How I Spent My 33rd Birthday

Thanks again for all of your birthday wishes yesterday! I felt so loved receiving messages on many different modes of social media. Everywhere I looked yesterday, I saw birthday wishes and kind words, and it was awesome. Thanks, friends!

My birthday started bright and early yesterday morning with presents… in bed. As soon as my alarm went off, Mal rolled over and told me Murphy had a present for me. Pugs are so thoughtful. Mal grabbed a small package from his side table, and, in typical Murphy fashion, the pug forgot what he got me and immediately thought it was for him. Murphy ran up to Mal and starting sniffing like crazy, so it took Mal a few tries to actually hand me the present because Murphy was so excited about it. Haha! I love pugs.

Inside Murphy’s present was two Junk headbands! So cool! I fell in love with the skull headband at Regionals last month, but they were all sold out of the size/style I wanted, so Mal Murphy went online and ordered it for me plus another funky neon one.

Junk bands

Of course, I needed to try out one of my new headbands at CrossFit yesterday, so I wore the funky neon one since it matched my outfit. It actually flew off of my head when I was doing pull-ups, but it stayed put for the rest of my workout. I guess you just need to tie them really tight to ensure that they stay in place.

Junk band

After CrossFit, I showered, ate lunch, and then went to get my hair cut, which was much-needed. My ends were dry and dead and gross, so I was more than happy to get rid of some of them. I actually had a good 2-3 inches cut and more layers added, so my hair looks a zillion times healthier now. Fresh cut, baby.

Aveda salon Zona

After my haircut, I came home and got the pug ready to make some visits. We had a wonderful time visiting folks at the senior center yesterday afternoon. Quite a few of our favorite people were outside enjoying the beautiful day, so we made a number of visits in the sunshine, which was a nice change of scenery.

Therapy Dog

Murphy and I met Mal at home after our visit, so the three of us took an afternoon walk together. The pug met an orange cat on our walk. I think he said his name was “Milo.”

Pug too cool for school

After our walk, Mal and I prettied ourselves to go to dinner at Steel & Rye, which is one of my favorite restaurants. Mal and I went there back in March, and we’ve raved about it to anyone who will listen ever since.

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In addition to a gorgeous space inside, Steel & Rye also has a wonderful outdoor patio, which is where Mal and I enjoyed dinner last night.

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Handsome date.

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Birthday cocktail.

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My drink was called “Fairway to Heaven.” It was made with house-made cucumber vodka, Pimm’s, citrus, and Bittermens Tiki Bitters, and it was incredible””light, refreshing, not too sweet, but with tons of flavor. Yum!

steel & rye cocktail

We started with a couple of appetizers: potato chips with a light, cheesy, herb-y dip.

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And marinated olives.

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And then we moved onto the main course. I ordered the ocean trout, which was served with honey-roasted radishes, white asparagus, and kumquats. It was excellent”” flavorful, nutritious, interesting. I had never had trout before, so I was surprised it tasted a lot like salmon. I really liked it!

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Once we finished eating dinner, Mal and I decided we didn’t want the night to end quite yet, so we grabbed a drink at the bar inside. I already enjoyed a birthday cocktail, so I asked the bartender if he would make me a “mocktail,” which ended up being so, so, so good. It was a Pomegranate Limeade, and it was delicious. It didn’t even need booze!

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M + T!

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All in all, my 33rd birthday was a fabulous one!

Health News & Views

Every week, my dog, Murphy, and I visit a nearby rehabilitation home for elderly patients. Murphy is a certified therapy dog, so we work together as a team to bring a little happiness into these people’s lives. The hour we spend making visits is easily the highlight of my week.

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As soon as Murphy and I walk into the senior home, I see people’s faces immediately light up- everyone from the residents to the staff, even visitors just passing by. A number of these people deal with chronic illnesses and not-so-fun health issues, so when Murphy visits with them (he either sits on the ground or I pick him up so he can be petted), their disposition instantly changes. It seems like the presence of a dog helps them forget the challenges that they are currently facing at least for a little while. I love seeing how much joy Murphy brings into these people’s days.

Should Your Pooch Be a Therapy Dog? 3 Ways Pets Benefit Health

Question of the Day

What is your favorite childhood birthday celebration memory?

When I turned 10 years old, my mom rented a limo for my birthday. My sister, cousins, a couple of my friends, and I drove around town in it. We thought we were so cool. It was so much fun!

P.S. Be sure to enter Trip Tribe’s vacation giveaway!


  1. Well Happy Belated Birthday! That restaurant looks amazing… I wish we had a place like that west of the city. Not sure what my favorite birthday memories have been. Jon normally gets me Bruins tickets for my birthday, so probably that! 🙂 Expect the Winter Olympics will be this February, which means no NHL for a month! 🙁

    I love murphy’s expressions btw!

  2. My mom threw a food fight party for my eighth birthday. It was AWESOME! She made an outdoor buffet for lunch, and after we were done eating she had us (parents included) line up around the table. On the count of three, we went to town throwing food and smashing it into each other’s hair. Presents and swimming pool time followed. It was a party I will never forget. I also want to repeat it now that I’m an adult. Who doesn’t love a good food fight?

  3. Happy belated birthday Tina!! 33 is looking FABULOUS on you!
    Thanks for being such an inspiration- strong, healthy, determined, cheerful and really living life.
    The blogworld (unfortunately) seems to have many “healthy living blogs” that are anything but. YOUR blog is truly an example of health. I admire and respect what you’re doing!! Thank you Tina!

  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Tina!! I love how Murphy is a therapy dog! It makes me wonder if Ali, my pug, would be a good one. She’s 9 and a half, so I’m not sure if she’s too set in her ways to learn how to be one….

  5. Its funny I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I just realized we both live in the Boston area, turned 33 in June and have been married 5 years this year! Now I just need to get myself as fit as you lol! Happy belated Birthday!

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