Birthdays, birthdays, everywhere! On Thursday, my darling firstborn child, Chloë Raine, turned 16 years old! I cannot believe it; I'm in stupendous shock. How can it be? And yet it is.
Though her birthday was on the 7th, we decided once again to go with "Birthday Season," as Rob's mom called it, and start on September 3rd. Her first present was from Rob, who couldn't wait to present it to her.
At first, Chloë was butt-hurt about the "For Dummies" part of the tiny book her dad gave her, until he reminded her there was a whole, huge series of the "Dummies" books. Since she is forever talking about her dreams, the dream-interpretation book seemed perfect for her!
I love this picture!!! On September 4th, we decided to give Chloë her present from Sophia. Well, Sophie helped me pick it out for her, so consider it a joint gift. ;) Anyhow, "Ro" is one of Chloë's topmost favorite YouTubers, and Chlo wants literally everything in her new collaboration line with Wilton. Sophie told me to get her the logo cookie stamp, and my eldest just about flipped out when she saw it. Yay!
Chloë partly helped me design this present, which I gave her on September 5th, by picking out the exact Harry Potter image she wanted represented thereon. The rest, namely the caption, came from me. She's been putting it together here and there ever since.
Also on the 5th, we started to redeem goodies from our looong list of Birthday Freebies. The first one was a no-strings-attached free dessert from Chili's, so Sophie and I ran down there to pick up a slice of cheesecake for her sister. Chloë had no idea what we were doing, and she was delighted, having been hankering for some cheesecake for weeks now!
You gotta forgive me. I've been having entirely too much fun playing with the new editing software I've got for my images. ;)
During Birthday Season, we get so many freebies, sharing is key. Rob and Sophie helped dig in to the cheesecake, while Jack pouted in his room for God-knows-what. He's not really great at sharing these days ever. :\
On Wednesday, September 6th, I gave Chloë not one, not two, but five gifts that all kinda went together. (Of course, I got hot deals on all these gifts, hence their being part of our celebration. Ha.) Chloë adores infinity scarves, so I snagged five for her recently and decided to give them to her for her birthday instead of Christmas. Why not? Here's the first one...
The second one, which is really soft (actually, they all are), may be one of my favorites.
Basic black is a necessity, am I right?!
I think this patterned scarf looks amazing on her. I love it!
And finally, I gave her a tomato red-orange scarf. I think it'll add some great POP! to whichever outfit she chooses for it!
That evening, Chloë and I decided to head over to Boise Mall to redeem some more birthday freebies. We stopped at the massage chairs, where I dropped a dollar in the slot for baby girl to have a 3-minute massage. I'm not entirely sure she even liked it! ha!
While at the mall, I noticed a Wetzel's Pretzels shop. We'd never eat one there before, because there were none near us in Miami, but I had a hunch. It proved to be accurate: I found and downloaded their app, and we got a free pretzel out of the deal as a "welcome" gift. Turns out, I received another one today for a birthday present! (P.S. Chloë believes they are even better than Auntie Anne's!)
I received a $5 Kohl's gift card in my email inbox a few days ago, so we stopped there while in the mall, too. Hm, what can I say? We're girls, and we wanted chocolate. And behold, it was good.
Chloë was emailed a BOGO Orange Julius coupon in her inbox, so we redeemed that for a couple of medium beverages. Oh, my. Sooo, so good. I filled up on half of mine and gave the rest to Chloë. Next time (which may be soon; I just got another one for my birthday), we'll go with Smalls!
After that, we stopped at Bath & Body Works. You know those awesome coupons for free goodies they mail you sometimes? If not, you gotta sign up for those! Anyway, Chloë walked out of there with a wallflowers plug-in, a refill packet for that, a small spaces thingamajig, a refill for that, a hand lotion pour moi, and maybe something else I'm forgetting... for less than 10 bucks. Not bad!
So next, we headed to Olive Garden near the mall, as we had both received text message coupons for a free dessert. It was kind of a Bucket List item for Chloë to try Tiramisu, despite my constant protests that I, personally, detested it. She didn't care, as we don't share the same tastes on lots and lots of things. But, lo and behold, she didn't like it either and gave up after a few bites. Wahhh!
But, not to worry, as I had a dessert, too! I ordered the Zeppoli, which turned out to be way more enormous than I had anticipated. We munched on a few of those before deciding we were full enough to get the heck out of Dodge!
Chloë was much happier with the Zeppoli selection, so that made this Mama quite happy to see!
Following our Olive Garden desserts, we had just enough time to race to the nearby Michael's store before it closed, wherein we wanted to use our birthday 50% off coupons. When Chloë spotted an endcap with more Rosanna Pansino baking goodies, I knew where her coupon was going! She chose these sugar Gems and has been nomming on them here and there ever since. Hopefully she can use her stamp and gems soon ... maybe even today?!
A brisk trip through Michael's, we ran to Panera to claim our freebie birthday pastries. The young lady was so nice and gave us extras of everything! We were given two cheese Danish and several chocolate croissants! YUM!
Driving back home, we decided to stop at Arby's to redeem another coupon for a free birthday shake with the purchase of any sandwich. Chloë had a yen for a chicken sammy, so we bought that and decided to gift the chocolate shake to Jack and Sophia upon our return home.
I had reward points to spend at Walgreens, and Chloë wanted a masquerade mask for giving out Halloween candies, so she chose this one. Personally, I think she looks beautiful with it on!
After midnight, I asked Chloë to model her "Birthday Diva" sash and outfit for me, and of course she obliged. Behold our newly-minted 16-year-old daughter!
TWe had a free order from Pizza Hut in my Yahoo! inbox, so I placed the order and had Rob go pick it up when it was ready. Delicious!
I could not wait to give Chloë her next present, which I knew she had been wanting for at least two years. I wrapped the box in paper from one of our pups' Barkboxes!
I had gotten a hot deal on a Fujifilm Instax Mini camera, and the joy on her face was not at all staged. She's been thanking me for it for the entire two-plus days since!
For a gift that kinda-sorta went with Chloë's new camera, I used more paper from yet another Barkbox. Hey, it's pretty!
I wish I had remembered to turn off that darn lamp! You can't see this too well, but it's a Dr. Seuss-themed "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" frame. Doesn't quite fit the pictures from the camera, but she doesn't seem to care.
Unfortunately for Chloë, the film I had ordered for her camera was coming under separate cover hadn't arrived yet, so she had to defer her total enjoyment of it for the time being.
It's not just Birthday Season for some of us - everyone benefits! (Especially when I can match a candy sale with a good coupon, heh.)
Chloë did not want birthday cake this year; instead, she opted for lemon meringue pie! We picked it up at Albertsons after r
unning some errands, along with this adorable cake banner that seemed more fitting than 16 candles in pie.
Instead, since I wanted cheesecake (I'm not much of a traditional cake person, myself), we used my cake for Chloë's candles. And then, since I wanted to eat said cheesecake, we used it again for mine that same night!
Make a wish, sweetheart. I hope it comes true...
We set the cake up for me; I had no designs on being able to blow them all out at once.
And yet, somehow I managed!
Check me out. I did it!! Hahaha!
Pepper would not like to have his Golden Birthday on the 5th forgotten about, please.
Zero calories in cake or pie on your birthday. Betcha didn't know that, didja?
Friday's mail finally brought the film that goes with the camera received the day before. Phew! Not too long a wait.
Daddy and Paco were some of Chloë's first subject when her film finally arrived.
For dinner on my birthday, I didn't feel like cooking, and Papa John's saved the day by adding points to my online account. I had enough for a free pizza, breadsticks, and cinnamon pull-aparts! Delish!
We had just enough time to slug down a quick dinner before heading off to Julia Davis park to meet our friend Becca for a free concert.
It was actually an Art in the Park festival, but Becca and I wanted to see the band, Red Light Challenge. Everyone else was just there because Mama told them so to join in the fun.
Sophia joined in the photo op when we found Becca, just as RLC were setting up and checking their sound equipment.
Had to grab a selfie with the Hubs while I was at it. Oh, and do you like my new new glasses? I ordered a pair last month, which Tapioca promptly ate. I'm hoping these will last a bit longer.
At last, Red Light Challenge began to play. I loved their music! Very upbeat and danceable. The boys in blue and red are brothers from Hawaii, and the rest of the band formed once the two moved here to Idaho.
Brothers Sean and Kyle played together while the rest of the band members took a break.
After a bit, Becca and I went off in search of cheesy fries. One of the artists was a metalworker, and I dug the peacock and guitarist combo posing here. I'm really into peacocks lately, FWIW.
I ate my share of curly, cheesy fries (Becca's were the garlic ones) before passing them off to Chloë and the rest of the crew. Jack bought himself a hot pretzel but then ended up not liking it (Why? Shizz was good!), so Rob and I were the beneficiaries of the remainder.
After the concert ended, Chloë and Sophia decided to go up, take a picture of Red Light Challenge with Chloë's Fujifilm camera, and then ask all the bandmembers to sign it. They happily obliged, and it was a really cool picture... but then we lost it. I was so bummed for them when I discovered that.
Becca had parked at the mall and ridden the shuttle over to the park, so we decided to drive her back to get her car after the concert/festival ended. While there, we redeemed for a free birthday Wetzel's Pretzels, and Becca bought Cinnabon minis. Yum! There are still freebies to redeem, of which we'll probably do few now that the occasions have passed.
All in all, our 2017 birthday season was pretty, pretty good.