Happy Friday! I’m so looking forward to the weekend! It’s been a long busy week. I’m wishing all the moms an early Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you enjoy a day of rest and relaxation! Here are five from the past week:
1.Hike – Last Friday I took a vacation day and my husband and I hiked Anthony’s Nose. On the weekend, this place is so crowded! But since it was a Friday morning, we only saw two other people! It was so nice and we enjoyed these amazing views! But, my legs might have been sore for the next two days!
2. Reading – I am finishing Admission by Julie Buxbaum. This is a fictional YA book about the recent college admissions scandal. It’s an okay read but I’m not loving it.
3. Eating – Low-carb eating hasn’t been super difficult at home but I find it hard dining out. I did get this tuna salad at a café in Cold Spring after our hike last week and it was really good.
4. App – I’ve been using the free version of the MyFitnessPal to log my meals, water and weight. It’s been very helpful in keeping track of and seeing the calories in what I’m eating. In two weeks I’ve lost over 3 pounds!
5.– Puzzle – This week I finished this puzzle that I’ve been working on for awhile. I’m deciding whether to begin working on anew puzzle or starting my paint by number. Decisions, decisions.
Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week! Last Saturday we were notified that our daughter was in close contact with a classmate who tested positive for COVID so she’s been quarantining all week. My son started modified track and field this week. This is his first year, so it’s a new experience. Here are five from the past week:
1.Kusama at NYBG – last Saturday my husband and I went to the New York Botanical Garden to see the Kusama exhibit. I had been waiting since last year, since it had to be postponed due to COVID. It is a great exhibit and we had such a beautiful day to visit!
2. Reading – I am finishing up Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It’s a multigenerational historical fiction set in Africa book about two half-sisters. It’s a good, but not light read!
3. Low Carb diet – Monday I started a low carb diet. I LOVE carbs so I’ve never tried going low carb. However, four days in and I already feel a difference in my energy. Hopefully, I’ll also shed some pounds before summer as well. I’m not going to lie, it’s difficult when everyone else in the family is eating all the carbss. But I’m trying!
4. Cooking – Last night I made Cheesy Vegetarian Zucchini Enchiladas from skinnytaste. They were tasty but I didn’t realize the recipe only made 4! I ended up making the rest of the family quesadillas with the leftover cheese and tortillas!
5.– SpringWeather – I am loving the spring weather. Wednesday got up to low 80’s! The flowers are blooming and everything is looking lush and pretty! It’s perfect weather for lunchtime walks and weekend hikes!
Over the past year our family has become familiar with Scenic Hudson Parks. Founded in 1963, this environmental group works to conserve, protect, advocate and educate. There are currently 45 Scenic Hudson Parks located throughout the Hudson Valley in 8 different counties. With the arrival of warmer weather, now is a great time to get outside and visit some of these parks. Below are 6 Scenic Hudson Parks that we think are worth visiting. We hope to visit many more parks this year! Have you been to any Scenic Hudson Parks? Which one is your favorite?!
Madam Brett Park (Beacon) – Visit this park if you love waterfalls and don’t want a strenuous hike. Read our full blog post for additional information.
Mount Beacon Park (Beacon) – Visit Mount Beacon if you want a more strenuous hike with amazing views.
Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park (Poughkeepsie) – Enjoy the walkway if you want beautiful views and an easy, flat path. Read our full blog post for more information.
West Point Foundry Preserve (Cold Spring) – Visit the West Point Foundry Preserve if you want an easy hike mixed with history and some pretty views. Read our full blog post for additional information.
Black Creek Preserve (Esopus) – Visit Black Creek Preserve if you want to cross a cool suspension bridge and get some up close views of the Hudson River.
Falling Waters Preserve (Glasco) – Visit Falling Waters Preserve for up close views of the Hudson River and a couple of small waterfalls.
Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park (Highland) – You can also access the Walkway over the Hudson across the river in Highland. Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing (Peekskill) – Visit Peekskill Landing if you want up close views of the Hudson River with easy paved walkways and restaurants within walking distance.
Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week! The big drama this week was my son getting a large splinter in his foot, which turned into a trip to Urgent Care, and crutches. We have had him taking it easy since his first modified track and field practice starts Monday! The other drama was my daughter losing one of her air pods, when it fell out of her ear when she was getting off the bus. Fortunately, one of the teachers at school found it. Here are five from the past week:
1. Day Date - I took a vacation day last Friday. My husband and I went to Untermyer Gardens and the Hudson River Museum, both in Yonkers and both places we know our kids would rather not visit! The gardens were so beautiful and since it was a weekday morning, they were empty.
3. Family Party - Last Saturday we had family over to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. We hadn’t seen my husband’s family since July! All the grandparents are vaccinated and it was just nice to be able to hug and catch up in person. We ended up cooking a ton of food (eggplant parm, white veggie lasagna, ravioli in vodka sauce) which I took no pictures of! I also made peanut butter brownie bars and key lime bars to have along with the ice cream cake my daughter requested.
Hello Friday! I hope everyone had a great week! This week my daughter turned 15! She had her friends over on Wednesday night to help celebrate and this weekend we are having family over. I took today off of work since I have some vacation days that I need to use before the end of June. Sadly, the weather isn’t looking great, but my husband and I plan to enjoy a day date! Here are five from the past week:
1.Eating – On a recent trip to Aldi I picked up this Salsa con Queso. It’s addictingly good and I’ve been eating it with tortilla chips all week long!
2. Reading – I am reading Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin. It’s about moms in an infant playgroup and all the going ons in their wealthy lives. It’s a light, mindless read. Perfect after having just finished The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah which was sooo good, but really sad and depressing.
3. Ice Cream – Last weekend we went to the Danbury Mall. We got rolled ice cream and bubble tea for the kids from Papa-T. They love both these things so it was a win!
4. Celebrating – My daughter’s 15th birthday! Her birthday was Wednesday and she celebrated by having her close group of friends over for pizza and cake. They had a Just Dance Wii marathon and played giant Uno. She had a great night! I’m glad she was able to enjoy the day with friends after last year’s birthday that was right in the beginning of the pandemic.
5. Cooking – One of our favorite dinners this week was Bruschetta Orzo Zucchini Boats. The original recipe called for quinoa, but no one except my husband likes quinoa. So I substituted orzo which went well with the flavors of the dish.
March seems so long ago! It was a good reading month though with a bunch of 4 and even a 5 star book! This month I read a lot of suspense/thriller books. Here are my March reads!
While I Was Away by Waka T. Brown – (January 2021, Middle Grade/Memoir) Twelve-year-old Waka is sent to Tokyo, Japan for five months to live with her grandmother to improve her Japanese. She attends school while navigating a new language and trying to make friends. This book is based on the author’s own experiences. I found the book fairly slow and am not sure how much it will appeal to the targeted audience.
Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens – (August 2021, Suspense/Thriller) I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Hailey McBride is living with her aunt and her super strict husband. She runs away to live in the woods, hoping that people think she was a victim of the Cold Creek Highway killer. Meanwhile, Amber Chevalier is murdered by the killer. A year later her sister Beth arrives to attend a memorial for her sister and other victims and ends up staying in Cold Creek. As she tries to find her sister’s murderer she puts herself in danger. I’ve been a fan of Chevy Stevens for awhile and this suspense read didn’t disappoint.
Dear Childby Romy Hausmann – (May 2020, Suspense/Thriller) Lena Beck has been missing for 14 years. A woman named Lena appears at a hospital. She has killed her captor after being held captive in a cabin with her two children. The police and Lena’s parents try to figure out what happened but there are many unanswered questions. Told from three different POV, this book is a bit on the dark side. It is different from, but has similarities to Room by Emma Donoghue.
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre – (December 2020, Suspense/Thriller) – Cat and her husband William are a wealthy and successful couple. When Neena Ryder is hired as a life coach for William’s company, she becomes a bit obsessive over Cat and William’s life. Told in alternating chapters between Cat and Neena, the two women become engaged in a game of manipulation. Although none of the characters were likable, this was an enjoyable, suspense read.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – (October 2020, Fantasy/Historical Fiction) In 1714 a young woman makes a deal to live forever but is forgotten by everyone she meets. But after 300 years, she ends up meeting a man who is able to remember her. This book has been so hyped up on previous book posts and social media. I didn’t know anything about this book before reading it but decided to see if it was worth all of the hype. The first half of the book was pretty slow for me and I almost stopped reading it. However, it really picks up and I ended up really enjoying it.
When I was You by Amber Garza – (August 2020, Suspense/Thriller) Kelly Medina accidentally discovers that there’s another woman in town with her same name. The two end up meeting and become friends but one of them becomes obsessed with the other and one of them disappears. This was a good suspense read with a lot of twists.
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins – (January 2021, Suspense/Thriller) Jane is a dog walker in a wealthy suburban neighborhood where she meets Eddie. He is a young, wealthy recent widow, whose wife, Bea, died in a boating accident. The two end up falling for each other, but Jane can’t get over Bea. This is allegedly a modern retelling of Jane Eyre (which I read YEARS ago and didn’t love). However, I found this to be an enjoyable read with lots of twists.
Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson – (January 2021, Historical Fiction) Pheby Brown was born a slave but promised her freedom on her 18th birthday. But on the day of her birthday she is sent to Devil’s Half-Acre, a jail in Virginia where she is force to become the jail owner’s wife. However, she does whatever she needs to do to protect her loved ones. This book is based on true events. Although it’s about a difficult subject, this book is very well written.
Sharing with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup!
Hello Friday and Hello April! We will be doing a lot of celebrating this month with Easter, our wedding anniversary and our daughter’s birthday. This week I used some vacation days and had four days off from work. The weather wasn’t great, so we didn’t do too much. However, it was relaxing and restful. On Sunday (Easter) we are hosting just my parents for dinner. They have been fully vaccinated and it will be nice to finally be able to eat a meal with them. Happy Easter! Here are five from the past week:
1.Vaccinated – Monday afternoon I got my second COVID vaccine (Moderna). I am fully vaccinated! I was super nervous that I’d have a reaction, after hearing stories. However, besides a sore arm and feeling a little achy all over I was fine. Now that vaccine eligibility has opened up to those age 30 and over, we got my husband an appointment in mid-April.
2. Reading – I am finishing up What Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz. I’m trying to finish it since it’s due back at the library on Saturday and can’t be renewed. At this point, I’m not loving it and am reading it to finish it. Up next is Layla by Colleen Hoover. I’m very excited since she’s one of my favorite authors!
3. Decluttering – This week I spent a LOT of time organizing and decluttering. Yesterday my husband helped me drop off donations to Yorktown Love in Action and the Goodwill. There is plenty more cleaning and decluttering to be done, but it feels so good to get the stuff out of the house.
4. Baking – This week my daughter made banana chocolate chip muffins since we had some overly ripe bananas.
5. Anniversary Dinner – My husband and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary on Sunday (Easter). We opted to celebrate earlier in the week. Although we’ve been vegetarian for over almost a year and a half now, we wanted to celebrate at Brothers Fish and Chips in Ossining. They have a seafood tasting menu that is amazing. You never know what you will get, but everything is always delicious…and beautifully plated. It was so good and I was soooooo full!
6. Watching – We started watching Mank (Netflix) because it’s gotten so many Oscar nominations, but I fell asleep. I finished watching The One (Netflix) and have started Tell Me Your Secrets (Amazon).
Happy Friday! The weather this past week has been beautiful and I am loving it! The kids start their spring recess this weekend. I’m taking some vacation days next week and am looking forward to some rest and relaxation. Happy Passover to those who celebrate! Here are five from the past week:
1.Hiking- Last Sunday the weather was perfect. We went on a family hike to Turkey Mountain. The last time we did this hike was March 15th of last year, the day before everything shut down. It was a fairly easy hike and it was great to get the kids outside.
2. Reading – I am finishing up reading Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre. It is another great suspense book!
3. Eating – Whenever we are near Danbury, CT we go to the Hummus and Pita Co. They have so many vegan and vegetarian options. We also finally tried the chickpea Chiller in coffee flavor.
After our hike on Sunday we stopped at Libby’s Coffee Lounge. I had an iced chai latte and the kids split an iced mocha, an açaí bowl.
4. Baking – this week I baked these Salted Pretzel Magic Bars from Half Baked Harvest. Sooo good – except the pretzels on top get soggy/stale, so next time I’d leave them off.
5. Buying – the kids have been back in school 4 days. After the spring break they will be in 5 days. I want them drinking more water and less sugary drinks, so I bought them these water bottles. They come in a variety of different colors. The 9 oz. size is perfect because it fits in their lunch bags. Hopefully, they won’t be dropped and dented too soon!
Spring is officially here! If like me, you became inspired to do some major cleaning out and purging of your belongings, but now have piles of “stuff” all over your house, then this post is for you. Please do not just throw your gently used goods out. There are plenty of places that will take your unwanted items and you avoid having these items sit in a landfill for years. Check out our guide on where to give, donate and sell your unused items in Westchester County. Please check with the organizations for the most up-to-date information. With COVID, many places have changed their donation process and times.
If you want to get rid of your things quickly to local members of your community and/or the surrounding towns.
Buy Nothing groups FB: Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook are set up by locations throughout Westchester County. If you are interested in giving your unwanted items to local neighbors who you don’t mind coming to your house to pickup, then this may be an option for you.
Freecycle.org: This network has over 9 million members worldwide with a mission of keeping good stuff out of landfills. It’s a grassroots movement of people giving and getting stuff for free.
There are several local and national organizations that accept donations of gently used items.
(914) Cares: (White Plains) (914) Cares mission is “to support neighbors in our community who struggle to meet basic human needs.” They have a Kids Clothing Bank where you can donate seasonally appropriate, clean clothing.
The Back Door Thrift Shop: (White Plains) The Back Door Thrift Shop run by The Hebrew Institute of White Plains is currently closed due to COVID. When open, they accept donations of costume jewelry, gently used clothing, shoes and housewares.
The Cherry Door Thrift Shop: (Tarrytown) *Please note, donations are not being accepted without prior approval at this time. The thrift shop has been closed and reopens March 25th.
The Cherry Door accepts furniture, antiques, art, jewelry, books in good condition, stereo equipment and more. Check here for a full list of what they do and do not accept.
Furniture Sharehouse: (West Harrison) The Furniture Warehouse provides furniture to economically disadvantaged Westchester County families and individuals at no cost. They are currently only accepting drop off donations on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM. They are resuming furniture pick-ups for a fee, beginning the week of April 19th. Please check this list for furniture items accepted.
Goodwill: (Baldwin Place – Store & Donation Center, Chappaqua – Donation Bins, Eastchester – Donation Center, Elmsford – Store & Donation Center) There are two Goodwill stores in Westchester County that sell items as well as take donations. There are also donation bins in Westchester County where items can be dropped off. Goodwill accepts clothing, electronics, furniture and housewares.
Katonah Thrift Shop: (Katonah) The proceeds from this shop support the Women’s Civic Club. Donations can be scheduled by calling 232-3010.
Midnight Run: (Dobbs Ferry) This organization is mostly in need of casual men’s clothing, especially coats, pants and larger sizes. They also collect food items, toiletries and blankets. Call to arrange a drop-off or stop during office hours (contact info and details here).
Salvation Army: The Salvation Army accepts donated items including clothing, furniture, automobiles, household goods, appliances Drop Boxes located in Tarrytown, Yonkers Community Centers located in New Rochelle, Peekskill, Port Chester, Tarrytown, White Plains and Yonkers Family Stores located in Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Port Chester
The Sharing Shelf: (Port Chester) The Sharing Shelf provides clothing, backpacks, toiletries, diapers and more to children in need via nonprofits, schools and government agencies in Westchester County. They accept clothing donations of all sizes from infant through adult. Check this list for items they do and don’t collect.
Twigs Thriftree Thrift Shop: (Mount Kisco) The Thriftree Boutique is run by Twigs of Northern Westchester County. All profits benefit Northern Westchester Hospital. Donations of clothing, jewelry and small household items are are currently accepted by appointment. Yorktown Love in Action: (Yorktown Heights) *Please note during COVID the donation times and the items they are accepting have changed. Read here for the changes.
This local non-profit organization serves Westchester and Putnam county communities. Donations are accepted at the donation center everyday during their normal business hours. They accept furniture, clothing, footwear, jewelry, books, decorative items, bedding, rugs, DVDs, mattresses, cars. Check this list of what they do and do not accept.
If you are interested in making some money off your unwanted items try these places.
Home Again Consignments: (Dobbs Ferry) Home Again Consignments is a place for you to sell your slightly used furniture, gifts, lighting and home decor items. They carry antiques, mid-century and modern pieces. The consignment period is 60 days and they work with you to set the asking prices of your items. Consignors receive 50% of the final sale price.
Penny Pincher Boutique: (Bedford Hills) Penny Pincher Boutique is a women’s luxury consignment shop in Bedford Hills. Appointments are necessary to consign. They consign luxury designer brand items including clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, small leather accessories and more.
Trilogy Consignment: (Tarrytown) Current consignment sellers must do so virtually, as March and April walk-in appointments are filled. Trilogy accepts both women and men’s based on style and quality, not brand name. Sellers get 40% of the amount the item sells for, or 50% of items priced $100 or more. Items are listed for two months and there is an online tracking system where you can track your items in real time.
Once Upon a Child: (Somers/Scarsdale) Currently buying by appointment only, these franchises purchase gently used children’s clothes, shoes, toys and baby gear.
Happy Friday! I don’t love losing an hour of sleep with “Spring Ahead” but I do love that it’s light out later! I visited the chiropractor last Friday and discovered I have some major neck and spine issues going on. I have to go 3x a week for adjustments for 12 weeks! I’m hoping this helps alleviate my pain issues. Here are five from the past week:
1.Eating – We visited a new to us bakery in Peekskill, Ty’s Bread Basket. One of the treats we enjoyed was this Oreo chocolate chip cookie. Yes it was as good as it looks! We also had a blueberry scone and a piece of carrot cake.
2. Reading – This week I finished reading The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins. It was an enjoyable suspense book with lots of twists! I’m currently reading an ARC of Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens.
3. Watching – Last weekend we watched East Side Sushi on Netflix. It’s about a Hispanic woman who tries to become a sushi chef. I enjoyed this movie a lot! I also started watching The One on Netflix. It’s very loosely based on the book by John Marrs that I read in the fall. I’ve only seen the first episode but am interested in watching the rest.
4. Baking – Wednesday night my daughter and I made Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day. I used the recipe that my mom makes. I’ve just never had to make it myself until now! We did a pretty good job and the recipe makes 3 loaves, so we froze some for another time.
5. Buying – My daily bedtime routine includes lighting a candle and reading in bed before I go to sleep. I was in need of a new candle so I went to Marshall’s this weekend and bought this Scentsational Tangerine Guava one. It has a nice citrusy scent!