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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

He loves me. yeah yeah yeah.


The past two weeks? Awesome. Let’s recap: Prezzie Obama said hi to me, Martha Stewart didn’t think much of my shoes, I turned 40 and I triggered security at a casino in Las Vegas.

I spoke during Pathfinder day at BlogHer in New York City with the lovely Kathryn Finney of Budget Fashionista. Our all-day seminar was focused on building your blog as a business and media company, a subject that I could speak for 4 hours straight. And we did. No one fell asleep, so I think we did pretty darn good.

If you’re not familiar with BlogHer, it’s the world’s largest conference for bloggers – we had over 5,000 mommy, food, shopping, lifestyle and family bloggers. Mostly women. The Instagram power was strong in the room. If you happen to experience Instagram or Twitter outage during those two days of the conference, I apologize, 5,000 bloggers were posting about President Obama saying hi to me.

Okay, well maybe not. But it was so cool to have the President speak live, even if it was via sattelite.

He loved Steamy Kitchen.

blush He loves me. Whether or not you agree with his policies, you gotta think it’s cool that he reads Steamy Kitchen every day.

Do you know who throws fabulous parties? Marie LeBaron Make and Takes + Allison Czarnecki Petit Elefant + Jane Maynard This Week For Dinner = SocialLuxe. This gorgeous and very pregnant girl  (her, not me) was there

Oh, that thing on my hand?

I got my very first henna tattoo – which is cool only the day that you get it. Because the next morning, I woke up, groggy, still half-asleep, looked down and THOUGHT MY HAND GREW FUNGUS. I had forgotten about the henna. Freaked me out for a sec!

The next day, Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer, pulled Catherine of Weelicious, Elise of Simply Recipes and me aside and said, “I want you to meet Martha Stewart!”

Yes, the only day in my life that I have a hand fungus and the day that Elise and I decided to wear Crocs.

We were Martha’s welcoming committee at BlogHer. That’s Catherine, me, Martha, Elise and Elisa from BlogHer.

And if you must direct attention to our shoes, those are my badass Cros sandals right next to Martha’s stylish orange wedges.

It turned out it was Martha’s birthday too, so BlogHer donated money to Martha Stewart Center for Living in Mt. Sinai as a thank you for spending her birthday with bloggers.

She travels with a posse. Here’s her security detail. I snapped this pic in secret, over my shoulder – I didn’t want to get a shake down from her peeps.

Last week I turned 40. Don’t be sad, I am actually looking forward to my 40’s. My hips are wider, but I’m wiser.

Last Friday, the moment I woke up, Scott said to me, “Pack your bags, honey, I’m taking you on a trip!” He wouldn’t tell me, other than, “Pack for hot weather, casual clothes. Oh, and the kids aren’t going.”

Wheeeeeeeee!!!! YAY! Surprise trip! <– squealing wife in me

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?! I MUST KNOW ALL DETAILS! <– control freak in me

No matter how much I begged, he wouldn’t give up an inch of the itinerary.

So I asked my kids.

They didn’t know either, because Scott never told them <– smart guy. my kids can’t keep secrets.

But what do I pack?! “Hot weather” isn’t specific enough – there’s humid hot, tropical hot, dry hot, sweating hot. “Casual” isn’t enough either – sporty casual, elegant casual, comfy casual, pretending to be casual casual.

It turned out we were going to Vegas. VEGAS!!! YIPPPEEEEE!! I love Vegas. Perfect vacation for foodies, shopoholics and reckless gambling on the penny slots.

So I thought the B-I-G surprise was the trip to Vegas, the sitter at home taking care of the kids.

Little did I know that the day after we arrived, my friends would be jumping out of a corner.

What???!! Huh? How?! OOOMMMMGGGGG—-SCREAM!!!!!!!

I screamed so loud that security was notified.

Elise. Guy. Todd. Diane. Jay. Jeremiah. They all flew in to celebrate me gettin’ old!

I love my friends.

The surprises kept coming….Cirque du Soliel Love, Japonaise dinner (miso mashed potatoes with truffle butter….to die for), and a helicopter ride over Las Vegas at night!!

…in a $2.5 million helicopter! The pilot made it look so easy. I think I have more controls in my Ford Flex than he has on his helicopter panel.


My Mama.

Elise and Guy.

Todd & Diane.

My brother Jay & Jeremiah.

Mom and Dad.



36 Responses to “He loves me. yeah yeah yeah.”

  1. Awwww – what an amazing whirlwind Jaden! Major kudos to Scott for organizing everything – the photo of your surprise is priceless!!!

  2. Caroline — 8/15/12 @ 11:16 am

    What an amazing 40th birthday! You have a great husband indeed. You look just like your mom, unbelievable!

  3. Awwww so sweet!!!! Everything sounded like it was a blast! That was really thoughtful of Scott to plan all of that for you…and yay it was a surprise!

  4. deandra — 8/15/12 @ 11:23 am

    I cannot help but squeal in delight reading your story. Happy belated birthday! that is sure a wonderful way to celebrate another year!

  5. katie — 8/15/12 @ 11:39 am

    Looks like you have had quite the amazing 2 weeks! I was so excited when I read on Instagram that Scott was whisking you away for the weekend. I think it’s every girls dream to be sent on a surprise trip! Love that you shared your experiences with your readers! Happy belated birthday!

  6. angela im — 8/15/12 @ 11:54 am

    happy birthday jaden! you are so cute and your hubby’s the best!!! so glad to see you had a wonderful 40th bday!!! yes, your surprise photo is priceless. bless!

  7. Jeanette — 8/15/12 @ 11:57 am

    Happy Birthday Jaden and congrats on turning 40! What a fabulous husband for arranging such a special celebration for you with your parents, brother and best friends – couldn’t ask for more!

  8. Wow, what fun to meet Martha and have your friends surprise you for your birthday! :D Your mom is gorgeous! You look just like her. :D

  9. Winter — 8/15/12 @ 12:23 pm

    Wow! What a wonderful husband! We recently went to Las Vegas and watched The Beatles Love also and absolutely loved it.

    Happy birthday and I love all the things you do and how awesome you are.

    -Jaden groupie, Winter

  10. Deb G — 8/15/12 @ 12:32 pm

    Happy 40th – what an amazing start to an amazing period in your life!!

  11. Dee — 8/15/12 @ 12:40 pm

    Happy (belated) birthday!!! What a wonderful surprise!

  12. Monica — 8/15/12 @ 1:00 pm

    When I think of Las Vegas, I think of my favorite restaurant Poke Express. It’s a taste of Hawaii without going to Hawaii. Kudos to Scott for arranging a special B-day with friends and family.

  13. Michelle — 8/15/12 @ 1:48 pm

    Oooohhhh Jaden! Happy happy birthday! What a whirlwind blast & what an awesome hubby! Now… I bet your wheels are turning for his, huh? Yours is hard to top! :) but, you’re a smart gal I bet you already have his birthday planned… :)
    And , I think. Mr prez should use that in his campaign: ” I read steamy kitchen and make it too” muhahaha! :) happy belated birthday and oh yes your mom n dad…. Awwww adorable! :) thanks for sharing your adventures.

  14. Lorri S — 8/15/12 @ 2:22 pm

    Happy Birthday! Looks like you had an amazing time :)

  15. Always Wright — 8/15/12 @ 2:44 pm

    Happy Birthday! May you have many more happy ones! So glad you had a great time with your friends and beautiful family. Still enjoying your wonderful recipes. Thanks!

  16. Cristina — 8/15/12 @ 3:19 pm

    What an amazing two weeks! Happy belated birthday!

  17. Jesse — 8/15/12 @ 3:40 pm

    Happy birthday! Wondering though, does President Obama enter all the giveaways? LOL

  18. Chris — 8/15/12 @ 6:50 pm

    Happy belated Birthday, young lady! I can’t believe Martha Stewart was lucky enough to meet you, how awesome for her!

  19. Cairine — 8/15/12 @ 7:27 pm

    Of course he loves you, we all do! It’s not a chore at all! Glad you had such a wonderful birthday!

  20. What an amazing whirlwind of celebrations! Once again, Happy Birthday Jaden :)


  21. Eva — 8/16/12 @ 4:42 am

    Wow, Jaden! What a great birthday celebration! You will be remembering this one for a long, long time. Happy birthday!!!

  22. What a fabulous post! So fun. Happy belated birthday!!!

  23. Happy Birthday Jaden!! What a great Party…loved your photo with your mom :)

  24. Mimi Avocado — 8/16/12 @ 2:56 pm

    Happy Birthday to you! I enjoyed Pathfinder Day at BlogHer12 and was surprised to see you tweeting about Las Vegas! Did you see me waving from the 25th floor of Caesar’s Palace? I was there for the Nat’l Flute Association convention, but caught a terrible cold on the plane from NYC…so I had to spend most of my Vegas trip in bed! Sad, but true. So happy that you could celebrate your 40th in such a memorable way! Yes, the 40’s are a wonderful time…and so are the 50’s! Keep looking forward with optimism and delighted anticipation…it’s all good! (thanks again for your words of encouragement at lunchtime)

  25. Joan — 8/16/12 @ 6:17 pm

    Happy birthday, jaden!! Congratulations on being 40 and Fab – u -lous! Thanks for sharing your terrific day with us. Always enjoy your writing – you bring lots of smiles. Many more happy years to come!!!

  26. Elise — 8/17/12 @ 12:48 am

    What an amazing couple weeks! And girlfriend, your crocks were so much more stylish than mine. I mean, mine were flip flops! I wore flip flops to meet Martha.

    Your face when we all came out of the corners to surprise in in Vegas was PRICELESS. And Vegas? I got to tell you, your husband sure knows how to plan a trip! Thank you both for everything, especially Jaden for you just being the fabulous wonderful woman you are. VCsforever. xooxoxo

  27. Petit Elefant — 8/17/12 @ 1:15 pm

    Happy Birthday! You don’t look a day over 30. :)

    So happy you loved SocialLuxe, we love you!

    p.s. henna is the new black. it’s my fave.


  28. Pingback: BlogHer12 in NYC: What a Difference a Year Makes! | Mimi Avocado

  29. Jane Maynard — 8/17/12 @ 1:38 pm

    happy birthday, jaden! you have yourself a good guy there – what a surprise!

    it was wonderful as always to see you…thanks for coming to the par-tay and for getting fungusfied for martha. ;)


  30. Susan — 8/17/12 @ 6:58 pm

    Congratulations on your birthday. You do have a wonderful husband and obviously a great family and friends — a testament to you! May your year be wonderful and full of laughter!

  31. Happy birthday! This post has so much in it just chocked full of fun! It made me smile…a lot!!

  32. You look like you had an am,azing 2 weeks… HOW much FUN!!!! Happy Belated Birthday sweetie, you look good girl!

  33. Kim in MD — 8/22/12 @ 8:59 am

    I totally agree, Chris! :-)

  34. Jess Dang — 8/22/12 @ 7:59 pm

    Jaden, amazing!!! Happy birthday. I think even more good things are gonna come (if that’s even possible for you!)

  35. Thereasa Gargano — 8/24/12 @ 7:08 pm

    Just too cute for words! What an awersome birthday surprise! Happy belated bday.

  36. Hamilton Guy — 9/3/12 @ 1:20 pm

    I might have to borrow some of your husbands ideas for my wifes next bday. She’s always wanted to go to vegas.

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