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Beginning of Birthday Weekend

The biggest surprise of my birthday was that no one sent me T-Swift’s most appropriate song, “22,” on my birthday yesterday.

No we did not dress up like hipsters, nor did we have breakfast at midnight. But we keep dancing like we’re twenty-two-oooh-oohhhhh. ;)

22nd birthday banner (stronglikemycoffee.comMy birthday was on a Thursday, so I actually have an entire birthday weekend ahead of me. As soon as I press ‘publish’ I will be grabbing my swim suit and suitcase to head to sunnier lands.

First of all, I planned on spending an extended birthday celebration with family and friends for the weekend. So I didn’t have any elaborate plans on my birthday. Several friends were working, and I still had class and my internship from 8am-5pm. We opted for a late-night downtown adventure instead of a birthday dinner at a restaurant. I didn’t mind at all, I still had this lovely plate and a sparkle-tini on the side:

22nd Birthday Dinner (stronglikemycoffee.com)Sushi is my favorite, and I was excited to see salmon wrapped in brown rice!

A little before 10pm, Kerri came over with a beautifully-wrapped present. She opened with, “I’m so freaking proud of this present, I feel like Martha Stewart.” Intrigue! Apparently she had gone through my DIY board on Pinterest to find a decorative craft that I would like. She picked a candle holder; she made me two of these candles encompassed in ‘local’ sticks with baby pinecones and delicious smelling candles. I love candles! And these are too pretty to burn! I love the fact that she made it and I love the fact that it’s a little piece of Flagstaff. I did have to laugh out loud, though, trying to picture her on campus pulling sticks off of trees while people walked by. :)

Homemade DIY Stick Candle Holder (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The night was just getting started! First, we opted to try The Wine Loft for the first time. We’d heard about this cute, upstairs wine bar with tons of games. That is more my style.

The bar itself was adorable, dark lighting with thousands of bottles of wine and chalkboard menus – perfect ambiance for a wine loft. One problem……there was only one other person in the huge space. The bartender. Why so empty on a Thursday night? Having the bar to ourselves was a little fun and a little awkward. We each picked out a glass of something light and pretty. Rose’ for me, bubbly for Kerri, and Pinot Grigio for Bri. Next, time to pick out a game. We’d never heard of 70% of them and didn’t feel like concentrating on Monopoly or Scrabble so we picked the perfect classy wine bar activity…..Cards Against Humanity.

22nd birthday wine and games (Stronglikemycoffee.com)This game is hilarious! And racy. Some of the cards made us blush reading out loud in front of the bartender. And a little too far for the content I want on this website so moving right along….

We ended up staying and playing until The Wine Loft closed but we weren’t ready to go home yet. After all, we had dressed up (a rare event for some college students) and no one else had really seen us! The second we walked in to the next bar, we looked at each other with non-verbal agreement then walked right back out. Blegh, it smelled like canola oil and smoke and no one was on the dance floor. We walked by a couple other bars but honestly, the “club” thing is not our scene so we went to our old stand-by. The country bar. We found a booth and a menu to find a birthday dessert!

22nd birthday dessert (stronglikemycoffee.com)I left our table for a few minutes, and in my absence a guy asked my friends if he could buy me a drink. They eagerly informed him that it was my birthday. When I returned, he sent me over a pineapple rum drink and I’m only including this detail in the blog post because that has never happened. I was flattered, but also a little confused because he and his friends left the bar just a few minutes later….

Next the bartender came back with our banana pudding and 3 spoons, topped with a little pink candle :) He also refused to bring us a check. See, people at the country bar are just so dang sweet.

We walked around downtown a little bit more, contemplating whether or not to go in anywhere else but I think we all agreed that the night had been so much fun that we would just cap it off right there.

Birthday song would have to go to Don’t Say Goodnight by Hot Chelle Ray because when it came on the radio for the first time ever as we pulled up to our apartment last night, we had a little parking lot dance party. Love my silly best friends :)

Aboslutely too perfect to sum up my night.

See you here again tomorrow! <3

Cinnamon and Spice Roasted Nut Medley

I’m munching on a batch of these heavenly-smelling cinnamony-roasted nuts as we speak. When my mom came with a full grocery bag of goodies for my dorm, she brought a bag of mixed nuts from our favorite Sprouts store and a blend of spices. After a long walk through some trails and a detour to Starbucks, we got to roasting.

These are really simple to make and they smell so delicious in your oven :)

You will need:

3 Cups of mixed nuts (we used a medley of almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and brazil nuts.)

1 egg white

1 Tbs Vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 tsp cardamon

3/4 tsp allspice

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together egg white and vanilla until foamy. Add in nuts and coat with the egg mixture.

3. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom.

4. Add the spice mixture to the nuts, blend together.

5. Spread out onto the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Remove from oven, and break apart any pieces that stuck together. Turn off the oven, but place the tray back inside for another 5 minutes.

Before…

After!

OMG the kitchen smelled so GOOD. I love cinnamon :) These filled two mason jars, one for me and one for my roomie!

If only I could contain myself from eating the whole thing at once!

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