the birthday: cake for breakfast and other overdoses

I overdosed on life this weekend.

I overdosed on food. I overdosed on drinks. I overdosed on love. I’m sitting back on this Sunday night writing about the weekend and my heart is so full.

But let’s backtrack…

Because I am who I am, the birthday weekend centered on getting my paws on as much deliciousness as possible. I started celebrating a little early around midnight Friday night with some sparkling pink moscato and a side of John Krasinski. I figured he would never have accepted my personal invitation to hang out with me for the weekend, but thanks to Netflix I can stare at him as much as I want so it works out.

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On Saturday I woke up bright and early for my birthday run at 8am only to see that the ground was covered in our first snow of the year. Now, Chicago knows how to handle its winter. But we always seem to be caught off guard for the first snow, so the roads and sidewalks were in no condition to handle a run. And I certainly didn’t want to spend my birthday hobbling around on crutches because I tried to be a hero. So I did what anyone else would do: crawled back in bed and stayed there until 10am.

Megan and I spent the rest of the morning on a taco trek to the Wicker Park neighborhood. We tried about six dozen times to go to Big Star for their famous patio/margarita scene all summer but never made it happen. So even though we were surrounded by slush and it took two buses and a frostbite-laden walk to get there, I can finally say I’ve tried the “best” tacos in Chicago (*cough* the fish tacos at Benchmark are still better *cough*). Aside from the pescado I had the Taco al Pastor and it was delicious, thanks to pork belly meat covered in grilled pineapple and onion. The classic margarita and guacamole from Big Star were the real stars of the show, surprisingly. They were both perfectly made — you could tell it was the real deal. If there is some hidden spot where I can get the same avocados and tequila as Big Star, let me know and I’ll be happy forever.

unnamed (13) unnamed (12) unnamed (20) unnamed (14)Checked that off the bucket list!

I spent the afternoon watching Clueless (I had never seen it, can you believe that?) and cleaning the apartment. Man, so many life lessons to be learned from that movie.


Cher was truly ahead of her time.

Before I knew it my family was here and it was time for dinner. My mom even brought me the family crockpot for my apartment and a homemade frittata — now that’s true love. We went just down the block from my apartment to Tango Sur, a BYOB Argentinian steakhouse. I wish I could do it justice but there are no words for how to-die-for this restaurant was. It is hands down my new favorite spot in the city, and if I ever have a “last meal,” this will be it. (I really need to work on reigning in the hyperboles, but today isn’t going to be that day), I literally got home and Yelped about how happy I was because the food was so freaking good. I’m going to do a full restaurant review on Tango Sur so I’ll spare you the six hundred pictures I took (for now……) but just trust me.unnamed (15)

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My entree: Suprema a la Napolitana, or chicken breast, breaded and topped with baked ham, mozzarella and tomato sauce.

100After dinner we did the ceremonial “cake and cards” (although we saved the cake for another night after the food coma we were all enduring. And by night I mean morning because I had it for breakfast the next morning in my “it’s no longer my birthday” depression).

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Homemade red velvet cake with THE best sprinkles on the planet. (Hyperboles evvvvverywhere)

As soon as my family left my friends started to make their way over and by 11pm we had a full-blown party on our hands. Between the love I felt from my family and the presence of all my friends for my special day, I really couldn’t have asked for a better night. We had a ball until the wee hours of the morning,as you should on your birthday.

unnamed (16) unnamed (17) unnamed (21)So in sum, I have a kickass group of friends, my wonderful family traveled to the city to bring me cake, wine and hugs, I ate three days worth of calories in 12 hours, and Argentinian food is the bomb. Oh, and Cher For President.


  1. LOL. They showed ‘Clueless’ on TV here on Saturday too. Because we are ahead of you, we win. 😉

    Sounds like a great birthday but that dinner…..Oh man, that’s like one of our classic chicken parmigianas that I always get with my sister- It looks so good!

  2. So happy you had a great birthday! You got all my favorite things from Big Star too…the margaritas are on a different level. Next time try the cheese dip too – it is out of this world.

  3. Awesome! You day looked like so much fun!
    Although I must admit I was so shocked to read that you had never seen clueless! That film taught me so much, you can learn a lot about life from that movie 🙂 or the book it is based on, Emma by Jane Austen!

  4. This is glory. So glad that you had an amazing birthday!
    And I’m glad that you have now seen Clueless, which I can recite from the beginning without help. Not kidding. I just can’t even express to you the level and degree to which it changed my life.

  5. Looks like you had a great birthday. There is nothing wrong with birthday cake for breakfast I’m just saying! Do you celebrate your birthday with your twin or was that only when you were younger? Curious since I have boy/girl twins.

  6. you hadn’t seen Clueless?!?! what?! ahhh i’m SO glad you knocked that off your bucket list! although i suppose being almost 10 years older than you upped my chances of having seen it, like, a million times. 🙂 looks like a fab bday with all the people you wanted to have close — and that’s the best thing a girl can ask for. glad you enjoyed it!

  7. So jealous of that meal! We have a similar place in Ohio but due to ridiculous prices for food I have yet to try it, but soon !

  8. Yay to a great birthday and to looking so fabulous!! You are such a beautiful girl!! Wow and 24…so exciting!! You’re going to have a great year!! Yummy food and caaaake!! I love cake!! Clueless is one of my most fave movies in the world!! It’s freakin’ awesome!! SO happy you watched it!! Definitely lots of valuable life lessons!! Have a wonderful week!! You rock!! XOXO

  9. Happy happy happy belated birthday, lady!! It looks like you had an AMAZING day! Friends, family, cake — I mean, what more could you really hope for?

    (Also, my Chicago confession: I’ve lived in Chicago for 2.5 years, and I’ve never been to Big Star. I feel like that’s almost justification for exiling me to Naperville and never allowing me to return. Though I did try to go once…it just happened to be on a picture-perfect Saturday evening in mid-May. So you can imagine how well that went [i.e.: it didn’t. My friend and I retreated to Lincoln Park for dinner instead.] On the other hand, I’m also really not much of a Mexican food/taco person, so maybe it’s not *totally* inexcusable that I’ve never been. Just mostly 😛 )

  10. Sounds like you had a fabulous birthday. I can’t believe you never saw the movie Clueless. We are suppose to be getting our first snow of the season here in Philly this wk. Not looking forward to that but at least I will be in sunny Florida by the end of the wk.

  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! This day looks like it was perfecto. I too share your obsession with tacos, Argentinian food and cake for breakfast. I can’t believe the restaurant was BYOB, I need that in my life. P.S. Your bday outfit is super cute!!

  12. Happy belated birthday! It looks like you had a great time! Im bummed that I am in VA and missed the first snow, but Im also kind of not because it was in the 60s yesterday. Im hoping that it becomes a little more manageable in Chicago by the time we come back this weekend.

    Im glad you had such a great time for your birthday and I also can’t believe you never saw Clueless! Such a classic.

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