Tag Archives: birthdays

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!

Who Does That?!

Who actually goes out for lunch for someone’s birthday and takes No photos of people, not even the Birthday Girl?!  Well…someone who has been forgetting to take photos of food for the last week and a half.  At least I remembered the food!!

Ralph and I met up with his sisters and cousins on Wednesday to celebrate his sister Kathy’s birthday!  If you’ve been readers for a while, you’ve seen all of their happy smiling faces before.  Not that they’re not lovely enough to be shown again…I Just Forgot! And of course we were at Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford.  That’s where we Always meet!

I decided to order very much out of character at this lunch.  Since I wasn’t getting my usual salad and Ralph’s Aunt Marie was getting one with her lunch that she didn’t want…I was elected to eat it.

A good-sized salad with balsamic vinaigrette which they gave to me on the side even though I forgot to ask. Excellent.  It was just enough to keep me from eating any of the bread that’s hiding in the basket at the top of the photo.  I’m proud of myself for that.

What I ordered was very different since I’m usually a salad eater at this restaurant.

It was called a specialty vegetarian panini.  It came on a very crispy and delicious roll.  Inside was a Huge piece of mozzarella, roasted red pepper, onion, tomato, lettuce and a balsamic dressing.  It was just delicious!  I will keep this on my list for future visits here and as we know…There Will be future visits!  I must confess I did eat some of the fries, but not all and didn’t eat the cole slaw.  It just didn’t look good.  Why eat it if it’s not going to taste good!

Of course there was cake!

Most of these photos have weird lighting because I was sitting with a huge window behind me.  Very pretty cake, brown and pink.

Somehow, I rated a piece with the Huge pink flower.  Almost too pretty to eat, but guess what…I ate it anyway!

I’m not sure what this lunch will do to my week in general with regards to my Weight Watchers results on Saturday, but, hey, I enjoyed it and that’s what counts.

From the time we left the house to go to the restaurant, Ralph and I had been commenting on what a beautiful day it was.  When we got home, I needed to catch a bit of the beauty of the day.

A tree that still has some color to it and a perfect blue sky.  Almost a New Mexico sky.  I could take lots more days like this.

Happy Thursday!

Adelphia on Urbanspoon

Party Like You’re 2-7!!

Saturday was a pretty terrific day.  Not in all ways but in quite a few.  And it was Beautiful out!

Started out with Weight Watchers and the answer is…I lost 2 & 1/2  pounds.  I felt really good about it.  Mainly because I knew I had worked for it.  It feels good when that happens.  I will continue to work at it and not end up in any more slumps…Well at least I have a positive attitude! 😉

I was joined at WW by…a special Birthday Girl…

Oh, No! The Sneakers are back!  Well it is that time of year.  Yes, the other foot belongs to my friend Kristen, my personal hero because she helped me start BCDC… AND is the aforementioned Birthday Girl!  Actually her birthday was at the beginning of the month but we both subscribe to the notion of the “Birthday Month.”  Everyone needs to celebrate all month.  That’s all there is to it.  Kristen had invited Ralph, Me and sister Ele to her party.  Unfortunately, Ralph wasn’t feeling well so it was just the girls off to the party.  But first…

As always the Big Salad must accompany me!

I found this Rainbow Salad at the produce market.  Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and red cabbage.  I thought it would add a nice crunch to the salad and it did.

The finished product, and the leftovers live in my fridge now…a good start for the week!

A wonderful bruschetta and pizza dip…both excellent…Too excellent. 😉

Pretzel sticks… 😦  I ate 3 but that was it.  Happily, someone covered them and then I was all better.

The sneakers hanging out with the barefoot people.  Those bare feet don’t know what they’re missing!

Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da…My Bruschetta!  (sung to the tune of My Sharona…oh forget it!)

THE Plate! Black bean burger with cheese, amazing deviled egg, even more amazing pasta salad by Kristen and my Mega Salad.  There was only one plate…but there was something else to come…

In all her uniqueness…Kristen requested a Monkey Bread cake for her birthday which was so incredible that I forgot to take a picture!

The Birthday Girl in all her adorableness!!  I’m so happy to have met Kristen.  Actually, she was new to our Weight Watchers class and our leader Mary Lou introduced us because she knew we were both vegetarian.  Another thing to thank Mary Lou for!!  Kristen’s the only one I took a photo of.  Well she IS the Birthday Girl!

It was a great fun day and we were glad to be included.

It’s a beautiful day, but I may spend it with my nose in a book.  Kristen gave me Pretties by Scott Westerfeld and it’s me and the Pretties for the afternoon I think!!  More on books tomorrow!!

Happy Sunday!!


Happy Father’s Day and a Big-Time Birthday

I need to start out this morning wishing my Dad a very Happy Father’s Day.

I was named for him, of course he was “is” and I am “es.” ( The spellings of Francis and Frances!) I think I’m a lot like him in many ways.  I’m sure that I got his nose!

Daddy was a great guy, a stamp collector, builder of swimming pools (in our back yard), playhouses (also in our back yard) and a great hugger. He had the most beautiful green eyes and unfortunately, neither Ele or I got them.  He’s been gone for 28 years now.  I miss him all the time and I know how lucky we were to have him. 

I also want to say Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband, Ralph.

He is a terrific Father and served as a father to my niece, Mary when she really needed one.  I know she loved and appreciated him like he was her Dad.  Thank you, Ralph for all you do, for all you did.

Now let’s party!

Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law, John!  John’s a great guy, he’s the wood-carver whose handiwork I showed at Christmas time.

Here’s Ralph’s handiwork in John’s honor…

Excuse my messy kitchen!  This was just great and SO John.  We had it laminated to keep it from getting crumpled!

A “FEW” of John’s carving creations…He has a whole room dedicated to his work…finally!!

The last one is a bit blurry which I didn’t realize when I took it or I would have done a better one.  John is just an Amazing carver.  I’m glad it’s finally all on display!

The cake with the handsome Birthday Boy on it!

Blowing out the candles!

John and his lovely wife, Kathy, Ralph’s sister.  They’re also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  John’s tee-shirt is a picture of them on their honeymoon.  They were such a cute couple, and still are!

I couldn’t do a party post without some food.

I tried to be good…some potato salad, a little spinach dip with pumpernickel, carrots and celery  and lots of fruit salad.  Yum to all.  The Big Yum goes to the rice salad on the right of my plate.  It was Delicious! I asked the lady who made it, Linda, if she would e-mail me the recipe.  By the time I got home, the recipe had arrived!  I’ll hopefully be making it next week sometime and I’ll share it with all of you!

So that’s it for Father’s Day and for birthdays for a while.  I keep saying that, but another one keeps popping up!

Everyone enjoy your Father’s Day.  Hug your Dad while you can.

Happy Sunday, Happy Father’s Day!

Sisters, Sisters…There Were Never Such Devoted…

That’s one of my all time Favorite songs from one of my all time favorite movies, White Christmas.  But to me, it’s all about my sister, Ele. Someone recently asked me how you say her name. I never thought about it, but that’s a valid question.  It’s pronounced like “Ellie” but Ele chose to spell it Ele…it’s her name she can spell it how she likes!

During the Blogging A to Z challenge, when I got to the Letter E, it was easy to decide what to talk about…Ele, of course!  Sunday was Ele’s birthday and in spite of how tired we were from the Relay for Life, we had to Celebrate!

Breakfast came first and while we waited, we had fun with little Michael and the mirror in the diner.

He’s too cute and I wouldn’t mind having more of him!

Michael and Uncle Ralph.

Sisters, Sisters…

Aunt Fran, Michael and Grummy!

After breakfast we headed home for a short break, but we knew what was in our future…

Ice Cream!

Ele splurged and got a banana boat…Well, it Was her birthday after all! 😉  Mikey got a big cone of mint chocolate chip!

Going with the green theme (and somewhat jealous of Mikey’s cone) I got the key lime pie ice cream…So Good!!

Ralph and the Birthday Girl!

Speaking of the Birthday Girl, Ralph couldn’t resist some art work.

That was this week’s creation, but we had given her cards last week for her birthday also.

With Mikey…

And we’re back to Sisters…Sisters…

I hate to break it to all of you…But I got the BEST SISTER IN THE WORLD, and don’t even try to argue the point.  It’s All True!  Happy Birthday, Ele!  Hope it was a good day!

Happy Monday!

Happy Mother’s Day and More Birthday Fun

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Mother’s Day! I know that everyone says that they had the Best Mom in the World, but I know I really did. (That determination comes from theories espoused by Ralph’s Mom…who was also the best Mother in the World and loved each of her grandchildren more than all the others.  Anyone who knew Granny will understand that! 😉  )

But on to My Wonderful Mother!

She was Gorgeous!

This is the only photo I can find at the moment, but I think it illustrates my point!  My Mom knew how to dress up.  I believe this was an anniversary night out sometime in the Sixties.

She loved my sister Ele and Me the most until this little guy came along…

This may have been the happiest day of her life, when her great-grandson Michael Joseph IV came home from the hospital.   This will always remain one of my favorite photos of her.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom…I Miss You…

Now on to another Birthday celebration.  My sister, Ele’s birthday is next weekend but because of the fact that our friend Jim is visiting this weekend, we started the festivities early.  Never fear…they Will continue!

I realized that since I’m still not feeling too well, I never got a photo of the Birthday Girl or anyone else…just the food.  Well, perhaps, that’s as it should be!

Pizza for the second Saturday in a row…hmmm….I’d better  not comment on that!

My slice…I won’t say it didn’t have some friends…from Picasso’s.  We are Never disappointed when we order from there!

The Birthday Girl decided she wanted an ice cream cake and that’s what she got!

My slice…

This was really delicious and made me feel a lot better.  You did know that ice cream has magical curative powers, didn’t you?! 😉

That’s it for the partying at the moment.  There will of course be more celebrations next week so settle in.  After this I think we’ll be Birthdayed out for a while.

Once again, Happy Mother’s Day.  Tell your Mom how much you love her today and every day while you can.  I Love You, Mom!!