My own personal new year has begun. My requests for low key birthday were all met and very appreciated. I know I’m very lucky that there are people who want to celebrate with me. And celebrate we did, just in a smaller way.
My friend Angela kicked off birthday festivities by taking me to get a pedicure. It was much needed and really a perfect gift and outing.
Birthday Eve included Zumba class with my favorite instructor, lunch with my ex-brother and sister in law (I always liked them! It’s a terrible fact of divorce that you end up leaving friends or family you enjoyed behind) and dinner with my friend Renee. Renee and I went to restaurant called the Bleeding Deacon in town. It is a complete dive bar that has some of the most amazing food, including a good selection of vegetarian options. They also have a Green Goddess dressing that is so delicious. It is not the typical creamy kind, it’s a blend of fresh herbs and olive oil. Over a simple side salad it is perfection. Hmmm. I may have to go for lunch again this week and really focus on how to make the dressing.
Just after lunch I stopped by a St. Louis institution that I had never been to – Merb’s Candies. Merb’s is most known for something called the Bionic Apple. A huge apple dipped in thick, gooey caramel and coated in pecans. Can you picture it? You don’t need to – I pictured it for you –
Actually Birthday started with a mini boot camp workout led by Angela (pedi friend). She shows up to my house at 7:30am with, “Happy Birthday. Too bad all I brought you was pain.” And indeed, it was painful. That girl can plank like nobodies business. After that I met with everyone’s favorite chocolatier to see what kind of special events he needed me to cover for the shop in October. He informed me that they were short a few employees now and headed into their busiest season and would I like to work in the shop a few hours a week. Of course I would! I’m officially a Kakao Chocolate employee and it feels good. I won’t be making any of the confections, I’ll be packaging and customer service. I love it.
Once that was settled I met Claire for lunch at Chava’s – a great Mexican place in the Soulard neighborhood. Mexican food is my favorite and lunch was perfect. How is Mexican food ever a bad idea? Side note about what I ordered there: fish tacos. Before Meg moved out she took me to a place called Tortillaria because she believes they have the best fish tacos in St. Louis. They were very good. AND very affordable if you make it there during happy hour. Usually at Chava’s I get enchiladas. On my birthday, I thought I’d compare my recent Tortillaria fish tacos with Chava’s fish tacos. Tortillaria maintains it’s best in St. Louis fish taco. I think it’s the spicy sour cream they use. Also, that there’s no cheese on them. I prefer no cheese on a fish taco.
After lunch I ran a quick errand and ended up back at home to watch this week’s Project Runway. I also had a fun birthday box to open from my friend Cyndi! It was an incredibly thoughtful collection of presents.
I know it’s hard to see all of the elements. Birthday treats included new notecards and some really fun cupcake papers and toppers. Both very cute things that go with things I love – writing a handwritten note and baking! The third item is in the gold envelope in the back. It’s a necklace from Dogeared. If you’re not familiar with Dogeared, they have all kinds of “feel good” jewelry. Often the pieces have a story or a good feeling attached to them, like Karma, peace, etc. I always browse their site when I’m in the mood for new simple and signature pieces, but have a hard time deciding which one I like the best. Cyndi made it easy by sending me one that signified New Beginnings. It’s a delicate gold lotus flower charm. I’m thrilled to have it and I haven’t taken it off since. I don’t wear a lot of gold jewelry – but perhaps that’s something I’ll do now that I’m 32.
I met my sister Emilie for dinner at our favorite Indian food restaurant where we had dinner, conversation about the new tv shows that have debuted so far this fall, gossiped about people we know and she gave me the latest season of How I Met Your Mother! It was a fairly early night and I was very happy to come straight home, pour a glass of wine and begin watching this particular present.
All in all, the day was simple and lovely, full of the people I care about the most. That’s a birthday. Until next year. Perhaps I’ll want the hoopla back and the month of birthday festivities. We shall see. I can’t think about that yet, I’m thinking about how to make this year count.
Happy Birthday to me.