Simple Start Day 14:My 40th Birthday Celebration

by DanicasDaily on January 19, 2014

Happy Sunday all!  Thank you all for the birthday wishes over the past few days.  It’s so fun that some of you have celebrated my last 5 birthdays on my site.  I have to say this birthday by far is my most spoiled birthday.  I have had so much fun celebrating and I cannot believe all the amazing things everyone has done to help me ring in a new decade!

My 40th birthday celebration continued on Saturday (my actual birthday!) when The Husband woke up earlier than me to say Happy Birthday (as in like 5 am!) LOL.  He said he couldn’t wait any longer to give me my presents.

First up, yesterday, he floored me with the fact that he was taking me for a spa day to get pampered.  He gave me that gift during our Friends dinner on Friday night.

His second surprise was taking me to breakfast at my favorite spot called The Joy of Eating on the waterfront in Suisun.

I knew exactly what I was going to fit in and have it be 100% Simple Start.  I absolutely love their Garden Omelet ~ It’s packed with fresh spinach, onions, bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes.  I get it without the cheese and top it with hot sauce, salt & pepper. (SS/SF) – 5 points+


I sub out the country potatoes for my favorite country item ~ Grits which are 100% SS/SF or 4 points+.


Most times I skip their amazing homemade bread by telling them I do not need toast or I order it and give it to The Husband…it’s sweet Hawaiian Bread.


The one thing I always do ~ steal a piece of The Husband’s bacon….it’s worth every indulgence point to me Open-mouthed smile (SS/SF + 2 WPA) – 2 points+


After breakfast, he gave me another card (with surprise #2)  In addition to lotto and lottery ticket scratchers, he gave me an itinerary for a trip to Seattle!  I have always wanted to go to Pike Place, see the space needle, check out the farmer’s market and go to the original Starbucks….and now we are going!!! I am totally impressed he booked it himself, although, he did have him mom help out Red heart

We headed out to Cache Creek to gamble a little before I spent the day at the spa getting pampered.  We grabbed a quick taco at my favorite local spot, Vasquez Deli for a late lunch.

(SS/SF + 4 WPA for the tortilla/cheese) – 6 points+


We ended up doing a little of shopping before heading out to meet my family for dinner at my cousin’s new restaurant in El Dorado Hills called Aji Japanese Bistro.

Their restaurant is very modern and I’d have to say more on the trendier side of Japanese food.


We were placed in the private dining room so we could celebrate together.


The one thing I knew I had to have before I even looked at the menu…the Grilled Shishito Peppers or “pepper roulette” as The Husband calls them since 1 in 10 are super spicy.

They were perfectly sautéed and crunchy….the spicy ponzu dipping sauce was a nice addition even though my favorite way to eat these is still with a sprinkle of sea salt. (SS/SF) – 0 points+


The game plan I had for the night was to stick to the salads and share a few sushi rolls with my mom and sis so I could try it all and not break my Simple Start WPA budget too much.

My favorite salad of the night was the Sunomono ~ Crispy cucumbers in a sweet rice wine vinegar with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. (SS/SF) – 0 points+


The next salad I shared with The Husband was the Grilled Sesame Chicken Wedge.  The chicken was so good and I loved the crisp iceberg drizzled with a light and not too sweet sesame vinaigrette. (SS/SF) – 4 points+


I did have a slice of my mom’s grilled ahi which had so much flavor when you grab a little onion with the chili sauce.


The first roll up was my mom’s favorite ~ the Bistro Maki ~ shrimp, hamanegi, avo, shiso, scallop, tobiko.


The roll I picked is the Angry Tuna ~ Pick super spicy tuna with srirahca on the side!


The last roll was my sister’s choice ~ Aji Maki ~ shrimp, spicy tuna, jalapeno, cream cheese, panko fried.

I have never had “fried” sushi but have to say this was pretty darn good and exceeded my expectation considering I wasn’t sure I’d like it.


My sampler plate after the salads ~ I ended up having 6 pieces of sushi and 1 of The Husband’s sticky chicken wings. (SS/SF + 8 WPA) – 9 points+


Their sushi is definitely about simple sushi flavors and most rolls do not have too many sauces on them.


My “Meatarian” ordered two meat dishes to go with the salads he shared with me.

Grilled Chicken Wings in a Sweet & Spicy Glaze.


Plus ~ the Baby Back Stack in a yakiniku sauce (like a sweet Korean bbq)


They brought out both their desserts of the night for us to share.

Green Tea Crème Brule which totally reminded everyone of the Starbuck’s Green Tea Lattes.


The Mochi Chocolate Cake ~ I loved the whipped cream and caramel sauce Open-mouthed smile


I have to say one of my favorites parts of my birthday is the cards ~ I can totally picture each and everyone cracking up in the store as they read through searching for the perfect card….something The Husband always teases me for doing!


His mom got me these super cute Monster Key Chain covers.


Plus the coolest salad kid.  I love that all the little containers get packed in it with an ice pack to boot.


My sis knows me so well….more magnets for our fridge (so funny!)


And another cool Kitchen Aid gadget that is supposed to keep things from sticking to the bottom.  I can’t wait to try it out (although my brother in law says they now expect cookies from me lol.)


My Mom picked out this beautiful necklace & earring set.


And she hand made my 40th Birthday Card….


Complete with putting together all these photos of my life the past 40 years! Red heart


While my brother & family bought me $40 in scratchers (one for each year!)


My aunt also bought me some fantastic lotions/sprays/candles and even the people at the spa gave me a birthday package too!

The BIGGEST SURPRISE OF ALL…..The Husband, My Mom & Dad all got together and planned out/booked a 7 day cruise to Alaska this year to celebrate my mom’s 65th & My 40th!!!  Can you all believe they had that up their sleeve too?!?  I am so  thankful for everyone in my life ~ they didn’t need to go all out like they did ~ I am so loved ~ seriously!!

Well, that officially wraps up my birthday week.  Today I am 100% back on the Simple Start Track (down .8 lbs. this week!) and I think I will spend one more week at Simple Start before transitioning to Simply Filling since week two was all about my birthday.

Have a fantastic Sunday all and I’ll catch up with you later tonight or tomorrow with my Weekly Menu!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail H. January 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Sounds like you had a fabulous week/week-end!! And a trip to Alaska…WOW….and Seattle! I LOVE the necklace and earring set…really classy! And a weight loss to boot! You are loved Danica, not only by your family but all of us that you help and support each week :)


trekker46Chris January 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm

What a great week you had. Your family is amazing. Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures to come!


Tracy January 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Happy Birthday Danica! Sounds like you had a great birthday! I loved the collage you got of you over the years, that is a great idea for a gift. I would also love to go to Seattle for all the reason you named, especially to see the original Starbucks! I am addicted to Starbucks and I am jealous that you get to go. Plus you get to go on an Alaskan cruise. Looks like you had an awesome week and an awesome birthday! Hope this week is just as good for you! Thanks a lot for all of your posts and pictures. I love seeing this everyday and hearing what you have been up to. Good luck this week!


Jenny January 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Happy belated Birthday Danica. Sounds like a wonderful weekend of celebrating!


Melanie January 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm

What a wonderful birthday week you had and so well deserved. Obviously a family that loves you very much! I’m a southern girl so I especially got a kick out of your grits! Could eat them everyday. ????????


Cyndi January 20, 2014 at 5:01 am

Danica, Happy Burthday. You are going to love your trip. Four our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband and I went first to Seattle and then on a 7 day Alaskan cruise. The absolute highlight of our lives. Pike’s Place was even better than I imagined and I am still dreaming about the amazing cappuccinos / lattes that we had while there. No place better than Seattle for good coffee!


Kathy Salido January 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

Wow, sounds like you had a great birthday and you received some fabulous gifts!!


karen mcbrayer January 20, 2014 at 9:40 am

Happy Belated Birthday – what an amazing day you had and what an amazing husband and family. A husband who surprizes you the way he did is definitely a keeper. Treasure him.
An Aklaskan cruise – we are going on an 11 day one at the end of August out of SF.
If you go before then, some cruise food tips would be great. The one thing that worries me is all the food.
Have a fantastic week. Karen


Cindy R, January 20, 2014 at 10:10 am

You will love Seattle! It is an amazing city. Happy Birthday. :)


Peggy January 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

I agree with Cindy R, you’ll love Seattle. My husband and I have been numerous times. If you get a chance, take the ferry to Bainbridge Island.


Randi January 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Happy Birthday. Everything sounds amazing and you still had a loss too. Awesome!! When are you taking the cruise?


DanicasDaily January 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Hi Randi,

We are going in July.



NancyH. January 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I almost cried! What an awesome birthday! And 8 pounds??!! NICE!


DanicasDaily January 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Aww – thanks Nancy. Actually it was .8, not 8 lbs….I wish it was that much :)



NancyH. January 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Rats! I wish that for you too. Did you win anything on your scratchers? I was down 1.5 this week. Feels good after the holiday debacle!


Angela @ Honey, I Shrunk the Mom January 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

Sounds like you had a pretty fantastic birthday! That’s great. :) Here’s one more Happy belated birthday wish!


Carol T. January 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

Hi Danica
Happy belated Birthday!!! What a wonderful birthday with all the surprises and gifts. Great job with WW. I lost 4 pounds this week and I am .6 pound away from reaching my goal weight and being a life time member again. I won’t have to pay any more. Yeh!!! I can’t wait.

Keep up the great job with WW!!!!


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