Food Blog · Weekend Workings

Weekend Workings: Birthday Shenanigans

Today, February 4th, is my favorite person’s birthday! I’m so happy that I get to spend today with him, since the last two he’s been deployed, so my Birthday Celebrations have been limited to what I could fit into a flat rate box. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, so I was happy that I could have the chance to celebrate him.

Mandatory picture of birthday boy with cat, with their best “Nothing to see here” faces on

Before the birthday shenanigans though, we had his Command Party this past week.  It was another valid excuse to get dolled up with my best date, and go to a fancy hotel, have fancy food, and dance with friends. I didn’t get many pictures of us, but we cleaned up pretty nice! There was a professional photographer there, so I’m hoping we’ll get some good pictures of the two of us together!


Friday was a normal day (other than the slight old lady tiredness I felt after being out past my bedtime and maybe a little too much of the adult beverages) and Austin had duty, so I made sure to get a head start on our “chores” like laundry, dishes, cleaning and such.  Saturday we did our Costco run and grocery shopping for the week, which was sadly light due to the fact that it will be just me in the house for a while due to that whole Navy-owns-my-boyfriend bit.  We swung by to see my dad at his office and give him my nephew’s birthday present, and Austin made friends with the boss’ dog, Dandy.

This morning we woke up, and all of the noble “I’ll cook him a birthday breakfast!” intentions that I had kind of… disappeared.  So after giving him the physical component of his birthday present first thing, I decide we were going out to breakfast. Metro Diner is a staple in our weekend breakfast habits, and their specials are always really, really fantastic.  In the birthday celebration spirit, I decided the strawberry cheesecake stuff waffles were what needed to be had, and I wasn’t disappointed. I also was overwhelmed and couldn’t finish them!

We’re antique and thrift store nerds, but we don’t usually take the time to go to many places lately. So I decided a birthday was a good day to drive out to Eco Relics in north Jacksonville and check them out. We’re keeping half of an eyeball out for a desk or table for me to have as my work space, since Austin’s gaming has taken over the desk that I brought into the apartment.  Which is fine! Just… you know, eventually we need the dining table for things like eating, and my back can only take so much sitting on the couch. We also decided to wander Cummer Art Museum and Gardens, but were mostly just sad at how damaged the gardens still are from Hurricane Irma. We’ll have to go back after they’ve been able to reconstruct them some more!  Obviously I was too busy wandering to take any pictures of these parts of the adventures.

After changing at home, we were off to the second part of Austin’s birthday gift from me: Dinner at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse that just opened up in Jacksonville.

Oh man.

Oh, oh man.

It’s so good.  Since this was our first time, and birthdays are special, we got the Full Churasco Experience, which is $48.95 a person. Steep, but then you have to factor in you get unlimited access to the sides bars, which are a cold and hot collection of salads, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, beans, rice, soup of the day, a full wheel of parmesan, etc., etc.  It’s incredible just for that. Then the servers come around and you can have unlimited meat selections! So long as the little circle on your table that indicates whether you want more or not is green, they keep bringing you more.  They also bring table sides of garlic butter mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas (ohsogood), and fried polenta with parmesan.

Of course I took pictures of my food, who you do you think I am?

I didn’t get any pictures of the meats, but my favorites were the lamb chops, leg of lamb, and the bacon wrapped filet.  We also tried the garlic steak, bacon wrapped chicken, sirloin and rib eye.

When we couldn’t fit anything else in, the server asked what we would like for dessert, complimentary since I had indicated it was Austin’s birthday on our reservation.  So of course the chocolate mousse cake had to be had. They even decorated it for him!

Then we rolled ourselves home, and Austin is sitting in a corner groaning about How Much Good Food that was, how He’s Going To Die, But At Least He Died Happy.

I’d say that means we can call this birthday weekend a success!

Have you ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse? Did you like it? Do you have a favorite birthday tradition?

Activity · Food Blog · Rambles

Back on the wagon, back to the routine

It’s been… a week, guys. Really. I have a whole post cooking on reflecting about the government shutdown and how I spent that time (spoiler: there was a lot of ice cream and worrying), so I’m not going to get into it now. I promise, it’s not anything political, as I’m not a really a political person, and sharing those views as a Federal employee just get awkward fast, so I don’t.

What I will do, is talk about some of the highlights of today:

After a few lazy days filled with ice cream, I decided today was a day to go all-in with healthy habits again. Drinking my water, walking in excess of my step goal, cooking dinner and not just looking for the fastest/easiest/laziest dinner I can. Mexican joints, man. They get you every time. Tacos make sadness better.

Austin and I are lucky to live in an apartment complex that is extremely walkable – the area outside of it has double wide sidewalks to walkers and bikers can live in harmony, as well as not being crowded off by a determined mom with a double wide stroller out for her evening run. We walked about a mile and a half, and part of it we ducked into one of the neighborhoods to house ogle, and came upon four houses in a row that had this situation going on:


It took a moment for us to remember that it’s a really new development, and therefore they still have show homes. That don’t necessarily need the full use of the garage, so having bushes in front of the garage door isn’t completely nuts! At least we got a laugh out of our confusion.

By the end of the walk, it was just chilly enough that I couldn’t feel my face and my legs were reminding me that really, we didn’t move much over the weekend. But my daily total was nice and beefy (for me, at least) so I’m not too mad.

For dinner I did one of my “find a bunch of stuff that goes together and throw it in a pan” methods, and ended up with a pretty awesome breakfast hash.  There’s diced red potatoes, bacon, spinach, and cheddar topped with two fried eggs and a little salsa verde. Definitely a winner, and Austin declared it should be kept in rotation of our weeknight recipes.

Now I’m off to shower and put my feet up for a little bit before heading to bed. Part of adjusting to life with a chronic disease that makes you tired all the time is just giving in to the early bed time. My days of being a night owl and staying up until 2 AM, then getting up at 5 to do homework before going to work are long over.  Plus, I have cuddle cats who want to snuggle all the time, so I can’t complain about a reason to be in bed where they cuddle up (or in Moose’s case, cuddle adjacent to me).

Are you an early riser? Early to bed? Night owl? Both? I miss being productive at night, but I’m learning to shift my productivity to earlier in the day to free up my evening to be in bed by 10 at the latest.