’ll be back to the regular routine.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
The best books that I read in 2017.

Tuesday I shared my favorite reads of the year.

Thursday I posted 31 Days of January Fun.

I’m linking up with Andrea, April and Katie.  Have a great weekend and a happy new year!  See you in 2018!

6

Five on Friday {The One Before Christmas}

Happy Friday!  We made it through the last week before Christmas! I’m wishing everyone an early Merry Christmas! We will be hosting Christmas dinner for both my family and my husband’s parents and brother.  I won’t be back until Tuesday, the 26th, when I will be sharing my favorite reads of 2017.  Enjoy the day with family, friends and good food.  I hope Santa brings you everything you wanted!  Here are five from this week!

Ice Skating – Saturday we went ice skating with my son’s class.  His teacher hosted a get-together at a local ice rink for any students and families who wanted to ice skate.  I was never a good ice skater to begin with, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve chosen not to skate.  It’s really not enjoyable for me and I never feel like I’m missing out!  I watched while my husband and kids were out on the ice.  I think this was only the second time that my son has been ice skating.  He liked it enough that he said that he’d like to try it again soon!

Latke Party – My mother-in-law’s family is Jewish.  Sunday we went up to my husband’s aunt’s house for a latke party to celebrate Hanukkah.  Since we don’t see this side of the family often, it was nice to get together with them. Plus….latkes!  Lots of latkes!

NationalLampoonsChristmasVacationPoster.JPG

Watching – Last weekend we watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with the kids.  I think that I last saw this movie in high school.  The kids also watched the Emoji Movie.  Let me tell you, there’s a reason why it got a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Even the kids agreed it was a bad movie!

33357622

Reading – With the craziness of Christmas quickly approaching, I have not had much reading time.  I recently started Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak and hope to get it finished soon!

Getting ready for Christmas – I finally finished the Christmas shopping yesterday!  I’m not sure that I’ve ever waited this long to get it done.  Now, I still have to finish wrapping the presents.  Plus, there’s finalizing the Christmas dinner menu, choosing desserts to make and bring to Christmas Eve dinner and…….ugh, grocery shopping.  Definitely not looking forward to that!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

A fun and aventurous family outing at the Palisades Center mall.

Tuesday I posted about Palisades Climb Adventure.

Thursday I shared NYC Winter Family Fun.

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

 

2

Five on Friday {10 More Days Until Christmas!}

Happy Friday everyone!  Can you believe we are down to 10 more days until Christmas?!  Within a week, I’ve mailed out our Christmas cards and made a huge dent in the shopping.  I must say, I feel very accomplished this week!  This week was also super busy. Almost every evening there was an event that either I had to be at or bring the kids to.  This weekend we are going ice skating with my son’s class.  Sunday we are celebrating Hanukkah with my mother-in-law’s family at a latke party.  It should be a busy but fun weekend!

Holiday Party – Saturday we had our first real snow fall.  My friend was hosting a holiday party that evening.  Fortunately, we are also neighbors, so I was able to walk to her house and not worry about driving on the roads.   It was a potluck dinner and there was a White Elephant gift exchange.  It was a delicious and fun mom’s night out!  I came home with the Godiva Hot Chocolate and Coffee set as well as a cocktail mixer collection.

Belt Test – Wednesday evening my kids tested for their orange belt in Tae Kwon Do.  They both have been participating in a before-school Tae Kwon Do club for four years now.  Since the club is at their schools we don’t get to see them.  So it was nice to see them in action during their test.

38447

Reading – I am currently reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  Although I don’t get hulu, I’ve heard the show is great.  For some reason, I think based on the cover of the book, I thought the book was historical fiction.  That’s actually not the case and it’s a science fiction/dystopian book.  I’m a little over half-way through and it’s really good.

An elf stands between the letters "e" and "f".

Watching – Last weekend we had our annual viewing of Elf.  I don’t watch a lot of movies more than once.  However, it has become a tradition that we watch this movie around Christmas.  We still laugh every single time.  Definitely a family favorite!  Do you have a favorite holiday movie?

Microwave-less – Definitely not a favorite!  There is some electrical issue with one of our kitchen outlets.  Somehow, it short-circuited and broke our microwave.  The buttons on the panel are non-functional.  So, I brought up a smaller microwave that we were storing in the basement, plugged it in, tried using it, and the same thing happened!  So, we are now down two microwaves this week!  You would think it’s not a big deal, but it has made me realize how much we use it!  Re-heating my coffee, heating up my lunch, making popcorn, cooking veggies (yes, I use those frozen steam bags a lot!) – getting the outlet fixed and buying a new microwave is on our to-do list!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my November 2017 Reads.

Check out how I make our family's weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I posted an updated Peek Inside Our Meal Planning Process.

Thursday I wrote about our visit to Gulliver’s Gate.

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

9

Five on Friday {NYC Weekend of Fun Review}

Happy Friday!  As another weekend arrives, I’m starting to get a little stressed out.  I’ve barely made a dent in my holiday shopping.  The holiday cards arrived last week and are getting mailed out tomorrow.  I would have done them sooner, but my daughter really wants to help and she’s been very busy this week.  My goal is to get them done this evening while my husband and son attend our local tree lighting ceremony.  This week, my five on Friday is a highlight of our day spent in NYC last Sunday.  It’s always a fun time going down to the city, even though it’s crazy busy during the holidays! This weekend one of my friend’s is hosting a holiday potluck.  It should be a fun mom’s night out!

1. Tree in Rockefeller Center – Can you visit NYC during the holidays and not see the tree in Rockefeller Center?  When I tell you I felt like a canned sardine, I’m not joking.  We attempted a family selfie, I got some pics of the kids in front of the tree and then we were out of there!

2.  National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey – I wrote a whole post on this NYC attraction earlier this week (see link below). It’s a unique and fun immersive, underwater experience.

3. City Kitchen – I love finding and trying new places to eat when we are down in the city. We really like food halls, like City Kitchen and Urbanspace.  These spaces host several different food vendors/stands in one building.  You can get food from whichever places you want and then sit and eat.  It’s similar to a food court, but much more upscale!  This Shiro-Obi Ramen from Kuro Obi was amazing.  I’ve had a decent amount of ramen in my life and this broth was the best that I’ve had.  Seriously, the best!

4. Gulliver’s Gate – I will be posting a full review next week on the blog about NYC attraction, Gulliver’s Gate.  Located in Times Square, it’s a world of miniatures.

5. Holiday Windows – In honor of the 80th anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday windows theme is “Once Upon a Holiday.”  Each of the Fifth Avenue facing windows had a scene from the Disney movie.  Unfortunately, you can see the reflection of the buildings across the street in the window!  And I thought the tree was packed with people.  The line to see these windows snaked around the building!  We did a walk-by and got to see them, without waiting in line.

Bonus:  Lunch Date With My Parents – My parents are retired and live in Rhode Island. They have a condo in New York where they come stay when they have doctor’s appointments or have plans with family and friends.  They were in town this week and asked if I would go to lunch with them.  Of course I was thinking, what bad news are they going to tell me?  Since I never go to lunch with them alone.  Well, it was just that, lunch.  No bad news!  They just wanted to spend some quality time with their daughter, since when we’re normally together there’s usually a lot of family or I’m busy cooking or hosting.  It was really nice to sit and catch up with them.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Some unique holiday gift ideas perfect for Westchester County families.

Monday I posted Holiday Gift Ideas for Westchester County Families.

Check out this gift guide for ideas of stocking stuffers for tween girls.

Tuesday I shared a guide with ideas for Stocking Stuffers for Tween Girls.

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is an immersive, family fun experience in NYC. Take a journey under the ocean and learn all about the sea and its life.

Wednesday I wrote about National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey.

Check out these three new Hanukkah picture books for 2017.

Thursday I shared 3 New Hanukkah Picture Books.

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

6

Five on Friday {Welcome December}

Happy Friday!  I skipped last week’s Five on Friday, since I was visiting with family.  I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and have recuperated from turkey overload.  I spent Thanksgiving in Maryland visiting my sister and her family for the holiday.  While there we got to celebrate my niece’s 5th birthday too, which was fun.  I can’t believe that today is the first day of December!  I feel like it’s going to be crazy from now until the end of the month!  Thanksgiving weekend my husband put the outdoor Christmas lights up and we put up and decorated our tree.  This weekend we have a fun trip planned to New York City.  Here are five from this week:

Thanksgiving – A belated picture of our Thanksgiving feast.  The only downside of not hosting is that we don’t have the leftovers!  Luckily, I save my free Shoprite turkey and cook it for Christmas dinner.  So, we will have to wait until then.

Christmas Card – Our card has been ordered!  Last year we scheduled time to take a nice family picture.  Yeah, that was not happening this year!  We chose a collage card from Snapfish and filled it with different pictures from throughout the year.  Of course, it was only after the card was designed and perfected did I realize that each card was $1.70!! Luckily, I took advantage of their Cyber Monday deal.  But, it was a little more than we were expecting to pay.  They should be arriving any day and I will hopefully have them addressed and mailed out sometime next week.

Eating – As if the Thanksgiving feast wasn’t enough, we have a tradition of going out for Korean food the night before Thanksgiving.  I always order bibimbap, my favorite Korean dish.  Between sharing this with my daughter, plus the mandu (dumplings) and kimbap (Korean sushi rolls), I was stuffed.

34273236

Reading – I finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng this week.  This was a really good book, but it took me awhile to read it.  It started slow, but picked up near the end.  I have just started reading Before We Were Yours.  I’m thinking I should have picked a lighter read after Little Fires Everywhere, and may be having book regret.  But, we shall see.

Watching – I haven’t had much time to watch anything this week.  My husband and I watched a couple of episodes of the newest season of the Great British Baking Show on Netflix.  I’m several weeks behind on This Is Us and Scandal.  We really don’t watch that much television and are looking into cutting our cable…..again.  Between Netflix, Amazon Prime and cable, there is just way too many choices and not enough time.  We had previously cut cable a couple of years ago.  However, now that my kids are getting older and we are leaving them home alone at times, we want the house phone.  Can you believe that it’s cheaper to have a bundle with internet, cable and phone over just internet and phone?!!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I wrote about Escape the Mystery Room, a great family date night.

Tuesday I shared Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Tween Boys.

A roundup and review of the November tween reads of my two kids, ages 9 and 11.

Wednesday I shared the November reads of my two tweens.

Here is a calendar of 31 days of December fun. If you are looking for some fun things to do this month I've got you covered!

Thursday I posted 31 Days of December Fun, a calendar of fun things to do this month.

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

4

Five On Friday {Almost Thanksgiving!}

(This post contains affiliate links.  NY Foodie Family receives a small commission when you purchase through these links.  Thank you for helping to support this blog!)

Happy Friday!  I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is next week.  To say that November has flown by is an understatement!  It has been pretty quiet on the blog this week, as I was helping out at the school book fair every day this week.  Spending most of the day at the book fair, doing laundry, cleaning and errands, and then shuttling the kids to and from their various after school activities has pretty much been my week.  Not really exciting stuff!  This weekend is my husband’s birthday.  We took a cruise last year to celebrate his 40th, but are keeping it low-key this year.  His parents are coming over Sunday to help celebrate.  The kids only have school Monday and Tuesday next week and then we are headed down to Maryland to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family.  I have so much to be thankful for and am fortunate to be able to spend the holiday with my family.  I wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving!  May you enjoy a wonderful day with family, friends and good food!  Here are five from this week:

34043643
1. Reading – I have been in a reading funk lately and not been motivated to read.  This week I picked up The Last Mrs Parrish, which I had on hold at the library.  I think I was in the mood for a good suspense book.  Although I haven’t had much time to read this week, when I do get a chance, I’ve been reading this one!

2. Cooking – I no longer post a weekly meal plan on the blog.  Part of the reason is that it gets dark so early.  I’ve been making dinner later and I’m just not able to get decent pictures.  This week’s winning dinners included One Pan Italian Sausage and Farro from Girl Heart Food and Ham and Sweet Potato Hash from the September 2017 issue of Cooking Light.

3. Holiday Shopping –  Tomorrow only, (Saturday, November 18) Target is having a sale with 25% off toys!  Start your holiday shopping now!  I have posted several gift guides recently for tweens and will have a preschool toy guide coming next week!  It’s crazy to think that the December holidays will be here before soon.  I really need to sit and start making my shopping lists!

4. Dinner Date – Saturday night my husband and I went out to dinner with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend.  It was Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) and we went to a new-to-us restaurant that I had been wanting to try for the longest time.  We had a great evening and some amazing food.  My beer-braised short rib with corn and cheese grits and crispy brussels sprouts was a perfect fall dish and so good!

5. Business Cards  – My business cards finally arrived this week!  I ordered them through Vistaprint, during a 40% off sale. The first batch never arrived so they had to resend them.  That was really annoying because I had an event to go to where I wanted to have the cards on hand.  I ordered them with what I thought was plenty of time.  Then there was the shipping issue and they didn’t arrive in time.  On the preview the Facebook icon didn’t look lost on the dark background of the card.  Overall, I’m not a huge fan of the quality either.  I know many people like Moo, so I will have to give them a try next time!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared Activity Kits for Tween Girls.

A review of my October 2017 Reads with ratings.

Tuesday I shared my October Reads.

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