My husband, Kyle, and I were both born at inopportune times of the year. My birthday is September 1 – it’s near or on Labor Day and is usually the hottest time of the year here in CA. Kyle’s birthday is way worse, however – it’s January 2! It’s so hard to make a birthday feel special right after Christmas and New Year’s! Plus, everything is super crowded and the weather is usually freezing cold – or, at least cold for CA! 😉
So, needless to say, the crowds and bad weather at both times of year usually make going out for a fun birthday activity less than ideal. We’ve had a few birthday fails over the years, but our lowest point was definitely the “Disneyland Corndog Debacle”. Kyle had a craving for a Disneyland corndog, but that year his birthday fell on the last weekend of Christmas break. It was super cold and so crowded that we couldn’t even get into the park! We went elsewhere in search of a fantastic corndog, but with no success! That sad day was only redeemed a couple days later when some awesome friends helped me surprise Kyle with corndogs they made from scratch! Delicious!
As you may have guessed, however, that experience forever changed our birthday planning. From then on, we tended to either stay home and cook or only venture out for short trips to unusual and hopefully, not crowded, locales. In the end, this became a blessing in disguise. We got creative – doing cooking challenges and always trying something new. We even learned how to make some of our favorite meals on birthdays!
One of the most interesting came from one of Kyle’s birthdays where every meal had to include chocolate and peanut butter. We did some research and developed a recipe for a chicken mole, which fit the bill and, despite the odd combo of ingredients, came out amazing!
I’ll have to share the recipe for it sometime 😉
This year for my birthday, however, it was so hot that I didn’t feel like doing much cooking, so we did a little something different instead. I’m the designated baker in our family, but rather than bake my own birthday cake (and turn on the oven!), I thought it would be fun to scope out a yummy bakery we’d never been to before. After a quick search online, we found the Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa.
Here’s a link to their website in case you’d like to check it out! http://www.blackmarketbakery.com/index.php/home
My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so after church we ventured up to the bakery for lunch and an awesome dessert. We both had one of their amazing grilled cheese sandwiches on house-made bread. I had one with cheddar, bacon, and roasted red pepper on cheddar shallot bread. Kyle had one with bacon and American cheese on their Dutch crunch bread. They were delicious! We both devoured them so quickly, we forgot to take pictures!
Then, it was time for dessert! We got a couple tarts to share – one had chocolate, shortbread, and crème brûlée, while the other had chocolate and caramel (also devoured before a picture was taken…). They were so good, we went back for more to take home – 2 more crème brûlée tarts and a lemon raspberry one that also looked fantastic!
It was definitely an insane dessert-splurging day!
Next, my super sweet hubby came shopping with me for my birthday present – a new pair of boots. I’ve spent the last year trying to find a pair of riding boots that would suit me. No matter what I ordered, Kyle vetoed pair after pair. I’m only 5’4”, so trying to find a pair of knee high boots that looked right on me hadn’t been easy…
Both of us aren’t usually big fans of shopping, unless it’s done online, but after so many attempts, Kyle suggested we go to the mall and look together. What a sweetie!
Here’s what we found!
As you can see, I didn’t end up with knee high riding boots in the end, but we both liked these and thought they fit both my shorter stature and my style 🙂
So, all in all, it was a great birthday! And, the best part, of course, was spending the whole day with Kyle! That’s what I look forward to most every year! Although, the desserts and boots were pretty awesome, too 😉
Let us know if you have any fun birthday traditions – or tips for beating crowds at busy times of year! We’re always open to new birthday ideas!