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Birthday Week 2012

January 23, 2012

Wow, another week has passed. This week was a little bit special for me, as Thursday was my birthday. (!)

I don’t like to celebrate my birthday.  I’m a bit of an introvert, and it always feels a little uncomfortable to ask a bunch of people to come out and celebrate the fact that I was born.  Instead I usually get weird and awkward about it, brushing the occasion under the rug and hoping no one (besides my parents and brother) will notice.

But about a month ago I went to my friend Casey’s house to celebrate her birthday, potluck style.

It was delicious, fun, relaxed and even though I barely knew anyone there it was still one of the best parties I had ever been to.  I was infused with happy warm feelings for weeks afterward.  That night I realized that all you really need to have a good night is a bunch of great food and awesome people in a room together.  So, in the interest of keeping my priorities in focus this year, I decided to go for it. I was going to have a birthday party and invite awesome people to eat good food, tea party style.

With the help of my talented roommate Erin (taking foodie photos in the image above) the apartment was adorned with balloons, streamers and flowers.

And my mom came into town for a couple of days, helping me make a table full of food.

We made vegetarian rolled grapeleaves, baklava, hummus with red pepper infused olive oil, bite-sized cucumber bowls with chive/garlic cream cheese or hummus filling, a lemon bundt cake with lemon frosting, chocolate brownies with chocolate frosting (the best brownies I have ever made in my life), and a cheese and cracker board.  Friends throughout the evening brought quiche, homemade pizza, chickpea flat bread, berries, fancy bread and cheese, banana bread with chocolate chips and more.  I made pot after pot of tea, and we pulled out our entire array of mugs.

And lots of awesome people came and ate and were merry.  It was everything I hoped for. Combined with my paperwhites blooming on the eve of my birthday, it was as close to perfect as it could be. Thank you to everyone who came and made this birthday special!

In other news this week, I had another photo shoot with Chloe from The Style Project!  The weather has finally decided to be full on winter, which has posed some location issues.  This time we tried our first indoor photo shoot, at the Goodman Community Center. It was interesting, since this was the first time our aesthetic tastes really diverged.  One thing I really like about this consistent collaboration is learning how to meld two different visions into one.  We’ll be doing another photo shoot this week (hopefully outdoors) that will hopefully be more to both of our liking, but here are a few of my favorites from this past session!

In other style related news, one of Chloe’s blog posts from last week was featured on the Ruche blog this week as well- woot woot!

I also had the privilege of taking photos at the No Coast Kitchen dinner last Monday night… here are a couple of teaser shots.  Full post to come this week.

And through it all I’ve been holding steady to my Kombucha Challenge!  23 days of booch and counting.  I continue to notice a lack of sugar cravings, that has also extended to caffeine and a general reduction in appetite.  I’m craving fresher, simpler foods and becoming more sensitive to foods that don’t agree with me (gluten and dairy).  I feel like my system is clearing itself out, allowing me to notice small changes and shifts that I hadn’t before.  I like it a lot, and with the end of January just a week away, I’m beginning to think about what my February Challenge should be.  Perhaps a cleanse?  If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

The winter doldrums and heartbreak blues still have me in their clutches with some regularity, leaving me feel creatively and emotionally drained.  My mantra for this past week is a reminder sent by way of magnet,

Never never NEVER give up.

I guess if I just keep on doing what I love to do, the pieces will fall into place… right?  What is your favorite mantra to stay on track and inspired?

Hope all of you are entering this last week of January with something warm in your tummies and something smile-worthy in your heart.  Thanks to all of the wonderful people in my life, I am fortified with both.



8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2012 10:56 pm

    Well shiza. Now I feel gross for missing your tea party after hearing about the spread! Happy birthday and wow–I’m impressed with all of your projects!

    • January 24, 2012 6:45 pm

      We’ll just have to have tea and snacks when we finally have our knitting party.

  2. Erin permalink
    January 24, 2012 9:50 am

    Dearest, you are living a beautiful life! my mantra is “Know your truth” I try to live it best I can, but it ain’t always as easy as it sounds.

  3. January 24, 2012 12:22 pm

    i heart you.

    again, i am so sorry i missed your party! i truly hope you had a wonderful birthday, and i just keep feeling like there are so many great things to come for your soon. hugs and love!

  4. January 25, 2012 8:12 am

    I think what I have realized about Mantras for me is that they need to have all POSITIVE words in them. Such as,” I have everything I need.” “my life is full of abundance”, “I will persevere!” that way the thing that I am trying to avoid isn’t getting ANY of the energy, such as…”I will NEVER eat cookies again” the words “eat cookies” are still in that sentence…or “I do NOT like bacon with every meal” there are still the words “bacon with every meal”.

    You are an awesome person, Stephanie! You WILL persevere and exceed at all you set your heart and mind to do!

    • January 27, 2012 2:38 pm

      Vanessa, that is SUCH a good way of thinking about it. I’m going to try rephrasing some of my personal mantras into the positive. Thanks for the encouragement- I really Really appreciate it. 🙂

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