WIAW + Birthday

Is it just me, or is this week flying by? It just doesn’t seem like it should be Wednesday yet…not complaining, though!

Because I’m going to share a WIAW with you all and a recap of what I did on my birthday, I’ll get right to it!


Boy oh boy did I have some good eats this past week!


At school, of course, I enjoyed my usual greek yogurt + granola + fruit, but I won’t make you suffer through another picture of that. Over the weekend, I made up a mixed berry protein smoothie every morning!

For some reason, purple is a very Halloween color to me, so I thought I’d get creative with my photography and put the purple-y smoothie next to some pretty fall leaves. πŸ™‚


Turns out the only noteworthy lunch I enjoyed this past week was on my birthday, so stay tuned for that!


Soooo I went a little crazy with the snacking this week. Normally I’m not a huge candy eater, but when Halloween rolls around…

…bad things happen to my clean snacking goals.

My brother is slowly transitioning to a gluten free diet, and my mom bought this GF snack. Which I ate a lot of. I love anything cheesy!

Finally, one of my favorite snacks: English muffin + sunflower seed butter + jam.


I also enjoyed a lot of delicious dinners over this past week – not even including the one I had on my birthday!

Some of my favorite dinners are the simple and healthy ones: chicken, broccoli and asparagus, and brown rice. Yum.

Another fantastic dinner was this sort of chicken taco salad. Basically, I sauteed a red bell pepper with about half a cup of onion until they were both soft. I then sprinkled some homemade taco seasoning (chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, pepper, and cumin) on top, and threw in maybe 1/3 cup of water. To that, I added about 4 shredded chicken breasts. I let that all cook until it came together, then added that, some brown rice, and salsa to some lettuce!

I got kind of crazy with it and added some cheese and tortilla chips, then chopped it all up with kitchen scissors. It was soooo good!


Because it was my birthday week (even though we all know I don’t need an excuse like that), I made myself a couple of 5 Minute Microwave Brownies.

The first I enjoyed with a bit of whipped cream and lots of fresh strawberries.

The second was plopped out of the mug and onto a plate for picture taking. I then impatiently put the whipped cream and sprinkles on top….and it all melted before I could get a good picture of it.

So I put it back in the mug with lots of fresh raspberries. And everything was happy again.

Workouts October 21-27
Sunday: off
Monday: 15 minutes elliptical + level 5 of these videos (I’m still sore!)
Tuesday: 20 minutes jogging + 25 minutes walking on treadmill
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 20 minutes jogging + 25 minutes walking on treadmill
Friday: P90X yoga
Saturday: 15 minutes elliptical + level 5 of that same video


So on Saturday, I celebrated my 21st birthday. Instead of doing the typical (American) 21st birthday celebration (one that usually is not remembered by the person having the birthday, if you catch my meaning), I decided to go wine tasting with my parents.

I know, I’m 60 years old. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion! πŸ™‚

Initially, we were going to go to Traverse City, which is all the way up at the top of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan (that sentence had a lot of contradictory words in it. Haha.), but the weather was supposed to be stormy all day. So, instead of using up a whole bunch of gas, we headed over to Saugatuck, which is on the lower west side of Lake Michigan.

It rained the entire drive there, but thankfully, it was relatively pleasant and dry the rest of the day! We were all surprised by how many people were out and about, but it made for a fun atmosphere in the little town.

For lunch, we stopped at a great little restaurant called Pumpernickel’s.

Check out the old KitchenAid Stand Mixers up at the top!

Every time I go to Pumpernickel’s, I order their chicken quesadilla. It’s nothing but chicken, cheese, and black beans on the inside, but boy is it good!

After lunch, we wandered around the cute little shops for a bit.

There were at least three shops just for dogs (and cats), including this one that had a table full of homemade treats for dogs! πŸ™‚

Fall was everywhere in Saugatuck – so many places were embracing pumpkins, apples, and pretty fall colors!

(My mom doesn’t like the way she looks in this picture…but I like it and wanted to share it! Shhh! πŸ˜‰ )

There were three wine-tasting shops in Saugatuck. The last two that we visited were my favorite; the atmospheres and owners/staff in each were very nice!

It was very fun and interesting to learn the terminology wine people (apparently I didn’t learn the term for them!) use. I sampled a couple of wines from each place, but I think my favorite was the Spumante from the last place – Italian sparkling wine!

After leaving Saugatuck, we drove down to Holland and walked around for a bit. It was getting pretty cold (the wind off Lake Michigan is bitter!), so we made a quick pit-stop into the candy shop before heading to dinner.

(A side note: I should not be allowed near candy corn after this holiday is done. Like, ever. I need a restraining order.)
One of my favorite restaurants around where we live is Mangiamo’s. It has been featured before on this blog (we went there for New Year’s this past year!), and I love the atmosphere and bread food so much, I decided to go there for my birthday dinner.

The restaurant is actually an old, converted Victorian house from the 1800s.Β It is so pretty, inside and out.

OK. This bread. If I could choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life, this (plus the olive oil cheese balsamic vinegar dipping stuff) would be it.

So. Incredibly. Good. UGH.

I was super excited to see that, on the menu, the have a “Superfoods” section, which is full of, well, superfoods. Lots of veggies, healthy fats, and proteins were in this menu, and the second I saw the salmon, I was sold. Here’s a description from the site:

True North Farms Salmon Alla Sardinia

wood-grilled over Mediterranean quinoa, artichokes, red onion, bell peppers, feta, baby spinach, kalamata olives, citrus glaze, red bell pepper coulis

Ho-ly amazing.

This was by far one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The flavors and textures played off each other so well: the salty feta, the tender but crisp veggies, the velvety coulis, and the sweet, caramelized crust of the salmon. Wow. That’s all I have to say about that.

I had such a great birthday, full of family, relaxation, and good food. That’s all I need to be happy! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a great day!


  1. That sounds like a super lovely birthday. So much nicer than a ‘usual 21st’! X

    1. Haha yes, exactly! Though I wish I could have had a slice of that penguin cake! πŸ˜‰

      1. I bet you had an equally lovely cake πŸ™‚

  2. moderngirlnutrition · · Reply

    All of your eats look amazing and happy birthday! Simple dinners are the best:)

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  3. jessielovestorun · · Reply

    Your dinners all sound fantastic. Also, Happy Birthday girl. I think your day sounded absolutely wonderful. πŸ™‚

    1. Aw, thanks! I did have a great day. πŸ™‚

  4. That berry smoothie looks so pretty! And kit-kats are pretty awesome. They have to be my favorite candy bar of all time πŸ™‚ They are just so good!

    Is your brother having stomach problems? I hope everything goes well with him switching to gluten-free! It’s funny, but the first time my brother went to Whole Foods, Pirate’s Booty was the snack that he picked up. He loved them too πŸ˜€

    Those microwave brownies look I perfect way to celebrate your birthday cake-style! Again, Happy B-Day!

    1. Kit-Kats are soooo good. I like Twix, too, though. It’s hard to choose a favorite! πŸ™‚

      Yes, he’s having some pretty bad stomach issues, but understandably doesn’t want to go GF. That’s so funny that your brother did the same thing!

      Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

      1. Oh, that stinks. I hope he feels better. I’m not sure my brother would survive going gluten-free… He’d have to basically stop eating. πŸ˜€

      2. Exactly. Thanks for the well-wishes, I’ll pass them on! πŸ˜€

  5. Great photos! I haven’t been to Saugatuck in awhile, wish I would have went this fall. Do you live in Grand Rapids?

    1. Yep, West Michigan! I’d never been to Saugatuck in the fall before (I usually go during the summer) and it was a nice treat. Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  6. […] example, for my 21st birthday, I didn’t go out to a bar and do twenty one shots – I went wine tasting with my parents. And had a […]

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