Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites (April 21, 2017)




Yeah Yeah!  It's is Friday again- Praise the Lord!
It is also the start of our spring break and we are off on a road trip!  Can't wait to recap for you next week!
For now, linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci HERE 

Keeping my favorites from the week brief as we are getting in the car as soon as I post this!



Cheer Fun

A professional shot from the East Coast Classic in Providence- so proud of my little monkey! :)


 

and this week, Diana had her first private lesson with Coach Kristina- we are so excited that she has joined ECE and we know Diana will learn alot from her.  She had me video a stunt last night :)








Easter Weekend

We had so much fun.  I loved spending so much time with my mom. This picture cracks me up because no one is looking at the camera AND Diana's face looking at Mimi's prosecco is classic!

 






and it is finally warm enough to walk outside again- yeah!
Pidge and I enjoyed a walk listening to the Trolls soundtrack :)





Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ladies Who Link


Well hey now!  This is my first time Co-Hosting and I am SO EXCITED!  Thankful that Allie at A Gal Named Al asked me to co-host this fun linkup!
Check out the linkup party HERE

Today we are talking about our FAVORITE TARGET FINDS- can I get an Amen?  Ha ha!

Target is not only one of my favorite stores BUT it is a favorite store of my girls as well :)

We can truly find EVERYTHING there but we narrowed it down to just a few of our faves today!





Cat and Jack

So...have you checked out the clothing line found at Target?
Cat and Jack debuted at Target this past fall and it was love at first sight for us.  They make the cutest kids' clothing.  So bold and fun.
Our favorite item was the pom pom skirt we got for Diana for school this year.  We actually bought the entire outfit that Target had displayed- the pom pom skirt with the mint green leggins and cute graphic tee.  It is adorable!






Home Decor

I love getting new and creative ideas from the Home Decor section of Target.  Lately, however, it has been all about the picture frames.  I snagged 10 frames from Target in the last few months.  My fave, however, is the white wooden frame that looks like it belongs in a beach house!
Check it out


and this is what it looks like in my house :)






Archer Farms 

Have you tried these delicious foods that you can find at Target?  Archer Farms makes healthy snacks, seasonal and special pancake and waffle mixes and even flavored coffees!  I love finding special items they make that you can't find anywhere else!  Target always carries a great variety of their treats








School Supplies


Though I joke and say that you have to wear your helmets and combat equipment, I would not want to fight through the fight of school supply shopping anywhere else.  Target has the best selection and we always we find what we are looking for during back-to-school time for supplies!







and did someone say wine?  I kid you not! 
Our Targets in NH started carrying wine last year and "wine not?"
I love that we have a "one stop shop."  They have an incredible selection too!  


Like I said, I could buy EVERYTHING at Target; these are just a few of our faves.  What are your Target faves?






Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday Talk (Niagara Edition)


It's time for Tuesday Talk with Ashley and Erika.
I am linking up with them HERE 



Today I decided to talk about Niagara!


We are getting ready for our first road trip- I mean we drive to various New England beach locations every year BUT this is a serious road trip- 8.23 hours to be exact!


When deciding what to do for our Spring Break, we had some offers from friends that we were contemplating but nothing got me as excited as thinking about a family road trip, and specifically, to one of the destinations that I went to with my family when I was a child.

Some of my favorite childhood memories include our summers.  They are not limited to our vacations but our vacation adventures are some of my favorite to reminisce about!

I approached Rob with the idea and he got just as excited as me.  So we are going!  Yes we are driving.  I think that will be half of the adventure!

We think this is also a budget-friendly idea.  We can't afford big trips right now so driving anywhere cuts down on airfare costs.

Another way we will be saving is by packing breakfast foods.  For our travel days and even the days we are there.  It will save on money AND time.  We are packing our cooler full of fruit, cheese sticks, crackers and granola bars along with tons of water!

I also have some things planned for our stay but we welcome any suggestions and advice and "must-sees" from all of you!  Feel free to comment or email me at hbinda@yahoo.com.

Here is what our loose itinerary looks like





We will be leaving home around 5:30am.  Our plan right now is to stop for lunch in Upstate New York somewhere.  Any suggestions?

With a stop, we think we should arrive to Niagara Falls around 2:30-3:30pm.  We will then check into our hotel
Four Points By Sheraton, Niagara Falls
Check them out HERE 

After checking in and changing, we will be walking to dinner.  I made us reservations at Canyon Creek.  Check them out HERE 




Get us to the falls already!

We plan on taking the Maid Of The Mist boat tour to the falls on our first morning there.  The 20 minute tour is very doable with a 2 year old in tow (yes I know she is turning 3 while we are there but geesh I need to keep her 2 for as long as I can!)

Check out the famous Maid of the Mist HERE 

After our boat tour, we are going to look into another tour- there are a few walking tours to consider but we want to talk to the staff and find out how doable they are with a stroller.

Once our educational part of the day is over, we plan on heading over to Clifton Hill so the kids can enjoy all of the amusements, games and candy.
Check it out  HERE



We have plenty of time to spend the late morning and afternoon there as I made us a later dinner reservation at Watermark.  Our reservation is set for 7:45pm because the falls are lit up in different colors after 8:30pm and I want the kids to be able to enjoy that!
Check out Watermark HERE 




A Day that will make Mama Happy

Niagara On the Lake


Yes...yes....I need to get there.  I remember when my family went when I was a child, my mom was so excited about all of the shops and gardens and scenery.  When I started planning this trip, I googled Niagara On The Lake and found that now the area is known for their wineries?  Seriously?  FTW!

I am SO EXCITED!  We will have to drive over there but then we can walk everywhere and I am really excited to tour a winery or two.

We plan on stopping for lunch at either one of the wineries or in the center of town.  This area has the best options.
There are so many options; I have some tips from a friend and some online suggestions but if you have a suggestion for a winery that we must see, please let me know!  Right now, it is a toss up between Peller Estates, Two Sisters Vineyards and Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery.  




and then Day 4 is our day to travel home.  I am sure I will be sad on this day, however, we will have Eva's birthday party to look forward to and more quality time with family and friends....and that's what I am talking about today!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

It was a beautiful weekend.  It was a time to reflect and be thankful.  It was a time to carry on family traditions and it was a time to spend quality time with the fam.


Good Friday

 I was excited to be able to attend the "Live Stations of the Cross" at my church on Friday evening. I worked until the minute I got into my car and started working again when I returned home 6pm.  It was that busy.  (All Good)

The ceremony and re-enactment was very moving and the weather was perfect for the event- low 60's.

Very glad I had my sunglasses on and so happy I participated.

Once I wrapped up work, I made a few apps for Saturday night.  We were getting ready for the 8th annual Styles and S.M.I.L.E.S Breast Cancer Fashion Show.  Diana would be opening up the show with the Windham Wolverines Cheerleaders and the Batsons were coming over after just to hang for a bit.

I made this awesome Crockpot Spinach Artichoke Dip- Friends- this is a definite winner and SO EASY.
You can find the recipe HERE

and this awesome Chicken Antipasto Salad- delish!
Find the recipe HERE

After I was done, we crashed for the night and prepared for a very busy weekend.

Holy Saturday

It was time to get up bright and early (5am) and start preparing some dishes for Easter.

First off, I made lemon squares.  (Thank you again Pinterest)  They were easy just like the recipe had promised and the family seemed to enjoy them.
Check out the recipe  HERE

I then boiled the eggs so we would have plenty to dye!  Woohoo!! 

Mimi met me at the house while Daddy had the girls at Eva's gymnastics class.  We headed over to the dance studio to meet them and enjoy watching Eva at her dance class.  We had many laughs because at this age, there is nothing more comical and precious!

Once dance was done, we headed home to get baking!  Rob took Diana to Alana's Birthday Party and Mimi, Eva and I got to work.  Rob was able to snap one pic before Diana took off- she got to make one bunny bread before she left. :)

My mom has been making these bunny breads since I was a child.  She got the recipe out of the Boston Globe!  This is how old the recipe is.  Before Pinterest....before the Internet...this is how we found recipes!  I am including it here for you below.

Bunny Breads


Ingredients:



Frozen Bread Dough Loaves
1 egg
Sesame Seeds

Instructions:

Cut each loaf into pieces

Form shapes with your hands- one for head, one for body, two for ears and one for tail

Brush with egg wash- just scramble that egg with a fork and with a basting brush, paint the wash on the bunnies.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds

Put in warm place and let rise- should triple in size within 1-2 hours

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown
 

After the breads were done, we got started on our Birds' Nest Cookies.  You can find the recipe HERE 
The only thing we do is alternate some nests with jelly beans and some nests with Cadbury Mini Eggs (because everything is better with Cadbury Mini Eggs right?) :)



 We then enjoyed a fun lunch.  I made us Sheetpan Chicken Nachos and took out some of that awesome spinach artichoke dip I made.

Once Diana got home, we started coloring our eggs.
It was so much fun.  I love watching the girls enjoy traditions I have been enjoying since I was a child.




Live Action...

and Eva doing Quality Control ;)


We got so much done.  The fun part, though, is spending the time together and reminiscing!

That night Diana impressed us in her cheer routine at the fashion show.  We only stayed until intermission so we could come home and relax.
Here she is all decked out and ready to rock the stage....

and I actually taped their routine (don't mind the obnoxious mom you can hear on the video) ;)

So cute!

and then we headed home to enjoy the Caymus :)

Mike made his famous wings- one mild batch and one spicy batch- they were unreal!  He knew I would want pics for my blog so he sent me a few that he had Brooks take of him during the process-hysterical


and evidence of us wiping them out!

Long, Productive and Fun Day!

Easter Sunday

I got up at 5:30 and prepped for our dinner.  I made the topping for the spring bruschetta I was making as an app.
Check out the recipe HERE

I set the table, roasted the aspargas and made the Cognac Cream Sauce for the Tenderloin we would be enjoying.

When the girls got up, they were so excited with the baskets that the Easter Bunny brought them!
We then headed right outside for the Easter Egg Hunt.  After our neighborhood hunt last weekend, Eva was already a pro!







We snuck in a little reading before mass too :)

and then we headed to mass one hour early because otherwise, we wouldn't be able to snag an entire bench for our family.  I need to add that this was the warmest Easter I can ever remember.  It was so nice to get dressed up and not need coats.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  Temps topped out at 87 degrees!
After mass we tried to snap a couple of pics but Eva wasn't cooperating.

All of the kiddos (and Mother Mary of course)
Does anyone see Eva?

Papa Bob got this cute pic :)

and then we headed home to enjoy apps and then dinner.

Papa Bob made his famous banana fritters- when he and his brother owned a bakery and store, they would make these by the thousands for Thanksgiving and Easter.  It brought back lots of memories for Rob.
He also makes his own homemade Claret Sauce to go with them


and my mom made an old family recipe- Pastera- in English it means "Spaghetti Pie".  It brought back so many memories for my parents and me.

and we enjoyed my bruschetta of course.

Our dinner was delicious and as you can see, our holiday weekend was full of lots of great food- as Italians, "Food is Love" for us.  It is how we share our love by cooking for people.  We also know that when everyone is gathered around the table, there will be stories and jokes and wonderful memories!

When everyone went home, we absolutely crashed!
I wanted to go over to Cass's as they invited us but I have never been so wiped out.  

We ended up watching "Patriots Day" about the Boston Marathon Bombings.  Today is Marathon Monday and I am keeping it on in the background today as I work.  I LOVE this event every year- it is one of my favorites and so so inspirational.  We have 10 neighbors running the race this year!  We will be cheering them on of course.  No terrorist will ever take it away from us.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
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