weekend stuff and the best pancakes ever



Need a new light pink nail polish color combo for your nails? Try one coat of Essie’s Petal Pink with one coat Hi Maintenance, it’s a good one!

essie nail polish

When you find yourself taking pictures of cauliflower displays because you find them to be pretty, you know you are either a vegetarian or healthy living blogger. Or both.


But seriously, these cauliflowers were beautiful at Stew Leonard’s and not wrapped up in plastic! I bought one giant head of cauliflower and plan to use it in a new recipe or two since I am all inspired again thanks to our recipe challenge.

When your friend/next door neighbor/partner in divorced mom life texts you to come over ASAP because an Edible Arrangment arrived at her house, you stop what you are doing and run through her front door.

Edible Arrangement

Dinner Saturday night was up to my son since it was his last evening before leaving for camp on Sunday. After careful consideration, family fun night occurred at Vincent’s Clam Bar. We really like it there (last recap from Vincent’s here) so it was a great choice.

The last several times we have eaten at Vincent’s, I have ordered the Zucchini Primavera (that’s what I call it but not sure if that’s the name on the menu). 

zucchini primavera

Yesterday morning we went for breakfast to our favorite Premier Diner. We normally reserve our favorite special breakfast at the Premier Diner for Mother’s Day but I think my baby leaving for sleep away camp counts as a super special occasion worthy of breaking typical tradition.

I didn’t want the baked oatmeal so I went with my alternate favorite which I think took over the top spot for me as the best diner breakfast.

Blueberry walnut whole wheat pancakes topped with bananas and egg whites <- the best!

The Premier Diner has an extensive pancakes list on their breakfast menu and these pancakes are made for me. I think I need to take my long run in this direction or drive here after my next race because these blueberry walnut pancakes with the bananas and the egg whites are perfect as a post run meal.

premiere diner pancakes

Other great times at the Premier Diner:

Lunch with Michele

Giant Greek Salad

Mother’s Day 2013 & 2014

So my baby left for camp.

He may be taller than me and he may have walked on to that coach bus like no big deal but he’s still my baby so this is big deal! I am so super proud of him and so happy that he will have the time of his life these next few weeks.

Summer has always meant camp for me and until now, summer has meant camp for my son too, just not sleep away camp. But he decided last summer that sleep away camp was something he wanted to try so I agreed.

I am grateful I could give him this experience and equally grateful that I have a serious stash of Hello Kitty stationary just waiting to be used.

I mean, it’s only been sitting in a drawer for like 30 years so I think it’s time I stopped saving it and use it to write to my son every day.

hello kitty stationary

Do you think it will embarrass him to receive letters on my Hello Kitty stationary? Maybe I will leave off the stickers that seal the envelope. 🙂

I can technically run whenever I want this morning since my mom duties won’t be needed but I have a feeling I will stay on usual schedule. We are in the middle of a heat wave so running later is not the best idea! My car read 108 degrees over the weekend. I know it wasn’t actually that hot but trust me, it’s hot out there!

[bctt tweet=”weekend stuff and the best pancakes ever #diner #pancakes #weekend #camp #hellokitty” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Anyone else collect stationary as a kid?

Best thing you ate over the weekend?

Favorite type of pancakes or other favorite breakfast when you dine out?

Birthday Weekend 2016


I love birthdays! Thank you all so much for your birthday comments, emails and messages. So super sweet 🙂

I know we are all waiting to hear what I finally decided for my birthday cake. Let’s talk about the rest of the weekend a bit first and then I promise, cake details!

The Workouts:

I recapped Saturday morning’s SoulCycle & Pure Barre birthday party in yesterday’s post but I am sharing the photo of Dina and me from Pure Barre again because it makes me so happy.

pure barre

I am thrilled to say that Saturday’s double workout did not leave me sore at all (other than in my seat area from sitting on the darn spin bike but you know I have tush issues so did you expect anything less?) so I was able to happily run my birthday miles yesterday morning.

I have gotten in the habit over the last few years of going for a nice run on my birthday as my way of relaxing < – only a runner would say running 11 miles on her birthday is relaxing.

Coffee in bed after my run = One of my favorite weekend routines.

birthday mug

The Food & Fun:

Lots of good food this weekend! After Pure Barre on Saturday, Dina and I refueled at Gabby’s Bagels. Since my body is so crazy routine, I craved my usual oatmeal with berries post workout and talked Dina into the same. When she added egg whites to her order, I went along with that plan too, plus iced coffee. I can’t stop thinking about the iced coffee from Gabby’s, it was really so good.

post workout breakfast

One of my favorite things to do for my birthday is treat myself to a special pedicure. What I mean by special is that each year on my birthday, I not only get a manicure and pedicure but go with one of the more involved pedicure options which includes extra treatments and a longer massage. I did the lavender spa pedicure this year and it was worth every extra dollar. So relaxing.

Essie’s Forget Me Knots on my toes which matches nicely with my sandals.


I didn’t do a great job Saturday night taking pictures of dinner. After dropping my son off at a Bar Mitzvah party, we went to Spuntino, a restaurant I had never been to but looked tasty enough AND is located next to Chocolate Works and Carlo’s Bakery (which is the main reason I selected this restaurant).

dinner at spuntino

We ordered lots of tapas type plates of food – salad, roasted cauliflower, roasted brussels sprouts, pizzas and I forget what else – there was definitely something else. And wine. I hardly ever drink but sometimes I do order a glass of wine.

Carlos Bakery did not have a good selection of dessert (well, in my opinion) so I went with some chocolate and M&Ms from Chocolate Works.


Quick peak in the box of half eaten chocolates: dark chocolate covered pretzels with M&M’s, chocolate covered marshmallows, some sort of chocolate covered peanut butter thing and chocolate caramels (not my choice but of course I tasted them).


I was surprised by my son yesterday on my birthday with an Edible Arrangement! Gosh I love chocolate covered fruit and I love that some of the fruit isn’t covered in chocolate so we can feel balanced and healthy.

It also came with a box of chocolate covered apple slices. Can you see the chocolate covered pineapple slices are disguised as cupcakes? I will have to show you those better in another post.

edible arrangement

The Birthday Cake

Okay okay let’s just discuss the birthday cake already. I didn’t get pictures from my birthday dinner last night anyway. We brought in dinner from Mother Kelly’s  at my parents house after I went shopping with my mom (at lululemon!)instead of going out  to eat – the weather here was just awful!

I am fully aware that I am completely nuts when it comes to dessert so I really have to thank my dad for putting up with me these last few weeks since he bore the brunt of my birthday cake indecisiveness. By Friday, he was answering his phone with a half hello that sort of sounded like he was afraid to hear what I might say next regarding my inability to select a cake.

But I made my decision! I really wanted to make that piñata cake with the pile of M&M’S in the middle but it was a FOUR LAYER CAKE that would have taken me FIVE HOURS to bake. No way was I spending my weekend in the kitchen.

So, instead, I had M&M’S both Friday night and Saturday night to satisfy that craving and finally chose to order one of my favorite chocolate fudge cakes from Torta Fina.

birthday cake

They call it Grandma’s Fudge Cake. It’s seriously piled and filled super high with rich chocolate fudge. I am pretty sure it’s the fudgiest cake available in the New York area.

grandma's fudge cake

You know, I think I ate a lot of chocolate this weekend. No wonder I am in such a great mood!

Previous Birthday Recaps:

Birthday 2015That time my mom took the last bite of our dessert

Birthday 2014 – Giant ice cream brownie and cookie sundae, so good!

Birthday 2013Edible Arrangements and dinner at Prime!

[bctt tweet=”birthday weekend plus the cake I finally picked! #birthday #birthdayweekend #cake #birthdaycake #ediblearrangements #tortafina” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

How was your weekend? 3 things you did?

Have you ever had an Edible Arrangement? Which chocolate covered fruit is your favorite?

What’s on the workout agenda for today?


Thinking Out Loud – Birthday Survey

If you are wondering what it feels like to be 36 years old I am now someone you can ask.

I don’t feel any different from yesterday.  Or last year. Or heck, even ten years ago.

Actually, I bet I feel better now than I did ten years ago.

Back then I was busy carrying baby on my hip, nursing around the clock and eating with one hand while feeding my son with the other.

Now I get to run without pushing a stroller and eat fudge cake at night, savoring every bite without needing to share it.

lindas fudge cake

I was surprised with Linda’s Fudge Cake last night. Someone must know me well. Or just read my blog.

Anyway, we have a Goodie Bag Giveaway Winner!


Yay! Thanks for coming to my party otherwise known as my blog.

Nausheen, I will email you this morning.

So today isn’t just my special day. It is also known as Thinking Out Loud.


I am also going to link up with Arman because it just so happens his Spill-It Sunday questions for this week revolve around birthdays.

Happy early birthday Arman, from one Gemini to another!

The Big Man's World

1. When is your birthday?

Today! June 5 is forever a special day on the calendar.

In fact, when I was about seven years old, I wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan asking if he would please make my birthday a National holiday.

While he did not, he did happen to pass away on June 5, 2004 which I found a bit eerie.

2. What would your ideal ‘day’ look like?

How about I tell you tomorrow after today happens?

3. When was your most memorable birthday?

Is there anything better than bringing Dunkin Donuts munchkins to school to share with your class and wearing a ridiculous crown made out of construction paper?

Okay so sweet sixteen was an awesome time. Seventeen and getting my driver’s license was a memorable experience.

Other than that, my 27th birthday stands out in my mind because it was the first time we went away for the night without my son.

I was surprised with a weekend in the city at the Ritz with a day of shopping, dinner at Tao, cookies and milk super late in the hotel club lounge (of course I remember the cookies) and breakfast the next morning at our leisure.

4. When was your worst birthday?

I really never had a terrible birthday.

Well, there was my 30th birthday I guess which we may want to mention here.

Would you believe my divorce process initially began (the first time around- it was put on hold  once but that’s neither here nor there at this point)  two days before my 30th birthday?

In fact, I had to drop off legal documents at my lawyer’s office on my actual birthday.

However, I was okay.

I had gone out the night before for an amazing laugh-filled evening with my bestest of friends.


And after the stop at my lawyer’s office, I ate a giant chocolate chip cookie cake in the car on the way to the Yankees game.

There is always something to smile about, especially when cookie cakes are involved.

5. What is the best birthday present you have ever received?

I am a girl. I like nice things. I will never turn down jewelry or handbags.

However, the thoughtful gifts are the most special and memorable.

For my 22nd birthday, my boyfriend->husband->now ex-husband came to my house early in the morning on his way to work to bring me several pounds of my favorite m&m’s with a teddy bear. I still think about that gift; the thought that went into it plus the effort of going out-of-the-way to brighten my birthday morning.

I was also given a bracelet later that evening, yet for years now, I speak first of the m&m delivery part of the gift rather than the jewelry.

6. What is the worst birthday present you have ever received?

Can’t recall a bad gift. Just bad cakes.

My father never listened or understood my requests.

There was the year of the Oreo cake which was wrong on so many levels.

Hello, I do not want vanilla icing with oreo crumbs.

How many times I repeated, “chocolate fudge outside vanilla cake inside. Or, chocolate outside, chocolate inside…”

So then came the chocolate cake with HARD ICING.

All chocolate icings are just not created equal.

Icing needs to be soft and thick and mushy and pass the finger test where if you touch the cake, you can swoop up a nice amount of chocolately goodness without struggle or “breaking” the icing.

Since the time of the hard icing cake fail, my father’s cake selecting privileges were revoked, even for his own birthday.

chocolate fudge cake

Remember I made him this epic chocolate fudge cookie dough layer cake back in December?

7. What is a health related gift on your wish list?

Health related in my eyes means running related and running related at the moment means I need some sort of light-weight running jacket for rainy summer days.

Lightweight enough to not make me hot yet covers my head and upper half from getting too drenched.

This one will do the trick.

8. What is a food related gift on your wish list?

I do appreciate a nice Edible Arrangement.

edible arrangement

I always say I should send one to myself but please, feel free to send me one. Make sure it includes the chocolate covered apples. Thanks.

9. What is your birthday cake of choice?

This is the part where I tell you once again how much I enjoyed reading through all of your comments about your favorite cakes and  preferences.

By now, you know my deal.

birthday mud pie

A la mode is always welcome. Just not coffee ice cream. Coffee goes in my cup.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today and pop on over to say Happy Birthday to Arman on Sunday!


Who is going to Blend this weekend?

If you run in the rain, do you have a summer rain jacket?

What treat did you used to bring into school for your birthday?

How do you like your icing (or frosting)? Obviously my favorites are chocolate fudge or a nice ganache. If it’s vanilla, I prefer whipped cream or the occasional buttercream.


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