fashion, food, friends – the ways to my heart

I can always count on the weekends to be positively amazing and eventful.

It started off with a mini Cornell reunion with Cara, Jaimee, Donna and Vanessa at Gobo – easily one of the most delicious vegetarian restaurants in NYC. The four of us haven’t been together since college and it was truly wonderful catching up with everyone. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next reunion!

So a few blog posts ago, I mentioned (aka whined about) how exhausted I was from work this past week. Since I had so much on my plate, I figured I’d spend Saturday at work to catch up, and then go home Sunday for a relaxing day with my mom – I haven’t seen her in what feels like ages. Long story short, Joseph panicked about the thought of me being busy all weekend and spilled the beans.

The best boyfriend in the world planned a surprise party for me! When he realized Cara was already going to be in the city this weekend, he figured it was the opportune moment to get Molly and Al to come up to visit as well.. and he planned the entire surprise party around it. Best friends/roommates from Cornell reunited for the first time since college – it was the happiest.

The three things he was able to salvage from the surprise that remained a surprise were 1) where he was taking me before dinner, 2) where he was taking me after dinner and 3) who my guests were.

Before dinner, we went on a little adventure – L to Union Square, then R to Prince St. Coincidentally, that’s my route to work. Yes, I had originally planned to go to work yesterday and take a few things off my hefty to-do list to ameliorate the stress… but I am much happier I ended up at Kate Spade for a mini shopping spree!

Joseph invited Cara and Molly because he figured I’d have more fun perusing through all of Kate Spade’s many wonders with my girls than with him :) It’s a good thing he had Al’s company – such dutiful boyfriends to join us shopping!

After much deliberation between a coat and a fanny pack (yes… a fanny pack.), I decided to go with the cutest pink coat. Luckily for Joseph, it was on sale :) And since the sales lady has a crush on him, she also gave him 25% off on top of that. She commented on how so many girls come into the store with douchebag boyfriends, but Joseph is one of the few genuinely sweet ones she has encountered. Very valid. The first time I brought him to Kate Spade, she blatantly flirted with him in front of me and called him Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid. Flirt away sales lady, flirt to your heart’s content – I’m not severely hating if he can get me that 25% discount every time!

I apologize in advanced.. but I seriously can’t wait to be THAT girl wearing the bright pink coat in a sea of black/brown/beige this fall.

Next stop? A Casa Fox, where the rest of my favorite people awaited – only to discover that I already knew about the surprise.

I ordered four tapas – the portobello and smoked gouda empanada, grilled chorizo and manchego plate, spicy garlic shrimp with lime zest, and red pepper crab cakes – and I finished them all. (I’m not astonished).

Molly started the drink trend and ordered the restaurant’s signature – the Fox. I tried it and couldn’t help but copy – it was shockingly delectable, especially for a tequila drink. Any concoction involving the said alcohol is an automatic no-go for me, but the Fox became the one exception. The cocktail was composed of tequila, passion fruit puree, and lime juice – I can’t wait to try that recipe out on my own and hope that it’ll be just as good.

Everything was delightful – the sangria, the tapas, the Fox, the dessert, the service, the ambience – A Casa Fox was home to an incredible birthday dinner. Everyone, get your bellies there this week – it’s GOOD.

Now a birthday dinner isn’t complete without a bar stop afterwards. Joseph’s second surprise? Beauty Bar. 

The boy seriously knows the way to my heart. Beauty Bar is a nail salon fused with… a bar. They offer a buy-a-manicure-and-get-a-cocktail free package, so you could sip on your drink while getting your nails done. And there’s Mike above putting the man in manicure.

Brilliant business concept, because it won’t matter if they do a poor job on your nails. You’ll be too drunk and happy to notice! So long lavender/gold sparkles nails, hello Barbie pink nails. (I was inspired by the hue of my new coat.)

Conveniently, Beauty Bar also had a decently sized dance floor – of course, it’s no birthday party if there’s no booty shaking of some sort involved.. so before heading to the Crocodile Lounge, we got our groove on with the shopping cart, sprinkler, and lawn mower moves. Mmmmhmm.

As you may know, the Crocodile Lounge gives out free personal pizzas with every drink you purchase. The free pizzas kind of got shot to the abyss of hell once Joseph showed up with a box and a half of Aritchoke slices. He tried to be ambitious and purchase an entire pie, but it would have been $100+. Ridiculous, right? What’s a boy gotta do to get some [Artichoke] pizza?! The Croc pizza was decent because we were somewhat intoxicated. Artichoke is amazing when you’re sober, so imagine how good it was then. Holy hell.

Sober Sunday – a day of recovery. Molly, Al, Joseph and I ventured out to the Williamsburg flea market to explore and get some brunch. I had been craving a hot, melty, grilled cheese sandwich (even though it was unbearable out), and lo and behold… the famed Milk Truck was there!

Joseph and I both scarfed down the All-Day Breakfast sandwich – two pieces of rye slices stuffed with aged Wisconsin gruyere, a fried egg, and carmelized onions.

For dessert, we indulged in some fresh fruit ice pops – I got the rhubarb/elder plant flavor. As exotic-sounding as it was delicious! This weekend has just been filled with copious amounts of good eats. #fatandhappy.

Before Molly and Al left for Philly, they gave me this beautiful vase with fresh purple flowers to match my room (and a lovely candle holder.)

I love flowers – they have the ability to immediately brighten any room, especially a room with no windows. Thank you Molly and Al!

I ended my Sunday with the Harry Potter Exhibit with Roopali – what a well thought out birthday present, she knows Harry’s my boy.

The exhibit was everything you’d make it out to be. It started out with four people getting sorted with the hat, with me as one of the lucky four. I got sorted into Hufflepuff – the useless house that just sounds cute. Pretty much all the characters’ props and wardrobes were put on display – as dorky as it sounds, it was surreal seeing everything that was used on set. All the minute detail that was put into each robe, broom stick, wand, leather-bound school book, etc., was simply astounding.

This weekend was easily the best birthday weekend I’ve ever had. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have the best friends. Thank you all for such a wonderful early birthday celebration, and thank you – Joseph – for planning it all! You guys make turning another year older painless.

Who needs Facebook albums when I’ve got this blog?


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Categories: eat, drink, & be merry, fashion & beauty, love & happiness


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