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The Boise Birthday Weekend

After finishing up the Bucket List in the final hours before my birthday, I clocked out and spent the entire weekend celebrating. I tried some new places in downtown Boise and some old favorites as well, so I’ll put together this little recap for anyone looking for Boise staycation ideas!

My birthday was on Sunday, February 12th which was also Super Bowl Sunday this year. My husband was working out of town Thursday-Sunday and wouldn’t be home until close to midnight on my birthday evening. Most of the large popular restaurants in the area were actually closed on Sunday anyways because of the big game. Initially I was a little bummed because I did want to celebrate my birthday with my family by going out somewhere and not just staying at home. But in the end I got the best of both worlds!

Saturday afternoon, I dropped Brynnley off for a little sleepover with her grandparents. I checked into the Inn at 500 in downtown Boise, a hotel I have never been to before. My room was a corner unit with two balconies and a fireplace in between. It was so spacious and beautiful! The hotel lobby also had a “butler’s pantry” with complementary snacks and soft drinks for any time of day. When I settled into my room, a hotel employee knocked on my door and let me know that Zeb had sent up a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a sweet card. I immediately texted my two girlfriends that I was meeting for dinner and told them to hurry up and come over so we could share a glass in my room before dinner.

After deciding which outfit to wear, I walked a few blocks over to Tupelo Honey. It’s a fun southern restaurant that was very popular that night because it was the Saturday before Valentine’s Day and it was also the high school winter formal night. Hayley, Kat and I each ordered a cocktail off the menu and had such a fun girls dinner. I initially ordered the grilled salmon and creamy quinoa, but the waiter informed me that it was “the worst thing on the menu, and they do every well except fish”……….thanks for the honesty? Haha! I quickly skimmed for a new option and settled on the bistro filet with potato cracklins and veggies and it was a delicious choice. :)

Kat and I hung out at the hotel for a little while and she taught me how to use the BeReal app. I love the concept! I like how unfiltered of a social media platform it is, and I wish more people I know use it. The only downside right now is that I only have two friends who also use their accounts so we’ll see if I can sway any of my other girlfriends over in the coming months.

I finished the evening with a fire in the fireplace, my current book (Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris) and a facemask that Kat gifted me. When I woke up in the morning, I took my time getting ready with a cup of coffee and a hotel robe because it is a very rare occasion that I’m not also juggling a baby in the mornings!

There is a local coffee shop that I first visited when I moved to the area in 2016. It’s called Alia’s Coffee House, and when I went on my 23rd birthday I ordered an Ooh La La Latte that I still remember to this day. I ordered it again on Sunday to start off my birthday morning along with a lox & cream cheese bagel. Both were amazing – however…..doesn’t it seem like “a given” that if you order a bagel with cream cheese that it would be toasted? I didn’t specify that I wanted a toasted bagel because I thought ordering one sliced with cream cheese automatically included that. I took my bagel to go and was a little disappointed when I had a cold soft bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

I walked back to the hotel, packed up my room and checked out. Time to pick up the little one! Brynnley and I headed back to our home for the afternoon so that she could get in a good nap, then we made a little trip to Starbucks to cash in my birthday freebie. Since I’d already enjoyed a fancy coffee, I ordered an iced venti passion tango tea with a splash of lemonade. Delicious! We went back to my parents house because they were making me a yummy and healthy birthday dinner while the Super Bowl played. We had cajun salmon and a sheet pan of roasted veggies – my favorites!

Brynnley thought we were all looking at HER during the halftime performance, which is fair because she is always the center of attention!

My mom gave me a super thoughtful and fun present – she bought the game Guess Who and replaced all of the cards and characters with faces of the cast of Gilmore Girls! How fun and creative! We played a couple of games and it was so clever.

The next day, I got to continue celebrating my birthday because Zeb was finally home. Rather than a gift, he scheduled a manicure, pedicure and massage for me. It was at a Boise day spa that I had not tried before called Perpetuity. I enjoyed a relaxing spa day and loved the new colors I picked out for my nails and toes, and especially the massage. I think this is only the third massage I’ve ever had and it was heavenly! I got home just in time though because while I was driving in full sunshine, all of a sudden snow was just dumping down for the next couple of hours! We couldn’t believe how much snow came down in such a short time, but none of it stuck to play with. It looked beautiful in the backyard though!

We met my parents at a new-to-me restaurant in downtown Boise called Coa de Jima. The interior is so unique and interesting, I’m really glad we tried it! The bar has a giant floor-to-ceiling metal tree sculpture right in it, and there’s one booth that looks like you’re in an enormous wall-papered egg. The door to the bathroom is hidden within a 9-foot picture frame.

Zeb and I shared a dinner platter for two with all of their different meats and fajita toppings – steak, chicken, prawns, lobster, and charred poblanos. I also got a spicy jalapeno pineapple margarita. Everything was so delicious! They brought a complimentary scoop of mocha almond fudge ice cream that we all shared but saved room for some pretty birthday cake my parents had picked up.

Brynnley showed off her brand new dance moves to cap off a great night. The milestone birthday I dreaded is come and gone, and we are onto another exciting birthday this week…….Brynnley’s FIRST! Tomorrow! 💗

Hosting Thanksgiving (I’m still here!)

So that was quite a hiatus…I’ll admit that blogging is not a priority among the senior year scramble. Honestly I haven’t even read some of my favorite blogs in months! (PBFingers and Simply Taralynn withdrawals.)

The semester wraps up in about a week and that little light at the end of the tunnel has me fired up to get back to HOBBIES like reading that stack of books I bought over the summer, trying some of the recipes I pinned, and maybe even updating this little site here and there :) I’m honestly surprised to see that so many of you stuck around during my drought of posting. I missed you!

Back to normal, I’ll recap my *healthified* Thanksgiving. We deviated from tradition this year….my parents came to ME. For my first three years of college, I took the overnight train home for Thanksgiving two weeks before finals. It was always a little hectic and rushed. My new apartment this year is comfortable enough to have guests over (I feel so grown up!) so I invited my parents and Missy to spend the holiday weekend with me.

Before they arrived, I tried to make the apartment as festive as possible. I have an addiction to candles, so I started saving the empty glasses to refill with tea lights and festive fillers. Yay for recycling!

Thanksgiving 2014 decoration collage

I was CONVINCED that I would cook the entire Thanksgiving meal all by myself…….until I realized (or someone pointed out to me) that in order to cook a turkey, one must use their hands to remove the giblets and guts from the inside.

Well that’s not happening.

Next option?

A pre-cooked ham ;) glad we can be flexible! Our meal was rounded out with my lightened-up sweet potato casserole (no marshmallows allowed), roasted broccoli and brussels, and a corn bread stuffing that my parents brought.

Thanksgiving 2014 Dinner

Thanksgiving 2014 TableI’ll admit it isn’t as impressive-looking as last year’s Thanksgiving, but for a first attempt I’d say not bad :) Most important part was spending the day with my family! Aside from a malfunctioning can-opener, we avoided any major catastrophes. What more can you ask for.

I have to say, I was most proud of my bartending skills. I’ve discovered the simple perfection that is sangria this year. An apple cranberry sangria was a perfect afternoon cocktail for my mom and I, but I knew my dad wouldn’t be so appreciative of fruity wine to go with his football game. My mason jars were perfect for the “Fire Jolly Rancher” – sparkling apple cider with Fireball whiskey, over ice sprinkled with brown sugar. It’s a sipper!

Thanksgiving 2014 Cocktails

The night was rounded out by homemade praline pumpkin pie (and coffee, duh) with a good ole’ family movie night.

Obviously we couldn’t be sedentary too long after THAT meal so we took to the trails the next day for a hike in the gorgeous fall weather. I love that my family is as happy going on outdoor explorations as I am. Black Friday has nothing on these views:

Thanksgiving 2014 Sedona

Thanksgiving 2014 Devils Bridge

Hosting Thanksgiving was so much fun, I felt like I was playing “housewife” ;) Until reality kicked in that I have three final presentations, two research papers, and a couple finals exams in these last 7 days of school. But I missed this little online scrapbook. I’ve had so many workouts, recipes, adventures and stories that I’ve “wanted to post” and didn’t have the time. Hopefully I can play catch up over the coming winter break!

So I can’t promise that I’m back with the usual posts, but I can promise that I’m not done forever (though I thought I was for a bit.) And you know I have no shortage of cute Missy pictures: Thanksgiving 2014 MissyAs if there are any that aren’t cute… ;)

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