How To: Have the Best Birthday Ever, Every Year

For those of you who know me or follow my personal social media, you know that I love my birthday. I’m not sure when this started – maybe this love of my birthday was always there? But for me it’s a much more exciting point of rebirth and place of beginning than New Years, as a time of celebration for the past and excitement for what’s to come.

I remember seeing the movie 16 Candles for the first time and being so confused – yes, it was disappointing that her family forgot her birthday, but it’s not like she made any effort to remind them. You have to advocate for yourself in this world! If you want to have a fun birthday, you can’t wait around hoping that someone will plan it out for you – why would you even want to risk it? From an early age I worked on planning fun parties and dinners around my birthday. And in recent years, I’ve involved different groups of friends and family throughout the week to extend the festivities.

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Additionally, since the rise of the Internet, I’ve realized that a number of restaurants and client-focused organizations are equally excited to help you celebrate your birthday for the small price of signing up for their email list. This year, for example, Brueggers Bagels gifted me with a free bagel with cream cheese, Au Bon Pain fed me with a free sandwich, and Tavern in the Square presented me with a complimentary appetizer! I received a few desserts from other restaurants, but desserts really just aren’t my thing, even if they’re free. Other restaurants offer a free entree with the purchase of an entree, but as a currently single lady those deals aren’t quite as easy to take advantage of.

But anyway. I generally don’t like being the center of attention – I don’t need it, nor do I want it – but my birthday is the one time of the year where I feel comfortable saying ‘this is what I want to do. And I’d like you to do it with me’. And it’s as easy as that! I think of the things that make me happy, the things that I’d like to do even if I couldn’t get anyone to join me, and then present it more or less as ‘this is what I’m doing to celebrate my birthday, and it would be more fun if you were here, too’. This year, I did pub trivia, visited a new local brewery, grabbed a quick drink with friends after my barre night for the requisite double bar, and then hopped on a plane to LA to celebrate with my birthday-twin-brother and some friends on the west coast.

You don’t have to go quite as crazy during your special week, but I’d definitely recommend thinking hard about what makes you happy, about what you enjoy, and treating yourself to that. You deserve it! And I’m telling you, getting free shit in your inbox is the closest I’ve come to Santa Claus as an adult.

Dorchester Brewery Yoga

One of the #ktbdayweek activities this year included a yoga class at a local new brewery, Dorchester Brewing Company. I’m very much enjoying all of the local business collaboration we’re seeing more and more often these days, and this event was no exception. Dorchester Brewing is so far doing a great job of integrating and including the community into their new space. A few weeks ago they released a new brew they called Station House 21, a beer here named for the fire station on block away, and the fire fighters all joined for the release party! Every Tuesday, they have a Pups on the Patio event, inviting local dog owners to bring their furriest friends as their dates for the evening. And for the first time, they had a yoga class taught by Mark Taylor.

While the yoga was a little more gentle than I generally enjoy, it was an excellent class overall and Mark uniquely incorporated the beer tasting in the yoga moves. We took a quick break from our positions to grab our tasting glasses before moving back into Warrior II and Reverse Warrior, carefully sipping without spilling as we moved from one to the other. I’d done one brewery yoga class before at Momentum Brewery in Bonita Springs, and excellent as it was, it did not include this unique move!

#Brewery #yoga done right. Thanks for starting #ktbdayweek off right, @dorchesterbrewing! #realwarriorsdrinkbeer

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It looks like Dorchester Brewing is hosting another yoga class next month, and you can bet I’ll be there!

She Geeks Out

When I moved down to Florida without knowing anyone, I spent a few weeks enjoying my alone time and getting settled into work and my new apartment. I soon began to get a little stir crazy, though, and realized I needed to know at least SOME people to talk to and get me out of the house.

I ovaried up (as my man Dan Savage would say) and began attending some of the Naples Young Professionals networking events. It was definitely an out-of-the-comfort-zone activity for me, as making mind-numbing small talk and introducing myself to strangers who seem to already know each other is not necessarily my recipe for the best time ever, but I did it. And whaddaya know, it wasn’t so bad. I made some friends. I must admit I do feel like it may be a little easier to do this in Naples, the land of the Midwestern and Northeastern transplants, than in other cities. It did seem to impress my family and friends back home, though, so I’ll pretend like it was hard and quite an accomplishment.

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