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Five on Friday {February is Flying By}

Hello Friday! February has been flying by and I can’t believe the month is almost over! I am so ready for the weekend though.  Even though it was a four day work week, it felt super long! I got no posts published this week on the blog.  I’ve been working on some major projects at work and have been literally sitting and staring at my computer screens ALL day.  Coming home the last thing I wanted to do was sit with my laptop. The kids had no school this week and it was nice to not have any after school/evening activities.  Here are five from this week:

1.  Supper Club – This past weekend we hosted our monthly supper club.  This month’s theme was Latin American. I made Oyster Mushroom Ropa Vieja and Dana made Cauliflower steaks with Chimichurri Sauce and tostones.  I say this every month, but it was a delicious meal!

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2. Reading – This week I finished The Escape Room by Megan Goldin.  It was a fast paced thriller which had some aspects that were a little unbelievable.  But overall, an enjoyable, fast read. I also had book club this week where we discussed this month’s book, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  This was a reread for me, but was as good of a read as the first time I read it.

3. Circus – Sunday night the Royal Hanneford Circus hosted us for their evening performance.  Despite performing in Westchester for over 50 years, this was the first time we had seen this circus.  It was a great show and a fun night out.

4. Walkway Over the Hudson – Monday we all had off from school/work.  Since it was such a nice day we drove up to Poughkeepsie and walked the Walkway Over the Hudson.  There’s always beautiful views of the Hudson River.

5. Eating – After our walk we found a new to us restaurant near Vassar College for lunch.  Twisted Soul Concepts has a variety of vegan menu options. One of our faves were these Korean Grilled Tofu Steamed Buns.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {President’s Day Weekend}


Happy Valentine’s Day! Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the holiday.  I feel like it’s become an overly commercialized Hallmark holiday. So we aren’t really celebrating in a big way, but we did get some chocolates and candy for the kids. The kids have a week off for February break starting tomorrow. I only have a three day weekend but we are hoping to squeeze some family fun in. Tomorrow night we are hosting our monthly supper club – which should be another delicious evening! Here are five from this week:

1.  All-County Concert – last weekend my daughter played her alto saxophone in the All-County concert.  This concert is where kids from 5 different school districts come together to play in one band, orchestra or sing together. There was a mandatory almost 8 hours of practice before the concert.  Plus she put in lots of practice time on her own. The band did an amazing job and even played a Lady Gaga mix!

We surprised her flowers and chocolate for such a great job! 

2. Reading – This week I finished Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown. It was an okay read, but I didn’t love it.

3. Eating – last weekend after a very chilly walk by the river my husband and I stopped at Peaceful Provisions.  They make vegan doughnuts and we enjoyed this deliciousness! 

4. Buying – I’ve been on the lookout for a large tote pocketbook for work. My only criteria was that it needed to be large enough to fit a book and have an outside pocket for my keys and phone. I found this bag at Marshall’s and am loving it. It even came with a matching smaller hand bag and a clutch/wristlet. I love all things gray plus it’s PETA vegan approved. 

5. Cooking – This week’s menu included Vegan Buddha Bowls (pictured above), Portabella Mushroom Reubens (minus the cheese), veggie burgers with fries and ramen soup. 

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my January reads.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Where’s Winter?!}

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Hello Friday! For once, I can say the week feels like it’s flown by! It’s been busy with the usual and as always, I’m happy for the weekend to be here. In the beginning of the week we were expected to get some snow/sleet yesterday……but nothing! Rainy and 40 degrees. It’s too warm for snow! Today, there’s a high of 51 degrees…..in February! I’m not going to lie, I don’t mind not having freezing temps. But this is winter. I want snow days (one of the few things I like about the season!) which require SNOW!! Here are five from this week:

1. Date Night – Last Friday night the Westchester Broadway Theatre kindly hosted us for their press night production of Five Guys Named Moe. I have a blog post linked below all about the show. It was a great production and a fun date night out.

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2. Watching – This weekend Dana and I watched Hustlers and the Downtown Abbey movie. Both were good in their own way. I didn’t realize that Hustlers was based on a true story. And even though I didn’t watch the Super Bowl or the half-time show, I did see pictures and everyone’s comments. Both Hustlers and the half-time show prove that J. Lo has an amazing body and I hope to look that good when I’m her age!

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I also watched Miss Americana on Netflix. If you are a Taylor Swift fan you have probably already watched this! And even if you aren’t a big fan, I recommend watching. I enjoyed watching her evolution from teen country star to modern day music wonder woman.

3. Reading – I am almost finished reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. After a family tragedy, a mother and her son attempt to escape Mexico and find refuge in America. They go from middle-class to migrants as they make a long and dangerous trip. I think this book is a good read. In my opinion, it’s well-written and had me invested in the story from the beginning.

I was halfway through reading it before discovering all the controversy over this book. Critics have pointed out that Cummins, who has identified herself as white, is writing the story from the perspective of Mexican American characters. They believe that this isn’t her story to tell and allege that Cummins has written many errors in her descriptions of Mexico. Oprah selected this book as her book club selection and after lots of backlash about the choice has stated, “….this selection has struck an emotional chord and created a need for a deeper, more substantive discussion.” The book is already being adapted into a movie.

4. Cooking – This week we made Peanut Tofu with Coconut Rice, Instant Pot Pad Thai Stir Fry (not in the Instant Pot), Spicy Beanless Garden Chili, Mediterranean Wraps and Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. We’ve been cooking A LOT and eating at home most of the time. A lot of restaurants don’t offer very many vegan options. Plus, we feel like we can make pretty tasty food at home which is a lot healthier and cheaper than what we’d get eating out.

5. Internet Reads
*Any other documentary fans? I’ve got some watching to do….but I love that Miss Americana made the list!
*It’s almost time for spring cleaning! I can use all the help I can get!
*I love the sleep score tracking on my Fitbit. However, I’ve been noticing that I need to work on getting better sleep. Even though I’ve been going to bed before 11 PM every night, I’m barely getting a little over six hours of actual sleep. Any sleep advice I can find, I read! I’m even thinking about getting a weighted blanket. Do any of you use a weighted blanket?

ICYMI this week:

Wednesday I wrote about Five Guys Named Moe.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Goodbye January}

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Hello Friday! I am so happy to see you! The week seemed to drag on, but I feel like the weekend flies by! This past Wednesday was my two year work anniversary. It feels like I’ve been working in the HR office for much longer than that. I have to say that it’s my coworkers who really make the workplace enjoyable.

Dana and I are up to Day 27 of Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Home challenge. This was his first time ever doing yoga and he’s loving it!

This weekend is my daughter’s final cheer competition of the season. I never thought I’d be a cheer mom. And until she decides that she’s going to try out for JV next year in high school, I’m pretending I’m not. Here are five from this week:

1. Reading – This week I finished Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. I thought this book was okay but I preferred her other book Girl, Wash Your Face more.

2. Snacking – We go through a LOT of snacks during the week…..with an 11 and 13 year-old who are are bottomless pits it’s inevitable! I found these From the Ground Up Butternut Squash Pretzels at Shoprite. They were not a hit with the kids. I didn’t think they were bad, but they do have a butternut squash flavor, which both kids didn’t like. We are not strict about vegan snacks, the kids have decided they want to eat cookies, chips, granola bars, etc. But these are vegan.

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3. Watching – This past weekend we had a family movie night and watched Abominable. This was a cute movie about three teens who help bring a Yeti back home. Three of us also watched the 2019 remake of the Lion King. The original movie came out when I was in high school. I remember singing a medley of songs from the movie for a chorus concert. So, this movie brought back high school memories.

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I also binge watched the entire series of The Goop Lab on Netflix last weekend. Health and wellness have been a real interest to me recently. Since I listen to a lot of podcasts focused on health and wellness topics, I enjoyed actually seeing some of these practices in action.

4. Cooking – This week’s menu included Ramen Stir Fry (pictured), Vegan Lasagna, Vegan Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes, Coconut Cauliflower Adobo with Rice and Veggie Burgers and fries. Everything was delicious! We keep saying we don’t feel like we are missing out on anything being vegan.

5. Drinking – I rarely drink, but once in awhile we visit a craft beer store and stock up on craft beer (for Dana) and hard cider (for me). This week I tried Bantam Rojo. It wasn’t as sweet as I like and reminded me of a rose wine. But it’s a new-to-me brand and I want to check out some of their other ciders.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I posted Snow Much Fun!

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Ready for the Weekend}

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Happy Friday! Do you love short work weeks as much as I do? This weekend is filled with another cheer competition and hopefully not another snow storm! Here are five from this week:

1.  Cheer Competition – Last Sunday I spent the entire day at my daughter’s second cheer competition. This time, there were three other teams in the modified category. Although her team got special recognition and pins for having no deductions, they ended up coming in 3rd place. They did a great job! It was just a super long day for the both of us.

2. Reading – Last weekend I finished Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. I didn’t know much about this book before I started reading it, but I highly recommend it. It’s a contemporary fiction book that tackles issues of race and privilege.

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Courtesy of Netflix

3. Watching – This week my daughter and I started watching Cheer on Netflix.  It’s a documentary about a competitive college cheer team in Texas. All I have to say is wow on so many levels. I didn’t know much about cheerleading before she started this year and watching this show makes me not want her to continue! 

4. Supper Club – Last Saturday we were supposed to host our monthly supper club. However, we were hit with a snow storm and had to cancel. Since we had all the ingredients for our dishes, Dana and I decided to cook. The theme was “caramelized” and I made a Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto and he made Caramelized Tofu with Brussels Sprouts. Everything was delicious!

5. Cooking – We have been continuing our vegan journey and have been eating some tasty dinners! This week we had Spicy Potato Kale Bowls with Mustard Tahini Dressing (pictured), Kung Pao Chickpeas, Vegan Tacos with Tofu and Mashed Potato Gnocchi.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I posted about Trivia Night at the Peekskill Brewery,

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {M.L.King Weekend}

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Yeah for Fridays! I am ready for a three day weekend! It’s been a busy week, with me running the kids to Physical Therapy, piano lessons, the orthodontist……plus getting dinner ready, laundry done, the house cleaned….. I know so many of you can relate. One of my favorite times of the day is getting to put my pajamas on! This weekend my daughter has another cheer competition and we are hosting our monthly supper club. We are also expecting our first snow storm of 2020 tomorrow. I hate snow on a weekend. At least let me get a snow day, if it’s going to snow! Here are five from this week:

1.Weekend Hike – Last weekend was in the 60’s! After spending most of Saturday inside at my daughter’s cheer competition, we had to get outside on Sunday. We did a quick hike (an uphill walk really) up to the Ninham Mountain Fire Tower in Carmel. It was a super windy day, which made climbing up to the top a little nerve wracking. But there are some beautiful views at the top. I want to go back in the spring and fall for some better scenery though, since the trees are all bare and brown.

2. Eating – We recently discovered a tasty eatery in Brookfield, CT that we visited again this weekend. The Hummus & Pita Co. is a Mediterranean fast casual restaurant. We shared a falafel pita and a vegan shawarma bowl. It’s all really good!

3. Cooking – This week my daughter cooked the ratatouille (pictured above) for dinner (with Dana slicing all the veggies for her with the mandoline). My son cooked Sticky Sesame Cauliflower that we had with rice and veggie dumplings. We also had leftover ratatouille over pasta, Morningstar Farms “Chik” sandwiches with tater tots, and Creamy Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Soup.

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4. Watching – I didn’t really watch a lot this week. Between busy weeknights and then doing daily yoga (Yoga with Adriene), I was able to watch Brittany Runs a Marathon on Prime over two nights. It was a good movie

5. Reading – This week I finished The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald. It was a pretty good suspenseful read. I am currently reading Such a Fun Age and liking it so far.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my December 2019 Reads.

On this week’s podcast we talk about going vegan and more!

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Ready for the Weekend!}

Hooray for Friday! Even though the week hasn’t been super busy,  I am exhausted and so happy for two days off. My daughter has her first cheer competition this weekend.  This is her first year doing modified cheer so I will finally get to see what we have gotten ourselves into!  I’m hoping to do a little more cleaning and organizing this weekend as well. Here are five from this week:

1.  Exercise – I’ve been continuing my walks during lunch most afternoons. I did skip yesterday, when it was 28 degrees…..just couldn’t get myself out there! Dana and I are also doing Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day Home challenge together. He’s been so good at keeping me accountable. For his first time doing yoga, he’s doing really well too!

2. Art Museum – Last weekend we visited a new-to-us museum, the Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Their current exhibit is “How We Live.” There were some interesting and fun pieces of art. Although the museum is small, we had a fun visit. While we were there, we paid a small fee to take a watercolor and collage class. Dana is very artistic and our kids inherited his art skills. They were all in their element and created some great pieces that I am hoping to frame.

3. Reading – I’m currently reading What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon. This is a historical fiction/romance/fantasy read.  It’s my work book club pick and even though it’s gotten amazing reviews on goodreads, I have to say I’m not loving it.  I am curious to see how it ends though.

4. Watching – I haven’t been watching much of anything recently. Dana and I are still watching an episode of Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle on the rare occasion, but we just haven’t had much time to sit and chill in front of the television.

5. Broadway Show – Dana was in the city over the weekend for an alumni event. While he was down there he went to see the Broadway show Come From Away. He raved about how great it was….but what Broadway show isn’t?!! It’s definitely on my want to see list.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I posted Getting Organized in 2020.  

This week on the podcast we talk about bumper cars on ice, indoor skiing and more! 

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Hello January!}

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Happy Friday and Happy 2020! I am so excited for this new year and all of the new possibilities!  Short intro this week – here are five from this week:

1.  New Year’s Eve – Since having kids, Dana and I have enjoyed almost every New Year’s eve at home.  Our most recent tradition as the kids have gotten older is to have appetizers/snacks for dinner and have an epic family game night.  This New Year’s was no exception. Our menu consisted of truffle fries, vegetable dumplings, Bang Bang Cauliflower and Vegan Garlic Buffalo Brussels Sprouts. We played lots of games including Spot It, PicWits, Canine Chaos and Q-Bitz.  After an early sparkling cider toast with the kids, I was in bed by 11 PM!

2. Reading – I finished my first book of 2020 on New Year’s Day!  Book #1 was The Arrangement by Robyn Harding. It was a quick, suspenseful read.  I was short of my Goodreads goal of 75 books read in 2019 by 2 books!! I have decided to try for 75 again for 2020.

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3. Watching – The family had a movie night and watched Dora and the Lost City of Gold.  It was actually a surprisingly funny movie. We think this is because our kids grew up watching Dora.  My husband and I have been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle. How have we made it this long without watching either of these?!!  I had tried Mrs. Maisel a long time ago and quit it after five minutes. I have no idea why because we are loving it! A member of my book club recommended The Man in the High Tower.  This is not a light and fun show, but it is good.  

4. Holiday Fun – Last weekend we visited the Grand Holiday Illumination at Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers.  We visited last year as well, but fortunately, the weather was so much milder this year! These gardens are beautiful and it’s so nice to see them decorated and lit up for the holidays. It was a fun way to wrap up the holidays.   

5. Puzzling –  Most of my New Year’s Day was spent working on this puzzle.  It was a Christmas present from my son…..he knows me well. It’s been a while since I worked on a puzzle. They become addictive and I really can’t start one when there’s things like holidays coming up! It was so nice to relax and listen to a podcast while I worked on it.  

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday I posted A Life Well Lived.  

This week on the podcast we talk about our holidays and the new year.  We also have a new format where we focus more on Hudson Valley news and things to do.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

Five on Friday {Happy 2020}

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Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!  It’s been a busy couple of days celebrating the holidays. While my husband and I have been working this week, the kids have been enjoying sleeping in and relaxing! It’s hard to believe that the next Five on Friday will be in 2020! We are planning a low-key New Year’s Eve celebration with family game night and appetizers and snacks for dinner! Honestly, I may not even stay awake to watch the ball drop. I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year’s Eve! Here are five from this week:

1. Christmas Eve – our tradition is to spend Christmas Eve at my cousin’s house in Connecticut.  We only usually see this side of the family once a year, so it’s a fun time catching up.  We brought a dessert pizza and a variety of Christmas cookies from the different cookie exchanges.  There was also apple crisp, lots of other cookies and a panettone. But my brother brought this flourless chocolate cake that was not only beautiful but delicious!

2. Christmas – We always host Christmas with both my parents and Dana’s parents.  Plus, my brother came up from Pennsylvania and Dana’s aunt came over. We made turkey, rice and gandules, mashed sweet potatoes and roasted root vegetables with a balsamic sauce. It was another delicious meal and we all ended the evening stuffed! 

3. Holiday Gifts – Two of my gifts this year were this mug and a Fitbit Inspire HR.   Some of our other gifts included a new air fryer and sheets for our bed.

4. Reading – I have been reading holiday themed books this month.  I just finished Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer, which was a cute Christmas read.  My last holiday book for the year is 25 days ‘Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander. I hope to have this finished before the new year.

5. Watching – This past week we watched a couple of movies.  My daughter and I watched Where’d You Go Bernadette? I read the book ages ago and remember not liking it. However, the movie wasn’t bad. It rarely happens where I enjoy the movie more than the book! Dana, our daughter and I also watched The Art of Racing in the Rain since the three of us had all read the book.  It followed the book pretty closely and we all liked it.

Sharing with Five on Friday! Have a great weekend. Happy New Year! I’ll be back in 2020!!

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Five on Friday {Have a Holly Jolly Christmas….}

Happy Friday everyone! This is the home stretch to the holidays!
Hanukkah begins on Sunday this year. The kids requested that we celebrate with potato latkes and jelly doughnuts. We will also be busy finishing up our holiday shopping and wrapping all the presents this weekend.

This will be the last post on the blog before the holidays. So before I get into my five from this week, I want to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa. Whatever holiday you celebrate, may you enjoy the time with your family and friends. We will be celebrating Christmas Eve at my aunt’s house. Then Christmas Day we will be hosting my parents and brother and my in-laws and my husband’s aunt.

Here are five from this week:

1. Supper Club – This month’s supper club was our annual pizza night and cookie exchange. Above is a picture of the different pizzas we had. My husband made a Chocolate Chip Dessert Pizza and I made a Mushroom Arugula Pizza. Plus, the daughter of one of the couples in the group decided to make pretzels. It was a delicious evening, but needless to say, we were stuffed!

2. Cookie Exchanges – At our December supper club we also do a cookie exchange. This year, I made Cranberry Bliss cookies, based off the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars, which I’ve never had. Dana made Maple Brown Sugar cookies. Luckily, my cookie recipe made four dozen cookies, because I brought some in for my office cookie exchange, which was this week as well. This is always a delicious time of year!

3. Reading – This week I finished another Christmas read, Christmas at Little Street Bakery. This was an okay holiday read. I’m hoping to get a couple more holiday themed books in before the end of the year.

4. Band Concerts – This was also the week of band concerts. Of course, the kids’ concerts were on separate evenings. So we had two nights that we had to go. We always love hearing my daughter play with the smaller jazz band (pictured above) before the regular concert. They are really good!

5. Another Day Off – Tuesday, we got hit with an ice storm and enjoyed another day off school/work. It’s days like these, when the roads are hazardous, that I’m especially grateful that my husband can work from home.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday, I wrote about Westchester Winter Wonderland.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend and a happy holiday!