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. That blue top is so cute, love the color!
    And I love the haircut too, there’s nothing better than a fresh haircut and cute hair for a good day!
    Happy belated birthday by the way, looks like it was a great time!

  2. Happy Belated! When I was 10 or 11 my mom took three friends, my brother and I to Water Wizz Water Park. It was by far one of the cooler parties I ever had. We went on every water slide there countless times, ate junk food and slept the entire ride home!

  3. For my 10th birthday, my Mom and her friend took me and 3 friends to Bethany Beach, Del. for an overnight sleepover. I remember being so crazy excited for it that I didn’t shed a tear when my grandparents who were visiting left us the day before we left to the beach! Usually I was a crying mess when important people left us. We ate Nerds on the way there in the car (remember those?), ordered Shirley Temple’s with extra cherries at Phillips Seafood and had a crazy dress up beauty “contest.” I had some epic birthday parties but this one takes the (birthday) cake!

  4. Love the haircut and that looks like a great way to spend a birthday! My birthday was a few weeks ago and I was treated to a fantastic brunch since brunch is my favorite meal ever.

  5. Hi Tina, My gosh you look so stunning. Your hair (the color) and that blue top on you look great.

    I wanted to ask you about juicing. I ordered a 2-day juice cleanse but now am having pre-cleanse jitters. A lot!
    I’m wondering if I should just do one-day cleanse and freeze the other bottles? I hate doing that because I think my body and mind could REALLY benefit from a cleanse (even though I worry about the sugar hike). Plus its expensive and I’m uncertain if freezing is not a cool thing to do at all.

    Also, I haven’t been all that great about “pre-cleansing”. So…thoughts? Thanks much!

  6. I so wanted my dog, Molly, to be a therpay dog. Unfortuantely SHE needs a therapy dog. She was a rescue and she’s very timid & shy. Bummer.. But we love her to death:)

  7. You always look great, but you looked so pretty in those pictures!!!

    One of my favorite birthdays was when I turned 12, and it was just a small birthday with family and a few friends and my mom was trying to scoop some rather frozen ice cream out of the tub and after a struggle, the scoop went flying into my head. My hair smelled of cookies n cream for the night, but I didn’t mind.

  8. Looks like such a fun day! My birthday is tomorrow, so we are almost birthday twins 🙂 I think my most memorable birthday so far, even though it wasn’t my childhood, was when I went skydiving for my 21st birthday. It was AMAZING!

  9. Since reading your blog I have looked into having my dog certified as well! We just moved so I’m waiting for him to get settled, but then I’ve coordinated with someone to come out and meet him and see if he qualifies! I have such a soft heart for the elderly so fingers crossed it all works out 🙂

  10. Happy Birthday!! Seems like a great way to spend your birthday 🙂 My favorite birthdays were the hotel sleepovers we did. The parents would take a bunch of us girls to the holiday inn and we would play miniature golf, swim, play arcade games and eat ice cream all night. Felt like such a treat!

  11. A limo when you were 10! Quite the treat! I was never a fan of birthdays until I got older and I was more relaxed. Sounds like the perfect day; love the blue and white outfit combo!

  12. A few years ago, my husband and I would swing dance at a retirement home in their Alzheimer’s ward. I would also sing some old Sinatra standards or something familiar for them. It was so cool to get to bring back old memories for the residents!

  13. sucha great post tina. i really enjoyed reading it. Happy Belated! LOVE YOUR HAIR… it’s like perfectly wavy. You’re so lucky! Love what you are doing with murphy and making a difference in people’s lives, I need to do something similar and give back. Hope you enjoyed your day!

  14. I always loved my birthday (and still do lol). Every year I had a roller skating party…when I was 16, instead of a traditional Sweet 16, I took a limo with my closest friends to Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ (I live in NY). It was so totally fun. I recall my parents getting us all tshirts that said , “Meredith’s Great Adventure” as well as a giant cookie cake to eat in the car.

  15. For one of my birthday’s I had a Pocahontas themed birthday party. I had a Pocahontas dress, necklace, and my mom set up a tee-pee and other themed things in our back yard. My dad took me to Burger King because we got fast food about twice a year, and our birthday’s was one of those events because it was free. It was the first year I could see over the counter and I was so excited 😛 Now, I would never be excited to go to BK, but it’s still a fun memory!

  16. I absolutely adore that neon headband!!

    You are so fierce at 33, which is why I wonder why so many people are scared of their thirties. I’m 28 now and I have no doubt that my best years are ahead of me!

    Happy Birthday!

  17. Looks like you had a great 33rd celebration!

    I had the limo party for my 11th and my friends and I had a blast. It was a surprise, and the limo just drove up our driveway while we were all just playing outside. I remember how excited we were, the it drove us to Cici’s Pizza (classy, I know) and then just drove around town after that. Good times.

  18. I’ve been wondering what trout tasted like but didn’t want to buy a package and find out I hate it.

    It sounds like you had a fabulous birthday! I never had a birthday party or any sort of celebration as a kid- the most that ever happened was my mom baked me a cake, but this year I had an amazing birthday. My boyfriend got two other couples (without me knowing) together to have a nice dinner at a fave place and then we went back to one of their houses and plays cards games all night. So much fun!

    1. The stylist did my hair with a flatiron, and I tried to watch her, but I can’t figure out how to make curls like that. I guess it just takes practice?

  19. Glad you had a fun birthday! 🙂 Haircuts are always the best. I always feel so light & pretty after lol.

    I remember for my 6th birthday my parents had my birthday at Prince House of Pizza with a bunch of my friends & there was a clown on stage for entertainment. I wanted to get up there so badly that I acted like I knew a joke. My joke: “How come the apple didn’t move?” “I don’t know. Why didn’t the apple move?” “Because they’re not supposed to move.” Needless to say, I was cute enough for that awful joke to get me a free coloring book lmao!

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