Birthday eats and treats, and my new favorite band!

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Hi friends!

What did you all do over the weekend? We had a fairly busy one over here in Connecticut — but busy in the BEST way possible: hanging with family and friends!

Friday night involved the arrival of my awesome brother (Freddie) and sister-in-law (Sonia)! They came up to celebrate my birthday! πŸ™‚ We are so fortunate that they live pretty close to us –> just 1.5-2 hours by train from NYC depending on whether the train is express or local. Family time just makes me happy!

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Freddie and Sonia just got back from an awesome Austrian Christmas vacation! Most of my family made the trek over to Austria, so they were in good company!

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My dad stayed in Kenya because my sister and her husband was expecting their first kiddo in December. Here he is with grandkid #6! She made her entrance on Christmas Eve and I am pretty psyched to have another little niece. Her name is Maria and she looks a lot like her mama (my sister)! πŸ™‚

 

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Let me tell you about our Friday night! We went to Lalibela, an Ethiopian restaurant in New Haven! Joel and I had been thereΒ  5 years ago so we were QUITE overdue for a visit. Walter and Kelly joined us, as did one of my smallgroup friends Ro, and of course Freddie and Sonia πŸ™‚ The food was exactly what I was hoping for. As I always say, if you have never tried Ethiopian food, you should 100% make a beeline for your nearest Ethiopian restaurant!

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While we were enjoying the delicious food, a cute young couple at a table nearby gave us this bottle of wine! It was a nice little birthday surprise from total strangers! πŸ™‚

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The restaurant gave me this gorgeous piece of chocolate cake. Everyone sang happy birthday to me which was not nearly as embarrassing as I recall from childhood (haha!). I cut the slice into 7 pieces so we could all sample it, but we were all so full from dinner that we could not finish the cake! Most of it ended up coming home with us πŸ™‚

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We had originally intended to go to HarvestΒ after dinner for drinks and desserts, but sadly Harvest was closed by the time we left the Ethiopian restaurant — it was after 11! So we walked over to Geronimo’sΒ for a drink instead. Sonia ordered my favorite drink in the world: a spicy blood orange margharita! Yummm. Connecticut pals, please try this drink the next time you are in Geronimo’s, I know you’ll love it!

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After all the fun, we headed back home, collapsed into our beds, and slept like LOGS! Joel and I didn’t get up the next morning until around 10am. We haven’t slept in like that in forever. It felt so good to get a few extra Zzz’s. πŸ™‚

Saturday consisted of brunch at home with Freddie and Sonia (pancakes, bacon, sliced orange!) and some relaxation in the morning!

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We headed out for a walk in the afternoon. Although the sun was out, it was only 20 degrees and windy! SUCH a big difference from the balmy 55 degrees the day prior! We were almost frozen solid before we even got to the end of the street. So the walk didn’t last long (brr!) but it was nice to get outside for a few minutes!

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Sonia, who is unbelievable in the kitchen, made an INCREDIBLE Chocolate Orange cake for me in honor of my birthday! It was so thoughtful of her, and made me feel really special. She’s the absolute best πŸ™‚ It was a new-to-her recipe that came out oh so perfectly. It’s no secret Joel and I would be content to be her taste-testers for any recipes she wants to try out! πŸ˜›

We had friends come over Saturday evening to hang out. It was originally going to be a movie night but it turned into more of a game night — and I’m ok with that! Sonia, Jamie, Jackie, and I played Rummy while others watched the Patriots game.

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Rummy is such a fun game! Sonia and Jackie are really good at it. It was Jamie’s first time playing and she was really good too – she won multiple rounds. I on the other hand never quite hit my groove so I was definitely in the negatives… but that didn’t stop me from having a blast πŸ™‚

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Ro introduced us to Postmodern Jukebox that night and we all fell in love! Sonia actually knows one of the founders of the band. I found them on Spotify and played their songs on our bluetooth speakers. Everyone turned into instant fans and we all ended up bopping along to Postmodern Jukebox the rest of the night. Rummy and Postmodern Jukebox go very well together πŸ™‚

While everyone was over at our place, we ordered pizza and all split the cost –> speaking of: cost-sharing is SO EASY these days with Venmo, PayPal, etc! I remember back when cash was the only option!

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Freddie and Sonia headed back to NYC later that night. I was sad to see them go but boy was it was so good to spend time with them. I can’t wait until the next time we get to hang out — hopefully sooner rather than later! πŸ™‚

Onto Sunday! Sunday morning consisted of Church:

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Followed by errands. At some point Joel ran into a store to buy something while I waited in the car eating (…you guessed it) cantaloupe! You guys know that of late, not a day goes by that I don’t eat this delectable orange stuff. I’m happy to report it tasted just as amazing in the car as it does at home πŸ™‚

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When our errands were complete, we swung into Panera for lunch. I usually order their Frontega Chicken sandwich but I tried something new: the Chipotle Chicken with Avocado sandwich… it was so good! Granted it was a tad soggy due to the chipotle sauce (I had to eat it with a fork and knife) but still very tasty! Joel got his usual steak and arugula sandwich which he has loved for years, and we also got a cup of broccoli cheddar soup since it is a Panera classic πŸ™‚

What did you do this weekend? Got a favorite card game? What’s your fave drink order?Β Β 

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16 thoughts on “Birthday eats and treats, and my new favorite band!

    1. Phase 10 sounds like such a fun game! I have never tried progressive rummy but it sounds really interesting! I’ll check out the Phase 10 game — thanks for the suggestion! πŸ™‚

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    1. I completely agree — my little niece Maria is such a beautiful girl just like her mama! My sister is doing well, getting used to the new baby schedule and even managed to get out of the house for brunch over the weekend! πŸ™‚ Thanks Maureen, I hope your day is amazing!

      Like

    1. Thank you Farrah! It was a fun weekend! You aren’t the first to mention Big 2 – my curiosity is definitely piqued! Thanks for the suggestion! πŸ™‚

      Like

    1. Decluttering your house sounds very productive! It can be such a chore to go through random stuff and decide what stays and what goes! Good for you!!! I do the same thing a couple times per year and it is always really draining! Keep up the great work!!!

      Like

  1. Great post! So entertaining! And thank you for liking my blog post – you are my first ever like and have encouraged me to keep going. Thank you, God Bless You!!! Xxx

    Like

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