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Five on Friday {‘Tis the Season}

Happy Friday!  Eleven more sleeps until Christmas!  It’s really beginning to feel like Christmas.  There’s a lot going on including a Christmas party tomorrow, baking cookies for another cookie exchange, school concerts, and of course present buying.  I’m sad to say that I have yet to buy my kids a single present.  However, I’ve been making progress in getting presents for the family and friends on our list.  I’m hoping to get in a little shopping time this weekend. Here are five from this week:

1.Reading – Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler.  Every Christmas I try to read a couple of holiday reads.  I just finished reading this book this week and enjoyed it.  It’s not overly sappy, but like all Christmas books, there’s a happy ending.  

2. Family Fun –  Last Saturday we headed into NYC.  My sister and her family were up for the weekend to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Since my brother-in-law and his girlfriend live in the city  we all met up and went to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, see the decorated windows at Saks and also went to Bryant Park.  

3. Cat Problems – This guy, Salem, wasn’t feeling well this week.  We knew something was wrong because he was hiding away near the heaters in our house and growling anytime our other cat went near him.  Definitely not his normal behavior.  My husband took him to the vet and after many tests (and a very expensive vet bill!) it was discovered that he was constipated!  He was prescribed anti-nausea medication (not a laxative?!!) and a couple of days later, he’s back to his normal self.  

4.  Cooking – Not the best picture (darn you winter darkness!), but I made Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes this week for dinner from Closet Cooking.  They were easy to make and very tasty!  

5. Coming Soon – I just found out that Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has a show on Netflix that will be debuting in January.  I think that I’ll check out at least one episode.  It looks a lot less hoarders and more organizing and letting go of things.

  ICYMI this week:

Tuesday I shared my November reads.  

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend! 

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Five on Friday {Welcome December!}

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Can you believe that this weekend is the first of December?!  I honestly can’t believe it.  I feel like these past two weeks were a blur.  I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving last weekend and stuffed themselves silly…..because I certainly did! We have a school event tonight.  Then the boys are camping this weekend with the Cub Scouts.  It’s one of my son’s last big events before he becomes a Boy Scout in January.  Sunday we have our monthly supper club dinner (pizza-themed) and cookie exchange.  As I’m typing this Thursday night, I still have to figure out what cookie and pizza recipes that I’ll be making! Here are five from this week:

1. Traveling – We spent Thanksgiving in Maryland, visiting my sister and her family.  As I mentioned, most of the trip was spent eating.  Really! Look at this snack spread!  It was also my niece’s 6th birthday Saturday, so we got to celebrate with her.  My kids rarely get to see their cousins, so it was nice getting to see them having fun together.

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2. Reading – I am almost finished reading Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren.  I recently finally read one of this writing duo’s books, Love and Other Words, and really enjoyed it.  Dating You/Hating You is turning out to be just as enjoyable.  If you enjoy contemporary romance, I recommend this book!

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3. Watching – My husband and I watched the movie Eighth Grade.  This movie is cringy in a hate to revisit middle school type of way.  All of the awkwardness of middle school is shown, in a pretty realistic way.  It’s scary that my daughter will be in eighth grade next year! While she didn’t watch the movie, since it has an R rating, I wouldn’t be adverse to her watching it next year.

4. Eating – My husband went to Trader Joe’s before our trip to Maryland and picked up these Turkey & Stuffing seasoned kettle chips.  Of course we had to try them, but to be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan.  The kettle chip had a nice crunch, but the seasoning was eh.  I mostly tasted the flavor of thyme.

5. Cooking – This past week I made Modern Honey’s Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana Soup.  I have to admit that I’ve never tried the original Olive Garden soup, so I can’t compare it this one to anything, but I thought it was very tasty!  I only put in half the red pepper flakes and it was spicy though, so if you don’t like spice, I’d add even less.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I wrote about the off-Broadway play Puffs.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {First Snowfall}

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Happy Friday!  We had our first snowfall of the season, which turned out to be more of a snowstorm.  The kids and I had early dismissals from school and work.  My husband thought he was leaving early at 4 PM, but after moving less than a block in 45 minutes turned back around and decided to wait it out back at the office for a bit.  All of the major highways to get home were basically parking lots, with slippery roads and accidents.  This weekend we will be celebrating my husband’s birthday, which is Monday.  While plans have not been finalized, I’m sure they will involve good food, as most of our celebrations do!  Here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – I am still reading Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Light.  However, around this time of year, I like to read a couple of Christmas themed books as well.  So, I’m also in the middle of reading The White Christmas Inn by Colleen Wright.  It’s one of those feel-good books where you know everything will end up working out.  So basically, a good holiday read!

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2. Watching – Last weekend we watched Ocean’s 8.  This was the first Ocean’s movie that I’ve seen and I have to admit the only reason I watched it was because of the all-female cast.  I am happy to admit that I really enjoyed it too!

3. Snacking On – My husband and son went to HMart, a large Asian grocery store, and picked up some snacks.  So far, we’ve tried these Ppushu Ppushu Korean noodle snacks.  They are crunchy, ramen noodles that you break up, sprinkle a seasoning packet on and eat up.  I’m sure they aren’t the best for you, but they were tasty!

4. Christmas Card Picture – I am happy to say that we got the Christmas card picture taken last weekend!  I knew that I wanted this background at a nearby county park.  The weather was beautiful, but a little chilly.  My son was very uncooperative.  And after what felt like hours, we finally got a keeper!  I thought it was supposed to get easier to take pictures as the kids got older.  But this was a challenge!

5. Cooking – The cold weather has had me cooking all the comfort food.  This week, one of the winning dishes was Half Baked Harvest’s 30 Minute Butter Chicken Meatballs.  It’s like Indian Chicken Tikka Masala.  But didn’t take forever to cook.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my October Reads.


Wednesday I posted A Weekend in Cooperstown.

Thursday I posted another edition of Your Best Weekend.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

 

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Five on Friday {Veteran’s Day Weekend}

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Happy Friday!  Today, the kids are hopefully taking good school picture retakes.  I end up paying a fortune for their school photos every year and gosh darn it, I want to be happy with them.  Last year the kids had great pics.  This year, my son left his sweatshirt on and both him and my daughter had these fake smiles.  Fingers crossed that the pictures today come out better! My daughter had her last field hockey game this week, so I’m hoping that our weekdays calm down a little bit.  We have a three day weekend because of Veteran’s Day.  Weather-dependent, I want to try to get a head start on the Christmas card photo!  Here are five from this week:

1. Reading – I picked up A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult from the library Tuesday.  Even though I’m not quite done with Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison, I also had to start the Picoult book.  Especially since it’s a two week only loan!

2. Watching – Saturday, my son and I headed into NYC, as we were invited to see the Off-Broadway play Puffs.  It’s a fun parody of the Harry Potter books, told from the perspective of the Puffs.  Since he’s such a big Harry Potter fan and we read the books together and watched the movies, I knew he’d enjoy it.

3. Eating – Hudson Valley Restaurant Week continues and Friday night my husband and I went out to eat with our supper club.  We had a delicious dinner at a new-to-us local restaurant.  I can never pass up a braised short rib.  Especially in the fall. It’s such tasty comfort food.

4. Mother-Daughter Time – Sunday, I got to spend one-on-one time with my daughter at a Girl Scout Mother/Daughter bowling event.  While I didn’t bowl my best, even with the bumpers up, it was a fun time.

5. And More Eating – When we were on our way home from the city, my son and I stopped at Shake Shack in Grand Central for a late lunch.  We shared a Chick’n Shack and a Strawberry Shake.  We may have almost missed our train but it would have been worth it.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday  I wrote about our recent stay at Crystal Springs Resort.

Thursday, I posted “Your Best Weekend.”  I am hoping to continue this weekly post now that things have settled down a bit!

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Happy November}

Happy Friday!  The week has flown by and I’m so happy for the weekend! I am looking forward to “falling back” Saturday night.  But, I’m not looking forward to it being dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. This weekend is starting with dinner out tonight with our supper club for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, a trip into the city with my son and then some mother-daughter bowling with my daughter on Sunday.  It’s looking to be a busy but fun weekend!  Here are five from this week:

1. Weekend Getaway – As I mentioned in last week’s post, our family had a little weekend getaway.  Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey hosted us for the weekend.  I have a post coming soon on this beautiful resort.  After being so busy, it was nice to have a very relaxing weekend.  Most of our time was spent in the biosphere pool.  Between the indoor pool, water slide, jacuzzi and heated outdoor pool, we had such a great time.  And it’s so beautiful with all the plants and flowers!

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2. Reading – I am currently reading Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison.  I just started reading this as my before bed book.  It’s in the thriller/suspense genre but so far it doesn’t seem like it.  This is my first J.T. Ellison read, but two of her other books have been on my to read list.

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3. Watching – This week we watched the movie A League of Their Own with our kids.  After taking a recent trip to Cooperstown, my husband and I wanted to show them some baseball movies.  I remember watching this movie growing up.  It was fun to see it again and see the kids’ reactions to it.  My daughter said, “I liked that more than I thought I would!”  Plus, they got excited seeing the National Baseball Hall of Fame on screen, since we were just there.

4. Dinner Out – Hudson Valley Restaurant Week has started.  I rarely eat dinner out during the week because we are usually so busy.  This week it was fun to be able to dine out with a fellow foodie friend.  I introduced her to a local seafood restaurant that I love (can you love a restaurant if you have only been twice before?!).  During restaurant week, participating restaurants offer a three course dinner for $32.95.  I ordered this octopus dish for my main course.  Not only was it delicious, but how beautiful is it?!!

5. Halloween – I really dislike Halloween being on a weeknight!  After school we had a quick, early dinner.  Then we took the kids out trick-or-treating with their friends.  It always ends up being a late night, but they had a fun time…..and might have gotten a little bit of candy!

My son was an Overwatch Reaper.  For those of you unfamiliar, Overwatch is a video game that he’s into.  He’s far more into Fortnite…..but he couldn’t find a Fortnite costume so he went with this one.  And we may just have a few leaves in our yard!! LOL!!  My daughter was Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks with two of her friends for the school dance and for the school day on Halloween.  Then she was Little Red Riding Hood at night for trick-or-treating.  My husband and I are not, and never were, one of those families where we all dress up.  I love seeing the family costumes on Pinterest and the Internet, but I hate getting dressed up!  Did you dress up for Halloween?

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday I wrote about our visit to Fly Creek Cider Mill.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Happy Halloween}

Happy Friday!  This week has flown by.  Sadly, I did not win the $1.6 billion mega millions……but life must go on.  This weekend we are having a relaxing getaway to Crystal Springs Resort.  Follow along on Instagram Stories to see all the fun!  Before we head out this evening, the kids are going to their school Halloween Bash.  Last weekend was a rush to get costumes, but my son is an Overwatch Reaper (a video game character – insert eye roll here) and my daughter is Simon from Alvin and the Chimpmunks, as a trio costume with two of her friends. I hope everyone has a fun time this Wednesday celebrating Halloween!  Here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – I will hopefully be finishing up The Other  Woman, which I had posted about in last week’s Friday post.  I also started Next of Kin by James Tucker.  I don’t like reading multiple fiction books at one time, but this one was smaller than The Other Woman and fits in my purse better!  This is a mystery/thriller book that has been quick reading so far.

2.  Watching – I watched the movie The Book Club. It’s about a group of older women who decide to read Fifty Shades of Grey.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was that great.  Our family started watching The Carbonaro Effect on Netflix.  It’s a prankster, magic show that seriously has us all saying, “How did he do that?!” and laughing lots!

3. Cooking  – Saturday night was our monthly supper club.  This month’s theme was German.  Even though I chose the theme, we all didn’t think it would be that great.  We were thinking heavy dishes, lots of sausage, etc.  Surprisingly, this meal was delicious!  Like, one of our top ten meals delicious.  There was chicken schnitzel, stuffed beef roulade with gravy, spaetzle, bierocks (homemade brioche rolls stuffed with ground turkey and cabbage filling), cucumber salad and an apple sauerkraut slaw.  I made an apple strudel for dessert.  Just typing this is making my mouth water remembering how good this meal was!

4. Making Strides Walk – Sunday morning we got up early to take part in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk.  It was a super chilly day but we walked the 4.4 miles like champs!

5. Eating – Later that day we treated ourselves to this Peanut Butter and Chocolate “Out of This World” shake from our favorite local ice cream shop.  It was the final shake we tried for our Freak Shake post (see link below).  No worries, the four of us split this!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared our Westchester County Freak Shakes post.

Thursday I wrote about our visit to The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown.

Sharing with Friday Favorites.  Hope you have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Rest and Relax}

Happy Friday!  I am so happy for the weekend.  I feel like we’ve been nonstop since last weekend and I’m so happy to (hopefully!) get in some rest and relaxation.  Weekdays are busy with my daughter’s field hockey practices and/or games, Girl Scout/Cub Scout meetings, piano lessons.  So, having a weekend with not too much going on is very welcome!  We have our monthly supper club tomorrow night.  Sunday we are participating in the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk.  The kids need to decide on and get their Halloween costumes sometime this weekend too.  I also plan to fit in some reading time and catch up on all my shows.  What do you have planned this weekend?!  Here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – I am currently reading The Other Woman by Sandie Jones, which I just started yesterday.  At the moment, I’m only 16 pages in so I don’t really have any opinion of this suspense/thriller yet.

2. Watching – The only television that I watched this week was Dancing with the Stars: Juniors which we watched as a family.  My children love seeing the kids, some of who they know, dancing.  I’m just amazed at the talent of these young kids!  We also watched The Hunger Games movie, since my son and I read the book together.

3.  Moms Day Out – Last Saturday, several moms went to a local winery/orchard to celebrate the birthday of one of our friends. What started as a rainy morning turned into a beautiful day. It was a much needed and fun day out!

4. Ice Cream Fun – (hosted) While I was out with my mom friends, my husband and daughter were in NYC at the New York City Wine and Food Festival:  Family Ice Cream Fun-Dae event.  My daughter got to meet Duff Goldman and have her picture taken with him….and eat lots of ice cream!

5. Date Day – (hosted) Last Sunday my husband and I attended the New York City Wine and Food Festival.  We had such a great day out together eating delicious food and having some amazing drinks.  We also got to see a cooking demo with Chef Robert Irvine and I was able to get a pic of my husband and him.

ICYMI this week on the blog I wrote about our visit to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY.

Have a great weekend!  Sharing with Friday Favorites!

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Five on Friday {Columbus Day Weekend}

Happy Friday!  I am exhausted!  It’s been a very busy couple of weeks and I am so happy that we have a three day weekend.  We are all finally into a school routine of sorts.  Back-to-school nights and picture day are finished.  Quizzes and tests have started.  And my daughter had her first modified field hockey game this week.  This weekend is busy, but there will be some relaxing downtime because this mom needs it!  My son has a birthday party, my husband has Binghamton University Alumni/Homecoming weekend and I have two dinner events. My daughter is in need of fall clothes and wants to go shopping. Here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – I picked up Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis from the library this week.  I’ve been listening to her podcasts, Rise and Rise Together and have found her very inspiring.  I can’t wait to read more of this book over the weekend.

2. Watching – All the fall shows!  Grey’s Anatomy, You on Lifetime, This Is Us, A Million Little things and New Amsterdam are on my DVR.  I’ve also been watching Forever on Amazon Prime.  Too much TV, not enough time!  What fall shows are you watching?!

3. Traveling – If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw that we were in Cooperstown, NY last weekend.  Look for posts about our trip on the blog soon! It was my first visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Plus, we visited the Fenimore Museum, The Farmer’s Museum and Fly Creek Cider Mill.  It was a fun, family weekend exploring more of NY state.

4. Drinking – On our visit to Fly Creek Cider Mill we had our first cider slushie.  I had never even heard of such a thing before, but now I wish they had them locally.

5. Flu Shots – The kids and I all got our flu shots this week.  Definitely not a favorite.  But, I want us to be prepared and hopefully not get sick…..because who has time for that?!  I’ve told my husband that getting his flu shot is on his to-do list this weekend.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

 

Tuesday I shared our Westchester County Bucket List.

Thursday I posted the 9th edition of Your Best Weekend.

 Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Welcome Fall}

Happy Friday!  Sunday is officially the first day of fall and I am excited.  I love all things cozy sweaters, colorful leaves and pumpkin spice.  This has been a productive week.  Since the kids and I had Wednesday off for Yom Kippur we ended up getting a lot of errands done.  This weekend we have our monthly supper club, which should be very delicious!  Here are five from this week:

1. Birthday Celebration – Last Sunday was my birthday.  I planned a food tour of some local places that have been on my to try list.  Our first stop was at Lazy Boy Saloon for this Cotton Candy milkshake.  Follow me on Instagram to see more food pics of my delicious day.  It was a tasty day filled with the people that I love!

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2. Reading –  I just picked up All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover from the library.  Hoover ranks up there as one of my favorite authors and I’m excited to read her newest release.  I started this book yesterday but it already has me hooked and I can’t wait to read more this weekend.

3Watching – Worth It.  This is a Buzzfeed YouTube show that is streaming on Amazon Prime.  Hosts Steven and Andrew travel to different places trying foods at three different price points – cheap, mid-priced and expensive.  Then they vote on which was their most “worth it” dish of the three.  My family has been binge watching this fun show.

4. Cooking – While not the best picture, the kids loved these Italian Meatball Sliders that I made for dinner one night this week.  I omitted the basil and added the cheese!

5. Quote – I saw this quote at our local ice cream shop and had to take a picture since I love it so much.  Definitely words to live by.

 

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared some recent Food Buys & Tries.

Thursday I posted the newest edition of “Your Best Weekend.”

Linking up with Friday Favorites.  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Birthday Weekend}

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Happy Friday and Happy Birthday to me!  Well, on Sunday it will be my big day.  While I wanted to go away for my birthday, it’s not happening.  Saturday is our “Town day” and my daughter and I are volunteering at her Girl Scout booth selling fried Oreos.  Sunday, I plan on sleeping in and then doing a foodie tour of local places that have been on my to-try list.  This week both the kids and I had Monday and Tuesday off.  The days were filled running errands and doing chores.  Unfortunately, nothing exciting.  With school just starting and my daughter playing on the modified field hockey team for the first time, there have been lots of last minute things to buy.  So here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – I just started reading Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman.  I’ve started reading thrillers/suspense books again.  So far, it’s just okay but I’m not too far into it yet.

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2. Watching – You on Lifetime.  Have you read the book You by Caroline Kepnes?  Lifetime has turned the book into a television series, which debuted this past week.  I watched the first episode and am hooked.

3. Family Fun – This past weekend was pretty much cold and rainy all weekend.  Saturday, before the rain we were able to get in a family hike.  I’ve been wanting to hike Anthony’s Nose, a nearby trail with amazing views.  I felt so accomplished and got some great exercise!

4. Tween Life  – It’s been a recent month of changes for my daughter.  Last month, right before school started she got braces.  She, who was so excited to get them, is realizing that they are not as fun as they look.  This week we also took a trip to the eye doctor to get her contact lenses.  We were planning waiting until the spring, when she turned 13.  However, we could not find field hockey goggles that fit over her glasses.  So, contact lenses it is.  She is still adjusting to them, two days in and is having some difficulty getting them in and out.

5.  Mom Time – With some cold and rainy days, I’ve been enjoying some time quiet me time.  This weekend I finished this puzzle in a day and a half.  It wasn’t a very challenging puzzle, but the book lover in me found it fun.  I enjoy listening to a podcast while I work on a puzzle just and zone out.  What do you do for some me time?

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I wrote about GoSu an Asian fusion restaurant.

Tuesday I shared my August 2018 Reads.

Thursday I posted “Your Best Weekend” a guide to self-care, family fun, weekly recommendations and more to help you have your best weekend!

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!