Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers!
Today I am updating you all on my freaking awesome birthday! I recently turned 34, (11/20) and people in my life went above and beyond to make my day freaking awesome.
I am a lucky lady, and honestly, this birthday was so many leaps and bounds better than last year that I had to keep pinching myself in shock with how much better it truly was. I have grown a lot in the last year, partially thanks to therapy, and also the work I have done on myself. I have also cut people in my life who weren’t good for me, to better make room for those who were, and that effort made way for some of the most amazing people to come into my life.
The work and effort has been well worth it, and this birthday was more than just a fun weekend. This birthday was a sign of all the work being worth it, and was truly setting good intentions for the year to come.
It wasn’t just the plans I made, or the fun things I did, it was the things I did for myself, setting my intentions and tone for the year.
So, let’s talk about what all I did. First, work went well. We had some key people out of the office most of the week, and I opted to step up and show I am ready for more responsibility and want to grow with the company, so when they came back on Friday, they were pleased to find everything looking good. Something shocking happened that afternoon, something that never happened at my previously toxic job, my hard work was recognized! One of my bosses made it a point to message me and thank me for my hard work and commitment to communication, saying even the president of the company had noticed my efforts. Silly as it may be, I can’t believe I got such nice feedback, and I considered it a good omen for the year to come. Also on Friday, I took time to make sure I journaled, using the new journal I got for my 34th year around the sun, and then, after work, I took my last walk of 33, and after I did my walk, I got ready for dinner, and went to get some delicious food with Travis.
I enjoyed a delicious dinner, which started with some stuffed mushrooms, followed by a delicious Caesar salad, and then enjoyed some marsala rigatoni, and followed it all up with a delicious piece of Tiramisu. Normally, Lenyn makes me a Birthday Tiramisu, but with Lenyn chasing his dreams in NYC, I didn’t have my bestie to make my favorite desert, but the replacement was fairly okay. (Not as good, sure, but pretty damn tasty, made better by the fact that my bestie is chasing his dreams)
After dinner, Travis and I wanted to go walk around the mall, but sadly we finished dinner too late to go walk around and maybe get me some new books, so we headed back to his house and chilled. I had a wonderful bath with bubbles, bath bomb, body scrub, and even did a nice face mask, and went to bed moments after turning 34.
The next day, I got up, had coffee, and we went to this amazing breakfast place I am in love with called First Watch, and got the most amazing breakfast of a eggs benedict Florentine (no meat, spinach and tomato instead) with some potatoes and cheesy grits, and a delicious juice of kale, cucumber, apple, lemon with an immunity booster shot, and then got one to go. Travis and I then departed, and went to pick up Matt, and the three of us took the very long drive out to Todd Village for Ren Fest.
When we arrived, we had a super long walk to make, which got some steps in, and helped wake me up after the long drive, and before long we were in the massive crowds of Ren Fest. Matt grabbed he and I a bottle of mead, and I tried mead for the first time.
I love mead, it turns out, not just because alcohol helps you not mind crowds, but also, mead is fucking delicious!
As you may or may not know, I watch a lot of videos (well, I read, watch, I ingest content about) prepping, like for disasters or apocalypse, something I have been doing for a long while, in varying levels of intensity, a habit I get from my parents. I am hardly a proper prepper with off grid abilities, tons of extra food, etc, but, I try to keep enough stuff on hand to survive three days of “grid down” time etc, with an eye on “if this all went tits up, could I survive?” To that aim, I have goals, every year, some things are things I want for myself, others are things I want to make myself more useful and well rounded.
This past year, my goals were to learn how to make pasta, ramen, and dumplings, from scratch, and I am very nearly finished with my goal (subscribe/follow the blog to see my NYE blog all about this process) for this year, having pasta, ramen broth, and some noodle knowledge, under my belt, with goals to finish the dumplings this year.
This upcoming year, I had tossed around the idea of learning how to harvest yeast from potatoes, and then make mead from that product. But I had never tried mead.
Now I have, and I have a sense of what a good version of that goal would taste like.
So, after we got our mead and some food, we wondered around, we got some more food, and kept enjoying the sites. I fully planned on buying some things, but in the end, food and mead ended up being what I wanted most, and other than a sunstone shaped like a bunny, I didn’t buy much.
We had plans to get dinner after Ren Fest, so we went hard, and when the afternoon started turning to the evening, we left, with some sausage on a stick in hand, and walked the long walk back to the car, to begin the very long drive back into town.
The drive had some traffic hiccups, which led to some alternative routes, and the mead buzz made me a little sleepy, so I napped in the back briefly, and before long, we arrived at the dinner place Matt and Travis had picked out for my birthday: Avenida’s.
Matt and Travis have talked about this place a lot, a Brazilian Churrascaria style restaurant with legendary food, including an excellent salad bar, and simply magical food. My parents used to go to Fogo De Chao when I was younger, and I never got to go with them, and the guys claimed Avenida is better. I have no knowledge of which is better, but, I will say Avendia rocked my world. I had been good at taking pictures all day, but for this culinary experience I did not…I was too distracted with the shear quality of how delicious everything was, not to mention the way the bring the food out, tons of people bringing you food, the sides being insanely amazing (the au gratin potatoes haunt me), the amazing service…I couldn’t even think of my phone, much less taking pictures.
The food was amazing, the experience was unforgettable.
The stomach pains from eating too much? Also, unforgettable.
But it all tasted so good, I can’t regret a thing.
Rounding out my amazing birthday weekend, I opened yet another present from Travis, super cute salt rock votive candle holders. Travis rocked my birthday with some wonderfully thought out presents. Matt also got me an awesome present, which because Travis left at the office (they work together) I have to wait to see (at the time of writing this blog) which is why this blog isn’t going up until this
evening. It’s over a week later, please see my “Update Blog” post to see why. Either way, my gift was an amazing R2-D2 Tamagotchi!
My mom sent me a dope ass ramen bowl; my sister sent me a pasta maker. Kim sent out a care package today, and I have no idea what it is but I am sure I will love it, (It’s a week later so I can say it was an awesome journal, a beautiful gemstone ring, and some handmade thoughtful gifts her and Brooke made) Amber did a IG post with a picture of me, I had tons of friends send me birthday wishes, and overall, I was struck with so much love and kindness from my friends, and it really cemented the wonderful circle of people I now have in my life.
In the Devil Wears Prada, Stanly Tucci’s character tells Andy if your personal life is a disaster, your professional life is thriving, and this is something I have often laughed at and held to true.
As I begin my 34th year, however, it seems both my professional and personal life are thriving, and I am so excited and happy for that.
Thank you to everyone who helped make my day awesome. It was one of the best birthdays of my entire life, and I am so thankful for where my life is, and where it is going.
Thanks for being here, and thanks for reading,
PS- I didn’t post pictures of all presents because that seemed weird, mostly for formatting reasons, but if you wanna see, let me know and I will post them, or follow me on Snapchat or something and you’ll see them there. @AbbiGrasso on all social media I am on.