Friday Favorites – Mid-May Edition

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I can’t believe that we are halfway through May already.  The days seem to be flying by and summer will be here soon!  Luckily, the kids still have over a month of school left, while I try to figure out what we will be doing all summer when they are home with me.  As the school year is winding down, so are the kids’ activities.  This weekend is filled with a school fair tonight, soccer and Supper Club tomorrow and then a hopefully relaxing, family fun Sunday.  This week’s favorites include:

1.End of year Tae Kwon Do demonstration – Last Friday night the kids had their end of year TKD demonstration.  This included lots of board breaking and showing all the skills that they have learned.  Unfortunately, my daughter did not participate, since she hurt her ankle in gym that afternoon and we didn’t want her aggravating her injury and making it worse.  I didn’t feel too bad though, since she was wearing her Converse sneakers in gym and I’ve told her that those aren’t good gym day shoes.  I think the lesson was finally learned…..the hard way.


Geocaching – We went geocaching for the first time last weekend.  I will be writing a future post about it, but it was lots of fun and we are addicted!  I definitely see more of this happening over the summer.

Indian Food Lunch

3. Indian Food – After our geocaching trip we went out to an Indian restaurant for lunch.  The kids weren’t all that into it, but I love me some Indian food.  I especially love the weekend buffet, where I can fill my plate and try everything, versus going for dinner and having to commit to only one dish!

Angry Orchard Summer Honey

4.  Angry Orchard Summer Honey – I’m not a big drinker, but when I do, my beverage of choice is a hard cider.  I’m happy that the Angry Orchard seasonal cider is back, Summer Honey.  I prefer a sweet cider over a dry one and this is a great summer drink!

Book Series Recommendations for Young Readers

5. Series Book Recommendations for Young Readers – Yesterday I posted about this book, Jelly Bean, the first in the Shelter Pet Squad series as well as other series book recommendations that might interest young readers.  With summer coming, my kids will have plenty of time for reading and we are always looking for new books and series to read.

ICYMI on the blog:
Monday  I shared our weekly meal plan.
Tuesday I shared Summer Family Fun:  Movies on a Budget.
Thursday I shared Chapter Book Series Recommendations for Young Readers.

I’m linking up with Tif, Andrea and Amanda.  Have a great weekend!


Friday Favorites – The Week of Celebrations

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  It’s been raining and chilly ALL week.  However, we’ve still had plenty to celebrate around here!  Tonight my daughter is tent camping (in the likely rain!) with her Girl Scout troop.  Saturday we plan on doing some house work and Sunday my family will be coming over for a barbecue to celebrate Mother’s Day, my mom’s birthday (which is today!) and my brother’s birthday, which is tomorrow.  Happy Mother’s Day to all my mom blog readers!  I hope you get to enjoy your special day!  Here’s a look at some of our family’s favorites this week:

First Communion

First Communion – My son celebrated his First Communion on Saturday. We had a beautiful day and small family celebration after.


First 5K – It was rainy and cold Sunday morning, but my daughter and husband still braved the weather to run their first 5K.  Neither had trained prior to the race but they finished together in under 40 minutes.  It was a hilly course too.  My husband is game to run another 5K, but my daughter at this point, not so much!

Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee – On Wednesday night, my daughter competed in her school spelling bee finals for the second year in a row.  Only six students made it to the finals and my daughter was one of them!  She came in second place after a stressful (at least for me!) competition!

Homestyle Desserts Cupcakes
Cupcakes – There was a dessert reception after the spelling bee on Wednesday night.  I wanted to acknowledge my daughter’s awesome job in the spelling bee, especially before she went camping for the weekend and then our Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday.  So, yesterday I picked up some cupcakes that she has been wanting from a local bakery as a sweet surprise for her.

Better Place  by Rachel Platten – I heard this song for the first time on the radio a week or so ago.  I am a huge Platten fan and I am loving this one!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.
Tuesday I posted about why I was not joining Screen Free Week.
Wednesday I joined the May Currently linkup.

Hope you have a great weekend!  Linking up with Tif, Amanda and Andrea!



Friday Favorites – Blogger Blahs Edition

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!  It’s been pretty quiet around the blog here as I’ve recently been experiencing the blogger blahs.  I have tons of blog post ideas but just have been unmotivated to sit and write them.  I am hoping to be more present around here in the upcoming week!  We are approaching the last two months of school and things are getting super busy around here.   Lots of fun things are going on, but it’s also a bit stressful trying to stay on top of everything.  This weekend my son makes his First Communion and Sunday, my husband and daughter will be participating in their first 5K.  There have been lots of favorites around here though.

1. Somewhere In America – This poem performed by teenage girls, Belissa Escobedo, Rhiannon McGavin and Zariya Allen is so powerful and yet sad, that this is the reality for so many of today’s youth.

Herkimer Diamonds

2. Cub Scout Camping – My husband and son spent last Saturday camping at Herkimer Diamond Mines in upstate New York with the Cub Scouts.  They spent hours mining and came home with several Herkimer diamonds.  While the rest of the scouts and their families stayed in cabins, my husband and son and my son’s friend and father braved the night camping in a tent.  While it was a bit chilly at night, they had a great time.

Yogen Fruz

3.  Mother/Daughter Day – While the boys were on their camping trip, my daughter and I had a special Mother/Daughter Day.  We went to the Palisades Mall and did some shopping.  We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and then had some Yogen Fruz.  Before we left, we spent some time at Dave & Busters and did a little gaming.  When we got home we watched Troop Beverly Hills before bed.  It was nice to be able to spend some quality alone time with her!

Westchester River Walk

4. Family Time and Beautiful Weather – Sunday was a beautiful day!  After the guys got home, unpacked and showered from their camping trip, we went down to the riverfront and walked the new Westchester River Walk.  We are lucky to live right near the beautiful Hudson River.  The weather was gorgeous and we got to take a nice walk together and then sat along the river eating an ice cream treat after!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – My son and I have started reading the Harry Potter series together.  I have only read up to the fifth book, so this will be a good way for me to eventually finish the series!  We are reading it together and listening to it on CD in the car, to help speed the process up.   We recently finished the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and watched the movie this past weekend.  I’ve told the kids that once we finish the series we can then make a trip to Universal Studios and visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Hope you have a great weekend!  Linking up with Tif, Andrea and Amanda!


Friday Favorites – the 10th birthday edition

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  What a fun week it has been!  Yesterday, my “baby” girl turned 10. I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by and am still trying to accept that I have a ten year old!  Yesterday was filled with lots of birthday festivities!

I had a busy week on the blog and posted everyday this week!  Monday I shared our weekly meal plan, Tuesday I shared my March reads and joined the Show Us Your Books linkup, Wednesday I joined the Kids Behind the Blog linkup and Thursday I shared some more Philly Food Finds from our recent trip.  Now, on to the favorites!

The Melting Pot

1. Birthday dinner  at the Melting Pot – This restaurant has become my kids’ favorite since we went for my birthday several years ago.  It feels like we were just here celebrating her 9th birthday, but last night we were back celebrating her 10th birthday!  Fondue fun!

Brother Jimmy's Beef Brisket Sandwich

2. Dinner with a friend – I went out to dinner Wednesday night with a friend I haven’t seen in YEARS.  She was my teaching assistant her first year at my school and has referred to me as her “mentor.”  She has been teaching her own class in the city for three years now.  It was soooo good to catch up with her!  Our BBQ dinner at Brother Jimmy’s was pretty tasty too.

Gilmore girls title screen.jpg

3. Gilmore Girls – Somehow, I never got into watching the Gilmore Girls when it was on television.  I have just started season 2 and will hopefully make my way through all the episodes before the Netflix revival airs!


4. The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman – I am almost finished reading this book and have been really enjoying it. I really love the meanings of the charms on the bracelets and the stories behind them.    It’s a really good mother/daughter generational story.

Walmart Spring Beauty Box

US Weekly

5.  Fun Mail – This week my first issue of US Weekly subscription and my Walmart Spring Beauty Box came.  It’s so nice to find something other than bills in the mailbox!  Oh how I’ve missed my celebrity gossip.

Have a great weekend!  Linking up with Tif, Amanda and Andrea!


Friday Favorites – Where is Spring?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  We are a week into April and I have to ask, where is spring?!!  The week started out with snow and is going to possibly end with snow, with possible snow showers tomorrow.  I am so over the cold!   My daughter’s girl scout camping trip this weekend ended up getting postponed due to the unusually cold temps.   Despite the cold temps, we had a great week.  Here are some of our favorites of the week:

Beef Wellington

Roast Chicken

1. Last Saturday, we hosted our monthly Supper Club.  This month’s theme was food by Chef Gordon Ramsay.  I made a Roasted Chicken with Chickpea Stuffing and my husband made Ramsay’s signature Beef Wellington.  This was our first time eating and making Beef Wellington.  This dish is tricky to make because the beef is wrapped in puff pastry.  You have to be careful of cooking time, since you can’t stick a meat thermometer into the dish or you ruin the look of it.  Well, as seen in the picture above, he nailed it!   It came out perfectly and was delicious.

2. Sunday evening my husband and daughter went to the Girl Scout Father/Daughter Dance.  This is the fifth year that they have gone and it still doesn’t lose its specialness.  The two of them dressed up, having dinner and dancing with all the other father/daughters in our girl scout community = priceless!  She ended up winning the door prize – a $25 movie gift card and a $25 Applebee’s gift card which made it even more fun for her!

Harry Potter Audiobook

3. My son and I have started reading the Harry Potter series together.  Because the chapters are long and the print small, we only get to read a couple of pages a night.  I borrowed the audio book from the library and we listen while he follows along in the book when we are driving in the car.  This has sped up the reading of the book for us.  Once finished we will watch the movie (again!) and continue through the series.  My daughter, who has read most of the series already enjoys listening to the audiobook as well.  Jim Dale does an amazing job of narrating the Harry Potter series and I highly recommend listening to the books on audio if you haven’t!

Kids Snack Pack Bowtime Cinemas

4. While my husband and daughter were at the Father/Daughter dance, my son and I went on a movie and dinner “date.”  He has been wanting to see the movie Zootopia since it came out, but we’ve been so busy.  I ended up taking him Sunday afternoon and then we went out to dinner.  I love being able to spend one-on-one time with the kids.

5. And finally, Monday, the 4th, my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary!  I was going to meet him down at his office for a lunch date, but the kids had a two hour delay.  We are planning a nice dinner out, hopefully sooner than later!  I can’t believe how quickly twelve years has gone by.

ICYMI, this week on the blog:
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.
Tuesday I shared our 2-Day Philadelphia Itinerary with kids.
Wednesday I joined the Currently linkup.

Have a great weekend!  Linking up with Tif, Amanda and Andrea!


Friday Favorites – April Fool’s Day

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday and April Fool’s Day!  Hopefully, no jokes will be played on you today! I’ve been feeling “off” schedule all week, since the kids had off from school Monday and have a half day of school today.  We were teased yesterday with a beautiful day and are expecting the possible chance of snow Sunday and Monday night……crazy!  My son is going to a birthday sleepover party tonight, we are hosting our monthly supper club Saturday night and my daughter and husband are going to her Girl Scout Father/Daughter dance on Sunday.  Lots of fun stuff going on this weekend!  Here are some of this week’s favorites:

Carrot Cake Roll

1. Last Sunday we celebrated Easter with my parents.  My mom made lamb and ham as well as homemade bread, asparagus and twice-baked potatoes.  It was a delicious dinner and it was so nice not having to worry about cooking!  I was put in charge of bringing dessert.  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this carrot cake roll that my daughter and I made. 

NY International Auto Show

2.  Saturday, my husband and son went down to NYC to the NY International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center.   This has been a yearly tradition for the two of them to get in some quality time together and look at cars…..which doesn’t really interest my daughter and me.


3.  While the guys were at the car show, my daughter was helping me with the Easter baking.  It was my first time making a “roll” cake and I don’t have a jelly roll pan.  I ended up using a high edged cookie pan that I have, but it was bigger in size than the pan that the recipe called for.  I wasn’t sure how (or even if) it was going to turn out, so we took a baking break and drove to a local bakery to pick up some “just in case” pastries.  The carrot cake roll cracked a little, but still tasted good.  These pastries were really good as well though!  This trip reminded me that we need to visit this bakery more often.

4. My favorite bookmarked recipe of the week are these Meatloaf Sliders with Bacon, Pepper Jack and Frizzled Onions.   Yum!!!

Kindle Fire Cover

5. My daughter has been begging me to take her to Five Below and I finally took the kids on Monday when they were off from school.  I ended up picking up this new cover for my kindle fire as well as a matching iPhone case.  I love the floral design and for just $5 each, I couldn’t resist. #itsthelittlethings

ICYMI on the blog this week:
Monday I posted about what I’ve read recently in the blogosphere.
Wednesday I posted about our Reading Terminal Market Eats on our recent Philadelphia trip.
Thursday I posted about why you don’t see pictures of my kids on the blog.

Linking up with Tif, Amanda and Andrea.  Have a great weekend!


Friday Favorites – Spring Break {Week 54}

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  What a fun week it’s been.  This week was the kids’ spring break.  We decided to take a quick mini-vacation to Philadelphia for a couple of days.  Look for some upcoming posts on our travel.  The week ended with my daughter going with her friend’s family up to their cabin for an overnight.  We are looking forward to celebrating Easter on Sunday at my parents and hopefully having a relaxing Monday before the kids head back to school and the scheduled craziness resumes!  Here are some of our favorites from this week:

Liberty Bell

1. The Liberty Bell – The last time I visited the Liberty Bell I was in elementary school on a Brownie girl scout trip. I’m glad that we were able to bring the kids to see this national symbol of freedom. 

The Science Behind Pixar

2.  The Science Behind Pixar Exhibit at the Franklin Institute – We (more like I) was disappointed that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is closed on Mondays.  We of course went and took the requisite tourist pictures and ran the “Rocky” steps, but ended up spending the day at the Franklin Institute.  This was a perfect museum for our kids and both my husband and I agreed that the special, The Science Behind Pixar Exhibit was our favorite.  We have a better appreciation of all of the hard work and many hands that go into creating all of the Pixar movies that we love.

Dinic's Roast Pork Sandwich

3. Dinic’s Roast Pork Sandwich – We visited Reading Terminal Market which was foodie heaven!  We ate our way through the market, but our favorite was the roast pork sandwich from Dinic’s.  Juicy pork, covered in provolone and broccoli rabe = deliciousness!!  The kids were excited that Adam Richman from Man Vs. Food had visited there (his picture was hanging up). 

Korean BBQ

4. All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ – Yes, we of course ate a mandatory cheesesteak, because, c’mon, Philly.  But, we also ate a ton of other food.  I discovered Nine Ting via Instagram, which has all-you can-eat Korean BBQ for $27.99.  Incredible!  Here in Westchester County, NY, you cannot find Korean BBQ for such a great price.  This was an “all the meats” type of meal and it was so good!

Sahara Sam's Oasis

5. Sahara Sam’s Oasis – I won tickets to Sahara Sam’s months ago.  It worked out that it was on our way home from Philadelphia, so we scheduled a visit on our way home.  We surprised the kids, who were soooo excited!  They had such great time playing in the water and going down the slides.

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.
Wednesday I shared how to make the most of family meal time.

Linking up with Tif, Amanda and Andrea.  Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter!


Friday Favorites – We Made It Edition! {Week 53}

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!  I am so glad that the week is over.  This past week has been a crazy busy one.  Spring break starts tomorrow and we are in desperate need of a break!  The Annie Kids musical performance, 4th grade science fair, Colonial Day, 2nd grade game night…..phew!  It’s been NON-STOP this week!  We’ve been loving the warmer weather…..but now there’s talk of 3-5 inches of snow Sunday night.  What?!!!  Here are some of our favorites of this busy week:

Annie Kids Program

1. Annie Kids – Last weekend was my daughter’s performance in the 3rd and 4th grade musical production.  She has been practicing since December with the last few weeks having practice EVERY day until 5:30/6 PM!  But she did it with no complaints and her and her classmates put on an amazing performance both Friday and Saturday evening.


2.  The Good Wife – Now that we have Amazon Prime I’ve just started watching The Good Wife.  I know I’m seven seasons behind and may never catch up with all the other shows that I’ve started.  However, I’m about eight episodes in to the first season and I’m really liking it! 

Coffee Grinder and Irving Farm coffee

3. Local coffee and a coffee grinder – I won this locally roasted bag of coffee and a gift certificate to a local restaurant through a Hudson Valley Restaurant Week local social media contest.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a coffee grinder.  Well, thanks to our recently purchased Amazon Prime membership I bought this Krups coffee grinder Friday evening and it arrived Sunday afternoon.  We have now been enjoying freshly ground, locally roasted coffee each morning.

Homemade Cards

4. Card Making – Pre-marriage and kids (12 years ago!) some of my friends and I got into stamping and card making. With my husband’s recent new job, I volunteered to make homemade cards for his clients.   I had to literally dust off my Stampin’ Up supplies and have slowly gotten back into card making.

5. Favorite bookmarked recipe of the week – This 20-Minute Moo Shu Pork (or Chicken).  This is a dish that I’ll sometimes order when we do Chinese takeout and I’ve never thought to make it myself.  This recipe looks quick, easy and tasty!

ICYMI this week:
Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.
Wednesday I wrote about our decision to join a CSA.

Linking up with Tif, Amanda and Andrea.  Have a great weekend!



Friday Favorites – The One Year Edition {Week 52}

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I cannot believe that I have been writing Friday Favorites posts for a year now!  Normally, our weeks are pretty routine around here.  However, this past week was surprisingly filled with lots of favorites!

Thai Veggie Burgers with Peanut Sauce

1. Supper Club – Due to everyone’s busy schedules, our supper club ended up meeting back-to-back weeks.  Even though I couldn’t make last month’s New Orleans/Mardi Gras themed supper I was happy that I could make March’s peanut butter themed dinner.  I made bunless Thai Veggie Burgers with Peanut Sauce from Annie’s Eats. They were actually tasty even though I’m not the biggest fan of quinoa! 

Braised Pork Shank with Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes

2.  Hudson Valley Restaurant Week and a prize – The next two weeks are Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, where over 200 local restaurants offer 3 course lunches for $20.95 and 3 course dinners for $29.95.  My husband and I were able to sneak in a delicious lunch date at Tarry Tavern, a restaurant in Tarrytown, NY that we enjoy.  Even better?  I found out that by posting the above photo and tagging the appropriate parties I won a HVRW prize!  I just found out I am getting a gift certificate for a dinner at Chef Antonio Restaurant in Mamaroneck and a bag of Irving Farm Coffee!

3.  Walking – I know that this made my favorites last week, but two mornings this week my neighbor friend and I went walking after the kids got on the school bus.  It’s definitely more fun exercising with a friend!  I hit my 10,000+ steps goal three times this week!


4. Shoes – I just commented to my husband the other day that I needed to try to get some boots for next year if I could find them on sale.  I am in desperate need of fall/winter shoes and boots.  I popped into Kohl’s to look for a suit for my son for his upcoming Communion.  While that was a fail, I did find six pairs of shoes (yes 6!) for $73.05.  They were having an additional 40% off clearance prices, plus, I had a 20% off coupon and a $10 and a $5 coupon.  Add to that I got $20 Kohls cash since I purchased some other stuff too. I am all set for next fall and I got such a bargain!

5. Amazon Prime – We FINALLY bit the bullet and joined Amazon Prime.  Now that they’ve hiked the free shipping minimum to a $50 purchase, we thought it was worth it to get the free 2-day shipping.  This was especially beneficial since we just found out that my daughter needs to dress up for Colonial Day and purchased a colonial costume via Amazon.  We are also enjoying having Amazon Prime streaming to expand our television viewing options!  Please share any recommendations of shows worth watching on Prime!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
Tuesday I shared the books that I read in February with Steph and Jana’s link-up.
Wednesday I linked up with Stephanie’s the Kids Behind the Blog.
Thursday I shared New York State Maple Weekends.

Linking up with Tif, Andrea and Amanda!  Have a great weekend!


Friday Favorites – Still Sick {Week 51}

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  See that cocktail pictured above?  I’m not even sure what it is, but I could sure use one right about now!  I feel like a broken record around here but we are still battling a stomach virus two weeks later.  The latest victim was my husband who succumbed to the stomach bug Wednesday night.  So, this week was shadowed by sickness.  I am exhausted and just hoping I come out of this unscathed.  There have been some positives of the week though:


Yogurt Bar

1. Bend & Snapware Yoga Event with Kristin McGee – On Saturday morning I attended a Yoga class and breakfast with Health magazine contributing editor and celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor, Kristin McGee. The event was sponsored by World Market and Snapware.  It was such a great blogger experience!  I love doing yoga and it was a great class and that yogurt bar pictured above was delicious!


2. Walking – Besides the 30 day yoga camp I am working on, I also started walking the neighborhood for the first time this week.  (Okay, maybe second time). Last Sunday, my husband and I took a leisurely stroll around the block since both kids were with friends.  Wednesday though I walked up a giant hill in our neighborhood and was less leisurely about it.  I plugged in my earbuds and listened to some podcasts and the time seemed to fly.  I got a half hour of walking in and lots of steps on my Fitbit.

Bed Canopy

3.  My daughter’s favorites is her bed canopy – She got this canopy from us for Christmas.  Buying the hooks and installing it was something that just kept getting pushed off.  My husband surprised her by installing it while she was at her friend’s on Sunday. (One of our cats wanted in the pic!)

Pinewood Derby Car

4. Pinewood Derby Time – Despite being sick in the beginning of the week, my son and husband were able to complete his Pinewood Derby car in time for the Derby being held tonight.  They went with a donut theme as seen pictured.  We will see how it does in the races tonight.

Art Wall

5. Art Wall – For years now, I have been saving some of my kids’ favorite art projects from school, with the intention of hanging them up.  Last weekend when my husband hung my daughter’s canopy hook, he also finally got around to hanging up the wires in our kitchen for my art wall.  The kids love seeing their work hanging, as do we.  I also like seeing their different styles and interpretations of the same project.

ICYMI on the blog this week:
Monday – I shared my review of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
Wednesday – I posted and joined Anne and Jenna’s March Currently linkup.
Thursday – I wrote Tasting Menu 101.

Linking up with Tif, Amanda and Andrea.  Have a great weekend!