‘Tis the season… 
for laughter, mirth, and love.
I am supremely enchanted tonight, and incredibly grateful for the friend who knows my style so well and generously (SUPER generously) remembers I’ve coveted this bracelet from J.Crew for over a year and took note of how forlorn I was when I tried it on and asked it be put back in the case this summer, the same friend who agrees that Tuck Shop is the best place for our final 2012 friend-date (the same friend who braves what have now been dubbed “res dogs” while camping in the very rustic Navajo Nation), and the friend who has the sense of humor to wish me a billionaire boyfriend for 2013. I told her that a billionaire is probably too high maintenance for me, and even that a millionaire is likely too much ego for my patience. Heck, I’d settle for someone who matches my salary… which, from what I hear, even that is wishful thinking. This economy… blows. Because, although I am comfortable with my take home pay, there is an awful lot that I budget and do without because my “expendable” income gets quickkly exhausted. But I DO appreciate her humor and sentiment!
YET!!!! 
This is… a Birthmas gift I will wear with enthusiasm and treasure for much time to come… with or without an overly sweet perfume (I think not, for I love my Parisian fragrance so much, it reminds me what I loved about and miss each day I don’t stroll along the Seine). 
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Holy Crap. I went to bed last night, fully vested in my early thirties, and woke up a mid-thirty-something. 33 is early thirties, and if we’re all honest, 34 is the mid-thirties, right? Shite!

 

http://www.natashasmulberryandmott.com/home.html

If I had a magical power, I would teleport my mom and me through space and time and stroll around the Embaracardo, SF circa 2007 and stop in one of my two favorite shops that closed. My little, black heart was broken from the closure of two San Francisco beauties. I couldn’t afford anything inside Rose and Radish, but I would stare and drool at the art installations/boutique/florist space and dream about fantasy dinner parties I could have with the beyond delicate and beautiful service items and the perfect accentual floral arrangements I would have in my perfect, fantasy home. But, to fantasies about spending my 2007 birthday in San Francisco would negate my reality 2007 birthday, which was ROME with my mom! So, I’ll live in reality instead, because as much as San Francisco is the city of my dreams, the Eternal City trumps the City by the Bay in my mind’s eye and view of dreamscape birthday parties.

We’re getting ready to head into Kansas City to the Crossroads arts district neighborhood. Along the way, we plan to check out this sweet, Parisian-styled Patisserie that promises macarons and other delectable confections. Any shop that boasts a rather “cheeky” reference in its name and is design inspired and owned by an internationally up and coming artist will likely provide visual feasting, and if we time our arrival right, we’re going to get an up close view of a KC designer’s workshop space and maybe, just maybe, something might be available in my post-cookie binge size… or I might be able to procure some additional inspiration to whittle my waist and revisit with She Devil? But, before I visit She Devil, and after I indulge in perfect pastries, yet before I call everything a night, perhaps some tapas.

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Despite my threats to come in to work, I honored my vacation day and slept in on my birthday. Waking up at a lazy 8 am, I opted to take one of John’s flow classes this morning, which was such a super treat because my work schedule does not normally align with his teaching schedule. My love for this yogi grows with every class, his tenderness and attention to his students just brings me happiness. The small class meant I got lots of attention from him with yummy adjustments and gentle assistance to go deeper into certain poses. I also learned today, that when doing a certain pose in the correct form, I can’t lift and bend as much as I did before, with my incorrect postures. He gently chuckled and advised the entire class (who were probably as humbled as me, because up until this point, a lot of us were happily functioning in oblivious mode) that “reality sucks” sometimes, and encouraged us where we were in our postures. Our beginning downward dogs were soundtracked with this particular MJ song, and it’s been in my head all day, with a playlist building in my little brain to accompany the happy sound of the song.

Leaving the studio, I met a friend for a casual lunch and then treated myself to a long overdue visit to the Heard Museum.

My friends and I celebrated my day with dinner at The Main Ingredient, and all I have to say is, “YUM,” and “CASH MONEY.” Think: sourdough bread, bananas, cashew butter, and red pepper & Cabernet jelly. Oh my gosh, it was soooo gooooood!

The first few bites were good, by the time I finished the first half of the sandwich, the flavors were ravishing and explosive little parties all over my palate like it was 1999!

The piece de resistance was my cake, which, as a coincidence, was nearly exactly as last year’s cake. We have a tradition of Tammie Coe cakes among our circle, and my style precedes me. Zebra stripes all the way!

And any place as classy as The Living Room (7th St) that allows us to finish our wine and conversation long after they closed their doors, makes me a very happy birthday girl – even after the b’day serenade!

I definitely get by with a little help from my friends… and with choosing to see some beauty.

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Today marks my 32nd birthday. I’ll be honest – I started the day with a mild indulgence in a pity party to recognize what I don’t have in my life. I nearly called in to work “sad.” Some days we just have “those” days – but not on my birthday!! This comes just once a year – it’s a rarer event than the Nordstrom sales! But, the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side so I put on my “big-girl pants” which actually do feel like big girl pants (read Post Holiday Reality Check) and decided I was certainly grown up enough to make it through a day.

A girlfriend vowed to meet me at the Cholla trailhead for Camelback Mountain and we soon found ourselves hiking in raindrops – a total treat for Phoenicians – rain! I was in such heaven I didn’t want to come inside but there was a party with my name on it at a yummy eatery that recently opened up downtown. As Ringo Starr said best, “I get by with a little help from my friends” and I can’t think of a better way to spend a birthday (thanks ladies!!!). Okay, I can, but George Clooney hasn’t yet realized that we are destined to be together so maybe that will be next year’s birthday event in my alternate universe.

This year was definitely full of experiences that challenged and grew me. I learned so much about how strong I can be and how far my safety net reaches. I was given numerous opportunities to turn to shoulders on which to cry and to bear a particularly heavy cross for someone so dear to me when he needed the help. I learned to set up my tent in five minutes, flat, and that trekking poles are the greatest things to have! I learned that while I can still like bikram, I really need to diversify my practice. I discovered that I can run a half marathon without training but that I probably will be in less pain for future long runs like that when I properly prepare myself. I learned that I don’t apologize for what I believe I’m worth and what I want – I said a forever goodbye to a man I loved because I deserve so much more than what he refused to offer. A big lesson that I learned was that bears really do live in the wilderness in Grand Teton National Park and that they really are active right around dawn (holy cow, my heart still skips at the thought)!!!!!

Doesn’t she make the sweetest little flirty thirty-something birthday cakes?

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