Birthday Dinners + Birthday Cakes (My Son’s Birthday)

Yesterday was my son’s birthday! 17. Who can believe that? I know I can’t. I mean, I’ve been writing this blog since he was what — nine years old?! That alone is crazy to me. But the fact that I have a son who is seventeen, driving his own car and applying to college (well I’m the one who is doing all of that paperwork) is just complete insanity.

Backing up a bit to last Friday, I met my friend Lisa for a quick lunch outdoors at Chopt. I hadn’t actually seen Lisa in MONTHS that she even joked that maybe we wouldn’t recognize each other since we were wearing masks. I used to see Lisa literally every day when our boys were babies/toddlers. We did everything together to keep those two (and ourselves) busy and happy. We were the queens of mall walking with strollers (which was my only form of exercise back then and I wouldn’t change that decision for the world).


Flashback photo to my son’s first birthday party with Lisa and her son! Our boys are ten days apart so Lisa and I always planned their parties at the same time, even having their first birthday parties at the same place with the same theme, same balloons, and the same party favors. Those were the days!

benji first birthday

My son has been celebrating his birthday for days with both friends and family. One night of birthday dinners, we had dinner from Mother Kelly’s. I had the hot-cold salad which is simply THE BEST salad. Truly, the hot-cold salad has the best combination of ingredients and flavors which doesn’t shock me. Mother Kelly’s has always been a top Long Island Italian restaurant and one of my favorites since I’m a little girl. It was always my choice for my birthday dinners growing up.

hot cold salad

I wanted to get creative this year with my son’s birthday cake because he was going to be having so many but no, he wants his favorite classic birthday cake combination and I can respect that. Yellowcake with chocolate fudge frosting. Thankfully he doesn’t request vanilla frosting, I would need my own cake if he did that.

birthday cake

Here’s a quick picture while we were unpacking last night’s birthday dinner. A wide range of sushi and appetizers from Cirella’s.


We did slightly vary last night’s birthday cake to a chocolate cake with the chocolate fudge frosting! As long as he picks chocolate fudge frosting, I’m thrilled.

chocolate fudge birthday cake

A Birthday Food Recaps From Previous Years

My Son’s Birthday Meals 2019

My Son’s Birthday Weekend/Meals 2018

Birthday in Food 2017

Birthday in Food (Bar Mitzvah Year!) 2016

WIAW Birthday Edition 2015

What’s your favorite type of birthday cake?

WIAW- Sunday’s Eats


If you knew about the new Trident Layers Swedish Fish gum and didn’t tell me, I am re-evaluating our friendship.

Trident Layers Swedish Fish

Is there some sort of candy competition taking place in the gum industry lately?

They need to come out with Reeses Peanut Butter Cup gum next. Or Three Muskateers. Or Snickers. Like, someone needs to inform the brands to skip the candy flavors and hit up the chocolate department already.

I didn’t buy the new gum yet, I am waiting for you to tell me it’s good.

Anyway, let’s take a look at what I ate on Sunday!




Pre-run usual…


Post-run typical…

oats in a jar

Last week’s birthday delivery from Love Grown Foods made me so happy especially because I now have a fresh bag of my favorite oatmeal. Have you tried the Super Oats Chia & Quinoa? It’s the best! I love the plain variety but they do offer some flavors too.

In the mix above – cooked oatmeal served cold mixed with berries, Skoop B-Strong and peanut butter.

Before I forget — Skoop is launching new products in August (so excited!)and changing some current packaging so for the rest of the month of June, they are offering 20% off B-Strong, A-Game and B-Lovely. Use code BAG20 at checkout.

Such a great deal, you know I love my Skoop B-Strong!


As I mentioned on Monday, my friend Lisa always makes the best parties.

vegetable platter

Even when she tells you she isn’t going to stress things or go all out, you know you can count on really good veggie platters (the hummus was so good, I have to ask her which kind it was) and chopped up salads along with the usual party foods (read: pizza).

pizza and salad

I had a few plates that looked like this. Her salads are always so delicious!

My son only eats salad at her house and then yells at me that I can’t make salads like Lisa does, even though I follow her ingredients and instructions exactly as directed.


There’s just something she does to the food I guess that makes it special. I don’t know why this is but I have asked her to put together some basic salad recipes for us and she is excited to share!

I somehow missed a picture of the cake but I was first in line for the fruit.


I sort of took home a ton of the candy available at the candy buffet.

candy buffet

I made sure there was plenty left for the kids so it’s all good.


My son and I headed home quickly after the party to get ready to meet my parents for dinner at Cirella’s.

I love Cirella’s not only for their dessert but for their diverse menu. You can go Italian or completely satisfy your sushi cravings…or do a little bit of both.

We had a spicy tuna avocado roll (with brown rice) as an appetizer before our main course.


Is it weird that I spent time trying to teach my son how to properly eat edamame so that he is in the know?

For my main course, I ordered the pasta primavera with zucchini noodles in place of pasta.

zucchinia primavera

It was more like zucchini ribbons than thin spaghetti strands but still just as delicious! I really need a spiralizer.


You already saw my birthday weekend dessert finale on Monday but it is so worth sharing again.

Cirella's Sundae

Gigantic sundaes loaded with ice cream, fresh chocolate chip cookies and fudge brownies are a real good time, especially when they are served in a giant martini glass.

I actually used to have this very same martini glass on my counter only it was filled with m&m’s.

We had put it away when my son was little because he not only went for everything crystal and breakable as a toddler, he was too little to be around small things like m&m’s but now that he is 11, I think it’s safe to take it out again. If I could find it, that is.

So this sundae by the way…

Cirella's Sundae

We need to start making things like this at home. Simple enough, right? Load up a giant glass with ice cream or frozen yogurt, bake up some cookies and brownies and add our toppings.

Party in a glass for sure!

Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today 🙂

[bctt tweet=”Sunday’s delicious eats! #Cirellas @healthyskoop #bstrong @lovegrownfoods #oatmeal #birthday”]


Are you a gum chewer? Favorite gum?

Favorite candy bar when you were a kid?

What’s for breakfast today?

Birthday Weekend Highlights


Sometimes it’s easier when your birthday falls on a silly day, like a Tuesday, because when it hits on a Friday, especially in June, you enjoy yourself way too much all weekend and are just not ready for Monday to come.

So let’s see. We sort of left off that I ran ten miles Friday morning and then got back into bed with my favorite mug to work for a bit before doing some birthday things…

birthday mug

I picked my son up early from school on Friday in time for lunch at Red Mango.

Cherry on top to make things extra special.

red mango

The only way to see a movie these days is at a theatre with big reclining leather chairs.


My birthday dinner was at my favorite sushi spot, Kashi.


Peanut Avocado and Spicy Tuna roll plus one of the special rolls which had lots of fun stuff inside but of course I can’t remember what exactly. I just know that I loved it.


It was a beautiful night so we walked to XO for chocolate fondue.


Chocolate makes me happy.

birthday selfie

Still gazing at my rainbow roses.

rainbow roses

I couldn’t wait to tell you about one of my most favorite birthday gifts — you are talking to the newest member of the Dessert Of The Month Club!

dessert of month

Such a great gift for someone like me, right?! I am so excited to receive my first delivery. I wonder what type of dessert it will be?!

Birthday gift cards to Lululemon meant an emergency trip to cash in on the good stuff.


I picked up a bright pink short sleeve Run Swiftly and fresh pair of Run Inspire Cops <- my favorites.

Saturday by the pool felt more like Saturday on vacation. Seriously, it did.


Sunday was another beautiful day…

pool party

My friend Lisa had a party at her house and she makes the best parties ever.


You can always count on good food, good company and a candy table when Lisa is running the show.


I guess we can call Sunday night dinner at Cirella’s with my parents, which featured the Cirella’s Sundae, my birthday weekend finale.

Cirella's Sundae

Warm fudge brownies and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies surrounded by vanilla, chocolate and cookies and cream ice cream topped with hot fudge and whipped cream.

Oh and a strawberry on top to keep things healthy and balanced.

Cirella's Sundae

Do you remember my son and I shared this sundae last year on my birthday?

The sundae technically serves six but my son and I order it for ourselves and simply alert the other members of our party in advance that they are to go their own way come dessert time.

My mother, you should know, had the audacity to take the last brownie from our sundae. My son and I are still talking about it. Chutzpah, as is said in Yiddish, real chutzpah.

So now it’s Monday and it’s time to focus on the week ahead. Really? I am so not in the mood but maybe my morning run will make me feel better.

That’s the thing about routine; it helps to keep you organized and on schedule while snapping you back to reality should you start to deviate off track from too much fun.

Have a great week!

[bctt tweet=”birthday/weekend recap! #birthday #sushi #Cirellas #lululemon”]


Do you have a favorite sushi roll? What is it?

What’s your lululemon must-have item?

Are you a sugar candy eater (think sour patch kids and gummies) or chocolate candy eater (m&m’s, Hershey bars…)?



Rainy Ten Mile Run And Birthday Recap


Can we just start today with me telling you how sweet you all are?

Your birthday wishes and the fact that you listen to me ramble on about chocolate cake means the world to me. Like really. The world.

Can’t thank you guys enough.

And don’t think for one second that I don’t plan on telling you what was in the goodie bag; I just don’t want to discuss the goodies yet and ruin it for our winner. Once I know she received it, we will discuss.

So yesterday I told you what it feels like to be 36.

Today I will show you what it looks like to run ten miles on your 36th birthday in the rain.

rainy run

We have some positives to running right now in the rain even though this picture clearly makes you think otherwise:

*You are drenched but not cold

*You don’t notice the sprinklers since you are already wet

*Dodging puddles beats dodging ice patches

*Stepping in the puddles because you misjudged them is better than in the winter when you misjudge the black ice

*You feel kinda like a serious real runner

*People see you and think you are a serious real runner. Or just insane.

*Still beats running inside on the treadmill

The only real issue you have is that you are so seriously soaked that when you come inside to take a shower, you step out of the shower not feeling any different from when you stepped in.

I must have had some birthday luck going on yesterday afternoon because I popped into Lulu Lemon really quickly to check out that rain jacket I mentioned yesterday and would you believe the stars aligned just so that they had ONE LEFT IN MY SIZE ON SALE?!

lulu rain jacket

Of course I bought it. How do you not buy it?

Now I am hoping for more rainy day runs. I checked the long-range forecast and there’s currently no rain in sight but I am prepared.

Before I quickly recap the rest of my birthday fun, we never spoke about our National Running Day runs from Wednesday.

national running day

I received my finishers badge for running ten miles. If you are paying attention, this means I ran back-to-back ten mile runs again.

Yeah, I don’t know how that happened either.

That rest day on Tuesday I guess gave my legs an abundance of energy. Or maybe it’s all the cake and ice cream.

Let’s see, what else did I do yesterday…..


Ah yes…A relaxing manicure and pedicure.


I routinely go for manicures and pedicures but every year on my birthday, I treat myself to one of the special pedicures with the extra treatments and longer massage.

nail polish

My friend Lisa bought me this adorable Deborah Lippman nail polish set (from Sephora) for my birthday this year. I combined the glitter polish with Essie’s Splash of Grenadine for my toes and the light pink bottle for my fingers.

On to the food:

My friend Meaghan treated me to Red Mango for lunch and let me fill up my cup as much as I wanted.

red mango parfait

I have really good friends.

I always make it a point not to cook on my birthday so dinner last night was at Cirella’s.

Cirella’s also owns Surf’s Out, my favorite spot to walk to on Fire Island.

zuchinni marinara

I went with the zucchini marinara with shrimp and lots of vegetables.

Dining out tip: Always ask the waiter to add extra vegetables to whatever dish you order. So worth it.


I couldn’t help but think of Davida last night since she just posted all about zoodles, you know, zucchini noodles.

I never make them at home because I am lazy but they are oh so good, especially in this dish last night.

Dessert was ridiculous. Just ridiculous. Of course it was, I was in charge of picking it.

brownie cookie sundae

Oh hello…Welcome to my giant martini glass loaded with fresh-baked (and still warm!) chocolate chip cookies and brownies surrounded by vanilla, chocolate and cookies and cream ice cream with hot fudge, caramel and whipped cream.

brownie cookie sundae

You know dessert is serious when it comes with big serving utensils.

Although, there was so serving this out of the glass. There was only eating it straight from the glass.

brownie cookie sundae

I picked Cirella’s for dinner really just to have this dessert. I decided I wanted something special, different and really big.

Did I mention it serves six? That’s the exact serving size I want when there are only two people eating.

The waiter was surprised to come back and find only some melted ice cream left.

That’s the way you do a birthday.


What are you  doing this weekend?

Did you run for National Running Day?

What color is on your toes right now?

Do you make zoodles at home?





Three Tip Tuesday – Playlist

Rise and shine friends! OK my early morning perkiness today is totally an act. I am extremely tired and had major trouble getting out of bed today which is so not like me.

IMG_3984 (2)

Thank goodness for coffee.

Speaking of coffee, has anyone ordered from the Starbucks secret menu yet?

I haven’t, but I did order lunch from Panera’s secret menu a few days ago.


I wish the receipt said something cool like, “SECRET MENU ORDER” “HIDDEN MENU ITEM” “SHE EXCHANGED AN EGG FOR LUNCH” or even better, the receipt should print out in another color and a bell should ring.

The receipt looks like any old receipt and nothing special happens except for the cashier looking at you funny when you tell her you want to exchange an egg.

I have a feeling this girl didn’t see that episode of Beverly Hills 90210. Boy is she missing out.

IMG_3963 (2)

In any event, I went with the chicken hummus bowl, minus the chicken. It is a spinach based salad with everything from the mediterranean veggie sandwich (cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted peppers, onions) topped with hummus.

Since I leave off the chicken, I always make sure to tell the cashier to have them add extra of everything else.

I mean, I am still paying the same price as if the chicken was included so shouldn’t I get something in its place? Exactly.

While the salad was good taste-wise, my problem with Panera is that sometimes their salads are just not big enough for me.

Yes, I absolutely suffer from portion distortion, especially since my favorite restaurant for a salad is The Cheesecake Factory.

Although lately I refer to it as Chocolatecake Factory since I always order the chocolate cake. I don’t know why it never occurred to me sooner to change the name from cheesecake to chocolatecake.

Anyway, I may be small but I like to eat. And if I am going to eat, I want my meal to be filling.


I gave another restaurant a chance on satisfying my appetite. I had lunch yesterday at Cirella’s, which is the restaurant located inside Saks Fifth Avenue.

I love a good department store cafe. Nordstrom was always my favorite but I think after yesterday’s salad, Cirella’s at Saks may have just taken over the top spot on my list.


The menu is really cute and very large. With so many things to choose from, somehow I still went with creating my own salad.


I picked all kinds of ingredients (chick peas, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, string beans, beets) plus grilled vegetables on top.

IMG_3975 (2)

Big and beautiful, right?

IMG_3979 (2)

Certainly hit the spot.

Did anyone notice I have yet to mention Spin Tuesday?

Well, that is because I won’t be making it to class today. But I am not disappointed.

Even though I thrive on routine, I have no problem missing scheduled workouts so long as I still make the time to squeeze in some form of exercise in its place.

Since I can’t get to Lifetime, I think I will head out for my run shortly before beginning my day.

I am always happy to run. In fact, I didn’t plan on running yesterday but ended up doing 4.50 miles.

Lately I am so lost in thought that those miles fly right by.

I love a good run where I do nothing but listen to my ipod, completely zone out and forget I am even running.

I do however hear the songs I am playing. I am so not a music person but I do enjoy a good mix while I am out there.

I realized I listen to an interesting selection of music while running which includes the top 40 fast songs combined with older songs that are sometimes much slower than one would expect to want to hear while running fast.


1. ALL NIGHT – TEAM PITBULL – This song always gets me going.


2. EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL – COLDPLAY – Always loved this song; it is fast yet slow yet fast.




I never thought I would enjoy running to this song but trust me, it is a good one.

I think my pal, Psychic Anne, would appreciate this song.



Have you ordered yet from  a secret menu?

Do you like a big salad bowl too?

Do you eat at any of the department store cafes? If so, which one is your favorite?

What songs are currently on your playlist? Do you mix it up with fast and slow songs?

%d bloggers like this: