Tag Archives: champagne

28th Birthday Celebrations

As usual, this year I felt like I celebrated my birthday (I turned 28 on March 22nd) for at least week. From get-togethers with friends, to a day off from work, I had a blast.

I decided to switch things up (from the usual, Highball) and do my “friend birthday party” at Capo Restaurant in Southie. I fell in love with Capo’s new downstairs Supper Club lounge during my first visit, and knew right then and there that it would be the perfect spot for a birthday gathering.

Obviously I wanted to look my best, so I enlisted the help of the ladies at Best Dressed, the dress rental shop that dressed me for New Year’s Eve. Once again, they picked something off the rack I never would have tried on my own. But I went into the Charlestown location hoping to find a jumpsuit, and find one I did. (Full disclosure: I received 50% off my rental in exchange for showing Best Dressed so much-deserved love on this blog and on social media.)

I also got my hair done at Hairo, my favorite blow dry spot in Boston. This discreet place is located conveniently on Newbury Street, and does a great job every time, for just $35.

Capo’s Supper Club has been extremely popular, with a line forming almost as soon as the doors open each night. But I was able to reserve a couch, and provide a list of friends for the doorman so they wouldn’t have to wait in line either. We listened to an awesome live band, and around 11pm a DJ took over. I don’t know who he was, but the music he played was probably some of the best mix I’ve heard out in awhile. It had been forever since I had a night out dancing and we all had a blast.

I took the day of my actual birthday off, but not for the “fun” reasons you’d think. My license expired, and I wanted to go to the RMV to get a new license on a weekday, to avoid the crowds. I made a good decision, because I was in and out of the Watertown RMV in fifteen minutes, if you can believe it.

I did manage to get to a spin class at B/SPOKE, which was great. I’ve been going there frequently since leaving ClassPass to join FitReserve (more to come on that in a later post) and knew it’d be the perfect birthday workout. I also treated myself to my favorite salad from B.Good, the Harvest Kale Salad with kale, beets, squash, chickpeas, Brussels sprouts, and Manchego cheese.

That night we went to Eastern Standard to sit at the bar, and I treated myself to their salmon, lentils, and white asparagus. I rarely order seafood out lately because it’s expensive, but this was worth the splurge! Our bartender, Diego, also helped me pick out a reasonably priced bottle of sparkling wine that fit my palate perfectly. Kaitlin even stopped by for a mocktail and to say hi! It was a typical magical Eastern Standard evening and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my actual birthday anywhere else.

But the celebrating wasn’t over yet, because the day after my birthday, the Fairmont Copley Hotel hosted a Bollinger Champagne pop-up. I’m a huge fan of the stuff, so you can imagine that I was over the moon excited to attend, especially when I walked in and was greeted with the sight of a champagne gun.

I spent most of the event hanging out with Jeff, Matt of Simko Says, his boyfriend Dave, and power-blogging couple Dan of The Food in My Beard and Georgina of A Noted Life. This group knows how to have a good time!

The other perspective of the photo above this one, captured by Dan.

We spent our evening sipping on bubbly (the sparkling rose seemed to be the favorite) and munching on snacks like cheese, charcuterie, and miniature tacos. I couldn’t think of a more fitting conclusion to the celebrating of my 28th birthday. If you want to get the scoop on other fabulous events at the Fairmont Copley, join their email list. (Signup is located at the bottom of their website.)

Do you typically celebrate your birthday for a day? A week? A month? (No judgement here, clearly.)

The Most-Needed Trip Ever

Sorry that I’m so late to the game in announcing the winner of my Tuttorosso Tomatoes giveaway! The winner of the prize pack is Amy – thank you for entering and I will be reaching out about getting you your winnings!

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It’s been a busy holiday season with no time to blog much…followed by a vacation during which I did not feel like blogging much. Sorry about that! Long-time readers already know that I go to Florida every Christmas season with my family. We use to split our time between my grandma and grandpa’s apartment and hotels, but now we have a condo of our own in the Palm Beach Gardens area.

My grandparents and I

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Bubbles & Bites at The Capital Grille

I received the food and drink of this post free of charge. All opinions are my own.

I’ve been wanting to visit The Capital Grille ever since my dear friend Kat started mentioning the Hartford, CT location on her blog and social media. Since I came home this past Friday night for a family weekend trip, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to visit for a sampling of bar bites and holiday champagne.

Bubbles and bites interspersed with selfies.

A table was ready for us upon our arrival, but we opted to sit in the bar (as I so often do). The restaurant was quite busy with couples on dates, friends out on the town together, and large parties celebrating the holiday season. We were waited on by a bartender Carrie – she did a wonderful job.

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Cait Plus Rach in Newport – Part 1

Catch up on the first portion of my RI vacation weekend – lunch and shopping in Providence – in yesterday’s post!

Friday Night

After settling into our hotel and getting changed, Rachel and I hit Downtown Newport for our first evening in foodie heaven! We wanted to start with fabulous cocktails and headed to an ideal spot to find just that, Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen. I gave this place a test run last summer and was thoroughly impressed. The seasonal menu always changes so this visit was still full of plenty of new drink and food choices.

Thanks to the driver of the bike-cab who took this awkward pic.

Thanks to the driver of the bike-cab who took this awkward pic.

We headed upstairs to the bar, which has a nice view of the water. I ordered the Juniperotivo – Junipero Gin, pomegranate molasses, fresh mint, fresh lemon juice. I was a little worried the molasses would make it too sweet, but I’ve never had a bad drink at Fluke. The bartender came through and delivered this delicious and refreshing creation!

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Marvelous Newport Weekend

I visited my second favorite place ever (after Las Vegas) – Newport, RIthis past Saturday to Sunday with my family and family friends. Though I struggled yesterday in the late afternoon and evening with the fun I had this weekend – the more I enjoy life, the guiltier I feel and the feel more anxiety about gaining weight and “misbehaving” – I am glad that I did not let fear stop me from living out each moment to its fullest.

Make sure you join the marvelous party!

I kicked off the weekend in the best way possible – with a blend meetup. The fabulous Alyssa mentioned in her blog post on Friday that she was going to be headed to Newport for a wedding. HUH-WHAT?! I messaged her on Facebook immediately, incoherently babbling with excitement, to find out when exactly she’d be in town. She was busy with wedding festivities most of the weekend, but we found time to meet in the parking lot of the Best Western for a few hot seconds of huge hugs, tears, and selfies. Can’t wait to see this girl again, and next time we better have drinks in our hands – and meet up for more than five minutes.

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Dinner and a Movie on Front Street

I received my movie tickets and concession stand items free of charge through a complimentary Spotlight Theatres gift certificate. My dinner and cocktails were not comped and all opinions throughout this post are my own.

My good friend Kat works for the Hartford Advocate and is always hooking me up with opportunities to review CT businesses. I told her I had plans last Wednesday at Hartford’s new movie theater on Front Street – Spotlight Theatres – for dinner at Front Street Bistro (located inside the theater) followed by a movie (The Conjuring). Often my blog posts about restaurants and other establishments come from plans made to specifically go, have an experience, and do a write-up. I can’t recall a time I happened to have a blogging opportunity fall into my lap for plans I’d ALREADY made! I quickly accepted Kat’s offer and headed to downtown Hartford after work to meet my friend Jeff (a different one than the usual Jeff!)

Whenever I'm dining with just one other person I try to sit at the bar. It's where all the action is!

Whenever I’m dining with just one other person I try to sit at the bar. It’s where all the action is!

Movie theater food is usually something I avoid, and most movie theater restaurants don’t boast menus that make me giddy, so I tend to do the dinner portion of the dinner-and-a-movie combo at a restaurant outside of the theater. Spotlight’s on-premise restaurant, Front Street Bistro, stood out from the get-go because I could NOT get over the awesome cocktail list! I arrived thirsty for one and I knew immediately which I wanted – the Trainspotter, a peat scotch cocktail. Certainly not a disappointment.

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‘Toga! ‘Toga!

The second portion of my epic weekend began Saturday morning; I woke up in Kat‘s guest bedroom (I stayed over after Friday night’s concert since she lives in that area), got decked out, and hit the road with her, her husband Mike, and baby Penelope. Our destination? The race track in Saratoga…my first time there!

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Kat, Penelope, and I donned our preppiest dresses! Kat and Penelope both wore Lilly Pulitzer, because mommy and daughter simply MUST match. I wore my nicest dress, by Vineyard Vines…the one I tricked my dad into buying me since it’s Tennessee Vol orange and white 😛

And this time, Penelope did not poop on her Lilly ensemble!

And this time, Penelope did not poop on her Lilly ensemble!

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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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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!

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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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Mohegan Sun Blogger Girls Weekend!

Remember that the giveaway for a pair of Sprigs Earbags ends tonight at 11:59PM EST! Make sure to enter before cooking time begins 😛

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you probably saw bits and pieces of my fabulous girls weekend at Mohegan Sun with other bloggers. My love for this Connecticut casino is well-known to readers of this blog. I’ve written about trips there many a time…

Thankfully, Mohegan is a fan of the blog! PR Manager Michelle Williams invited me and some other lovely ladies to spend time at the casino this past weekend, including overnight accommodations in the hotel – which I’ve always wanted to stay in!

I was in some excellent company! L to R: Me, Maria, Anne, Elizabeth, Theodora, Julie, Tina, Bianca, Beth.

Maria and I arrived Saturday morning in our puffy vests, ready to take on a hike at Mystic, CT’s Bluff Point State Park!

In vests that match our personalities! 😉

Mohegan Sun offered each blogger her choice of activity – hiking, biking, shopping, or a visit to Mystic Aquarium. I’m not the most coordinated biker (gimme a stationary spin bike any day) and I’ve already shopped in Mystic and been to the aquarium, so I thought a hike would be a unique activity and a perfect way to enjoy the beautiful day. You know what else is a perfect way to enjoy a day? A limo ride.

My limo crew – Maria and I hiked, while Bianca and Beth visited the aquarium.

I certainly enjoyed riding to and from Mystic in style, though I felt a bit under-dressed for a limo!

Sadly the limo was devoid of champagne.

I spy a Daybreak coffee cup…and snacks!

Maria and I arrived at Bluff Point and were pleasantly surprised to find that we would have a guide! Kim, the Education Director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, made the hike so amazing. Without her, Maria and I would have still been enjoying the sights; with her though, we could know WHAT we were looking at and enjoying, as well as some history of the area.

Look how clean and clear this water is!

Cheesy as it sounds, I felt completely inspired by the fact hidden gems like Bluff Point exist right in my own backyard. It makes me wonder what other beautiful sights are out there that I still haven’t seen!

Saltwater cord grass! (See, I never would have known that without Kim on the hike.)

New opportunities await…

This incredible quiet beach is just a mile from the park entrance – a completely manageable walk for someone who wants to avoid the typical beach crowds!

Upon reaching the top of Bluff Point, Maria and I just had to stop and take a moment to take in the beauty. I can tell Kim enjoyed seeing our reactions.

Me and the big world!

I obviously had to get silly.

Kim led us on a speedy walk back to the entrance to meet the limo (we were running a bit behind) and Maria and I departed with huge smiles on our faces! Thank you Kim!

Me and Kim!

Mohegan Sun was kind enough to provide us boxed lunches, but they were not too plant-heavy and Maria and I both had a hankering for salads. And seafood. To Summer Shack we go!

May or may not have also had a tequila craving.

I ordered a Crab Cobb Salad (no bacon). It was wonderful! I ate every last bite, along with some Summer Shack cornbread.

Look at all that crab!

After lunch (and some shopping…THANKS Maria for getting me into Lush) I was super-excited to check into our room. Why? Three letters. V-I-P!

Michelle arranged for all of us bloggers to check in at the casino’s Aquai VIP Lounge. This was my first time as a VIP and I was not very good at hiding it. For example, when asked if we wanted water or champagne, Maria and I stood dumbfounded. Finally Maria said, “Can we have water AND champagne?”

Balance, exemplified.

The answer, clearly, was OF COURSE!

People who are used to VIP treatment probably don’t ask for pictures of themselves being treated like VIPs.

On our way up to our room (32nd floor, baby!) Maria and I stopped by the indoor pool to scope it out. Um, hello?! How did I not know this beautiful thing existed?! I’ll be back! Look, there’s a bar!

Mohegan Sun totally hooked us up with a room with a view! Completely gorgeous.

The inside of the room was certainly not shabby either. I adored the purple accents throughout! Felt totally perfect for a girls weekend.

Isn’t the tile around the mirror beautiful? The bathroom floor had a matching design!

Makeup mirror and brocade purple shower curtain!

Our toilet came equipped with its own door so its user could have privacy while someone else used the bathroom sink/mirror. It also came equipped with…a phone!

As my grandpa used to say…I was having “a shitty conversation”.

Maria and I spent the rest of the afternoon pampering and getting ready for dinner. As I sat at my laptop uploading photos, letting my nails and hair dry, and sipping champagne, I could hardly believe…my life! I felt so very special and honored that Mohegan Sun was hosting me. You like me, you really like me!

And man oh man, the fun doesn’t stop there. Stay tuned for my recap of our fabulous dinner at Todd English’s Tuscanyto come after Thanksgiving. Which, by the way, is TOMORROW! Really?!

I hope you all have a beautiful Turkey Day and if you don’t celebrate, a fabulous Thursday.

When was the last time you went on a hike?

What’s the most glamorous hotel experience you’ve ever had?

Do you have any casinos in your area?

Disclaimer: Though I received my stay at Mohegan Sun free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own.