Love Actually *is* All Around…

I’m not much of a birthday person. Well, when it comes to my own birthday, that is. I actually really enjoy celebrating and planning other people’s birthdays, but when it comes time for mine I’m never overly giddy with excitement. I, of course, always feel blessed that another year has passed and I’ve survived with a limited number of bumps and bruises, but other than that, the gifts and the attention, normally kinda bug me out a bit. I feel like this year, things have changed though. I’ve realized that the gifts can pinpoint just how well someone knows me, the things my friends and family do for me show how much they “get” me, and the phone calls, emails, and texts from people who I don’t talk to on a daily basis prove that, well, love actually is all around. Side-note: Love Actually is one of my favorite movies, the airport scene in the beginning gets me every time!

Backtracking a bit: The past two weeks have been a complete love-fest. Sues mentioned last week that a few of the girls took me to an early birthday brunch at Eastern Standard then we went back to her place for cupcakes and sangria. My friends gave me some early birthday gifts and I said I was going to attempt to wait a full week until my actual birthday to open them. Apparently I turned 5 and not 27 because I, obviously, couldn’t wait to open them πŸ˜‰

My friend Libby got me these stunning gold-leafed plates from Olivia Browning, a boutique in Charlestown, Mass. The following day, I emailed her to say thank you and she wrote back “I hope they photograph well”. And I melted. I love the fact that she considered the blog when picking out my gift πŸ™‚


My friend, Erin, bought me this apron that could NOT be more me. Chartreuse and white, little pleats, and extreme details. I can’t wait to prance around the kitchen wearing this although I’m almost tempted to sew a back on so I can wear it as a dress. πŸ˜‰



My best friend and basically my second sister, Katie, is taking me on a Newbury Street spaaaaaaaa day this Saturday to get a massage at BellaSante and a pedicure at MiniLuxe, which involves the scent of creamsicle. She knows me so well and definitely spoils me! She also gave me an Obama candle that smells like heaven. I brought it to my parent’s house so my mom could smell it… this is how the conversation went:

Me: Mom, smell this candle that Kate bought me. It smells just like a maaaan!
Mom: So it smells like body odor?
Me: Ummm? No. It smells like a showered man.


Kate also bought me WHITE TRUFFLE HONEY (drool!) while she was in California. It’s from LuLu, a restaurant in San Fran, where I actually think I had brunch last year. Again, because I’m 5, I’ve already stuck my finger in the jar multiple times. Delicious. It says it’s good for cheese plates or cured meats. I’m attempting to save this for a dinner party so I can share… but we’ll see how that goes. Check out the rest of Restaurant Lulu’s gourmet treats!


Speaking of San Fran, this man, my best buddy, Corey, came home for a quick visit last weekend! My goal is to attempt to kidnap him so he moves back home, but I also think if he’s going to not live in New England, the only place I deem acceptable for him to reside is San Francisco so I can visit whenever I want πŸ™‚ That city has stolen my heart.


More love-fest 2010: I went to NYC this weekend for my cousin Natalie’s wedding. She and her new husband, Mark, are hands down one of the cutest couples I’ve ever witnessed. I got a sneak peak of the bride before the wedding started and I actually started crying when I saw her. She looked gorgeous and her happiness was so evident. I feel like anyone who has a love like theirs should consider themselves very lucky.


And speaking of cuteness and things stealing my heart, one of my most favorite little cousins, the one and only Miss B…


How is it fair that one child can be so adorable, fun, and just an overall good kid?????


Me and the sister with our lovely (and adorable!) grandmother πŸ™‚


Cousins (and the groom’s mom! hehe)


Saturday night my uncle took me and my sister out for a birthday dinner. My sister’s bday is August 10th and mine is the 22nd. My brother’s is actually September 1st and I will forever be “mad” at him for not being born a day early so we could all have August bdays. hmph! Anywho, we were all craving some bbq so naturally we went to Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem. The wait was forever but it was entirely worth it.

This is my “I’m so excited for BBQ” jig. Don’t you have a dance, too? πŸ˜‰


I didn’t even take any pictures of the food because it was devoured so quickly. I may or may not have been shaking by the time the food arrived. But there were drinks of blueberry beer, appetizers of deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes, chicken wings, and shrimp, and ribs galore, mac and cheese, simmered greens, beans, coleslaw and honey hush cornbread. We rolled out of the restaurant when we were done. Well worth it πŸ™‚


One of my all time favorite quotes is “Surround yourself with only people who will lift you higher”. That is completely what I intend to do this 27th year of my life. I think I’m off to a darn good start, too. I feel like for the first time ever, the people who are in my life are the people who should be in my life.

What bits of advice or wisdom have you recognized as you’ve grown up?


23 Responses to "Love Actually *is* All Around…"

  1. Emily @ The Happy Home says:

    you’ve inspired me to set the same goal… starting this december at the big 2-5. i’ve always tried to rid my life of toxic people, but now is DEFINITELY the time to do it! life’s hard enough–sheesh.

    that truffle honey is calling my name. and “truffle honey” is officially becoming a new pet name for either a dog or the boyfriend, whether he likes it or not.

  2. KB says:

    love this post and am stealing your quote – love it! πŸ™‚

  3. Pooja says:

    One of the big things that I have come to make a part of my life is to surround myself with positive people who make me feel happy about life! I think that is what you were trying to say as well. It is a great way to have a life without negativity and can do wonders for how you feel/act/are on a daily basis!

    Oh and Love Actually is the movie I go to if I am ever in need of happiness or in the need of the holidays that do not get here fast enough πŸ™‚

    Love + Holidays = Happiness!

  4. Erica says:

    awwww! Glad your birthday was so wonderful and that you have so many incredible people in your life. Love this dress too! My grandfather taught me to really slow down and enjoy the moment πŸ™‚

  5. Desiree says:

    why do all the posts make me cry!?!? Because I’m a big baby I guess. Your gifts are so cute:) and I love LOVE how Libby wondered if it photographed well!!!

  6. Belated happy birthday! Love Actually is my all time favorite movie – and yes, I cry EVERY TIME I see it πŸ™‚ Reading this post brought a little sunshine to an otherwise dreary day! One of my favorite words of wisdom is from Oprah. She said, “Instead of focusing on the things you do not have, focus instead on the things you do have.” It reminds me to be grateful and realize that I always have reasons to smile and be happy πŸ™‚

  7. Annie says:

    Happy belated birthday, Chels! Looks like you had a wonderful day. My birthday was the day before yours – so hurrah for August babies!

  8. Daisy says:

    Hi Chels! You radiate happiness in this post, so clearly it was a very happy birthday! I love your quote at the end regarding how you will live year 27.

    PS Such a great sense of style you have. Cute dress & necklace at the wedding, and scarf and vest at the bday dinner.

  9. genesis says:

    i wish i had the same humility as you…i make such a big deal about my birthday and draw it out for as long as i can get away

    you got great presents, and i dont blame ya for wanting to sew that apron into a dress. it really is cute….and i love your mom’s response…odor?!

  10. Yay, that’s a lot of love for sure. I have that same apron and LOVE it and those bowls are adorable. I love birthdays. Adam’s is on Wednesday and I’ve been giddy for weeks.

  11. Simply Life says:

    Happy Birthday! I LOVE that apron!!!

  12. emily says:

    Glad you had such a great bday! Love love love that green apron…so cute.

    Your yellow shirt and scarf are adorable as well. πŸ™‚

    I think I have realized that every experience in life has a purpose in helping me develop character…and that sometimes experiences in life happen because they are meant to benefit someone else, not me.

  13. Kelly Alesso says:

    Gorgeous. Happy, happy birthday. I have similar opinions about my own birthday. It also sounds like you have fantastic friends because all those gifts are gorgeous. I too love that she thought about how the plates would photograph.

    Also, I’m in the run for a recipe contest and would love, love, love your support. All you have to do is click that you β€œlike” my video. Thanks!

  14. Sharlene says:

    Love Actually is one of my favorite movies too!! And happy belated birthday. It looks like you’ve had an eventful and wonderful couple of weeks. As I’ve grown up I’ve definitely learned the importance of clothes that fit like they were made for you and only you, how a homemade cake really goes a long way, and that brand new shoes will fix just about everything (but that last one I think I knew a long long time ago).

  15. Michelle says:

    Happy Birthday! I’m prepping for a birthday dinner tomorrow for one of my oldest friends (from Tewksbury) who lives in SF but is in town visiting. Aren’t birthdays wonderful when you get to spend it with the ones you love?

  16. Happy birthday! Those are some wonderful gifts. And your cousin’s wedding sounds like it was a lot of fun!

  17. Joanne says:

    Awww happy birthday lady! I love your birthday goal for the new year. It’s so important to figure out who is important and just rid yourself of everyone else. Sounds like you’ve got a pretty great group of friends to hold onto!

  18. This is such a lovely post! Happy birthday πŸ™‚

  19. Melissa says:

    Happy birthday Chels!

  20. Julie Q says:

    Omg your birthday post made me smile so much!! My number 1 wish would be to go to Dino BBQ on my birthday (used to have that luxury all the time when i lived in Rochester!) What fun birthday treats for the best lady ever!

  21. Susan says:

    I’m so glad you had a great birthday. It’s so surprise that you have that many people in your life that care about you so much – and are so thoughtful!

  22. Bridget says:

    Looks like a perfect birthday week (or 2)!! Hope you had a blast! Sounds like you have an amazing group of friends πŸ™‚ I too have consired making an apron into a dress, some are so cute! Love the gold dishes and that honey sounds amazing.

  23. Katie says:

    awww, i love this post!! so cute! can’t wait to continue the b-day celebration!

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