Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends.  This week FLEW by.  I’m so happy it’s Friday!!   Today I’m linking up to ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.

 1.  Our Ava is turning 16 on Monday!!!!  I can’t believe our baby girl will be 16.  We are going to celebrate this weekend and have a nice dinner together in Monday.

2.  Last week I went to the Philadelphia flower show with my friend Jenn.  It’s the oldest flower show in the country we had a great time looking at all the exhibits.  It is one of my very favorite things to do in the spring.

3.  Last Friday we had our monthly craft class for Branch and Bloom.  We made reversible signs that said SPRING on one side and SUMMER on the other.  It was a fun project!  Our craft night was also fundraiser for an animal rescue organization and I’m happy to report that we raised $160 for it.

4. Saturday I went to an outdoor winter festival in our town. It’s called snowmegang and it’s held every March.  It was a fun afternoon. And yes it’s still snowing here.

5.  My students are volunteering tomorrow at a mother/son dance in our town called the Shamrock Swing.  On Monday we got pizza for dinner and made 300 party favors for he moms and their sons.  Tomorrow night at the party they will be making cotton candy and popcorn and putting temporary tattoos on the kids.  It should be a fun night!!

6.Sunday night I got together with my friends Vicki and Rachael  and we had a cooking class together and Vicki taught us to make homemade shrimp scampi and homemade Caesar salad.  Both were amazing and I’m going to post the recipes next week.  

This weekend we are going to celebrate St. Patrick’s day and Ava’s birthday!!  

Happy Friday❤️

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy Things {February}

Here's my happy things post for February.  Each night I write down one thing I'm happy about or one good thing that happened during the day.  I write down one thing before bed each night and it's a fun little excercise in gratitute.  I have SO much to be thankful for and I want to remember those fun little moments. 

Here are my past Happy Things posts


2017 ( I quit doing this in September I don't know just got too busy!)


February 2018
1 Amazing yoga class and then a  meeting for the annual Mardi Gras gala 
2 Cooking class in Albany
3 Boot camp and made sesame chicken with Ava
4 Snowed in for the Superbowl
6-lunch with my dear friend Donna
8 sick-ugh
9 sick-ugh
10 sick-ugh
11 I'm finally feeling better!!
12 Full day-work, family, friends, volunteer stuff.  I love days like these!!
13 Watched Ladybird movie with my friend Inez
14 Valentine's dinner and a movie with G and My Dad's birthday!
15 Bookclub-good meal and conversation
16 Breakfast out and plant shopping with my friend Jenn  at a greenhouse and sushi lunch with friends  
17 Brunch with girls
18 Pitch party with friends
19 Make up party
20 Nice dinner together as a family
21 Got new glasses!
22 Took a lovely nap
23 Watched Get Out (my 6th Oscar nominated film!)
24 Shopping day in Albany and went to a basketball game together as a family
25 Made chicken pad thai with Ava
26 Bookclub
27 Watched Graig ref a playoff game in basketball
28 It was so nice outside I got to take a walk at lunch and then girls night out

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Mardi Gras Gala

Last Saturday night was the second annual Gala for the Boys and Girls club in our town. You can see pictures from last year here.   I love the Boys and Girls club both of our kids spent years going there.  They have SO many activities for kids.  .  A couple of years ago I was talking with the Director (and one of my dear friends!) about fundraising ideas for the club and then she formed a committee and we had a few brainstorming sessions we came up with the idea for a Mardi Gras gala.  

It's the only Mardi Gras event in our town and everyone loves it!  It's a fun excuse to get dressed up and have a fun night out.  Graig hates events like these so he stayed home and I went with my girlfriends and had a blast!

My favorite part of this event is the decorations.  I am on the committee that plans this event and we were able to re-use a lot of our decorations from last year which was so great!  We added a few new things this year and the gym was transformed into a dreamy Mardi Gras night.

We had several seating nooks for people to sit on.  We used outdoor furniture and plants from our houses to transform the gym into a warm Mardi Gras night. 

My friend Rachael and I donated this vintage picnic basket from Branch and Bloom  filled with wine and a gift certificate to one of our craft classes. It sold for $95 at the silent auction.  

Two of my talented friends made mask cookies for the dessert table.  They were so delicious!!

We had casino tables and college soccer players were the dealers. I spent most of the night playing Craps.  It was a blast!

Here is a picture of the committee that planned the event.  We have a big group and worked SO hard to make sure this event was a success.  

I can't wait for next year. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Oscars 2018

My friend Amy hosted the Oscar party this year. I hosted last year and it was so fun but this year Amy wanted to host and I’m so glad she did.  It was a great night!  Amy did a pajama theme and it was perfect because Saturday night a lot of us went to the annual Mardi Gras gala to benefit the Boys and Girls Club so we were tired Sunday.  

To make it easy for Amy we each brought a snack.  I brought Feta Dip.  It was so easy!   I’ll post the recipe for my Saturday Snack this week.

Amy also had a few signature cocktails to go along with the Oscar theme.  They were so fun!  The Oscar-tini was champagne and cranberry juice the Missouri Mule was a re-named Moscow Mule and  a nod to Three Billboards.   She also had printed ballots and we each put in $5 and voted on our favorites. I won the Oscar Ballot contest!   We got SO excited when our nominees won.  

This year I watched 8 out of the 9 Best Picture movies.  I was so thrilled that The Shape of Water won best picture.  I thought that was the best movie of the bunch.  Graig, Brock and I watched it on Christmas day in Arizona.  It was an artsy film and it was full of action and it was also a love story. It was so good!!

Graig and I also loved Three Billboards and I'm glad that film got a lot of love at the Oscars last night.  I also loved Get Out, The Post, Dunkirk and Darkest Hour.  I did not like Phantom Thread or Lady Bird.  

I always love Oscar night and I had so much fun at the party.  


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Saturday Snack {Soft pretzels with cheese}

Yesterday we got a huge snow storm.  Everything was closed and we stayed at home and had a fun day.  I watched two Oscar nominated movies (Dunkirk and Thr Darkest Hour) and made these delicious homemade pretzels. 

Look at how much snow we got! We always get our biggest snow storms in March and I absolutely love it.  Everything looks so pretty.

I have had this recipe saved on my phone for a while now and I thought yesterday was a good day to make them. You can find the recipe here.  The step by step directions are so easy to follow.  The recipe makes 10 soft pretzels.  

I love pretzel bites so I cut my dough to make pretzel bites. 

The pretzels were so good!!   I was excited about making and trying the cheese dip.  I love jalapeƱos and they gave the cheese sauce a little kick.  

This was a delicious snow day snack!  

A few notes:
The original recipe calls for you to brush melted butter on the pretzels after they come out of the oven.  This would be so delicious but I decided to skip this step.  I thought this recipe had enough flavor (and calories!)  without the butter

The jalapeƱo cheese sauce was just ok.  I had high hopes and was excited to try it but when I make these again I will try a different recipe or  buy cheese sauce at the store.  

I will definitely make these pretzels again Happy Saturday!


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Book Review {February}

This month we read a fantastic book for our book club and it was also the only book I managed to read this month with everything else going on.  I have SO many books I want to read and I’m hoping I can read more in March.  In February I read Bear Town by Fredrik Backman. 

From Amazon
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys. 

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident 
Beartown explores the hopes  that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

This book tells the story of a high school hockey team and their family, friends and coaches.  After a big game the team has a party and at the party a terrible event happens. What happens at the party divides the town and it could tear the town, the team and their families apart.  The author Fredrik Bachman also wrote A Man Named Ove that I read last year
We had a fabulous discussion at our book club about this book.  I love books that create good discussion.  The last book review I did was in October.  You can read my other book reviews here  


What's Up Wednesday {February edition}

Today I am linking up with ShayMel, and Shaeffer for  What's Up Wednesday where we share random things that we've been up to this month. February flew by!  I can't believe it's almost the end of the month. Ava had her first full month back in the United States after being in the Czech Republic for a semester and Graig was busy reffing basketball games.  I had a few fun things this month plus I was sick for a week...that was awful!

You can see my other WUW posts here.

What we're eating this week-This week I made my first ever Chicken Pad Thai at home!  It was so delicious.  I made it Sunday night and we have been eating leftovers this week.  It was so good!  I used a sauce from Aldi and then I cooked chicken in my crockpot.  I cooked the rice noodles on the stove and then mixed everything together in my wok. I will definitely be making this again soon!

Ava and I also made Homemade Blizzards this month!!  They were SO good.  I got the recipe from this blog and there were so fun and so easy to make!

Also I made my Saturday snacks...

What I'm reminiscing about-My fun girls trip to Florida.   You can read about our trip here.  I went in January and I wish we were there again now.  We are getting another big snow storm on Friday-ugh.    I'm ready for spring!

What I'm loving-Podcasts!  I listen to them all the time-in the car, at home when I'm cleaning or getting ready for work. There are so many that I am loving right now but my favorites right now are...

Slow Burn-all about Richard Nixon and his involvement  and eventual resignation because of the Watergate Break in. The break in happened in June 1972 and he resigned from the Presidency on August 9,1974 after it was clear he was soon to be impeached because of the scandal.

Dirty John-is all about an incredibly talented interior designer and the man she falls in love with and eventually marries.  It starts out like a fairy tale romance but he turns out to be a big time con man...he told her all sorts of lies including that he was an accomplished Anesthesiologist.  I couldn't stop listening to this one..  It was so good!

I just started listening to the Patty has a gun podcast which is all about the Patty Hearst kidnapping that happened in 1974.  I have only listed to three episodes but I am hooked! 

I also love The History Chicks.  This is a podcast about women in American history.  Each episode is meticulously researched and they share so much information in a fun and interesting way so I love listening.   I just listened to the two episodes about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and I learned so much about her and her life from the podcast.

What we've been up to-just like always trying to balance it all--family, work, friends, volunteer stuff. Last night we went to watch G ref in a sectional game.  He loves reffing and it was fun for Ava and I to see him in action.

What I'm dreading-thankfully nothing right now!

What I'm working on-just normal things nothing crazy or too exciting. 

What I'm excited about-Ava is turning 16 next month!!  I can't believe it.  We are going to take a little trip together and she will have a small party with her friends.

What I'm watching/reading-I read Bear Town this month for my bookclub.  It was so good.  It was the only book I read this month and I really enjoyed it.  I am planning on doing a post on it tomorrow.

What I'm listening to-Podcasts-ha ha!  See above. 

What I'm wearing-sweatshirts, coats, hats, boots, gloves-it's been so cold here and I am ready for spring!

What I'm doing this weekend-I have the annual Mardi Gras gala to support the Boys and Girls club.  I'm on the committee the plans it and it is going to be a blast!!  Also my friend is hosting an Oscar party Sunday.  Last year I hosted and I'm happy that my dear friend Amy is taking over the hosting duties this year!

What I'm looking forward to next month-I'm going to the Philadelphia flower show with my friend Jenn.  We went last year and had a blast so I'm looking forward to going with her again.  You can see my post from last year here

What else is new-Brock moved into a new apartment yesterday in North Scottsdale, AZ and I can't wait to see pics of it.  He texted us an said he was all moved in and that he would send pics soon. 

Happy Wednesday!!