Turning 26

I started my birthday yesterday with two big glasses of iced Birthday Tea.

PicMonkey Collage

The caffeine was a necessity as my body unfortunately woke me up just before 2:00am. At least I got to give Dave a kiss goodbye and hear my first “Happy Birthday”…..but I really missed the extra sleep.

I used my extra time to finish an episode of Gilmore Girls I started the day before where Lorelai helps with Luke’s daughter April’s 13th birthday party. It reminded me of another birthday party I had when I was young (probably around 11 or 12) where my mom helped my friends and I make homemade lip balm, lotion, and soap. Later, we put on face masks, and my older cousin Amanda, who was helping with the party, started putting frosting on our faces instead. I wonder if I can find that picture….

Birthday lunch! (At work).

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Arugula, feta cheese, and hummus with leftover roasted veggies..

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And a side of fresh cherries, strawberries, and blueberries. Delicious.

Birthday run!

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Three miles plus intervals.

Total miles: 3.97         Duration: 42:02         Pace per mile: 10:35

Fastest speed: 6:36 min/mi (during an interval)

I had unintentionally taken a four day break from exercise, so I wasn’t sure how this run was going to go. But right from the start, it was a good run. Huzzah for running in below-80 degree weather! My legs felt strong, the air felt cool (comparatively), and I was digging the new running mix I had on my playlist.

After a shower, I actually took time to do my hair. I KNOW. Of course, all I know how to do with my hair is blow dry and straighten it, but it’s something, right?

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Do I look twenty six? Don’t answer that. I didn’t tell anyone at work it was my birthday yesterday, because I didn’t want them to start guessing my age again. “18? 20? No way, you’re not twenty six. You don’t even look old enough to drive!” Thanks. No, really.

My family and I met at Taste of India (my choice 🙂 ) for a birthday dinner last night. Taste of India is a great place for a large group: great food,  moderate prices, nice atmosphere, and it’s never packed since most of their business is take-out. I wasn’t sure how my grandparents would do with the spicy food, but I didn’t hear too many complaints.012I had to schedule dinner on the early side since I had to be up for work the next day. Only half of us showed up right at 5:30 so while we were waiting for the rest of the gang to get there, I started off with a Taj Mahal lager-style beer.

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I’m not usually a lager fan, but this was very refreshing.  I knew it would make a good pair with the spicy food.009

And $6.99 for 22 oz is a steal. I won’t even tell you I drank more than one bottle, because that would just be excessive.

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Hi family! From left to right: Aunt Dina, Grandma Bain, Grandma Leahy, Colleen (not in this picture), Aunt Jenny, Grandpa Leahy, Uncle Gregg, Dad, Mom.

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Em and Aurelia! Dave was still working when we were at the restaurant and missed dinner with us. Which makes me even more glad that I have a fun party planned for this weekend.019

All dinners are served with rice pullao, which are thin, crispy, and flavorful flatbread chips. They come with onion chutney, mint chutney, and tamarind sauce for dipping.

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Tasty.

Since it was my birthday, I decided to order an appetizer of samosas which are spicy turnovers stuffed with potatoes and green peas.

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This was the first time I ordered samosas at Taste of India, and they were wonderful. Warm, salty, spicy….and deep fried.

For dinner, I ordered Paneet Bhuna, which is fresh homemade cheese cooked with tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. I ordered mine medium hot because I like a punch of spice, not a full-out roundhouse kick to the mouth. Medium is the perfect amount of heat.

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All of the curries are served with a huge bowl of rice.

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And of course I had to get some bread for dipping!

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I usually get naan, but this was Gobhi Paratha: whole wheat bread stuffed with cauliflower and cooked on a griddle. It was warm and chewy and perfect dipped in my curry.

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I love the silver serving dishes they use at Taste of India. Very classy.

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I like to use just a little bit of rice and heap it with a ton of curry, so I probably ate about half of my bowl of curry, and maybe 1/5 or 1/4 of the rice? I traded a piece of my bread for one of my dad’s onion naan breads and had one of each.

PicMonkey Collage

The bearers of my existence. We had a wonderful time, and a great dinner. The whole table sang “Happy Birthday” to me, and our server brought me out some mango ice cream.

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I had my heart set on froyo for dessert, so I made everyone help me with this dish. If it wasn’t for that, I would have polished this off all by myself, because it was awesome. It tasted like a cross between sherbet and ice cream, and the mango flavor was so fresh and juicy.

We split up after dinner and a smaller group of us headed over to Orange Leaf for self serve froyo. This was my first time going, so I was very excited.

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Self serve froyo places are becoming incredibly popular. This is the second one in Green Bay and rumors are a third one is going to open up pretty soon.

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The inside kind of reminded me of Back to the Future. It was very modern with small (although comfortable) funky chairs.036

There were about fifteen flavors to choose from, half of which were fruity. Since I’d just had some mango ice cream, I decided to skip the fruit and go the more decadent route with peanut butter, brownie batter, coconut, red velvet, and wedding cake.

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I used a host of toppings: m&ms, Reese’s pieces, oreos, butterfingers, gummy bears, tapioca pearls (used in bubble tea) and a cherry. I knew the toppings added up quickly pricewise, so I put only a tiny spoonful of each on.

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At 45 cents an ounce, my froyo came to $3.99, which was pretty reasonable. Nothing can beat “real” ice cream, but I have a special place in my heart for soft serve. It was smooth, creamy, and very satisfying.

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It was one of the few birthdays I had to work which was a little strange, but overall, it was a great day. The outpouring of Facebook posts, cards, and text messages I received yesterday made me feel incredibly loved. I’m glad my family took time out of their weeks to help me celebrate! I had so much good food that I carried an Indian and froyo food baby to bed with me and woke up with it this morning, just five and half short hours later.

Only two more days of work this week and then it’s Wine & Cheese time. I can’t wait to celebrate my birthday again with my friends! I really am spoiling myself. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Turning 26

  1. So glad you had a great day! There was a frozen yogurt place we used to frequent in Costa Rica called Wanayog, and the inside looked very much like the pictures you put up. It was the first place I went after I was well enough from the flu to leave the house. So good.

  2. Tapioca pearls!! I was wondering what those were. I went to Cherry Berry once, but I couldn’t figure out what they were. Thanks Chelsea for solving this mystery for me 🙂 Also really glad you had such a wonderful birthday. And thanks for your birthday wish, it made a difference for me. And I can’t wait to see you at Illgenstock!

    • Yeah, I briefly forgot what they were yesterday but had an epiphany later. And I don’t know who this is, but I’m glad my wish worked, and I can’t wait to see you at Illgenstock, either! 😀

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