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Quarter Century

17 Apr

Anyone who knows me also knows that my birthday is without a doubt my favorite day of the year. Maybe it is the only child in me or maybe I really do crave attention, but a day dedicated to celebrating you, come on what’s not to love? My birthday parties always involved spectacular themes, meticulous planning and a to-die-for gift bag – and we’re talking single digit birthdays. In college I started thinking, why celebrate one day when you can celebrate all weekend? And if we’re going that far, why stop at the weekend? (I also tend to live a “go big or go home” lifestyle)

Enter the “birthweek”.

I recently came across this post from “1000 Awesome Things”, which breaks down the various elements and necessary celebrations that take place throughout your “birthweek”. Having just celebrated my Quarter Century “birthweek”, I couldn’t help but compare:

1. “The Wild Party” {check, check, and check} – The party started Friday Night with a surprise FAW planned by my BFF (note, I have never had a surprise party thrown for me, was completely surprised and apparently even more gullible than I thought) My celebration continued into a Saturday of sangria in the sun which was then followed by a jello-shot Easter Egg hunt, Sunday brunch at El Vitral with loads of champagne and an insanely fun day at the ballpark.

Gloria - a birthday box of wine.

2. “Bestie’s Dinner” {check} – A fabulous evening (on my actual birthday) spent with my favorite San Diego gals at one of our local loves, Enoteca. We go for the BYOB/no corkage fee but stay for the insanely delicious pasta and Italian “Happy Birthday” serenade.

3. “The Office Party” {check} – My overly fabulous co-workers threw me an Afternoon Birthday Tea Party. Seeing as we work for a beautiful wedding magazine the table was set and styled to the nines.

Our Tea Party!

4. “The 1 on 1” {check} – This is supposed to be for that “friend” no one else can stand, however I don’t have any of those. I reserve this for the time spent with my roommate, partner in crime and BFF. We got our nails done, did some shopping and enjoyed a delicious dinner together.

This may seem excessive to some but that doesn’t bother me. You only turn 25 once, and then you turn 26, 27, 28… and I think that’s a cause for celebration. Happy Birthday!

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And the Award goes to…

27 Feb

It is no secret that I LOVE to play hostess. Throwing a dinner party, having friends over for a Disney-Themed movie night or even a casual FAW, I see as opportunities to bust out the pink china, plate up some delish grub and sample fun cocktails (or white wine). The Academy Awards combines most of my favorite “F’s” – Fashion, Film and Food – add A-List celebs and champagne to the mix and we’ve got ourselves a party! Putting together a red carpet event is easier than you think, all you need is an occasion and/or theme, a fabulous invitation (I am a fan of paperless post), a yummy menu, some over-the-top simple decor and your best buds. 

Our menu consisted of fried chicken (in honor of Octavia and The Help), dragon rolls (A Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), homemade Italian Pizza (because we have access to an Italian chef), delicious cake batter popcorn and of course, Chocolate Cake (we left out the “special” ingredient). I hope your Oscars Night was filled with good food, good friends and a little bubbly!

FAW

24 Feb

One of the many cherished traditions from my college days at UW Madison was “FAC”, or for those of you non-badgers, Friday After Class. Although it was always a personal goal not to schedule class on Fridays, having something to look forward to after that dreaded end of the week lecture was key. Not to mention, FAC was the perfect way to kickoff the weekend! Now well into my Sophomore Year in the “Real World” FAC has naturally transitioned into FAW – Friday After Work.  Let’s face it, we all know when 5 o’clock on Friday rolls around you are ready for a glass of Chardonnay.

What started out as my roommate and I decompressing after a long work week over a glass on wine and some cheese, has transitioned into a weekly gathering that our girlfriends plan and look forward to. I’m talking themes, gourmet food and countless bottles of vino. Of course, there is still always cheese and the purpose has not changed, even from our FAC days…celebrating the weekend.

If you don’t FAW, I highly suggest you take a crack at it. But a tip from a pro, invest in some quality wine glasses, while Ikea is great their glasses don’t stand the test of time and broken glass is quite the buzz-kill!  Happy Friday to you, cheers!

Endless Summer

23 Sep

Today marks the first day of Fall, a season that I’ve recently realized is my favorite time of the year (stay tuned for why). In my last post, which was a very long time ago, I set some goals for the summer months and although I didn’t achieve all of them it was a pretty great summer in San Diego! Here’s a quick look back…

My Best Friend's Wedding

A trip to LA for the NKOTBSB concert

A planted herb "garden" (check!)

Countless trips to San Francisco for work (and play!)

Time spent at the beach (and I went in the ocean, check!)

Add many hours spent lounging by the pool sipping homemade sangria, a fabulous trip to the Del Mar Race Track (check!), some “unforgettable” nights out in PB and some fantastic FAWs to the list and I’d say it was a perfect San Diego summer.

Summer Lovin’

17 Jun

Sure, we are still a few days from the first “official day of Summer” but I’ve always considered Memorial Day Weekend the kickoff to the summer season. Living in a climate that is practically perfect 365 days a year, this whole “summer” thing seems a little less relevant. However, being a Wisconsin girl, where it is totally possible there will still be snow on the ground in May, I think the summer months are something to celebrate! Summer means sundresses and flip-flops, BBQ’s, sun-kissed skin and naturally bleached hair. It’s a time to re-charge your batteries, eat outside, and enjoy a little extra time with friends as the sun stays out longer each night. In honor of this fabulous season I’ve decided to put together a little list of things I’d like to do this summer.

We’ll see come August how many things I can check off this list, but I’m excited to have some ideas of ways I’d like to spend these next few months. Happy Summer everyone, enjoy it!!

Crispy Orange Chicken {Good Food}

5 Jun

I am a huge fan of Chinese food. I love the idea of “family style”; ordering a ton of different dishes and sharing. This always means there will be  leftovers! In college I was a waitress at P.F. Changs and fell in love with their Orange Chicken (as well as everything else on the menu). When I found this recipe I was beyond excited to try it and although I was hopeful it would turn out I was sure it wouldn’t measure up to my beloved P.F. Changs dish. Boy was I wrong! The chicken pieces had the perfect amount of crunch and the sauce was delicious. This Orange Chicken is a must-try! I paired it with rice (duh) and these Crispy Parmesan Asparagus sticks – yum yum yum! Happy cooking!

Pup-iversary

13 May

Today marks Mozzarella and I’s 1 year anniversary. It was a year ago today that I fell in love with a little fur ball of cuteness in a McDonalds parking lot in PB – note to all potential puppy buyers this is not an intelligent way to purchase a puppy. All sketchiness aside, that little fur ball has become the love of my life and I can’t imagine a day without her. Happy Anniversary peanut, looking forward to many more.