Buffalo Chicken Tacos

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Hello! Life has gotten busy, and clearly my blog has been a bit neglected. But recently, my brother has been using Miss Petite Sweets as his main inspiration for dinner recipes. And since I’ve seen him eat the same Chicken Burgers over and over, I thought it was time to share a new recipe that I’ve really been loving. It’s a quick recipe from Cooking Light magazine that is perfect for summer nights. So enjoy, Seanie!

Ingredients

2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Preparation

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Cut chicken in half horizontally to form 4 cutlets; sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Arrange on pan coated with cooking spray. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; thinly slice. Combine hot sauce, butter, and red pepper; stir with a whisk. Add chicken to bowl; toss.

2. Combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, and cheese in a bowl, mashing with a fork. Add lettuce and celery to bowl; toss.

3. Warm tortillas according to package instructions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas; top with lettuce mixture.

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Hello Again!

Well, needless to say..it’s been a while. After 3 years of regular recipes, stories and food musings, it has been radio silence here on Miss Petite Sweets since February. And though I did’t intend to take such a long break from my little space on the internet, life has kept me pretty busy these past 7 months. So what have I been up to? Well…

In March, a business trip took me to New York, and I had the chance to take my favorite travel companion along with me..

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We took in the beautiful views  from the top of the Empire State Building, ate the most amazing bagels and lox, and wholeheartedly fell in love with the city.

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I loved the energy that exudes from every corner of NYC. I loved the fact that everyone walks everywhere. And I loved exploring it with my best friend. And although we didn’t want to leave, we had a pretty exciting task back home in Michigan.

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We closed on our first home! With the help of my amazing real estate agent in-laws, we found an adorable cape cod to make our own. And though we were sad to leave our first apartment, we were very excited for our new adventure in home ownership. But first…I had another business trip to Los Angeles and San Diego. This year my sweet little mom came along with me and we had a blast exploring the West Coast.

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We got to see my dear friends Lo, Jon and Hollis, and our little reunion made my heart feel so full.

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My mom and I absolutely adored San Diego, and although we were tempted to just stay put and move there, I had a new home in Michigan to renovate.

And renovate we did! The entire house was painted yellow from the floor to the ceiling, and had wood paneling and dark wooden shutters throughout.

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With a lot of help from relatives, many hours of work, and several cans of paint, we were left with a “before and after” that we are pretty proud of.

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Next up was a quick trip to Milwaukee to visit some friends and tour a few local breweries. We toured Milwaukee Brewery and tasted some amazing tea infused beers that were slightly sweet and very unique.

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A few weeks later, we spent our 4th of July weekend in Glen Arbor with my family. We climbed the Sleeping Bear Dunes and enjoyed beautiful views on the water.

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Next, we took a quick weekend trip to Toronto with Eric’s parents to see the Detroit Tigers play the Toronto Blue Jays. And although the Tigers suffered a very tough loss, the company made the trip very fun.

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Finally, to end our summer, we took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate my brother’s 30th birthday. We got to spend time with my wonderful friend Adam, who works for MGM International in Vegas. Adam was the very first friend I made in college. We were in the same major, and being a year older than me, Adam truly took me under his wing. He is still one of the kindest people I know.

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And here we are, on the cusp of October. The last few months have been a true whirl wind of travel, work, home improvement projects, and very busy weekends. But as the air becomes more crisp, and the days become shorter, I am drawn more and more to my kitchen. I have a few recipes coming your way and I hope they are worth the wait!

Capital City River Run Half Marathon

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When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade I was given a school assignment in which we had to choose three words to describe ourselves. Apparently I found this task a bit difficult, because I remember asking my dad for help. And after asking him for a word, he  simply replied, “You are relentless. You never give up.” I thought for a second and asked “Is that a good thing?”  He looked up at me and said “Yes. It is a very good thing.” This simple conversation came to mind when I was running the Capital City River Run Half Marathon last weekend. I’ve always been a runner, but I didn’t get into long distance running until a few years ago. After my first race, I was hooked. And I started to plan my fall season around the training plan for whichever races I wanted to run that year.

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But this year, my training cycle wasn’t quite as invigorating and exciting. To be honest, it was a bit brutal. I’ve been battling the same stomach issues I started having before our wedding, which has made training less than enjoyable. Instead of feeling strong and confident each week as I added an extra mile onto my Saturday long run, I was left feeling weak and run down. Dealing with stomach pain and nausea while you are running 9,10, 11 miles is no easy task. Running has always been something I loved. Something that I considered to be part of me.  But suddenly my health issues were sucking the fun out of running, because at the end of each long run I just felt sick and weak. However, just as my dad told me years ago, I never gave up. I completed those training runs week after week, no matter how sick I felt. And when race day came, rather than telling myself to just relax and enjoy the race, I decided I wanted to achieve a PR. (#typicalColleen) Looking back, I realize this was stupid. I ran the first 10 miles hard. And for the most part I enjoyed it. The scenery on the Lansing river trail was beautiful, and I loved the chance to run on MSU’s campus. But at about mile 10 1/2, my mind and my body kind of gave up. I hit that dreaded “wall” that runners always talk about, and it was far from fun. But instead of pushing through, I gave myself a break. I walked, I jogged and I stopped caring about how fast I ran. I gave up the idea of a PR and just focused on finishing the race in one piece. Those last 3 miles were rough, but I crossed that finish line, practically crying tears of joy. And the funniest thing about it? I achieved that PR that I gave up on at mile 10. Running has taught me a lot of things over the years. It has taught me to love my body. Not for the way it looks, but for what it can do. It has taught me to appreciate the stillness and beauty of the world during all of my 5am runs. And during this race, it taught me that it’s ok to give myself a break. Because sometimes, when you stop being so hard on yourself, you can achieve great things.

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Weekend in Milwaukee

I’m a little bit behind on blogging, but I thought I would share a little travel recap from our recent trip to Milwaukee over Memorial Day Weekend. I work for Hilton Hotels, and one of the perks of the job is some amazing discounts at Hiltons all over the country. Because of this, Eric and I decided we really need to take advantage of my super cheap hotel room rates for quick weekend trips. This time around we were lucky to be accompanied by two of our favorite people- Eric’s parents!

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Eric had been to Milwaukee once before and insisted that our first stop in town was the Mars Cheese Castle. And yes, you did read that correctly. We visited a castle full of cheese. My husband was one happy camper

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It was basically a large gourmet market that specialized in a variety of cheeses. We had the chance to try some different types of cheddar cheeses, some flavored cheeses and even a chocolate cheese that tasted like a mix between cream cheese and fudge. We left the Mars Cheese castle with some smoked cheddar cheese and some of the most amazing honey pecan barbeque sauce I’ve ever had. Who knew you could find such great barbeque sauce at a cheese store?

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Later that day we went to the Miller Brewery and took a tour of the facility. I was surprised that the tour was completely free, as they not only took as through the entire brewery operations, but they also gave three free 6 oz samples of some of their beers. Trying the beer was definitely a nice part of the tour, but it was really fun to learn the history of Miller. For as large of an operation that it is today, it was nice to hear that it grew from a very small family business.

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The first night we roamed around Downtown Milwaukee and we could not have asked for a more beautiful weekend to walk along the river.

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The next day was filled with another brewery tour, but this one couldn’t have been more different than the Miller Tour. While the Miller Brewery tour was very planned and informative, our tour of Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery was pretty much the opposite. But it was an absolute blast. The tour guides were hilarious and had us cracking up the entire time. They told the story of how the brewery came to be, but at times I felt like we were watching a stand up comedian for how funny their stories were. And the beer was pretty darn good as well. We even got to try their award winning East Side Dark Lager, which according to the New York Times, is  the second best dark lager in the US.

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We also tried the Wisconsonite, a summer weis beer, Fixed Gear, their red style beer, and the White, which is their belgium white. It made for a very fun afternoon.

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Later that night we visited The Safe House, which was a spy themed restaurant that you need a code word to gain entrance to. From the outside, it looked like we were entering an abandoned building, but inside it was covered with tons of spy memorabilia.  It was definitely a fun little venture. And with that, our short weekend getaway was over. But it was a great quick trip with fantastic company.

Thoughts on Wendy’s Chocolate Frosties

In the movies, the moment when a person realizes they are in love with someone is often dramatic and breathtakingly beautiful. The music swells as he or she realize that the person sitting next to them is the person they’ve been waiting for all along. This moment often happens when they’re running through the airport or standing in the pouring rain. My moment occurred in a Wendy’s drive through. Frank Sinatra was playing on the radio, and Eric was just talking about his family. I remember him talking about how much he loved them, and how important they were to him. And the love and sincerity in his voice showed me exactly who he was. He was good. Eric was good. And it suddenly and quietly became clear that the person I had looked for all my life was sitting next to me, buying me a chocolate frosty. It may seem odd to have an emotional attachment to a fast food milkshake, but I do. They remind me of the moment I realized I had met my match. My favorite part about that night was how mundane and extraordinary it was at the same time. Because isn’t true love just that? A series of ordinary moments, that when strung together make up the most beautiful part of life. Tomorrow I get to marry my best friend. And though I’m excited for the thousands of exciting moments that tomorrow will bring, I’m also excited for the millions of ordinary moments to follow. The days of folding laundry, and grocery shopping, and watching TV together on a Friday night. The years of watching our kids’ soccer games, and making pancakes on Sunday mornings. And I’m sure there will be a few more simple nights of driving around, listening to Old Blue Eyes, and sharing a chocolate frosty. I can’t wait.

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A Bridal Shower Weekend

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What a fun weekend! My Saturday was filled to the brim with pre wedding festivities. I started the day off at a bridal shower given by my Grandma and Auntie Karol.

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My Aunt and Grandma

We had lunch at the Ardmore Cafe with 20 or so of my family and friends and it was such a great afternoon. We ate lunch, chatted and then I was given so many thoughtful gifts. My cousin Jenny and Aunt Norma even put together a box of decorations for each holiday of the year. And they even included Eric’s favorite holiday…football season

IMG_1611It was such a great shower and it was so wonderful to spend with members of both Eric and my families. A big thank you to my Aunt and Grandma for all of the planning that went into the day!

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All the girls in the family

Later on, my best friend Annie and her mom hosted a lingerie shower at their house. The night started off with a few cocktails. Namely an incredibly delicious Champagne Punch.

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It was great to spend the night with friends from grade school, high school, college and of course my favorite cousins.

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My cousins and I

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My best friend Annie

We laughed until my stomach hurt and danced the night away. And I was given some pretty things for when I’m a Mrs.

 

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But the best part was just hanging out with so many of the girls in my life. I feel so blessed to have such amazing family and friends and was so happy to be able to spend so much time with them all this weekend. And before we know it, April 26th will be upon us. And we’ll all be together again to celebrate what is sure to be one of the best days ever. 2 months to go!

 

Life Lately

As the snow continues to fall and the temperatures refuse to rise above 15 degrees here in Michigan, I’ve been having a hard time enjoying this time of year. And though it’s been my first instinct to stay inside and be a semi hermit in these colder months, Eric has encouraged me to venture around Downtown Detroit every now and then. This way our days have been a good mix of cozy nights in and fun adventures out. So here are a few snapshots from life lately.

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Venturing out in the Arctic Tundra of Chicago

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Homemade Deep Dish Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

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Rosemary & Sea Salt Bagel with Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese at the Detroit Institute of Bagels

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Pretty Latte at Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company

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Homemade Blueberry Bread (recipe soon!)

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Cute Cookie Dough Jars from my Bridal Shower

 

Best Posts of 2013

2013 has been one heck of a year. For me personally it has been filled with wedding planning, races, and a busy year at work. For the blog, it has been filled with an even mix of sweet treats and healthy recipes. I thought I would share the top 3 blog posts that I had this year, based upon the number of views each post had. And then, I’ll share my 3 favorites. My favorite thing about blogging is getting to share different stories from my life. So these 3 posts are more about the stories that go along with them, then the recipes themselves. (Though the recipes are delicious too!)

Reader Favorites:

1. “Pinterest” Greek Yogurt Chicken

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Based on the name of this post, you may have gathered that this is a recipe I found on Pinterest. I posted the recipe here on my blog and it has become one of the top searches that have brought people to Miss Petite Sweets. It reminds me of the Parmesan and Mayo Chicken that my mom used to make growing up, but it’s just a tad bit healthier. Plus it includes Lawry’s seasoning, so my fiancee has requested it on several occasions.

2. Whole Wheat Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup

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This recipe is one of those great examples of finding inspiration in the blog world itself. A few years ago, I had never heard of PB2, or powdered peanut butter, but thanks to my new hobby of reading health and fitness blogs, I discovered this product and have used it in a couple different recipes. It tastes similar to peanut butter but has half the amount of calories and fat. And when mixed with a little water & honey, it makes for a delicious, protein packed syrup for pancakes

3. Faygo Cola Baby Back Ribs

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Eric bought me a Faygo Cola cookbook this year and this was the first recipe I tried. I don’t know what it is about cola, but it has an amazing effect on meat. Using Michigan’s favorite pop, or “soda” for you Southerners, made these ribs tender and delicious. And the recipe couldn’t be easier to make.

My favorite posts of the year:

1. Lemon Blueberry Muffins

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As the years pass, I get more and more  appreciative of my brother. Not everyone gets a built in best friend from day one, and I am so happy to have him. We may be total opposities, but I love that we teach each other new things. This recipe reminded me of after school snacks that we shared growing up so it just made sense to share yet another story about Sean.

2. Oatmeal Appleasuce Muffins

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A few of my family members think I’m crazy for how much I enjoy running. In this post I shared what it is about my sport of solitude that I love so much. I wrote it just before I finished my first half marathon, so it also reminds me of that great time in my life. Running a half marathon has been a lifelong dream of mine so it’s always nice to look back on the journey that got me there.

Heaven Cookies

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This is a recipe I posted quite recently, sharing my thoughts about my best friend Anne. The older I get, the more thankful I am for the true friends I’ve made in life. I’ve had quite a few friendships fade away over the years so it makes me feel that much more lucky that one of my best friends is still the first friend I ever had.

So thank you for yet another great year of readership and I wish you all the Happiest New Year!

Thanksgiving Weekend 2013

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was filled with my four favorite things: family, friends, food and running. My cousins and I kicked off the long weekend by making our Thanksgiving themed costumes for Detroit’s Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot is held every Thanksgiving morning before the Thanksgiving Day Parade and many of the runners run the 5k or 10k decked out in a holiday costume. I’ve run it several times before but had not yet joined the costume club. But this year, I ran the race decked out in a Thanksgiving tutu and turkey headband.

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We had a huge group running different races on Thursday morning. Kristen and I ran the 10k “Turkey Trot”, Lauren and her boyfriend Alex ran the 5K Stuffing Strut” and my aunt, uncle, Meghan and Eric walked the “Mashed Potato Mile.”

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In true Michigan fashion, we found ourselves running smack dab in the middle of a blizzard. And though it was a bit slippery, it was SO much fun. I even managed to somehow run my fastest 10k yet! I think that had a lot to do with how speedy my cousin Kristen is!

Later on, Eric and I went to his family’s Thanksgiving lunch where we enjoyed honeybaked ham and turkey, corn casserole, fruit, stuffing and mashed potatoes. And we of course enjoyed the company of his hilarious family. They are such a fun group and I am so excited that I get to officially join the Jones clan in less than 5 months! Around 4 oclock we made our way to my parents house for the Berendt Thanksgiving dinner. I usually eat pretty light at Eric’s party to save room for my family celebration, while he goes all out at his family’s, and eats a bit lighter at my family party. It’s all about prior planning, folks. At the Berendt festivities, we enjoyed turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Needless to say, by the end of the day I was completely stuffed. But hey, that is what Thanksgiving is for. We then continued our family tradition of watching Home Alone after dinner. And with that, the Christmas season officially began! The next morning I was up early once again to run the Jingle Bell 5k with my friend Annie and our favorite grade school teacher, Mrs. Leblanc.

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It was another chilly, snowy race, but we had a great time catching up. Later on, Eric and I visited Griffin Claw Brewery in Birmingham for a fun date night sampling some delicious brews. My favorite was their Screamin Pumpkin. So so good.

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The next day was my 25th birthday and we kicked off the day with a delicious brunch at the Dearborn Inn, a beautiful hotel right down the road from Greenfield Village. It was all decorated for Christmas, which obviously made me incredibly excited. The breakfast and the company were pretty great too.

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Later that night my family and LT’s family went out for dinner to celebrate mine and Lauren’s birthday. And to cap off an incredibly fun and busy weekend, Eric and I attended the Festival of Trees at the Ford Performing Arts Center.

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Different companies contribute beautiful Christmas trees, all decorated with a unique theme and much of the proceeds from the event go to charity. I loved the classic red and green trees, while Eric was a fan of the Detroit Tigers themed tree.

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All in all it was a fantastic weekend, and I was left feeling incredibly blessed and pretty darn pooped. I think tonight will include a viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life and an early bedtime. What are you all up to?

Coffee Date

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If we were having coffee today I would tell you I am beyond excited for Thanksgiving. It will be a weekend filled to the brim with family, friends, food & holiday themed races. That’s right. I will be running the Turkey Trot with my cousins on Thursday morning (in costume, of course) and I’ll be running the Jingle Bell Run with my friend Annie on Friday. It is mighty chilly here in Michigan, but perhaps the promise of hot chocolate will get me through all those frigid miles.

If we were having coffee today I would tell you I am not-so-patiently awaiting the return of my best friend Leona from Paris. Leona has been studying at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and we haven’t seen each other in over a year. Seeing as we lived together through most of college and were practically attached at the hip for 3 years, the separation anxiety has been extreme. She will be back in the States over the holidays and I am pumped!

If we were having coffee today I would tell you I’m really thankful for my job. I was really unhappy at my first job out of college so when I finally found my way to my current position, I was delighted to find that it felt like home from day one. Not only do I get to do what I love, but my coworkers aren’t just “the people I work with.” They have truly become some of my closest friends over the last 2 years. Monday mornings are actually something I’ve come to look forward to because I can’t wait to hear everyone’s stories from the weekend.

If we were having coffee today I would tell you that you should visit Peet’s Coffee. The California based coffee chain just opened 7 stores in Michigan and they were kind enough to send me some coffee to sample. I’ll have to admit, I was a little hesitant to try the coffee shop that took over our beloved Caribou Coffee, but I was not disappointed. I tried a Vanilla Latte when I visited the store and loved how it was just subtly sweet. And the Holiday Blend coffee is smooth and delicious. I’m certain  it will even make my coffee snob fiance happy. I’m looking forward to trying one of their freshly baked muffins or scones that are brought in by Michigan’s own Zingerman’s Bakery. Their partnership with Zingerman’s is part of their ongoing commitment to support the local economy. Plus, as any Michigander would know, every item made by Zingerman’s is pretty fantastic.

So grab yourself some Peet’s, and enjoy your holiday week!