Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My birthday weekend with the naughty monkey + birthday freebies!

Hi everyone! Sorry this post is coming a little late. I was away for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday and then my uncle arrived from Germany (it's his first time in the US!) Overall I had a really great birthday. My mother surprised me with the KitchenAid Mixer I've been drooling over for eons. Now my apartment search includes the qualifier of having enough counter space for the mixer to have a permanent home. Greg has asked more than once if this is going to be the mixer that opens my bakery. It just may be.
Originally I was planning on going to Maine's Acadia State Park to try to view the Geminid meteor shower, which was supposed to peak on the night of my birthday, work schedules, however, made for difficulties. It also ended up being very cloudy that night and the following night, so I didn't get to see any. Hopefully next year I'll have a little bit better luck. Even though the original plan fell through, Greg and I spent a fantastic weekend in Newport. We visit there a few times a year, but we never stay for the weekend, so this was a nice change. If you're ever visiting there, I can highly recommend the Hotel Viking where we stayed. The hotel itself is beautiful and located right at the beginning of Bellevue Avenue. If you've never been, this is where the mansions are and I highly recommend the Cliff Walk which is open to the public and completely free. If you can, do the guided tour of at least one mansion, they are spectacular. Greg and I walked around town for a bit and went down to Thames Street where there are lots of great shops and restaurants. This is another area I highly recommend, there is lots to see and do in that neighborhood. Greg and I headed back to the hotel after a few hours (mostly to escape the cold) and he sent me for a fantastic massage as my birthday gift. The hotel's SpaTerre is truly luxurious and I felt so pampered. I got all of my knots and kinks worked out and I felt like I was walking on clouds. As I returned to my room I found a box of cupcakes and a card from the hotel which was also good for a complimentary bottle of wine with dinner to celebrate. Greg and I got ready for dinner and this is when I met the naughty monkey. After a delicious assortment of crab cakes, stuffed quahogs, and the chef specialty grand chowder (which was amazing with lobster, shrimp and scallops) I had to peek at the dessert menu. I love dessert, so trying to decide what to try is always difficult. The waiter recommended the house specialty, The Naughty Monkey. Curious Greg and I ordered it and it was delicious. The Viking describes it as "a house made nutella filled crepe topped with caramelized bananas, whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a side of walnut chocolate chip ice cream." Re read that sentence and just drool, I know I am. If you are ever in Newport, even if you aren't staying at the Viking, go by there and just try the naughty monkey, it's worth it. All of the food at their restaurant, One Bellevue, is fabulous and you won't be disappointed. The next time I am up that way however, I really want to attend one of their afternoon teas, I swear I live in the wrong time period. 

After stuffing my face with delicious food for the weekend, I came home to my mother making my favorite, gnocchi and a birthday gift of Paula Deen coconut cake. Yummm.

Funny little side story. While we were out and about Greg and I went to the Alex and Ani store and he bought me the Fascinate Me with Love charm and I had my eye on one of the feather bracelets. I asked to see one out of the case and found one of the other ones I wanted to try was on the counter. I noticed that this one had a clasp instead of their usual expandable bracelet. I said to Greg, "Look this one is kind of weird, no?" The girl behind the counter looks at my wrist and says, "Oh! That one is a an earring!" I would do that... 

Anyway, on to birthday freebies! One of the best parts of getting older (one of the only good things) is getting presents! Here's a list of some of the perks and freebies you can get for your birthday.

- Free lip duo from Sephora for Beauty Insider members
- $10 for Victoria's Secret
- Free Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity breakfast at IHOP
- Free gift with $10 purchase at Godiva
- Free entree and dessert at Not Your Average Joe's
- Free box of chocolate covered strawberries with purchase of 2 4-course dinners at The Melting Pot
- $5 off $30 at Hot Topic for HT+1 members
- 50 free Swagbucks (I'll have a blog on those soon)
- Free smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe
- Free pastry at Panera Bread
- Free drink of choice at Starbucks
- $10 free game play at Dave & Buster's
- Free piece of cake from Smokey Bones
- 25 points on your A.C. Moore reward card

and there are honestly probably many more out there.

What's your favorite part of your birthday?

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