A New Decade (Birthday Weekend Recap)

Hi everyone! Did you all have fab weekends? Mine was the best I’ve had probably all summer, and as promised, I’ve got a recap of my birthday weekend for ya! (Warning: Plenty of photos ahead!)

Who doesn’t want their own birthday banner?

I woke up on Friday to this–my mom taped it up there while I was asleep, how sweet is that?! My morning continued with an unpictured homemade chocolate chip oat flour waffle topped with fresh raspberries and chocolate protein frosting.

I love having a summer birthday because I can always wear a cute dress on my big day!

Most of the morning and afternoon were low-key. My mom and I stopped at the store to pick up a few things she needed and then we headed downtown for a special Olympics event they were holding. We got there around 4, which was when it was supposed to start, but not much was going on when we first got there. There were some cool things set up, like a giant trampoline, BMX ramps, a mini tennis court and a synthetic ice rink but no one was really doing anything. We did end up getting on TV though–one of the guys I know from my TV internship saw us and he interviewed my mom! And I also got some free Starbucks (unsweetened iced coffee) so it was worth it.

Whole Foods cold bar dinner: jicama apple quinoa salad, sweet potato/pepper/currant salad, marinated artichokes, zucchini pickles, chipotle orange tofu, curried potatoes and Korean slaw.

For my birthday dinner, I chose the Whole Foods salad bars! I am obsessed with the one near me, they always have the best stuff and they change it a lot so I can always get something new. My mom got some of the Mexican things they had, I got a random mish-mash of cold salads and my dad got a seafood sandwich (my sister was at her rehearsal for the theatre camp she’s at, so she missed out on the WF fun). Oh, and we of course watched the Olympic opening ceremonies! The best part is watching all the countries come in and making fun of their outfits.

My first birthday cake in a couple years! Totally vegan, and totally yummy!

I’m usually not a huge fan of cake. I’ll eat it if it’s a really interesting flavor, but I definitely prefer giant warm cookies or vegan ice cream for desserts. In fact, the last couple of years for my birthday, I’ve requested gelato instead of cake. But this year, I was super excited to try one of Whole Foods’ vegan cakes. I was planning on getting a slice of raw cheesecake but (full disclosure) the fat and calorie content kinda freaked me out. I loved how simple the ingredients were (cashews, coconut oil, raw chocolate) but I ended up with a slice of their vegan chocolate raspberry cake. And I was not disappointed at all! I split this giant square with my dad, who also loved it. With most cakes, I scrape the frosting off immediately because I’ve never been a fan. But this vegan frosting was so rich and delicious that I couldn’t skip it.

My special birthday nails (that match my laptop!)

Saturday wasn’t too exciting. I had work in the afternoon, but after dinner, my dad and I watched The Descendants. George Clooney and Shailene Woodley were perfect in it and it was a really great movie. Funny in some parts, and super sad in others. Plus it made me realize that I need to move to Hawaii!

Ready for a day of shopping!

Sunday was the day I was really looking forward to. I decided to forgo birthday presents in favor of a parent-funded shopping spree in Denver. I live for shopping, seriously! I just love looking through all the stores I love, laughing at some of the weirder items and finding the perfect outfits. We started out at the Pavilions at the 16th Street Mall and hit up H&M and Forever 21. Both of those stores are HUGE at that location so it can be kinda hard to find something you want to buy, but it’s still super fun. And I bought my first-ever item at H&M!

From top to bottom: navy lace tee (Hollister), pink printed tank dress (Forever 21), colorblock skirt (F21), navy bow leather flip-flops (HCo.)

I love long necklaces: pink heart pendant (Forever 21), jeweled parrot pendant (ALDO Accessories).

We also went to my favorite mall on the south side of Denver. My sister and I ventured off on our own and ended up going to a bunch of stores: Hollister, American Eagle, ALDO Accessories, Bath & Body Works and Abercrombie & Fitch. It sucked though because it was a Sunday, and we got to the mall around 4:30…and all the stores started closing at 6. We got to Abercrombie as soon as they were closing, so we had to rush around trying to find something to buy and I left the store empty-handed. We’ve never gone up there on a Sunday, so it was weird being kicked out of the stores so early, but we’ll know better next time.

I feel so French in this dress: light pink/black striped T-shirt dress (H&M).

Cute in stripes: orange/navy striped cropped tee (Hollister).

Apparently I love orange: strapless orange dress (Hollister).

Garbanzo is one of my fave places to go! I ordered a plate with falafel, tabbouleh, cilantro sauce, grilled eggplant, lettuce, red cabbage and hummus.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go to the vegetarian restaurant because it was a little pricey but I’m planning a visit to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in my college town sometime soon. We did go to Garbanzo, though, which I could eat at every week. They have a lot of vegan options too which I love and everything there is so fresh and pretty cheap. Their tabbouleh and hummus are my favorite of any Mediterranean place I’ve been to!

So that’s pretty much my entire birthday weekend. I had such a fun time, treated myself a few times and did some major shopping. I couldn’t have asked for a better 20th birthday!

What did you do for your last birthday? What do you like for your birthday dessert?

25 thoughts on “A New Decade (Birthday Weekend Recap)

  1. Sounds lika you’ve had an awesome birthday weekend,Ashely,I am so glad! 🙂
    I LOVE that pink/black striped dress you got from H&M,it looks SO adorable and cute and aaah! I want it. Plus,the parrot pendant is super cool. 😀
    Anyhoo,I hope you can get over your cheesecake-fear,soon,because you certainly believe a yummy slice of vegan cheesecake – yes,you do! 😉

  2. Aja says:

    You look so cute in everything! I love your nails, and your unpictured breakfast sounds delish! I’m glad you had an awesome birthday! That cake looks so good. I’m more of a cookie or ice cream kind of person, too. Cake and stuff like it usually makes me sick. The Descendants was good but so sad! Also I need to move to Hawaii too. It’s happening some day.

  3. It looks like you had a great birthday and I don’t blame you, a shopping spree is way better than getting a big present! Your birthday cake from Whole Foods looks delicious too, I love how they have vegan cakes there and almost everything else is vegetarian or vegan or healthy-ish. I’m bigger on FroYo than cake, though, but I like vegan cupcakes and vegan cookies (I’m not even vegan, they’re just good).

    Yay for turning 20!

  4. ahhh, i watched that film with my dad as well 🙂 and i agree with most of what you said, though im not sure that it made me want to live there…but it was actually pretty informative in terms of making me more aware of the state. i think there is this stereotype of sort of the vacation-hawaii, and it’s much more than that (i think)…im from canada, though. and i love the jean shorts in the striped shirt picture, where are they from? i find that with shorts its either like super tight look, or a baggy look but it usually just looks too big on me, and i love how those seem to fit. or maybe i just need to invest in belts aha. but i love those! happy belated birthday though! the cake looks really good, and your day sounds pretty amazing as well. xox

    • The shorts are from American Eagle, I think I got them last year! They are kinda baggy on me, especially in the waist, but a belt definitely helps and then they’re just right, not too loose or tight either!

  5. Emily says:

    I’m so happy that you had such an amazing birthday weekend!
    I don’t blame you for choosing Whole Foods for your birthday dinner. I probably would have done the same thing! The chocolate cake looks amazing! I’m not usually a huge cake fan either, especially chocolate. But, when it’s vegan and from Whole Foods, how can you pass it up?!
    So jealous of your shopping spree! Everything is adorable.

  6. Cute H&M and Hollister dresses – the H&M one looks stunning on you! I also like the shirt in the first picture a lot 🙂 I’m glad you had a happy birthday (and um, a shopping spree? Talk about one of the best birthday presents ever!) I’m not big on cake, either, but I’m glad WF made a great one for you – and hope that you’ll be able to try raw cheesecake soon 🙂 I actually just ordered a whole raw cheesecake and it should be delivered within the next few days…it will be my first time having raw cheesecake and I’m excited!

    OH and as you said you have everything to try those raw dessert recipes but the coconut oil, and you haven’t dragged yourself to the shops to buy any yet, you should enter my giveaway. I’m giving away a 32oz jar of virgin coconut oil 🙂

  7. Glad you had a great birthday! I love your nails and all the clothes you bought! I especially love the dress that you say you feel french in haha.

  8. Lisa says:

    Omg I thought you were still in middle school or something!! 20!? If it weren’t for the picture of the cake, I probably wouldn’t have believed you…. haha

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