Tag Archives: birthday

A Florida Birthday

March 22nd was my 27th birthday and I truly felt like the celebrations lasted for days and days. Jeff took me out for a great birthday dinner in Boston the Friday before, and I also visited one of my favorite bars with a ton of friends for an epic night out on Saturday. But I spent my actual birthday in Orlando, Florida with my family and Jeff.

No Florida birthday is complete without Publix cake, or a heavy dose of Lilly Pulitzer. My brother and sister gifted me a Lilly wine tote and stemless wine glasses, and my family gifted me my favorite white cake with white icing.

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On a Lark at Gilded

Long-time readers of this blog will know I have a love affair with Newport, RI and make a point of visiting at least twice a year. Last November I took my first ever off-season trip, and found it to be an ideal time to visit. Restaurants are less crowded, but still bustling enough. Hotels are WAY cheaper. And there’s something charming about a seaside town in the winter.

Like being able to use a hotel fireplace!

Like being able to use a hotel fireplace!

The November trip was my boyfriend Jeff’s first ever visit to Newport, and he loved it. So I thought returning to there during his birthday weekend was the perfect way to celebrate his special day. But instead of the usual big-chain hotel, we stayed in a more special place – Gilded Hotel, one of two Lark Hotels Newport locations.

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A Kind 26th Birthday

I’m glad you guys seem to be enjoying my cruise recap! I neglected to mention the super-cool way I got to the airport – via a new-to-me car service called Blacklane! They approached me asking if I’d be interested in trying them out and sharing my experience (so full disclosure, yes it was free). For what would have been $50-something, a black Mercedes came to pick me up super-early Friday morning to take me to Logan. The driver was polite, on-time (early, in fact), and kind enough to offer me travel snacks! The car was pretty baller, and extremely clean. I don’t think Blacklane is for me if I want to just get somewhere for something everyday (or night). But if I was trying to show up somewhere in style, it would be a great affordable alternative to your typical towncar service!

If you're interested in trying it out, use code KS5HMBGQ for $10 off your first ride.

If you’re interested in trying it out, use my code KS5HMBGQ for $10 off your first ride. Look at those snacks! 😀

So I would consider my 26th birthday celebrations to have begun on Saturday 3/21, the day before my actual birthday on the 22nd. I was supposed to come back to Florida on Friday the 20th, but I woke up that morning knowing I wasn’t ready quiiiite yet to go back to the still-frigid Boston temps. So I got my flight switched to the next day, and ended up travelling back on Saturday.

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Five Things Friday: On the Road Again

It’s Friday which must mean I’m hitting the road again! My summer is going to be defined by weekends away from my Boston home, but that’s all good because all my weekends away will be pretty fabulous. I’m lucky to have so much fun stuff going on! Last weekend DC, and this weekend it’s back home to Connecticut to see my family and many old friends. I’ve got updates about those plans plus this past week, so I thought a Five Things Friday link-up with Clare was appropriate.

1. Tonight is the Best of Hartford Magazine party at the Hartford Public Library, and I get to attend as the first runner-up for Best Blog! I can’t remember if I ever mentioned on this blog the fact that I received this honor…I know I mentioned it on social media. But I’m really really pumped to reunite with my CT event friends, FINALLY. And I’m bringing one my token foodie plus ones, Rachel, along for the ride. Expect lots of photos like this to come:

YAAAAAS

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More Birthday Stuff

Thank you for your props in response to my Mexico/birthday themed Marvelous In My Monday post! I really appreciate it, especially after my less frequent blogging as of late. But I still have more to say about my 25th birthday, which was this past Saturday. When I wrote the MIMM post, I was on the airplane and it was my birthday afternoon. I was feelin’ good! However the evening presented new challenges. I overcame them, but my birthday weekend wasn’t completely the rosy picture that my last post painted.

Before boarding the plane though, I did make a new friend from Ohio. He wanted to pose with me as I showed off the gin & tonic sample I received IN THE AIRPORT. Gotta love the duty-free shop in Mexico.

Before boarding the plane though, I did make a new friend from Ohio. He wanted to pose with me as I showed off the gin & tonic sample I received IN THE AIRPORT. Gotta love the duty-free shop in Mexico.

I had birthday dinner plans at my favorite restaurant, J Gilbert’s, with my very close friend (and blog namer, I can’t not mention that) Rachel. It was my first time seeing her since my move to Boston and also my first time seeing her since she got engaged! We started the evening off right with our barrel-aged Manhattans (or as we like to call him, Mr. Manhattan).

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Marvelous Mexico!

Here I am, back after the longest blogging break I have ever taken, and another year older as well! This is my first blog post published since my vacation to Cancun and also my first as a 25 year old. But instead of separate birthday (it was this past Saturday 3/22) and vacation (it ended on my birthday) posts, I’m just going to roll them into one, because vacations and birthdays are BOTH marvelous.

Whether it’s been one week or one day, you can share your marvelous by linking up with Katie.

Marvelous was…waking up in Mexico on my birthday. Though that was the last day of our trip, I’m going to start with it because birthdays are always exciting. I’d planned to wake up before our flight back to CT and work out, but upon waking I decided to instead take advantage of my last moments of warmth and go walk on the beach. That in itself says a lot about my personal growth over the last year. I definitely had time to work out, and had plans to go out to eat that night too, but instead of doing so I really just wanted to soak up a little more sun, sand, and blue skies before boarding a plane to the land where spring will never seemingly come.

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Proving Myself to…Myself

I sure hope someone catches the “Austin Powers” reference in the title…

I have the best readers in the world – thanks for your comments on yesterday’s post! I was already feeling a lot better when I published it Monday morning but I still had lingering feelings of regret that were holding on tightly. Like I wrote yesterday, time has been a huge part of making me feel better but your kind words help too. The way I spent my Saturday and Sunday evenings, post-Friday-evening-debacle, also gave myself the PROOF my mind needed to see that drinking all the drinks and spending all the dollars (I hope you caught that Alex) will not become habit and is not something I’ll keep wanting to do.

Saturday Night at Krust

Friends are the best medicine!

Friends are the best medicine!

Saturday night I had plans to attend the birthday dinner of Kelly‘s hubby Nick. I’d recommended to them one of my fave restaurants around, Krust Pizza Bar in Middletown. I have to be honest…I considered cancelling. I wanted to sit in my house and eat a salad and drink water, to punish myself for overdoing it on the alcohol the previous night. But I also knew that surrounding myself with loved ones and being a part of celebrating Nick’s special day would mean a lot to both me AND Kelly and Nick. Plus, staying in would have been letting the regret win. So I showered, put on a cute outfit, and headed out!

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Belated Birthday and Vacation Reflections

I don’t have much time at all to expand beyond yesterday’s simple WIAW recap of my Florida vacation eats/drinks. Work’s so busy that I shouldn’t even be taking a lunch break to write this! But I am because I also finally managed to get more FL pics uploaded to share and use in this post about what you CAN’T tell from simply looking at my photos.

My co-workers know me well and got me a rhinestone birthday card and wine!

Right around my birthday (perhaps even on that day, 3/22) I felt much more pressure than usual from my ego. It’s almost like warning bells started going off in my head as soon as occasions – my birthday, a wedding, a vacation – came around that my mind saw as excuses I could use to “slack off” on eating healthily and exercising regularly.

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Birthday Dinner at Max Downtown

Thanks for putting up with my spotty blogging the last couple of weeks! I hope now that the pre-vacation work rush and during-vacation relaxation has passed, I will get back into my routine, including regular blogging!

I still have some Max Restaurant Group establishments to cross off my list, but I selected their ritziest, Max Downtown, for my 24th birthday celebration dinner. My birthday was on 3/22 and this dinner occurred the weekend before that, but vacation and a last MBA semester typically result in late recaps such as this post, so forgive me!

3-16-13-max4

I (obviously) invited my parents to this special dinner, as well as my best friend Lidia! My dad was kind enough to me and my mom off while he ventured out to find downtown Hartford parking (hey, we were cold!) so I had some time to take some shots of the restaurant’s lovely interior while we waited.

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How I Spent My 23rd Birthday!

Yesterday was my 23rd birthday! I ended up having a great day (so great that I didn’t have time to blog :-P) and want to thank all of you that wished me happy birthday on Twitter and/or Facebook! So how did I spend my special day? Haven’t had time to upload cam pics yet, but I was tweeting a play-by-play of life, as per usual.

The day got off to a great start when I woke up to this. I love my mom!

My co-workers continued to make the day fabulous. My friend Steve got me these gorgeous tulips. The bow matches my St. Patty’s Day nails!

The fellow ladies of our sales row (of cubicles, ha) know me well. They gave me a bottle of local CT red wine from Sharpe Hill Vineyards! I haven’t had their wine yet and am super excited to try it.

Holy moly, look at this gem! It’s from Jim, a co-worker who has access to a pretty awesome bakery (he got another co-worker an equally awesome cupcake for her birthday last month). That chocolate-cake looking part is actually ALL icing. I am an icing freak. So let’s just say I’m gonna enjoy this. Saving it for tonight after dinner maybe!

I’m a lucky girl!

My boss was kind enough to give me a half day on my birthday, and good thing, because it was about 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky yesterday. Is this the new CT March? I’ll TAKE IT!

Obsessed with Vera towels.

No, this is not a summer ’11 photo, this is YESTERDAY. Amazing! I chilled with my best friend Lidia as we drank iced beverages (coffee for me, green tea for her), read magazines/books, and chatted. She was also kind enough to use my Goodreads to-read list to pick out a couple of new books for me as a gift – it used to be we were gifting each other off our Forever 21 wish lists, and now it’s Goodreads! Oh, how adult we are!

Now I can see what all that hype is about!

A classic that I’ve been curious about.

Call me weird, but I wanted to go to the gym despite the fact that it was my birthday. I completed 4.08 miles on the StepMill, Level 16, speed intervals AKA some kick-butt HIIT. Felt FABULOUS after! Read the issue of SHAPE with Kate Walsh on the cover. She is one amazing lady.

I wrapped things up with the below workout created by the amazing Heather of For the Love of Kale (who gave me a birthday shoutout yesterday, THANKS LOVE). I’m not doing any upper body today so wanted to get some in yesterday. Quick and effective!

After showering my sweaty self off, I went to meet my friend Colin (of Taste of New Haven) at Mustard Seed Cafe, a cute local breakfast-and-lunch place, for a French Wine Tasting Class event put on by my favorite liquor store EVER, Sonoma Wines & Spirits. Apps were served to start and I put together a little tasting plate, but kept it light because I wanted to go out to a late dinner afterward.

Went back for seconds on the veg (obviously).

For a wine lover like myself, this was definitely an informative event, in terms of both tasting wine and its origins. I have to admit I found myself drifting a bit during the historical parts of the presentation, but I think that was because I was so excited to get-to-sippin…

Flight #1 (three total).

The most fascinating part for me was learning how to both properly smell and taste wine. Did you know that you’re supposed to cover the glass with your hand, swirl the wine around, and then just take a slight sniff from under your hand when smelling a wine? The whole swirl and stick my nose in the glass thing that I’ve had going on is NOT correct. Too bad I put on hand lotion right before the event!

The proper method of tasting wine is really cool and made a HUGE difference. I’m having no luck finding a video or series of photos on Google (I know, what?) demonstrating the method, but it involves taking a sip, tilting your head forward and letting the wine rest in the front of your “palate”, and then tilting your head back (it reminded me of taking a shot…) and letting the wine slide over the middle and back parts of your tongue before swallowing (or spitting, something I am not fond of, and I know, that’s what she said). The taste was SO much more intense. I kinda loved it.

My favorite flight obviously – three reds, how can you go wrong?

I had a few favorites, which I marked with stars on our info/ordering sheets, and ended up decided to purchase the Chateau Picque Caillou Graves Pessac-Leognan. I know – what?? Just know that it tasted sooo oak-y and fabulous. I also received a $25 credit with my admission, and the bottle was $30.59. How often do I have a chance to buy a $30 bottle of wine for $5?! Answer: never, so I leapt at it. I’m going to save this bottle for something very special!

After the tasting wrapped up, Colin and I headed out to get some FOOD. It was almost 9pm, so we hit up the late night happy hour at Max Fish! I love going to these kinds of happy hours at nice restaurants because I get the chance to order and sample food that would normally be out of my price range.

Recycled image from my last visit but obviously I had to get the cheese plate again.

Colin offers a useful hand-size comparison for this ahi tuna with jasmine rice and lemongrass sauce.

Frozen not fresh (as our waitress honestly told us when we asked), but still so good.

Does anyone else dip fries into their ice cream and/or milkshakes? Colin thought I was a weirdo for that one!

I’m asking about ice cream because Colin not-so-secretly (I noticed immediately…) approached our waitress and asked her to send over a birthday dessert for me. I was still surprised because I had no clue what it’d be! I wish this picture hadn’t come out so blurry:

CARAMELIZED BANANA SPLIT

SO DELICIOUS. I realized it had been too long since I last had ice cream. And it had been way WAY too long since I’d made that an ice cream SUNDAE. The caramelized bananas and slightly-salty nuts on that whipped cream made it extra special.

Fabulous, fabulous birthday. And it doesn’t stop there – off to J. Gilbert’s with my family tonight!

How did you celebrate your last birthday? Do you have any go-to traditions?