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How I Spent My Golden Birthday

At first, I was a little nervous about turning 29 cause, hello, 30 is two seconds away. But all that talk about feeling more comfortable with who you are the closer you get to 30 was definitely true for me. It's mostly about developing that IDGAF attitude about the small stuff. So I celebrated the kick-off to the last year of my 20s with my favorite things and people. 

This was the golden birthday that people born earlier in their birthday month don't get to make a big deal about. But girrrrl I was gonna make turning 29 on September 29th fun as hell. 

I technically started earlier in the week by stopping at Momni Boutique in Murray Hill to start my new goal of being a little more adventurous with my already eclectic wardrobe. The birthday gods obviously knew what was up cause Momni was having a HUGE moving sale. An entire wall was at least 50% off. So yeah. I spoiled myself a bit. I wore this white, casual blazer on my birthday and mixed it with pieces I already had: jeans from Express, a tank from The Copper Closet and my favorite heels from Target.

Now, the queen's birthday. September 29th is also National Coffee Day; something this Colombiana coffee addict gets hella excited about. I stopped at my neighborhood coffee shop Social Grounds on the way to the station to order my current obsession -- a lavender latte with coconut milk made by Katie, the sweetest barista.

Your birthday is a good reason to look and feel as close to Beyonce as you can. So I took my lunch break at Rio Hair Studio

Misty, the owner, has curly hair too so I knew she was gonna GET IT, ya know? She gave me a trim, a little reshaping and the smoothest blowout with a boar bristle brush. I don't know how I'm just now learning about it, but that brush is a game changer. 

Catalina bday - hair

Friday was lit and I have no photographic evidence appropriate for this blog. A few girlfriends and I met at Metro Entertainment Complex for the roast of our favorite Jax drag queen, Bebe Deluxe. It was her birthday, too! One queen danced pretty sexual with a slice of pizza and I couldn't stop laughing. We had too much fun. Thanks to Clarence the Bartender for feeding me nonstop gin and tonics. 

Saturday was a little more low key with my boyfriend and some of our closest friends meeting for brunch at Restaurant Orsay. My green polka dot circle skirt was Momni (it had POCKETS) and boho yellow top was Target.

Catalina bday - orsay

Orsay is unlike anything else you'll find in Jacksonville. It's my favorite place for special occasions -- like a girl's golden birthday. The food is French and the vibe is upscale but casual enough to not feel uncomfortably boujee. I'm not a decent food photographer so I'll just tell you what I had: house-made Bloody Mary (extra spicy, always) and the quiche du jour that had mushrooms, gruyere cheese and everything I've dreamed of. Our server Eric brought out a birthday creme brulee but he added "a crown" of vanilla chai macarons. Sweet touch, Eric. I'll always love you for that.

Catalina bday - orsay before

Now, my boyfriend Andrew does not like desserts. He even admitted to me this weekend he thinks watermelon is too sweet! I don't get it. But my dear Andrew insists on taking the first bite of almost everything I order. Even my desserts. 

Exhibit A:

Catalina bday - orsay after

I mean, he gets points for putting it back I guess. 

Sunday was family day. There's a small army of us that includes my middle brother's three kids so it's impossible to take a group picture. Anyway, they picked to celebrate the favorite child at Salento, a Colombian steakhouse. My mom is Colombian so it's always cute to see her get excited about eating the food she grew up on. 

We. Went. IN. at Salento. The table was packed with arepas de choclo con queso, three different types of empanadas and a couple pitchers of refajo. Our main entree was a bin full of meat for the table. I'm not joking. 

Catalina bday - Salento

The Salento House entree was clearly overflowing with steak, chicken, pork rind, chorizo, morcilla, chicharron, grilled pineapple, arepas and platanos maduros. Introducing my niece and nephews to the most delicious part of their heritage was my favorite part. After the tres leches dessert, I had everything I needed to end my golden birthday weekend with cozy couch time with Andrew.

Thank you to all the birthday wishes. Twenty-nine feels pretty damn good so far. And now my mouth is watering cause I just remembered I still have Salento leftovers at home.

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