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Five on Friday {First Weekend in March}

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Yeah, it’s Friday!  Another week is in the books!  I cannot believe how quickly the week went by.  As I sit here writing this Thursday night, we are unsure if tomorrow will be a snow day.  As of now, the previous rain we thought we were getting has turned into a possible 6 -12 inches of snow!  It’s crazy after we had temps this weeks in the high 50’s!  I can’t believe we are already in the month of March.  This is a busy month for us, especially my son.  He has a class play, science fair, Cub Scout Pinewood Derby and he stars as one of the leads in the 3rd/4th grade musical.  It will be an exciting but busy month!  Here’s an update for those of you who read about the audio book CD fiasco in last week’s Five on Friday.  My husband took the CD player out of the car and was able to get the CD out. Phew!  However, he discovered the CD player itself is broken.  He’s going to replace it with another CD player.  In the meantime, I’m without a car stereo.  I’ve been listening to podcasts on my commute.  I just miss the clock and not knowing what time it is while I”m driving! Here are five from this week:

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Reading – Yesterday I finished reading Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino.  This was such a great contemporary romance.  It was refreshing after all the suspense/thrillers I was reading and it was a very enjoyable read.

Supper Club – Last Saturday we had our monthly supper club get-together.  This month’s theme was red, in honor of Valentine’s Day.  I made a Roasted Red Pepper Soup and my husband made Strawberry Sorbet. Even though the kids don’t usually go to our supper club dinners, my daughter made brownie pops and red velvet cake pops for us to bring.  She had gotten a Babycakes Cake Pop Maker and was excited to put it to use.

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Watching – Last weekend we watched the movie Dunkirk.  This war-movie was nominated for many awards. I didn’t realize that the whole movie was about the evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II. My husband is a big history fan and enjoys these types of movies.  However, I found the movie to be a bit slow and wasn’t the biggest fan.

Date Night – Last Friday night, my husband and I went out to dinner for an unplanned date night.  My daughter was at a Girl Scout event and my son was invited to a friend’s for a sleep over.  I realized that my husband and I were on our own for dinner.  So, we went to a local, new-to-us restaurant and enjoyed a quick dinner date.  We ordered wings, onion rings, nachos and milk shakes.  Definitely not the healthiest of meals, but it was delicious!

Mother-Son Date – Sunday my son and I went into NYC.  We had brunch at Charlie Palmer at the Knick and then went to see SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical.  You can read more about our day in this week’s post.  Brunch was delicious and even though I’m not a fan of the television show, the Broadway show was excellent!

Linking up with Andrea, Katie and April.

Hope you have a great weekend!  

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Five on Friday {2.23.18}

Although this was a short week, it felt really long.  I am so happy that today is Friday!  This week the kids had Monday and Tuesday off from school for President’s Day.  Even though the kids in the school district I work for had off all week, since I work in the district office, I only had Monday off.  I’m fortunate that my husband has a flexible work schedule and can work from, which he had to do Tuesday.  Tuesday and Wednesday the temps rose to almost 70 degrees!  We were treated to an early taste of spring.  But then the temps dropped yesterday and my kids even had an early dismissal from school because of sleet and freezing rain. I know that I’ve previously  mentioned how I’m so over winter.  This weekend is looking busy with our monthly Supper Club gathering Saturday night and a trip to New York City for my son and I on Sunday.  Here are five from this week:

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Reading: I’m currently finishing up The Butterfly Gardener by Dot Hutchinson.  This is definitely a dark, suspense-type of read and I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.

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Watching:  We have been super into watching the Olympics.  Although this is Team U.S.A.’s lowest Winter Games medal count in decades, we have enjoyed watching and cheering them on.

Eating:  Do you have a food bucket list of things that you want to try, whether they be local specialties or regional or international dishes?  Or is that just me?!!  Well, this Chickwich sandwich from Mason Sandwich Co. has been on my bucket list for awhile now.  We finally made a visit Monday for lunch and I was not disappointed!

Car Stereo Fiasco – Although I don’t have a long commute, I have started listening to books on CD during my drive.  This past week I finished up my first audio book.  When I hit the eject button to to get the CD out it started making a funny noise and an error message appeared.  Now, the CD is stuck in the car CD player.  Did I mention that this is an audio book borrowed from the interlibrary loan system?!!!  It’s not even from our own library.  My husband is going to try to take apart the CD player and get the CD out.  Otherwise, I’ll just have to pay the library for a new one.

Monthly Family Dinner – This week I posted about our new monthly family dinners.  Our first family dinner was Albanian-themed and delicious.  We skipped a B country this month because my son got The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook for Christmas and wanted us to make something from it.  We had our second monthly family dinner last weekend and made the Chicken and Ham Pie.  We chose the easy version and it was surprisingly tasty.   However, the directions were not very good and the food to book/movie connections is a stretch for many of the dishes.

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

 

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Five on Friday {Done With Winter}

I cannot believe how quickly the week flew by!  In case you want to celebrate, today is National Pizza Day. We are huge pizza lovers and enjoy our weekly homemade pizza! Wednesday we enjoyed another Snow Day and had a 2-hour delay yesterday.  While we all enjoyed the day off, I am so over winter.  The cold, the snow, shoveling……not a fan!  Here are five from this week:

Super Bowl Sunday – We went to a neighbor’s house for a Super Bowl party.  While I’m not a football fan, it was fun to see all the neighbors and enjoy good food and drinks.  Some of us adults were playing Cards Against Humanity while the kids played and some of the adults watched the game.  We stopped to see the half-time show and then headed out soon after because it was a school night.

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Watching – Last weekend we watched the movie Miracle.  It was fun to see since the Winter Olympic Games are just starting and we visited Lake Placid this summer and saw the rink that the real game was played on!  Wednesday on the snow day we watched Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief.  Both my kids read the book and enjoyed it.  I didn’t even realize that there was a movie until I did a library catalog search.  Although I didn’t read this book, we all enjoyed the movie.  As for television, this week I watched the Super Bowl episode of This Is Us.  As usual, I was in tears.  I was happy to finally find out what happened to Jack.  I didn’t watch the Tuesday episode yet, since I was getting caught up on The Bachelor!

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Reading – Since I’ve started working I haven’t had as much time to read.  I’m still working on Eleanor Oliphant, which I mentioned in last week’s Five on Friday.  I don’t have a long commute, but to get in some more reading time I’ve started listening to audio books.  I’m currently listening to Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner and it’s a good one!

This chocolate cannoli from Casa Rina in Thornwood was delicious!

Family Time -Last night we went out to dinner with my parents and brother. He is moving to Pennsylvania tomorrow, so this was a last get-together before he leaves.  We went out to Casa Rina, an Italian restaurant near my brother’s apartment.  We don’t have Italian very often so it was a nice treat.  I had lobster ravioli, a salad, eggplant rollatini and a chocolate cannoli.  It was delicious and I was stuffed!

Eating – Last weekend we went out to lunch.  At the request of my son we had Japanese.  Have I mentioned how much he loves sushi?  He hadn’t had sushi, “in sooo long” and enjoyed this sushi and sashimi platter.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I posted January 2018 Tween Reads.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Five on Friday {The First of February}

Happy Friday!  I’m so happy that the weekend is here!  Monday I started my first day of work.  So far, everything is going well and we even got a surprise two-hour delay Tuesday morning.  However, we are still adjusting to me being back at work full-time again and this mom is TIRED!!!  My husband has been super helpful as we all adjust to this transition.  This weekend will include some movie watching, taking my son to a friend’s birthday party and a Super Bowl party.  The weather forecast is currently predicting snow Sunday evening into Monday.  I’m over winter and hope the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow today!  Here are five from this week:

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Reading – I have just started reading Eleanor Olphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.  Many people have compared this book to Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove and I can already see why.  Eleanor is definitely a quirky character!

Truffle Burger from Burger Bistro & Bar.

Eating –  Last Friday my husband and I enjoyed a last lunch date.  We went to a new-to-us burger restaurant, Burger Bistro & Bar in Thornwood.  I had the Truffle Burger and my husband had the Wellington Burger.  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen my burger – it was topped with truffle aioli, balsamic portobello and brie on a black pepper brioche bun. They have over 25 different dipping sauces for your fries!

Watching – Who watches This Is Us?!!  And who is excited to see the next episode Sunday evening after the Super Bowl?  Well…..I actually won’t be up late enough to watch it Sunday.  But I will hopefully watch it Monday and finally find out what happened to Jack!

Family Fun – Last Saturday we went to a Westchester Knicks game with the Binghamton University Alumni.  Last year my husband started the Westchester County chapter.  This was the second annual family alumni event.  Although the Knicks ended up losing, it was a great game.

Link Love – My son loves sushi.  I saw this recipe and think this is doable…..totally my style!  A friend shared this article on Facebook.  As a parent of tweens, technology is scary.  We were fortunate to grow up in a time without cell phones and social media.  This read only helps me reinforce my stand on no cell-phones until 13.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

5 inspirational fitness quotes to help motivate you when you need a little encouragement with your exercise routine.
Saturday I posted 5 Inspirational Fitness Quotes.

Tuesday I shared 28 Days of February Family Fun.

Thursday I posted the 2018 Westchester County Valentine’s Day Dining Guide.

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

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Five on Friday {The First of 2018}

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!