I didn’t intend to do a recap of my birthday – that feels a little self-indulgent (but isn’t my whole blog?) – but it was just such a wonderful, love-filled day that I can’t help but share!
The day started with less sleep than usual due to a late night airport pick up the night before, yet I woke up feeling energized which was a welcomed treat. I went to the gym for a quick morning workout which was awesome as always, and something I really hope I can start doing more. I’ve been saying that since I moved here but am definitely in a afternoon workout groove at the moment.
I did 20 minutes alternating running and walking, and then about 20 minutes of upper body weights. My arms are sore, too! I haven’t lifted in quite a while and it feels so good to get back to it and build some muscle.
I went home and made myself a delicious breakfast of eggs with spinach, bacon, and berries along with some vanilla Nespresso. My college best friends and I had a fun group text message convo going on which is always a happy way to start the day. I even gave myself enough time to blow dry my hair so I felt a little more put together!
I arrived at work to big colorful Happy Birthday Clare signs hanging on my desk, which was SO sweet of my coworker to do. I also got a hilarious football themed card from a friend here that is also a big Notre Dame fan. Spent some time cracking up, sending pictures of it to friends and family, and also tending to my constantly ringing phone.
Work went as usual, with a lunch break spent chatting with coworkers and taking a quick walk to get some air and sunshine. After work I braved the traffic to head straight to the mall to use a gift card I got from my mom (much needed items from Victoria’s Secret!) and then made it home to quickly change clothes and freshen up before JC picked me up for our dinner plans.
We were heading down to an area called NuLu for dinner, so JC suggested we check out a place called Decca across the street for a drink beforehand. Decca is a pretty upscale place, so getting just a drink was perfect. The bar is SO neat. It’s in the basement and is very dim, with brick walls and couches instead of tables. We had the place to ourselves! I got a delicious glass of dry white wine – Chateau Guiraud Bordeaux Blanc – so good that I added it to my iphone list of wines I like, and JC got a bourbon cocktail. We cozied up and chatted for about 45 minutes before it was time for our dinner reservation.
Dinner was at Mayan Cafe, a place both of us had never been and had gotten great reviews. I chose a restaurant that was new and trendy, and also was good about meeting dietary requests so I knew I’d be able to eat something delicious but not upsetting to my stomach. And it was truly one of the best meals I’ve had – JC said one of the best he’s ever had in Louisville!
We ordered a bottle of red to share – more than I needed for sure, but delicious! This was Errazuriz Estate Carmenere from Chile – another addition to the list of wines I like. And also shared the scallop ceviche for an appetizer. Look how beautiful it is! It had the perfect amount of citrus and a little kick in the sauce. I am not the biggest scallop fan, but we were both oohing and ahhing over this. I’d go back just to get it again!
We both decided on beef for dinner (which is why we went with red wine). JC got the flank steak which had the most delicious marinade on it, and came with black beans, rice, tortilla chips and guacamole. Pretty much a nicer and more delicious (blasphemy I know!) Chipotle. I got the grass fed, local burger just without the bun. It came with cheese, a perfectly juicy tomato, and a side of fried plantains. It was large (looks small on the big plate) and so juicy that it didn’t even need any sauce. I was in love with that meal. Good quality beef is so delicious!!
(Note – as I’ve mentioned before, when I’m going out to dinner and I know that my carb options will be limited, I make sure to eat a big snack before dinner with carbs in it so that I am satisfied if my entrée has to be a bit smaller. Yesterday was no different, so don’t fret that my meal came without a bun! I had my carbs before we left for dinner and still got some yummy fried plantains as well.)
We decided to forgo dessert at the restaurant in favor of heading back to my apartment to enjoy the cupcakes his mom dropped off for me earlier in the day. She so thoughtfully went to Annie May’s, a bakery that sells specialty cupcakes, and was able to get gluten and dairy free for me! I got a pumpkin spice and a mocha, and we dove into both with forks. SO GOOD! JC loved the mocha best, I loved it as well but have to go with pumpkin.
Stuffed, sugar-filled and happy, I was in bed by 10pm. Can you beat that? I was such a happy girl!
Definitely a day that I decided being super diligent about a healing diet for my digestion wasn’t worth it. Personal choice – some that recommend a strict-no-exceptions healing protocol would be disappointed in me, but I just can’t right now (without strict doctor’s orders) justify missing out on celebrations and important days. There are lots of changes I’m making that are easy to stick to, such as avoiding certain foods that I know make me feel awful, but last night the wine and cupcakes were just necessary. And delicious. And so, so worth it my stomach feeling a little off this morning:)
Along with the infamous Facebook wall attack, many emoticon-filled text messages, and calls from my parents, getting to spend the evening with my favorite person eating delicious food made my day so, so special. I thanked JC multiple times for such a wonderful celebration and making my birthday so fun.
I am so grateful for such amazing people in my life that make me feel special and loved. And for you all, of course! I appreciate every comment and tweet I received, happy to have another group of internet friends out there in the world somewhere.
Here’s to a fabulous 27th (28th?) year!