Monday, August 21, 2017

My birthday week recap

Holy crap, you guys!!! I can honestly say that this has been the best birthday week in the history of all my birthdays! I have never felt so loved and celebrated before. I naturally had to recap all of the excitement for you. This will be a super photo-heavy post, but it's always nice to relive these details later and I want to recap everything while it is all still fresh! So let's get started!

Stripes and camo outfit, NYC street style
(outfit details listed below)

My actual birthday was Friday, the 18th, but it all started last weekend on the 12th. We had tickets to the Cardinals game like we typically do once every 4 home games, so I started my Saturday like usual, and got game-day ready like any other time.

Cardinals game day outfit, isabel marant bobby
Top: Paperdolls Boutique (c/o) | Shorts: Express | Sneakers: Isabel Marant (other colors here

It was a giveaway game - they were giving away 1987 World Series replica rings, and whenever there is a great giveaway like this, we always end up showing up early since they are first come first serve and go quickly! The game started around 6pm, but we got there just before 5pm. I kept asking for food and beverage, but he insisted on heading to the gift shop and walking aimlessly around the stadium instead! Finally, after the third time of me asking for an adult beverage, he whipped out a second set of tickets and said, "How about we go up to the Legends club for that?" The Legends Club Suites are all inclusive seats! I was so excited and asked if it was just us, and he said, "Yes, is that ok?" Well, duh yeah! Though he was lying.

Legends Club Busch Stadium

We walked in to a handful of some of our favorite people and I squealed with delight. Baseball is even more fun when you have fun people to enjoy it with! And the Cardinals ended up winning that night which makes it even better! 

Oh! I should say that the days leading up to my birthday, I got a couple of goodies! Beth, the husband's cousin who is no stranger to the blog, got me the prettiest Chanel matte lippie in 148 Libere! I don't know about you, but I could not ever own enough lip colors. They're my favorite. Gina, Rachelle, Kristi, and Noelle got me an engraved bangle with all 3 of our pups names on it - Daisy, Petie, and Annie. Daisy and Petie are no longer with us, so this really meant a lot to me and I cried when I opened it. And if that weren't enough, I got a second little surprise from Gina and Rachelle later. It was an Estee Lauder lipstick in 340 Envious. Always nice to have gifts sprinkled on you throughout the week!!!

Express deep v top and ruffle stripe skirt
Top: Express | Skirt: Express Shoes: Valentino

The husband did have a couple of other things up his sleeve for me for my birthday. I knew we were going out of town for the weekend, so the co-workers planned to take me out on Thursday while I was still in the office. I've mentioned before that my little sub-department is a group of 4 and I just love them all to pieces. My boss blocked off 2.5 hours on our calendars for them to take me out. But before that...

Cube wars

They stayed a little late Wednesday and worked a little early Thursday to get my cube decorated. They printed out all the bitmojis I've texted to them throughout the year and taped them all around my cube. The cutest thing were the paperdoll cut-outs of all my blog outfits. I died! My boss made a little Caryl garland and I could not stop laughing at how adorably awesome it was. Not to mention how long it must have taken to cut out!! She said she had girlfriends over who were also helping her cut and who were texting her Friday to see how I liked it. Well, I loved it. This will be a permanent fixture in my cube.

Bourbon haul, Woodford reserve

I had no idea where they were taking me to lunch. They just told me when it was time to go and made me sit in the front seat while two of them assembled my gift bag O goodness! Yes, I love my bourbon, specifically Woodford, so they went with the theme, and you better believe I will smash all of it! The bottle of Buffalo Trace is from another co-worker (you'll see her below) and what is not pictured in this photo is a vase of flowers and a GINORMOUS bottle of Woodford from two other co-workers. I don't think I have to buy alcohol for a few more birthdays!!!

World Chess Hall of Fame
In front of the World Chess Hall of Fame

We ended up eating at the Gamlin Whiskey House in the Central West End. Told you they stuck to a theme! Genius! I had never been there before and it was amazing! I will be back. I had a flight of 3 different whiskeys with a 4oz. filet for lunch. (If I've said it once, I've said it a million times - nothing makes me feel more like a lady than bourbon and steak! Ha!) And in case you didn't know, bourbon and whiskey are made from the same ingredients. It's just the proportions of those ingredients that set the two apart. Bourbon must be at least 51% corn. There are other nuances - like bourbon cannot have any additives or flavors, so if something is flavored, that automatically puts it in the whiskey camp. Just a little bourbon trivia for you!

The POW! exhibit at the world chess hall of fame

My boss wanted to take a walk around the corner to the World Chess Hall of Fame because she once saw a super interesting fashion exhibit and wanted to walk through just in case! Yes, this sounds very random, but it was pretty awesome, and it was free! There were 3 floors with different exhibitions on each floor. The one pictured above was from the POW! exhibit themed around superheroes, chess, and comics. When she saw there was a photo op, she knew I would love an impromptu photo shoot. It was so fun. 

After the museum, we drove to Jeni's and had some pretty amazing ice cream. I tried the Brown Butter Almond Brittle and it was to die for, y'all. The husband is more into ice cream than I am, but I cannot stop thinking about this!!!

Birthday cake

While we were getting ice cream, I was getting texts from my work bestie, Brian, because he made me my annual birthday cake. Funny enough, the night before, I got this text from him saying there had been "an incident" with the cake. It got a bit stuck to the pan and it wasn't the picturesque masterpiece like it usually is every year. I certainly don't care though because just the fact that he bakes me a cake every year makes my heart happy! I told him he needed to bring it in anyway! And you better believe we devoured that cake crazy fast. It was delicious. And yes, I ate cake after already eating ice cream. Ha!

Helen Fitzgerald's St. Louis
With co-worker Jess at Helen's

And here is Jess who just joined our department a couple of months ago, but we got to spend more time together in Chicago earlier this month and she is the sweetest. She is the one who got me the bottle of Buffalo Trace and she was one of the last people standing during my birthday happy hour. Yes, so, after a long lunch, the chess hall of fame, ice cream, and cake, there was also a happy hour so I could celebrate with 20-25 of my closest co-workers. I told you I felt spoiled!

Icing Cafe, St. Louis Bakery
Custom cake from Icing Cafe

Annnnnd if that wasn't enough, I got another cake!!! And how amazing is this though?! If you're an STL local, this cake is from Icing Cafe. It is as delicious as it is beautiful! I ended up eating cake for dinner after happy hour. Probably not a good life choice, but you don't make the best decisions after lots of cocktails! Thankfully, I think this cake was magically hydrating because I was not hungover at all the next morning, which is great because we had a 9am flight! 

Cardinals game day outfit, airport style
Top: From Spring Training in Jupiter | Bottoms: American Eagle (option) | Sneakers: Row One | Shoulder bag: Lo & Sons "OG" | Roller Bag: Calvin Klein (current option)

Thankfully the husband forced me to pack Wednesday night because he knew I would not be in the best state to pack Thursday night. And he was right!! He was taking me to Pittsburgh for the Cardinals game against the Pirates!! I've been wanting to visit more MLB stadiums, so this was definitely right up my alley, and then some! Not to mention that the Pirates are always a good team to watch us play against!

Row One MLB sneakers
Sneakers: Row One

Our seats were in the first row above the Cardinals dugout. HELLO! How fuh-reaking cool is that?! We could hear them talking, hear the slaps of their high-fives, and practically smell their sweat. It was seriously the best. Even better because it was fireworks night, so we got to see a ridiculously awesome fireworks show after the game - which the Cardinals won I should add!

Fox sports Cardinals vs. Pirates
Me on TV!

OH! And I was on TV!!! We just hit a home run and I get a text message and two snaps from friends with screenshots similar to the one above. I'm so thankful to have good stalker friends! The husband was pretty bummed at the unfortunate placement of the Fox logo over his face, but hey, it's not HIS birthday, so. Haha! 

Open leg rocker, Allegheny River Pittsburgh
Open Leg Rocker by the Allegheny River

The Pirates stadium (PNC Park) was beautiful! Especially the views outside of the stadium. We decided to walk down to get a closer look at the Allegheny River. How often am I by a river? In Pittsburgh? Naturally, I had to strike a pose. We popped into McFadden's right afterwards for a cocktail before heading back to the hotel. The drink was good, but holy cow it was terribly hot in there.

American Eagle camo pants
Sunnies: Ray Ban | Top: CS Gems (c/o) | Bottoms: American Eagle | Bag: Chanel | Sandals: Sam Edelman "Gigi"

We had another flight Saturday morning, this time to NYC! He was letting me pick out anything I wanted in Manhattan. Crazy, right? Our flight was at 6am, so my airport outfit was less than desirable. I literally woke up, brushed my teeth, re-packed my suitcase, threw a hat, boyfriend shirt, and leggings on, and was out the door in 17 minutes. We got to our hotel just before 1pm, so I freshened up a bit and put on the outfit above. The weather was warm, but still tolerable for pants. Our first stop was Shake Shack because duh.

Oh man, I could write a whole blog post just about my decision making process. I had no idea what I wanted to buy. Originally, I wanted another Chanel, but I wasn't quite sure if I could convince the husband of that price point. Not that what I ended up with was "cheap" by ANY means. Totally not complaining! I mean, after all, if your husband is going to fly you to NYC to pick out your birthday present, he's not looking at a $100 price limit. He made it a point to tell me that he wanted me to shop in a place that I could not shop at here in St. Louis. That in mind, I decided I wanted to start at Bergdorf's just because I had never been in one before and it has a little bit of everything so we would see what piqued my interest!

Valentino rockstud wraparound strap pump

Turns out that Bergdorf's was on the opposite end of 5th Avenue where we started from. About 30 blocks to be exact! But, we just started walking to see if there were any other stores we hit along the way that I wanted to shop. There were a few I saw that I wanted to go into, but I didn't want to spend money at places like Zara or Topshop without seeing if I liked anything at Bergdorf's first. But then. Then I saw the Valentino store. It was only a handful of blocks away from Bergdorf's, but I decided to go into Valentino first. I had never been into a Valentino store before.

I have a few pairs of Rockstuds that I have accumulated over the years, and they are hands down my most comfortable designer shoes I own. And I wear them ALL the time, not just for special occasions. I would say I wear one of my pairs to work at least once a week, if not more. I love them. They're the best. I originally wanted to get the black on black version of the traditional Rockstud pump but then I tried on the pair above and I was so torn!! In the end, I decided on the pair above because a) these are new for the season and may not be available after this season vs. the traditional Rockstud style that will continue to be around forever and b) two of the sales associates saw me trying on these shoes and both of their reactions were "WOW!" and c) you can wear the straps around your ankle like it's displayed above, or you can wrap them a couple of times around the middle of your foot so it looks more like a mary jane. I loved that versatility!

Valentino medium rockstud spike

I don't currently own any Valentino bags, so one was one my list! I told the sales associate I was interested in a black Rockstud crossbody bag and he basically showed me every one in the store, which made the decision difficult!! I decided to go with the bag above. I debated on the black metal or the gold metal, but the black felt more transitional between day and night. The gold hardware was stunning but I think it looked a bit more flashy for day. I wanted this to be like my grey Chanel - a bag I could use for dressy occasions, but one that I could use for casual looks as well. The size of this one is perfect - I will have to do a "what's in my bag" post so you can see what all fits in here. And I loved that it comes with the handle strap in addition to the crossbody chain.

The sales associate asked if we lived in NYC, and when we told him we were from St. Louis, he said that if he shipped them home to us, we wouldn't have to pay sales tax. I'm not entirely sure how that all works, but the same thing happened when I bought my Chanel in Vegas. Needless to say, tax on big purchases like that is substantial, so I welcomed the opportunity to save the money! The shoes should arrive later this week and I can't wait to see how pretty they are in the packages!! Eeeek!!

Express ruffle fit and flare dress
Dress: Express | Sandals: BP "Luminate"

We did finally end up making it to Bergdorf's but I didn't buy anything there since I already spent well worth my share! It was still fun to walk around and window shop. We worked up our appetite for dinner, that's for sure! We had no real hard plans for dinner, but one of our coworkers had recommended this Italian restaurant called Bocca. He said it's one of his favorite Italian restaurants in the entire US, so how could we not try it?! But what really had me convinced was this:

Bocca table side pasta NYC
BoccaPhoto credit here

All of their pasta is homemade. This particular dish is served tableside. That big bowl thingy you are looking at IS CHEESE!! The pasta is plain and hot, they stir it around in this cheese bowl and the heat of the pasta melts the cheese. They then scrape the pasta and more cheese out before placing it in your bowl. There's coarse pepper on it too which really complements the sharp parmesan taste. OMG you guys. SO GOOD. I want more and am salivating as I type this.

Their bread was served with some olive oil, sundried tomato dip. I had no idea what it was when they served it but was immediately devouring it. After the husband was telling the owner how life-changing it was, he came back to our table with our own jar of the spread! Totally worth checking our bag for!

One Teaspoon shorts outfit
Top: Grace and Lace | Bralette: CS Gems | Shorts: One Teaspoon (option) | Sandals: BP "Luminate" 

We had one more drink at the hotel bar before heading to the room for the night. We were exhausted by this point. We had no plans in the morning other than brunch before the airport! I decided to copy Tatiana's outfit for brunch.

Parker and Quinn brunch NYC

The husband found Parker and Quinn. This was a short walk from our hotel (we stayed at the Hilton Times Square.) We pushed it a little bit on time as our reservation was for 11:30am and our flight out of LaGuardia was at 2:30pm. We ended up having plenty of time though. The restaurant was charming and the food was amazing. Brunch is seriously my favorite meal.

Parker and Quinn doughnuts
Parker and Quinn Doughnuts

We ordered these doughnuts to start, then he got the waffle and I got crabcake benedict. (I'm so predictable with my brunch order!) The doughnuts had this vanilla, sea salt, and butterscotch filling that melted in your mouth. My only complaint is that there were only 3 and not a dozen. Because I would have eaten all of them!

Ok, so that was a super long post about my birthday week, and if you have stuck around this long, I thank you for reading every last detail. Thanks for all the DMs and comments and texts throughout the week! This was such a memorable week for so many reasons! I am so thankful for everything and everyone! I am finishing this post at 11:30pm on Sunday night, and I'm not sure what that means for posts for the rest of my week. I had planned to write two more like usual, but time slipped away from me with travel and some work I had to do for my real-life job. So, all of that is to say, if you don't hear from me until next Monday, it's only because I didn't have any free time during the week to schedule additional posts. Regardless, thank you for stopping by and sharing some of your day with me!

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  1. What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday! I don't know what was more special, everything was awesome! :) It's so sweet of your coworkers to go to so much trouble for you :) I don't let my coworkers know my birthday - I don't like being the centre of attention so I always take my birthday off every year :) My old boss got wise to this and included me in the monthly birthday roundups at our team meetings, even if they couldn't have cake on my actual birthday. I felt so awkward! New boss now so I guess I'll see what happens when my birthday draws near - I'll definitely have the time off!

    Thank you for the link up!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  2. Happy Birthday! Sounds like you have had a great time. Valentino is on the top of my wish list too.I don't think the Rockstud collection is ever going to date either xx

  3. Wow, that does sound like an epic birthday celebration! Lucky girl! Those Valentinos you chose are gorgeous and I agree, Rockstuds are surprisingly comfy!


  4. Happy Birthday to you, so much lovely, food, outfits, accessories and days out wow! you've had a wirlwind time, it does make you feel very special on your birthday. How adorable to have the cake made for you - love that. x Jacqui

  5. What an amazing birthday weekend! You look amazing in every look during it. Thanks for sharing and for the link up!


  6. So happy you had such a great birthday, you deserve it and cannot wait to see you rock your new goodies.


  7. What a fabulous birthday weekend! That cake fail though! How fun. Fails like that make it all the more special! Thanks for sharing your special weekend with us. And Happy Birthday!


  8. That cake is the coolest!!
    And it's a great idea to celebrate your birthday for days and days!! We start to realize that life is a blessing, and the celebrations are the best!!

  9. I really love that striped top and camo pants! I have a striped maxi and camo jacket that I am going to try together. Peace!

  10. Wow, what an epic week! So glad your birthday celebrations lived up to (or maybe exceeded?) your expectations! It all looks like so much fun!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  11. Happy Happy birthday!! Everything about your celebrations looks amazing!! What fun!

  12. Sounds like such a special and fun time celebrating with so many fun groups! I love your purchases with the hubs! Happiest of birthdays to you lady!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  13. Happy Birthday looks like so much fun! I love all your outfits and especially the striped skirt...so cute!

    I hope you have a blessed week ahead!


  14. Wow, what an epic week! Happy Birthday!!

    xo Jules

  15. Sounds like you had a great time celebrating! That's how it should be done! Here's to a great year!
    xo Adri

  16. So jealous of all the baseball! Happy Birthday!

  17. Happy Birthday!!! I LOVED the "fail" birthday cake. That's the best! The other cake was beautiful. Your black and white strip skirt with the ruffles is so cute and the pink shoes are perfect! Love your new studded shoes too.

  18. Best birthday recap ever! I cannot wait to see you rock your new Valentino shoes and bag. They are to die for!

  19. I'm super jealous of your birthday week! What an incredible multi day celebration! My bday is thursday and I am making my hubby read this post for future inspiration! ;)

  20. What an amazing birthday! You are truly blessed. I can't wait to see the bag and shoes on you. How nice was the sales person who suggested shipping it. Plus you didn't have to worry about getting them into your bag. Happy Birthday!
    xo, Lee

  21. Wow! What an amazing birthday celebration! Happy Birthday!