Five on Friday {Just Another Friday….}

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Hello Friday!  Hope everyone is still doing well during these uncertain times. Obviously, there’s not a lot going on here or likely anywhere! Here are five from another unexciting week:

1. Birthday Celebrations –   This week we helped celebrate two more birthdays.  One was a birthday parade for my daughter’s friend and the other was for our neighbor. 


2. Reading – This week I finished reading Lucky Girl by Mei-Ling Hopgood.  This is a non-fiction book about the author, who was adopted as an infant. She is able to track down her birth parents and travels to Taiwan to meet them and her siblings.   


3. Watching – This past week Dana and I binge watched season 1 of Jack Ryan.  I wrote about this on Wednesday’s Happy List because it was my first true binge watch in forever (eight episodes in 24 hours).  We haven’t started season 2 yet (hopefully this weekend!) because I will not want to leave my couch until I’ve watched every episode.

I may have a thing for John Krasinski, but if you haven’t seen his show, Some Good News (SGN) on Youtube, I HIGHLY recommend! It highlights all the positive things going on during this time……and John Krasinski!! I linked the first episode here. I literally laugh and cry during every episode.

4. Cooking – This week’s menu included Ratatouille Pasta, Veggie Teriyaki Stir Fry Noodles, Basil Chickpea Curry, Smoky Sweet Potato Tempeh Scramble Tacos and Vegetable Vegan Lasagna. 

5. Family Game Night – We take turns picking shows to watch as a family and games to play on game nights. My husband chose Monopoly Ultimate Banking. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a game of Monopoly in my life. We set a 1 hour time limit for the game and were fine when it was over. The good thing about this game is that it’s electronic so there’s no paper money to have to deal with.

ICYMI: My Happy Lists for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

Happy List {April 22, 2020}

A mid-day Happy List! Here’s three things making me happy today:

1. Some Good News Episode 4 – Have you watched this show yet?! If not, what are you waiting for?!!

2. Jack Ryan Season 1 – I don’t know what box I was living in, but I didn’t realize that John Krasinski plays Jack Ryan! I can’t believe that I haven’t posted this on my happy list yet. I can’t remember the last time that I did a binge watch of a show….like a real binge watch. But this past weekend my husband and I watched all eight episodes of season 1 of this show in 24 hours. It’s a little violent and I have to not watch the screen. But it’s action and suspense and a perfect escape.

3. Earth Day – Happy Earth Day! While we have all this craziness going on, Mother Earth is benefiting from us all staying inside. Plus, all of the signs of spring give us hope that there will be brighter times ahead.

Happy List {April 21, 2020}

Another afternoon happy list. Here are today’s three!

1. Clearance Easter candy – I had to run to Walmart last night to try to find Tylenol (score!). While I was there, they had Easter candy for 75-90% off. I might have bought a bag of twix and m&ms for the family.

2. Family Walk – Normally, my husband and I take a daily after work walk (weather dependent). Yesterday, the whole family enjoyed a walk together.

3. Netflix Documentaries – I’m always looking for something new to watch and I am a documentary fan, if I find the subject interesting. I’m going to have to check out some of these. I already watched Miss Americana and it was so good!


Happy List {April 20,2020}

Well, it appears that I’m taking the weekends off from posting a Happy List! Here’s a late edition for today!

1. Life Is Good – I can add to this I have my family and I have good health. Just this small reminder everyday, is worth being happy about.

2. Cats Making Bad Decisions – I’m a cat mom of two and yes, cats can make bad decisions! If you are a cat lover, this post will hopefully make you smile too!

3. Lip Sync Battle – So, if you haven’t noticed yet, I may have a thing for John Krasinski. Seeing this video of him lip singing Proud Mary definitely made me smile!


Happy List {April 17,2020}

Happy Friday! We made it through another week. Here is today’s happy:

1. Mocktails – For my daughter’s birthday we made virgin strawberry pina coladas. The kids were so excited about their special drinks that I realized this is something that we will have to make more of in quarantine.

2. Family Game Night – I had my son pick the family activity yesterday and he chose Apples to Apples. We hadn’t played this one in awhile, so it was a fun time.

3. Saved By the Bell – I grew up watching this show and now it’s getting a reboot! Although an air date has not been released yet, the show will eventually stream on NBC’s new Peacock streaming service sometime later this year. With many of the original cast returning, I’ll have to check this out!


Five on Friday {We have a 14 year-old!}

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Happy Friday! I hope everyone who celebrates had a Happy Easter. We got the kids a few things for their baskets and did an egg hunt. But otherwise, it felt like a regular day. The Governor announced yesterday that New York State will continue to be on pause until May 15th. I know that this is a necessary measure to contain the virus and keep everyone safe. I’ve never even seen the movie Groundhog’s Day. But it feels like I’m reliving the same day over and over again…..I hope everyone has as great of a weekend as you can. I still look forward to the weekends since I don’t have to set an alarm and I disconnect my work email on my phone until Monday. It’s the little things! Here are five from this week:

1. Birthday celebration – Tuesday, my daughter turned 14! Birthdays in quarantine stink, but we tried to make the best of it. We decorated the house with balloons and decorations.  We ordered takeout pizza for lunch, made a homemade luau dinner (at her request) had a Zoom get-together with my family, and even did a family tik tok. One of her friends stopped by and they had a quick socially distant in-person catch up and then she had a group Facetime call with some of her other friends.  She hates having a lot of attention on her (hmm, wonder who she gets that from!), and did NOT want a birthday parade or a neighborhood sing-along, like we’ve participated in for others. At the end of the day, she said she had a great birthday and that’s all I can ask for as a parent. This is definitely a birthday that she will always remember.


2. Reading – This week I finished reading On Dublin Street by Samantha Young.  I’ve owned this book for years and I’m finally trying to read through some of the books on my shelf. This was a steamy, contemporary romance that I really enjoyed. It’s the first of a six book series, but I think I’m okay with just reading this one.

3. Watching – This past week we had a family movie night and watched What Happened to Monday? On Netflix.  We did have to fast forward through a sex scene, but besides that, it was a pretty good movie.  My daughter (and now son) and I are continuing our binge watching of Money Heist.

4. Cooking – This week’s menu included Udon Soup, Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas, and a luau dinner that included Huli Huli Cauliflower (pictured), Teriyaki Tofu, Marinated Cucumbers, Homemade Dumplings and Fried Rice.

5. Family Chalk Art – I’ve seen similar art projects all over the internet and wanted to do one as a family. Of course I had gotten rid of all of the kids’ old chalk on a cleaning spree. When I looked online for some, the price was either ridiculously expensive or the stores were sold out. When we made a quick Walmart run to get some birthday and Easter supplies, I found some chalk! And so, we had a family art day this week where we all colored this for our neighbors.

ICYMI: My Happy Lists for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday!

Tuesday I shared my March reads.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

Happy List {April 16, 2020}

It’s really beginning to feel like Groundhog’s Day around here. Still looking for the happy each day though!

Family Chalk Art – I made the family go outside yesterday afternoon and create this chalk art. There were surprisingly no complaints from the kids and it was a fun family activity. Plus, it will hopefully bring a smile to all the neighbors who walk by (until the rain comes this weekend!).

Choose Joy – Something found on the internet, but so fitting for right now.

Kelly Clarkson Show – This episode of the Kelly Clarkson Show because I love Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake!

Happy List {April 15, 2020}

Yesterday was such a busy day that I missed my Happy List. Here is today’s three:

1. Birthday Celebration – Yesterday my daughter turned 14! Birthdays in quarantine stink. But we tried to make the most of it. She said she had a great day, which is all a parent can ask for. This is definitely a birthday that she will always remember! I’ll share more details in Friday’s Five on Friday post!

2. Show Us Your Books link up – Every month I participate in a book link up and share my monthly reads. It’s such a great way for me to get new book recommendations. Since the library is closed, I put a bunch of e-books on hold.

3. Cat Fashion Show – I don’t know how they did this – my cats would NEVER let us dress them up like this!


March Reads {2020}

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I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this global health pandemic. These are some crazy scary times that we are currently facing. My reading has definitely increased with all of this time at home. I’ve been reading books off of my own shelf and even reading on my kindle, which I rarely do. When you’re desperate for books, you go to drastic measures! As usual, I’m sharing this post with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books link up. Here are my March reads:

3 stars

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Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde (ARC c/o Netgalley) – Brooke is driving her car when it gets hijacked with her two year-old daughter, Etta still in it. Etta is found by Molly, a teenager who has been living for months on the streets of L.A. Molly protects Etta and helps to reunite her with Brooke, which helps create a unique relationship between the three of them. This was my first Hyde book and I didn’t realize that she was such a prolific writer. This was just an okay read for me but I’m open to giving some of her other books a try.


Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova – Lana wants to have a baby and after many failed attempts and miscarriages, resorts to an egg donor with her partner, Tyler. He tries to help fulfill Lana’s request to have a donor of Bulgarian descent. Katya is a college student who Lana meets by chance, and the two end up becoming friends. When Katya unexpectedly disappears, Lana ends up digging into Katya’s past and discovers the secrets she’s been keeping. This was my book club read for the month (even though we didn’t end up having book club). I’ve been trying to avoid reading too many suspense/thriller books because they’ve all been pretty disappointing recently. I was not a fan of this book. All of the characters were so unlikable and I didn’t find the story line very interesting.

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Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen – Adam and Sophie Warner are vacationing with their three year-old daughter when Adam sees his wife being abducted. Kristen and Connor are staying in a cabin next door to the Adam and Sophie. As Detective Lee Husemann investigates the case, she finds that the couples have a history and that secrets are being kept from her. This was just another okay suspense read for me.


Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson – Amy Whey is married with an infant son and a stepdaughter. She helps run the neighborhood book club with her best friend Charlotte. But one, night, a new neighbor shows up. “Roux” gets the women liquored up and starts a game of Never Have I Ever, getting them to reveal their secrets. While Amy doesn’t reveal anything, it appears that Roux knows secrets from her past and blackmails her. Amy can’t afford to lose the life she loves, so she has to beat Roux at her own game. While this book did have lots of plot twists and surprises, it was just unbelievable on so many levels. Of course this didn’t keep me from finishing it, because I had to see how it would end.

4 stars

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Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner – This book follows Jo and Bethie Kaufman, from children in the 1950’s to present day adults. It shows how their past experiences have shaped them into who they are, tackling complex themes in a very readable way. I’ve only read a couple of Weiner’s books and they were read years ago, so I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read this one. But after seeing a lot of positive reviews, I gave it a try and I’m glad that I did. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would.

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Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein – This book is a guide to manifesting and becoming a super attractor (living in alignment with the universe). It will definitely be a little “woo-woo” for some people, but I found it pretty interesting.


Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center – Cassie Hanwell is one of the only female fire fighters in the Texas firehouse that she has been working at all of her career. Cassie’s estranged mom invites her to Boston for one year, to assist her after a medical procedure. She ends up finding a job at a traditional all male firehouse. Not only does Cassie have to adjust to her new job, but she also needs to work on her relationship with a mother that she doesn’t really know. I’ve only read a couple of Center’s books, but I’ve enjoyed them all, including this one.


Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – Pepper is a high school student, captain of the swim team and runs the twitter account for Big League Burger, the fast-food chain that her family owns. Jack is her classmate and the class clown, who works at his family’s deli. The two become involved in a Twitter war when Big League Burger steals a recipe from his family’s deli. This is a YA book that reads like a YA book. It’s a contemporary, light, fun read.

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What You Wish For by Katherine Center (ARC c/o Netgalley) – Samantha Casey is a librarian at an elementary school in Texas. The principal of the school unexpectedly passes away and his replacement is Duncan Carpenter. Samantha used to teach with the goofy, fun teacher before moving to Texas, and might have had an unrequited crush on him. But now, he’s a very serious person and making changes to the school that Samantha and her colleagues are not on board with. She becomes the one to stand up to him in hopes of saving the school that everyone loves. This book is expected to be published in July. Two Katherine Center books read in one month! Like Things You Save in a Fire, I enjoyed this book a lot!


Happy List {April 13, 2020}

I took an unintentional Happy List break over the weekend. Hope everyone had a Happy Easter. Here’s today’s Happy List with a couple of extras!:

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We were lucky this week to be able to pre-order some @peacefulprovisions vegan doughnuts…..warning, they sell out so quickly! This week their menu was inspired by some of their fellow Peekskill restaurants. We got “Gleason’s”: traditional yeast doughnut topped with almond ricotta-thyme icing and a lemon olive-oil drizzle and “Peekskill Brewery”: a traditional yeast doughnut topped with a blackberry sour icing (using Peekskill Brewery’s simple blackberry sour) and a basil icing drizzle! These were a tasty breakfast treat! Pre-orders for Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings open up on Monday! . . . . . . #peacefulprovisions #peekskill #peekskilleats #westchestereats #gleasons #peekskillbrewery #doughnutgram #veganveganeats #westchestervegan #devourpower #delishdelights #nomnomnom #instayum #foodgasm #happyfood #biteofthebest #treatyoself #supportlocal #sweettooth #breakfastgoals

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1. Vegan donuts – These donuts need to be pre-ordered for weekend pick up and sell out so quickly. We finally remembered to order some earlier in the week and were able to get them again.

2. Celebrating birthdays – Over the weekend we participated in two birthday celebrations. The first was a neighborhood singing of Happy Birthday to one of the boy’s who lives on our street. The second was participating in a birthday car parade for one of my son’s friends. The mom had the fire truck lead the parade with lights and sirens. Birthdays are hard, especially for kids, during this quarantine.

3. Georgia Aquarium kitten field trip – How cute are these kittens?!!

4. Family dumpling making – My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow and she requested a luau themed dinner. So we all worked together yesterday to pre-make the dumplings. They are in the freezer and ready to be cooked.

5. Some Good News (SGN) with John Krasinski – Such a fun show, I had to post it again, since there’s a new episode! I laughed, I cried…..all the feels!