Posted by: dinainsuburbia | October 1, 2008

You say it’s your birthday….

Yesterday was my birthday… 33 (yikes) years old!  Thirty-three DOES still count as “early thirties” doesn’t it?  How can it be possible that I’ve been on Earth for 33 years.  It seems completely impossible as I still feel like a little kid.  I think I’ve brought this up in previous posts, but I totally think that this is how we just feel throughout our lives- young, unsure, a little scared. I guess it never goes away, huh?

I had a GREAT birthday.  Actually, it was more like a few days… Starting last Thursday when my mom took me to see Wicked on Broadway (see the blog post about it here).  Our good friends Cathy, Bryan, and their adorable daughter Autumn came over for dinner Saturday and surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers (currently residing on my dining room table), a beautiful hand-made necklace, and totally tasty cookie bars made by Cathy.  As if that wasn’t enough (and it totally was) I had a wonderful, home-cooked meal courtesy of my step-mom on Sunday.  Got spoiled with some cash-o-la AND a cannoli-cream filled cake (yum).  But, it doesn’t stop there! Monday night my mom made dinner (roast chicken, baked potatoes, string beans) and treated me to a full pound of my FAVORITE cookies (I’m not sure exactly what they are called, but they’re crunchy- made with egg whites- and chocolately with TONS of whole hazelnuts).  Mom spoiled me with $$$ of gift cards to my favorite stores:  The Gap and Nordstroms.  Sounds like an awesome birthday, right?  IT GETS BETTER!

Tuesday, Cara, Rhianna, Laura, Maddie, and I made our way out to Water Mill (East End of Long Island) to go Apple Picking.  We hit up Seven Ponds Orchard and were surprised to not only see an assortment of wonderfully ripe apples to pick, but fall raspberries as well!  The farm even supplied red wagons to pull our heavy booty through as we happily picked & picked!  I picked a 1/2 peck of baking apples to can Apple Pie in a Jar and Bon Appetit’s applesauce.  Rhianna (my niece) and Maddie had a wonderful time at the farms wooden playground which consisted of lots of imaginative play items like a wooden pirate ship with slide, an airplane, and a tractor.  Needless to say, Maddie was just a *little* upset when it was time to leave.


Just when I thought the birthday fun was over, it was time to drive back home and get ready to make my way to New York City for dinner with my husband and good friend Rachel!  We dined at Pipa on 19thstreet (in the ABC Carpet & Home building). Pipa specializes in tapas (small plates).  We FEASTED on a cheese plate, teeny green olives, dates wrapped with bacon, an unbelievable spicy & sweet fried calamari, hanger steak beef skewers, mushroom croquettes, and crispy potatoes with garlic aioli.  If that wasn’t enough, we killed a pitcher of red sangria that was delicious but possibly the cause of the constant throbbing in my head as I type!  While the food was delicious, we weren’t too impressed with the dessert selection, and decided instead to take a walk downtown to Max Brenner, a chocolate shop/restaurant on Broadway between 13th & 14th streets.

Who is Max Brenner- we weren’t able to figure it out, but came up with one conclusion:  he loves himself.  His name is ALL OVER the restaurant as are quotes attributed to him, or about him such as, “look mom, Willy Wonka is alive.”  While I didn’t see any oompa-loompa’s we did get chocolate overdose eating the tasting menu that included lots of chocolate sauces, a mini-fondue, a fire for roasting marshmallows, and pop rocks.  I don’t know if it was exactly good, but it was interesting (and fun to indulge a primal desire to play with fire).  After doing some investigating online, I still have no idea who Max Brenner is, but realized that his shops are mainly located in Australia and Israel with only 2 in the USA- both of which in downtown Manhattan.  You can check out the menu here, it’s a little confusing, but you’ll get the idea.

Finally, we made our way home on the LIE- exhausted and too full of food.  Oh- I was happily wearing my new John Hardy earrings that John gave me.. aren’t they awesome?  Best part, is for every item you purchase, Bamboo is planted to reforest Nusa Penida, a small island off the coast of Bali where his workshop is located.  You can read more about John Hardy here.

John Hardy small-hoop bamboo earrings.

John Hardy small-hoop bamboo earrings.


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