Tag Archives: Birthday Month

WIAW~A Tale of Two Birthday Cakes (and Two Crock Pots!)

Good Morning and Welcome to my second What I Ate Wednesday post in a row! I’m quite excited to be back and joining in with all of the fun people who gather at Jenn’s party over at Peas and Crayons. I’m going to dive right in and tell my story as I go.

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

I’m finally back at my own house. After recuperating at my friend Gail’s house for several months ( I started referring to myself as her “squatter” which she found amusing) I am home and it is a bit of adjustment in some ways.  Different bed, different kitchen, different arrangement…I have to stop and think where my spices are, where my utensils are, where my crock pots are!  No, don’t worry, I never forget where my crock pots are!!

Monday afternoon, I suddenly realized that I needed to make beans.  Normally I soak them over night and put them in to cook in the morning.  But I really wanted them on Tuesday so I tried an experiment.  At about 1 in the afternoon, I put them in to soak. My intention was to put them in the c/p at about 11pm.  I fell asleep so they ended up going in at 1 am.  As I write this, it looks like they’re doing fine, but need some more cooking.  But now I know if I forget to soak overnight, I can do it this way.

Two crock pots


But I think you all know by now, in my house-where there’s one crock pot, there’s probably another.  This one filled with my version of the Weight Watchers veggie soup.

Veggie soup in crock pot


I’ve missed having this while I was away.  There’s actually no reason why I couldn’t have made it at Gail’s house, but as I said…different routine.  Funny thing is that it took me longer than usual to make it.  I think my  chopping skills are a little rusty.  I’ll fix that!

One of the things I always put in my veggie soup…and my stir-fries, and my morning omelette is Mrs. Dash.  I love it because it’s no salt and has so many flavors in one bottle.  The mix is always right.  I’m used to the small containers, but Gail found this huge bottle for me, probably on Amazon.

Mrs Dash


I’m so excited because I use it so much.  This should last me a week or two!

Dunkin Donuts breakfast


Ralph had to have fasting bloodwork on Monday so I fast along with him.  But I tantalized him with Dunkin Donuts after.  And I had coupons which saved us almost $6.00!!  I had iced pumpkin coffee and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese.  It was a splurge, but delicious!

I promised you two Birthday cakes, so here goes.  My birthday was early in October but because Ralph was away, we didn’t celebrate with my sister, Ele as we usually do.  This Sunday we took care of it.

My bday cake


There’s a story with this cake, isn’t there always a story in our family?!  The candle on top is a gift from our friend, Jim from Washington.  He brought it for I think Ele’s birthday and we use it all the time now.  The cake itself is very specific and Ele always makes it for me.  It is a boxed devil’s food cake with lemon confectioner’s sugar icing.  It’s what Grandmom always used to make for us and it’s tradition.

The next cake is a little fancier!

Maddie's bday cake


October 13 was my wonderful sister-in-law Maddie’s birthday.  Saturday we had a little surprise party for her.  The cake was beautiful and we had a wonderful time.  As I’m typing this, I’m realizing that I never took a photo of my lunch that day…it was pasta…it was Delicious!

That’s my contribution to What I Ate Wednesday today.  I’m glad to be back and I suppose it’s just like riding a bike, just get on and type!  Be sure to check out all of the delicious food that you’ll find at Peas and Crayons. It’s always a party over there!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!


Party of the Week!

Maybe there will be more this week…at this point I don’t know, but today’s party was a great addition to Birthday Month!

Ralph and I met everyone at Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford.  This party was a twofer…we were celebrating my birthday and my sister-in-law Maddie’s birthday (October 13) So of course we both got to look like prom queens!

We both got beautiful pink roses!

Of course there were balloons…after all it is a party! 😉

Maddie and Aunt Marie!  The beautiful blue eyes run in the family!

Maddie and her husband George.

Ralph and Me!


Excellent, Huge Greek Salad, my favorite choice here.

Birthday Cake!  In my favorite colors…purple and green! Happy Accident!

I’m so lucky to have married into such a wonderful family!

Everything’s a piece of cake!

We had a really lovely afternoon.  It’s always a lot of fun when we all get together.  Not known for allowing a chance to party get away from us, we planned two more get togethers.  So we’re set until the end of the year!

This has been an excellent Birthday Month so far.  I wonder what will come up next? 😉

Happy Thursday!

WIAW~Between Parties

When you’re having a Birthday Month, there are times when you’re between parties.  Not so exciting for What I Ate Wednesday, but I’m sure that there will be lots of people over at Peas & Crayons with Jenn who’ll be showing lots of exciting food.  For me this week, it’s kind of plain and simple.

But regardless, It’s a Party!

Peas and Crayons

No real snacks included and I’m not into Halloween yet, so what you see is what you get!

As I’ve said before, being the person who brings the Big Salad to a dinner means I get to go home with the left overs!  Love it when there’s a big bowl of salad to be had at any time.  Fills me up and keeps me on track!

Pineapple Greek Yogurt with Fiber One.  Such a good breakfast and one of my favorites!

I’m continuing my quest to put EVERYTHING over sweet potatoes!  Microwave 2 sweet potatoes for 8 minutes and they are just perfect.   I sautéed onion, garlic and yellow squash in veggie broth, then added something I will never eat again. I found lost in my freezer a partial bag of Morningstar Farms “beef” strips.  They don’t make them anymore so this was a little sad.  I then added a half cup of cottage cheese.   Added some various spices (I’m always SO specific with my recipes!!) and that’s it.  It was very tasty and just what I needed since it’s been so cold out.

Another breakfast…

Simple as can be…pomegranate kefir and Fiber One.  Guess I really like my Fiber One…huh?!

None of this sounds very exciting I realize but for me it’s great.  I feel that I am on track and making good choices.  After feeling out of control for a while…this is a much better way to be!  Besides…there are still more celebrations to be had throughout the rest of the month!

Be sure to stop over at Peas & Crayons…look around and leave some comments.  It really makes us all smile! 🙂

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

All Partied Out

For the moment at least!!  During this last week or so, I’ve been back in my routine of waking up WAY too early again.  Sometimes it’s 3am, sometimes 4am but it’s Early!  I think that sort of caught up with me on Monday.

I was up at 4am. I got up and did my usual morning things, working on the computer, doing my ride on the exercise bike.  I’m proud of myself because in spite of the fact that it’s been drizzling out so many mornings lately, I’ve been getting my exercise on the bike.  Most mornings I’ve been riding for 60 minutes.  It’s great because I do hand weights while I’m riding and of course I’m reading.  I never thought of myself as a multitasker, but I guess in this case I am!

It was cold, damp and dreary out when we finally headed out.  Ralph and I wanted to stop at Ele’s house to say good-bye to Jim who was heading back to Washington and to Little Michael whose Dad was picking him up.  We did that.  It’s always sad when everyone leaves again.

I was happy, though because my best friend Gail is finally back from her summer in Maine.  Felt like I hadn’t seen her in forever!  We hung out for a while, looking at photos of all the improvements she and her brother and our friend Alice had done on the cabin while they were there.  Then we went to run some errands and ended up with lunch at Taco Bell.  Everything is back to normal now!!  No photos because somehow I forgot my camera.

Since I have no other photos to share today I’ll give you my only sunrise photo for quite some time.  It’s funny, when we were in New Mexico, just about every morning had a spectacular sunrise.  This is the only one I’ve gotten since our return to New Jersey.

Usually the Fall has a lot of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but I’ve been disappointed except for this one.

So that’s Monday…not exciting, but you can’t have a party every day!!!

Happy Tuesday!

Day After Birthday

Having survived my birthday, it was time for some continuing birthday celebrations, although they were low-key.

I had coupons, so guess where Ralph and I went for breakfast?

Why, Dunkin’ Donuts of course!  I had my first of their pumpkin spiced coffee (yum!) plus a veggie omelette flatbread (also yum!) These are so tasty and they are very filling.  Only cost me 7 Points on Weight Watchers.  Good Deal!

After breakfast, I had plans to go to Barnes & Noble with Ele, Jim and little Michael…so what else is new?!  Ralph had some things to work on and a football game at 1pm so he stayed home.  Since I got more gift cards for my birthday, I did some more Nook-looking because I think I have enough now to buy one.  Still have to decide.

Michael reading a book that Grummy Ele was buying him (hidden in his lap) and eating a cookie bigger than his head.  I swear that cookie stayed the same size in spite of the fact that he was eating it!

I was good, only had a cool lime refresher.  I was afraid they would only have them for the summer, but it looks like they’re on the permanent menu now.  I bought The Giver by Lois Lowry.  I only recently heard about this book.  I actually just found the second and third books in the series at the library on their “for sale” shelf for 50 cents each!  I decided I could give myself a birthday gift of the first in the series.  Only $6.99, pretty good.

I used one of my gift cards for the book and for this…

My new planner for 2013.  The good thing is it’s an 18 month planner so I can start it now! It has the weekly calendar on the left and a page for notes/lists on the right.  I need to get myself more organized and this is part of my effort.  I’m excited that I get to start now.  It was 20% off plus my 10% member discount, so a pretty good deal.  Now to get organized!! 😉

So I had a very good Day After.  We have a birthday celebration on Wednesday for Me and Ralph’s sister Maddie so I’ve got to be very mindful for the next two days so I’ll feel in control for that day. I’m feeling really good about all of this.

I’m off to make good choices and celebrate my Birthday Month!

Happy Monday!

Birthday All Day Long

Well, I must say that my birthday started off with a bang! In a good way.  I found this sitting on the kitchen counter…

Yes, Ralph was working his magic again!  I laughed out loud when I saw it!  It had the sweetest, most lovely card inside, too.  He’s so sentimental…one of the reasons I love him!

When I got to Weight Watchers, my second gift for the day awaited me.  I had been trying Very had all week, trying to make up for Monday’s anniversary lunch.  I tracked and measured and watched everything.  When I got on the scale I had lost 2.2 pounds!!  I never expected that! I’m now back to where I was before vacation.  Only a few more pounds and I’ll be at my personal goal, which will make me happy!

I stopped at Goodwill on the way home and I may have bought some books.  Stopped at the library to return some books and I may have bought some books…Hey…It’s my birthday!

So I came home and really just hung out for a while.  We knew that my nephew Michael would be coming for the evening festivities and since we had been away for his birthday, Ralph wanted to work on his birthday card.  I spent my time reading.  I’m reading an interesting book right now, which I’ll talk about later in the week.

Around 4:30, we headed over to Ele’s house.  Our friend Jim from Washington is visiting and we had fun (and puns-of which Jim is the King!!) catching up waiting for dinner.  I had made a big salad earlier in the day and had to do it like this…

Didn’t want my bandaged finger to get wet, so I made the with my rubber glove on my left hand!  Not as cumbersome as I thought it would be.  Got this red leaf lettuce at the produce market earlier in the week.  It was cheaper than the regular Romaine.  Score!

My birthday dinner…Ele’s yummy pasta sprinkled with my beloved Locatelli cheese, some of my big salad and yes that is wine.  I decided it was my birthday and I could!  This was all delicious.

Ok, yes my birthday cake has a Veggie Tales candle on it!  It was the only one we could find in the house and after all…I am a Vegetarian!

I couldn’t wait to eat this, as you can see!  This is my traditionally requested birthday cake as my Grandmom used to make it.  Store bought box devil’s food cake with lemon icing, just like Grandmom’s!  A few years ago, Ele asked what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday and this is what I asked for. I’ve been getting it ever since! 🙂

When it came time for pictures, we had trouble with the light…

Ok, this one works.  Then…

A Mikey-eye view of us!  He’s quite a good photographer!

Ralph took me shopping for birthday presents on Friday and this sweater is one of the things I got.  Too other pretty things, that I’ll show eventually.  I got several Barnes & Noble gift cards which should bring my total up to what I need to finally buy my Nook.  Now I have to decide which one I want.  Also got a beautiful pair of earrings from Jim.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d say I had an awfully nice birthday all around.  But the celebrations aren’t over yet.  As I’ve mentioned before, in our family we believe in the concept of the Birthday Month!

I’m excited because my best friends Gail and Alice will be home today.  I haven’t seen them since May!  That’s a good Birthday present if you ask me!

Happy Sunday!!

Too Old To Care??

Last year I had a great time writing about my birthday.  It was the first birthday I had celebrated with a blog.  I was feeling creative and I posted all of those fun pictures of myself.  Now I feel compelled to try to live up to that post.

This year the celebrations have already started, at least we’ve already celebrated our anniversary.  But this is a Birthday Month, as is our family tradition and I really should start partying a little hardier!

I’m facing weigh in at Weight Watchers this morning.  I think I should get dispensation on my birthday…guess that comes from being raised Catholic!  But…that doesn’t happen and I’m feeling pretty good about my week in spite of Monday’s Anniversary lunch…so instead of talking about my birthday…I’ll talk about food!

A breakfast from this week…

This was pomegranate kefir with Fiber One. Very tasty.

A quick late lunch of caramel corn rice cakes and sunflower butter.  I Love this combo.

Last night’s dinner that was SO good!  Microwaved 2 small sweet potatoes for 8 minutes.  Thinned out and heated up some of the barbecue beans I made earlier in the week.  Sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese.  I just loved it.  Think I’ll do this again!!

Today’s breakfast.  When I went shopping at Aldi the other day, instead of getting the fat-free vanilla yogurt, I got the fat-free plain.  😦   I was disappointed when I realized it, but… I put a cup of it in a bowl, added some of my crock pot apples from yesterday and then a quarter cup of Fiber One.  This was delicious and filling.  I’ve never tasted plain yogurt that was this creamy and tasty.  I may buy this from now on because I can use this in cooking.  Happy Accident!

Ralph decided he wanted to take me out to find a birthday present which we did. I’ll show those after birthday.  We decided to stop for lunch.

A tossed salad from our favorite spot, Picasso’s.  Please note that I did NOT get the mixed cheese salad. I’m really trying hard to break that habit.  I requested the grated cheese and shook that on.  It’s a good choice.  Ok, how did I get into italics and how do I get out?!?!?  Must be something I did with my bandaged finger…Yikes!!!

So that’s enough food and I will lighten up on that as soon as I get to Weight Watchers and see how I did.  I just need to feel in control.  Talking about it here is a real help!  Thanks for listening!

So I’m off to enjoy my Birthday!  Not sure what’s on the agenda, but I’m sure it will be fun!  Oh, yes…I’ll NEVER be too old to care!!

Happy Saturday!!  Happy Birthday to Me!!!