Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to me.

As some of you have surmised, today is my birthday. My 33rd birthday. As it is also a Monday, not a lot of actual birthday celebrating is taking place today. I did have a lovely lunch with my mother who gave me some money and strict instructions to spend it on myself. I have several things I have been needing so I was delighted with my small windfall. I decided to hit the mall this afternoon during The Weekids nap time.

At this point, let me stop and share a piece of advice. If someone gives you money to spend on yourself for your birthday, and one of the things you want to spend it on is a new swimsuit, don't even think about doing the shopping on your actual birthday. Because really, there is no more surefire way to ruin the anniversary of your birth than to strip half-naked in a department store and try on different pieces of way-too-freakin-small spandex clothing under fluorescent lighting.

And if, after you have sufficiently bruised your ego and given up on the swimsuit search, the thought pops in your head, "Well, I could use something cute to wear out with my husband this weekend, maybe I should look for that..." Don't do it. Just go home, have a piece of cake and a glass of wine and call it a day. Because as everyone knows, the moment you have guilt-free money to spend on yourself, one of two things will happen. Either the mall will stop carrying attractive clothing OR your body will morph into a freak of nature too deformed and misshapen to fit, or look decent in, a single item of clothing, no matter how cute it might look on the hanger. And when the latter takes place you will crawl home, on what is supposed to be a happy day, dragging your demolished self-esteem behind you and vowing never to be seen in public again.

Or you know, something like that.

So the advice? Don't try on clothes on your birthday. Unless you are one of those people whom everything looks great on. In which case, I am not sure I can continue be your friend.

Oh, I'm kidding.

Sort of.

~~~~~~
On a happier note, I love bread. I mean I really love bread. All kinds. Dark ryes and pumpernickels, sourdoughs, seedy multi-grains and crusty baguettes. My love for fresh bread is second only to my love for chocolate. And it's a close second. So it is not coincidence that I woke up this morning I found a brand new bread machine sitting on the kitchen counter. I have been coveting one of these for years but never purchased one because I figured my hips didn't need the help. (The above shopping trip may be proof of this.) The Man, however, must not mind the hips because this was his birthday present to me.

I have been circling it all day and have picked up and put down the instruction manual several times. And now I have to admit, I am totally intimidated by this big shiny thing with all the buttons. The Man said I could exchange it if it was not the kind I wanted, but I have no idea what kind I want. I don't bake bread and I don't know a thing about bread machines. So I am asking for your help, my bread machine owning friends.

Is there anything I should look for in a bread machine? And what should I bake first?

Send me your recipes. And your tips.

Mercy, I'm asking for recipes for my birthday. Does that make me a grown-up now?

20 comments:

Michelle E. said...

Happy Birthday Joy!

Kathryn said...

I have REALLY been wanting to get a bread maker. Let me know how you like yours and what kind of bread you decided on. :)

Happy Birthday!

karen said...

Happy Birthday!

On swimsuit shopping, I must recommend LLBeans and Lands' End. Even though I sometimes have to send something back, trying on in my own room is SO much less stressful...and? Swimskirts. Love them.

On clothes looking less cute on you than on the hanger? I feel your pain. Happy birthday anyway!

Crystal D said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you get to make some awesome bread today.

Sister K said...

happy birthday!!! will you send me some of your bread? i'm with you...if i get discouraged on a shopping trip (1 of 2 reasons i don't go often-$ or lack of being the other), i'd rather get ice cream and give myself some yummy therapy :)

Beck said...

Happy birthday, sweetie! and we can be BEST friends, because all clothing looks stupid on me.
You can do a search here for bread machine recipes: http://www.tasteofhome.com/SearchResults.aspx?SearchPhrase=bread%20machine&T=0&searchSource=hdrbox-Recipes

Amy Wyatt said...

Happy Birthday!! I agree... when I have money to spend at the mall, all of a sudden there is nothing to be found, and if I find something, it doesn't fit.

pinkmommy said...

Happy Birthday!

And stick with shoe shopping on your birthday. And purses. Those are always safe.

ChefSara said...

happy birthday! the wonderful thing about a breadmaker is that you don't *have* to know how to bake bread. you just dump the ingredients in, push a few buttons, and a few hours later, you have fresh baked bread! i would suggest going to a book store and browsing their breadmachine bread cookbooks. get a few and just dive in. you won't be disappointed, and you'll love that it takes no more than 5-10 minutes of active "baking" to have a fresh loaf of bread (and it will make your house smell wonderful!!). in fact, i will sometimes put everything in before bed, set it for the delayed time, and wake up to fresh baked bread, perfect for breakfast!

Lynn Stallworth said...

Uh-oh! To be honest, I totally forgot your birthday yesterday. But, I did remember it on Sunday, the day before. I thought, "Oh, tomorrow is Joy's birthday. I need to remember to call her." I'm sorry I forgot to call yesterday!

Only thing I really know that makes a breadmaker different than another is whether it has one paddle or two. Supposedly two is going to knead your dough better. And, some make 1lb loaves and some 2lb. Other than that, it's simple. My machine is heavy-duty to handle whole grain breads. However, I'm not milling my own wheat anymore, but I can still use it for regular breads as well. Grocery stores have some mixes you can try, but I'd get a good bread machine cookbook if I were you-it's much better! I'm sure of the recipe websites have wonderful recipes, I've just never looked.

Gotta GROW with it said...

Happy Birthday! and btw...I don't think anyone likes their "birthday suit" displayed in a distorted mirror in all it's glory. 33...you've got a long way to go before everything goes south so strut around proud girl! with your birthday suit wrapped in a new outfit i mean!

Epiphany Alone said...

Happy Birthday, Joy!

I turned 33 in September, and I have to say it is one of the perks of having been born in that month that your swimming suit is tucked away by mid-month.

Lisa writes... said...

Happy, happy birthday my friend, a day late! I hope you enjoyed your day!

In my book, there is never a good day to try on swimsuits. Never. Hate them.

But I do love bread! My mom would make homemade sourdough--yum, yuum, YUM!

Leslie said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

painted maypole said...

we got one as a wedding gift and i use it on and off, but mine is rather easy to use. put the ingredients in the order listed on the recipe, set it on the proper setting (by hitting a single numbered button) and several hours later... BREAD!

mmmm....

oh... i do recommend a dough setting for rolls and pizza crusts. yum.

painted maypole said...

oh... and... happy birthday!

Lori said...

A belated Happy Birthday to you, dear Joy!

And no, swimsuit shopping... not a good idea.. anytime of year really. I too am a big fan of mailorder. The privacy of my own bathroom is required for such a painful ordeal.

Happy Birthday again!!

the dragonfly said...

Happy (late) birthday! And oh, bread machines. Lovely! Gotta love a house that smells of baking bread. :)

*pab said...

Happy (belated) Birthday!! Part of the trouble with clothes-shopping is, all the clothing is designed for teenagers without womanly curves. You "woman's" body is most deserved: you have borne and delivered four precious children. Anything you wear will look awesome on you, super Mama! xxoo Paige

Sarah said...

I'm still not grown up enough for a bread machine (kidding, I'm older than you...) so no recipes to share. Happy belated birthday though!