First of all, here’s a tip: If you can swing it, take the day of your birthday off work. Hell, take the two days before your birthday off, like I did. There is nothing better—really, nothing—than hearing your awful alarm go off at 7:30 and being able to switch it off, all the while internally cackling that there will be no morning meeting for YOU! (Unless that meeting is with your bed. In which case: Yay.)
Related: A wise and lovely colleague told recently told me that you should celebrate your birthday in the spirit of how you want your year to go. “Be kind to yourself,” my colleague said, “whether that means spending time with loved ones or just going to get a manicure and pedicure.” I like that, don’t you?
Anyway, I was lucky enough to have several birthday celebrations before the actual day itself, which were fabulous. My mom came to town Friday and Saturday, and we had a delicious lunch at downtown’s State Street Eating House, an even better dinner at Shore Diner on St. Armands Circle, which has a retractable roof—a RETRACTABLE ROOF, you guys, as well as delightful California-cool decor with a touch of mid-century modern to it—and then a glorious coffee-fueled brunch at Station 400, where I ate a smoked salmon scramble with avocado and dill sauce that blew my mind. Yay, food.
My mom left soon after brunch, and I missed her for about five minutes before it was time to get ready for a gathering at my friend Kate’s mom’s home on Sarasota Bay. It was a perfect Sarasota summer night—warm, but with a breeze coming off the water that made sitting outside balancing food-laden paper plates on our laps comfortable instead of sweaty—and the company was the best. We grilled hamburgers, made a big green salad, ate homemade ice cream sandwiches made from these cookies, drank tons of wine and laughed and laughed.
P.S. These shoes and a sweet J.Crew top are also on their way to me, in case you wondering. It’s not a birthday without treats, after all. Also, for your viewing pleasure—have I mentioned that I’m now twenty-ni-ee-ne?!