Yesterday was Blake’s 31st birthday!  How great that it fell on a Saturday, right?!  Not to mention a sunny, 75 degree Saturday.  I planned on doing a beach day, so we rounded up a crew of some of Blake’s closest friends down here and headed down to San Onofre – to the area of beach called Old Man’s (which I found really funny and teased Blake about all day!

When I asked Blake what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said he just wanted a beach day with friends.  I was nervous we wouldn’t have the best weather, but Blake must have karma on his side because it was beautiful.  San Onofre is a state beach down in San Clemente, and a great beach for some mellow surf waves with fire pits for warmth and cooking.  It’s sheltered from the road, and one of my favorite places to watch the sunset around here.  We actually renewed our annual state parks pass yesterday, which I highly recommend if you live anywhere in California and go to any of the state parks.  Check out the details here!

Blake Birthday Beach BBQ-7

We all met up mid-day at the beach, and most of the boys instantly took off towards the water.  I was pretty content to get some sun and chat with some of my favorite girls on beach blankets.  (Conditions have to be pretty exceptional for me to attempt to surf, and yesterday was not that day!)  I wanted to bring food, but to keep it easy I decided to BBQ organic hot dogs and set up a little hot dog bar.  My sister Tahni (who’s kind of a grill master) actually got Blake a grill, grill tools, and a carrying bag for the grill, so we used that.  The grill was seriously perfect for the beach – we are going to get so much use out of that this summer!  Tahni also gave me the idea to make J.Dawg’s famous sauce, and that was a big hit!  I think we got pretty close to the real thing – here’s the recipe I used:


  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. onion powder


  1. Place all ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time.
  2. Let boil about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour into bottle or container. Refrigerate when not using.

Make about 1 cup of sauce!

I put all the toppings in mason jars with labels, just for fun ;).

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Blake’s very favorite dessert is his Mom’s cheesecake.  Since she’s not here, I was a little nervous about making that happen.  But she sent me the recipe, and I attempted it!  I definitely need a little more practice to get it to taste like her’s, but I was close!  Since we were eating at the beach and I wanted to make it as easy as possible to serve, I decided to try and make it in little mason jars.  I ended up with 24 little 4oz. mason jars of cheesecake, and brought toppings for people to dress their own.  Blake loves blueberries, and I also brought strawberries, crushed oreos, and caramel!  It was so easy for people to just grab their own and choose their toppings – I would totally do this again!

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Mason Jars (4 oz., 8 oz.)imageimage

I’m so thankful for the good friends we have here that came and celebrated Blake.  It was one of those days that I just felt content and happy and grateful! And also so thankful for our family that’s far away that showed their love by sending the most thoughtful gifts and messages to Blake.  It turned out kind of perfect, because everything he got for his birthday he brought to the beach to use!

B Day Collage-01

Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill ~ Stainless Steel Grill Tools ~ Smokey Joe Bag Grill Carrier ~ Canon 50mm 1.4 Lens ~ Tavik Loco Boardshorts ~ Sanuk Flip Flops ~ F-Stop Kenti Camera Bag

Billabong Wetsuit


I love Blake like crazy, and that’s probably the biggest reason I loved yesterday so much.  Here’s to another year of life for my favorite guy!