Happy Birthday to Me!

It’s my birthday…I woke up to a party this morning!

My family gave me some wonderful presents (as always!):

The one thing I really wanted to do today was go somewhere interesting and see something beautiful. I decided on the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis, where we got to see a charming park and some stunning architecture (plus a little history thrown in, for fun!):

Since we were visiting a park named for “America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman,” I wore my French Market skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing, and accessorized with my favorite color, purple:

When we got home, I attended an all-penguin birthday party on Gloriana:

I’m so happy Roald came to my birthday!!!

We watched one of my favorite movies this afternoon (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and I kept that theme going with a Chicago-style pizza for dinner:

Speaking of Chicago, my birthday cake was a copycat of the Portillo’s chocolate cake recipe. Bunny baked it, Ladybug frosted it, and Chickadee sprinkled it:

I ended the day watching our favorite pitmaster, David Sandusky of Beast Craft BBQ, compete on the premiere episode of season two of BBQ Brawl on Food Network (he advanced to the next round!), and visiting Chickadee’s island for a birthday celebration at her house:

I had a great time celebrating my birthday with my family!

January Penguin Birthday Parties

January was a busy month on my island in Animal Crossing New Horizons…three out of my eight penguin neighbors celebrated birthdays!

Gloriana has another three penguin birthdays this month…I love that so many of them have their birthdays during winter!

Celebrating the New Year in the Time of COVID-19

How in the world do you say goodbye (or perhaps good riddance), to a year like 2020 and then immediately move into celebrating what we all hope will be a better, brighter future?

In our case, we did what we usually do on New Year’s Eve and Day…stay home. I made stromboli, one of our favorite dinners, for New Year’s Eve:

And we had our traditional hot chocolate bar while watching Apollo 13. It wasn’t as fancy as it has been in the past (finding all of the things I usually include was too difficult due to COVID-19), but all things considered, I think I did a pretty good job of putting it together!

Most of the rest of the evening was spent playing Animal Crossing New Horizons and waiting for the final countdown, if you will, while we watched Ocean’s 11.

Roald had some wisdom to share:

Aurora and Wade echoed my thoughts on the year, too:

After staying up far too late trying to place an order on Lego’s website (I finally had success at 1:30 a.m.!), I was up fairly early this morning, and got to see the ice on the trees before it melted:

Sprinkle must not have gotten enough sleep, either, because she was in desperate search of coffee:

I think Ursula summed up my feelings on the new year pretty well:

A new year deserves a fancy dinner. I went with cool colors for the table this time:

I kind of took the easy way out with dinner…I just made pork tenderloin for the main course, which isn’t difficult to make and doesn’t even take much time, but feels fancy. I also made roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts, creamed spinach, breaded artichokes, and rolls. We even had spiced apple rings, which are a favorite of mine!

It was a really delicious dinner!

After watching Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!, we had dessert, a hot chocolate cake. I won’t lie, I used a mix, and canned frosting. But I still tried to make it look fancy:

I’ll leave you with a gently misquoted toast to the New Year by Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H:

“Here’s to the New Year. May she be a damn sight better than the old one, and may we all leave home before she’s over.”

Happy New Year!