Category Archives: birthday

Celebrating 48!

It was birthday weekend. We love doing birthdays up around here 😀  Please enjoy my self-indulgent post.

I wasn’t totally sure about biking my age in miles like I usually do and it actually wasn’t in my plan, but as you know, plans can change.

We went riding early Saturday making a stop along the way at a garden center (of course!). This is Toadflax.


There are multiple greenhouses you can go into as well.


I could spend forever in there, but I was geting hungry! We rode back to town and hit up Spot coffee for a snack:


On a whim, we decided to bike further and by the time we got home, we had already done 32 miles.  I thought, you know – it’s only another 16 miles.  That’s not even 1.5 hours of riding. It was still early, so I ate lunch, put on more sunscreen and headed back out. John stayed behind to get working on my cake 😀

I made quick work of the remaining 16 miles and my legs felt great! I could go a lot farther, for sure.  I almost am thinking about doing 100 miles again, but then I remember how exhausting that is, and how it takes all day long.


Woo Hoo!


I don’t look a day over 47!

Since the plan was for cake party on Sunday (my actual birthday), dinner out was had Saturday night since I didn’t want to eat a dinner and have cake on the same day.  We went to Druthers Brewery in Saratoga. Delicous beer:  I highly recommend the Scottish-style 80.


And Buffalo chicken mac and cheese because birthday and 48 miles 😀


I had to bring some home. This looks smaller in the picture than it was in real life.

Sunday was a really rainy day, which is why the riding happened on Saturday.  John made the most delicious cake. White cake (doctored box mix) with a salted caramel frosting drizzled with caramel.


This was delicious! It was almost like a spreadable praline. Yummy.



And yes, we serve cake on mismatched plates because we are classy like that.

Wonderful gifts, too.


Fairy garden items from my in-laws, gift certificates to garden centers — including Toadflax!, lacy shawl, lots of camera gear.  These are my cool new polarized glasses with bling for riding when it is cloudy, but bright – or I can use them in the car for night driving.


They are actually a blue color, which doesn’t come through.



A very good weekend. And thank you to all that have been wishing on Facebook!

Happy Birthday to John!

My best friend turns 45!  Now he is the same age as me 😀

It was birthday weekend around here because we don’t just do 1 day for this kind of stuff.  I told John whatever he wanted to do we would.  So, we did a little biking and a stop for ice cream.

We went out to dinner at 132 Glen Bistro in Glens Falls.  It was so nice out that we sat outside.

Happy Birthday to John!! <3



We had never tried this restaurant before other than at the Take a Bite, but they serve a lot of fish and seafood, so that is why we went.



John had the swordfish and I had the crab cake stuffed flounder with seafood sauce:



I really liked this, except for the rice.  It almost tasted like instant rice.  I was happy to try another fish and like it!  I like sole and I think flounder is also a flat fish?  So, I thought that would be good to try.  I have had their crab cakes before during the Take a Bite nights, so I knew that I would like that part.

After dinner we ventured down to Saratoga Springs.  It’s a lot more hopping down there.  Here is a pretty view from the roof garage:



I also saw Betties’ bus!  Normally we go to Bettie’s for cupcakes on long ride days and go to the shop.  They have a double-decker bus that drives around, sort of like a food cart, usually closer to Albany.



We didn’t partake in cupcakes, though!

Sunday was cake time!  John requested “the cake”, which is the cake that was made for my grandfather’s birthday every year, which was on Christmas (and we still serve at Christmas now).  It’s basically a white cake with a praline type icing.  The frosting is very temperamental and really a labor of love.  It goes on hot and can sometimes run down the side of the cake before it firms up, and I was trying to keep pushing the frosting back on the cake. It always tastes good, but sometimes it looks less than stellar, such as this year!



I kept singing “Beware of the blob!”  while watching it  :mrgreen:  This frosting really needs a day to fully crystallize and set up, so I made it on Saturday

It looks much better cut into a slice:



(Sorry Debby!)

We all love this cake!

Here we are singing to John!



We played games, too.  Mad Gab!



The answer to that would be ‘North American”.  :mrgreen:


Happy, happy birthday John!!



45 for 45!

Just a quick drive by (bike by??)

Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes today!

Celebrated with taking the morning off from work and riding 45 miles.

Here is me holding up fingers to indicate 45 years with the 45 miles.  John was standing behind me holding the camera over my shoulder to get this. LOL


Sparkle bling nails, too 😀

This ride felt so good!


Now bring on the cake – and lots of it!!

Happy Birthday to John!

Saturday was John’s birthday and as one of my goal’s this month was to make sure he had a good one, I let him do whatever he wanted.

We started off with biking to breakfast.  It was already warm and muggy out when we got up.  Ugh!  We biked to Coffee Planet.

My bagel was poppyseed for a change.  It just looks burned LOL.

The birthday boy!

John wanted to get a long ride in on his birthday, but with the heat coming on fast and furious, we cut the ride short at 20 miles.  He didn’t get his 44 for 44, but that’s okay.

Since it was such a hot day, his choice of activity was a movie.  We went to see a matinee of Dark Knight Rises.

Honestly, I have to say I didn’t care for this movie too much.  I really liked the second movie, but not this one.  It was fairly violent and too long! LOL. I do have to say that I was starting to feel a little anxious during the movie as well.  This is the first time I have been in a theater in over a year.  Can you believe it?  The last movie I saw in a theater was Planet of the Apes last year (which I really, really liked).  I just am not finding too many interesting movies that I am really willing to pay and see in the theater.

Anyway, I was thinking about the Aurora shootings during the movie, and then it didn’t help that a few times an attendant came through the theater doing a little sweep.  The movie itself was okay, but it was starting to border on over-the-top shenanigans, which is not what the first 2 movies were like. Plus, I had trouble understanding Bain and kept thinking of the movie Predator.  (I made this with PicMonkey)

It’s not just me that sees this, right?

I am getting sidetracked from the birthday here.   :mrgreen:

We kept cool in the mall after the movie and then went out for dinner.  John chose Siam Thai Sushi.

We tried some food at the Take a Bite and liked it so much we wanted to come back.  I decided to try a bubble tea for the first time.  This is a pineapple flavored  bubble tea.

Bubble tea, for those that don’t know, is a sweet milky drink with large tapioca pearls in it (or boba).  This had black and regular pearls in it.  It comes with a giant straw to suck up the pearls with.  I was a little scared:

It was interesting and kind of fun, but I probably wouldn’t get another one.  Not sure I like to chew my drinks LOL!

John had a Thai iced coffee.

Our food was fantastic!

I had Cashew Nut Shrimp, which had bell peppers, ground cashews, carrots and onions (which I didn’t eat) and shrimp in a spicy chili sauce.

Really good food, but the lighting is terrible for a food blogger.  John had mango curry with scallops.

This was a coconut mild based red curry with mangos, carrots, bamboo shoots, peppers and basil with sliced scallops.  We so need to try to recreate this at home!  Yummers!

We picked up a cake at Chocolate Mill to take home after that. I was going to bake a cake for John, but with the extreme heat, we didn’t want the oven on this weekend, so a purchased cake it was.

This was a chocolate cake with coffee butter cream.  We had the folks over for cake.

Happy birthday to the best hubby in the world! Welcome to 44 😀

44 miles for 44 years

I had a great day yesterday!  I tell you, though, my email and Facebook exploded, which was cool – but overwhelming!

I had taken the day off, so I knew I wanted to bike ride, but not for how long.  Then Shelley mentioned that she ran 4.9 miles on her birthday and that I should do 44 miles on the bike.  I figured “why not?”  That is a normal good riding distance for me and I had the time.  I was just concerned about the weather cooperating.   It was 49 degrees when I got up.  (It’s June, right?)

Bundled up! I decided to let John sleep in a little bit before breakfast – earning Best Wife points – and headed out for a 7 mile ride.  I came back home to see if he was up (he was) and then we headed out for a breakfast bagel!  We biked to Coffee Planet:

Oat bran with cranberry walnut cream cheese!  It was weird being there on a weekday morning as this is our Sunday place.

We biked home and I left John behind.  I had 19 miles done already at that point before 10 a.m.!  I thought it might rain in the afternoon, so I knew if I wanted the rest of the miles, I better get them in.  I  packed up a few snacks and then headed out for some loop riding.  I went on some quieter roads:

With a snack:

Some downtown roads – which had too much traffic.  Midday weekday riding is something I am just not used to. (no pictures of that).  I tried to stay on quieter roads, though, and just have a nice “thinking” ride.

Then some path riding. I stopped for a long break at mile 35 to eat this Luna bar and enjoy the quietness of this place.

This is that 1 mile byway we recently discovered.

Then the last 9 miles home.  Not sure how I got it this exact without a planned route, but I guess I must have been a cartographer in a previous life or something.


I am a cool 44 year old! 😀

John and I had to run out and get an extra cake for the evening.   Then I got a private piano concert:

I had requested 3 pieces that he play for me on my birthday.  Thanks John!

Then dinner time! My dinner of choice –

Local seafood place.  We don’t go here too often because it is a little expensive, but good food.  Check out this picture staring at John.

You will eat your fish, sir, and you will like it!

I had some crab bisque to start with.

And then my plate.  I couldn’t decide between the scallops and the shrimp and our server said she could just have them make me a half and half plate!  Yay!  I chose the broiled version.

With a baker and sour cream.  This was very, very good.  I love scallops and wish they weren’t so pricey to purchase for home.

Then it was cake time!  These are the 2 cakes.

This one is a chocolate pecan torte.  Layers of mousse and chocolate cake.

We did the emergency run for the red velvet cake because we thought there was going to be 2 people for cake, which turned into a few more.


A couple present highlights:

Puzzles (this one is a 4 dimensional puzzle)

I have wanted one of these:

Totally unexpected:

It’s the regular Kindle (not the Fire).  I guess it is a Kimble Kindle? Say that 10 times fast!


Overall a great day was had and thanks to everyone for the well wishes (and presents!!).

Happy Birthday to John!

First off – Happy Birthday to John! Welcome to year 43 😀

I was up early knowing I had a lot to do today.  I was out the door at 6:30 to do C25K day 2.  This first week does 60 second runs alternating with 90 second walks.  I am using Robert Ullrey’s podcasts for these so I don’t have to use a watch.  I used these 2 years ago and when I first started and  it brought back a flood of memories. Funny how sounds or smells can do that.  I think about how far I have come athletically in the last 2 years, even with an injury setback.  So far so good. My thigh is a little tired, but with only 8 minutes of running total, it is hard to say if there are any consequences yet.

Got back and did the ganache frosting for John’s cake and got to work. I had the most productive day, which I love!  I also made breakfast for both John and I.  We each had a banana bread breakfast pudding!

Mine topped with coconut butter and jam, his was topped with coconut butter and chocolate chips :mrgreen:

Pixie chillaxed all day.  Surprisingly awake here, too.

Then she got what she really wanted, which was some belly rubbing:

She has John trained really well.

I almost didn’t want to stop for lunch as I was being really productive.  How is that for crazy?  But food always calls 😀

Porch lunch.

We had an offer for John to get a free birthday cupcake at the coffeehouse, so we wandered there in the mid afternoon.  Love working from home!

John got his cupcake and coffee.  I  had just a latte.

Well, not  had just a latte. I had a very good latte 😀

I finished up work a little early, uploaded my timesheet and it feels like the weekend! Oh wait, it is only Thursday.  Oh well.  Still going out for dinner because of John’s special day!  He chose:

I am very happy to go here because there are lots of choices.  John had deep dish pizza. I love the nut crusted goat cheese and blueberry salad, so that is what I ordered:

Although they did put too much dressing on it.  Low fat or not, still too much dressing.

Then it was home for some cake and coffee with the family.  I whipped up the ganache to make frosting for the cake and it turned out well.

Happy 43!

Look – I even did 4 layers on this cake.  That is how much I love my hubby.

Boston Cream Pie? Success!

Pixie even enjoyed some wrapping play time.

Now time for Futurama!

Hello 43, nice to meet you!

Thank you all so, so much for the birthday wishes via email and facebook!  My facebook and email exploded – d’oh!  So thoughtful of everyone! I had a very nice day.  We started off with biking to bagels!  I almost went somewhere else and had a different breakfast, but hey – it’s Sunday, which is the original bagel day in our household.

After that, it was down to Schenectady to the Rose Garden at Central Park.  What a treat this park was!  A little far from home, but the whole Central Park is very, very nice.  The rose garden just has a first flush of blooms.  I think in a couple weeks you could probably smell the garden a half mile away.

The only thing I didn’t like was that almost none of the roses were identified, so I really don’t know what they are.  Pretty, though!

I was all up in this bee’s face.  I don’t know if he was irritated at me, but he kept moving around a lot while I was trying to get his picture!

I think these are mountain laurels, but not sure.  Very cool looking.

We stopped at Ambition Coffeehouse for lunch after the Rose Garden.

This is in a building that dates from 1815 and kind of interesting inside, complete with a ghost (not the guy in the yellow, but supposedly a real ghost).

I had a turkey sandwich with brie, walnuts and raspberry sauce.  Tres good!

I did not get any coffee here, though (we stopped later for that).

I was supposed to have a birthday dinner out, but there was just no time at all, and we had a quick meal at home before company came over for presents and cake balls!

I keep seeing this recipe and figured I had to try it one.  We used a boxed spice cake mix, made our own buttercream icing and mixed together.  Then coated in white chocolate.

Only problem for birthdays?  No place to put a candle!

Surprisingly, they were quite the hit!

John serenaded us with piano music.

I did receive a Magic Bullet (or close relative) from the parentals:

What a surprise! :mrgreen:   I was pretty happy and had waffles this morning.

John got me a watering can, which I desperately needed

And something so I can rock on!

Yay Journey!!!  (None of the new stuff thankyouverymuch, just Steve Perry).

My sister’s family also brought me some bedding plants.  Hooray!

All in all quite  a nice day, and relatively quiet, too, which was quite nice.  I still get to stretch it out, though.  Must have a birthday dinner this week!

Question:  Journey fan?

Lifting Move of the Week and John’s Birthday!

It’s John’s birthday today! Welcome to year 42 sweetie 😀

He slept in while I biked to the gym for a strength workout.

Exercise Set/rep/weight Muscle worked
Straight-leg deadlifts 3 sets of 10 at 75# Lower body
Close grip lat pulldown 3 sets of 10 at 50# Back
Cable Squat to Row 3 sets of 10 at 60# Full body
Planks 3 sets of 90 second holds (dying on the last one) Abs
Barbell Chest Press 3 sets of 8 at 55# Chest
Standing Single leg Calf Raise 3 sets with 10 with 45# bar Calves and balance
Prone Cuban Snatch 3 sets of 10 with 10# DBs (20# total) Shoulders
Triceps kickback 3 sets of 10 with 15# DBs (30# total) Triceps

Then I walked for about 10 minutes on the treadmill waiting for the birthday boy to get to the gym. We then biked to Panera Bread per his request for breakfast! I have not done a bike ride after lifting in a few weeks and had forgotten how tiring that was….

I was so ready for my bagel!

Asiago cheese. Yum. I started to wolf it down and actually had to tell myself to slow down out loud.  I was wearing Triscuit (my trisuit) today because of the heat and humidity. I felt funny walking into Panera wearing it, and I swear I saw 2 women looking at me and talking to each other. Kind of felt exposed and uncomfortable. I thought maybe I was imagining it, but when we went up for coffee later, they asked where were were riding from. Not sure what they were saying to each other, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Lifting Move of the Week:  The Close Grip Lat Pulldown! This exercise works the back and actually gives a nice stretch feel, which I really like.  Most of the time, you will see the wide grip bar used on this machine.  Swap out the wide bar for the V-bar (the little v-shaped handle) for variation.  Make sure your legs are snug under the lap bar.

While this mostly does the back, your rear deltoids (back of shoulders) and a bit of chest muscle is used as well.  When pulling down, think of pulling with your back muscles.  If you hook your hands  on the grip without your thumbs, you will use less arm muscles. These are good practice to graduate to chin ups!

Slow work day today on both job fronts, but I had a lot of other things to do.  Lunchtime was a quick egg sandwich on the yummy bread!

Then I picked up John’s requested birthday cake from Baker’s Dream:

It is a vanilla cake with coconut cream topped with chocolate buttercream.  Total decadence!  We got a small cake so there wouldn’t be a lot of leftovers.

We had cake in the afternoon with my folks, since with dinner and a movie tonight, it would be too late for cake (is it ever too late for cake??)

My slice with some caramel swirl ice cream.

I had my dad’s extra frosting.  He said it was too much frosting.  I disagree :mrgreen:

I got John his own cycling jersey.  It has a poker hand on it, so we both can be cool riding now.  I need to get a photo of both of us all tricked out.

Posting early today as we are going out for dinner (Pizzeria Uno) and a movie – Inception.

Happy Birthday to the best husband in the world!!

I never promised you a rose garden :)

Picture heavy post coming up!  We had huge thunderstorms roll through in the middle of the night, but they stopped early in the morning, so we were still able to bike to breakfast to start the birthday festival.  Stopped at the Chocolate Mill for breakfast.

This place sells chocolate (duh), but also does breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We decided to split the Orange Walnut French Toast:

Wow.  Just wow.  House made brioche with some sort of walnut paste in the middle.  I cannot imagine eating the whole thing by myself!  Glad we split it.

Glens Falls is doing an Adirondack chair art thing, similar to the Chicago cows and the Colorado horses.  Here is one of the painted chairs around town:

I’ll show different chairs as the summer goes by.  They are neat!

After a farmers market shop and biking home, we packed up a picnic lunch to head out to Yaddo Gardens in Saratoga.  You probably have guessed that I love flowers, and roses happen to be my favorite.  Luckily with the warm weather we have had, the roses were blooming well!  Yaddo is an artist community, but only the gardens are open to the public.

I was just so happy here.  I told John I wanted a pergola like this.

We packed a picnic lunch and sat in the shade.  I brought along my BBQ chicken salad!

Then we looked at more of Yaddo:

Such a beautiful place and a wonderful birthday!

Dinner time was at GG Mama’s in Glens Falls.  This place is a little eclectic and the menu changes weekly.  There are a variety of cuisines all intertwined.  I got the Dum Aloo, which is chickpeas and spinach in a tomato curry sauce, served with Puerto Rican rice and beans, with fried banana pieces on top:

Must recreate at home asap!

John had talapia with an olive, caper, garlic and tomato tapenade:

Delicious food!

Dessert at home with family and the cupcakes with a cooked frosting poured on top:

It’s like a cupcake covered with a praline.  Love!  Sugar overload, though.  I had more than one 😀

Lots of laughter:

Pixie wanting my present (above buddha in the box):

And a shot of my new PC notebook!

A wonderful day was had.  Pictures do not do it justice 😀


Well, I did my longest run to date!  7 miles!  Here is me early this morning with a protein drink prior to hitting the pavement. Cheers!


I am smiling way too cheerfully for so early in the morning, don’t you think??  I did cover up the hair with a hat, though.

I did a 3 mile loop which brought me back by the house where I grabbed the water bottle and snack I set on the porch and continued down to the high school track for the last 3.5 miles (counting the distance from home to track here).  I had dates with nut butter in a container.

datesI had one after mile 4.5, then I snarfed the rest right when I finished.   It took me 1:24 to do the 7 miles, with a couple water stops.  S…l…o…w…  I actually think I did a smidge more than 7, but who is counting, right?  I have found that jogging at 5 mph is the most comfortable pace for the distance runs.  Who cares if that is a slow pace?  I don’t get tired, I am not panting for breath and I have a good rhythm.  Yay me!

Took the best shower in the world when I got back home.  Usually I eat right when I get back in, but since I munched on some dates, I decided to desweat first 😀

Breakfast was oat bran with some of my yummy banana maple topping with coffee.  Sooooo good.


We went grocery shopping last night and I got some more blueberries finally!  Tired of waiting for the weather and time to pick again (although I am going this Friday, darn it!).   Decided to make my yogurt and cereal with the blueberries.  It’s hot today!


Today is John’s birthday.  He is now 41 – just like me!   Happy Birthday to my bestest bud!  Took him out this afternoon for a yogurt treat (although he got the real deal ice cream).  We rode the scooter there instead of biking.


Birthday boy

I had frozen yogurt vanilla/chocolate twist and had some peanut butter sauce on it since I ran 7 miles LOL!  (Gotta justify, right?)


And yes, it was every bit as delicious as it looks!

I am taking J out for dinner tonight and we are just about ready to leave the house.  We are going to the Irish Times in Saratoga.  I’ll post pics tomorrow.  Hope it is good!

Catch you all later!