Fabulous Birthday Week

My birthday week was kicked off on Sunday with a party at my parents house, where my nephew, Emillio, baked and decorated this gorgeous cake. He just graduated high school and is going to be a pâtissier someday. He does great work, right?

We enjoyed grilled pizzas and caesar salad for dinner. Delicious!

My sister gave me a food dehydrator, which I've already used to dried some fruits and make fruit leather. Yum!

Tuesday was the actual day of my birthday. I got to spend it with the Young Women of the White Bear Lake and Saint Paul wards at Girls Camp, where they serenaded me at breakfast with not one, but two, birthday songs. I love the WBL ward's version and need to get that from them. It was awesome.

We took a 10 mile canoe trip with the girls that was supposed to be 3-4 hours, but took us 5 hours. There was an incredible head wind for the last 2 miles that was killer! I'm a terrible canoer, but I still have fun doing it.

After dinner, the girls all did some skits. They were all great, but the YCL's was the best because it ended with them presenting a birthday cake to me! Yep, I definitely felt special...and loved. Thanks, girls! And Bre
(cuz I know you orchestrated the whole thing).

Since I was at camp on my actual birthday, Jeff surprised me at work on Thursday with these beautiful flowers.
I was totally shocked! It was such a sweet surprise.

My office also had my birthday lunch, so Jeff got to stay and meet all my co-workers. We had some delicious pasta, salad, and mini eclairs for dessert! After lunch, Jeff and I walked around the farmer's market where we bought some delicious chocolate! I also got some fruit to dry with my new dehydrator.

Not really part of any birthday celebration, but Friday night, we went to a Saints game. As always, it was super fun to hang with our friends Bre and R.Jay! After the game, we had some ice cream and played Ticket to Ride. It was a lot of fun!

Back to birthday celebrations on Saturday as Jeff and I joined my brother, Dan, and his girlfriend, Chelsea, for a session of Hot Yoga at Core Power Yoga. The class was intense, and I felt a little nauseated at times, but it was good. Jeff has now discovered that he really enjoys yoga. Who knew?!

After yoga, we went out to dinner at Subo in downtown Minneapolis. Dinner was their birthday gift to me. It was delicious! It's tapas-style dining, so what you order is shared with the whole table. I even tried Ahi. Yep, raw tuna. It wasn't too bad. Couldn't bring myself to try the scallops, though. Maybe next time. Jeff also discovered he's a natural with chopsticks. He was totally showing off. He'll be all set if we end up in China for the Peace Corps. 


New Lifestyle, New Hairstyle

You may or may not know, but Jeff and I have decided to make some changes in our lives. We're purging much of the clutter and materialistic things in our lives, including our car.

This is a big change. An all-encompassing change.

For me, I tend to change my hair. Sometimes a hair change will prompt life changes and sometimes it's the other way around.

Here's the progression of my hair changes this time around.
After (from front)

After (from side)
After (from other side)
After (from back)
The above After shots are of a haircut I did myself. It turned out really cute! I was so pleased and proud that I could get nice layers and texture all on my own. I've enjoyed such satisfaction cutting my own hair the past few years.

I loved this haircut when my hair was still wet. It laid just right and looked super cute.

I never had (took?) the time to actually do my hair in the mornings before work, so the cuteness would often fade as it dried, and I would fall back into the habit of tucking my hair behind my ears, which I hate.

After (from front with hair tucked behind my ears)
The haircut above was done on July 24th. It was mostly prompted by how HOT it's been this summer. My neck was always too sweaty. It was gross and uncomfortable. So, out came the scissors.

Jeff really wanted me to go shorter, but I wasn't brave enough. I mentioned it to my step-mom, and she thought I could totally pull it off.

With making the switch to commuting by bike, I decided I'd push myself. I thought long and hard and decided I'd try shorter. It will be easier to maintain, easier to ride with a bike helmet. So much cooler in the summer!

I didn't think I'd be able to pull off a short haircut on my own, so I did a quick Google maps search for hair salons near my apartment. I found Püsch. They are only 4 blocks away, and they had some awesome specials, so I called them up and made an appointment.

I was so nervous...and yet so very excited!

I showed Kasey some pictures and let her go at it. When she was washing my hair, she commented on the nice texture of the cut. I couldn't help but brag that I'd done it myself.

Here's what she came up with.

I think it makes me look more mature; Jeff think it makes me look sexier.

What do you think?? Take my poll in the upper right.


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