Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let The Birthday Festivities Begin!

My birthday celebration kicked off this weekend! I'm not typically a self-centered kind of person, but with my birthday falling mid-week this coming Wednesday, I decided to use both weekends around my birthday to celebrate :) why not?! We started yesterday with a shopping extravaganza! Seriously, it was. It took up most of our day, and we shopped until we dropped (I'm sure Nick is now past his shopping quota for the month haha :) but was a good sport in lieu of my b-day!).

I traded in this old purse/wallet combo I've used for YEARS (and were falling apart):

For this new springy colorful pair:
I bought the purse and wallet at Belk - a southern department store with Kohl's type prices. They had awesome sales and I was SO excited when I found the PERFECT wallet to compliment the purse.

The best part of the story is... A few months back at a fashion show luncheon for work, I got a $10 gift card for Belk (everyone did - it was great!) and my co-worker didn't want hers (!) so she gave it to me. So this weekend, I was so excited to use my $20 worth of gift cards and check out a Belk store about 30 mins from our place. So we get into our parking spot, I freeze and look at Nick and say "I definitely forgot the gift cards..." I paused for a minute and I start laughing. "Belly laughing" as we call it - I just had to laugh at myself because I always forget things and he is SO good at not forgetting things so I knew what we were both thinking. Our trip all the way there and I didn't bring the gift cards - the main reason we even went there. After I laughed for about a minute and forgave myself of my forgetfulness, we proceeded to shop 'til we dropped, checking out many stores in the outdoor shopping center to be sure I got the best bang for my buck!

I needed a smaller purse, as my big one was worsening my neck pain/posture issues. There are tons of cute big purses, but I had to stick to my goal of downsizing!
My new one is significantly smaller and my body is thanking me for carrying it around rather than my old one.

I also downsized wallets (the heaviest thing in my purse!) I realized if I have room in my purse or wallet, I fill it. So this new one, I can only put so many things and am not able to over-fill, which will be helpful for my upper back/neck muscles

World Market also had earrings buy one get one FREE! So I bought two cute sets for a total of $5. I was so excited :)

For those of you who know Nick and I, you know we're careful with where we spend money so these few extra things this weekend were out of the norm and a fun way to celebrate! Plus, my mom & dad are actually paying for my purse/wallet & a few extras since she knew I really needed a new one :) Thanks mom and dad!!

We also bought this electric heat pad this weekend. I have a microwaveable rice-filled-tube one I use often for my neck, but really wanted a bigger one like this. I've been going to physical therapy for a few weeks for my always-tight neck muscles that cause headaches, my finicky knee, and my strained wrist. I'm told I have bad posture and am working to strengthen muscles to help with it and have needed ice and heat after some therapy sessions and really needed a bigger pad. This should do the trick :)

Now I want to share a really yummy recipe!!

Hannah's Stuffed Shells
For one of my bridal showers, all of the guests brought recipes for Nick and I and our friend Hannah gave us this one and we LOVE it :)

8 - 12oz shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1/8 tsp pepper
20-25 large pasta shells
1 cup ricotta (I use skim)
2 beaten eggs
1/2 tsp salt
32 oz pasta sauce (I've usually used 25 oz and that works too!)

Cook pasta shells. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix remaining ingredients except pasta sauce, using 3/4 of mozzarella. Stuff shells with the cheese mixture. Pour some pasta sauce at the bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Arrange shells in dish and pour rest of pasta sauce over the top of the shells and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes.

This recipe is SO good and easy! You should try it and tell me what you think :)


Hannah said...

Such a fun post! First of all...happy birthday week! :) I'm so glad you were able to spoil yourself this weekend! I LOVE your new purse and wallet--esp the wallet! Wish we had one of those stores here! And that's so awesome your co-worker gave you her giftcard (even though you didn't get to use it lol)! Love the earrings of course too....I also got in on that sale! :) And yayy for the recipe! That's fun :) We haven't made those in a're making me hungry for them!! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Very nice looking purse and wallet, the colors are bright and cheery. So happy you found what you wanted and works for your back and neck pains. What are you talking about just the weekend before and weekend after your Birthday the festivities begin. As young as I can remember your Birthday started on Jan 1 and didn't end until Jan 31 when I finally said "Marissa your B Day is over time to move on". Your Dad and I never chance to celebrate our B Days by themself since your's was everyday in Jan. Just a little remembering the past maybe now that you are grown you just cut it down to a week. hahahhaha. I hope you have a great day. Love the recipes may have to try some out. Like Hannah said They make you hungry just looking at the pictures. Love Ya Mom

Rachel said...

Oh man, I am so hungry now. Hannah, I need to try those! I am going to make this recipe:)

So happy you are really living it up for your birthday, hey, why not? :)

I was thinking about you and how I wanted to get you something... is there anything you want from the internet that I could buy for you and have sent to your house-- like something off Or wherever, I don't care:) Tell me what you want!

It's like we could go digital shopping together;)

Love you!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing your recipe! I can't wait to try it!

Happy Birthday!

~Kao Yee

Erin said...

I am making these tonight, Marissa! Thanks for sharing the recipe....can't wait to try them!

Marissa said...

I hope you loved it, Erin! It is a great recipe :)

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