5.31.2011

1 Year House-iversary

 Under Construction
We didn't officially close until May 24th, 2010 but we signed the documents on Thursday and were given the keys on Friday May 21st that allowed us to move in. One year ago we packed up our moving truck and finally got to move into our new house.  I remember this overwhelming feeling of relief and happiness mixed with exhaustion as we pulled into our new neighborhood.  We weren't there to sign some documents or measure one of the rooms.  We were there to stay.  The house hunting and home closing process was so stressful.   You almost don't believe that the house is really going to be yours until the keys are in your hot little hands.  By the time you get towards the end of the home stretch you are so anxious and you just want it so bad.  You want to be excited that you are buying a house but it's hard to because for every step you bypass there is another step around the corner that you have to get through in order to make it real.  Should we buy points? Would we get money towards our closing costs? Turns out yes. What will our interest rate be? It ended up nice and low.  But getting answers to those questions was excruciating at times.  At one point we had to scramble to get a back up loan in place then we didn't even know if we'd be able to close on time and move in when we had already scheduled our moving truck. The knowledge that at anytime something can go wrong and the deal could fall apart was always in the back of my mind but it got to the point where I just had to let it go.  It was out of my hands.  We provided every scrap of documentation that we were asked for, sometimes repeatedly and if this was meant to be then it would be.  And it was.

Thank goodness because if the stress of buying a home wasn't enough to drive me mad then the stress of living in a too small home surely would.  Two people, 400 square feet.  Not good.  I felt like I was being suffocated.  I'd lived there for five years and had already outgrown the studio, street parking, community laundry lifestyle but now there were two of us and I was OVER IT!  I hear all of these stories about a trend in mini houses and couples minimizing their lifestyle living in 200 square feet.  That sounds all nice and good and I'm all for downsizing and getting rid of excess but c'mon.  That is just not comfortable or natural on any level to sustain.  Like your job, if your living situation isn't right it affects your whole outlook on life.  Everything else is filtered through this lens of discontent.  I was just aching for space.  Aching to breathe and make my day to day life more functional.  It's not just about potential investment so the decline of the real estate market did not sway us a bit.  Like a lot of people out there.  We still wanted to buy.
Almost done
When I come home to our house I still love it just as much as the day we moved in.  It might not be the ultimate dream home but I don't feel like we settled either.  We got everything we needed and a heck of a lot of what we wanted.  I remember when we first walked through the models.  Our Realtor told us about this new development that turned out to be down the street from where we lived.  As we walked through, many of the features satisfied a lot of must haves on our list but I would not allow myself to get excited or even really consider it.  We were just looking.  I checked out the walk in closet, dual sinks and the cute little loft area with longing.  I remember walking out of there and saying, "That house would be perfect for us, but oh well.  It's too much."  We took the paperwork from the sales office but dismissed it as we continued with our house hunt. 

We could already see how difficult it was going to be to find a house that we liked in our budget.  There seemed to be multiple offers on houses within minutes of going on the market and you know what that means.  A bidding war.  And you will always lose against offers with cash or a hefty down payment.  It was like a full time job.  You had to be on those listings and you had to go see them fast which was hard to do around our work schedule and wedding planning.  Some of the houses we were looking at were beat up and we are not the fixer upper type.  We also started to get cold feet about the 1 hour Northbound commute to work every every day.  Suddenly the new house started to look better and better.  While still not centrally located, the Eastbound commute is only about 30 minutes, the HOA was low and there were no pesky Mello Roos like the other area we were considering.  Oh, and wouldn't it be fun to pick out all of our design features?  About a week later we went back to see if we could make it work.  It was about 25K more then I wanted to spend but  we wanted out of the studio and with our wedding coming up in six months we didn't want to spend a year house hunting.  We couldn't get everything we wanted but I think we paid a reasonable price for the house we got.  The payments are comfortable, once I got used to the number and I don't feel that we are house poor.  Just regular poor!!  
All moved in
We saw all kinds of horror stories on the net about our builder but it's been smooth sailing for us.  Being a new construction we had a 1 year warranty period for them to fix up any little thing that needed fixing.  No matter how small we called them because we could.  It was like still having a landlord.  We still have a long term warranty for structural defects and a lifetime warranty on the roof but we are officially on our own now.  The home decor is an ongoing work in progress and we are enjoying the little projects we have done so far.  Watching a house get built from the ground up is like watching your dream grow.  I never imagined I could afford a home in California.  It just didn't seem possible.  Then Mj came into my life.  He wanted the same thing and together we made it possible.  There were so many bumps along the way but every hurdle and every mini anxiety attack was worth it.  Now we have the things that a lot of people take for granted.  Outdoor space, a laundry room, extra closets, a garage and enough space to stretch out.  Our day to day life feels functional now.  It feels right.  I totally appreciate and work really hard for what we have and I will never take any of it for granted.

5.26.2011

What's For Dinner?


98% Fat Free Hebrew National Hot Dogs and Fat Free Pringles
I got fancy with it and toasted the bread in the oven.
The day after hubby's Birthday dinner I flat out told him.  "Don't expect me to eat today."  I pigged out the night before, I'd had a few indulgences over the week leading up to that and our vacation was just around the corner.  I felt like a stuffed pig.  I absolutely was not in the mood to have food pushed on me that day.  As soon as I said it I was totally relieved that I had the day ahead of me to eat what I wanted when I wanted and yes...how little I wanted.  I love food as much as the next person.  Maybe even more!  I am a cheese addict.  I love anything with cheese particularly Casadilla's and Pizza.  I have a major carb addiction too.  I can eat bread like nobody's business.  I have a sweet tooth.  I probably crave candy more now then I ever did as a child and my favorite dessert in the whole wide world is Molten Chocolate Lava cake.  I can and do get my grub on but sometimes I really don't want to.  I am a calorie tracker.  Using my phone app it's like a fun game to me.  I enjoy eating but I also enjoy staying within my calorie budget.  To do this I watch my portions and use a lot of low fat substitutions.  I might eat ice cream every night for dessert but it will be light ice cream and only the 1/2 cup serving size. You can eat anything in moderation.  Mj calls it an obsession with calories and weight.  I call it discipline.  It's how I am and I don't think I can totally change it so my goal is to manage it.  Which I think I've been doing a pretty good job of despite his statement of a month ago that I have gotten too thin.  I beg to differ.  I know I  should be adding fruits and vegetables on the side instead of pretzels but I am making an effort and sometimes I just want to be left alone when it comes to my eating habits.  I'm a snacker, I don't want 3 squares a day and if I eat too much one day I simply don't want much the next.  I'm an adult.  Let me eat what I want. 
Longtime fav:  PBJ.  With a side of pretzels.
Low Sodium Fat Free Ramen [280 cals].  Hot commodity.
You can't find this stuff every where.
Like a lot of women, I have a complicated relationship with food.  I love to eat it but then I bust my calorie budget and I love to hate it even more.  Every time I turn around there is some social event with food or sweet treats floating around the office that interfere with my food plans.  Sure, no one has a gun to my head but it's the only time I allow certain indulgences so I usually can't resist.  I skip my healthy snacks to compensate which I know is not good for me.  Then, I come home to Mj saying, "What are we having for dinner" and the reality of it is that I just don't care.  The structure of Breakfast and Lunch annoys me and Dinner is whatever.  I'm a snacker and I can only squeeze so much into my calorie budget.  I'll get a craving for popcorn and want to eat that instead and call it dinner.  Day to day at home I prefer light and easy meals.  Ones that are prepared in the microwave, can be eaten off of a paper towel or that don't require any heat whatsoever are fine with me.  If I get hungry later I can have a snack.  Can you tell I love my snacks?  Or if it's a "real" meal then I want Salads with chicken or Grilled Chicken Breast with Veggies.  If we grab something out my #1 go to is always Subway or a Chicken & Rice bowl.  I'm down for Pizza but reluctantly because I love it so much but sometimes have a hard time with knowing when to stop.  Well, I know when to stop, I just don't want too!   I prefer to reserve hearty meals for dining out or social gatherings.   
Albertson's Fresh Baked French Bread with Fat Free
Mozzarella Cheese.  Forgot that stuff doesn't melt.

Only $3.50 at the Grocery store.  Prep time: 1 minute. 
 With Mj out of town I've been getting a bit of a break.  I can snack the day away and I've been eating things like Fat Free Ramen, Hot Dogs, Sandwiches and bread for dinner.  Yes, bread.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with this.  Ok, so maybe I do.  Day to day nutritionally  meals snacks like that are not the best but that's what I want.  And trust me when I say my diet has improved from where it was just two years ago.  With Mj around I've had to make some changes.  When I lived alone I never cooked.  I barely even had pots and pans and food was way low on my priority list.   For Mj's sake I have stepped up my cooking game over the last year since we moved into our new house and have even started to enjoy it a little bit but the rigmarole of shopping for and preparing meals is too much for me sometimes.   I only have so many free hours after work and the gym as it is and I don't even want dinner half the time so finding the motivation to cook is hard.   I've fallen off the wagon lately and I need to start up again with that.  He gets home earlier then I do.  He is a great cook AND he loves to do it.  Neither statement particularly applies to me but he cooks for us so I will return the favor even if it's not my favorite thing to do.  He is adventurous whereas I could eat the same thing every day for months on end and be just fine with it.  I like the comfortable routine of predictable meals and it sometimes rattles me if I can't plan ahead.  Mj is a foodie so I really do try to get over myself and my own issues and participate so it is something we can enjoy together. 

I might have the palate of a 10 year old and just want to eat a sandwich every single day but it's not just about me.   It's about cooking a meal and eating it together or roasting S'mores in the back yard.  Indulging in something totally fattening just for the hell of it, experimenting with new recipes or having pancakes for dinner.   It's also about being healthy.  I have to remind myself that that food is HEALTH.  It is not just something to resist or dread.

5.24.2011

Hangin' out with Sis

Me and Big Sis at Mom's house 
She's almost done losing her baby + weight!
I had a great weekend hanging with my big sister and the rest of my family.  Friday night I was on my own.  I stayed home and watched The Roommate.  It was a typical obsessed girl beats herself up for attention and snaps at the end kind of move but it was good.  Saturday morning I rolled out of bed and cleaned the house.  I'd put it off for a while so it had to be done.   One of Mj's friend's planned a baby shower for Saturday night.   Even though he is out of town I still wanted to go, but not by myself so Big Sis dropped my nephew at mom's and came down to spend the night so we could hang out and then she could come with me. It's so great having her nearby again.  We have already planned our next sister get together for next month up at her house.  We spent the day hanging out at my house talking about anything and everything and then went to the baby shower that evening.  The first of what is likely to be a flurry of baby shower's to come seeing as how everyone is turning up pregnant lately.  I'm not a big fan of baby shower's for some reason so I liked it that it was just a basic unisex gathering with food.  The only way you knew it was a baby shower was the baby themed cake, paper plates and napkins and the baby gifts.  No games at all.  There was some really good eats and we had a fun time.  It was kind of late but still, we did our best to stay awake after we got home but didn't make it long before we had to go to bed.
He changes everytime I see him. 
I've really been in my homebody mode lately, especially with Mj being gone.  I was going to stay home alone in my jammies after my sister left for my Mom's on Sunday.  But really.  Why should I spend the day at home alone in my pajamas when I can be with my family? Nice as that sounds I just did that last weekend.  Mom told me I should come up and she'd make whatever I wanted for dinner and I'm glad I did.   I got to see Mom and Dad and my little nephew who is as cute as can be.  DJ is standing up by himself now and has 4 teeth.  He'll be walking any day now.  We had Turkey Chili, Salad and Cornbread for dinner.  I only just started eating cornbread last year because I'm picky and had decided that I didn't like it which doesn't make too much sense because I love bread.  Anyways, I like it now and it was so good.

It was a little bit gloomy all weekend but the sun seems to have reappeared and I'm looking forward to a sunny three day weekend and Mj coming home.  I've missed him!  And not just because I had to take over the the plant watering and trash duties. 

5.18.2011

Credit Card Craziness

I was watching some really bad TV on VH1, Mafia Wives to be exact, while I was on the elliptical at the gym and I saw a commercial for the RUSH card.  It's this pre paid Visa being offered by Russell Simmons.  Your tax return or paycheck can be deposited directly onto the card.  You can also add money to it at any time.  At the end he says that he created this card so that everyone can have access to the American Dream.  I couldn't help but laugh.  What a crock.  Credit cards have mostly been a nightmare for people not a dream.  And how is depositing my paycheck onto this card going to get me any further then where I am right now?  If Russell were planning to add some of his stockpile of money to it then I might understand but if I only make $500 a month and I deposit it onto this Visa I still only make $500 a month.  What more is that going to get me?  OK, so I can rent a car now and reserve a hotel room but I doubt that has anything to do with the American Dream.

I just thought it was funny that he made this big global statement about this card  and the American dream in one breath.  I get it that it will help people build credit but it really is a huge leap especially when the credit reporting that is supposed to help you build your credit is only done by "participating" agencies.  So then I couldn't help but wonder, what does the company get out of this because you know there has to be a money making angle in there somewhere.  Could they possibly be charging interest to use your own money?  Well, the answer is no but the fee schedule attached this card is longer and more complicated then any I've ever seen for a credit card or bank.  If you get the basic card your monthly fee is only $3.95 but if you get the BabyPhat Rushcard design-no I'm not making this up-it's $14.95 per month.  Depending on what plan you choose you are basically charged for everything for things like simply using it.  There are fees per transaction.  You are charged for getting a replacement if you lose it and depending on your plan there is a monthly maintenance fee on top of the initial monthly fee.  They charge you to enroll in bill pay then a monthly fee to use it.  The only thing that is totally free is getting your online statement.  If you decide you want paper it's $1.00 per month.  Now you know a lot of people will not look at this monstrous fee schedule and then they will wonder where all of their money is disappearing to and probably be surprised at how quickly all those little fees add up.   

I on the other hand don't have to settle for a RushCard.  I got the invitation I've been waiting for my whole life.  The coveted and rare Visa Black card.  Yep, little old me.  It came in this thick black fancy envelope.  Did you know that only a very small percentage of the population is considered worthy enough to have it?  Well, the interest rate wasn't bad for these times at 14.99 % but still not anything I want to pay out on purchases.   If that wasn't enough to make me say forget it then the $495 yearly fee was.  That's an airline ticket.  I'd rather buy that then pay a yearly fee for a card that provides me with concierge services and airport lounge services that I would rarely even have the chance to use.  Besides that, I hate debt.  Clearly it's for rich folks but thanks anyways.

I had no job and no credit history but I was handed my first credit card in college.  For some odd reason I wanted the ugly Bart Simpson T-Shirt with the Visa logo they were giving away for free and thought it would be cool to have some plastic. I was practical enough not to use it much and have never been in any kind of major credit card debt.  I hate having lingering debt and I hate paying interest.  It adds onto the purchase price so that if I got a killer deal on something that interest just eats it up.  I paid cash for my car and if there was any way on earth I could've done the same for our house I would have.  We paid cash for our wedding, everything we furnished our house with and all of our little home improvement projects.  I have never allowed myself to overspend beyond my means.   I'm a saver not a spender and I was basically born that way.  If it's a big purchase and I don't have the money  I'll use the cards and try to take advantage of balance transfer offers to minimize interest with the plan of paying it off quickly.   One purchase at a time.  I use my Discover card for daily use and pay it off monthly so I can rack up points.  It's great for my credit too.  This works well if you know your budget and have the restraint to stick to it.  I've had up to $150 in cash back bonuses at one time which I save to use as spending money on trips and Mj and I got hundreds off of our Hawaii plane tickets because of accumulated points.  I'd much rather make money off of them and not let them get a dime out of me! 

May kicked my butt financially.  Patio Furniture, new glasses, and Mother's Day.  Big Sis B Day and Mj's B Day.  I bought him an i Pad-enough said!  Then there was the car registration and our San Francisco trip.  All that along with my seemingly uncontrollable urge to shop happened at once.  So this month I'm only paying off my statement balance and not the entire actual balance, which still won't cost me any interest because bill close was the 10th.  I busted my budget which I usually don't do but hey, it's bound to happen some times.  I'll let a bit roll over into next month and pay it off then.  Credit cards can be evil if abused but they can be your friend if used properly.  The cards can establish the credit needed to get houses and cars but if you get out of hand and abuse them you'll have a lot of stuff but not much of anything else.


5.15.2011

Backyard S'Mores

We finally got our patio furniture a couple weeks ago only to find one of the parts was defective.  I called the manufacturer and got another sent out and Mj put it together so that we could FINALLY officially enjoy our little outdoor space before he left.  It was night time so we roasted s'mores in the fire pit and had wine.  But of course.  Mj taught me how to turn it on and off so I could do it on my own.  I have an irrational fear of lighting matches so I've never done it in my life....until now.  I guess it took owning a fire pit to force me. 
Fireball s'mores

Yesterday was a wonderful Saturday of relaxation.  I thought about cleaning the house but didn't.  I thought about going to the gym but didn't.  I thought about taking a shower and running my errands....but DID!! After that it was back home into the jammies to relax and clear out my DVR.  I even took an awesome late afternoon nap.  My triumph of the weekend was getting those errands done which lately I really hate doing even more then usual and doing laundry.   While I was out getting my rings inspected the lady tried to sell me on this 1.5 karat diamond ring for 13K!  She did all of this complicated math and told me that if I traded in my two wedding bands and one engagement ring that I could get into a brand new double setting very similar to mine and with this gorgeous 1.5 karat ring for only 9K.  What did I just walk in there looking like I was worth $10,000 that day?  I have priorities and spending that kind of money on jewelry is not one of them.  We could do a total kitchen re model for that much.  Mj says at some point I can get a bigger diamond but I LOVE my setting so I won't be changing anything else. 
Would your honey pay 13k for this? Would you let him?
A Cracker Barrel breakfast I don't get to eat
Mj's in Texas for work and wouldn't you know it I see a spider last night.  We rarely have creepy crawlies in our house and just days after he leaves I have to see one crawling on the curtain.  I also have an irrational fear of spiders so while Mj watched via face time on our i phones and laughed at me I screamed while I sprayed it then put one of his shoes over it and smashed it down a little.  He said it was like watching a horror movie which makes sense because I felt like I was in one.  I'm too afraid to pick up the shoe and dispose of the carcass right now so that will have to wait.  He sent me this drool worthy pic of his breakfast from Cracker Barrel.  We ate there when we were on the East coast in 2009 They have the most delicious perfectly crispy edged pancakes I've ever had in my life.  Sadly, they don't have one in So Cal so I haven't had them since.  I'm so jealous!  The house feels so quiet and empty with him gone.  I'm just here bumping around and have already slipped back into my old dinner habits.  Ham and Cheese on Sandwich Thins with Fat Free Pringles anyone?  I'll toast the bread.

5.09.2011

San Francisco is COLD

This mother's day was a little different.  It's the first time in my life that I didn't spend it with my Mom.  Mj's busy travel schedule made  it the only time we could take a trip to visit my little sis so we had to go.  The gifts for my mom, my sister's first mother's day and her birthday were sent via mail and we were off to San Francisco Thursday right after work.  It's a pretty short flight for us.  Little sis T and her boyfriend picked us up from the airport in their Zip Car rental and then we checked into our hotel.  Hotels in SF are expensive unless you want to stay in a dump or be next to the Airport.  It's probably the oldest hotel we've ever stayed in but turned out to be pretty decent.  It was $180 per night WITH a military discount.  I've been totally spoiled by checking out of our timeshares without a bill on our last few trips.  It had a good 2 feet of crown molding and lots of beautiful detailing inside and out.   We took our first of many walks throughout the weekend and walked over to T's apartment where she was making Taco's for dinner.  After that we did a little bar hopping-away from the touristy Union square area-where the drinks are cheaper.  I still can't believe I managed to stay out until 1:30 am.  Practically a miracle for me.
Bar hopping

Hangin' out with lil' sis and her boyfriend
Friday was mostly a day of shopping, but first we had breakfast.  There is always a long wait at Dotties True Blue Cafe but everyone said it would be worth it.  They serve 250 meals a day, there are 2 cooks and the place seats 40  but feels smaller then that.  The place is tiny so you wait in line outside and I was freezing my butt off.  It's been featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives- (You Tube Video Link) and I waited 50 minutes to get in so I was not about to order my same old boring egg beater Omelet.   I got the French Toast made with their homemade bread and it was the best I've ever had.  Tons of flavor.  Mj enjoyed his Pancakes, eggs and bacon.  After thawing out and getting a good meal we hit the shops.  I'm broke so I had no business shopping but there I was at Macy's, H & M and DSW spending money like I had it.  To be fair, I did get really good deals and actually didn't spend a whole lot of money, but still.  Mj did a little shopping of his own at Macy's and was really patient as I dragged him around to the other stores.  We met little sis for dinner that night and got to hang out with her some more.

Breakfast on the go
Entering Alcatraz.  I'm sure the prisoners didn't smile
on the way in like me.

Saturday the three of us got Egg McMuffins and coffee on the go for breakfast and walked to Pier 33 and then did loads more walking once we got off the ferry at Alcatraz Island.  I finally got to see this place!  I have been wanting to visit this historic Prison since I was a kid.  You see, I have this really weird prison fascination and seeing as how this might be the only prison I ever get to actually go inside I knew that someday I had to do it.  It is a very dreary place.  I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be shut in that tiny, cold, concrete cell day in and day out for years at a time.  I walked into the cell and tried to picture it and just shook my head in disbelief.  How terrible!  We did the audio tour which is pretty much self paced so you can take your time looking at everything as long as you want to.  The view of the city from "The Rock" is beautiful.  It was so darn windy that it was hard to get a good picture.  My eyes AND my nose were watering
Locked up

A little too close for comfort and the decor is awful
San Francisco skyline behind us
We spent quite a bit of time exploring and then went to Fisherman's Wharf for a snack.  I got some yummy fried mini donuts and warm coffee to thaw me out.  Then, we took the long way home so we could walk through China Town.  All you really need is a quick walk through there.  All the stores are basically the same but the architecture is pretty cool.  I was exhausted by the time we made it back to our hotel.  We spent the entire day walking.  We had about 1 1/2 hours to rest then it was off for more walking to meet my cousins for dinner at the Embarcadero.  They live about 45 minutes away and made the drive up to see us.  I ate at a Thai Restaurant for the first time ever and it was pretty good.  I played it safe and got Pad Thai with Chicken.  I'm picky but as long as I stick with Chicken I usually can't go too wrong.

In Chinatown
Cousin's
Sunday was check out day.  We were able to sleep in, walk around the corner for breakfast and then check out.  The hotel held our bags while we walked down Market St where I managed to find some more things to buy at The Gap.  Then, before we knew it T was picking us up and we were heading to the airport to go back home.   It was so good to see my little sis.  There is a 10 year age difference  between us.  For a while she was just my bratty little sister but now that she is older we have gotten so much closer.  Her graduation is on May 27th and I won't be able to make it but I am so proud of her for getting through school and growing up to be the smart, sweet and pretty young woman that she is.  She is still in that post graduation, job hunting, uh oh the student loans are coming due soon phase in her life but with a little more time she'll eventually find her way as we all do.

Of course Mj was fine but traveling really takes it's toll on my body.  We didn't even switch time zones and I felt like a train wreck today!  My thighs are still sore two days later from all that walking we did on Saturday.  We both enjoyed our visit but I will not miss that icy frigid wind.   I felt like it was about to blow me down a couple times.  I had my hat, scarf, glove and leather jacket and it still wasn't enough.   The only thing we didn't do that I wanted to is ride the Trolley.  Maybe next time.  All in all it was a fabulous trip!!

5.03.2011

He's Finally 30

My husband is so dang nosy.  I could be sitting right next to him and he wants to know what I'm doing.  Not only is he nosy but he notices everything.  I always joke that it's a good thing I don't want to cheat on him 'cause I'd never get away with it.  I figured it would be next to impossible to pull off a surprise B Day party for him but it was his 30th so I was darn sure going to try.  Adding to the difficulty is that although I have all of his friends addresses from wedding planning I don't have any of their e mail addresses or phone numbers.  Facebook saved the day for the most part though and I was able to stalk his friends there and send them an E vite and then message two of his other friends to help spread the word.

Even something as simple as stopping by Albertson's grocery store to get the cake set off alarm bells for him.  I dropped it off at his friends house so they could bring it to the party.  I couldn't resist the bread so I bought a fresh warm loaf and Mj badgered me endlessly about why I suddenly had the urge to stop for bread on the way home from work.  I NEVER do that.  Why?  I just insisted that I had an insatiable craving for it that could not be ignored.  He didn't buy it.


Cooking our own dinner....at a restaurant
He loved this Oreo Cookie Cake
I'm glad to say the party turned out great.  He did pick the restaurant although I told him it would be just him and I.  When we got there about 15 of his friends were already there making it a great surprise.  Of course he knew something was up.  I insisted he could NOT change his mind about where we were going and I was just a little too frenzied and rushed getting ready.  For the most part though he was really surprised.  The restaurant is called The Strip Club.  Catchy huh?  All entree's are meat, mostly steak, and if you order it you have to cook it yourself.  They set up large grills stocked with spices and tongs.  They bring you your raw meat and buttered garlic bread and you get to grilling.   It's a really fun atmosphere and I think everyone had a good time.  Afterwards about 10 of us did a little bar hopping.  By the end of the night Mj had consumed 6 Long Island Iced Teas and was pretty well toasted.  All part of the plan.  We only managed to stay out until about 11:30pm.  I remember the days when I could stay out well past midnight but those days are long gone apparently.  Mj certainly could have kept going but our little group was dropping like flies as people got tired.
Long Island's all night long

He is not really into making a big to do about his birthday but it's his 30th.  He's got great friends that I knew he would want to have celebrate with him.  He's such a great guy and I just wanted to make it really special for him.  I succeeded.  Not only did he say I did a great job but that it was one of his best Birthday's ever.  I was so happy to hear that.

Yummy Cup Cakes
So, that was Saturday night.  His actual B Day was yesterday.  A yucky nothing too celebratory about it Monday where we both work and I don't get home from the gym until close to 7:00pm.  His gift isn't even here yet.  The i Pad is still in China according to UPS but it's case made it in time.  I don't have the time or energy to track down the i Pad 2 at Walmart's and Target's all over the county so I ordered it from Apple a couple weeks ago and told him it should be here before he leaves for Texas.  To brighten his day I decided to stop on my lunch break and bring home some sweet treats.  That night downtown we happened into Heavenly Cupcake because Mj raved about how he loves that place and wanted to get a cupcake.  He settled for Peanut Butter Banana because they ran out of Red Velvet but he went on and on about how delicious their Red Velvet is.  So, I show him the box and he's like, "Cool, where is this place?"  I give him a funny look.  "Uh, Downtown.  You know the place you were raving about on Saturday?"  Turns out not only had he never been to that place before he doesn't even remember going in there on Saturday night!  Funny.  I guess it was the Long Island's talking.  He didn't even choose to eat the Red Velvet first.  Of course not. He doesn't remember how much he wanted it.

Having a hubby who is 4 years younger can make a lady feel old.  He is finally in his 30's!  Like me.   And it's about time.