Thanks for all the happy birthday wishes – you all sure know how to make a girl feel special!
Shopping was definitely a success! It ended up being the perfect way to spend the afternoon because it’s been alternating between a steady drizzle and pouring down rain since I woke up. It didn’t damper my progress though!
I got the day rolling with some Starby’s.
Mmmm, Starbys…perfect fuel for shopping!
Here’s my loot!
Some pants from Von Maur (an amazing department store in the Midwest.) One pair of khakis for work (boring but necessary,) a pair of jeans to wear with tall shoes, and a pair of jeans that I’m going to get hemmed into capris! Von Maur does free alterations when you buy from them. Life saver.
A super cute brown purse from TJ Maxx. I always forget about TJM, but they have the best deals! This purse looks orange in the photo, but it’s actually a nice, soft brown. It’s also the perfect size for all my stuff. Key.
A white watch, also from Von Maur…which doesn’t work… The minute hand ticks, but nothin’ else moves! Need to get that replaced ASAP. Still cute though!
And some earrings from Old Navy! I needed some gold jewelry in my life.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of driving around with Ben during his lunch hour, eating cough, cake, cough for lunch, then coming home to make dinner!
My parents were in Michigan with some friends for the Holiday weekend, but left at 5am this morning to drive home so they could be here for my b-day. They suggested we go out to eat, but I had all the ingredients for a home-cooked dinner, so that’s what I made!
Let’s see, what have we got here…
Made with the Italian Pesto Blend Pasta that Ben and I picked up from the Farmer’s Market on Saturday!
WOWZA – so flavorful! Each color/shape had a unique taste, ranging from basil to tomato and I think the white wheels tasted like pepper?! Either way – super exciting stuff.
I mixed the cooled pasta with sliced olives, cucumber, tomato, McCormicks Salad Seasoning and Italian salad dressing. Really similar to Grandpa’s Pasta Salad, just minus the pepperoni.
I also sliced up the zucchini and red onion I got at the Farmer’s Market, and tossed with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Then I placed everything in this grill basket the folks at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter sent me to try.
The basket let me achieve that grill kissed taste I just love, without all the hassle of having to skewer the veggies. Awesome!
Next to the veggies were chicken breasts that I marinated in this sucky sauce – Bone Suckin’ Sauce – that HotSaucePlantet.com sent me to try!
HotSaucePlanet.com is run by two guys who quit their day jobs to sell what they love – hot sauce! This Bone Suckin’ sauce is less of a hot sauce, and more of a sweet & smoky BBQ sauce, which I LOVE. It was just divine on the chicken!
Fun Fact: you can get 15% off your order of hot sauce, or whatever sauce you like, at HotSaucePlanet.com until Sept 30, using code iowagirleats!
We also had some leftover Judy’s Baked Beans – which I think were even BETTER the second day.
And some sweet bing cherries! My Mom brought me back some super-fresh cherries from Michigan, so expect to be seeing a lot of these babies in the near future!!
Now what would a birthday dinner be without some dessert, eh? Since the traditional Pepperidge Farms Vanilla Bean birthday cake was taken care of last night, my Dad picked something out that he knew I would love – Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches!!!
And I DID love them – I really did!!!! I swoon for peanut butter. I swoon for ice cream. I really swoon for peanut butter ice cream.
Next came the presents! Some fabulous Starbuck’s mugs from New York City & Denver from my little brother.
I collect these and thought it was so thoughtful of him to pick them out for me.
And a Keurig with all the accessories from my parents!!!
This is a single cup coffee maker that is SO convenient. It uses little no-mess coffee “pods” to brew one cup of coffee at a time. Perfect for a household with only one coffee drinker, like mine!
Next came Ben’s gift! Druuuumroooooollll… (heart that angel wrapping paper)
a wall plaque that I fell in love with in New Orleans!!!!
Awesome!!!! This is from the same place that he got my big spoon & fork wall hangings – Roux Royale – and I just adore it. Perfect for any kitchen!
My family knows me so well – thanks SO much guys!!
Do I have to go back to the real world tomorrow?
Thanks again for the bday wishes guys – back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!