a {birth}day in life.

Birthdays are always special days, but yesterday was easily one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. Last year I made the mistake of doing absolutely nothing special for my birthday (with the exception of a small dinner with my friends), so this year I made sure to pack all of my favorite things into one day.

Every Wednesday we have our 7am girls’ Community Group, which there was no way I was going to miss! So the girls and I met up at a diner for coffee and fellowship. Such a great way to start the first morning of a new year.

Afterward I headed to Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast and a little bit of work. I got the frittata special (kale, mushrooms, onions & cheddar) and an almond milk latte.

Then I headed downtown for some retail therapy. I actually didn’t do as much damage as I thought ;) I got a kimono + neon clutch from Necessary Clothing, nude heels + some jewelry from Top Shop.

Around noon I headed to Exhale Spa in the Gansevoort hotel. A few weeks ago I got an email with a 50% birthday discount for a massage there (score), so I figured my actual birthday would be the perfect time to use it. It turned out to be thee best massage I’ve ever gotten.

Can you tell how relaxed I am in this post-massage selfie? ha.

After my massage I got my nails done, then I headed home and made myself lunch/relaxed for a few hours.

Then, it was time to get ready for the night out! I really wanted to wear something fun/colorful buuuut all black everything won again.

Then I headed to Harding’s for dinner with a handful of my closest friends. They gave us the whole back room to ourselves, which was so special! The food was incredible – Jessi and I split the lobster mac’n cheese, veal + ricotta meatballs, and a pear endive salad.

And for dessert – my mini birthday cake :D

After dinner we all headed out to the bar area, where about 30 more of my friends joined to celebrate. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better night.

Afterward a few of us headed to Electric Room for a bit before the 7am wakeup hit me (hard) and I headed home.

Today has been pretty busy getting caught up with work + heading to PA to spend a few days with my family. I’m excited to continue the birthday celebration with them!


How do you like spending your birthday? Do you like having a party, or keeping it more low key?


twenty eight {lessons learned}.

If you follow me on social media you proooobably saw that yesterday was my birthday!

I had such an amazing day from start to finish. After my 7am girls’ community group, I had the perfect “me” day – breakfast, a massage, nails, and maybe some shopping thrown in there ;) And then a dinner + birthday party at night.

I can already tell that twenty-eight is going to be an amazing year. I’ll be honest – for the first time in my life, that number scares me just a little. Not because I don’t like getting older, and not even because I’m not where I thought I’d be, but because I just don’t FEEL how I thought I’d feel at 28. It’s weird…I can’t really explain it. I feel like I hit my “true self” age at 26, and like I’ll almost feel that way forever…? I dunno. I’m rambling.

Anyway, I thought today would be a good chance to reflect on some lessons I’ve learned lately – especially over the past year. So here they are, in no particular order.

* Start your day with prayer, meditation…whatever you want to call it. It’s a habit that will change your life.

* Have at least one full day a week where you don’t go on the computer.

* The best way to start a new friendship/relationship of any sort is to form an inside joke. Don’t force it, though.

* Nine times out of ten, more sleep is the answer.

* Partner with others. It will get you a lot further than doing it alone.

* Closure doesn’t come from anyone else. You have the strength, ability, and control to get it for yourself.

* Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

* Never “save” a good outfit (girls, you know what I’m talking about). It won’t look/feel as good next time. And who says you can’t wear it again?

* Start conversations with strangers. It’s getting more and more difficult now with social media, which is all the more reason to do it.

* Pay close attention to the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning, and the last thing you think of when you go to sleep.

* Don’t let the status of your goals dictate your happiness.

* If you want to change something about yourself, start thinking and acting like that person. Never get too set in your ways to break bad/unhealthy habits.

* If you’re scared to say something to someone, you should probably say it.

* As cliche as it is…find what makes you happy. Do those things.

* Budgeting. Do it! With your finances and your time.

* Put your phone down when out to dinner. Yes…the entire time.

* Being self-aware and socially aware are some of the most important traits a person can have.

* If not 100% sure, don’t commit to plans right away. It’s better to say you’ll get back to someone than to commit and cancel.

* A cupcake won’t kill you. Skipping a workout won’t kill you. Stressing over trivial things like that just might.

* When you see something that would be a good gift, write it down. You never remember those things when it comes time to actually get a gift.

* Be a good listener. That includes asking questions.

* Know your truths. Live accordingly.

* Never change who you are to get someone to like/love you.

* It is not normal to feel anxious or stressed all the time. Or ever, for that matter.

* Always look when exiting a door to see if anyone is behind you. Hold door accordingly.

* Unless you have a definite reason not to, always give people the benefit of the doubt.

* Girls – be on each others’ team.

* Be honest with yourself about what you want out of life – your career, relationships, etc. Don’t let other people write your story for you.


Which of those lessons do you agree with most? 

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes + being so supportive of me over the past 5+ years of blogging, I love each and every one of you! xo

eats & moves.

Poor little GML gets so neglected when I’ve had a busy week. These past 7+ days have definitely been that, as I was out of town last weekend for Devoted Conference, then came back and began a work transition. Will explain that more later. All good (great!) things, for sure. And then of course after a long day, my evening of choice looks less like blogging and more like curling up in a ball watching Scandal. Finally made it to season 4, like a boss.

ANYWAY. Excuses done. Here’s an old school healthy living blog post – recapping some of my meals + workouts from the past week or so.

Weekly Workout Recap | GirlMeetsLife.com

Sunday March 1 – off
Monday March 2 – 30 minutes Stair Master + 15 minutes strength training
Tuesday March 3 – 45 minute Peloton spin class
Wednesday March 4 – 45 minute SoulCycle class
Thursday March 5 – off
Friday March 6 – off
Saturday March 7 – off
Sunday March 8 – off
Monday March 9 – 45 minute BFX spin class
Tuesday March 10 – 45 minute SoulCycle class
Wednesday March 11 – off (sick)
Thursday March 12 – off (sick)
Friday March 13 – off (sick)
Saturday March 14 – 45 minute SoulCycle class

Clearly there has been more “off” days than not, but life happens. And getting sick happens (ugh). Thankfully I think I nipped that in the bud before it got any worse, thanks to lots of water, cold medicine, and Juice Press Ginger Fireball.

As for the eats front, it’s looked a bit like…


1) Chick fil A, which we may have gotten more than once while away last weekend.

2) Lightened Up Bang Bang Shrimp via How Sweet Eats. Jessica’s recipes are always incredible, and this one did not disappoint!

3) Easy Chickpea & Vegetable Curry over quinoa. I’ve never made anything like this before, and it turned out SO good. I’m definitely going to be making it again.

4) A big ol’ kale salad with grilled chicken. I joked on Instagram about not liking kale, which is generally true, but this salad was actually pretty bomb.

5) One of my favorite breakfast/brunch meals – the Brooke’s Breakfast Bowl from St. Balmain.

6) Still on that pancake kick. Gluten free jumbo banana pancake topped with Justin’s HONEY almond butter. Swoon.


How was your week? Any highlights?