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

November Book Review

Yay it's book review day! I was two for three this month!  The first one I just could not get into and I loved the other two! I am linking up with Narci over at  Grace and Love Blog  for her monthly book review link up. Be sure to check out her blog for all her picks too!!

Hot Chocolate Bar!!

Hi friends!! So in case you are new here, I LOVE Christmas. And I love to entertain during the's kind of my thing & would host a party every weekend if I could! #notkidding.
I mean this Gingerbread Party is my favorite thing to do all year!

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Happy Wednesday friends! Today I am sharing an easy & delicious crockpot meal, perfect for mid-week! I was feeling festive during Thanksgiving week and tried a new recipe in the crockpot. This Cranberry Chicken is so easy and full of flavor! Trust need to make this!
1 - 1 1/2lbs of boneless chicken breasts
2 cups of fresh cranberries
zest and juice on an orange
3 TBSP of brown sugar
1/4 cup of chicken broth
salt & pepper
Lay your chicken in the slow cooker and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours.
Using two forks, shred the chicken and mix with the berries & sauce. Season with salt & pepper if needed.
Serve over rice and top with scallions.

Show & Tell Tuesday....Want, Need, Wear & Read

Well in case you are not shopped out after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday, I am sharing even more gift ideas today! I am so excited to link up with Andrea over at Momfessionals for Show & Tell Tuesday.
Today's topic is a fun one....a gift you want, one you need, one to wear and one to read! 
I have given this direction to my kiddos when they are writing their list. I think these 4 buckets make perfect gift ideas. Today I am sharing my  list and Paul's (in case you need some ideas for your guy). Bonus... I linked everything for you to make shopping easier! 
And in case you missed my previous gift posts, you can catch up on those here.....
Gift Ideas for Girls
Gift Ideas for Boys

Here is my list....
I have had my eye on this  Ninja Kitchen System for a while. It is rated so well and friends that have it just rave about it. And I am totally a girl that LOVES getting kitchen gadgets for Christmas!

I need new pots and pans. Not very exciting, I know....but I cook nearly everyday and I am using the ones we got for our wedding, 17 years ago. So, I could really use some new ones! I love this Cuisinart set!
The North Face Morph Down Jacket Women's TNF Black X-Large
A new  Winter Coat. Mine is so old, but my issue has been finding one I love. I pretty much live in vests all Winter long, because I don't like a bulky coat in the car or when I am out shopping. However, I do live in Buffalo so there are plenty of frigid days that call for more than a vest! I love the style and slim design of  this one.
I love Elin Hilderbrand and her  new book is on top of my "to read" list!The Identicals: A Novel
Now onto the guy in you life. These are a few things on Paul's list & I added a few more things he has that I thought would make a good gift.
So this  adjustable workout chair is at the top of Paul's list. He says it is the perfect workout to help strengthen his back. If your guy is looking for a fairly inexpensive piece of workout equipment then this may be your gift! And it's available on Amazon Prime....which is like a gift to me😉
Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair / Exercise Hyper Bench JD-3.1

Now Paul already has  these slippers, but they are 4 years old and in need of updating. I have talked about these slippers before, but they are just the best and well worth the price! I have them too and they are just the best!
And if you have a coffee drinker guy, he needs this....
20 oz. Rambler® Tumbler with Lid
I have never met a cup that keeps my tea or coffee hotter. It is also perfect the Summer.....keeps drinks ice cold and the cup doesn't sweat. Click here  at check a gift off your list!
As I said, I live in my vests all Winter long. Paul does not have a vest, and sometimes doesn't like the bulk of his coat, so I am thinking this  Patagonia vest might be perfect!
I love to read.....about most anything. Paul, not so much. It really has to be about something he loves or has an interest it... which is usually water, boats, sports or pirates. I have heard great things about  this book. And it has to do with water, a boat and sporting event. Perfect!
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Gosh I just love sharing gift ideas. And I just love shopping for gifts! Hopefully these ideas will help you with someone on your list or give you an idea of something you can add to your list!
Have the best Tuesday friends & if you have been too busy shopping to think about dinner, you can check out our meal plan for the week.
There's always room for one more at our family table.
P.S. If you missed any posts earlier this year..... here are some of our other Show & Tell posts...
Steal & Splurge
And here is what is coming up later this year....

ps...this post contains affiliate links...thanks for supporting my blog 😊

Five Meals for Your Family Table.....Week 47

Happy Cyber Monday! So it appears I got 10,000 new emails since Thursday! I used to really have me inbox organized, but somehow I am now more like that inbox on the right.....
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and I need to get it cleaned up. #toomanyemails
Now onto something I have a bit better organized, our weekly meal plan. However after Thanksgiving and a weekend spent visiting with good friends, this sums up my mood last night!
Image result for holiday eating meme
So this week's menu is a bit on the lighter side. Here are some ideas for your family table this week, so you can spend more time shopping today!
I need easy to start of the week after a long holiday weekend.  One of my favorite go to easy meals is a make your own pizza and salad bar.  Grab some whole wheat or whole grain naan or flatbreads for your crust. Lay out lots of topping options and bake at 425 for about 5-7 minutes. While the pizzas are cooking, build your salads. Be sure to put out veggies in lots of great colors! I really like Mid's pizza sauce & shred my own mozzarella from a block. It melts so much better and doesn't have the caking agent that the pre- shredded cheese has.  My kids love to build their own dinners!
Shrimp Tacos are a fun twist on Taco Tuesday. Place some uncooked, peeled shrimp in a grill basket and drizzle with a little EVOO and a sprinkle of taco seasoning. Grill for a 5-7 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Shredded purple cabbage, pineapple salsa, fresh cilantro and avocado are some of the best shrimp taco toppings... in my opinion!
I shared my taco bar tips here.
Hummus Crusted Chicken is a new favorite here. Simple dish, full of flavor! I put about a pound of chicken breasts in a 13*9 glass dish, sprinkle with salt & pepper and cover in about 3/4 cup of hummus. I used garlic hummus, but you can use any flavor you want. Bake at 450 for about 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. We paired with with some Mediterranean couscous. Toss cooked couscous with some chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, parsley, and feta. Drizzle with a little EVOO, the juice of half a lemon and season with salt & pepper. 
Soup... in winter...perfect! This Turkey, Bean & Spinach soup is one of our most popular recipes adn comes together pretty quickly. You can grab the recipe for this soup here.
This frittata is easy and a great way to empty out the fridge. You can use any veggies, meat or cheese you want! Take 10 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper gently whisk together and set aside. Using a large, oven safe fry pan heat a few TBSP of EVOO and saute a few cups of chopped vegetables. I used onion, peppers, and broccoli. Saute until softened. Add your meat (precooked) and 1/2 cup shredded cheese to your egg mixture and pour over the veggies. I added ham in this one, and I did not add cheese.  Do not stir, and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook at 375 for 12-15 minutes, until the eggs are set. You can slide it onto a cutting board to slice.
I hope you have the best week friends! Be sure to stop back tomorrow for Show & Tell Tuesday. It's our holiday gifting edition....Want, Need, Wear & Read....for guys and gals!
See you soon, there's always room for one more at our family table.

Friday Favorites....Weekend Deals Edition!

Happy Friday friends!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and families! I shopped and ate. Seriously, I grabbed some great deals online yesterday and spent the rest of the day eating! And, this is my current situation....
I have eaten pumpkin pie for breakfast on Black Friday for the last 25 years. I have always worked in retail and it has been a crazy I start with a slice of leftover pie and coffee!

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!!!
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I am so thankful to each of you for joining me on my little blogging adventure. I wish you and your families a wonderful day!
Now I am in my coziest PJs...with a hot cup of coffee...and in serious online shopping mode! There are some great deals out there and you can grab most of them today, on the couch, in comfy clothes! I thought I would share some of my favorite Target deals with you. I linked everything, so you can just click and shop!
And if you need some inspiration, I shared some of my gift ideas earlier this week.
Gift Ideas for Girls
Gift Ideas for Boys
Ok friends, here are some of my favorite Target Deals!!
I am between these two as a gift for my kiddos. They both love "talking to Alexa or Siri", so I thought one of these would be fun. Both are on sale....
The Google Home is $29 and you get a free $10 gift card
and the Echo Dot is $29.99.
If you have any input on which is better...please share!
Ella got one of these mini cameras for her birthday last year and loves it! They are offering a deal with the camera and film bundle for $59.99
Pop Sockets make a fun stocking stuffer and are buy 2, get 1 free!
If you have a gamer in your house, lots of video games are on sale for 50% off!

And DVDs are also a great and easy gift idea. Lots of titles from $6!
I love to give books and they are offering some great titles at 50% off!
Now lets get into some toys!! Luke loves "guys" and there are some great sets at 40% off!
Justice League Action Figures
And if you have a little girl to buy for that is into Barbies, this is a great set on sale for under $30! Ella had this closet and car and loved it!

I am not a fan at all of the "slime craze"....but my kids love it and this looks like a fun gift for less than $20

Slime Kit
Legos are a highlight in our house on Christmas morning. These are a few sets that are 30% off for Black Friday.

Friends Heartlake Riding Club

Super Heroes
My kiddos love cruising around on their scooters. Under $20... and your kids will be cruising in no time!

Razor A Scooter
Now if you need anything for you house, I feel like you can always get a good deal on Black Friday. I love my Shark Steam Mop. You can grab it for $50 off!

And while we are talking cleaning, the Dyson V6 Animal is half off!

I personally don't own an Instapot....but have heard people rave about them! So if someone you know has this on their wishlist, you might want to snag it today and save $20.

And this is supposed to be the best blender ever...The Ninja
I have wanted one for a while now, but am waiting for my Cuisinart one to die! It seems silly to buy a second blender, but at half off...maybe it's time😉
There are so many other deals out there, I could go on and on for the whole day!
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Have the best day friends!!!
See you tomorrow for Friday favorites....there's always room for one more at our family table

What's Up Wednesday.....November Edition

Happy Wednesday friends!! Eeks....Thanksgiving is tomorrow!  I cannot wait to sip my coffee tomorrow morning..... and look at all the ads in the paper... in my PJs .... while watching the parade.  Then off to my parents for a Thanksgiving feast.... I am so excited for tomorrow!
But first it's time to link up with ShayMel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday....November Edition. 
 A fun monthly post where we answer these questions....

What we're eating this week......
We are keeping it simple this week, with meals like an easy taco salad, as we gear up for Thanksgiving.

You can check out our meal plan this week for some quick and easy meals.
Five Meals for Your Family Table
And if you want to mix it up at the dessert table tomorrow, my pumpkin cupcakes would be the perfect addition!
What I'm reminiscing about.......
Halloween fun and mild weather. It just feels so dark and blah...

What I'm loving.....
All the citrus fruit!! I mean we cannot get enough clementines....
and I am loving grapefruit with my breakfast every morning.
What we've been up to......
I'm not sure about you, but November has kind of been a blur! We haven't had a ton going on, but I just don't know where this month went!
Last weekend we saw my nephew in his school play. He played Burt in Mary Poppins and he was just amazing! The whole production was so cool to see.
We took our pictures for our Christmas card. I loved how they turned out. Here is a peek at the kids "posing" after we got our shot for the card.
What I'm dreading....
Um...nothing...Christmas is coming!!!!
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What I'm working on......
Christmas Shopping! I love getting my shopping all wrapped up (literally) by the first week of December, so we can enjoy all the fun Christmas things the rest of the month. If you need some gift ideas, I shared some here recently.
Gift Ideas for Girls
Gift Ideas for Boys

Gift Ideas for Hostess
 Frosted Cranberry 3-Wick Candle - Bath And Body Works
What I'm excited about......
Our annual Gingerbread Party. It is my most favorite holiday tradition.  I shared some details here from last year's party.
What I'm watching/reading.....
I just finished Winter Street, the first in the holiday series from Elin Hilderbrand and I loved it! I cannot wait to read the next three.
I will share my review and the rest of the books I read next week.
What I'm listening to......
Um....Christmas music...obviously! Currently loving this one....
A Pentatonix Christmas [Deluxe Edition] [CD] - Front_Standard
Pentatonix Christmas
What I'm wearing......
It has been a bit on the colder side this month, so I have been all about cozy. I love this sweater I picked up at Target. It has a big cozy neck and is perfect with leggings. Just ignore the laundry and unmade bed!
And I am still loving this sweatshirt.
What I'm doing this weekend......
Visiting with friends! Some of our best friends are coming in for a visit and I can't wait! And then on Sunday the tree is going up.....YAY!
What I'm looking forward to next month.....
My Birthday.....because it's kind of a big one, I guess.... I am enjoying my last few weeks in my 30's!!!
What else is new.....
Ella and her class have begun reading the book Wonder. I have it on my nightstand to read next too. I have heard so many great things on this story and cannot wait to read it and then see the movie.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Luke made his First Reconciliation last week, so proud of him!
Bonus question....Elf on the Shelf Ideas....
Well I shared some of my tips last year.....and my number one tip is always have a plan! I know it sounds crazy, but I write out ideas for each day. Now, I might move them around, but I always have a list of 30 or so ideas. Some simple & some more complex😉
He always arrives with a big North Pole breakfast....
and then quickly settles in for a month of shenanigans....

 I wish you and your families and happy, happy Thanksgiving!!!
See you soon....there's always room for one more at our family table.

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