Category Archives: Birthdays

Double Surprises

After our fun-filled day at the zoo, we had plans to go to dinner with my parents and oldest little sister Alli. My youngest sister Maddi had left that morning for the CIF XC Championships in Fresno and my brother Michael traveled up there with his old coach and teammates to cheer on the girls. My parents had planned to go up on Friday as well, but changed their plans at the last minute to enjoy a nice birthday dinner with Jason and I.

No one would tell me where we were going. They only told me to dress nice and take off my Garmin:

Alli has mastered the art of not standing up to take a picture and create Awkward Camera Angle Issue (ACAI).

I was so surprised when we pulled up at Fleming’s Steakhouse! I’d never been before and always wanted to go. Let me tell you – it DID NOT disappoint. Everything we had was so stinking good! The bread they brought out was amazing! It had cheese baked into the crust and two types of butter – a sundried tomato/lemony butter and one that tasted slightly garlicky with some other herds. Delish!

For dinner I had the lobster cob salad with tarragon ranch. I need a tub  of that ranch dressing. It was SO good! I also had tastes of my mom’s spicy risotto, Jason’s filet and Fleming’s potatoes (cheesy potatoes with jalapenos ) and Alli’s spicy calamari. Everything was superb!

I was so happy my parents were able to change their plans to have dinner with us! With 4 kids in the family, it’s not often that they get to relax and have a nice dinner with us “adult” kids 🙂

Dinner was, of course, followed by dessert. I’m not sure how it happened but the kitchen apparently mixed up who was bringing out our creme brulee so we ended up with 2 of them – not that I was going to complain about that mistake.

It was easily the best creme brulee I’ve ever had and it came with an entire bowl of chantilly cream on the side.The only proper way to eat it was to eat a spoonful of the brulee followed by a spoonful of the cream. Here is the aftermath:

Then, as I was full of dessert and thinking the night couldn’t get any better, they brought me this to take home:

That beauty is a gigantic (like 3 lbs!) slice of chocolate fudge cake with fudge frosting and chocolate shavings. UHHmazing!

I went to bed full and happy on my 25th birthday, totally not expecting the surprise I had coming the next day.

Saturday was spent testing out my Garmin, watching ridiculous amounts on NCIS on tv, and hitting up target for thank you notes and a box to store all my accumulated running accessories. I got to Jason’s in the late afternoon and we hung around and caught up on The League and Workaholics. By the time we ate dinner, I felt so tired and lazy I was ready to call it a night, but he insisted that we shouldn’t be so lame and go grab some late night happy hour drinks at Elephant Bar. I was so tired, but I agreed and we headed to E-Bar with Tiff around 9.

I was so surprised when we walked in and my friends were there waiting! Jason had planned the whole thing as a surprise birthday party for me. He even reorganized it multiple times – once when he found out my parents would be home on Friday so he moved the surprise to Saturday, and again when he had planned it for a place that I later mentioned I didn’t like… oops!

The Girls

Jr. High Friends!

I was so surprised and it was totally unexpected! I’m so grateful to everyone who came out to celebrate my birthday. I keep saying that I hope the whole year of 25 turns out to be as good as the first 2 days!

Side note question – has anyone found any incredible Cyber Monday deals? Express has 30% off everything online as do all the Gap property stores. Steve Madden has 30% too!


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Filed under Birthdays, J, Party Time

Lions & Tigers & Garmins

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived all the craziness of Black Friday weekend!

I had THE BEST Thanksgiving/Birthday weekend EVER! It started with the usual fun of Thanksgiving, which included massive amounts of food and pie:

I had to include my delicious Mimosa… some people drink wine with their Thanksgiving meal but I say there is nothing wrong with 5:00 pm mimosas.

We had so many people at our house to celebrate, it was great! I parked myself on the couch where the men were all watching football and after about 7 minutes of trying to be interested, I pulled out my current Harry Potter book and spent most of the day reading and having my sisters bring me more mimosas.

Friday was my birthday and I have to say that if my 25th year turns out to be as great as my first weekend then I have a lot to look forward to. I avoided Black Friday in favor of sleeping in and having one of my dad’s famous omlettes for breakfast. My family showered me with some incredible birthday gifts including candles and lotion of Bath & Body Works, a cute tank top that I already got to wear thanks to our 80* weather, some awesome new pink Nike running apparel and GORGEOUS diamond hoops. I felt SO spoiled!

Jason came over as we were finishing breakfast. We had plans to go to the LA Zoo because I’m really 5 not 25, and all I wanted to to go see large cats up close and personal. He totally surprised me with another amazing piece of jewelry:

A Garmin Forerunner!!!!

I was SO surprised – and so excited I wanted to wear it to dinner later that night 😉

After reminding me that the animals were waiting and I could take the Garm on a run later, we set off for the zoo. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking here because I took about 700:

After the zoo, we tried stopping at Portos Bakery for lunch (best bakery ever!), but unfortunately it was closed for the holiday weekend. We settled on a sandwich place in the valley on the way home and after I got us a little lost, we finally ate lunch then headed home to relax a bit before the next part of my birthday extravaganza.

Birthday fun part 2 coming soon!

Did you do any Black Friday shopping?

What’s your favorite animal? I LOVE tigers. I think we spent 15 minutes watching the tiger walk back and forth while I took about 57 pictures of him. So beautiful!


Filed under Birthdays, Holidays, J, Mmm Food

10 Things for Tuesday

1. Catching up on workouts – I ran 3 miles on Saturday followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical and a legs workout. I wanted to do a long run but when I woke up to the rain I decided to hit the gym and save the 10-miler for this weekend. So unhardcore I know… Sunday I was lazy and yesterday’s workout consisted of a 50-minute elliptical session that was intense.

2. I love the holidays and everything about them, and I am listening to Christmas music already, but I really feel it’s a little early for this:

Get it together SVTC. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

3. The above picture was taken while tripping around our local “Mall”. I put it in quotes because it barely deserves to be called a mall. They couldn’t even keep a Forever 21. And the stores they do have choose to stock very odd assortment of items. I go to Macy’s and can’t find a single cute sweater or dress that I saw on the website, but I did spot this gem:

The bow is bigger than the headband part – which mean’s the bow is bigger than the wearer’s head. NO.

4. I finally got my haircut after almost a year:

I went to a new place thanks to a great deal I scored online ($19 for conditioning treatment + cut & blowdry). It barely looks any different because I just asked her to clean up the ends but I’m happy to not have frizzy split ends now. And the place was too darn cute:

It looks like a little house! It’s a historic building so they can’t change the outside (which I think actually used to be a house) so they just rolled with the theme and made it the cutest, coziest salon.

5. I have a new obsession. I tend to find something I really like, eat/drink it every day for 3 months straight, then burn out completely. Right now, that thing is hot cocoa:

J makes the best homemade hot cocoa, but since I can’t get him to get up extra early each morning to make me a cup and bring it to my house before I leave for work, I had to settle for some cocoa from the cafe at Gelson’s. Not J’s amazing recipe, but still tasty for $2. I especially loved the sprinkles.

6. I finally bought new cross-trainers for the gym since my old ones were covered in mud after the Gladiator run (and were about 100 years old). Now I can finally stop wearing my Brooks for elliptical days.

Nordstrom Half-Yearly score!

7. I loved the Twilight books, but I only saw the first movie and hated it. Such bad acting! Needless to say, the only Breaking Dawn hype I care about will just be seeing the pictures of Rob in US Weekly and People from all the red carpet events. I have decided that R-Patz needs to just keep his mouth shut and be pretty. I liked him better as Cedric Diggory anyways. I don’t know why they had to kill him off in HP. So sad.

That ring came off of a cupcake from a 25-year-old man’s birthday. Love it.

8. I found my dream car:

Why yes, that is a hot pink Mini Cooper.

9. I love this time of year because of weather that makes my drive home look like this:

10. And finally – my birthday is in 10 days! I’m going to be 1/4 of a century and that is freaking me the you-know-what out. When I was a naive little 15-year-old, I totally believed I’d have my life all figured out by this point. How wrong I was. But regardless, I have fun, love my life, like my job most of the time, have the best boyfriend on earth, live at home for free (seriously, major perk), and I’m pretty darn happy. I’m also determined to make 25 the best year ever. So here’s to my last 10 days of being able to round down to 20 and not up to 30.

That is not my cake but I would like it to be (hint hint)…

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Filed under Birthdays, J, Party Time, Weekends!, Workouts

Weekend Recap

Just got back from a great 3.28 mile run with Tiffany. I finally got around to purchasing one of those c9 babydoll tanks from Target (clearance!) and wore it tonight. I need to go buy 8 more, like, now.

Where did the last 3 days go?? Seriously… the weekend goes by way too fast. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I was SO disappointed that this garden gnome costume didn’t come in a size XXXL because I REALLY wanted it. I bet you think I’m kidding, but I couldn’t be more serious.

Megan and I met up for Happy Hour at Elephant Bar. $6.50 for a veggie burger, sweet potato fries and a beer. Can’t beat that.

And a shout out to Megan since you told me you read this… I need to start an extreme couponing page for you.

Baked these cookies, but subbed the spice cake mix for devil’s food.

They may not look pretty, but they tasted SO good.

Jason cooked an amazing dinner of Thai Peanut Chicken over rice. Recipe coming soon!

I helped by cutting and eating a delicious honeydew melon, but apparently there is a wrong way to cut melons because J took over partway through.

On Saturday we went to Jodi’s parents house to enjoy the beautiful weather and celebrate Casey’s 26th birthday!

Jodi and Casey

J and I

I was too busy scarfing down the amazing feast of smoked pulled pork, pasta salad, coleslaw and BBQ beans to remember to take a picture, but believe me, it was amazing.

Sunday was spent cleaning my highly disorganized room and throwing out 63 tubes of mascara. Then, J and I walked around Home Goods and Bed Bath & Beyond to get out and kill some time looking at giant clocks and glittery Halloween decorations. I also decided that one day I will need one of these:

A DONUT MAKER! So necessary in my life.

This morning I felt a little under the weather to I had to make an Emergen-C cocktail and follow it up with a salad beast for lunch:

Oh and I totally took about 18 self-timer pictures of me with my salad while sitting in the Gelson’s parking lot only to look up and see a car full of old ladies watching me. It’s cool though, I know all you bloggers understand.

How was your weekend? Do you ever get weird looks from people for taking a million pictures of your food? No, just me…?


Filed under Birthdays, J, Mmm Food, Running, Weekends!

Saturday Morning Catch-Up

I set my alarm for 7am so I could do 4 miles before a day of wine tasting with a group of girlfriends, but then I woke up and the coffee smelled too good and I decided that blogging about running is just as productive as actually going for a run. Right? Well, I promise to make up for it with 4 miles tomorrow.

Since I’ve been a less-than-consistent blogger this week, I thought I would play a little game of catch-up and let you know my top 10 things of the week:

1. Last Sunday was my Dad’s birthday. We celebrated with some delicious BBQ and of course – BIRTHDAY CAKE. Thankfully, there were enough people to finish most of the cake that night so I wasn’t digging into it all week.

2. On Monday, I ran 4 miles on the treadmill in 42 minutes. That’s the fasted I’ve ever run 4 miles. I usually end up anywhere between 45 – 46 minutes. It was on the treadmill, so it was flat, but it was on the treadmill so it was boring. And would have been so easy to give up and hit that STOP button.

3. On Tuesday, I met up with Megan for mani/pedi’s and a delish dinner of salad and french fries. At least this time we had salad – our last dinner together was mozarella sticks and french fries. And beer. Always.

4. On Tuesday, I also woke up at 5:30am to get in a 3-mile run with my dad so I wouldn’t have to ruin my pedicure with running shoes later that night.

5. I also decided that I really want a the new Brooks PureProject shoes and since I didn’t do a Want Wednesday this week, here it is – Want Saturday. These babies:

6. I want it to be FALLI think Fall is my favorite time of year and right now I’ve become really excited because J and I have a pretty good idea of what we’re going to be for Halloween. We totally have to up the ante on our awesome Legends of the Hidden Temple costumes from last year.

7. I’m going wine tasting today! I know I just mentioned that at the beginning but I’m really excited because I love wine and we’re going to this great place in Malibu where you can bring your own picnic. Wine, fruit, veggies and hummus… sign me up!

8. Last night we went to BJ’s with Jodi and Casey. I had some more delicious beer and we got this great deal they have right now. $20 gets you 2 side salads or soups, one medium pizza and a pizookie. J and I had garden salads and our favorite Buffalo Chicken Pizza. We tried to swap out the Pizookie for the Strawberry Shortcake so it would be less heavy, but no luck. So we had a chocolate chip Pizookie but had to sadly leave most of it behind because we were already stuffed. Also, FAUXleo went out this window much of this week, but my lunches were mostly salads!!

9. My little brother left for college yesterday! It makes me feel SO old knowing he’s in college. He’ll be running Cross Country and I can’t wait to go watch some of the meets. Luckily he’s less than an hour away so we don’t have to miss him too much. He’s also going to my college so I feel especially proud 🙂

10. And finally – the past 2 months of waiting our over! Tomorrow night, J and I will be seeing DANIEL TOSH’S TOSH TOUR ON ICE!! I got J the tickets for his birthday and it’s finally here! We love Tosh.0 so we are so excited to see his stand-up live.

So that’s it for my week and now I need to shower, get ready, go buy food and get cash for today because I do everything last minute.

What are your weekend plans?

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Filed under Birthdays, Halloween, J, Mmm Food, Top Ten