Sunday Blessings – The Blog’s 3rd Birthday

THREE YEARS! This little baby blog just turned 3 this past Thursday and to be honest I had completely lost track of time. It was my devoted and loyal reader, my grandma (GG), who commented on my Facebook page about the birthday. She’s the best 🙂 Who else could have I counted on to pay attention the date for me? 🙂 Love you, G!

With the short notice, I wasn’t able to get the celebratory post up in time. It’s all for the best though because now I can tell you in a traditional Sunday Blessings post about how blessed I am to have this outlet and readers like you. I realize some of you may be long-time, loyal readers, and some of you may be reading for the first time. Some of you have stuck with me through the consistent posting times, and got bored with my lack of posting for quite awhile as well. However it makes no difference to me. I am so grateful for each and every reader taking time out of their busy lives to read what I have to say.

It’s also a bittersweet time, because as I’ve mentioned every year, August 1st is the anniversary of my good friend, college roommate, and teammate’s passing three years ago as well. That was by far the hardest loss I’ve ever had to endure and my heart still breaks when I think of Morgan losing her life so, so young. But I also have peace knowing our beautiful angel is in heaven.

such babies we were!

On a happier note, this third year in the blogosphere was a fun one. Since last July 31st:

We bought a house, celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a married couple in said house.
I started a new job and was able to take two mini vacations in between. I went to Orlando to visit Brooke where we celebrated our birthdays by getting up close and personal with beluga whales. Then I went to Breckenridge, CO with Greg to ski in the winter wonderland.

I competed with other local bloggers in the Food Lion Frugal Cook Off. With the help of Val, our Mexican style dish won!

When springtime rolled around, Greg and I planted a garden in our backyard and were thrilled when our mixed greens were ready to harvest! We’ve also grown tomatoes galore, jalapeños, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions.

Some of my favorite recipes from the blog’s third year include:

(funny to see that all of those recipes were created right around the time I had off between jobs. I was staying quite productive in the kitchen during that transition!)

Again, I hope you all know how much I appreciate you and love sharing my thoughts on faith, food and daily life in general with you. Here’s to year #4!

See also:
2nd Blog Birthday
1st Blog Birthday
1st Post Ever!

25 Ways to Have the Best 25th Birthday

My list of 25 Ways to Have the Best 25th Birthday really should read: 25 Things I Did (or will do) to Celebrate My 25th Birthday.

1. Declare that your birthday is really more like your birthday week. Take a trip to visit your beautiful sister and grandparents in Orlando to celebrate.

2. One day during your trip, bond with your sister through an exercise class, relaxing with a short nap, drinking some margaritas, going to an Orlando Magic game, and grabbing some drinks downtown.

3. Also be sure to use your “free birthday meal” coupons all week. I was looking forward to using my coupon from First Watch since we don’t have them in Charleston. Brooke and I shared two of our favorite dishes: Floridian French Toast (so appropriate) and the Cherry Chicken Quinoa Bowl. Perfection!

4. Continue the delicious food consumption with sushi. Ohmygosh, how I had been craving sushi! This Hot Lava Roll from Bento Cafe in downtown Orlando hit. the. spot.

5. Be blown away by your sister’s gift to you: a behind the scenes tour and interaction with the BELUGA WHALES! What?! I didn’t even know that existed as an activity. Despite the 50 degree water, it was #amazing.

6. Eat Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. My pictures didn’t do it justice so just use your imagination. Pure indulgence at its finest.

7. When your trip comes to an end, don’t say, “Goodbye” to your sister and grandparents. Instead say, “See ya later!” Goodbyes are no fun.

8. Claim your Starbucks birthday reward drink to for a little pick-me-up during the drive (one of my most anticipated gifts every year).

9. Spend quality time with yourself in the car on a long drive home. Contemplate life, listen to an audio book, pray, and sing your heart out to worship songs…and probably some Katy Perry too.

10. Give your husband a big hug and kiss when you arrive home.

11. Greet your dog with some puppy-talk and receive lots of slobbery kisses. Try not to get tackled.

12. Go to Chipotle for a birthday lunch date.

13. Eat said Chipotle, savoring every single bite.

14. Shop for a real winter coat and gloves in preparation for a trip to Colorado next week (not the typical lightweight stuff that is good enough for living in Charleston).

15. Relax on the couch with your husband and avoid unpacking as long as possible.

(This is where I currently am, so no more pictures to share…)

16. Deem control over the remote for once in your life and watch Glee on Netflix.

17. Take a nap, consider unpacking or doing laundry, but quickly talk yourself out of it and go on a family walk instead.

18. Put on a fun, festive birthday outfit and head out for dinner at Coleman Public House, which by the way will be free for me with yet another birthday coupon! (I’m a pro at getting all the deals if you haven’t noticed.)

19. Meet up with friends for a drink or two.

20. The next day, remind your husband that although your birthDAY is technically over, it’s still technically your birthday week (as previously mentioned in #1).

21. Cleanse your bod with lots of water, fruits and vegetables after a few days of splurging. After all, taking care of you and your body is the most important thing.

22. Anxiously await any final birthday surprises…

23. …but don’t be disappointed if/when nothing else comes 😉

24. Thank the good Lord for blessing you with family and friends who make your birthday so special.

25. Thank God some more for giving you the past 25 years on this earth. Pray for another wonderful 25 and many more to come.

July Blog-A-Day #30: Celebrating Two Years with Birthday Cake Oatmeal

Today Counting My Cupcakes celebrates her second birthday. Two years old. Wow, time flies. I still feel like such a beginner most of the time when it comes to blogging. The site has come a long way, but there is also so much room for improvement (obviously). 
Then again, I say that and immediately want to take it back. Why do I feel like there is SO much room for improvement? Well, mostly because I am comparing my blog to other blogs. Other blogs with better pictures, more interesting words, easier site navigation, and infinitely more followers. Some of that may be opinion, but some of that is fact. Either way, I take back my previous statement. 
My blog is beautiful just the way she is and I’m proud of her.I have devoted so much time into this little baby of mine. Sure, things will change over time. I may update the color scheme, redesign the layout, improve my photography skills, or gain (or lose) readership. But that’s life. Things evolve in their own time. 
Thank you to each and every one of you who are reading these words right now. Although I mostly write for me, because it is something I have always enjoyed, I really do love sharing my thoughts with all of you. Whether this is the first post you have ever read or if you have been a loyal reader all along, THANK YOU. 
Happy Birthday to CMC! Here’s to hoping the “terrible twos” don’t apply to the blogosphere 😉
Oh, and that oatmeal up there? I felt like I needed to celebrate the birthday in style. Who says you can’t put sprinkles in your oatmeal? Not me.
Birthday Cake Oatmeal
Makes 1 serving
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/3 cup water
1 banana, sliced
1 teaspoon sprinkles
1. The night before you want to eat this, combine oats, cinnamon, salt, chia seeds and protein powder in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Add milk and water. Cover bowl and place in fridge overnight. (You don’t have to prepare this overnight, but it helps make the oats thicker!)
2. In the morning, slice the banana and add half of the slices to the oatmeal bowl. Microwave for about 1 minute and 20 seconds. Stir, add remaining banana slices, and microwave about 15-30 seconds longer. Add a splash of milk or water to thin the oatmeal if desired. Top with sprinkles and serve immediately. 

Oops! I did it again.

My name may be Brittany, but it is not Britney Spears. I don’t know what she was referring to when she “did it again” in 2000 with that song, dancing in a red leather jumpsuit. But I’m sure you’re curious what I did again…

This is what.

In second grade, I was in a race on “Field Day” (did you ever have Field Day in elementary school??) Anyway, I slipped on the gravel and cut up my knee pretty badly. Well, it actually wasn’t that bad. I didn’t need stitches, but the doctor did wrap it up for a few days.

When this happened a few months ago, I thought it might just be able to outsmart my clumsiness in the future. But then last night, on my BIRTHDAY, I took another fall. Great birthday treat, huh?

Right after work, I convinced Greg to go on a run outside with me. The weather has been so unusually warm for the middle of winter that am continuing to run outside instead of the treadmill to take advantage of it. We were on our way back towards home, only about 50 yards away, when I followed Greg through a cut-through in the middle of a large cluster of trees. I tripped right over some tree roots and toppled to the ground.

WHYYYY?!?!? Why does this always happen to me?

I told Greg maybe I’m just meant to stick to the treadmill. But now that I have been outside so much, the treadmill seems more boring than ever. I’m not naturally an “outdoorsy” girl, so I guess it just takes some work 🙂 Sidewalks are fine, but when it comes to these bumpy dirt/rock/tree paths, not so much.

Anyway, Greg helped me up off the ground, and my frustrated, dirt-covered self stomped back home, and cleaned up for dinner. The good news was that it was in fact still my birthday. And I still had dinner to look forward to.

Nothing that a hot shower and a pretty dress won’t fix!

I picked out the restaurant Long Point Grill (new for us) a week or so ago and had even decided on what I would order. This way, Greg wouldn’t have to deal with me going back and forth between three entrees for 20 minutes at the table.

LPG Macaroni n’ Cheese for me! Menu description: Smoked Gouda, peas, mushrooms, apple-smoked bacon, onions, grilled chicken. Deeeelish. I have to say, while I really did love it, it comes second to this mac and cheese (also seen here).

Greg had the LPG Shrimp & Grits. Menu description: andouille sausage, scallions, basil, shellfish gravy, stone ground grits. I took a bite, and Greg and I both thought it was just decent. It would have been better if it was a little spicy or something. Overall, it was a bit too bland. 
After filling up on dinner, it was time to pick a dessert! They had a wide variety of cakes and pies to choose from. While I was tempted to try the pecan pie, I figured I should keep with birthday tradition and get a slice of cake. Red velvet it was. Since I ordered it to go, the waitress brought it already packed up. It wasn’t until I got home and sat down to dig in that I realized how GINORMOUS of a slice I got. 
This picture doesn’t do it justice. It was seriously huge.
And I was seriously happy. 
Oh, I also have to mention that the restaurant has half-price bottles of wine on Tuesdays and Wednesdays…finally something good about a mid-week birthday! 🙂 
Long Point Grill on Urbanspoon