On Life and Birthdays and Blogging

by Valerie on November 1, 2010 · 8 comments

Happy Halloween! I cannot quite believe how quickly October has gone by.

Weekend Oct 045

On blogging:
While this blog is called City|Life|Eats, lately it has been a whole lot of eats and not much else.  Don’t get me wrong, I love talking food with you and I love how much the lunchbox series  has engaged so many of you.  But I miss the days when I  used to blog about stuff I did around Washington (obviously, the City part of the title referred to New York, which is where I was living the first two and a half years I blogged) and life in general.  I wanted to start changing that around my birthday (on October 4), but that was 27 days ago but no time like the present, so….

Birthday Fun

Weekend Oct 044

In the spirit of blogging about life, let’s talk about my birthday.  I did find an upside to my actual birthday turning into a giant scheduling mishap.  Having to cancel one’s day off on one’s birthday is not the end of the world compared to real problems, but it sure sucked at the time, especially since I had lost track of how many weeks of work I had had without a single day off and my birthday was on a Monday after a weekend of work.  And while I am fortunate to rarely work 14 hour workdays, I really do prefer to not work such a day on my birthday which I had scheduled to take off.  But here is the upside: instead of just stretching out my birthday celebration over just October (which is what I usually do seeing as my birthday is on October 4), I am thinking a few more weeks into November too.

So far I have enjoyed indulgent gluten-free vegan meals at Cafe Green (apologies for the dark photographs in the recap) and Firefly (not enough lighting to even attempt photographs).  Both were birthday worthy meals, particularly the veganized seasonal squash and mushroom risotto at Firefly.  After months of low-glycemic eating, it was also nice to splurge on desserts, like the raw brownie at Cafe Green, and even a vegan gluten-free cupcake from Red Velvet – delicious cupcake but way too sweet frosting though.  It was totally the kind of cupcake that reminded me why I limit most sugars usually.  That said, it did stop me pining for a cupcake of the kind I used to eat during the cupcake craze.  And I did prefer the raw brownie to the cupcake. 

As for the rest of the birthday extended celebration, I also plan to spend some time in museums, something I try to do often, never seem to manage, and usually like to do on my birthday. I love how museums are free in Washington, DC. It is such a treat. And I hope to see friends a bit more, as I have not seen anyone as much as I would like.

Birthday shopping and gifts:
My birthday resolution was to shop for some clothes. I know that might sound funny, but I have been putting off getting new clothes until my weight stabilized. I do not think I am at that point yet, but I decided to stop delaying gratification for weekend clothes at léast.  So behold my favorite birthday present to myself:

Knitting Needle Cardigan at Anthropologie

I also picked up my first pair of skinny jeans (at the Gap) to tuck into boots.

And these pants from Banana Republic, also to tuck into boots.  Incidentally both the jeans and these pants go fabulously with the new sweater.

My husband made sure I got my fill of cookbooks and food-related goodies though:

presents 007

Birthday Ice Cream Maker

I am so excited to make low-sugar (using a bit of agave and stevia) or just stevia-sweetened coconut or hemp ice cream at home now.  And since I usually avoid cookies and the like, it was extra-fun to try not one, but two kinds of allergen-friendly cookies. Incidentally, they are super-similar, and I would be shocked if Enjoy Life did not manufacture the Trader Joe’s cookies. I had also been really wanting to try Brad’s Raw Chips, but they are so pricey and since I can make my own chips and crackers in the dehydrator, it is hard to justify on non-birthday occasions.  They are delicious, and I am so trying to replicate some at home.  And in the next months, I absolutely plan to cook several recipes from Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook and The Gluten-Free Vegan

And that is a glimpse into my birthday this year. 27 days after what my husband and I referred to as the “impossible-to-fix-birthday-fiasco” I actually feel pretty happy about it.  As for 32, I feel like I have finally settled into being 30 with less angst.  Feeling in a better health has really helped that. I turned 30 right after a couple of years of health problems and had put on a lot of weight because of steroids for my sinuses and just generally feeling ill and not well enough to work out.  It is nice to feel better (and lighter!) even if I am still dealing with ongoing issues. And who says birthdays have to be celebrated in one day or even one month?

See you tomorrow for a fun lunchbox! 


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) November 1, 2010 at 12:59 am

Right so I am pretty sure we are meant to be best friends. My birthday fell on a Monday- though I did take it off. I did go to anthro and did get a very similar sweater and similar jeans. I am dreaming of an ice cream maker but this year took the juicer. Hmmm. Love the similarities. A scorpio thing maybe?


2 Analiese November 1, 2010 at 1:12 am

Happy birthday! Sounds like it turned out to be a wonderful occasion. I know what you mean about wanting to wait to buy clothes until your weight stabilizes. I'm currently struggling with the same thing! I'm glad you treated yourself…you deserve it. And I love your choices from Anthro! I'm off to read your Cafe Green review!


3 maggiesavage November 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I loved reading this post Valerie! Happy belated birthday too! Love the sweater and especially love the grey skinnies! I didn't know you were only 32. I seriously thought you were maybe more like 42. Isn't that funny?


4 Pure2raw twins November 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Happy birthday!! When I was in DC this past April I wanted to to Cafe Green but it was not open yet ; ( Next time


5 Olivia (Green Junkie Living) November 6, 2010 at 2:02 am

We'll be back in D.C. for a good chunk of December, and I'd love to help you boost that "city" portion if we could get together for an adventure or two. Hope 32 is treating you wonderfully!


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