Sunday, September 18, 2011

Birthday Presents!

Birthday presents are always fun even at 27!  Though it's different than getting a Polly Pocket or Barbie as a child, there's still excitement involved.  With my mom's side of the family, the aunts agreed to stop giving gifts after the age of 25, so I only got a gift from my mom and my fiance, Howard.  That's okay by me though because they were things that I wanted!

On Labor Day, my mom ordered a Boat and Tote from LL Bean for me.  I wanted it as a carry-on for future vacations, particularly for my honeymoon to Walt Disney World next May!  It was perfect because there was an extra 15% for card members.  Plus, there's free monogramming for card members as well (otherwise it'd be an extra $6)!  I was going to pay for it, but then later on, she said she would pay for the dress I knew I'd have to buy for my cousin's wedding, but I said the bag was fine.  The bag will have more fun memories!  I received it only 2 days later, so it was an early birthday present.  I would've waited until my actual day, but I wanted to check to make sure it was okay.

It so easily stands up on its own!

The Boat and Tote bag is one that has been popular for 65 years and is made to hold up to 500 pounds.  Though I can't imagine what in the world I'd be carrying on a plane that weighs 500 pounds, I loved the fact that the reviewers raved about its durability.  I want to be able to throw something heavy in there and not have the tote be misshapen.  I chose the large size because I wanted to be fit as much stuff in it as possible as a carry-on.

I put my rules and expectations letter for school in front of it just so that you can see the size comparison for the large.

I love this bag so much already!  It's much sturdier than I could have ever imagined, but it makes sense since it was originally made to carry ice or wood or something.  I love the cool green color of it as it's bright and different than my usual black or pink.  Plus, it reminds me of my Howard!  It's so great that I think I might want to order the medium size in a pink-ish or purple-ish color when there's another sale.  I can't wait to use this next May when Howard and I go to Disney World!

HOW for Howard and RAE for Rachel!  We're Team HowRae!

The Saturday before my birthday, Howard and I celebrated since he couldn't be with me on my actual day.  The first thing I asked for was birthday California rolls!  There's a restaurant called Tenzan near his house that we used to go to all the time.  That's our beginning sushi place!  So many memories there!  We don't really eat raw fish anymore.  It's very sparingly just to be on the safe side even though we LOVE it, of course!  Haha, I wouldn't be "love and sushi" if I didn't.  But sometimes we also just want those Cali rolls with that yummy avocado!  Of course, silly me forget to get a picture of the Cali rolls; I only got one of the salad!  AND I didn't even get a good shot of the delicious ginger dressing either!

Funny thing is, I took this picture with the cover on, and Howard said, "Why don't you take the cover off?"

I got two other gifts this year, and they were from Howard.  We had already agreed not to get each other birthday gifts and Christmas presents since we're saving for the wedding, our apartment, AND mainly annual passes to WDW!  Haha, being realistic, it's mainly because we want APs.  This way, we won't feel "guilty" spending $500+ each on APs.  Howard still wanted to get me something, so he bought me some goodies that I absolutely love!  The first was Hershey's Milk Chocolate Drops.  I had seen this on TV while with him, and I immediately knew I wanted it.  Last year, I had something similar to it when one of my students went to Lancaster and brought back a baggie of chocolate.  When I felt faint at school due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), it was the perfect thing to pop in my mouth for a sugar rush.  After I ran out, I had M&M's, but I'm not a fan of the candy shell.  These were perfect especially since I LOVE Hershey's chocolate (haha, and Godiva, but that's a bit too pricey; the only reason I tried it was because I got it as a gift from a student!).

Waiting for me at work in my desk drawer!  I really put it farther in the back because another teacher uses my room 5 times a week, hehe.

Howard also got me another gift that was a surprise!  Back in February when we were in Disney World with our friends and my cousins, I stopped by Basin at Downtown Disney for the first time.  I saw a bar of Mickey soap that smelled like ginger ale.  I really liked the scent!  When I'm nauseous, I sip ginger ale, so it has a very calming effect on me.  I was going to buy it, but I decided against it because I figured I wouldn't use it because it's bar soap (I like liquid soap).  Plus, it was just another souvenir that I knew I didn't need (although who really NEEDS souvenirs, haha).  Well, this was the other thing I got, and I had NO clue whatsoever!    

I know you're wishing you could smell it!  This was taken at school with my desk calendar.  I had brought the soap to school for my "Me in a Bag" project with the 6th graders.  I like modeling the projects I assign as much as I can.

That night, I got to pick dinner, and what I wanted was a yummy burger from Outback.  Nothing fancy but still absolutely delicious (especially since we brought it back to my house, and we relaxed and watched movies - The Sorcerer's Apprentice, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Ip Man!)  Of course, I forgot to get a picture of the cheeseburger and fries too, but Howard got one of the Bloomin' Onion.  I had done the survey on the receipt from the last time I picked up food, so it was free.  Since we were bringing it back, we were able to cut it in half so my parents and brother could have it too (it's way too much for two people!).  It wasn't the best one that we've had; the onion wasn't as thickly cut, but at least it was a nice free appetizer.

Well, that was my 27th birthday!  I also bought myself a bunch of stamps from (cute 99 cent ones and a bunch of background stamps from the clearance section for the buy 4 get the 5th free) a few weeks earlier.  I had saved the box to open on my birthday, so even though that wasn't the intention, it was fun to get to open something crafty!  Anyway, I promise to eventually get back to some crafty posts.  I did make some cards as custom orders, and I was holding on posting them since I'm not sure if they were sent to the recipient just yet.  Thanks for sticking around!


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! Thanks for sharing all of your photos with us :) Happy belated Birthday, dear friend!!!

  2. Happy belated birthday! Yay for awesome goodies! I want a Disney annual pass too - but to Disneyland since it's closer to me. *lol* Hoping to get the family to WDW next year, but we'll see! :) I love the LL Bean tote! I want one too!

  3. Congrats on your birthday, Rachel! Be sure to drop me an email if you have any questions about WDW! We own DVC property and go often, plus hubby's aunt works there, so we know a lot of the inside stuff. Best wishes!

  4. I love everything about this post! Congrats on the wedding and getting to honeymoon in WDW! I'm super jealous! That bag is super cute and so is Howrae! haha I like the smell of ginger ale too so next time I hit up Downtown Disney, I'll have to look for it.