Waiting on the UPS Man

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I’m waiting for the UPS man to make a very special delivery – a Netbook, my (early) birthday present from the Husband!  Well, technically I bought it for myself on BestBuy.com and told the Husband not to buy me anything else.  :)  Yes, I have two weeks until my birthday, but who’s counting? 


A Netbook is basically a mini laptop.  I really need one for traveling because my laptop is heavy, and the power cord is duct taped to the laptop.  Maggie tripped over the cord once and it’s on the verge of breaking off.  I look extremely professional when I lug this duct taped monstrosity to conferences and presentations.


Ghetto fabulous.


But… I can’t leave for  my bike ride until the UPS man makes his delivery, and the weather forecast calls for intense rain this afternoon.  Looks like I won’t be able to squeeze a long ride in before my work trip.  🙁


Lunch featured one of my favorite recipes.


Flax-Encrusted Sweet Potato Balls!


These balls contain sweet potato, black beans, salsa, and jalapeño.   The complete recipe is on this page (towards the bottom).  The mustard is key!


Plus, an arugula, strawberry, cheddar, and balsamic dressing salad.


I love the peppery taste of arugula.


Do you buy yourself birthday presents?  I always do.  As I get older, birthdays get less exciting.  Might as well gift myself something fabulous!



  • Evan Thomas April 12, 2010, 2:11 pm

    I try not to, but then I either get money or give in and go pick out my own present. This year, I bought my own easter basket. That was tasty!
    Hope the UPS man comes soon! I know all too well what it is to be waiting on them

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 12, 2010, 2:11 pm

    I have been known to treat myself on a birthday on a few occasions…doesn’t just have to be birthdays though! Saturdays, Mondays…Days…. 😛 (I kid!)
    LOVE those sweet potato balls – now I have flaxseed at last, I’m definetly making them 😀
    Have a good afternoon!

  • BethT April 12, 2010, 2:12 pm

    I do buy most of my own presents, or hubby and I agree to take a vacay together as a gift. More fun to me that way!

  • kristinp April 12, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Perhaps this is a goofy question, but why not just buy a new laptop cord? You can get them pretty cheap on amazon and then you won’t have to continue duct-taping your main work computer together 🙂

    ps. those sweet potato balls look ahhh-mazing!

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 2:14 pm

      it’s not the cord, it’s the connection into the laptop. it’s super loose and wiggly. the computer place said it would cost $100 to fix AND i would be computer less for a week. obviously not going to work! hehe plus, a netbook would be really nice for travel.

      • Jessica April 12, 2010, 3:49 pm

        That happened to my laptop before I got this new one. It turns out there was more wrong with it than just the connection and it was unrepairable. I say it is wise to go ahead and get a netbook. Besides, they are so cute!

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story April 12, 2010, 2:12 pm

    I do sometimes. Mostly because I know what I want and I’m a control freak. There’s nothing wrong with it. haha 🙂

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 12, 2010, 2:13 pm

    i don’t usually get myself gifts, but sometimes if it’s a good deal i’ll splurge! those sweet potato balls sound AH-mazing!

  • Sana April 12, 2010, 2:14 pm

    I just bought myself a Garmin for my 21st! I <3 my netbook, I sleep with mine in bed… no lie.

  • Carrie @ I See Monsters April 12, 2010, 2:15 pm

    I’m definitely making those sweet potato balls ASAP!

    I always buy myself something for my birthday. Usually it’s a dress or pair of shoes I find too “impractical” to purchase normally. And I always buy myself a piece of cake from my favorite bakery. 😉

  • Laura Georgina April 12, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Oh goodness, I am shameless at getting myself birthday presents. My birthday falls right after Christmas so I was always given joint presents, which made me so jealous of my sisters with summer birthdays! So now I make up for it and celebrate my birthday a gazillion times and make sure I get myself presents 🙂

  • Diana April 12, 2010, 2:18 pm

    Oh my god, those sweet potato balls sound and look so good! I gotta make those soon 🙂
    And yeah, I totally buy myself some birthday presents. Sometimes my parents just give me the money and let me buy whatever I want! They have pretty busy schedules so this is easier for everyone (they don’t “waste” time shopping and I don’t get stuff I don’t really want).

  • Runeatrepeat April 12, 2010, 2:18 pm

    I was looking at the ipads yesterday at bestbuy and super tempted!

  • Sara April 12, 2010, 2:20 pm

    I was going to write that I don’t buy myself birthday gifts. But yesterday I booked a trip to see my nephew, and I fly down two days after my birthday, so I guess that counts!

  • The Linz April 12, 2010, 2:20 pm

    I am sooo asking for a netbook for my birthday too. I want a pink one! I can’t believe I have gone my whole life without a laptop. I feel like a bad blogger…Your sweet potato balls look fab. I am so trying out that recipe!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 12, 2010, 2:20 pm

    I was looking at those sweet potato balls the other day… I think I’m going to make them tomorrow!! Yum!

  • Michele April 12, 2010, 2:21 pm

    I definitely buy birthday presents for myself — or shamelessly lobby for what I want from others. I love buying Christmas presents for myself too. I don’t wrap them, but I do buy at least one or two things for me when I’m buying for others.

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! April 12, 2010, 2:21 pm

    Yes, since I usually just get $$$ or gift cards these days at my birthday (though my hubby did get me some nice shirts and my friend got me Nike running shorts this year) I typically always buy my own gifts…….but with others $$$ of course! =)

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) April 12, 2010, 2:23 pm

    Recently I’ve been getting myself presents before my birthday as well. As I get older I know what I want, and if I can afford it I might as well get it right?
    My bf wants a small laptop in order to write his book he has in his head – do you mind giving a price range for it and why you decided to get that specific one?

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 2:28 pm

      I don’t know if you would want to do serious writing on a Netbook – I think they are pretty uncomfortable for long term typing. But mine was $229 and it’s an emachine from BestBuy.com. I got it because it had good reviews and was the cheapest one.

  • Julia @ British Bride April 12, 2010, 2:23 pm

    That salad looks amazing!! Am jealous, want a netbook too!!

  • Megan @ EatScrapRun April 12, 2010, 2:26 pm

    What netbook did you order? I need to get one too. I got used to having my work laptop and then they went and laid me off! Lol. First thing I am doing with my severance is buy a netbook. Oh yea, and an iPhone 🙂

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 2:28 pm

      the emachines one on bestbuy.com. it’s about $229

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner April 12, 2010, 2:27 pm

    I definitely do! Gotta treat yourself to something nice 🙂

  • Nicci April 12, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I love treating myself on birthdays. I usually go for a new shirt or a manicure.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 12, 2010, 2:28 pm

    Quick question about the sweet potato balls – do you take the skin off or mash it in?

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 2:37 pm

      remove the skin.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers April 12, 2010, 2:34 pm

    I used to insist birthday presents be surprises or not exist, but after watching the husband struggle and fail for so long, I’ve figured out it’s easier just to get it myself…I still make him get a card tho 🙂

  • Matt April 12, 2010, 2:36 pm

    I love ordering my own presents 🙂

  • Czabrina April 12, 2010, 2:37 pm

    I don’t buy myself birthday presents but I do celebrate my birthday all week.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 12, 2010, 2:37 pm

    Oooh I want to try those sweet potato balls!

  • Anita April 12, 2010, 2:40 pm

    I want a Spin bike for my birthday! I’ll prob’ly have to spring for it myself…

  • Morgan April 12, 2010, 2:44 pm

    I always get myself gifts! I get myself gifts for lots of things…graduating law school, a new job. I love to celebrate myself, even if it’s just with flowers!

  • Sarah April 12, 2010, 2:44 pm

    I have a netbook and love it! What a good b-day present, I bought myself a Cuisinart Griddler, knife block and food scale for my birthday this weekend!

  • Catherine April 12, 2010, 2:47 pm

    I don’t buy myself birthday presents, but I do give myself little gifts when I get a raise/bonus, do really well in a race, etc.

  • Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit April 12, 2010, 2:48 pm

    I always buy myself a birthday present, ha. It’s nice to have an excuse to make a purchase I’ve been putting off – this year will likely be bike accessories!

  • Heather (runningwithsass.com) April 12, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I don’t actually buy them for myself, but I do tell him what i want! the first couple years we were together I made the mistake of letting him surprise me, b/c I like surprises…well..that didn’t go so well, I ended up with gifts I didn’t need or like and would have ratherd have the cash for HA!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet April 12, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I always buy myself presents! I had wanted a netbook for a long time, but I got a Mac and love that!

  • Kelly April 12, 2010, 2:59 pm

    That laptop is pretty impressive! Hope you enjoy the new netbook!

  • Kelly April 12, 2010, 3:04 pm

    Hehe I always buy myself a birthday present! I hate waiting for the UPS man, it’s the worst!

  • Amy @ Second City Randomness April 12, 2010, 3:08 pm

    I always make sure to buy myself something a little something special for my birthday or christmas… usually in the form of heels… preferrably Guess. Because I like to pretend I’m fabulous. 😉

  • Teacherwoman April 12, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Sounds like you deserve that new notebook! I bought myself a 42 inch flat screen tv for my birthday last year! Best gift I ever bought myself!

  • Carrie H April 12, 2010, 3:16 pm

    I’m also turning 26 this year on June 5, so I’m celebrating by running my age. (My first marathon is May 9 and technically before I turn 26, but I’m counting it since year 25 is really my 26th year on earth, if you count year zero as year one … obviously, I’ve thought about this a lot, but I’ve got to fill all those long runs thinking about something!)

    • Carrie H April 12, 2010, 3:18 pm

      Hey — this works for you too Caitlin! Wasn’t your first marathon in January, so during your 26th year too? lol.

      • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 3:25 pm

        yup! 🙂

    • Maura April 12, 2010, 3:33 pm

      Yay for June 5th birthdays 🙂

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething April 12, 2010, 3:17 pm

    what a great present! yes we just buy what we want….the moneys coming from the same place 🙂

  • Heather April 12, 2010, 3:21 pm

    DUH! Of course I buy myself birthday presents…lol. And sometimes I buy me “anyday that ends in “y”” presents. hehe

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing April 12, 2010, 3:26 pm

    I thought about getting a netbook, but decided against it. The guy at BB told me some of them couldn’t even handle Flash heavy sites, so I got the smallest laptop I could find WITH a DCD player (the husband’s request). I got a Pavilion with Windows 7.

  • Sarah April 12, 2010, 3:27 pm

    My birthday is coming up, and I’m planning on taking off of work, going to a yoga class, eating at my favorite restaurant, and maybe getting a pedicure. So yes, I like to treat myself on my birthday:).

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries April 12, 2010, 3:31 pm

    This whole post is too funny to me! 1) I was just eating an arugula salad today and “oooh’ing” and “ahh-ing” over the peppery flavor and wondering why I don’t buy it more often. 2) My birthday is also in April and while I don’t buy myself presents, I proclaim exactly what I want. This year, it’s a Garmin from the boy and a griddle from my parents. I’m officially 95 years old!

  • Lauren April 12, 2010, 3:33 pm

    My fiance gave me a Netbook for Christmas and it is the *best* present I have ever gotten! It takes a little getting used to because it’s so small but I can take it to school and to the library and all those places without it making my book bag weigh 1000 pounds. Enjoy yours! It is wonderful!

  • PippaPatchwork April 12, 2010, 3:37 pm

    I just have to say, I love how you find the time to make interesting recipes, even when the meal is casual or you’re eating by yourself! That’s very inspiring to me. You do such a good job of not eating out too much and making home meals an occasion in their own right. Those sweet potato balls look awesome!

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 5:15 pm

      THANK YOU!

  • Jacquie April 12, 2010, 3:58 pm

    Yay presents! I do buy myself birthday presents and I honestly think it’s the best thing to do when you get older. Likewise, I don’t really “ask” for anything for my birthday and happily except money from my family to then buy whatever I’d like. It makes it easier for them and ensures a fun gift.

  • Retta @ RunRettaRun April 12, 2010, 4:00 pm

    I prefer cashola so I can buy my own presents. Sometimes heavy hints just don’t work w/ The Lover! And you’re right – as you get older, birthdays are really not all that. I think I peaked at birthday fun when I hit 30. 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 12, 2010, 4:01 pm

    I definitely buy myself birthday presents! Mine is next Tuesday and I’ve been thinking about how i’d like to “treat” myself 🙂

  • Amanda (The Beautiful Army) April 12, 2010, 4:10 pm

    I buy myself Unbirthday prezzys! In lit. today we “analyzed a shoe” and wrote who would wear it and a story about that person. Shoes tell a lot!

  • Janelle April 12, 2010, 4:21 pm

    I almost bought myself a new “lunchbox” today for my birthday, but managed to hold back – I feel so guilty! A computer is much more fun than a lunchbox 🙂

  • Hedda April 12, 2010, 4:23 pm

    Hum hum, I usually “order” gifts, haha! Like telling my family and friends very loud and clear what I wish for, and then top my request with a cute smile :p
    Off, that sounded a bit spoiled, didn’t it? At least it makes sure that the reciever becomes very happy for the gift, even though I know one should be happy for any gift. Haha, not a good sign : defending my habit!

    My guinea pig did almost the same as Maggie btw. Do not ask why my guinea pig was walking around the computer 🙂

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly April 12, 2010, 4:24 pm

    I don’t buy myself birthday presents but I am going to start…um…TODAY!!! (yes…today is my b-day!) haha!

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 5:14 pm


  • Mary (A Merry Life) April 12, 2010, 4:29 pm

    Completely ghetto fab. I dropped my Macbook Pro after Fitbloggin and now it’s got some tape of it’s own. It’s sad.

    I wish I could buy myself a present that cool. My birthday is coming up this month, so my present to myself? A new camera charger! Oh hurray! 🙂

  • Betty April 12, 2010, 4:32 pm

    Sometimes I buy myself presents just because. I know when I deserve something so I make sure to treat myself.

  • bobbie@mymamaruns.com April 12, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I will definitely be trying those flax encrusted sweet potato balls! mmm….
    Good choice in Birthday gifts!

  • Therese April 12, 2010, 4:44 pm

    Way to go on the birthday gift! I broke down this year and bought myself a new laptop as well. Not as a birthday gift, though. But I really needed one as I was starting school again and my old one was sloooow.

    I sometimes buy birthday gifts for myself. It’s not the norm but not something I shy away from either! If there’s something I want that I know only I can get, I’ll get it!

    And I am DYING to try those sweet potato balls! If I have black beans I may make them tonight!

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow April 12, 2010, 4:45 pm

    I love that recipe! ANything with sweet potatoes is a dream to me. 🙂 I have been eating them at least 4-5x a week now. I think I might have a problem.

    I’m all about the early birthday gifts! Or what we like to call in this household “mutually beneficial” birthday gifts. 🙂 I buy something for the fiance that also happens to provide me a fantastic benefit! That’s where our GPS, tv, Wii Fit and many other gifts originated.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 12, 2010, 5:19 pm

    Oh my gosh, your laptop is CRACKING me up. Hilarious.

    I was in NYC for a wedding all weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to comment, but I just wanted to say congrats on the race!! A new PR!

    I don’t technically buy myself birthday presents, but I always return the gifts my hub gets me for other presents, so we probably should just cut out the middle man and start letting me by my presents for myself in the first place. 🙂

  • Mo@MommyRD April 12, 2010, 5:19 pm

    I usually do not buy birthday presents for myself, but two years ago I splurged and got botox (first and only time) and said to my husband that it was a gift to myself for my birthday. Other than that, I just give strong hints. 😉

  • Kristin April 12, 2010, 5:32 pm

    I too buy myself birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, and even Christmas gifts! That’s because I always want things that my husband has never even heard of. For instance for my 30th I bought a Garmin! I actually bought it about a month before my birthday so I could use it to train!

    Questions about the sweet potato balls. I tried to make them once and they were an epic fail! I couldn’t get them to stick together and then roll in the ground flax. Any suggestions?

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 8:36 pm

      maybe try more salsa!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 12, 2010, 6:03 pm

    ooooh I just bought a netbook for the same reason! It is so light and will be perfect for travelling!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit April 12, 2010, 6:05 pm

    What!! Those sweet potato balls look amazing.
    I was looking into getting a netbook a few months ago, and decided to go with a regular laptop because of so many bad reviews, from people online as well as people I know. I hope you have a good experience with yours, but I hear they are very basic and slow…
    I’ve treated myself to a massage for my birthday the past two years and plan to keep that tradition going!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 12, 2010, 6:09 pm

    I always buy my own presents. I wanted a massage this year and I booked it myself and Hunni paid 🙂

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels April 12, 2010, 6:19 pm

    No I like surprises. But my bf gets so excited about his birthday that he can’t decide what he wants as a gift. He never lets me surprise him.

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 12, 2010, 6:40 pm

    That’s an impressive tape job 😉

    I am so making those sweet potato balls! Omg, I’m wayyyy too excited!

  • Hillary April 12, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I enjoyed reading your updated About Me section, but I think there’s one booboo…OB video in January 2010? That already passed : )

  • Kait April 12, 2010, 6:51 pm

    Those sweet potato balls look delicious! I just read the recipe and cannot wait to make them!

  • erica April 12, 2010, 6:52 pm

    Your laptop looks like my old one…that’s why Mac’s chargers are great-their magnetic! Your salad looks delish!

  • Hilary April 12, 2010, 7:06 pm

    I love suprise presents, but I have also treated myself to a birthday camera and this year a birthday Dell mini. Sometimes it’s the best opportunity to get what you need without guilt of spending money 🙂

  • Olivia April 12, 2010, 7:31 pm

    I buy myself presents too – those are sometimes the best kind! Guess who else had flax-encrusted sweet potato balls for dinner tonight? This girl! Mmmm…. 🙂

  • Abby April 12, 2010, 8:34 pm

    That’s what my husband’s laptop looked like when we decided that I needed my own! So I got a netbook,too! And I love it!

    I also got my birthday present (a road bike) about a month and a half before my actual birthday! Happy early birthday!

    April Birthdays REPRESENT!

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 8:37 pm

      a road bike is a sweet bday present!

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) April 12, 2010, 8:40 pm

    My boyfriend has a netbook- he loves it, and I want one too!

    I don’t buy myself presents, but I make it verrry clear what I want 😉


  • John April 12, 2010, 8:52 pm

    I buy myself a present occasionally as my birthday is Dec.23 and doesn’t always seem like a birthday so close to Xmas.

  • jodie April 12, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Do they (Flax-Encrusted Sweet Potato Balls) stay well overnight? Or is it best to prepare and eat the same day? Thanks

    • caitlin April 12, 2010, 8:58 pm

      they keep well!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 12, 2010, 9:22 pm

    I have always loved my birthday and having a whole day about me! Wow, selfish much? lol

    I guess I technically buy my own presents because I use my husband’s and my account to buy them and I pick them out online. Although they are always “from” my husband. =)

  • katie April 12, 2010, 9:55 pm

    Yay for your early birthday present!! Yay!

  • Katherine April 12, 2010, 10:24 pm

    looks delicious!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) April 12, 2010, 11:25 pm

    I have never thought to buy myself a birthday present – but that is a GREAT idea!! I am going to start!

  • maria April 13, 2010, 1:57 am

    I think I am buying myself a netbook for Christmas this year. 😉 I was just talking to my husband about this yesterday. He said to go for it because it will be awesome for traveling and blogging.

  • Courtney R. April 13, 2010, 10:02 am

    I totally buy myself a present. My b-day was Saturday and I bought myself Lady Ga-Ga tickets for the Raleigh NC show in September!!

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