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

Friday Favorites... Easter Weekend!

Happy Friday friends!! My crew starts their Spring Break today and we are ready to do all the Easter things!! But first I am linking up with three of my favorite blogging friends, ErikaNarci & Andrea to share a few of my favorites from this week.
Last weekend we did some of our favorite Easter things with  our annual trip to the Broadway market.
 We had the best time and I shared some of what we did here

A favorite this week for sure were these vegetarian meatballs. Yes, I was skeptical myself...but they got 2 thumbs up from my family table!
I'll be sharing the details on this recipe Monday, so be sure to stop by and check it out.

So last month I volunteered to head up the makeup team for Ella's school play. It was a bit more than I expected.... 128 kids needing makeup for 4 performances! But it was super is my Pirate Ella.
Anyway, this week Ella brought home a package of thank you notes from all the kids in the school play.
 Oh my goodness....they were the sweetest notes to read! I loved everyone of them!

I stopped in to Target this week for a few Easter items....ok maybe I stopped in more than once. And yes obviously bought a few things besides Easter...including these two dresses.
This one is so cute for Summer!! And I think it would be adorable with a jean jacket in the Spring (if it ever warms up around here).
It's on sale for $20!! It runs true to size, but I went up to a medium for a little more length.
I fell in love with the scallop edge on  this pink one. This one was a steal too...$24.99 plus 25% off with your cartwheel app. I think I may wear it for Luke's First Communion. It would be cute too if you have any showers to go to!
Women's Scallop Sleeve Crepe Dress - A New Dayâ„¢ Pink - image 1 of 3
No pic of me wearing it, because they didn't have my size, so I ordered it online, where it is also 25% off and comes in  this cute print!
Women's Printed Scallop Sleeve Crepe Dress - A New Dayâ„¢ Black - image 1 of 3

Let's talk favorite Easter Candy.  For's the Reese eggs. I tell you these taste so much better than the regular old Reese...why is that?? The perfect afternoon treat😉
Paul loves Reese's too. Luke loves jelly beans. Ella is all over the real favorite!
How about you??? What's your favorite Easter candy??

Lastly I have to share my favorite Easter Tradition story in case you missed it earlier this week. It's the story behind the Chocolate Chicken. When Ella & Luke were little (4 & 3 years old) they loved the show Max & Ruby. In the Easter story for that show, they got a chocolate chicken instead of a bunny.
I guess the bunnies eating a chocolate bunny was odd. Anyway about 3 days before Easter, Ella was so excited because she was going to get a chocolate chicken from the Easter Bunny! So needless to say, the Easter Bunny had a great team of helpers to find a chocolate chicken for Easter morning with 72 hours notice.
So every year since then and probably every year I am alive, my kids will get a chocolate chicken for Easter!
I just love stories of how family traditions start.
I hope you and your families have a wonderful Easter!!
See you back here on Monday....there's always room for one more at our family table.

What's Up Wednesday....March Edition

Hi friends!! Wow, I can't believe we are wrapping up March this week! Today I am linking up with ShayMel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday.....March Edition. 

 A fun monthly post where we answer these questions, and one bonus question😉. A little recap of what is up with us this month!

Weekend Wrap Up...Getting our Easter On!!

Hey friends! We had a fun weekend doing some favorite Easter traditions!
We took a trip to the Broadway Market. For those not local, this market is open year round with limited vendors...however Easter is whole other story. The market fills up with all sorts of vendors selling anything you need to celebrate the Easter holiday. It celebrates most Polish Easter traditions, so people flock there in the weeks leading up to Easter to get all their sausages, pierogi and baked goods.
We took the kids Saturday around lunch time and the place was packed!
I took the kids to pick out their hand painted Polish eggs. They pick a few every time we go and love looking at them each Easter season.
While we picked out eggs, Paul trekked his way over to the meat counter. Ella checked on him and he was #128...they were on #84! He was going to be a while, so the kids and I walked around for some more things. 
We stopped at Lewandowski Produce and had to get a picture...that's Paul's mom's maiden name. She also used to walk to this market to get groceries when she was growing up! 
We also picked up our pussy willows so we are ready to celebrate Dyngus Day...again if you are not from this area....Dyngus Day is celebrated on Easter Monday. Something about the girls hitting boys with pussy willows? I am not even sure of the whole meaning!
Paul was still in line at the meat counter so we waited in line to buy some pierogi and the kids got some gelato while we waited. 
Paul finally met up with us and said "I don't even know what I got, that place was nuts!" Ha! Paul is not a fan of crowds 😉
We took a quick family selfie....
and grabbed a few macarons before heading out to lunch.
We tried Espresso, Salted Caramel and Coconut and they were all amazing!
Continuing in our Polish theme, we went out for pierogi for lunch. Local friends if you have not been to Ru's Pierogi, put it on your to-do list! So good and a great spot for kids too!
The shadows in this pic make it tough to see, but Paul and I split the Reuben Pierogi and the Asian Pulled Pork.
The kid each got Cheddar Potato and a salad and then we tried dessert....
Yep... an Apple Cinnamon Pierogi and a Cookies & Cream Pierogi. Oh.My.Goodness!
On our way out my crew each stood under the sign that best represented them😉
On Sunday we finished off our weekend with this.....
Yep......we grilled our sausage and fried up some more pierogi. A fun weekend celebrating some Easter traditions! 
Bunny pancakes & egg coloring on tap for this Saturday!
See you tomorrow for What's Up Wednesday.....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Something New for Your Family Table #10.....Roasted Cauliflower, Feta & Orzo Salad

Hello again Monday!!! We had a fun weekend doing all the Easter things indoors, while we wait for it to warm up around here!!
Image may contain: 4 people, including Genevieve Perryman, people smiling, closeup and indoor

LIfe Lately

Hi friends! Here we are...the third day of Spring and we are still waiting for the temperatures to feel Spring-like. Maddie is stealing any spot of sun she can....
And Paul has resorted to shorts and a parka for his snowblowing duties. 
Yes friends...we are desperate for some warmth and sunshine here in the Northeast. So as we patiently wait for Spring, here is a peek at what we have been up to lately, as we wait for Spring to arrive.
Luke and Paul finished up their first basketball season. It was Luke's first year playing and Paul's first coaching and I am not sure which one loved it more. They both had a great time and we loved watching them play.
And speaking of basketball, we have been pretty caught up in March Madness here. I grew up in a basketball house, so I have always loved watching the games. This year's tournament has been crazy! So fun to watch. Last weekend everytime I looked at the family room, my two guys were watching the games.
We are having some friends over Friday night to watch some games and I cannot wait! Good food, good friends and good basketball!
We had a fun St Patrick's Day Weekend! The kids set up some pretty good leprechaun traps, but didn't catch him this year. 
He did leave his favorite cereal.....
and of course played a few tricks!
We met up with some friends at a local brewery to celebrate and watch some Irish dancers.
Ella has a green shirt under her jacket, Luke has green under his sweatshirt and Paul was wearing blue for the UB Bulls basketball team which was on while we were there.😉
The dancers were great! One of Ella's best friends was there dancing and it was so fun to watch her!
We had corned beef & cabbage for dinner and made some Green Velvet Cupcakes. 
These are the same as red velvet, we just used green food coloring instead! You can get my red velvet recipe here.
We have been up to the usual stuff... school, work, dance, baseball, religion... and loving the extra daylight at night! I think I have finally adjusted to the time change... it took me a bit!
Have the best Thursday! See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites...there's always room for one more at our family table. 

Friday Favorites...Spring Where are You???

My goodness I cannot believe it is Friday already! This week flew by and I am ready for a fun weekend. We are having some friends over tonight to watch some basketball #marchmadness
And tomorrow we are taking the kids to the Broadway Market... a big Easter tradition around here.
So before we kick off this weekend, let's chat some of my favorites from this week.

As always, I am linking up with three of my favorite blogging friends, ErikaNarci & Andrea to share a few of my favorites.
In case you saw anyone wearing crazy, mismatched socks this week.. they were probably celebrating World Down Syndrome Day! We rocked our mismatched socks to celebrate everyone's differences...

World Down Sydrome Day!

Hi is a special day....3.21 or World Down Syndrome Day!
I wanted to reshare my post from last year on this's my favorite post.
My sister Emma has Down Syndrome...but that's about the last thing that defines her. Her thoughtfulness, her caring heart, her ability to see the good in everyone and her open arms for a hug are what make her a celebrity. At least around these parts...everyone knows Emma!
Yep there she is with the mayor and local politicians... that girl can sure work a room!
Image may contain: 5 people, including Jean Coyle, people smiling, people standing

Tuesday Talk...Plant Based Meals

Hi friends! I am linking up with  Erika &  Ashley for Tuesday Talk. A monthly link up where we can talk about any and everything!
In January we talked about the crazy snowstorm we had here...Snowvember!
Last month we chatted about having kids pack themselves for trips!

This month I want to chat about working more plant based meals into our family's table.
So the beginning of this year I set a goal to incorporate more plant based meals into our diet. I don't recall anything specific that had me decide this other than the obvious that eating more plants is good for you!
Image result for eat your veggies quotes
 I think part of it may have been after all the holiday eating I was just craving veggies.
I thought I would share some of my findings since we have been doing this. Let me say that I am not vegan or totally vegetarian, I still enjoy eggs and I still love a good burger. I have just made it part our weekly meal plan to have at least two meals be plant based (aka no meat). We also usually have one of our meals with some sort of seafood.

Be open minded.
As I began to look for some inspiration for meals or create things on my own, there were flavor combinations I never would have thought of.  Like butternut squash and lemon in my lasagna??
Cauliflower tacos? 
But let me tell you, some of those "what the heck" dishes have turned out to be my favorites! When you are trying a new way of doing something you have to be open to explore different keep your mind and your taste buds open!

Be prepared for some digestion changes.
Let's just cut to the chase.... when you add a lot more fiber and beans to your diet...well things are going to work there way out a little differently! That's just how it works. It took a few weeks for our bodies to "adjust".... so just be prepared for that. You may to need to change how your plan your meals, maybe not a bean based meal two nights in a row.😉

Always use the fresh herb or zest or spice.
This has made all the difference in so many of the dishes we have made. The freshness from herbs or zest can really make a dish pop. 
I always try to pick up the ones called for in a dish I am making and then plan to use it something again later that week, so I don't waste it.

Make time to prep.
With a veggie heavy meal, you need to make time to do quite a bit of chopping.
 This is actually something I don't mind too much. There is something about chopping that is kind of relaxing to me and I enjoy it. 
I usually spend about 30-60 minutes on Sunday prepping stuff for our weekly meals or snacks. You can check out some of my meal prep tips here.

You will see a decrease in your grocery bill.
Since we have started making 1-2 meals per week vegetarian, I have notice about a $20-25 drop in our weekly grocery bill. So that has been a nice bonus!

My family has not really noticed the absence of meat.
I did not make some big announcement that we were cutting out meat from some meals. So my crew just went along with it. Paul did not seem to really notice the absence of meat in some meals... the squash lasagna he didn't realize until I told him!

I have really enjoyed looking for inspiration for our veggie based meals. I have loved looking at Oh She Glows and Pinch of Yum for inspiration. I also love how colorful our meals are!!
I feel physically better since getting in more plant based meals. I think that is partly because as I eat more vegetables I seem to crave them more, so it has definitely made an impact on choices we make for other meals and snacks too.

As the weather warms up I am looking forward to finding some new plant based meals that we can grill. I have been sharing a new plant based meal every Monday here on the blog.
Here is a peek at what we have shared so far...

I hope you will pop by every Monday to try out a new plant based meal with your family! And if you have any favorite plant base recipes, please drop them in the comments!!

See you soon....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Something New for Your Family Table Week 10....Spaghetti Squash Pizzas

Good Monday morning friends!! I am so excited to share this recipe with you.  I played around with it last week and just loved it. I am a big fan of spaghetti squash, so when I decided to make it into a "pizza" I was pretty sure I would love it. The lengthiest part of this is roasting the squash, but you could easily do that a day or two ahead of time. Other than that they come together in no time.

Friday Favorites... St Patrick's Day Edition

Well friends we made it through daylight savings week!! Not sure about you, but I am crawling into Friday! A crazy project week at work and the time change just did me in. I am ready for the weekend!
Image result for daylight savings time meme
As always, I am linking up with three of my favorite blogging friends, ErikaNarci & Andrea to share a few of my favorite things from this week. 

Last weekend we celebrated Maddie's 3rd Birthday! Yep...baked a cake to celebrate! Any excuse for a cake!
 And I have to admit, I was never really a "dog person" until we got this sweet girl. It took me a while...that puppy stage is tough... but gosh I can't imagine life without her. I shared a post about it last year.
The kids just love her and she adores them!
So she turned 3, which is 21 in dog years. Paul and the kids picked this perfect gift for her 21st Birthday😉

I used to love the Shamrock Shake from McDonald's... and then I realized what was in the shake and thought probably not good to love them! I haven't had one in about 10 years, so I was so excited when I saw this Shake your Shamrocks Shake at our local smoothie shop. 
It was made with spinach, avocado, mint and more goodness and it was so yummy!!
Definitely a favorite of mine this week.

This memory popped up this week and it's a favorite. Ella had to dress as her favorite book character for school when she was in first grade. She was obsessed with all the Junie B Jones books and went as the Boss of Lunch! I just love her big smile!!!

Can you believe Easter is two weeks from Sunday! Gosh this snow needs to get out of here or this will be us....
Anyway, earlier this week I shared some favorite things to put in Easter baskets . So if you need some fresh ideas, hop over to check it out.

This is a favorite weekend coming up.... St Patrick's Day! I shared some of  our shenanigans earlier this month. My kiddos try to catch the leprechaun every year and every year he plays all kinds of trickery!
And if you need a fun dessert for this weekend, my  Guiness & Bailey's cupcakes are just what the leprechaun ordered.

Here's to a weekend full of lots of shenanigans!!!
See you Monday....there's always room for one more at our family table.

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