around the sun

Hi friends! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Ours was the ideal mix of low-key lounging and adventures nearby. I’d love to hear what you had going on!

A friend had a baby last week, so I was excited to make a baby meal to take over to their house. I LOVE making baby meals because each time I remember how special they were after Liv was born. When chocolate-covered acai berries were a food group, I really looked forward to having a *real* meal and time to chat with friends when they stopped by with a meal. I still vividly remember each of the dinners we received after Liv was born because they tasted even more incredible in my sleep-deprived and hangry state.

I decided to try out a new recipe: Ina Garten’s Chicken Parmesan. Ina never does me wrong.

Ina Garten's chicken parmesan

It smelled awesome and was so easy to put together. I’m definitely going to make it again soon for a weeknight meal! I packed it up with some roasted potatoes, lemon-garlic asparagus,

Potatoes and asparagus

salad (greens, cucumber, carrots, strawberries and feta with homemade balsamic on the side)

Huge salad

and the most ridiculous Birthday Cake Chex Mix. My friends at General Mills sent the Chex mix supplies, so Liv and I excitedly made a double batch. We went through our bag within a span of a few hours.

Baby meal

We dropped off the meal and got to meet the sweet little baby, too. It’s so hard to believe the girls were ever that little, and that they ever stayed in the same spot for so long. Heh.

99% of the time that I make a baby meal, I’ll make the same thing for us to have at home for dinner. This time, I was cooking everything a bit more quickly, and we felt like getting out of the house for dinner. So, we decided to take the girls out to Bleu Pub for burgers. 

with Livi bear

They have housemade black bean burgers (LOVE them!), great fries and live music. 

Bleu pub black bean burger and sweet potato fries

The girls bopped around to the music while they ate their burgers, and dinner was fantastic. I’m also strangely into cider right now and the pear cider was everything with my burger, sweet potato fries and salad.

This post hops around the place a bit with order of events – long weekends will do that to ya – but Pilot was out of town for a while, we made up with lost time with two date nights within the span of a few days. WHAAAT. 

We hit the gym for a nighttime workout session and then had the best dinner at Two Friends. 

Date night outfit

(Wearing my fave sweater with these mules. <— 40% off right now!)

Saturday, we got a lot done around the house (and continued chipping away at the mountain of boxes from the garage), and took a break to take the girls to the park. The weather was surprisingly wintery! I had to break out long-sleeved tees and jackets for the girls. I was thinking that the park would be empty because it was so cool and cloudy, but instead, it was completely packed. The girls spent some time in the fresh air swinging, sliding and running around.

Stop growing P

(When did P turn into a big girl?!)

me and P

The Pilot and I enjoyed dinner at 306 North, which is another one of our local favorites. I broke my “don’t eat raw seafood here” rule – I got food poisoning from the sushi place last time we lived here. Word to the world: never order the “special roll” – and devoured some raw oysters. We shared the oysters with a cheese board, and for my entree I rolled with the scallops. It came with grilled asparagus and truffle sweet potatoes.

Oysters and cheese plate

306 north scallops

Sunday, I turned the big 3-3. I got to wake up to the birthday song, performed by my favorite people, and we took a little road trip to Tallahassee. We got there just in time for the girls’ jump reservation at Sky Zone. You know you’re a parent when there’s nothing you’d rather do on your birthday than take your kiddos somewhere super fun. I thought about sneaking in an OTF class, but the timing wasn’t super convenient. I figured I can catch one when we’re in Tucson for Turkey Day! The girls loved the trampoline park. It was extremely clean and I loved that each trampoline was segmented into individual areas. It felt much safer than some of the other ones we’ve visited.

Sky zone with the girls

After the girls jumped their hearts out, we headed to Whole Foods. We grabbed all of the essentials we’ve been missing – I’ll share some new finds in Friday Faves if I like them! – and devoured some hot bar for lunch. Hot bar, I miss you SO much. When we lived in Tucson, it was one of our favorite places to go; they always have something for everyone. 

Lunch at whole foods

We came back home for cake! We picked up a cute little fall cake with autumn trees, and I blew out the candles with this little family I love so much.  

Cake with my loves

32 was a really great year. The previous couple of years were challenging in so many aspects, but I was optimistic at this time last year. 32 was the year I got back on my feet and rebuilt myself after a little bit of turmoil. I have my fingers crossed that this next year will have the same positive momentum. I’m excited to see what it has in store. 🙂

Fall birthday cake

Hope you had a great weekend, too! What’s something fun that you did? Favorite birthday cake flavor? I’m usually a chocolate fanatic, but we decided to get vanilla with vanilla frosting (mostly so the girls would actually go to sleep!) and it was so, so good.



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  1. Bethany on November 13, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Happy Belated Birthday! I am a vanilla girl 90% of the time myself. Add allll the sprinkles!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:14 am

      <3 thank you!

  2. Janice O'Kane on November 13, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Sounds like a great birthday weekend, that cake is totally adorable! My grandma and then my mom have made a date cake with chocolate frosting all my life for birthdays, it’s rare that one of us kids strayed from that request. Now in my 50’s, with my mom in her 80’s, I’m secretly hoping she makes one for my birthday this year even though I’ve told her not to go to the trouble!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

      ahhh i hope she makes one for you!! that sounds amazing 🙂

  3. Nicole @ Bento Momentos on November 13, 2017 at 8:57 am

    What a sweet post — you’re incredibly kind to whip up all that food for your friend!! Happy early birthday!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

      thank you, lovely!

  4. Cassie on November 13, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Happy birthday!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

      thank you!

  5. Nicole Kump on November 13, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Looks like you had a great birthday! And wow, I am so impressed with that meal you made. Looks delish! If I wasn’t deployed, I would be making that Chex mix right now!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

      seriously, send your APO so i can get a goodie package to you!

      • Nicole Kump on November 14, 2017 at 11:26 am

        Haha, ok, you’re so nice! Just sent you an Instagram message 🙂

  6. Amanda on November 13, 2017 at 10:21 am

    <3 for a great birthday weekend. The truffle sweet potatoes look delicious…I mean, it doesn't look as delicious as that awesome birthday cake…but delicious. Wishing you a fantastic 33. Based on your weekend pics, it looks like it's off to a great start.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

      thank you so much, amanda!

  7. Jessica @ Fit Talker on November 13, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Happy birthday! I’ve been reading your blog for years and somehow feel like I’m getting older way faster than you! 😉
    If you’re liking cider, give Downeast a try (if you haven’t already). It’s from Boston and is my absolute FAVE!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

      thank you so much for reading for so long!! <3
      i will definitely check that out. thank you!

  8. Kristen on November 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Happy Birthday, birthday twin! Hoping 33 is a great one for you (and 32 for myself:)!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

      yay, hope you had a wonderful birthday, too!

  9. Kara on November 13, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Great baby meal idea! I’m going to copy that:). Love the drape cardigan! Can you let me know if you ordered regular size or sized down? I’m usually a size small and want it to be drapey but not huge! Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

      i would size down! i’m usually a small or xs, and i went with an xs and it’s still big

  10. Melissa Caulfield on November 13, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Happy Birthday Beautiful lady !

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

      thank you, lovely!

  11. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on November 13, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I just realized I didn’t have a birthday cake for my birthday. Birthday fail! Glad you enjoyed your day. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

      you need to make up for lost time!

  12. Reenie on November 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Happy Birthday!!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

      thank you!

  13. Raimie on November 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Happy Birthday Gina! thank you for sharing! You always provide a great reminder that genuine acts of kindness, showing up for the people you love, and spending time (in the “simple” day-to-day ways) with loved ones are what matters <3 cheers to a great year ahead for you!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

      you’re the sweetest, raimie. thank you!

  14. Brittany Taylor on November 13, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! Aren’t birthdays with kids something fun? It makes it more special seeing them get excited about it.
    We just got back from a week trip to San Francisco and wine country. So I have a big case of the Mondays:)
    And while I like many flavors of birthday cake, it’s a tie between funfetti and yellow cake with chocolate icing straight from the box!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:10 am

      yes, kids make all holidays so much more fun 🙂
      sounds like you had an amazing weekend!!!
      loooooove funfetti.

  15. Harley on November 13, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Happy, happy birthday! Here’s to a great year ahead! Sounds like the perfect way to celebrate.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:10 am

      thank you so much! it was a great weekend

  16. Whitney on November 14, 2017 at 1:07 am

    It looks like you had such a wonderful birthday! Well wishes for a happy and joyful year ahead!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:09 am

      thank you, whitney!

  17. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups on November 14, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Happy belated birthday! Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

      thank you so much!

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