Food, family, and fitness... all with a bit of style.

Friday Favorites

Hi friends! Are there really only 2 more days left in April??? Gosh this month seemed to fly by! And that means we are even closer to Summer!! YAY!
As always, I am linking up with some of my favorite blogging friends, AndreaNarci, and Erika to share a few of my Friday Favorites. Just a random assortment of things that made me happy this week! 
Totally random, but have you tried these granola bites??? I picked up both the peanut butter and the dark chocolate sea salt and they are AMAZING!
And with pretty simple ingredients I am ok with my kiddos grabbing these on the go!
Fidget Spinners! Have you all heard of these? Luke came home last Friday and was begging to get know everyone at school had one! I really did not understand what it was, but I guess it was a thing, because I tried getting one at three stores last weekend and all 3 sold out! Luke left me his wallet Monday morning and said "please find a fidget spinner and more mangoes too!"
#momwin #momoftheyearaward
So my Ella has been dancing for four years now and it is her thing! She just loves it, practices constantly and is beaming when she performs. That being said, we have tried a few sports. I think it is important to try a few things when you're young. We tried soccer in kindergarten and she cried on the field the first game. We tried softball in first grade... she saw the thick baseball socks she had to wear and said no way.  We tried basketball in second grade and she left a post-it on her door saying "basketball is dumb". She did finish the season though, because Paul and I are proponents of finishing what you start.
Much to my surprise she has been kicking around the soccer ball lately and asked to play soccer! Even playing in the rain!
She is all signed up and ready to start practice next week! So proud of my girl for trying something new. And yes.. I did warn her what the soccer socks look like!
This dog.....
She is absolutely loving this weather. She lounges out there on the cool grass all night.
Literally until it's dark... we pretty much have to carry her inside!
Still loving this warm weather, Spring blooms and these smiling faces in the mornings!
And last week I shared with you this guy reading in the hammock.....
and this week he set up shop by the front door!
We had a fun week here on the blog! Here's a little recap.....
Monday we shared our weekly meal plan....
Tuesday was Show & Tell Tuesday-Favorite Grown Up Parties. I shared the details from my parents 40th Anniversary Party.
What's Up Wednesday was a little bit of everything!
And yesterday was my April Book Review....
I hope you guys had a fantastic week! Have a fun weekend and we will see you on Monday!

April Book Review

It's the last Thursday of the month & time for my monthly book review!  I am linking up with Narci over at Grace and Love Blog for her monthly Carpool Book Club.  Be sure to check out her blog for all her picks too!!
                                       If you missed the last few, you can catch up below.....
February Book Review
March Book Review
So this was a really slow month for me in the reading world! April was a pretty busy month with Luke's birthday, Easter, dance competition, lots of running and a pretty crazy couple weeks at work. I just didn't seem to have too much time this month and a few times I sat down to read, my mind was racing over things I had to do! #nofun
I did get through 2 books and I loved them both! And I am also going to list out a few that are on my "To Read" list. I have a list of books that friends have recommended or I saw another bloggers review on and I refer back to it as I choose my next books.
Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams.
My fourth book from her this year and she did not disappoint! I really loved this one. It was set in two different time periods and on two different continents. It told the stories of Annabelle & Pepper and how their lives intertwined. It had a bit of mystery, romance and I really did not know how it would end. I loved the character Pepper from the book Tiny Little Thing, so I was so excited to read about her again. If you have read others from Beatriz Williams, you will love this one too. And if you have not read anything from her yet... what are you waiting for?
Oh my goodness.This story is one of the sweetest I have ever read.... and I just want to meet Heather, Josh and their three little loves. This book is a quick read and every page will just melt your heart and give you inspiration and marvel at the goodness of people in the world. Heather & Josh struggled with infertility and God showed them the path to adoption, not once, but three times. And two of their babies have Down Syndrome. My favorite part of the book is where she writes about the connection to other moms & families that are blessed with that extra chromosome. It's like a secret club... the best club... one that changes your life forever. I blogged a bit about that last month... you can read it here if you missed it. This book was just so simply wonderful!
On my list......
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Calling me Home by Julie Kibler
You will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Good as Gone by Amy Gentry
What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan
There are lots more, but these are at the top! Any thoughts on these?? Any recommendations I should add to my list? Summer is coming, so hopefully that equals more reading time!
See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites.... there's always room for one more at our family table.

What's Up Wednesday... April Edition

Happy Wednesday friends!! It's time to link up with ShayMel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday....April Edition. As I type that, it's hard to believe that we are wrapping up April and May 1st is on Monday!
 A fun monthly post where we answer these questions....

What we're eating this week......
Well if we can grill it, we are eating it! One of our current favorites is this Grilled Halibut with Bruschetta. Simple & kind of dinner!
You can grab our entire week's meal plan here.
What I'm reminiscing about.....
My Luke turning 8! Gosh the time really does go by so fast, but he is at such a fun age. Loves all things sports, reading, and just cracks us up all the time. We got to celebrate with him at school.
And he had an awesome Lego party with some friends. I shared all the details on the party, and if you missed it, you can catch up here.

What I'm loving.....
This Spring weather! I have just loved being outside so much, although this Spring time does come with a bunch of yard work! Luke has found his new reading spot...
 We have made a few trips to the playground...
 been exploring the creek....
 And shooting lots of hoops!
What we've been up to.....
In addition to loving this Spring weather, Ella did a great job in her dance competition earlier this month...
We have enjoyed getting out to dinner on a few nice nights...
and this dog loves the Spring weather!

What I'm dreading.....
I wouldn't go as far as to say dreading... but it appears every sport/school/dance and church event is scheduled in the month of May. It's all fun stuff... just a pretty busy month!
What I'm working on.....
I talked about my basement in my Workin' It Wednesday post.... and needless to say, I am still working on it!
I am so sharing my after pics when I finish organizing.....but it may be a while!
What I'm excited about.....
Even though I said May is jam packed, I am excited for all of it! Ella has her first orchestra concert. She has been practicing her violin everyday and I can't wait to see her perform. She will also be singing in the Spring chorus concert.
And this guy is playing both house and travel baseball, so we will be at the baseball diamonds all month rooting him on!

What I'm watching/reading.....
We have been into Billions on Showtime. It stars one of our favorite actors from Homeland and is all about some hedge fund owners and the DA that is out to bring them down. It's the second season and is really good.
And both Paul & I like it....always a bonus when you find a series you both like!
I will be sharing my book review tomorrow, but one of the highlights is Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams. It is my fourth book from her this year, and I just loved it!

What I'm listening to.....
Again, the question that stumps me every month! Not really much to talk about, other than my usual JT radio while I run! I am excited about the new Zac Brown Band album coming out next month!
 It's always good music to listen to when floating on the lake in the Summer. 
What I'm wearing.....
Instead of sharing some favorite outfits, I decided to share some of my favorite beauty products I am currently wearing. This body cream from Philosophy is a favorite for sure. This keeps my skin so soft and has a really nice light fragrance. I just love it!
And I am super sensitive to fragrances and scented "stuff'"! I have trouble finding a fragrance that doesn't give me a headache. This is my answer....
Again from Philosophy, and just a really nice, clean and light fragrance.
This Essie polish in Minimalistic s a perfect Spring color... light with just the right amount of pink!

What I'm doing this weekend.....
We will be at the baseball diamonds a few times! Luke has a birthday party and I think we may tackle some Spring planting.
What I'm looking forward to.....
Running this marathon!!! I am fighting through an injury and really hoping I can tough it out the next 4 weeks and cross that finish line! It may take a lot of ice and ibuprofen but I am determined to finish!
What else is new.....
The boat is out of storage and we are getting ready to put it in the water next week!
And then this will be our weekend view....
Bonus Question... Favorite Spring/Summer Shoe.....
The weather here can be so crazy in the Spring! It can be snowy or 80 degrees. And by Spring, I am usually sick of wearing boots, but it is usually too cold to go with sandals. I find the perfect answer is Converse slip-ons. They are cute, comfy and work perfectly in our crazy Spring weather!

They come in a bunch of colors, but my favorite is the grey!

And that's a little bit of What's Up on this last Wednesday of April! I hope you have had a great month!
See you tomorrow for our book review... there's always room for one more at our family table.

Show & Tell Tuesday... Favorite Grown Up Parties

It's Show & Tell Tuesday! A twice monthly link up with  Andrea over at Momfessionals to show and tell all kinds of fun stuff! Here are a few we have done this year....

Today's topic... Favorite Grown Up Parties. And you  know what is pretty sad... as much as I love a good theme party. all my parties seem to have gravitated towards kids... ugh. I need to get in some more grown up fun!
I have two fun grown up parties to share with you...
Last year we threw my parents a surprise 40th anniversary party. Their anniversary is the day after Christmas. My dad often hums the song "Santa, make her my bride for Christmas". We usually get together with my mom's side of the family that day, so it was really pretty easy to plan for everyone to get together.
We had the party in the backroom of a local restaurant and needless to say they were pretty shocked!
I made some pretty and simple centerpieces with pics from their wedding day
 I got to reuse some of my holiday decor, since our theme was red.
 My parents love trivia night, so we hosted a trivia for our guests with lots of questions about my parents.  We did trivia at Ella's last birthday too. It's a fun thing to do at parties.
Our family! 
 My mom and her 3 bridesmaids....these friendships are just amazing!
It was a great party. So glad to be able to celebrate my parents in a special way!
Another grown up party I planned was more a trip than a party.Paul and his best friend turned 40 the same year, so his wife and I secretly plotted a golf trip to Miami together to celebrate. We live in NY and they are in Maryland. We had a connecting flight in Baltimore and were going to meet them in the airport for the big surprise.
Well....our flight out of Buffalo was cancelled due to a snowstorm. I was on the verge of tears in the airport as I told Paul about the surprise! We ended up making it to DC and spent the night there, before getting on a really early flight to Miami. Even though we missed a day, it was still a really fun way to ring in 40!
And this was like the only picture I could find! I am so happy I take pics of everything now... and hopefully my kids will too when they can look back and see all kinds of fun memories.
I can't wait to read everyone's fun grown up parties, since it is apparent I need to throw more of them! And what better time that Summer to throw a good to plan!
See you tomorrow for What's Up Wednesday.....there's always room for one more at our family table.

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