Birthday: A New Decade

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Birthday donut

In addition to being blog re-launch day, it’s also my 30th birthday. I am so grateful for every year I get to have on this planet so turning 30 sounds like a great move to me. The celebration has been low-key but wonderful. A dinner date, live jazz, champagne, a brunch with friends, beautiful weather, a lovely little festive donut, a few cards covered in glitter.

I feel like every birthday before this, I wished for something for the future. I so remember birthdays in my early 20s in turmoil wondering if my life was going to “work out” (spoiler alert: it does. Oh, the drama!). But sitting here tonight thinking about blowing out the proverbial candles on a cake, my only wish is for exactly what I have right this second: a life I love and people I adore in it. Contentment, happiness, a few more deep breaths…if this is 30, I will gladly welcome it.

Hi, New Decade. Thanks for having me.


Happy Birthday: Ryan Edition

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Dear Ryan,

It’s your birthday and as you enter your 27th year, I wanted to let you know how much fun I had with you as a 26 year old and how great I think 27 is going to be.

In the last year, we’ve been on 3 planes together, road tripped to 3 weddings and explored the heck out of this city we live in.  We moved in together (!) which means we combined all of our “stuff”, painted walls and moved furniture around 50 times until our new apartment felt like home.  Remember coming home from vacation in Florida and how we realized that this place is home simply because we’re in it together?  Looks like we didn’t need to care about where the furniture was so much.

You, birthday boy, may be the funniest person I have ever met.  Thanks for making me laugh until my sides hurt.  Despite the fact that the Chicago Marathon filled up before you could register, you did every single long training run with me.  Thanks for being my biggest cheerleader- I couldn’t have done those 26.2 miles without you!

You love Wow Bao, More Cupcakes, and Luna Bell, all things that I adore.  You also love numbers, finance and leaving wet towels on the bed, all things I do not adore.  But I couldn’t have a better person in my life right now and I am super grateful to have you as my partner-in-Chicago, someone who is as big of a foodie as I am and will wander around this city with me for hours, just enjoying being somewhere we love with someone we love.

So, happy birthday, baby!  I hope you enjoyed your Bacon-Maple Cupcake.



Cupcakes and Champagne

adminbelly laughs, best friends, birthdays, champagne, cheers, free samples, More cupcakes, thimbles, Tomasello Fruit Wine, Uncategorized, Whole Foods%s Comments

Last night, my dinner was comprised of Champagne Cocktails and Cupcakes.

More Cupcakes is the best cupcake boutique in Chicago.

Yeah, I said it.

More is the BEST.  Perfect ratio of frosting to cake, perfect size, perfect level of moistness, perfect abundance of flavors…sheer perfection.  When I first moved to Chicago, I was taken aback by the amount of cupcake shops there were so I took it upon myself to try them all.  Hey, it’s hard work but someone had to roll up their sleeves (you don’t want them getting in the frosting after all!).  More and it’s Black and White cupcake emerged victorious.  With Molly’s in a close’ish second.


The Champagne Cocktail was a splash of Tomasello Blackberry Wine topped with some bubbly.  Ryan and I came across the Blackberry Wine one wine tasting Saturday at Whole Foods.  “Free Samples” always end up not being so free for us because we end up with a bottle or 3 after we are given multiple thimble-sized cups of samples.

As delish as this birthday meal sounds (and as selfish as I get with my cupcakes), I did actually share it with others.  A few dear friends whom I have been celebrating birthdays with for over 14 years came over to clink glasses and indulge in some sweets.  As it always does with best friends, the evening turned from one of those “I’m just going to stop by” sort of things into 3 hours, 4 bottles of champagne & wine and countless belly laughs.  In essence, the best birthday I could have hoped for.

I know every night can’t be filled with Cupcakes and Champagne but last night it was.  And that combination are the things happy birthdays are made of.


Picking Up Speed

adminbirthdays, driver's license, driving, East Lansing, high school, legal age, nostalgia, Uncategorized%s Comments

I am turning 26 in 2 days.

I don’t have any hangups with age (yet) and I am looking forward to entering another year.

What utterly baffles me is all the things that have happened that I still consider somewhat recent but, apparently, were a really long time ago.

Like a whole decade ago.

The ink had barely dried in my new minted driver status when Mama G. let me drive to school.  By myself.  Because I was 16.  And I could.

I can still remember sitting in the driveway thinking “I can drive this thing anywhere.  I can take whatever route I want.  I don’t even have to go to school.  This is freedom.”

I also remember taking the most direct route to my high school so  I wasn’t late for Mr. Tate’s history class.

5 years ago, I was at my apartment on Elizabeth Street in East Lansing with my 2 college roommates, watching and waiting for the exact second it turned midnight, thus starting my days as an official adult.

Fact: There is nothing that ends up being all that adult about being 21.

But for my roommates and me in our college junior lives, turning 21 was just it and we were most certainly going to be there for each other as we made that chronological step that allowed us (legal) access into all the fine adult beverage establishments East Lansing, Michigan could provide.

Even when I think about the last 2 years, I can’t believe how some things feel several lifetimes ago.  Changing career paths, making a fairly gutsy move to Chicago (just ask my Dad- I think he’s still sighing in relief everything worked out better than any of us could imagine), changing political views, deciding that I actually do hate country music, despite several relationships in which I claimed to “love” Rascal Flatts.  See?  So much change.

A quarter of a century, nearly under my belt.