Tag Archives: birthday deals

Birthday Twin Tradition (or An Almost Free Meal)

One of my favorite birthday traditions is going to Truxton’s with my birthday twin Joanna for dinner. We’ve been doing this for pretty much as long as we’ve been friends and it’s always a fun night for us. We try to have more catch up hangouts throughout the year and we’ve been getting better at doing that. But our birthday dinner is something we always look forward to.

We were going to try to do our dinner on our actual birthday again this year, but our schedules didn’t quite work out that way. So we ended up going 2 days before our birthday which was a great way to kick off each of us celebrating our birthday week!

We did a later dinner than normal, but that was fine because parking meters in Santa Monica were free! We both found parking pretty easily and walked over to the restaurant together. Because it was a later dinner, the restaurant wasn’t that packed, but that was nice since it wasn’t horribly noisy either.

When we started going to Truxton’s the birthday deal was a free entrée and free dessert. That made things really simple for us but we also always felt like we didn’t need 2 desserts. Now, the deal is $20 toward the bill. They used to combine the coupons (so we could get $40 total) but now it has to be split onto 2 checks. We decided to try to see if we could make it so when it was split each half would be $20 and we would get our totally free meal again.

We originally wanted to get Monkey Bread as an appetizer (it’s so good there!), but unfortunately they were all out! It was crazy that they were out, but we figured it just wasn’t meant to be. And for our entrees, we both were kind of debating between the same two things: the brisket sandwich and the club sandwich. So we decided that we would order both and would each have half.

It was a bit messy when we tried to cut the sandwiches in half, but it was fine. And it ended up being the perfect thing since we both got to have some of each thing we were craving. We also did one sandwich with garlic fries and one with regular fries so we got to have both options.

And dessert is always the highlight of the meal for us. We decided to go for the giant cookie that has ice cream on top. It’s pretty decadent and seems like one of the more festive desserts they have there.

They brought plates out for us so we could try to split the cookie and ice cream up, but there was no way to really do that. And we are fine sharing a plate so we each grabbed a spoon and pretty much stuck to one half of the pan. And even though we were both full from the sandwiches and fries (it’s probably a good thing we couldn’t get Monkey Bread), somehow we were able to finish the entire dessert!

We really tried to do some planning on what we were going to order to see if there was a way that we could make sure that each half of the bill would be $20 or less. Technically there was a way to do it, but it would have been with the dinners we really weren’t wanting. As much as we want a totally free meal, it’s better to order what we want to eat. And even though we didn’t have our free birthday tradition, it was still a very cheap dinner out.

And even though the bill was super cheap, we like to leave a big tip because we know that servers make most of their income from the tips (we left about $20 on what would have been a $41 bill).

And while the food was awesome, getting to catch up with Joanna was even better! It had been a while since our last catch up meal and we both had so much to share! Joanna has gone on some fun trips and has had some changes in her day jobs. I’ve become a medical miracle and also have had some changes in my day jobs. But I’m lucky because even though it’s been a few months since we had seen each other, when we get together it seems like we can always pick up where we left off.

We ended up hanging out at dinner for about 2 hours before we both had to head back home. The next tradition we have is our cheesecake outing that we do around the new year, but I know that we both are going to keep trying to make an effort to see each other more often (even if it isn’t a free meal that we are meeting up for).


Going Back To Normal (or An Early End To My Birthday Adventures)

I’ve had a really great birthday this year. I loved having dinner on my birthday with my birthday twin and my birthday party was really one of the highlights of the year so far. I feel so loved and I’m so grateful for the amazing friends that I have in my life. I am so lucky.

Normally, I have a ton of smaller birthday adventures leading up to and following my birthday. That usually happens because when I have a birthday party a bunch of people can’t make it. So I end up meeting them for dinner or drinks on another date to celebrate with them.

But this year, my birthday party had such an amazing turnout that I’ve gotten to celebrate with almost everyone who I wanted to celebrate with at once! I’m not used to having everyone in one place (and it was so much fun watching everyone meet each other and make new friends), and it was really just perfect.

But because of that, I’ve realized that my birthday celebrations are basically over. I still have to pick up a couple of the birthday freebies that I love and I might get birthday pie with a friend, but I’m done with planning birthday outings beyond that.

It’s not a bad thing that I’m done celebrating my birthday. I’m totally happy to have just one celebration and have that be that. It’s just weird when for so many years I’ve pretty much planned a birthday month and I feel like I’m missing or forgetting something now. But then I remember how amazing this past weekend was and I feel like I got all the birthday I needed in that one night out.

It is nice to be getting back to normal so quickly. I over ate during my birthday and I want to get the scale moving back in the correct direction. I need to focus on my health and recovery and birthday adventures are not the best time to plan that (I’m aware if I go for birthday pie that I will have to not focus on recovery for that moment).

I’ve been able to really pay attention to what I’m eating and what my behaviors are like. I got into some bad habits last week and it’s tough to break them but I know I can do it again. I’m working on remembering what I was doing earlier this summer when things were working really well for me and doing those again. And hopefully I will be back on track again within the week and if not, I know I’m making steps towards that.

I’ve got some big goals in mind for the next month or so, and I’m glad that I will be able to put my attention toward those. One of my biggest goals is with my next 5K race, which is the first weekend of November. I know that it will be here before I know it, and I want to make sure I take the time to do what I want to do. Things are going well so far, and I want to make sure that continues and things only get better!

While I’ve loved having a birthday month to celebrate my birthday, keeping things short may be the best thing for me right now. I need to focus on “real life” and not celebrating and going out for lots of meals that are splurges. I’m not eliminating the idea of a birthday month again in the future, but for right now this ended up being the perfect thing for me.

Almost Free Birthday Dinner (or Spending My Birthday With My Birthday Twin)

My actual birthday was a pretty low-key day for me. I had to work both of my main day jobs (10 hours total) that day and since it was a weeknight I really didn’t have much planned to do that day. I debated about going to workout that afternoon, but I ended up deciding against it. But I still wanted to do something fun on my birthday and it ended up being the day I went to my free dinner with my birthday twin!

We ended up making this plan about a week ago when I got the email about the free birthday meal. I texted Joanna to ask her when she wanted to go for our dinner, and she asked me when I was free. I knew I was free on the evening of the 9th, so I asked her if there was any chance that she was free too. And by some awesome fate, she had also been looking for something to do that night of her birthday! So we decided that it was meant to be that we had our birthday meal on our birthday!

The birthday deal at Truxton’s has changed in the 7 or so years we’ve had this tradition. It used to be a free entrée and free dessert per person. It was easy to plan what to eat then. Now, it’s $20 toward the meal so we have to plan accordingly so that we make sure we don’t go over the $40 we get (we are so set on making sure our meal is totally free).

Free Birthday Dinner

We got to Truxton’s about the same time and headed inside for our awesome birthday meal. As soon as we sat down, we took out the birthday deal emails so we could give them to the waitress. She didn’t seem too upset that she got the table that was there for a free meal (which is what I’m always afraid of) and she totally understood our desire for a free check because it was our tradition.

After we ordered, Joanna and I opened the birthday cards we got for each other. I was thinking that somehow we might each buy the same card, but we got different ones for each other and both cards were perfect!

Birthday Cards

For our food, we did things a bit differently since we weren’t stuck to just doing 2 entrees and 2 desserts. Like last year, we got the monkey bread to start. It was super delicious and we were both so hungry that I totally forgot to get a picture of it before the plate was empty!

And for our food, we were both torn on what to get. We were debating it back and forth (with me checking the total on my phone to make sure we stayed under $40) and we both were thinking about getting one of the sandwiches that was new to us. Since we both were thinking of getting the same thing, we decided to get a big salad and one of the sandwiches and split everything.


It ended up being so much food that we couldn’t finish so it was a good plan to split things like this. I have a feeling that this might be a part of the new tradition. And of course we had to get dessert. They always have amazing desserts at Truxton’s so anything we got would have been great. But the giant cookie with ice cream on top sounded super tempting and we decided to go for it.

And even though neither Joanna nor I asked them to put candles on the dessert, they did that for us since they knew it was both of our birthdays. That was a nice touch and we both enjoyed it!

Birthday Dessert

And yes, we pretty much finished that entire cookie between the two of us. It was a big splurge, but totally worth it to me.

When we got our bills, we noticed that there was a slight difference than normal. They had to split the checks because there can only be 1 birthday coupon on each bill, and since things were split up it wasn’t totally free. We were under $40, but because of the split we owed under a buck.

Almost Free

While the tradition of the totally free birthday meal didn’t quite happen, we are still super happy with the deal. We got all that food for under a dollar and we still got to feel awesome leaving a giant tip (we left $30 on what was technically a $37 bill).

We sat around allowing ourselves to rest a bit after eating so much food, and then we decided to walk for a bit before we both had to get into our cars. I checked out my phone to see what time it was (I still had a bit more work to finish up after dinner) and I saw that it was 8:09 on 8/9 which was pretty cool.


We walked for a bit and then headed back since Joanna had a bit of a drive and I had to get home to get to work. But it was a super awesome birthday hangout and I’m so happy that I got to spend my real birthday with my birthday twin! That doesn’t usually happen so it’s pretty special.

And of course, we had to discuss what our next crazy birthday twin adventure would be. We will have our usual cheesecake outing, but we are also thinking about doing something for our half birthday (which would be in February). So we might be having another amazing birthday twin celebration on our half birthday which would be so much fun!

There’s still more birthday adventures to come. My birthday party is this weekend so I’ll let you all know how it goes next week. And while I don’t have any other birthday adventures planned yet, the month isn’t over so I might think of some more things!

Continuing The Birthday Fun (or Pie and Makeup)

Even though my birthday had ended, I wasn’t ready to end the celebrating quite yet. I had a couple of other birthday deals I wanted to take advantage of, so I did some of them on Monday (my day off from the day job).

First on the birthday agenda was Marie Callendars for birthday pie. This has been a tradition for a while because they send you a coupon for $5 off an entree plus a free slice of pie. So I went with my friend Emily to the location that we like the most.

I hadn’t seen Emily in a while. Our schedules just haven’t been matching up and we haven’t been attending the same events lately. So it was awesome to get to see her and hear about all the adventures she’s been on lately. She’s got a new gig as a writer for the LA Kings (she’s a super fan) so that was really fun to hear about.

Emily and I both got some yummy food, but we were both saving plenty of room for the pie!

Birthday Pie

We got the chocolate satin pie (which we get every time) and the lemon cream cheese pie. They were both delicious but I was so full after eating!

I had something that I had to attend that evening in the same area as where we got lunch, so I decided to try to stick around there for the afternoon instead of going home. I went through my birthday deals that I had left, and decided to go over to Sephora for my free birthday gift!

I also picked up a few other things while I was there (I had a few things I needed but hadn’t had a chance to go to a Sephora location recently), but I was most excited for the freebie!

Birthday Sephora Gift

I don’t usually wear lipstick because I’m a lip balm addict (I use Natural Ice as my balm of choice), and if I wear lipstick I can’t put on more lip balm. But I’ve also been saying that I’d love to have a great red lipstick to wear for special occasions. So this freebie was perfect! I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet, but I’m sure I will soon. I’m not very good about putting on makeup, but I think that I can do lipstick ok (unlike eyeliner).

After my Sephora run, I had to get to my evening event so I wasn’t able to do any more of the birthday deals on my list. I don’t think I’m going to do them all this year. But there are maybe 1 or 2 more that I know that I want to take advantage of before the month (and the deals are over).

I know I’ve said this every year, but I love how I can just extend my birthday to be the entire month!

Birthday Twin Dinner (or Zero Dollar Bill)

As I have done for the past couple of birthdays, I joined my birthday twin Joanna at Truxton’s for our completely free birthday meal. We actually did our birthday dinner before our birthdays this year. It worked out well with our schedules, so we went for it.


Usually, the birthday promo is good for one free entrée and one free dessert per person. You don’t have to order anything outside of the free food to get the deal (which is unique and what makes it my favorite birthday deal), so Joanna and I have always gotten an entrée and dessert each and ended up with a zero dollar bill. But this year, they changed their promo. This time you would get $20 of free food per person. This could include entrees, desserts, appetizers, or even drinks. And there was no minimum purchase so we knew that a 100% free bill was possible still. So between the two of us, we had $40 to spend and endless options from the menu.

I had thought long and hard about what I was going to order before going to Truxton’s, but I was still undecided because I wanted to make sure that Joanna and I got a 100% free meal. We had to figure out how much we could each spend on each part of the meal. We did some calculations and figured out exactly what we would have after we figured out the appetizer and dessert we were going to split (yes, those had to be figured out first). And since my entrée was cheaper than what I was able to “spend”, Joanna got some of my extra money for her entrée. I was actually very happy with our food choices. Normally we get the 2 free desserts, but we never need both. But to be able to get an appetizer made me pretty happy.

As always the food was fabulous. We got monkey bread as our appetizer, I got the chicken dinner that I had last year as my entrée, and we got the apple tart for dessert (which we’ve actually never gotten before over the years).

Free Monkey Bread Free Entrees Free Dessert

We had a bit of a snafu when we got our bill at first. It showed that we had a bill for a couple of dollars. After figuring out that we were charged for one incorrect entrée, we got a new bill which showed that we have continued our tradition of a zero dollar bill at Truxton’s. Even though our bill was nothing, we still like to leave a big tip. The waitress we had this year was actually the same waitress that we had last year, and she remembered us as the 100% free birthday girls. The tip that we ended up leaving equal about 50% of what the bill would have been, so I think that’s pretty good.

Zero Dollar Bill

Joanna and I joked about how we need to figure out how to make this work and include drinks as part of our free $40 and Truxton’s money. It may involve not getting much food, but free drinks sounds pretty awesome. We’ve got an entire year before we have our free birthday meal again, and I’m sure will have it figured out by then. Then again, Truxton’s may change their birthday club within the next year and then we’ll have to figure it out all over again.

This was the perfect way to kick off my birthday celebrations (as always there were multiple celebrations). And tomorrow I will share with you all the fun that I had on my actual birthday!

Yet Another Birthday Outing (or Enjoying Benihana!)

Last night was yet another birthday deal. It’s technically not as good of a deal as Truxton’s, but it’s pretty amazing.

If you are a part of the birthday club at Benihana (I think you just have to sign up with an email address), you get $30 to spend in your birthday month!

I haven’t always taken advantage of this birthday deal. The last time I did was a few years ago with my friend Erin (who does my hair) and her kids (who I babysit). Her daughter was old enough to enjoy it but her son was only a few months old, so he spent dinner sleeping in his stroller.

I decided that I wanted to do the Benihana deal again this year, so I asked Erin if she and the kids wanted to come with me. Her daughter, O, was super excited because she remembered it from a few years ago. Her son, K, was a bit hesitant at first. But as soon as I showed him a video of the onion volcano, he was sold on the idea!

It happened to work out nicely that we all had yesterday evening free (well, Erin’s husband couldn’t make it). We went to the Benihana in Encino since that’s pretty much half way between Erin’s house and my house.

Erin and the kids got there before I did, and when I walked in the door, I had a very nice greeting from O and K. K was so excited to see me, which was a nice treat because he usually doesn’t like when I come over to the house (he thinks that always means that his parents are leaving and I’m babysitting). And O was happy to see me as always.


We lucked out at the table we were seated at. Everyone else was very entertained by the kids and the funny things they kept saying. K was very excited to see eggs being scrambled for the fried rice and kept going on and on about scrambled eggs for a while.

Dinner was very yummy. With my $30 I was able to get a strawberry lemonade and filet mignon (and all the sides that you usually get at Benihana).

Fortunately, everything that I had (including all the sides) were already in My Fitness Pal so I was able to keep on top of my calorie count for the day (I only went a little bit over).

After dinner, they brought out ice cream for the kids as well as for me (the birthday deal includes it).


I had some of the ice cream, but didn’t take the leftovers home (like O and K did with their ice cream).

Overall, it was an awesome birthday adventure. I’m glad that Erin and her kids had a fun time. And anytime I get to hang out with them is wonderful to me.

I’ve possibly got one more birthday adventure before the month is up, but my calendar is starting to get full again! If I don’t get it in, that’s ok. I’ve definitely taking advantage of the birthday deals this month!

Birthday Beauty Discounts (or Making My Birthday Last The Entire Month)

I’ve talked about birthday deals in the past and there are some that I enjoy every single year. And I’m learning to start asking stores that I frequent if they have any birthday deals.

And this year, even though my birthday isn’t until tomorrow, I’ve already enjoyed 2 birthday deals related to beauty!

The only birthday beauty deal I knew about in the past was at Sephora where you get something for free on your birthday (I haven’t gotten my postcard yet so I don’t know what I can get for free this year). I do take advantage of the Sephora deal, but I try not to spend too much on other things while I’m there (and I know that’s the reason for the freebie!).

Something that is a total freebie is at Benefit’s Brow Bars. I go to the one near Santa Monica to get my eyebrows done. It’s more expensive than the cheapie nail salon that I used to go to, but I think they do a way better job at waxing and shaping my brows and you even get a free makeup touch-up when they are done!

Around your birthday (I’m not sure if it has to be your birthday week or month), you get a free brow wax! And since I go there anyway, of course I scheduled a wax over the weekend to take advantage of that!

The brow wax is usually $20 (the cheapie nail salon was $10), so when I get my free wax, I am able to leave a big tip since I’m saving so much! This time, I left a $15 tip (I usually do $5).

Not only did a get a free brow wax, my eyebrows are going to look amazing for my birthday party (which is tonight!).

Another beauty birthday discount is at Queen Bee Salon and Spa. Sorry for my readers who aren’t in LA, but this is a salon that has one location in Culver City and another in Brentwood (I go to the Culver City one). I go here for bikini waxes and have been going for a little over a year now. Bikini waxes are never fun and they aren’t painless, but Queen Bee makes them more bearable. Plus, the waxer I go to, Jenn V., is super awesome and friendly. So we are normally chatting and gossiping while she works and it helps to distract me from the pain (taking a painkiller about an hour before I go helps too).

When I went in for my bikini wax last month I realized that my next wax would be around my birthday. So I asked if they had any birthday deals even though I had never heard of one there before. It turns out, they just created a birthday discount! If you get a service done either 4 days before or 4 days after your birthday you get 10% off!

So I scheduled my wax to be yesterday and I got a nice little discount on something that I would have done anyway!

I am going to DryBar today to get my hair done before my party, but when I looked at their deals, only people with memberships to DryBar get free blowouts on their birthdays. I definitely don’t get enough blowouts to make a membership worth it (nor do I have the money for something like that).

I’d love to find some more beauty birthday deals while it’s my birthday month! Those are so much better for my weight loss goals than all the food freebies (although I will be going to at least one of my free meals this month).

If anyone knows of a pedicure birthday deal, you would become one of my favorite people ever!