A girl only turns 44 once in her life and we celebrated in Omaha last weekend.

My guy scored tickets to the zoo and we spent the day there. I hadn’t been to that zoo since I was in my twenties and it was a great day even at 91 degrees in July.

The great thing about the way the Henry Doorly Zoo is laid out is that there is a great combination of indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as many misting stations you can run through to stay cool. I enjoyed every misting station I was presented with, P, not so much. But hey, I’m a kid at heart.

The Jellyfish were mesmerizing to me. I recorded this little video to share of some of my favorites and removed the annoying soundtrack of all the screaming children. (You’re welcome. 😉 )

Far and away the monkeys were my favorite. We spent quite a bit of time watching them interact. especially the family group in the indoor enclosures. 

The baby monkey was so entertaining, at one point the baby monkey sat on the rock next to the mama so she could groom him, and he reached up his little baby monkey hands and grabbed both of his mama’s hands, and looked up backwards at her with his little baby monkey eyes. It was so freaking adorable. I die. It was so adorable in fact, that I let out an audible gasp and pressed my hand to my heart and when I said “Did you seeeee that????” In the high pitched obnoxious way only someone who is truly entranced can hit. He rewarded me with an eye roll.  

I wish I had caught that on video. I’d be watching it now. On repeat. Seriously. 

DINNER…the most amazing steak!

Birthday Cake at J. Gilbert’s Woodfired Steaks and Seafood.

Sooo Yummy!

P made a reservation after talking over options with a friend (THANKS JOE!) and it was the best meal of my life!

Tyler, our adorable and informative waiter came to the table and walked us through a 45 minute presentation about the specials and the options and the wine list. Ok, it wasn’t quite 45 minutes, but that was a lot to throw at two people who just wanted red meat. Give me meat. Fire. Me want steak. I had to suppress a giggle when after all that, he came back to the table with yet one more today only option direct from the chef.

He told us about the seafood that is flown in every other day on a luxury jet. Those scallops were living their best life. And he was almost successful in distracting me from my steak obsession. Scallops are a weakness, but I am proud to say I overcame the small lapse in judgement and ordered the 6 oz. filet. You HAVE to HAVE steak at a steakhouse. You just have to. He went over our orders course by course using the words, “first we will start you off with the wedge salad and then you’ll move into….” (after tasting the steak, yes I will move into it, marry it, have it’s children, be it’s mistress, I’ll do anything that steak wants.)

We both tried the Prix-Fixe Menu. It included salad and dessert. I was all about a birthday cake I didn’t have to bake myself.

The service was amazing, we got to pick out our own steak knife. That was a first for me. The food came out at a great pace, first salads, a wedge for me and caesar for P. both looked incredible. Crispy and cold and fresh. Then the main course came perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned. I took my first bite and really could have died right there. After experiencing a perfect steak, what else is there?

It was so tender, it tasted like it came from a cow that was carried around all day, fanned and hand fed only organic grasses from certified virgins. The steak knife I had so lovingly picked out earlier wasn’t even necessary. I could have cut it with my fork. Blissed out in my meat coma, we finished it off with dessert. The most decadent chocolate cake with raspberry ice cream to cut the sweetness. The raspberry was an intense flavor that beautifully paired with the chocolate, and this is from a girl who doesn’t think chocolate and fruit belong together. DISCLAIMER: Chocolate dipped strawberries are the exception.

I didn’t take any photos of the steak, I was too busy eating that beautiful thing sometimes dipped in the chef’s own steak sauce that literally makes everything taste good, chicken, beef, shoe leather. It’s just incredible. And it was also hard to see through the viewfinder with all the tears of joy, they just kept flowing. It was that good.

The next morning we walked to the Old Market and had an amazing breakfast and then on the way out of town we stopped at a specialty beer store because he did the research and they were supposed to carry the Pear Cider I fell in love with in Scotland. They didn’t have it, but the effort he put in just got me all choked up anyway. I’m a goo ball like that.

This guy is the best. Spoiled me rotten on my birthday AND finally let me make a bitmoji for him.

It’s the little things.

XOXO Ninya

PS. If you love these blog posts, help me keep the lights on and Doritos in the pantry for my teenager, by checking out one of my books below. There's something for everyone. "Velvet Guild" is naughty and explicit. (Erotic Romance), "Scotland with a Stranger" is a memoir of my trip to Scotland last May and "AnaStasia" is a parallel lives story (Women's Fiction) 

Velvet Guild

Friends Don't Let Friends Stay Vanilla

Desperate times…call for sexy solutions.

Aimee is panicking, feeling like a middle-aged failure, barely scraping by, raising a teenager alone. She is also a submissive who yearns to be dominated in the bedroom.

Could she introduce couples to the BDSM lifestyle through a house party format? Instead of game night, it could be blindfolds and bite marks.

Scotland with a Stranger:A Memoir

“Who goes to Scotland for two weeks with a stranger they met over the internet?   I did.” 

At forty-three, Ninya was depressed, out of shape, and filled with crippling anxiety after addiction, cancer, and divorce had destroyed nearly everything. One day, she received a message from a stranger. This woman offered to lead her on a self-healing trip hiking through the Scottish highlands.

It seemed like a sign.


This is the story of one life, lived two different ways.

In one reality, “Stasia” is the beloved daughter of doting parents who spare no expense in supporting her ambition and talent.  Adoring not just their daughter but also one another, their home is full of celebration, warmth and love. 

In another reality, “Ana” washes dishes at a nursing home to buy her carefully-budgeted art supplies, waiting until her alcoholic father passes out before creeping downstairs to paint.  Ana must survive her father’s nightly verbal abuse without any help from her silent, cowed mother, until she can retreat to the only place she feels safe, in front of her easel. 

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