Friday, July 20, 2018


This birthday was one for the books.

Throughout the beginning of July, I would send John messages of places I would like to go for my birthday. It ranged from going to the zoo, Shake Shack, coffee, and taking Layla and Penny to PetSmart to pick out dog toys. With that list, he planned my entire birthday day, which just happened to fall on a Saturday (July 14th). He also knew I wanted to get up really early (well, early for me) to start the day. So he started planning.

We woke up between 5:30am-5:45am, got ready, and went downstairs to open presents! I wasn't told ahead of time where we were going. I was just told we needed to leave the house by 7:00am. John took into account that we wouldn't leave on time, but little did he know, this was the first time we would actually get out of the house on time. We ended up going to the library to drop off some movies to kill time before we had to head to our first location.

To make sure I wouldn't know where we were going ahead of time, John would text me addresses. I copied and pasted them into Waze and off we would go. He did a trial and error first to make sure it would work because he didn't want it to end up showing the name of the locations.
SHIRT | SHORTS | SANDALSFIRST STOP: Half and Half. Since I talked about getting a lot of drinks at brunch in this post, I wanted to share with y'all what all drinks we got at Half and Half. I had a beermosa, which was made with The Old Bakery Beer Company's Hibiscus Tart and champagne. {SIDE STORY: Last year for my birthday, my parents, John, and I went to Old Bakery Beer for blackout bingo and that's where I first tried Hibiscus Tart. It was my absolute favorite! I think I ended up having 5 or 6 of them by the end of the night.} I also had a vanilla latte. John had their drip coffee, and we also tried there regular coffee plus water. To eat, I tried their weekend special sandwich, which was good but.. John had the Chorizo and Guacamole Eggs Benedict. Let me just tell you, it was life changing. I cooked chorizo once and have hated it since. That is, until I had this dish. John won brunch!
SECOND STOP: Comet Coffee. John took me here for a to-go coffee to take to our next location. This place is very local friendly meaning they source majority of everything, if not everything, from local vendors. I got the caramel latte, and John got the vanilla latte. The caramel latte was honestly one of the best I've ever had. It was the perfect amount of sweet, creamy, and coffee!
THIRD STOP: St. Louis Zoo. I loved my entire day, but the zoo is probably my highlight, especially because I got to spend it with John. He's not a huge fan of going to the zoo, but I think he even had more fun than he thought with the crowd and heat. You just can't beat free and animals. The only two animals we missed were the polar bear and grizzly bear. By the time we got to their area, it was bloody boiling out there, so I'm sure they were inside cooling off and snacking. There is just something about the zoo that makes me so happy. *cue more animal pictures*
FOURTH STOP: Blues City Deli. I've already ranted and raved about this place in this post, so I want go through it again. Just know that this time surely did not disappoint. I went small this time since I was still full from breakfast and coffee. I had my usual roast beef with mayo and provolone only. John tried their St. Louis Primo. He really liked it but said he still loves his 7th Street Sicilian better. I actually couldn't eat all of my sandwich and had to take 1/2 of it with me. Come Monday, I was so glad I didn't! Leftovers for the win!
FIFTH STOP: The Side Project Cellar. One of the places I wanted to go on my birthday was to a brewery to have a flight like we did last year for my birthday. John chose The Side Project brewery because their beer is aged in barrels, which is some of my favorite kind of beer. The beer was good and different! Just a heads up.. They do not do flights. They only do half pours.

SIXTH STOP: River City Casino. Oh the casino. One of my favorite things to do. This was our first time to go to this casino, and it was great. We definitely didn't win big, but I did get a "free" t-shirt. While we were here, the bottom fell out of the sky. We were supposed to leave the casino at 6:00pm, so we could make it to our next stop. When we walked outside, it looked like we were in the middle of a tropical storm. I had a choice. We could skip the next spot that we had a time crunch on (which I later found out was to go see Ocean's 8), or we could stay at the casino and wait out the rain and go to another spot. I decided to wait it out a.) it was hellaciously raining b.) my stomach started hurting from all of the indulging and c.) I still hadn't won my "free" t-shirt yet. I am quite glad we stayed because I would've missed out on the next spot, and it was fantastic! Also, the valet drivers were phenomenal here! They are the absolute nicest people!
SEVENTH STOP: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. The best frozen custard I've ever had. This was mine and John's first time to Ted Drewes. We were so lucky and didn't have to wait in line. I think that might be a staple though when you go to Ted Drewes. Oh well. I got the Heath Bar custard, which was vanilla custard and heath bar. John got the Turtle, and I must say, mine was much better! I think the hot fudge kind of threw off the flavor of John's.

EIGHTH STOP: Home. After Ted Drewes, we had to run home and take care of the girls. They needed their dinner and to use the bathroom. We debated on going to our next stop because of my stomach, but I rallied. I took all of the medicine I could possibly think of because I wasn't going to miss out on my last stop! I mean, it was my birthday after all.
NINTH STOP: Mazzios. Some of my favorite, non-gourmet yet gourmet priced pizza and the world's best ranch. Seriously, if it were closer to our house, I would just go get their ranch once a week to have on hand. Since my stomach was on the fritz, I ended up only getting the cheese dippers, but honestly, I almost prefer their cheese dippers over pizza. John did get a pizza though, which I have been eating for lunch this week, but my go-to is 100% the cheese dippers and ranch. Their salad bar is amazing as well. They also have Ski on fountain! Say wha?!
I had the most perfect day full of the things I love with the man I love the most! John did such an amazing job planning this day, and I now might have to request this every year! I mean he said he had fun planning it, so I'm sure he won't mind. Next year is my 30th birthday, so he's definitely got some planning to do for that. For his 30th birthday, I took him to London for the Olympics. Just sayin'.. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I Want To Be A Bruncher

Brunch. The most amazing time of the day where you get beautiful plates of food, endless drinks, and chats you will remember forever.

Well, not for this girl, at least not yet. I'm still new to the brunching scene, but I just can't seem to get the hang of it.

I have only had one successful brunch and that was the jazz brunch at Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans! It was buffet style, so I got to try everything I wanted. The atmosphere was incredible, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend you trying it. TIP: Make reservations ahead of time because they fill up fast.

First Problem: What to wear. Do I try to go full glam or like I just rolled in from the club and effortlessly put this top knot and minimal makeup look together? I'm definitely not a full glam girl but trying to look effortless takes a lot of damn effort. I, then, just end up looking like a hot mess that didn't really just roll in from the club but who actually went to bed at a decent time and had plenty of time to get ready this morning yet still look like a big toe for brunch.

Second Problem: Mimosas. I have yet to find bottomless mimosas. Does this even exist? I usually find the "that'll be $10 for one" mimosas. Having just one mimosa at brunch is practically unheard of. I want like 5. I woke up, got dressed, and came all the way over here to get hair of the dog, and I don't want to spend $50 on just my mimosas. 

Third Problem: Bloody Marys. Bloody Marys look absolutely divine! Their presentation always look impeccable. The olives, pickled okra, bacon, seasoning, vodka.. give it all to me. Just not the cold tomatoe juice. I think that's the only hangup I have with Bloodys (Am I allowed to call them that if I don't actually drink them? I feel like that's only for regular consumers.). I've tried probably 10 different kinds, and the tomatoe juice gets me every time. It works out for John though. I normally make it through a 1/4 of it then give the rest to him. He loves them! The spicier, the better.

Fourth Problem: What to order. When I go to brunch, I don't know what to order. I like breakfast food, but lunch food is my jam. So do I get breakfast or lunch? Should I try a combo of both? When I go to brunch, I treat it like I will never be back, which is how I treat every vacation I go on. I want to do everything and try everything just in case I will never be back. I don't want to miss out on anything or regret not trying something. I understand that a local restaurant is a tad different and that explanation is a bit dramatic for a restaurant, but brunch has a small window of opportunity that I can make it to. I want to try something sweet, something salty, and appetizers. But it goes back to, do I want breakfast food or lunch food?

Fifth Problem: The price. I have yet to make it out of brunch for under $75. It's just me and John. What in the hell did we order? And why am I still hungry? To be fair, we are a drink family. We will order coffee, a smoothie, a mimosa, and a Bloody Mary.

If you have any brunch tips for me or places I should try in St. Louis, please let me know! I'm going to master this whether my credit card and husband are ready for it or not.