The Best Birthday Ever

So far in life I have had 20 birthdays, and it’s official: the 20th was the best yet!  For what feels like the first time ever, my best friend Dominique and I would be together on my birthday and she promised a weekend of fun.  And boy did she deliver!

On Friday night we started the festivities at 86 West, a hip and swanky restaurant in town where Andy (Dominique’s BF and my BFF!) works as a cook.

We ordered a few delicious small plates, which is how I like to eat out 🙂

First, we ordered a crunchy crab roll which was so freaking delicious, let me tell YOU!

Next we devoured some fried calamari (using chopsticks because we are way cool) with some garlic aioli and cajun marinara.

Next we had so stir fried Brussels sprouts flavored with ginger and soy sauce.  I MUST recreate this!

Next had a vegan sushi roll, which was basically a burrito in sushi form.  Yumtastic!

It came with some chips and guac, plus some personal touches ❤  We got special treatment becuase of Andy!

To finish our meal, we had Lollipop sushi.  I don’t remember what was in it, but I can tell you that the textures were out of this world!  And it came on a stick!

After dinner, the three of us went back to the Benzio’s house for some cake.  Andy surprised me with a vegan cookie cake that he made for me all by himself.

It was sooooo rich.  I was sooooo happy!

After devouring a couple slices, we all went to bed.  But the birthday festivities weren’t over yet!  Dominique treated me to a Hot Yoga class on Saturday morning.  We went to River Flow Yoga in Lambertville, New Jersey which was a quaint, homey studio with Bikram classes.  It was Dominique’s first hot yoga class ever, and she loved it!  I really enjoyed it too: it was actually the best Hot Yoga class that I have ever been to.  The instructor had a great sense of humor and a great balance of relaxing and inspiring.  I had a great sweat and it allowed my muscles to open up a ton, which was good since I need to efficiently get back into my regular practice!

After class, we replenished with a huge lunch!

I spent the rest of my Saturday with my mom and sister.  We did some shopping and saw a movie (Bridesmaids, which was wild and hilarious!).

Sunday, my official 20th Birthday, was another awesome day.  We headed to the beach!

We went to Belmar, NJ which is a short drive away.  Unfortunately, a 45 minute search for parking followed our mini road trip, but we eventually got an ideal spot and set up camp on the clean, uncrowded beach.

We had such a relaxing day in the perfect sunshine!  Read magazines, took a dip in the ocean, and went on a long walk along the beach.

We headed back to my house for dinner where my mom had prepared a huge feast of all my favorite foods!!!

Olive and Ciabatta Bread

Cheeeeeeese!

Caprese Salad

Pasta Salad

Grilled corn (I may be 20 years old now, but I still like mine cut off the cob)

Grilled zucinni

And grilled bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes

After we’d stuffed ourselves with all of that, my mom brought out the star of the show: a perfectly baked chocolate vegan cake!

It was topped with some chocolate icing and toasted almond slivers, too!

It was so chocolately, moist, and spongy.  I’ve gotta get that recipe!!!!!

After dinner, we watched a Harry Potter movie – the best ending to the best birthday of my life. Thank you so much lovies!!!!

I am thrilled to finally be in my 20s – what an exciting decade!  I can’t wait to see where my life takes me in the next 10 years, and I feel so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life to join me.  People who know that all I want to do is eat vegan food, do yoga, and connect with nature.  Here’s to more of all that in my 20s than ever before!

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5 Comments

Filed under Life

5 responses to “The Best Birthday Ever

  1. YAY! Those grilled veggies were SO GOOD. I can’t stop thinking about them and the vegan cake!

  2. Miranda

    Happy birthday, Emma, it looks like you had a wonderful time 🙂 I think ending a birthday with a Harry Potter movie is awesome! I am going to see the new one tonight actually. I’m so jealous of your beach weather!! – but I am off to Port Douglas in a month so hopefully that should warm me up nicely! I can’t wait to see the Great Barrier Reef…

  3. 20 is such an amazing year. Have a happy happy birthday and fabulous 20th year of life!!! You look like you had such an amazing birthday surrounded by the people you love. Enjoy!

  4. Rachel Rubenstein

    Emma! This made me so hungry. I’m so glad you had a great birthday, yum yum yum

  5. happy birthday girl!!! Yah for Harry Potter 🙂

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