My 2017 Summer Reading List

If you haven’t realized it by now, I love to read.  However, I’m really bad about making a reading list and sticking to it.  My usual book reading habit is to put all the new releases that I want to read on hold at the library and then try to keep up reading them as they come in.  Forget about the tons of unread books collecting dust on my bookshelf.  Forget about the over 700 books on my Goodreads to-read list.  Fortunately, my reading habits will have to change this summer.  Earlier this month I wrote about the different road trips around New York state that I’m taking with the kids this summer.  I prefer not to take piles of library books with me.  So, this summer reading list includes six books off my own bookshelf!  Some of these books have been on my to read list for YEARS!  Several of the books I chose had “summer” right in the title and were seasonally appropriate.  Other books were YA, chick lit,  or suspense-type thrillers, since I prefer to read “lighter” books in the summer.  Here is my 2017 summer reading list, in alphabetical order:

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia –  This is A YA paranormal/fantasy book.  Not my normal genre, but it’s won several literary awards.  It was made into a movie in 2013 and is probably why I added it to my to read list back then, since I prefer to read the book before seeing the movie.

The Crush by Sandra Brown –  I used to read a lot more of Sandra Brown’s books but haven’t picked one up in a long time.  This one has been on my shelf forever and the only suspense/thriller out of my six books.

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult – Picoult is one of my favorite authors.  This is one of the few books of hers that I haven’t read yet, even though it’s been on my shelf for years.  I know this book isn’t a light read, but I’m almost positive it will be a great read.

The Last Summer by Ann Brashares – I’m going to admit that I don’t have high hopes for this book.  I loved Brashares Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.  But I haven’t been a fan of the few YA stand-alones of hers that I’ve read.  This is a summer book and I get it off my shelf, so I’m going to give it a go.

One Summer by David Baldacci – I know Baldacci usually writes suspense/thriller books.  I’ve never read any of them, which is probably good.  I can read this book without expectations.  I’ve heard this book has been compared to those of Nicholas Sparks, and I usually love his books.

The Summer I Dared by Barbara Delinsky – I know very little about this book.  But I’ve read several of Delinsky’s other books and have enjoyed them.

Have you read any of these books?  What is on your summer reading list?

Summer Bucket List Update

View of Bear Mountain Bridge

It is hard to believe it is already August!  We are halfway through the summer and I thought I’d share our summer bucket list update.  We are making great progress!  Although not on the original bucket list, we attended a polo match and have eaten some great, local food as well!


Go strawberry picking at Fishkill Farms.   We missed strawberry picking, since they are usually only available in June.  However, we did get to go blueberry and raspberry picking!  You can check out our post here.

HV Renegades

See a Renegades baseball game.   We went to a game in July and had a lot of fun.  We were chosen to get a seat upgrade and got to sit right behind home plate!  There was also a great fireworks show after the game!  If we have time before the season ends, I would go back to see another game!

FDR Park

Take a hike and geocache.  We took a trip to both FDR and Bear Mountain State Park and hiked and did some geocaching.

Vanderbilt Mansion

Visit the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion.  My daughter has her Every Kid in a Park pass that expires this month.   So far we were able to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion and even found a geocache on the property!  They are doing renovations on the mansion and there was fencing and supplies around the outside, making it not very photo-worthy.  The gardens however, were beautiful!  We haven’t yet made it to the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site though.  We have to try to fit this in soon!

Walkway Over the Hudson

Walk the Walkway Over the Hudson.  We did the Walkway Over the Hudson on a super hot day!

Have a picnic.  We visited FDR park on Father’s Day and had a picnic lunch before we went geocaching.

Mini Golf

Play mini golf and have lunch at Red Rooster Drive-In.  We did play mini golf at a local course but have not yet made it to Red Rooster.

Enjoy an outdoor concert.  We saw a couple of local bands play at a park before we watched Goonies outside on the big screen.

Visit Untermyer Gardens and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.  We still have to do both of these!  I keep seeing beautiful pictures on Instagram of Untermyer Gardens and can’t wait to see it in person!

Daily Moos Creamery

Summer is all about ice cream!  We are definitely going back to The Hudson Creamery (the Breakfast Club Sundae was so good!) and I’d like to visit The Blue Pig.  So we revisited The Hudson Creamery, where I enjoyed the Serafina sundae.  We still have to visit The Blue Pig.  However, we visited a new local ice cream shop called Daily Moos Creamery, which serves flavored soft serve!

Hot Dippity Donuts

And when not indulging in ice cream, we’d like to eat some doughnuts.  While we like Dunkin’ Donuts, we hope to get to Gypsy Donut and Hot Dippity Donuts.  We’ve been to Hot Dippity Donuts twice now!

If you have been following along with us on Instagram you have probably seen most of these pictures.  Look for more posts about our summer adventures on the blog as our family hopefully completes our summer bucket list!


69 Days of Summer

69 days of summer

Today marks the official first day of the kids’ summer vacation.  They have 69 days of summer vacation before school starts again September 1.  This year, both kids opted not to go to camp.  Now that I am working part-time from home, this is the first time in awhile where camp was an option and not a necessity.  Despite the variety of camps presented to them:  town camp, Girl Scout/Cub Scout camp or sports camp, neither of them wanted to go.  I reminded them that they shouldn’t expect to “hang out” with their friends every day since most of their friends are at camp all day.  So, now, what is a mom to do with 69 days of summer?

69 Days of Summer

Well, first I bought myself a mini notebook to journal our summer adventures.  Yes, I said adventures.  If you know me well, “adventure” is not a word that you’d normally associate with me.  I’m a creature of habit and routine.  However, if you read Wednesday’s post, I wrote about my daughter’s moving up to middle school in the fall.  With this upcoming change I know that spending time with her mom will soon be replaced by wanting to spend all her time with her friends.  So, I plan to take the kids on outings.  We can tackle our Hudson Valley Summer Bucket List as well as explore New York City.  We can eat our way through Westchester County and spend lazy days at the park. Whatever we do, I am taking advantage of this time that we do have to spend together.


I also found two notebooks for the kids to decorate and use as their own summer journals.  Not only will they keep up their writing skills, but they will have a souvenir of their hopefully fun summer!

Summertime Rules

And for those days that we spend at home, this sign was made.  Now, my son won’t be constantly asking to play the Xbox.

Follow along with NY Foodie Family on the blog and on Instagram, as we fill our 69 days of summer!


Our Hudson Valley Summer Bucket List

View of Bear Mountain Bridge

Our family is so fortunate to live in the beautiful Hudson Valley.  We are close enough to enjoy all the food, culture and arts of New York City.  However, we also love living close to the Hudson River and enjoying all the family fun that our community and neighboring areas offer.  Summer is quickly approaching and we have made a bucket list of fun things in the Hudson Valley that we would like to do over the next couple of months.  Please note, although there are some date specific events and festivals that we are interested in, I did not add them to this list, as I wanted to keep our summer plans and this list flexible.

Go strawberry picking at Fishkill Farms.  We went strawberry picking for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. Freshly picked strawberries are amazing!

See a Renegades baseball game.  Last summer we went to a Rockland Boulders baseball game and this summer we’d like to see a Renegades game.

Take a hike and geocache.  Our family has caught the geocaching bug and we plan on finding as many caches as we can!  On the top of our list is to return to Fahnestock State Park and probably a trip to Bear Mountain State Park.

Visit the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion.  My daughter has her Every Kid in a Park pass that expires in August.  We enjoyed visiting the home of FDR back in November and we said that once the weather got warmer we’d like to go visit the Eleanor Roosevelt House and the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Walk the Walkway Over the Hudson.

Have a picnic.

Play mini golf and have lunch at Red Rooster Drive-In.

Enjoy an outdoor concert.

Visit Untermyer Gardens and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.

Summer is all about ice cream!  We are definitely going back to The Hudson Creamery (the Breakfast Club Sundae was so good!) and I’d like to visit The Blue Pig.

And when not indulging in ice cream, we’d like to eat some doughnuts.  While we like Dunkin’ Donuts, we hope to get to Gypsy Donut and Hot Dippity Donuts.

We will be having lots of fun this summer!  You can follow along on Instagram and read about it here on the blog as our family hopefully completes our bucket list this summer!

Do you have any recommendations for us to add to this list?


Summer Family Fun: Movies on a Budget

Movies on a Budget

Summer vacation is quickly approaching!  My kids have opted not to go to camp this summer and I am trying to fill up our calendar with fun activities.  Who doesn’t love movies?!! As much as our family loves going to the movies, I don’t love the cost of taking our family of four to go see one!  Four tickets and a large popcorn and soda later and we’ve spent close to $75!   However, summer is the perfect time for me to take the kids to the movies.   We get to escape the heat for a couple of hours and get to see a movie on the big screen.  If you’re looking for the most recent blockbuster release, then you might want to stop reading here.  If you’re like my kids, who don’t mind seeing older movies that they might have already seen, then keep reading, because I’ve found some summer movie deals!

Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp – Movie and restaurant chain Alamo Drafthouse is again offering their Kids Camp.  You choose your ticket price between $1 – $3 and all proceeds get donated to a local nonprofit.   The movies offered this summer include classics like A League of Their Own and Babe, as well as older, but more recent films like The Lego Movie and Shaun the Sheep.

Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express – Regal Cinemas offers movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 AM for only $1 each.  Two movies are offered each week and both movies play on both days.  So if you really wanted to, you could go to the movies twice each week!  Sitting in an air conditioned theater watching a popular family fun movie for $1 is my kind of movie fun!  This summer’s movie line up includes Goosebumps, The Smurfs 2, Home, The Peanuts Movie and many more.

Local Movie Viewings – Check your town’s recreation department website, or local neighboring towns, to see if they are offering free “Movies Under the Stars” night.  Several towns in our area offer such a night.  Bring a blanket or some chairs and some snacks and you can have yourself a free family movie night.  Just don’t forget the bug spray!

Drive-In – Nothing says summer to me more than a drive-in movie theater.  Do a quick internet search for your nearest drive-in movie theater.  If it’s a bit of a drive, possibly make a day of it and go out to lunch or dinner, see if there’s a local park and then go watch the movie.  Or, if you are taking a summer vacation, see if there’s a drive-in theater near your destination.  Drive-in theaters often play current releases and often have discount nights or special deals going on.






2015 Family Summer Bucket List

2015 Summer Family Bucket List

Yesterday was the official first day of summer.  As the kids finish up their last week of school we have made our summer bucket list.  Making a summer bucket list is a fun way for us all to choose something that we want to do together.  Our family time is limited so it’s nice to have a plan of what we want to accomplish.  Plus, having our list in writing makes us more accountable to actually accomplishing it!

Strawberry Picking – This was something we had been meaning to do for awhile and we finally went strawberry picking a few weeks ago.  It’s kind of cheating to put it on our “summer” bucket list, since we technically didn’t go during summer.  However, there’s a limited window of opportunity for strawberry picking in our area (around the first week or two in June) and it just seems like a summer-time activity!

Drive-In Movie Theater – I discovered that there’s a drive-in movie theater about an hour a way from our house.  I think it will be fun to be able to watch a together in the car.  We can possibly bring dinner and some treats and have a different family movie night experience.

Classic Car Night – The Weekend Chef would like us to go to a Classic Car Night show.  It may end up being the local show held out in the McDonald’s parking lot, unless we can find a bigger one not too far away.

Camping – My daughter wants to go camping this summer and we already have our weekend in July blocked out.  Now, it’s just a matter of choosing the where!

Go On a Hike –   My son’s first response to what he wanted to do this summer was go on a hike.  While I first said maybe we can put this on our fall bucket list I decided to add it.  Maybe we can go on a night hike or hike on a not-so-hot day.  Since this was his first choice, we are going to do it.

Family Game Night – This was my son’s alternate response.  He suggested that maybe we can play soccer or volleyball together.  Or play games inside.  We enjoy family game nights so I am adding it to the list.

Play Miniature Golf – This is an activity that we don’t get to do very often but the kids love.  Hopefully we can get a round or two in this summer!

Finally, the bottom of our list are activities that are already planned.  Going to the beach, eating seafood, fishing, and eating dinner outside are all activities that we usually end up doing during our annual Rhode Island 4th of July vacation.  We are driving to Disney this summer which takes care of the road trip and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a fireworks show or two down there!

What are some activities on your summer bucket list?