Birthday Prep.

I bounced out of bed this morning and headed for the treadmill downstairs since I knows I had lots of shopping on the agenda today! I did a run/walk combo for 50 minutes, which basically consisted of this:

*run for 5 minutes at 5.5 (I run super slow, practically as slow as I walk)

*walk for 5 minutes at 4.2

BOR-ING! But it got the job done. I had a million and two errands to run, including finishing shopping for this guy’s birthday, which is on Monday.

We are going to celebrate his birthday tomorrow since work is getting in the way of celebrating it on Monday. All he wants to do is stay home, grill and watch the Steeler game. He won’t ever go out to eat! Not hard to please, huh?

I had so much to do that I couldn’t wait to get out of the house. I made a giant smoothie to take with me in my tumbler (I love this thing!) since I was an anxiety attack waiting to happen.

I have to tell you about this shake because it held me over for 5 hours. Granted towards the end of the 5 hours I was ready to chew my arm off, but it worked. It had coconut milk, peanut butter, chocolate amazing grass, frozen banana slices and 4 cups of spinach. Every morning before breakfast I drink a smoothie of milk, a few banana pieces and a few cups of spinach just to get some veggies in. I don’t like it but I force it down, because I do like it better than eating a cup of broccoli. I have to get the veggies some way.

I stopped by my parents house and this almost made my mom vomit. It was great. Then it was off to shop!

I have another dirty little secret: I am really bad with gift cards. I never want to spend them right away, because I want to wait to find something that I really love. However, that just results in me forgetting about them. So today, I spent gift cards that were left over from our wedding. I even embarrass myself.

Here is some loot I picked up:

I am in love with this placemat for a few reasons. I love that it is square and not rectangular. I love that it is beaded, and I especially love that it sparkles. Give me something shiny and I lose all concentration and train of thought. Glittery things make me giddy. I swear I’m not trashy. But I’m sure that’s debatable.

Also grabbed some pumpkin spice and apple ginger candles and other sparkly items. So predictable.

I got this Fiestaware casserole dish in lemongrass:

I love it!

Grabbed this salsa bowl and spoon:

Isn’t that so cute? I’m in lust.

A wooden serving tray with built in bowls:

Most people would probably put veggies and fruit in this but I am thinking an assemble line of chocolate, peanut butter and bacon. Then I want to dip something insanely fattening into all three. Yum.

And more candles:

Because I clearly needed more junk for this house.

I was gone for 5 hours. I almost lost my marbles.

But I did pick up some great gifts for Mr. How Sweet. Come Monday, I wish share if you are interested!

I had my own case of hungry-angry-wife syndrome when I came home, and I made this snack again because I can’t stop eating it.

Seriously. You need to send help.

All I wanted to do was pass out but we headed to church instead. I enjoy going on Saturday evening so much better. I try to stay as positive as I can on the blog, but the misery and tears that occur during me wishing away the days of Monday through Friday from 8-5 are super stressful. Thankfully I have been able to channel that unhappiness into hours spent pouring over this website, working on it and trying to make it enjoyable. But I need that hour each week where I am reminded of how blessed I am, even in the worst of situations. Sometimes the gratefulness just builds up inside of me so much I feel as though I may burst!

I didn’t burst tonight, and it’s a good thing too because I had some baking to do.

I only got things started…

And that, my friends, is why I rarely take pictures at night. U-G-L-Y.

Now can someone come help me organize my cookbook shelves? There are 50 cookbooks laying all over the floor. I’d like Mr. How Sweet to live for his birthday and not end his life over the mess in this house. I know I said I was going to do it yesterday, but… I didn’t. That’s typical.

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49 Responses to “Birthday Prep.”

  1. #
    Evan Thomas — September 18, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

    I hate to cook after the sun has gone down for that same reason :-( Silly but true.


  2. #
    Julie @SavvyEats — September 18, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

    I will come over and get your cookbooks organized to perfection in exchange for baked goods!

    You think I am kidding. I’m not.


  3. #
    ida — September 18, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Love that tray with the dip containers! I had fun reading about your day- what a fun addition to How Sweet. And those baked goods are looking amazing, even at night!


  4. #
    Jil — September 18, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    I’m the same way with gift cards…I have them stashed everrrywhere…especially the awkward ones from returning gifts…where there’s like $32.78 on a card or something. haha No matter the lighting…those cupcakes look deeelish.


  5. #
    Mary (A Merry Life) — September 18, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

    I loved reading about your day! So fun.

    I like that you smoothie your veggies in in the mornings. I was kind of wondering how you ever ate any veggies if you did.

    I love to organize… I wish I could come organize your cookbooks!


  6. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — September 18, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    i want to go shopping. immediately. i almost died of jealousy.


  7. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — September 18, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    Love you new snack!! Now I want one! Or one of those cupcakes you made today :)


  8. #
    Teresa B. — September 18, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

    Great post! I have to admit, I totally relate with your feelings about the blog world as an escape. I spend my work day at counting down the minutes until I can commute home. And then the minute I go home, I check in on my favorite blogs — including yours. If I can’t surround myself with positive people during the day, then I’m glad I can turn to bloggers for a pick-me-up.


  9. #
    Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) — September 18, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    I will be sad in the winter when the sun light for photo’s is gone before the work day :l

    REALLY like that lemongrass baking dish & salsa bowl. Those will look so pretty in pictures!! You are making me want to go shopping ;)


  10. #
    Camille — September 18, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    Love all your new purchases! Fun stuff!


  11. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — September 18, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    Omg this is like a day in the life post, possibly the first eve?! I love that post bloggiversary you are doing posts like this…omg love it!

    First, happy 21st bday to Mr Sweet. Tell him not to get too drunk off jager bombs at that frat and kegger party tonite :) And go Steelers! Kidding. I hate football.

    Next, if your red velvet pics are ugly, then look around the sphere. Your ugliest photo should be a National Geographic pictoral submission for some of these bloggers. Meaning, your pics rock, their suck. Oh, Im in prime form tonite.

    The little wooden thing w/ white bowls, so cute, so you as is the Fiestaware and the salsa bowl. God, i am finally getting a glimpse of your day to day life…I freakin love it!!!!

    Off to work I go…


  12. #
    Mansee — September 18, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    That cutting board (I think it’s like a cutting board?) with the built in bowls is genius. Whoever came up with that idea deserves a prize…or some of your cupcakes.


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2010 @ 11:34 am

      Yes it is! The box shoes cheese and bread on the board with veggies (yuck!) and nuts in the bowls.


  13. #
    Kath — September 18, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    Jessica, I just love reading your blog. I don’t even know why. I’m not a “sweets” person. I’m much more of a savory person. And I LOVE vegetables! But I love your blog! So Creative. I’m glad I’ve discovered you.


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2010 @ 11:33 am

      Thank you so much!


  14. #
    Maria @ Oh Healthy Day — September 18, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

    Shopping really is hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it. Want the salsa bowl immediately. And I don’t even eat chips and salsa (at home at least).


  15. #
    Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) — September 19, 2010 @ 12:24 am

    I’m with you on the hating your job thing! Reading blogs is just a great way to escape, and yours pretty much always makes me drool!


  16. #
    Wei-Wei — September 19, 2010 @ 1:55 am

    I went shopping today, soon. It was SO hot and I was kinda bored, actually. :P Not the best Sunday I’ve spent.


  17. #
    MelissaNibbles — September 19, 2010 @ 3:51 am

    I still have gift cards from Christmas that I haven’t used. I’m afraid I’ll use them and then go back and see something better that I want and can’t afford.

    Happy Birthday to Mr. HowSweet!!


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2010 @ 11:33 am



  18. #
    Susan — September 19, 2010 @ 4:08 am

    Sometimes blogging helps me escape from the pressures of “my reality”. And sometimes it adds to it! All about balance, but I totally understand where you are coming from.

    I hope you and the husband have fun celebrating the birthday today!

    How are you feelin’ about the Steelers this year? I have to admit, it’s easier for me to cheer on a Ben-less team. I kind of hope it stays this way : )


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2010 @ 11:32 am

      I hear ya girl! I hate to admit but I’m a fairweather fan until the season gets moving a little more… then I’ll be psyched.


  19. #
    Lauren at KeepItSweet — September 19, 2010 @ 4:09 am

    happy bday to ur husband! i am also so bad at using gift cards… i have definitely had some expire on me.


  20. #
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black — September 19, 2010 @ 6:02 am

    I love all your purchases! Especially the placement- great taste, girl!


  21. #
    kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com — September 19, 2010 @ 6:07 am

    this is going to be ONE AMAZING BIRTHDAY! my brother’s birthday is today too!! happy birthday to the men in our lives ;)



  22. #
    Nicole @ Making Good Choices — September 19, 2010 @ 6:10 am

    I love how you are including more “life” stories on here! I know how awful the 8-5 can be (even though I only work 8-3). I think I cried 3 times every week last year. I’m trying to stay more positive this year, so far so good, but it’s been 7 days of back to school.


  23. #
    Kim in MD — September 19, 2010 @ 6:44 am

    I love all of the treasures you found shopping (especially the Fiestaware bowl, the salsa bowl and the wood tray with the bowls-too cute)! Did you find them in one place? Please do share! :-)

    I love your writing style and sense of humor, Jessica, and it is so fun to read more than just recipes on your blog . I am so glad I ventured into the Fit Bites catagory…I was missing out on all of the fun! Happy Birthday to Mr. How Sweet. I understand why he doesn’t want to go out for dinner, since you are obviously a fabulous cook! Have fun! :-)

    Oh- and about organizing the cookbooks. I group mine according to cuisine (French, Asian, Italian, Mexican, grilling, breakfast/brunch, cookies/baking, bread, soup/stews, appetizers, etc.). I group Food Network personalities together on one shelf. This makes it easy to find a recipe based on what I feel like making at any given moment. I hope this helps! I wish I had a solution for all of the magazine clippings, though! :-(


  24. #
    barefootgirl27 — September 19, 2010 @ 7:17 am

    oh… how I want that wooden tray!!!

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Sweet!


  25. #
    Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear — September 19, 2010 @ 7:36 am

    Cool stuff! I especially loved the salsa bowl and spoon. I like it that you write more about your life, it’s interesting to read about your daily stuff :)


  26. #
    Chrissy — September 19, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    Mr. How Sweet is such a cutie! LOL. Happy birthday to him. I really like your new candle thing, even though I’m terrified of fire and won’t keep candles in the house. My boyfriend always wants to light his scented candles but I won’t let him.


  27. #
    Caitlin — September 19, 2010 @ 9:31 am

    Your green smoothies are greener than mine – WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN??

    I can’t believe you still have gift cards from your wedding…seriously. Actually I can, I’m laughing.

    Love the haul here – you can never have enough stuff in your house.

    Happy Day Mr. Sweet! Infused vodka makes a great gift.


  28. #
    Ashley — September 19, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    Aww, I loved this post. It’s fun getting to see a glimpse inside your life! I will say that I jumped when I saw the pic of mr. how sweet, lol. I was expecting food, haha. There are rarely people on here :) I was like, “whoa, FACE!” Ummmm I want that salsa bowl..or maybe just the spoon!!! Love the lemongrass color of the other dish too. <3


  29. #
    Sues — September 19, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    I love that salsa bowl and the serving board!!! Great finds!! And I’m totallyyy the same way with giftcards! Also? I love glittery things, too… :)


  30. #
    Pure2Raw Twins — September 19, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    YAY for green smoothies…this post just made my day ; )

    Happy birthday to Mr Sweet!!

    Hope you two have a great day!


  31. #
    Danielle — September 19, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    A tray with bowls built in! I’ve never seen one – cool!


  32. #
    Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl — September 19, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

    I think it’s amazing that:
    a)you hold an 8-5 job and…
    b)that you still have time to cook…
    c)and take amazing pictures of everything along the way…because I’ve learned this def stretches out the process and…
    d)that you NEVER complain about the 8-5! Very impressive! But if you ever need to complain…by all means :)


  33. #
    Holly — September 19, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mr. How Sweet :D Hope he’s having a good day! I’m sure the Steeler win helped.
    I LOVE the salsa bowl & the wooden serving tray!!


  34. #
    Lisa @bakebikeblog — September 19, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    oooh love the new serving dishes!!!


  35. #
    Cara — September 19, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

    I love all your new goodies…especially the serving tray and salsa bowl!
    Good finds indeed.


  36. #
    Cynthia (It All Changes) — September 19, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

    That is such a wonderful description of going to church. Such a great reminder that we are blessed even when we complain.

    I’m right there with the gift card guilt. I just found a movie gift card from 4 Christmases ago and had to call the 1-800 number to make sure it was still valid. Yep…so I’m going to see a movie by myself. :-)


  37. #
    Kacy — September 20, 2010 @ 7:00 am

    I loved this post! Reading about a day in your life was so fun!

    Can’t wait to see the b-day gifts!


  38. #
    Marci — September 20, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    I think we are long lost friends. I have that same smoothie cup with the hard straw, dishwasher safe. And square placemats are so smart, I haven’t thought to look for that before. And I save gift cards forever. Still using ones from our wedding over two years ago. And I run slow too! 5.5 is a great pace! 11 minute mile.


  39. #
    Rachel — September 20, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    Noticed that you said hungry/angry… my friends and I like to call that HANGRY, in case that helps your vocabulary in the future. It’s prefectly fitting, because it IS an emotion.


  40. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — September 20, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

    Reading this post is giving me cravings… SHOPPING cravings! Looks like you got some super stuff. :)


  41. #
    Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen — September 21, 2010 @ 8:45 am

    Great post -love your loot! Hope the celebration was great!


  42. #
    Danica — May 17, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    I am looking for a smoothie tumbler just like that! Where did you get yours??


    • Jessica — May 17th, 2011 @ 1:52 pm




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