Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Recap!

Hello! I have so much to share - a race recap, recipe and a birthday recap. Let's start with the birthday recap!

Jay's birthday is just days before mine so it always makes celebrating a fun, extended event but can also create a little chaos (totally worth it!) trying to do something for both. This year, we went camping for Jay's birthday on one weekend and had a birthday dinner for me the following weekend.

Chaca's New "I <3 Camping" Shirt
Joining us on our camping trip was Chaca (of course), my brother, his friend and my parents. My mom has a very strict "if I cannot plug in my blow dryer, I'm not going" rule when it comes to traveling, so we were a little nervous that she wouldn't enjoy it. Thankfully, she did!! We all had a great time playing games, grilling and enjoying the peace of the forest. I also managed to squeeze in a 1 mile hill repeat run- the change in elevation was so tough but excellent training. Though it was his birthday, Jay did 100% of the cooking all over the fire. And it was THE BEST.

We also enjoyed some tasty adult beverages in the form of my spiked agua fresca. It was perfectly sweet and fresh. Yum.
With this being Jay's first birthday in El Paso, it only felt appropriate to give him an El Paso birthday staple...a pinata!! My mom and I filled it with Jays' favorite candies and confetti. The confetti leaked all over the trunks of our cars, houses, etc. keeping it a surprise was a trick.
It was a bit chilly so we made sure to keep warm with a fire each night. After spending the day running around, little Miss Chaca was so happy to curl up and get warm.
Sweetest Girl
On our last evening, we brought out a very fancy and elaborate birthday cake.
Okay, not so fancy or elaborate but it was easy to transport and exactly what the birthday boy wanted.
Fruit Makes It Totally Healthy, Right?!
The following weekend we held a taco and sangria dinner at out house. I followed this sangria recipe and it was amazing. The men seemed to enjoy it and none of them are very fond of sweet wines. Score! Jay was sweet enough to run out and pick up our order of tacos from a local restaurant while I got everyone mason jars of sangria and beer. It was a dinner with Jay, my cousin, my parents, brother, sister and her boyfriend - small and simple and it was perfectly what I wanted. I wasn't feeling the big to do this year and was glad we could make it happen. After our dinner of tacos, beans and my mom's homemade rice and salsa, we hung out around the fire pit in our backyard.
And I cannot forget to talk about my amazing birthday cake. Everyone thought it was a little odd for me to make my own cake, but I love baking so it was a gift in itself.
Cake & Birthday Flowers
 Following Brown Eyed Baker's recipe, I was able to recreate one of my favorite treats - Cheesecake Factory's Red Velvet Cheesecake. One slight change I made was in purchasing a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake at Costco instead of baking one (I've only had 1 very failed attempt and wasn't ready to try it again). It was indulgent and spot on!
I miss it already....

I felt so special all week as Jay and Chaca gave me little treats - a couple of books, some Cadbury eggs, tea and flowers - and in being able to spend time with family for both birthdays. Over all, we had fantastic birthdays. 

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