Sorry for the missing post yesterday, it was due to technical difficulties; Time Warner decided to black out both my cable and internet service for more than 14 hours!

But I’m back and I have two great “gifts” for you courtesy of Joie de Vivre Hotels and Grom Gelateria.

Joie de Vivre (literally the Joy of Life) Hotels is helping you celebrate your birthday no matter when it is this year by giving you a $100 credit for any stay of two nights or more that you book by January 31, 2011 for a stay through January 2012 within 7 days (before or after) your birthday at any of their hotels. You can use the credit for a celebratory dinner or spa treatment and revel in one of their luxurious rooms in San Francisco, like the Petit Auberge (rates start at $109), The Ventana Inn at Big Sur, or the more local Shorebreak Hotel (rates start at $269) in Huntington Beach.

If you are looking for truly authentic gelato, Grom has 33 locations in Italy and only four locations outside of Italy (including this one), so make sure you stop by Sunday in Malibu for their Grand Opening because they will be giving away free gelato all day to introduce their newest location with special January flavors like the Torta Caprese, made with Venezuelan Ocumare chocolate, Sicilian almond chips and biscuits, and Tiramisu, made with espresso coffee, biscuits, and Teyuna chocolate chips.