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Five on Friday {Such a Sad Week}

Happy Friday! We are officially over a week into the new year. I don’t normally talk politics on my blog and social media. However, what happened Wednesday is despicable. I am sad that my children are growing up in a world where our “President” can incite an attack on our own country. I am hopeful that the young adults and children of our country can be agents of change.

On a personal level, I see good things in store for this year and am excited for all the possibilities.  Here are five from the past week:

1. New Year’s Day Hike – New Year’s Day Dana and I took a First Day Hike at F.D. Roosevelt State Park.  We weren’t the only ones who had the idea, as it was surprisingly crowed. It was nice to be able to get out in nature before the bad weather hit.

2. Snow Tubing – Saturday we drove up to Windham Mountain to go snow tubing.  It was cold but fun.  Luckily we got there when it opened because the lines were getting really long by the time we left.

bridgerton l to r regÉ jean page as simon basset and phoebe dynevor as daphne bridgerton in episode 108 of bridgerton cr liam danielnetflix © 2020
Photo Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

3.  Watching – This week I started watching Bridgerton on Netflix.  I’m loving the Gossip Girl vibes it’s giving off, but in Victorian times. I’m only halfway through episode 3, so I have some weekend catching up to do! I didn’t realize that the show was based off a book series by Julia Quinn.

4. Snacks – Since the new year started I’ve been trying to eat more clean and healthy. I found these cute sprinkles tomatoes at the grocery store. I bought a couple and have been snacking on them at work. Other healthy snacks I’ve been enjoying are cucumbers with hummus, nuts and lots of fruit – berries, grapefruit and clementines. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? I need some new ideas!

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5. Reading –  I have finished two books so far already in the new year.  I set my goodreads reading goal again for 75 books.  I recently started Family For Beginners by Sarah Morgan.  This contemporary fiction book is a bit more serious than The Tourist Attraction, which I just finished and really enjoyed!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I posted about Snow Tubing at Windham Adventure Park.

Wednesday I shared my Westchester Weekly post.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

You may also enjoy:

Five on Friday {Welcome 2021}


Five on Friday {Welcome 2021}

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Happy Friday and Happy New Year! Welcome 2021! I’m sure we are all glad to see the end of 2020. We celebrated New Year’s Eve with the four of us. I had to work (sadly, the District Office of the school district that I work in was open!) and then we ordered takeout from Domino’s and had a family game night. Our traditional menu has been finger foods/appetizers for dinner. But there was no way I was doing all of that cooking when I got home from work!

It’s been two weeks since I did a Five on Friday post because…..Christmas. I hope everyone had a nice holiday! So, here are probably more than five from the past two weeks!

1. Cookie Exchange – The weekend before Christmas our Supper Club had our annual cookie exchange. We socially distanced at a local park for a quick catch up and exchanged cookies.

2. NYBG Train Show – We visited the New York Botanical Garden to see the annual Holiday Train Show. It was only open this year to members. It was so much less crowded which was really nice and as beautiful as always.

3. Untermyer Gardens – Before Christmas we also visited Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers for their Grand Holiday Illumination. Since entry was by timed reservation, this was also much less crowded than usual.

4. Christmas Dinner – Since it was just the four of us for Christmas, I didn’t want to go crazy cooking dinner. Christmas Eve Day Dana and I prepped a vegetable lasagna and egplant parm. I also started the dough for Pinch of Yum’s No Knead Bread. It was so easy to get dinner ready on Christmas and it was so good!

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5. Reading – I am finishing up The Girl in the Mirror, a suspense read. This will likely be my last book of the year, putting my year end total number of books read at 98.

6. New Mug – I won this Rae Dunn mug from a giveaway that Steph and Jana (of the monthly Show Us Your Books Linkup) had.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I posted “Snow Tubing in the Hudson Valley.”

Wednesday I shared the newest edition of Westchester Weekly.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Walking in a Winter Wonderland}

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Happy Friday! Did anyone else get hit with Winter Storm Gail?! Yesterday the kids and I enjoyed a snow day! It was nice to have a day off from school and work! Although I hate shoveling and the cold, it sure is pretty! This weekend is a busy one with our Supper Club cookie exchange, a virtual holiday party/White Elephant gift exchange and then a trip to the NYBG train show! I hope everyone has a great weekend! Here are five from this week:

1.Cooking – Last weekend I baked sugar cookies and the kids helped decorate them. Yes, due to poor planning on my part, we may have only had Valentine’s Day sprinkles! LOL!

Sunday night we celebrated Hanukkah, with a delicious dinner of homemade latkes and noodle kugel and matzo ball soup (from a box mix).

My husband made homemade jelly donuts too!

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2. Reading – This week I finished Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. I rated this book 3 stars but it was more like 2.5 stars. I don’t want to give spoilers but let’s just say that I hated the ending.

The year is technically not over yet and I hope to finish a couple of more books. But I like the infographic that goodreads created!

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3. Watching – This past week we watched Prom on Netflix. It’s the movie of the Broadway musical, which we had not seen. It has a great cast including Meryl Streep, James Corden, Kerry Washington and Nicole Kidman. My kids enjoyed it too, although they said there was way too much singing! LOL!

4. Eating – Chinese Food. Chinese is probably my favorite takeout. Plus, I love a night off from cooking! Dinner and movie nights are a rare time for the family to enjoy doing something all together at home!

5. Snow Day – Yesterday, in between shoveling snow, I made a snow angel!

Then I spent a good amount of time on the couch drinking hot cocoa (White Chocolate Peppermint Hot Cocoa Bomb from Jane Street Sweets) and reading In a Holidaze.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared where to buy DIY Cookie Decorating Kits in Westchester County.

Wednesday I posted the newest edition of Westchester Weekly.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!}

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Hello December and hello holiday season! It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I took last Friday off from posting and relaxed over the four day Thanksgiving weekend. I hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving. This year, instead of celebrating in Maryland at my sister’s house (or like last year on a cruise ship!), we celebrated with just the four of us.  It was a quiet but delicious day. Here are eight (added extra for missing a week!) from the past two weeks: (follow me on Instagram to see more of what we are up to!)

1. Thanksgiving – Our small Thanksgiving dinner included a Tofurkey, homemade cornbread, vegan green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and a roasted delicata squash salad. This was our first time having a Tofurkey. It wasn’t actually bad. However, I love all the sides so much more!

2. Christmas Card – We ordered our cards from Snapfish and have them stuffed and labeled.  I hope to have them mailed out this weekend!

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros./Photofest

2. Watching – This week I started watching Dawson’s Creek on Netflix.  I watched this show in college, where even then I thought they had an overly sophisticated vocabulary for “teens.” It brings back memories of college, where I was when the show first debuted. I also started watching a couple episodes of “The Pack” on Amazon.  This reminds me of the Amazing Race with dogs.

3. Braces Off – After two years, my daughter got her braces off last week!  She was so excited, as this is a huge event in a teenager’s life! ……..and then in about six months, my son gets to get his braces put on.

4. Eating – Macarons from Amanda’s Macaron Shoppe in Arlington.

Pho from Saigon Pho in Poughkeepsie.

The Portobello Burger from Shake Shack.

Jalapeño cheddar bagels from JV Hot Bagel.

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5.Reading –  I am currently reading two books. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson is a YA book that I borrowed from the library for my daughter but decided to read.  I also just started reading an ARC of The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth.  I’ve enjoyed all of her books and am excited for this one.

6. Westchester’s  Winter Wonderland – last Saturday we had a hosted visit to Westchester’s Winter Wonderland.  This year due to COVID it was a drive-thru experience.  It was so colorful, festive and fun.

7. Hiking – Last Friday we went hiking at Black Creek Preserve in Esopus.  There is this cool suspension bridge at the very beginning of the hike and then beautiful Hudson River views at the end.

8. Cooking – these Butternut Squash Tacos with Crispy Brussels Sprouts was one of our favorite dinners this week.  Unfortunately, tacos don’t photograph well. But these were so tasty!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared our Hudson Valley Holiday Gift Guide.

Wednesday I shared my Westchester Weekly post.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

You may also enjoy:

Hudson Valley Holiday Events Guide

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Five on Friday {Quarantine is over!}

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Happy Friday! Today my husband and son are finally out of quarantine! Yesterday was Dana’s birthday, which was also his last day of quarantine.  I took the day off from work today and we are going out for a belated birthday lunch date to celebrate.  Field Hockey season ended earlier this week, so no more early Saturday morning practices for my daughter (and us). This weekend I’m hoping to get our Christmas card picture taken.   Here are five from this week:

1. Author in the family – I received a special package in the mail Wednesday: a copy of the book that my dad wrote!  We have a published author in the family!  It’s an historical biography that he’s been researching and writing for years. It’s amazing to see it finally in print!

the queen’s gambit l to r anya taylor joy as beth harmon in episode 107 of the queen’s gambit cr phil braynetflix © 2020
Photo Credit: Phil Bray/Netflix

2. Watching – This week I watched the entire season of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. It’s based on a book by Walter Tevis. I don’t play chess but really enjoyed the show!

3. Baking – This week I made pumpkin bloodies. I’m not over pumpkin quite yet! I also made this no-knead bread. The bread is made in a Dutch Oven and was really easy. Hot, freshly made bread is delicious!

4. Eating – This week we ordered a Grandma Pie from Stella’s.  

Dana made Carrot Dogs.  They surprisingly tasted like hot dogs!

And we loved these African Curry Quinoa Puffs from Aldi’s. They were so flavorful!

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5.Reading –  I am finishing up Anxious People by Frederick Backman.  It’s not my favorite book of his, (Beartown is definitely my fave!) but it’s enjoyable enough.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared our Hudson Valley Holiday Events Guide.

Wednesday I shared my Westchester Weekly post.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Quarantine Edition}

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Happy Friday! This week has been a bit crazy and stressful for us. One of my son’s friends tested positive for COVID earlier in the week. Both my husband and son were in close contact with him and need to quarantine for two weeks. The friend, fortunately, has mild symptoms and is doing well. However, I didn’t realize how difficult quaranting could be! My husband has been relegated to the sofa to sleep. We moved my daughter’s stuff out of the kids’ bathroom and she is sharing my bathroom. When we are in the same space in the house as each other, we wear masks. COVID cases are increasing as seen in ALL the schools in our area. Sadly, with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up and cooler weather where people have to be indoors, the cases are likely going to increase. Please stay safe everyone! With my husband and son still quaranting this weekend, I’m not sure what our plans are. The weather is getting cooler and it looks like it’s going to rain all day Sunday. So, we likely will not be outside very much. Here are five from this past week:

1.Day Date – Last weekend the weather was beautiful. My husband and I tried a new-to-us Filipino restaurant, Karederya in Nyack. We ordered takeout and then went to a local park and enjoyed a picnic with this amazing view.

This was our first time trying Filipino food, but it won’t be our last. Everything, including this Pancit Bihon with mushrooms and crispy tofu was delicious!

2. Aldi’s – Do you have an Aldi’s near you? Our nearest Aldi’s is about a half hour drive, but we love shopping there. I hear they have several Advent calendars including a cheese one, a wine one, a beer one and even a coffee one! Last weekend when we stopped in, I didn’t see any of them (FYI – sadly ,NY Aldi’s stores don’t sell alcohol). But I did buy myself this chocolate Advent calendar that I’m excited about! #itsthelittlethings

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3. Reading – I am almost finished reading The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. She is one of my favorite authors and I usually love everything I read by her. So far though, I’m not loving this one. It’s very well written though, as she always does a ton of research for her books.

Midori Francis as Lily and Austin Abrams as Dash in the Netflix show "Dash & Lily."
Photo Credit: Alison Cohen Rosa/Netflix

4. Watching – Wednesday, I had off for Veteran’s Day. It was cold and rainy so I did something I rarely do. I binge watched the entire season of Dash & Lily on Netflix! The series is only eight episodes. It’s based on the YA book Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan Rachel Cohn. It was a fun, cute holiday series!

5. Eating – Star Fruit. It looks cool and tastes a little tart and a little sweet.

Our favorite dinner of the week was Pinch of Yum’s Creamy Red Pepper Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes.

Bonus: Tuesday I shared my October reads. One of the books that I read and reviewed was Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey. I’m not sure how she found my post, but she commented on it! It was a great book and now I want to read all her other books!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my October 2020 Reads.

Wednesday I posted the newest edition of Westchester Weekly.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {All the leaves are brown….}

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Happy Friday! Since we turned the clocks back last weekend and it gets dark at 5 PM, I’m all about getting into my PJs when I come home from work! It’s all about the cozy for me. Sadly, all the leaves are falling off the trees and the ones that are left are turning brown…..winter is coming! However, we are currently experiencing 68 degree temps, that are continuing into the weekend, so I am NOT complaining! This has been a very stressful week with the election. I don’t like talking politics on social media and my blog. However, the anxiety has been high this week! Here are five from this week:

1.Halloween – Halloween was almost non-existent for us this year. My 12 and 14-year old are getting too old for trick-or-treating. My son didn’t even want a costume this year! He went to his friend’s house and hung out for the evening. My daughter, barely got dressed up as a bunny and went to a friend’s get-together. There were no trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood. So, while waiting to do child pick-up duty, Dana and I ate homemade pizza and watched the Great British Baking Show!

2. Spirit Week – Last week was spirit week at work. From wearing pink for breast cancer month, to crazy sock day and Halloween costumes, each day was something different. It was a lot of much needed fun in the office. I didn’t even take a picture of me in my “deer” headband costume! Some of us brought candy for our colleagues to “trick-or-treat” around the office. However, one of my colleagues was handing out these tea and biscotti treats. I thought it was such a unique and fun adult treat, instead of candy.

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3. Watching – This weekend I watched Holidate on Netflix. It was a cute, mindless movie. I also finally finished season 1 of Emily in Paris. Dana and I visited Paris years ago, pre-kids, in February. It was pretty cold. Watching Emily in Paris has made me want to go back in the spring or summer!

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4. Reading – I am finishing up reading Followers by Megan Angelo. It’s about the future of social media with a sci-fi angle. I’m not loving it and think I should have stopped reading it awhile ago. However, I’m too invested now, so I’ll hopefully finish it this week. Up next I have Jodi Picoult’s new book, The Book of Two Ways, which I’m excited to read.

5. Eating – We tried a new-to-us Ethiopian restaurant, Lalibela over the weekend. We enjoyed an avocado salad arepas, a cheese empanada and this vegeterian/vegan sampler platter. You eat with your hands using the injera (flatbread) to scoop up the different dishes. It was sooo good!

I made one of our go-to dinners again this week, Sheet pan Cauliflower Fajitas.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday I shared this week’s Westchester Weekly.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {What a Weekend!}

Happy Friday! With Halloween, a full moon, a blue moon and “falling back,” this will be one doozy of a weekend! It’s actually a pretty low-key weekend for us though. My daughter has a field hockey game Saturday morning. Then later in the evening she will be going to a friend’s Halloween party. My son is hanging out at home and will help give out candy to trick-or-treaters. I bought some Halloween candy, but we normally don’t get a lot of trick-or-treaters. So with COVID, I’m not sure we’ll be getting any kids! Here are five from this week:

1. Field Hockey– Saturday my daughter had her first home field game.  It was fun getting to watch her play, since we aren’t allowed to go to away games.  Since half of the team is made up of juniors who were under a mandatory quarantine, the freshman girls have actually been playing these past couple of games. While they haven’t won any games, they’ve been able to get a lot more playing time than they normally would.

2. Voting – Early voting in New York state started last Saturday and Dana and I waited in line for 2 hours to vote. Luckily, I knew there would be a wait and brought a book! Please make sure you get out and vote this election!  Every vote counts!

3. Hiking –  We went for a hike over the weekend to Teatown Lake Reservation.  The fall foliage has peaked, but there were still some beautiful views.  We did a nice and easy 1.5 mile, family-friendly walk around the lake.

4. Eating – This week we visited GoGreek in Pelham.  I enjoyed the veggie falafel pita.  They put fries in their gyros, as is traditionally done in Greece. 

One of our favorite dinners this week was this Crispy Roasted Tofu and Broccoli with Sesame-Peanut Pesto.

We also tried Vegan Sesame Chicken from Taste of China in Tarrytown after our hike. This is the only Chinese restaurant in the area that I know of that has vegan “meat” dishes.

5. BOOed – We got booed by our neighbor this week! If you’re not familiar with “BOOing,” someone leaves some treats outside your door with a note. It’s supposed to be anonymous…..but we know who Booed us. You are then supposed to continue the process by Booing someone else. We Booed another neighbor, who I don’t think knows that it was us.

6. Raking – I love fall foliage, but I don’t love the leaves so much when they’ve fallen off the trees in my yard. We spent a couple of hours last weekend raking and filling leaf bags for organic pick up. This was our second time raking and sadly we will need to do it at least one more time.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Wednesday I shared my Westchester Weekly post.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!

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Five On Friday {All the Fall Feels}

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Hello Friday! I’m so ready for the weekend (although I feel like I write this every Friday, it’s always true!). The fall foliage is hitting its peak around here and it is so pretty! I’ve been lighting my pumpkin scented candle at night while I read before bed. I’m all about the fall feels, while this perfect weather lasts! I know winter will be here soon enough……and I am NOT a fan! This weekend is busy with a field hockey game for my daughter and a Boy Scout event for my son. We also have a pages long house to-do list that we’d like to make a dent in! Here are five from this week:

1. Family Hike – Last Saturday we went on a family hike to Blue Mountain Reservation. This has been a favorite local park and we have taken two Christmas card pictures here! This visit we took a new trail and came upon this lake which we had never seen before. It was such a beautiful day and the fall foliage was in full effect!

2. Reading – I am finishing up One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London. This has been such a fun read. It’s a behind the scenes look on a Bachelor/Bachelorette type show, with a plus-sized girl as the “Main Squeeze.”

3. Baking – Sunday I was all about baking and made Appledoodle cookies AND Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins! The muffins weren’t very pumpkiny but the cookies are so good!

4. Eating – My husband made Scallion Pancakes for the first time for us.

I picked up this sandwich from the deli for lunch earlier in the week. It’s fried eggplant, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, pesto and olive oil.

And this Mediterranean Braised Chickpea Rice Bowl was one of our favorite dinners this week.

5. Halloween (?!) – I have no idea if there will be Halloween this year. However, it is only a week away now and neither of my kids have finalized a costume! While I’m not sure they will be trick-or-treating, they both plan on hanging out with friends. I know my son will be able to wear his costume to school the Friday before. The planner in me is freaking out a little bit. Not stressful at all!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I posted A Weekend in Saugerties.

Wednesday I shared another edition of Westchester Weekly.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Mid-October}

Happy Friday and happy weekend! It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through October! The weather looked okay last Sunday, so we headed up to Saugerties for the one night. This was our first time visiting the Hudson Valley town and we had fun exploring and eating over the two days. More details and pics are below. The kids are halfway through their first quarter of school which seems crazy! My son is going on a Boy Scout camping trip this weekend, so as of now we don’t have any big plans. I think I want to do some fall baking, which I have done none of yet! Here are five from this week:

1. Kayaking – We started our day up in Saugerties going kayaking. This was an activity that my son had wanted to do over the summer. It was very last minute and I literally booked the kayaks Friday night. But, I’m so glad that I did. We all had such a good time out on the water. Plus, we got a good arm workout in and were able to see some beautiful views.

2. Hiking – Up in Saugerties we did a very easy hike at Falling Waters Preserve.

There were two very small waterfalls but it was a very scenic hike with beautiful views of the Hudson River.

3. Eating – We did a lot of eating up in Saugerties! I was happy to finally try Alleyway Ice Cream after following them on Instagram for so long! They were out of Thai Tea Cookies and Cream, which I really wanted. But this Honeycomb Chocolate Swirl and Ube Heath Bar were both really good!

I had this Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Grandma-style slice from Slices of Saugerties on Saturday. It was so good, that we went back on Sunday for another slice!

These Sweet Chili Cauliflower Wings from Love Bites Cafe were delicious!

And this sticky tofu from the Diamond Mills Tavern were another favorite.

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4. Reading – Yesterday I finally finished Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Taila Hibbert. This was a fun chick lit/romance read, where the couple was so awkwardly cute. I’m finishing up Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel (my physical book) and have started You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks (my kindle book).

5. Field Hockey – My daughter’s varsity field hockey team had their first game last Saturday morning. It was an away game and visitors were not allowed. The other team had a production company come and videotape the game, which they aired on YouTube. Although my daughter didn’t get any play time this game it was still fun to be able to watch the game. Unfortunately, they ended up losing 0-3.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday I shared my September Reads.

Wednesday I shared the first edition of Westchester Weekly.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!