birthday meals & moves.

by Janetha on June 3, 2013

in eating out,family time,fun with friends,love life,meals,moves

HIIII! thank you all for the happy birthday wishes! i had a wonderful birthday weekend filled with friends, family, fitness, and LOTS of food.

i actually am a big advocate for celebrating birthdays all week long, so i basically ate my way through my birthday week last week. i never had a chance to blog about any of it, so i thought i’d do a big, fat food post.

wednesday night i went out with marshall and some friends to a local mexican restaurant i’d been dying to try: chunga’s. it is on 9th west between 1st and 2nd south in SLC. they have great ratings (98% on urbanspoon!) and so i knew i had to try it.

this restaurant is super authentic and they are known for their tacos al pastor. we started with chips, four kinds of salsa, and guacamole.


i ordered the two tacos combo with one chicken taco and one al pastor. truth be told, i should have gotten two al pastor because it was that good. the pineapple bits paired perfectly with the juicy pork and a squeeze of lime was a great garnish.


thursday i went into work and had a big surprise in my office. they had decorated! it was so cute and fun!


kerryne and amanda had gone to great lengths to not only decorate my office, but prepare the perfect birthday treat. they know i am not a huge cake fan and due to my whole dairy issue, ice cream is kinda out (nondairy ice cream just isn’t the same!) but, these ladies know me WELL, and they surprised me with a CEREAL BAR!


they even called marshall to ask what my favorite kinds were. he hit the nail on the head with honey bunches of oats—my all time favorite cereal. when i lived in london, my mom mailed me boxes of the stuff!


they also stocked up on THREE kinds of cinnamon cereal because they know i am a cinnamon fiend. i ended up having three bowls of cereal—cinnabon, cinnamon chex, and honey bunches of oats. it the perfect birthday treat and they’re so thoughtful!

the birthday feasting festivities continued on friday with a lunch with momma b. we went to thai lotus which is on about 2nd east and 5th south in SLC. i wanted to get either ethiopian food or thai food because marshall isn’t a big fan of either. i had heard good things about thai lotus and they had a great lunch menu, so that’s where we ended up.

we both started with a salad that came with a flavorful peanutty, gingery dressing.


i got the pad thai for my entree and my mom got the yellow curry. i hate to say it, but her curry sucked. the chicken was VERY dry and there wasn’t much sauce to offset the dryness of the chicken. the pad thai, on the other hand, was delicious!

IMG_8643 IMG_8642

while the pad thai and salad were good, the curry and service were not.. so i probably wouldn’t recommend thai lotus and i personally won’t be going back. it didn’t matter, though, because it was all about the company! birthday lunch with my mom is always a real treat. love her so much!


friday night i went to taste of india with marshall and his friends. it wasn’t a birthday celebration per say, but i was in celebration mode so we can pretend like it was! marshall ordered the taj mahal beer and i stole a few sips. very good!


marshall and i shared the chicken vindaloo and a side of tandoori roti. the vindaloo had chicken and potatoes in a curry and vinegar sauce and it came with basmati rice.


we hung out with our friends awhile after dinner and didn’t get home until past midnight, which made it officially my birthday! guess what the first meal of my 30s was??


yep. cereal. LOVE the stuff! ate a big bowl and then hit the sack.

i woke up saturday morning bright and early to head to GPP. neil had created a special birthday workout in my honor!


he had asked me what moves i like. i listed a few which included power cleans and kettlebell swings..but NOT burpees! that was an unpleasant addition! he had us do 30 reps of each move 3 times through since i turned 30. fun!

my cute friends came to the gym bearing gifts: balloons, vegan lavendar cupcakes, and flowers. so sweet!

IMG_8679 IMG_8671

after the workout i headed to starbucks for sun-basking, coffee-drinking, and chatting with mandy and marshall. i had an iced americano with soy milk. 


saturday was spent doing a little birthday shopping for myself. i finally got to elevation eyeworks (i’d been meaning to go forever!) and picked out some eyeglasses. i am convinced that once i get glasses i like, i will start taking my contacts out. i NEVER take them out.. so bad! i picked out a pair of coach frames and they will be in in a couple of weeks. i will be sure to show you when i get them! i also headed to dogfunk (it’s a clothing website based here in utah so i can go to the warehouse to pick stuff up!) and got a couple of dresses.

after the shopping shenanigans i got ready and headed out to SLC with mandy to wander around downtown. we ended up at the green pig and i got a sweet tea vodka with water and lemon. it was the perfect refreshment on a hot (birth)day!


around 4 o’clock i checked into the homewood suites downtown. my friends threw me a party there rather than me throwing my own party at my house—it was so nice to not stress about cleaning for a party AND not having to clean up after a party! the first item of business was to hit the poooool!


after catching some rays (and eating a whole bag of salt & vinegar kettle chips—YUM) we headed into the hotel room where i was surprised to see my mom had left 30 balloons! (well, i later found out it was 29 because one popped… yay, i am only 29!) this is her tradition she has done for us kids for as long as i can remember. the balloons stop at 30, though, so it was my last year to receive them. probably a good thing, though, because any more than 30 balloons might make me take flight.


we cleaned up and the birthday party got started (or continued, i suppose…) my friends had gone to a lot of trouble to prepare a delicious party spread! on the savory side there was chips, homemade salsa, veggies & dip, salad, and THE BEST CHICKEN SALAD KNOWN TO MAN.


i had actually forgotten about this chicken salad. it’s from the store (no, really.. the grocery store it is from is called “the store”—haha) and i used to eat it ALL the time. marshall headed out to cottonwood heights to pick some up for the party. i devoured it. if you live in or around the SLC, get your butt to the store and pick this stuff up! it’s the best!


we also had a bunch of meat and a grill right outside the room on the patio!


on the sweet side there was vegan lavendar cupcakes, peanut butter bars, and two kinds of muddy buddies (peanut butter chocolate and birthday cake!) i kinda failed on the photos of dessert.. whoops!


later in the evening my friends surprised me with an ice cream cake. cookies & cream ice cream cake is my all time favorite birthday dessert.. but that no dairy thing kinda made that impossible. they are so sweet and thoughtful, though—they found out that baskin robbins makes a non dairy ice cream cake and they got it for me! it was pina colada ice cream with non dairy whipped cream frosting.


pretty sure that may say “janesha” but it’s all good. janetha is a tough name, haha.

the birthday celebration was fabulous. after filling up on all the delicious food we headed to the bar for more good times. here are some photos from the night!



thanks for a fun time, friends!!!!!

as if that wasn’t enough of a celebration, sunday brought even MORE festivities. we went to squatters for breakfast (no photo, i was photo-ed out!) and i had eggs florentine and a side of bacon.

sunday evening we headed to my brother’s house (his birthday is today!) and had a BBQ. i made my greek pasta salad to share with everyone. and, since i was photo-ed out, i only managed to take one picture at the party—fruit kebabs! haha.. fail. but they were cute!

IMG_8800 (2)

and that, my friends, sums up the birthday week eats! i know, LOTS of food. what can i say, part of enjoying my life is eating awesome food. in fact, my favorite part of traveling is eating all the new foods. obviously any sort of celebration calls for a delicious dish or tasty treat (or lots of both…) yes, i do try to eat clean and stick to healthy choices the majority of the time.. but not ALL the time! that would be so boring!

i want to thank my friends and family for making my 30th birthday (and the days leading up to it) extra special. everyone was super thoughtful and it seriously makes me the happiest girl around. thank you, thank you.

i hope you have enjoyed my enormous recap! have a great night. chat soon!


1. what’s your favorite birthday dessert?

2. what was the last restaurant you ate at and what did you order?

xo. janetha g.

Print Friendly
Jan @ Sprouts n Squats June 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Wow looks like you had a great birthday! Happy Birthday and welcome to being 30 :)

I love carrot cake the most!

Last restaurant I ate at was a great tapas style place for my anniversary dinner with my boyfriend.

Purelytwins June 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm

now that is a birthday celebration!!!
30’s are great :)
favorite birthday cake growing up was Great American cookie cake ;)
once again happy birthday beautiful!

Chatelaine June 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Wow, that’s an awesome way to celebrate your 30th birthday! Happy Birthday!!

My favorite is probably my Mom’s chocolate chip cake??
and had lunch at Rubio’s today, orange chipotle shrimp salad.

Sara @ fitcupcaker June 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

wow, how fun! I would LOVE a cereal bar, and I want a bowl right now… cinnamon toast crunch, captain crunch are two of my favorites! great picks! I miss those GPP workouts and the girls from blend!

Kellie June 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm

You have the sweetest friends! A cereal bar? That was inspired and ORIGINAL!

lindsay June 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

love all the birthday love! YAY Janesha.. I mean Janeetha. But janesha has kind of a ghetto swing to it, which is cool for 30, right? I’m going nowhere with this comment.
But i do think i should hire you to celebrate my 30th next month because i suck at birthdays.

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

haha hire away! i aim to please!

Erica June 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm

You’re adorable! I agree- celebrating all week long is VERY necessary. The cereal bar was a brilliant idea. Honey bunches of oats! Those bunches…delicious. Glad you lived it up. I love your hair with a little curl

Sam @ Better With Sprinkles June 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm

I’m glad you had a great birthday! I didn’t know that Baskin Robbins makes a nondairy ice cream cake, that’s definitely cool.

The last restaurant I went to was Montana’s, and I had the southwest salad – lettuce, veggies, salsa, black beans, corn, salsa, fried tortilla strips, steak and guacamole. It was pretty fabulous.

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List June 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm

i kinda love that i turned you on to those cinnamon chex. like i’m a good influence or something.

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

you totes did!! and now i am addicted!

Katie June 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Ooh that cereal bar! Amazing. What thoughtful friends you have. Seriously.

and I really can’t wait to see you in your new glasses.

Kristina June 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Happy Birthday!! You make turning 30 look fun (thank God, cause I’m one week after you and kind of freaking out!). I love your tour through the culinary world with Mexican, Thai and Indian. We do the same thing here on the weekends. Looks like a really special and fun filled weekend. Way to do it right!

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

happy almost birthday, hot stuff!!

Trisha June 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I have some serious blog catching up to do, but first and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! It looks like you had an abfab weekend, a great way to start your 30s! Seriously drooling over that Mexican meal, and also seriously (cereously?! ;) craving cereal now.

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

cereously.. i love you

Lisa June 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Janetha!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed your special day surrounded by the people you love and great food and fitness. Not much more you can ask for:)
Enjoy the birthday week to the fullest. I always make sure I do. ;)

nicole June 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

such a busy, fun-filled weekend!!! that cereal bar is such a sweet thought, as well as the balloon tradition! i love ube cake, which is purple and found in the filipino culture. last restaurant was mexican, had a chicken chimichanga smothered in spicy cream cheese — mmmm!

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

i have never heard of ube cake! it sounds intriguing and delicious. also–spicy cream cheese?! YUM! i love chimichangas.

Lisa June 4, 2013 at 3:22 am

wow, looks like you had a great birthday! I love the idea of the cereal bar. Happy Birthday!!! :-)

coco June 4, 2013 at 4:05 am

Happy birthday! 30 is a great year! :)

katie June 4, 2013 at 4:25 am

Looks like your birthday was FABULOUS!!!! How sweet everyone made it so special for YOU! You deserved it!!!

Loving all the cereals too, haha! Cereal monster you are!

Love ya girl! Welcome to the 30’s!

andrea June 4, 2013 at 4:41 am

I love funfetti cake with funfetti icing. I just ate at a local pizzaria and had a delicious eggplant parm sandwich for my bday lunch. Looks like you had an awesome party. I have dairy issues too it’ kind of annoying but I usually pop a Lactaid before having dairy.

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

i know, i dropped the ball on the lactaid! i thought about it AFTER the fact. that means i should just re-celebrate, right?

sofia June 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

aww what fun! i agree that birthdays deserve a whole week of celebrating and eating. an absolute must! i also had an ice cream cake for my birthday. mmmm.

SweatyGirl June 4, 2013 at 6:35 am

I’m so glad that I am not the only grown-ass adult that celebrates her bday for a week (or more!) :-) I just love birthdays!

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

shhhh.. if we don’t admit to being grown-ass adults, maybe nobody will know we are!!

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance June 4, 2013 at 6:48 am

Looks like an incredible birthday weekend!! Happy Birthday!!

Melissa June 4, 2013 at 6:48 am

Happy Happy Birthday! I love all of the photos! You always know how to celebrate!

Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl June 4, 2013 at 7:15 am

Glad you had such a good birthday week!! You and Momma B are adorbs!!!

Tamara June 4, 2013 at 7:33 am

First of all: YUM!!! Also, how fun!! What a great way to ring in your 30th. I, too, like to celebrate my birthday for at least a week. ;) Happiest of bdays, J! <3

Lili June 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

Happy birthday .. Loved the post and pics

Maren June 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

I need to save this so I can celebrate my 30th birthday like you did! Sounds like you had an awesome celebration!!! I may need to do that vixen workout. It looks awesome!

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

truth be told, i hated it.. but in a good way :) thanks, love!

Stephanie June 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

Happy (late) birthday! And wow, I’m jealous that you were able to have a non-dairy ice cream cake from a store! We don’t have Baskin Robbins here so I won’t be able to try that anytime soon…my mom made me a non-dairy ice cream cake from scratch once and it was awesome, but I think it was a LOT of work because she never did it again – haha. She always makes booze-infused chiffon cakes for birthdays and has made some really great whiskey ganache cakes for me using canned coconut milk to keep the ganache dairy-free…YUM.

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

your mom sounds incredible!

Nicole C June 4, 2013 at 9:00 am

I don’t really have a favorite birthday treat. The Cheesecake Factory did have this mammoth brownie heaven there a long while back, it was insane. My Dad had taken me there the first time i ever got it and he stood up to leave..I told him to sit done because I was not done. He said he saw red eyes, I beg to differ.

I went to a Mexican place at Disneyland over the weekend and got, surprise surprise, a burrito. I think I should have gotten the tamales, they were tasty. Ps, I was happy to see how much fresh fruit was for sale around Disneyland now.

That little line of travel and food reminded me, we should chat about travel when you get here. :)

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

that’s cool about the fruit! i remember when i went in 2007 there were no healthy options.. so i had a turkey leg, haha

yesss! i am thinking i will book a flight that gets in around 3 or one that gets in around 5.. i will keep you posted.

Annette@FitnessPerks June 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

What a fantastic few days of eats! Yummmmm-o!

Happy bday!!

My fave b-day treat? Hmmmm. Either my mom’s carrot cake with caramel ice cream or texas sheet cake with ice cream.

TiffanyAzure@CremedelaCrumb June 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

My favorite dessert all growing up was ice cream but I can’t have it either-no dairy! :( fat free frozen yogurt keeps me from completely slipping into depression though.

Last week the hubby and I tried the new Park Stone restaurant up in Farmington at Station Park, it was amazing!! I had the house BBQ chicken with grilled corn and sweet potatoes… I’m still dreaming about!

Ps I share this cereal obsession Janetha, two of my faves are Special K oats n honey and peanut butter Cheerios, with almond milk of course!! And I put cinnamon on EVERYTHING!!! We should be twins.

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

we should be! and omg my friend mandy said that restaurant is legit! i want to go ASAP!

Lindsay June 4, 2013 at 9:49 am

That picture of you and momma b is beautiful! What did you use to curl your hair? It looks great!

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

thanks! i use a curling wand :)

Lindsay June 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Ugh…I am horrible with those things!! You need to post a video tutorial. :)

Janetha June 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Ohhh I will try to figure out a way to film!

Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom June 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Welcome to your 30’s! And, I’m glad you had a great birthday!

My fav. treat is a Mexican food dinner followed by sopapillas or churros… yummy cinnamon sugar!

Sami June 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm

so glad you had such a lovely birthday! you have so many people in life who love you :) including your blog friends. just so you know ;)


Andrea@WellnessNotes June 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Looks like some delicious birthday celebrations! Happy Birthday, and enjoy your 30s! It’s a great decade! :)

emily (a nutritionist eats) June 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Fun (and delicious) celebrations! Happy Birthday!

Cait's Plate June 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Looks like such a fun birthday – a great way to bring in a new decade for sure :) I’ve heard 30s are even better than 20s!!

kristen @ livinlifeinlouie June 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm

what a great birthday week!!! I would say ice cream cake is pretty amazing

Linz @ Itz Linz June 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

what a fun birthday week! and celebrating all week is definitely the way to go. jonny’s birthday is five days before mine so we literally celebrate all week too!!

Victoria June 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

happy birthday!
looked really like a fun and great day and everything looks delicious.. I wish my birthday wasn’t so far away ;)

Naomi(1fitfoodie) June 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

holy fab birthday!! I want to be at all of those events! haha esp the cereal bar! Honey bunches of oats has my heart! happy birthday my dear!!! xoxo

Roz@weightingfor50 June 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I’m so late to the party! Belated happy birthday Janesha! :)

Amy June 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Looks like a great birthday celebration. Good friends, good food and
good loot! Why not, for the big three oh? That mexican restaurant was the one that attracted me the most. Anyway Happy Birthday!

candice@hungrymotherrunner June 6, 2013 at 10:09 am

I’m still so bummed I missed your birthday!!
Your one of the greatest people I know! Thanks for being such a great friend and just being you!
Happy Birthday J!

Nicole June 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

THEY HAVE BIRTHDAY CAKE FLAVORED MUDDY BUDDIES??!! How have I never heard of this? (Googles frantically for recipes while simultaneously wiping drool of chin). Great post and happy belated birthday!

candice s June 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Wow. you know how to celebrate. Food brings so much happiness :)

Chungas is one of our “go to” spots. So good.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

FTC Disclosure. Disclaimer.